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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

From: "Robert A. Hayden" <hayden@*******.MANKATO.MSUS.EDU>
Subject: [FAQ] ShadowTalk: Interactive Shadowrun Fiction
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 23:28:31 -0500

If you post to ShadowTalk without following the format guidelines (Part II:A),
you will be deleted from the list!!!!!!


Welcome to SHADOWTK,

Apologies for the rather gruff warning at the beginning, but persons often
fail to read the FAQ, or lightly skim over it, and improper formatting has
become a big problem.

This document is sent automanually to all new subscribers and serves
to outline the guidelines for the list. It is also posted monthly to
SHADOWTK to serve as a reminder.

There are six parts to the FAQ. Parts I-V contain the general questions
pertaining to the list. Part VI contains a long listing of the major
characters along with a brief background for each. Because of the length of
Part VI, it is not distributed in the regular monthly cross-posting and you
won't find it if that is where you are reading this document.

All subscribers are expected to read and attempt to adhere to these
guidelines in an attempt to maintain conformity. Special attention should
be given towards posting format (Part II:A) in an effort to maintain the
sanity of the editor.

Thanks for your interest,

The ShadowTalk Listowner

Robert Hayden: <aq650@****.INS.CWRU.Edu> "Fearless Leader"


Frequently Asked Questions for SHADOWTK@*****.BITNET
Version 3.0 (08-08-93)

Compiled by your fearless leader: Robert Hayden


A. What is ShadowTalk?
B. How do I subscribe to ShadowTalk?
C. How do I post to ShadowTalk?
D. How do I unsubscribe to ShadowTalk?
E. Other Important LISTSERV Commands.
F. Why am I getting deleted from the list for no reason?

A. What is the posting format?
B. What are the restrictions on the type of postings?
C. What are the restrictions on characterization?
D. Registering a Character

A. Using the LISTSERV 'GET' command
B. Getting edited logs via FTP


A. What is PLOT-D
B. Subscribing to PLOT-D

VI. CAST OF CHARACTERS (may not be present)



A. What is ShadowTalk?

Shadowtalk is an interactive fiction mailing list based on the paper &
pencil role-playing game Shadowrun, published by FASA. Members of the
list post as characters in the game, and by responding to each other's
posts "in character", stories are developed. These stories may then be
used by players and GMs alike as a basis for contacts, NPCs, and
adventure plots in their own campaigns.

Shadowrun takes place in Seattle 61 years in the future. Cybernetics,
Virtual Reality, and biotechnology are available to the public.
Furthermore, Magic exists and is controlled by mages and shamans, and
mythical beings once again roam the land. Megacorporations, with the
power of small nations, rule the politics and hold the ultimate
stranglehold on the underclass. Surviving in the world of Shadowrun
takes as much courage as it does skill.

And perhaps just a little luck.

B. How do I subscribe to ShadowTalk?

To subscribe, you must send a control message to the listserv at
HEARN.bitnet. To do this, send email with the following parameters:

TO: listserv@*****.bitnet
SUB: <leave blank>
1st line: subscribe shadowtk your-real-name

In a little while you should get email instructing you how to
confim your subscription request. Simply follow the instructions
and you will soon start getting regular postings.

If you have difficulty with bitnet addresses, you can also use the
internet address, which is LISTSERV@*****

C. How do I post to ShadowTalk?

To post to ShadowTalk, you send your posting via email to
SHADOWTK@*****.BITNET (or SHADOWTK@***** for
internet). Please be sure to follow the formatting guidelines
(see Part II:A).

D. How do I unsubscribe to ShadowTalk?

To unsubscribe, you must send a control message to the listserv at
HEARN.bitnet. To do this, send email with the following

TO: listserv@*****.bitnet (or LISTSERV@*****
SUB: <leave blank>
1st line: signoff shadowtk

In a little while you should get email confiming your unsubscription

E. Other Important LISTSERV Commands.

There are many commands you can give to the listserv in order to change
how your subscription works.

