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15 April 2012 @ 02:44 pm
Westeros Sorting FAQ 4.0  
Welcome to the revised version of the original FAQ put together by deeplyunhip in Game Three. Please contact deeplyunhip, hamsterwoman, or misstopia if you spot any gaps or inconsistencies.

We decided to finally put all of the answers to the majority of community-related questions we've seen in one place. Hence we bring all new, old, and potential future members:

The Official Westeros Sorting FAQ

Table of Contents
Great Houses and Jesteros
The Night's Watch
Valyrian Forged

Welcome to Westeros Sorting! This community is open only to members who have been officially sorted into one of the seven Great Houses of Westeros at westerosorting. If you would like to join our community, please check out the userinfo, where you can find sorting rules and an application. You will then be sorted into one of Seven Great Houses, where you'll be able to participate in the ever-thrilling "Game of Thrones" in which you compete against other houses for points.

If you ever have a question about this community, please read through the following FAQ first. If you still have no answer, you can contact the moderators at the Concerns and Suggestions post or PM neutral moderator misstopia with your question or issue.

The following communities are open to all members:
greathouses, the community for general ASOIAF discussion
jesteros, the community for ASOIAF humor and crack
thetourneys, the community for contests and games
valyrian_forged, the community for fic, graphics, art, and other ASOIAF fanworks
westerosorting, the community for sorting
westerostamping, the community for character stamping

The following communities are our restricted access communities:
thegreyjoys, the house community of those sorted into House Greyjoy
thelannisters, the house community of those sorted into House Lannister
themartells, the house community of those sorted into House Martell
thestarks, the house community of those sorted into House Stark
thetargaryens, the house community of those sorted into House Targaryen
thetullys, the house community of those sorted into House Tully
thetyrells, the house community of those sorted into House Tyrell
thenightswatch, the community for Westeros Sorting moderators to discuss various community-related issues
tourneyohand, the community where Tourney of the Hand is held once each game. Except for the ToH weekend, only mods have access to this community. You will be encouraged to request access a few days before ToH starts. Everybody but the mods is removed from the community when ToH closes.


Do I need to have read any/all of the books to apply?

westerosorting is a book-based community, and the concept of sorting relies on sufficient knowledge of members of all seven houses represented here. Because of this, applicants are required to have read at least through A Feast for Crows before joining. If you have not read the first four books and apply anyway, your application will be rejected from the queue.

Note: Although applicants are not required to have read A Dance with Dragons, you may encounter ADWD spoilers in all of the westerosorting sub-communities and they will not be warned for. If you haven't read the latest book, you apply at your own risk!

The application uses the word "elaborate" a lot. Exactly how much elaboration do you mean?

More is better when it comes to explaining things on your application. You don't need to write a novel, but you need the members of the community be able to grasp the reasoning behind your answers. If you'd like to get an idea of what elaboration levels are acceptable, take a look through some of the past applications at westerosorting. Note which ones receive comments asking for elaboration and which don't.

You can check out these two applications if you'd like to see an example of adequately elaborate submissions:
Example application #1
Example application #2

I can say whatever I want in my application, right?
Almost anything you want. You are, of course, encouraged to elaborate on your hobbies, accomplishments, opinions, and so on as much as you'd like, but please keep the following common-sense rules in mind:

1. Sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. are not welcome in this community. Naturally, not everyone agrees on what counts as an -ism, but please check your own attitudes and try to be respectful of everyone. This is a diverse place, and if you have issues with that, you may want to head elsewhere.

2. Use of slurs (aside from in-character use in fanfiction) is unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action up to and including banning. If you aren't sure whether a given word counts as a slur, it's probably best if you don't say it.

3. Threats of violence against real people are unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action up to and including banning. This includes wishing harm on GRRM and/or his editor, actors from the show, fellow community members, etc. It does not include fictional characters.

We will be reviewing incoming applications for violations of these rules and asking the applicants to edit if necessary. If we miss something, and your application makes sorters uncomfortable, they are allowed to cast a "No Vote" rather than voting for one of the seven available houses. Remember that "No Votes" do not mean "go away forever". A better definition for "No Vote" would be "I am unable to sort you at this time." If an applicant receives majority of "No Votes", the applicant may reapply.

How do I submit my application to be sorted?

1) Go to the westerosorting userinfo, read the rules, copy the application linked there. Fill out the application.

2) Join westerosorting to gain posting access. Of course, it would be great if you elected to watch the community, too.

3) It's a good idea to post your application as a private entry in your own LJ to check that the HTML is working properly, the LJ-cut is in place, all text is legible, etc. before submitting your application. While you will have an opportunity to fix these if you submit an application with broken HTML, it's much easier to fix before the application is submitted into the queue.

4) Go to westerosorting and click on Post to this community on the navigation bar at the top of the page OR go to the westerosorting userinfo page and click on the Post button (pencil icon) on the menu bar at right. Then proceed as you would when posting an LJ entry in your own journal. Please make sure you are in HTML mode when you post! Otherwise the LJ-cut and bolding won't work and you will have to go back and fix it. Also, please don't change Comments or Security settings from the default.

5) If you don't normally have comments in communities emailed to you or sent to your Inbox, you may want to enable this feature for westerosorting while your application is being sorted. Similarly, if you do not accept Private Messages from non-friends, you may want to enable that feature as well. If there's a problem with your application (e.g. incorrect/missing Subject, missing LJ-cut, broken HTML), the mod releasing applications will PM you about the issue so that you can resubmit your application if the problem is severe enough or release your application and comment to inform you of the issue. The sooner you hear about that, the better. You may also receive comments from sorters asking for elaboration, and the sooner you can edit your application to provide more information, the sooner those requesting it can sort you.

