Kim (deeplyunhip) wrote in westerosorting,

Official FAQ for Westeros Sorting

So, in the midst of our third game, 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 various "Games 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 deeplyunhip with your question or issue.

The following communities are open to all members of westerosorting:
greathouses, the community for general ASOIAF discussion
jesteros, the community ASOIAF for 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


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.

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.

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?

Members must put their house name in the subject line and bold their votes. Elaboration is always appreciated, especially by the applicant, 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.

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

5 points are given for each vote. In addition, we do reward a monthly bonus of 20 points to any member who sorts 100% of applications that appear within the span of one month. We also reward a game sorting bonus of 100 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 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 they make 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.

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

Yes. If you have been with your original house for 2 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 - without points for 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. Going through the re-sorting process more than once is not permitted.

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.

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.

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:

deeplyunhip - Founder and Neutral co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
cyshobbitlass - Founder and Neutral co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
haremstress - Neutral co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
odeocowboys - Greyjoy moderator. Can contact through PM.
angerfish - Martell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
jesatria - Martell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
gruselig - Stark moderator. Can contact through PM.
guad - Targaryen co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
sakru909 - Targaryen co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
loveweasleys04 - Tully co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
skyclearblue - Tully co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
greyfable - Tyrell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.
hamsterwoman - Tyrell co-moderator. Can contact through PM.

Just as an FYI sort of note, all 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, and 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 three contests a month, each in a specific category - one visual contest, one writing contest and one "random" contest (can be anything that does not fit into the previous two categories, such as a 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 anywhere from 25 - 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.

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.

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, either Wednesday or Thursday - 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.

We discourage posting works using self-insertion or heavily focused on an OC, though we are fine with these sorts of things being posted 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 even 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'.

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.

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 technically best, 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. People are only allowed to vote for their own house once, to account for possible house bias, and the voting is confidential. The winners of the Fanworks of the Month poll for each category will receive 200 points. Anyone who does not win but receives 20% 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.

What is the First-Time poster bonus?

As of our third game, 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. ;)


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

-Each basic cropped icon or text-only icon will receive a base of 2 points. An extra 2 points will be added for icons with effects (text + image combination, brushes, animation, etc.)
-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 [info]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?

A variation is when you make a different icon or graphic using the same exact base (the picture cropped in exactly the same way). They are worth one point each, though variations will be scored such that the maximum points value is accorded to the original graphic or icon.

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 photomanips allowed to 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 [info]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.

Can I earn points for crack!fic?

As long as it does not contain self-insertion or a large focus on an OC, 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:

*Doodles = 5 + 1/extra subject
*Simple Sketch = 10 + 3/extra subject
*Elaborate Sketch -or- Inked/Cleaned Lineart = 15 + 5/extra subject
*Simple Shading = 20 + 10/extra subject
*Intermediary Shading = 50 + 15/extra subject
*Elaborate Shading = 80 + 20/extra subject

+Imported background = 5
+Doodled background = 5 + 1/large
+Simple sketch background = 10 + 3/large
+Elaborate sketch -or- Inked/Cleaned lineart background = 15 + 5/large
+Simple background = 20 + 10/large
+Intermediary background = 50 + 15/large
+Elaborate background = 80 + 20/large
+Scenery bonus = 100% (for noncomic art with undefined/scenic subjects)
+Comics panels = 5/panel
+Comics text = 1/10 words
+Comics layount bonus = 0-25 (for comics with particularly creative layouts)

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 and OCs are again discouraged for posting 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 the same as we score fic, along with a 25% bonus.

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 one point per song. For example, a fanmix with two pieces of cover art (front and back) and 12 songs would receive 36 points.

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.

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

Yes. The themes don't expire.


When are community chats?

We hold community-wide chats on AIM approximately once per month during a game, with the dates and times alternating to accommodate different timezones and schedules. The chat dates are usually announced about a week before they take place, in greathouses. 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 six months long for the first three games, but may shorten to four months in the future.

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. ;)
Tags: faq
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