SET listname REPRO:
This command will have the listserv include you in the
distribution of any posting you make (ie, you get your own
things back, too).

SET listname ACK:
This is simply an confirmation of the posting you just made.
It is returned to you in email.

SET listname NOMAIL:
If you are going on vacation or something, sending a NOMAIL
command will halt your receiving any postings. This is
helpful if you know that your quota will be exceeded during
Christmas break, for example. When you return, you can use
the SET listname MAIL command to start receiving again.

WARNING: If you forget to do this and your quota is exceeded,
this will cause all of the postings to be bounced back to the
list, possibly leading to a loop. The only way to quicly
allievitate this problem is to delete your subscription, so
PLEASE use the NOMAIL command if you are going to be gone
for a while.

SET listname DIGEST:
When this option is set, instead of all of the postings
being delivered seperately, they will be delivered in
one mailing at the close of the day (in HEARN's timezone).
This is helpful if the number of mailings become a burden.

Sending this command will give you a listing and brief
descriptions of all available commands.

F. Why am I getting deleted from the list for no reason?

99% of the time, the reason you are deleted from the list (by the
listowner) is because for some reason mail is bouncing off of your

Usually this is caused by one of two reasons. Either A) your
account is filled and can't hold any more or B) for some reason your
account is not available (either the machine or your account is down).
When this happens, it causes an error message to be sent back to the
list. The list software attempts to detect error messages and route
them to the listowner. Sometimes, though, the error is not detected by
the listserv software and the error gets reported to the list. This
causes the error message to get sent our to all subscribers, including
the person who is bouncing mail. This leads to a big loop that really
messes things up.

Thus, standard procedure when an error message is reported it to delete
the subscription of the person causing the error.

Once the problem has been fixed (you are back on the net or have room),
you are, of course, free to join the list again.

Also, you will also be deleted if you post messages with an improper
format after your first warning. See part II:A for more information.



A. What is the posting format?

The best guideline for posting format can be found in the FASA
rulebooks, but in summary, a post should be made as follows:

***** Encrypt: key-designation (optional)
>>>>>[Text to be discussed]<<<<<
-- ID < Time / Date >

Encrypt= Some postings to the ShadowTalk storyline need 'encrypting'.
Encrypted posts are usually of a nature that person's outside
of the ShadowTalk list would be unable to see it without the
correct counter-key. This has no real-world significance but
can serve to enhance the mystery and storyline.
>>>>>[ = All postings should start with five (5) greater-than symbols
followed by an opening bracket.
]<<<<< = All postings should end with a closing bracket followed by
five (5) less than symbols.
ID = Your fictional LTG identification. This ID should be
preceeded by one TAB, two dashes (--), and two spaces.
Time = The time of the post in 24hr format (ie, 23:45:16)
I've found it personally convienient to simply use the
current real-world time. There has been some discussion
regarding using a universal time (example, everyone posts
using GMT or Seattle time). It has been decided that it is too
much of a pain to try to recalculate posting time. If you do
with is use a universal time, use GMT.
Date = The Shadowrun Date. In order to keep things in order,
use the current month and day, and for the year, take
the current year and add 61 to it (Shadowrun takes
place in 2054 during 1993)


All postings should be made flush-left. Do not TAB in new paragraphs.
Do not use TABs for formatting purposes (use spaces).

At the end of a paragraph, press return twice and start the next
paragraph flush-left.

NOTE: There are some industrious "deckers" that alter the
time-date stamp into saying something else. While this can be fun,
it can hamper attempts to port the messages to a log file in the
correct order.

Signature Files:
As a general rule, it is unnescessary to include a signature file
for SHADOWTK postings, as your entries will have your "ID" to
identify you. Most mailers are able to resolve return addresses.