6) It's a very good idea to save a copy of your application while you're waiting for it to be released, in case you have to resubmit it for severely broken HTML.

I would like to apply to westerosorting but I'm not sure I can submit an elaborate application in English and/or I would like someone to proofread my application for spelling/grammar. Is there someone who can help me with that?

We have a Translation and Proofreading "taskforce" staffed by volunteers from the community. Check here to see if your language is on the list of languages we can currently help translate for or to request a proofreader.

These services are both strictly optional! They are there for you if you would like the assistance, but certainly no one is obligated to use them.

A translation and proofreading service is an awesome idea! I want to help!

Great! You can join the taskforce by commenting here once you've been sorted.

My application has been submitted and is in the queue, but I just remembered I forgot to put the correct words in the Subject line / add an LJ-cut / something else. What should I do?

Don't panic! :) This happens quite a bit, and is not a huge deal. The best thing to do would be to comment on the Concerns and Suggestions post and explain your situation to the mods. Depending on the issue and whether you have a copy of your application saved, you could simply submit a revised application and we will delete the first one from the queue. Or, if the issue is minor, we can go ahead and release your application as it is and you can edit it once released. If you choose to go with the second option, please remember that the applications are released first thing Monday in general, and remember to come back and edit it as soon as possible.

Note: Applications with broken HTML will not be released. We will PM the applicant to resubmit the application with the errors corrected. You will, unfortunately, lose your space in the queue. To prevent these situations from arising, you may want to try posting your application in your own LJ to make sure the HTML didn't get mangled.

Why hasn't my application been released yet?

Applications are generally released on Mondays and stamped on Fridays, so expect to see yours show up on a Monday. If it takes more than a week's time, it may simply be that our queue is very full, though you are free to contact moderators to make sure that your application was received.

Very, very occasionally (twice in the history of the community), we have experienced LJ glitches where applications disappear from the queue. Unfortunately, we have no way of recovering them, so it's a very, VERY good idea to keep a copy of your application until it's been posted.

If a week has passed and your application has not been posted, feel free to ask the mod team about it via the Concerns and Suggestions post.

Can I respond to votes on my application?

It's preferable that you wait until being officially sorted to reply, but yes. You may not, however, try to argue with votes or try to persuade members to vote you into any specific house.

Is there a way to change my house after being sorted?

Yes. If you have been with your original house for three months, you may contact a moderator to let them know that you are interested in being re-sorted. Once all of the moderators approve of your request, you will send us a newly filled out application. This application will be posted anonymously while the community votes. We would only allow this process to take place between games, due to point issues. You would be able to re-sorted into any house (including the house you were just in) based off the new application and new votes. Everyone has the opportunity to go through this re-sorting process once if so desired. Going through the re-sorting process more than once is not permitted.

Note: Time between games does not count toward the three month period needed to pass before re-sorting is permitted to take place!

What is this fostering thing I hear about?

Starting in our sixth game, we have allowed people to foster in other houses for a game. Fostering is essentially leaving your house for one game and joining another. You become an honorary member of that house for that one game. For the entirety of the game, all of your points go to the house that you are fostered with. This has been a fun way for members of different houses to get to know each other and to help smaller houses compete more equally in the Game of Thrones.

During the break between games, we put up a post where people can apply to be fostered. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Houses which are open to be fostered in will be determined by the mod team for each game, though it is usually the three houses with the lowest point totals from the previous game that are opened up to fostering before a new game begins.
- You may not foster two games in a row.

I left the community in the past but would like to come back. Do I have to re-apply?

No. You are welcome to re-join your original house after contacting the moderators via the Concerns and Suggestions post. If you wish to go through the re-sorting process upon your return, it will count as your one permitted re-sort.


Can I vote on others applications before I am officially sorted? Am I required to?

Yes, you may vote on applications before being officially sorted. The points you earn will be counted after you are sorted and added to your house. However, this is not a requirement. You are free to wait until being officially sorted to start working on your own sorting.

What are the rules for voting?

Put the name of your own house in the subject line in capital letters and brackets. For example, if you are a member of House Tyrell, you would write [TYRELL] in the subject line. If you are viewing the community in a style that does not use subject lines you must put your house name, bolded, in capital letters and brackets at the top of your voting comment. For example, if you are a member of House Tyell and you are viewing the community in a style that does not use subject lines, you would write [TYRELL] at the top of your comment before beginning your vote.

After filling out your house name, you can vote for which house you believe the applicant belongs in. When voting, you must bold the house you are voting the applicant into. For example, if you think someone belongs with the lions, you would comment with the name Lannister in bolded letters (the vote would be underneath the name of your own house). Elaboration on why you are voting for whichever particular house is always appreciated, but it is not required. We also expect that members respond in a polite manner.

What is "No Vote" and when are people encouraged to use it?

While no one is explicitly encouraged to use "No Vote", we do like to have the option available for extreme cases. You may cast a "No Vote" on someone's application if you find them to be dishonest or pushing for a specific house. You may also use the option if you feel that they need to elaborate further.

When worrying about elaboration, however, it is important to us that our members are sensitive to the possibilities that applicants may have English language issues. English may not be a person's first language, and a person may have trouble with the application due to a learning disability or another problem. "No vote" is a valid option when voting, but we ask that our members show sensitivity and avoid abusing the option in any way.