Quoting Previous Postings:
This is also frowned upon, mostly because of the difficulty in
creating a log file. Discussion should occur rapidly enough that
quoting of will be unecessary. If you feel that you need to
address specific points, please try to simply address them without
wasting bandwidth with unecessary quoting. Use the subject of the
posting to refresh everyone's memory if you can.

Isn't very nice, period. If it gets too bad, you will be deleted from
the list.

B. What are the restrictions on the type of postings?

In general, any aspect of the Shadowrun society can be discussed.
Rumors, reports, opinions, etc. about the Shadowrun universe are the

C. What are the restrictions on characterization?

Over a hundred people subscribe to this list, and everyone wants to
feel as individual and special as the next. To this end, please keep
the following parameters in mind when creating stories and characters.

Stick to the official rules and world background. This is not meant to
constrain your imagination, but to provide a common "world" in which to
interact. Some people play highly variant versions of Shadowrun, with
Artificial Intelligences, Voodoo magic, and Orbital Masters. In
general, if it doesn't exist in the rules or supplements, don't use it.

Maintain a sense of humility and reason. All characters are
vulnerable, and no character should have an excessive amount of power
without reason. If you do play a powerful character, do not go about
bragging of your connections and abilities. . . this will only annoy
the others and result in a flame war. With great power comes great
responsibility; it is your responsibility to keep your activities
within reason.

When you create a character, try to give him or her some depth. Come up
with mannerisms, common sayings, and other unique aspects that define
your character as more than a stream of ASCII. A sign of a well-
developed character is one who can be recognized without a Time/Date
stamp. Mentioning "off-board" friends, enemies, and contacts can also

There are 4 rules to character usage that must be followed:

1: You cannot use someone else's character without
permission. This means that you shouldn't write something
up and sign as "Nightstalker", "Dark Elf" or
"Wolf 359"
without the creators' consent.

2: If you do use someone else's character with permission,
keep their posting style consistent. This includes their
language, virtual mannerisms, and Time/Date stamp.

3: NEVER kill off someone else's character.

4: Above All, HAVE FUN!

If you want to get involved with an existing story, or wish to invite
someone else to yours, your best bet is to discuss it on PLOT-D
(See part V). If you do not subscribe to that list, you can still
contact people privately with the REPLY command. We recommend that you
contact someone privately before jumping into their story; most will
appreciate the help, but it is impolite to say something happened
without warning them first.

When generating stories that push the envelope of Shadowrun (i.e,
involve AIs, new magic, or weapons), you should discuss it on PLOT-D.
There, you can get an idea as to how people will react, and get
suggestions on how to make it work better. Also, the veteran members
of this list can tell you if your repeating a story that has already
been done (an example is the use of Artificial Intelligence; 2 have
appeared within 3 months of each other).

D. Registering a Character

There are literally hundreds of major and minor characters who rear
their heads into the ShadowTalk storyline. In an effort to make
keeping tabs on the individual characters a little easier, all
participants are encouraged to register their character.

Registering a character is a very simple procedure. You simply send
your character name, real name, e-mail address and a brief description
of your character's background. Send your character to the listowner,
Robert Hayden <aq650@****.INS.CWRU.Edu>.

Because of limitations in the editing software, please limit your
submissions to one character per mailing. If you have several
characters to register, send each of them in a seperate mail message.

Also, for characters that are not used often or appear only briefly,
it is probably best, in the interest of the size of the cast list, to
not send in backgrounds for all character.

Finally, there is a format you MUST follow to register your characters.
The format looks like this:

Character Name -- Your Real Name <your@*****.address>
-- <--two dashes
Up to an eight line description of the character. Say what you need to say
and no more. Include mannerisms and whatever. Be fun. We don't need a
complete physical description, though. For characters with real name, use
the last-name first method.