Note that "No Vote" can be used in cases where you have read the application and feel you cannot sort the applicant fairly based on the information provided, due to lack of elaboration, or issues of honesty/pushing. It should NOT be used if you have not been able to read the application for whatever reason.

If you are not able to read the application as posted, it may help to copy the text and paste it into a text editor where you can increase font size, double-space, etc. If you require additional assistance, please PM neutral mod misstopia and the mod team will do our best to supply you with a copy of the application in a more readable format.

Note: "No Vote" should also NOT be used for applications that don't have "win or die" in their subject line, have formatting you dislike, or minor grammatical errors. Here are some more helpful guidelines:

Here are the appropriate uses for no-votes:
-Applicant didn't elaborate enough for you to get an idea of which house they belong in.
-Applicant seemed pushy or dishonest.
-Applicant elaborated and was honest, but you simply can't decide where they belong.
-Applicant said things that made you uncomfortable to the point where you cannot be objective, e.g. wishing violence on characters, racist/sexist/*ist viewpoints, etc.
-You sincerely can't understand what an applicant is saying because of grammar issues.
-An applicant breaks the rules: under 16, hasn't read through at least AFFC, wishes violence on real people, argues with votes.

And here are inappropriate uses for no-votes, the kind that will get you a warning:
-Applicant made grammar or spelling issues that did not significantly interfere with your understanding. In other words, don't be a grammar snob.
-Applicant says things that annoy you or that you disagree with. Note that this is different from possibly triggery issues mentioned above. "Sansa is responsible for Ned's death and I hate her" isn't a reason to no-vote someone. "Sansa is a whore and I hope she gets what's coming to her" may be. If you don't hear the difference, you probably won't need to no-vote for this reason.
-An applicant has not read through ADWD.
-You don't like the applicant.

Most importantly: DO NOT BE RUDE WHEN NO-VOTING. Politely explain the reason why you aren't able to sort someone. Use your common sense as to what other people may find rude. If you break this rule, at a mod's discretion, you will be given a warning. Three warnings will result in you being barred from sorting for two weeks. Warnings are not negotiable.

If you are still confused or have questions about no-voting, you may refer to this post on the subject.

How many points do I get for sorting? Are there any bonuses?

5 points are given for each vote (including "No Vote").

In addition, we do reward a monthly bonus to any member who sorts 100% of applications that appear within the span of one month. Months that have fewer than 20 applications result in a bonus for 20 points to any member who sorts 100% of the applications. Months that have 20 or more applications result in a bonus of 50 points.

We also reward a game sorting bonus of 200 points for those members who manage to sort every application that comes in for the duration of one whole game.

Can I still get a sorting bonus if I joined the community mid-month? Mid-game?

Members who join partway through a game will be eligible for a prorated game bonus if they sort every application after they're officially sorted. The size of the bonus will be based on the length of time the member spent in the game. If you join the community during the middle of the month, however, you will not be eligible for the monthly sorting bonus during that particular month.

What are "promotion points"?

Promotion points are points you may earn by referring another livejournal user to our community. You will earn 30 points per person referred, as long as the applicant makes sure to mention your name when they fill out the sorting application. If a member is referred by more than one person, each person who referred them gets the full 30 points.

Do I have to sort?

No. Your fellow house members would probably like you to get the points, and getting to know new members before they enter the community can be fun, but you are not required to sort.

Greathouses and Jesteros

Can anyone post anything to westerosorting's discussion and humor communities?

Yes and no. All members are granted posting access, and we are always pleased to see members coming up with discussions and activities. However, we require that posts remain on topic. Anything related to A Song of Ice and Fire or getting-to-know-you type surveys is suitable for posting in greathouses. jesteros is naturally for less serious pursuits, but polls and discussions must still remain on the general topic of ASOIAF or at least on the topic of our community. Suggestions and concerns related to the community may also not be posted in our discussion communities, as they will be deleted. Concerns and questions related to community issues should be posted at our Concerns and Suggestions post. The only exception is during "improvement poll time", which takes place in between games. There, we want to hear it all.

Also, this should be plain common sense, but being respectful in your interactions with other members of the community is important, and a lack of decent behavior will indeed catch our attention. Specifically, please follow these common-sense rules in all your posts and comments:

1. Sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. are not welcome in this community. Naturally, not everyone agrees on what counts as an -ism, but please check your own attitudes and try to be respectful of everyone. This is a diverse place, and if you have issues with that, you may want to head elsewhere.

2. Use of slurs (aside from in-character use in fanfiction) is unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action up to and including banning. If you aren't sure whether a given word counts as a slur, it's probably best if you don't say it.

3. Threats of violence against real people are unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action up to and including banning. This includes wishing harm on GRRM and/or his editor, actors from the show, fellow comm members, etc. It does not include fictional characters.

In addition, images greater than 500x500 pixels must be posted under a cut, to ensure browsing comfort for all of our members. If something can be classified as NSFW, we also ask that this be posted under a cut. These communities are favorites for time-wasting while at work. ;)

Can I post in these communities in between games?

Of course! You can post ten times a day if you have that many things to say about ASOIAF. :)

The Night's Watch

Who are the moderators of Westeros Sorting? How can I contact them?

This community was originally created by deeplyunhip, cyshobbitlass, and honest_illusion (who is responsible for the lovely layouts).

The current staff is as follows:

misstopia/Miss - Neutral moderator. Can contact through PM.
odeocowboys/Olivia - Greyjoy moderator. Can contact through PM.
deeplyunhip/Kim - Lannister co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
firebluespinel/James - Lannister co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
girloficenfire/T - Martell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
jesatria/Jenna - Martell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
chacusha/Tako - Stark moderator. Can contact through PM.
mauvais_pli/Daria - Targaryen moderator. Can contact through PM.
kibethsbark/Carly - Tully co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
moryssa/Misti - Tully co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
sephystabbity/Sephy - Tyrell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
hamsterwoman/Anna - Tyrell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.

Just as an FYI sort of note, neutral moderators are members of all of the different house sub-communities.

As mentioned in many of the questions throughout this FAQ, if you have a concern or suggestion, you may contact all of the mods through the Concerns and Suggestions post.

I posted a comment to the Concerns and Suggestions post. Why hasn't my concern been addressed yet?

Every concern or suggestion posted to thenightswatch's sticky post is discussed at length with all moderators before any sort of decision is made. We pay attention to all comments left on the Concerns and Suggestions post. Try to understand that it takes longer for many people to make a decision than it would take for one or two. We will not forget your concern - we just may take awhile to discuss it amongst ourselves. Thank you.

I want to help! How can I become a moderator?

Applications go up as positions open. They are usually posted within the house communities. In order to apply, you need to have been an active member of westerosorting for at least three months.


How many contests take place at thetourneys? Are they open to everyone?

We aim for about two or three contests a month, one fanwork contest (fanart, fanfic, or graphics) and one (or more) a non-fanwork contest(s). A non-fanworks contest is any contest that doesn't fit in the preceding three fanworks categories, e.g. essay, puzzle, food contest, or a multi-part Easter Egg hunt. Contests are open to all members except moderators.

I have an idea for a contest! Can I hold my own?

If the contest reward is something besides points, you are free to hold one of any type, whenever you'd like, though we suggest posting it in greathouses or jesteros instead of thetourneys, where contests are held for points. If you have an idea for a points-related contest, please contact the moderators and we'll see what we can do to accommodate your request.

How many points are earned through contests?

It depends on the individual contest. Usually, participation in a contest will earn you 50 points, placing in a contest will earn you anywhere from 100 - 750 points, and voting for contest results will earn you 10 points. There may be exceptions for particularly simple or demanding contests.

How are winners determined in a contest? / Why do the contest polls look like that?

We use a simple but effective system where members are asked to vote for their pick for first, second, and third place entry. Each vote for first place is worth 3 points, a vote for second place is worth 2, and a vote for third place earns 1 point. We then sum the points earned by each entry. The entries with the highest totals are the winners.

Typically, first, second, and third places are awarded. Contests with more than ten entries will also award a fourth place. Contests with more than 20 entries will award a fifth place as well.

That seems confusing / hard! Why don't we just ask people to vote for their one favorite entry and award first, second, and third place points to the entries that get the most votes?

There are a couple of problems with the "Which entry is your favorite?" approach. One is that we usually have a ton of kick-ass entries. By having the chance to vote for three entries, you can voice your opinion more thoroughly. Also, in a situation where there's one overwhelming favorite, with the "vote for your favorite" case you would probably end up with something like 25 votes for Entry N and the other handful of votes distributed pretty evenly among the other contestants. If Entry X gets 3 votes and Entry Y and Z and Q get 2 votes each and entries A, B, C, and D get 1 vote apiece, it's hard to tell whether the community really thinks Entry X is the clear second-place favorite and Entries Y and Z should get winning points while A, B, C, and D should get nothing. You're also more likely to encounter ties with the "vote for your one favorite" scheme, which is fine when it happens, but we don't want that to be too frequent.

Can you vote for your own entry in a contest?

No. If you do, your votes will be discounted and you will receive no voting points in addition.

Can I tell my housemates or other members about the type of contest entry I'm working on?

Definitely not. If we find out a contest entry has been revealed before the contest voting period ends, we may disqualify the entry.

Are contests sometimes given an extension? How do contest extensions work?

If a contest receives fewer than three entries by the original deadline, it will be extended by 3-7 days, depending on the type of contest, to foster greater participation and fun.

Note: If an extension would have the contest's new submission deadline fall beyond the end of a Game, the contest will not be extended. Also, there are never any extensions for contests that are part of the Tourney of the Hand.

If there is a contest extension, and I submitted my entry on time, can I re-work it and re-submit it on the extension due date?

Yes! It's only fair for all contestants to have the same amount of time.

What is the Tourney of the Hand?

The Tourney of the Hand is a group of contests that takes place during just one weekend within the span of a whole game, usually Thursday through Monday. Each of the moderators hosts 1 - 2 simple contests of different types, including word games, icon contests, and extremely random contests. This subcommunity is only open to members during that one period of time. Some contests will be scored simply, but others will need to be voted on after the Tourney of the Hand ends. This is a big opportunity for a house to earn points and for a member to enjoy themselves with ridiculous tasks. :)


What can I post to valyrian_forged? Is there anything that would not be appropriate to post there? Is there anything that will not earn points?

valyrian_forged is our fanworks community, so art, fic, and graphics are great things to post there. In addition, we love to see other more unique works such as comics, poems, crafts, song parodies, and fanmixes. If you're unsure whether something is appropriate, you may contact a moderator to ask. If it's not a type of fanwork, though, chances are that it's something better to post to greathouses or jesteros.