Yoshida, Joseph - Robert Hayden <aq650@****.INS.CWRU.Edu>
President of the large corporation Yoshida Technologies. Father to
Norman Yoshida. Largely responsible for the development of several early
cybernetic components. Often considered in the 'runner community to be a
'nice' corp. Joseph is an Eagle adept and politically powerful in the Eagle



A. Using the LISTSERV 'GET' command.

Logs of activity on SHADOWTK will be kept online and be available via
the listserv at HEARN. In order to get a directory listing of the
SHADOWTK related files, send the command INDEX SHADOWTK to
LISTSERV@*****.BITNET. You should get a response in a little while
that lists all of the files available.

The log files will be named 'SHADOWTK LOGyymm{A-E}', where 'yy' is the
year of the file, 'mm' is the month and the final letter indicates the
week, with the first week being 'A', and the start of the 5th week
being 'E'.

To get one of them, send the command GET filename, where filename is
the name of the file you wish to receive (example: GET SHADOWTK
LOG9303D). After a bit, you should receive that file in the mail.


B. Getting edited logs via FTP.

Edited versions of the ShadowTalk logs are available on one of two sites.

IP # []
DIR: pub/shadowtalk

IP # []
DIR: pub/Beelzebub/Role-Playing/Shadowrun/Shadowtalk
NOTE: The files are stored on this site in ZIP format only.

The edited version of the logs will have all of the headers and
signatures removed so that you can simply read a series of postings.
For this reason, you can see why it would be helpful to following the
posting format outlined in part II:A. The editing of these files will
have to be done manually and using the correct format will speed up
this process.

A special thanks to Hubert Bartels <hgb@********>
for donating the site alongside the alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo archives.

A special thanks to Jerry Stratton <jerry@******.ACUSD.EDU> for
donating space alongside the NAGEE and other Shadowrun related files.



There are four mail distributions that ShadowTalk readers can
'subscribe' to. These are not mailing lists, but just a single mailing
that is CC'ed to several people. To join any of these four lists,
contact Robert Hayden <aq650@****.INS.CWRU.Edu> and he will add you.
This is a manual thing so please allow normal human response times.

To summarize the four lists:

LOG: Joining this list will cause you to receive a copy of the weekly
edited log. The edited log is identical to the regular postings to
ShadowTalk, but the administrative postings, mistakes and mailing
headers have been removed. This distribution preceeds the edited
logs being available on FTP but a few days.

This list is a companion to the LOG list, but instead of sending you
copy of the postings, it simply is an informative mailing telling
you that the files have been placed on to the FTP sites. The logs
on the FTP sites should appear within couple of days.

CAST: Subscribers to this distribution will get a copy of the current cast
listing mailed to them sometime around the beginning of every
month. Note that this is the ONLY way to automatically get a copy of
the cast listing as, due to its size, it is not posted to the list.
It is recommended that you 'subscribe' to this distribution.

FAQ: This is a mostly administrative distribution, but is included here
in case someone wishes to join it for some reason. This
distribution will send out a copy of the ShadowTalk FAQ every month.
The version of the FAQ sent out DOES NOT include a copy of the cast



A. What is PLOT-D

PLOT-D is a supplemental discussion list for ShadowTalk. The purpose
of PLOT-D is to discuss (as the name obviously implies) plotlines. It
also handles discussion of administrative issues in order to not clog
SHADOWTK or SHADOWRN with only remotely related issues.


B. Subscribing to PLOT-D

PLOT-D's software operates very similiar to SHADOWTK's, and the
method of subscription is nearly identical.

To subscribe, you send email with the following parameters:

TO: listserv@*****.bitnet <or LISTSERV@*****>
SUB: <leave blank>
1st line: subscribe plot-d your-real-name

Unlike ShadowTalk, though, PLOT-D is not an open list. Subscriptions
to the list a granted only if two conditions are met:
1) Subscribed to SHADOWTK
2) Have at least one character registered in the cast of

If you meet these two conditions, the listowner will issue you a
command telling the LISTSERV to add you. If you fail one of these two
tests, no action will be taken.



These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.