Also, while it is perfectly appropriate to post works that you produced before joining the community, old fanworks will not be given points. The same policy holds for fanworks that you have used as entries in any of the contests at thetourneys or tourneyohand.

We discourage posting works using self-insertion. As of Game Five, fanworks focused on original characters (OCs) are allowed in valyrian_forged and can receive points, but the rules about self-inserts do still apply. Of course, things featuring self-inserts are still allowed in jesteros or greathouses. They will not receive points, though.

Also, the moderators have the ability to deny points to something if we (we meaning the majority of moderators) feel that it was not made with earnest effort. This has not ever been an issue so far, so there is probably no need to worry. It's just a measure we're taking to avoid excessive spamming.

It is also not appropriate to post comments bashing anyone's work. Constructive criticism is okay, but pointless nastiness is not.

Do I need to use an LJ-cut to post in valyrian_forged?

Yes, you do. You may use no more than three teaser icons or a small preview for your fanart but put the rest of the images behind a cut. If you have a separate journal where you like to post fic, graphics, art, or other works, it is fine if you use a fake LJ cut linking to your other journal so that you could get all your feedback in one place. Just please make sure that the entry you are linking to is not 'friends only'.

Can I post my fanwork in my own LJ/another community and just link to it in my valyrian_forged post?

If you prefer to link to fanworks in your personal journals or communities when you submit fanworks to valyrian_forged, that's perfectly cool, but if you do so we strongly encourage you to keep those posts public. If you prefer to lock your own posts immediately or eventually, we'd like you to repost your fanworks directly to valyrian_forged for points. If you want, you are welcome to add a "crossposted to/from" link (or whatnot) to your journal or community.

What are the monthly themes? How can they help me earn more points?

The monthly themes are different topics decided on by the moderators, to try and bring some new things out during a particular month. For example, the theme in September 2009 was The Night's Watch and The Wall, so things related to The Night's Watch were encouraged. Posting works related to a monthly theme earns you a 20% bonus on your points earned, regardless of the type of fanwork.

You are by no means required to post works related to the monthly theme - there are simply bonus points available for those who do.

Also, there is no limit on the number of themed fanworks you can post in a month -- go wild! :)

What are Prompt Weekends?

On the second Friday of each month, three prompts related to the monthly theme will be posted in greathouses. For the 72 hours following the prompts post, fanworks answering any of the prompts will receive a 35% bonus rather than the normal 20% bonus (i.e. 15% more points for you!).

Here is an example of a Prompt Weekend prompt post.

Of course, you can continue posting fanworks that pertain to the monthly theme but not the prompts and fanworks that have nothing to do with the monthly theme during the Prompt Weekend -- they just won't earn the extra points.

Also, there's no limit on the number of fanworks answering the prompts and earning the prompt bonus you can post over the course of the Prompt Weekend -- you can post as many as you want!

What is the First-Time poster bonus?

Each person who posts to valyrian_forged for the first time earns a 15% bonus on whatever fanwork they happen to post. This is to help encourage new people to post, and to reward those who take that brave step. ;)

Please don't forget to specify that this is your first time posting in valyrian_forged to make sure you get assigned this bonus.

Are there any other bonuses fanworks can earn in valyrian_forged?

There is one other type of bonus. For the first two weeks of the game, fanworks dealing with the Westeros Sorting House that won the previous game will receive double points. The winning house bonus and all other bonuses are additive - i.e., if your fanwork falls under the monthly theme and the winning house theme, you will receive both the monthly theme bonus and the winning house bonus.

What are Fanworks of the Month and Fanworks of the Game polls?

Because we cannot give general points based off the quality of a fanwork, we decided to account for quality by using monthly and gamely community polls. At the end of each month, the moderators nominate the valyrian_forged works that they found to be of the best quality (meaning the most creative or the best technically, or both) throughout that month, in four categories: Art, Fic, Graphics, and Other (Other includes song parodies, fanmixes, crafts, comics, and so on). The community is then informed of these nominations and votes on their favorites to determine the winners. If a fanwork you loved has not been nominated by the moderators, you are allowed to cast a "write-in" vote for that particular fanwork.

People are only allowed to vote for their own house once, to account for possible house bias. The voting is confidential. As in all polls, voting for your own work is not allowed. The one caveat to the "no voting for yourself" rule is fanworks which are house collaborations - large projects like this one, in which multiple members of a house contributed to its creation (provided the work is truly a collaboration between multiple participants and not mostly the work of one person). Those who contributed to a house collaboration are allowed to vote for the house project, but it does count as the one vote for your own house.

The winners of the Fanworks of the Month poll for each category will receive 200 points. Anyone who does not win but receives 15% or more of the vote will receive 25 points for an Honorable Mention.

Fanworks of the Game polls will follow the same procedure with the same rules applied. The only difference is that it will include works from throughout the whole game, and thus the reward points are of a higher amount. Each winner of a Fanworks of the Game category will receive 1000 points. Anyone who does not win but receives 20% or more of the vote will receive 100 points for an Honorable Mention.

Members will receive 10 points for voting the Fanworks of the Month and Fanworks of the Game polls, provided they follow the voting rules.

Why is my fanwork not nominated for Fanwork of the Month / Fanwork of the Game?

To answer this question, let us clarify how and why the FOTM/FOTG system functions.

FotM was created for a very specific purpose. In crafting points systems for different kinds of fanworks, we acknowledged that there was no fair way to account for quality. FotM acts as a sort of bonus system, giving extra points each month to the fanworks that really stand out as exceptional. We wanted to have a balance between letting comm members decide on the very best, while offering a more manageable list to choose from -- hence the system of mod nominations and member voting.

It is the nature of FotM that most things don't get nominated. That's the point; it's a list of things that stand out from the pack. Obviously, mods are a human and often scatterbrained bunch, and sometimes great pieces get overlooked. There is potentially room for improvement in the nomination system, and this topic often comes up when we do community improvement in between games. We don't like to make any major changes mid-game, but if you have ideas, please hang onto them until community improvement time rolls around and we will be sure to take your suggestions into consideration.

We would advise you never to expect your fanworks to show up on the shortlist. You are up against dozens of other candidates, and only 10 are going to make the cut. Just because you're not on the shortlist doesn't mean you didn't get any nominations at all it just means that 10 other pieces got more.

Next, remember that the function of FotM is to reward quality, as opposed to standard valyrian_forged points which reward effort. FotM is not a monthly recap or a way of highlighting notable fanworks. It's simply a method of rewarding the best of the best. Remember that you get points for your work regardless of whether or not you're nominated!

Finally, and most importantly: the primary reason valyrian_forged exists is to SHARE FANWORKS. If you're posting fanworks for the express purpose of earning points, that's your prerogative (although do remember that mods reserve the right to deny points to things we feel weren't made with earnest effort). However, we sincerely hope that your first motivation is to share and develop your talent. We welcome all skill levels and styles in valyrian_forged, and just because something didn't show up in FotM doesn't mean it wasn't thoroughly enjoyed by community members!

If you still have questions or concerns about the FotM process, you may address them here

For Fanworks of the Game, the pool from which nominated pieces can be selected is limited to only those fanworks that were previously nominated for FotM. FotM winners and those pieces that earned honorable mention in FotM are automatically nominated for Fanwork of the Game in the appropriate category. A total of 15 pieces per category is what we aim for in FotG.


How many points can I earn for posting icons, colorbars banners, and wallpapers?

As of Game Seven, we have the following points scale for icons:

Icons (image-based and text only) can be worth 2, 3, or 4 points depending on their complexity. You can consult this post for more detail on what each kind of icon looks like, but in a nutshell:

Image-based icons:
- Crop only with no alteration = 2 pts
- Cropped icon with effects (coloring, texture use, added text, brushes, etc.) = 3 pts
- An icon that uses effects and has design elements more complex than cropping only (e.g. multiple images, cutting a figure out of a cap, animation, etc.) = 4 pts

Text-only icons:
- Pre-made background (such as a texture, solid color, or gradient) + text in one font = 2 pts
- User made background (ex: a background made with brushes) AND/OR text using multiple fonts = 3 pts
- Text only icon with animation = 4 pts

Larger graphics
-Each basic larger form graphic will receive a base of 5 points. An extra 2 points will be added for large form graphics with effects (text + image combination, brushes, animation, etc.)
-Colorbars get a flat 5 points, unless the icons are newly made for the colorbar, in which case icon points will be added on to the base 5.
-Simple macros and demotivators will be worth 3 points each in valyrian_forged. More elaborate macros and/or demotivators, made without the help of a generator, will be worth 5 points each in valyrian_forged.

What is a variation?

When you finish a graphic, make a small amount of minor changes, and then submit both the original and altered graphics for points, one will be counted as the original and receive full points, and the other will be counted as a variation. The most common variation is a when we see a version of an icon with text, and one without. Other possible graphics variations include, but are not limited to, different arrangements of the same image and the combination of 2 icons to make a 3rd icon. In general, you'll have a good idea of when you've created a variation - its when you've finished a graphic, make a small number of changes, and then submit both the changed and unchanged graphics. The graphics-scoring mod will tend to be generous when looking for variations, as long as you remember to group variations next to each other in your graphics posts so they're easier to find.

How should I post variations?

Make sure to post your variations next to the originals. Otherwise, counting can become very confusing for the moderators, and we may take awhile to give you the points you worked for.

Are there any special rules about posting graphics?

As of Game Seven, there are a couple of rules for posting graphics, because we tend to see a lot of massive graphics posts which are difficult to score accurately because of the sheer number of pieces that need to be scored individually. Here are the rules:

1. Always separate themed graphics from not themed graphics. Make a note of which graphics are themed at the top of the post.

2. Always put clusters of variations together. Please note how many variations you have at the top of your post. If you're not sure, overestimate rather than underestimate. I will be happy to give you more points.

3. No more than 100 icons per post. It is easier to count smaller posts.

These rules will make is a bit easier for the mods to score your posts.

Are photomanips allowed to be posted for points?

Yes, photomanips would receive as many points as a banner or colorbar.

Do I need to credit the art I use for icons? What about pictures?

If you are using fanart for your graphics, then yes, you need to credit the artist in your post, or you will not receive points. If you are using photographs (for example, photos of members of the cast of the HBO show), then no, we do not require that you credit the photographer, though you are of course free to do so.


How many points can I earn for posting fic?

Our new fanfic points system will be two-fold: the 1-point-per-10-words system we're used to, in addition to a per-scene base. Fics under 150 words would be scored separately as drabbles and given slightly less than a one-scene base.

What counts as a scene? For our purposes, a new scene starts whenever there is a change in time and/or place. Writers typically put visual breaks in their fics between scenes, without even thinking about it. A scene must also include dialogue and/or action to qualify as a separate scene, so small intros or conclusions don't earn extra.

Writers will be responsible for stating, along with word count, how many scenes are in their fic when they post, so it is partially up to their own discretion -- however, all fics will be subject to our existing "earnest effort" rule, wherein if a mod feels that a fic was written with the intention of inflating points instead of making a quality fanwork, they can bring it up for discussion in thenightswatch.

The purpose of this new system is to reward the extra effort that goes into planning fics that span multiple times and places, without encouraging overwriting.

Each scene will receive a base of 20 points, in addition to the word-count points.

Drabbles will receive a base of 5 points, in addition to the word-count points.

Drabbles that are exactly 100 words will receive another 5 point bonus.

Original songs and poetry will receive a 25% bonus to the word-count score. Short poems (<=150 words) will receive a short poem bonus of 5 points. Long poems (>150 words) will receive a 15 point bonus. For example, a 80-word poem would receive 8*1.25 + 5 = 15 points, and a 200-word poem would receive 20*1.25 + 15 = 40 points.

Can I earn points for crack!fic?

As long as it does not contain self-insertion, yes, you will receive the same amount of points for crack!fic as you would for a regular fic.

If I already posted a fic to an exchange, may I post it again in valyrian_forged for points?

As long as you have written the fic after joining westerosorting, yes.


How many points can I earn for posting art?

The current system for scoring art is as follows:

Category 1: Doodles
10 base points, 5 points each for secondary figures

Category 2: Simple Sketch / 100% Flat Colored
20 base points, 10 points each for secondary figures

Category 3: Intermediate Sketch / Inked/Cleaned Line Art / Simple Cell Shading / Simple Color/Shaded
30 base points, 15 points each for secondary figures

Category 4: Complex Sketch / Intermediate Color/Shaded / Intermediate Cell Shading
60 base points, 30 points each for secondary characters

Category 5: Elaborate Art / Complex Cell Shading
90 base points, 45 points each for secondary characters

You can see this super-helpful post to better understand which category your art falls in. Artists are HIGHLY encouraged to categorize their own art when submitting to help the art-scoring mod. (It's OK if you're not sure about the categorization -- take your best guess! The art scoring mod will correct the categorization if necessary, but this gives us a starting point.)

How come the art system is so subjective?! How come the art system is not subjective enough?! Other complaints about art?!

Art is without a doubt the type of fanwork that we have the most difficult time trying to score in terms of points, and we are still working on revising the system. For now, though, just be aware that we do our best to be fair and to encourage all to try their hand at artwork. If your concern is about quality, remember that high-quality works often win extra points through Fanworks of the Month and Fanworks of the Game polls.

Is there any art that would not be appropriate to post?

Self-insertion is again discouraged for posting in valyrian_forged, but otherwise, as long as the fanart is related to ASOIAF, anything is good to go!

If I already posted a piece of art to an exchange, may I post it again in valyrian_forged for points?

As long it was created after you joined westerosorting, yes.


How many points can I earn points by posting song parodies?

A song parody (related to ASOIAF, of course) is worth 5 points per every l0 lines of song, excluding repeated lines.

What about an original song or poem?

If you write the lyrics to an original song or poem, we will score them according to the poetry scale:

Original songs and poetry will receive a 25% bonus to the wordcount score. Short poems (<=150 words) will receive a short poem bonus of 5 points. Long poems (>150 words) will receive a 15 point bonus. For example, a 80-word poem would receive 8*1.25 + 5 = 15 points, and a 200-word poem would receive 20*1.25 + 15 = 40 points.

How many points can I earn through posting comics?

Individual comic panels are scored similarly to regular art, and then summed and modified to account for the number of panels per a given page. Points can theoretically range from 15 to well into the upper hundreds, though a typical page will probably be around the lower hundreds. Of the art, comics are the most complicated to score, so if you need further clarification please feel free to talk to to a moderator about it.

How many points can I earn through posting fanmixes?

Fanmixes earn graphics points for their cover art (a piece of fanmix cover art counts as much as a colorbar or banner - 7 points), and aside from this, they receive 2 point per song. For example, a fanmix with two pieces of cover art (front and back) and 12 songs would receive 38 points.

How many points can I earn through posting fanvids?

As of Game Five, we have a comprehensive fanvid scoring scale devised by greyfable, who has a degree in this sort of stuff. Please see below:

Base Points
Each video will receive a number of base points based on length. 1 points will be awarded for every 3 seconds of footage. Thus, a 30 sec video would have a base of 10 pts. A one minute video would be worth 20, etc.

Pictures & Video
For the use of still images (ex: a still of a fanart), the fanvid will receive a bonus of +5 pts.

For the use of imported moving images (ex: footage from the HBO pilot), the favid will receive a bonus of +10

The bonus will be awarded by image type rather than number of images. So, you can use zoom in on 10 pictures, you’re still getting +5. Likewise, you can import video from 10 TV shows, you’re still getting +10. A fanvid can receive both bonuses if both image types are used.

For the use of pre-made audio (ex: songs or video’s original audio), the fanvid will receive a bonus of +5 pts, and an addition +2 for additional imported audio

In the case of recorded audio (ex: Voiceovers), the fanvid will receive a bonus of +10

Each layered sound effect will receive a bonus of +2.

For the use of still text or graphics, the fanvid will receive a bonus of +5 for the first still text/graphic, and an additional bonus of +2 for other uses of still graphics.

For the use of moving text or graphics, the fanvid will receive a bonus of +10 for the first moving graphic, and an additional bonus of +5 for other uses of moving graphics.

Other Bonuses
Quick Cuts Bonus: A fanvid with an average of over 12 cuts per 30 sec will get a bonus of +30. Each 30 sec block is eligible to receive this bonus, so if we get a ninety second video with forty-five cutes, it would get +60.

Dubbing: If a fanvid dubs character voices (a common parody technique), they will receive a +20 bonus per.

Script Bonus: If a fanvid submits a script of original content (ex: original voice over, etc.), they will receive points using the fanfic scale.

Original Content
Fanvids made with fan-filmed or fan-animated, original content will recieve points on a case by case basis.

What is considered a craft?

Generally speaking, crafts are just what it says on the tin: previous examples include necklaces, earrings, sewing projects, dolls, heraldic quilts, tote bags, and even costumes. This is not an exclusive list! Anything constructed or made out of love for the series that does not fall under any of the other categories might belong in crafts. Look through the "crafts" tag on valyrian_forged to see the previous examples submitted.

How many points can I earn for posting crafts?

Crafts are broken down into four categories:

Basic: 20 points (Single strand small jewelry)
Simple: 50 points (Some bracelets, necklaces)
Intermediate: 225 points (Tote bags, very detailed jewelry, plush dolls)
Complex: 750 points (A quilt depicting the major houses of Westeros, the Battle of Blackwater Rush made out of Legos)

However, since "crafts" is such a broad and encompassing field, the Mods reserve the right to modify points awarded within the following scale:

Basic: 15-25 points
Simple: 25-75 points
Intermediate: 175-275 points
Complex: 500-1000 points

X Person submitted a craft and got more points than me, but I posted something really similar! I object, That's not fair, who is driving this ship, etc etc etc?!

If art is hard to score, crafts are even harder to fairly award points to. We try our very best to be fair and consistent over time, and try to compare projects wherever possible. To aid us in awarding points, please feel free to elaborate on your process in the original post: what beads you used, how long it took, how great spinning your own wool was, where you got your inspiration from. We want to hear!

How many points can I earn through something that does not fit into any of the previously mentioned categories?

The moderators will vote on the point award, making sure to consider effort, creativity, and the amount of time you put into your work.


I don't understand the purpose of westerostamping. Explain, please?

It's like sorting, except with characters in place of the seven houses. A person fills out the application and posts it in westerostamping, and then they receive votes for which character (or characters) they most resemble. There are 43 different character choices available for the general stamping, which you can see in the userinfo.

Aside from general characters, we also offer periodic stamping themes. An example of a periodic theme would be "Professions in Westeros", where members could fill out an application to find out what their job would be if they lived in Westeros.

How many points do people get for voting on stamping applications?

5 points per vote, the same amount as sorting.

Are there any bonuses for consistent voting in the stamping community?

Not at the moment.

Do I need to get a regular character stamp before I can submit an application for one of the themes?

Nope. You can post applications for whatever theme you want in any order. If you're not interested in a regular character stamp, you don't ever have to fill that one out.

Can I submit applications for any of the themes at any time?

Yes. The themes don't expire.

Can I be re-stamped if I am unhappy with the results?

If you are thoroughly unconvinced by your result you are eligible to re-apply for a stamp once and only once.

I'm supposed to put my house in the subject line but... where did the subject line go?!

LJ's new comment scheme got rid of subject lines for journals and communities that did not have S2 commenting styles enabled, which includes the westerostamping community. Not to worry, though! Just put your house name in bold at the top of your comment and your house will get points. (You will still see a subject line if you are using a style which emulates the old comment system for and are viewing westerostamping entry pages in your own style. Feel free to use the subject line in that case OR to leave your house name in bold at the top of your comment, either way.)


When are community chats?

We hold community-wide chats on AIM periodically, with the dates and time alternating to accommodate different timezones and availabilities. Chat dates are usually announced about a week before they take place in greathouses, but there may be spontaneous chats or chats centered around special events like Tourney of the Hand. There is also a 24-hour Westeros Sorting IRC chatroom available for your entertainment.

How can I get into the 24-hour chatroom?

haremstress has explained how to join the IRC chatroom very thoroughly over here.

How long is a "game of thrones"?

They have been about five to six months long for the past several games.

What happens when a house wins?

For the past few games, the winning House has received a winning graphic banner (in the community userinfo) and a bonus theme related to that house at the beginning of the game following the win. There have also been ridiculous celebratory polls. More rewards may be used in the future if we happen to think of suitable ones. :)

And that's it! Thank you all for helping to make westerosorting a fun, friendly, and interesting place. ;)
novindalf: [got]; house tullynovindalf on June 20th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
Is there anywhere where we can see the current points standings? =)
♔ Jackie ♔: {Izzard} My life in so many words.everchangeling on February 5th, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
Is a single person allowed multiple entries to a tourney contest or are we only allowed one entry? Thanks!
Her Hamsterness: ASOIAF westerosorting -- QoThamsterwoman on February 5th, 2013 05:49 am (UTC)
One entry per person in all contests, unless the contest explicitly specifies otherwise.

(In the past, if people had other ideas for contests they ended up not using, those could be posted to valyrian_forged after the contest voting is over.)

Hope this helps!
♔ Jackie ♔: {Stock} Fashion - Purple shoes!everchangeling on February 5th, 2013 05:56 am (UTC)
It does! Thanks a bunch. :)