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Role Playing in Umbagollah.

Umbagollah was not originally intended to be a role-playing site, but RP has become popular on the forum. I thought some guidelines and basic information were in order.

If you want a summary of the story so far, check the Recent Events thread in the Umbagollah Ordeal forum. I'll try to keep it up to date.

What is Role-Playing?
Role Playing can take several forms. In Umbagollah we play by creating characters and taking it in turns to write our characters' actions into an ongoing story. You don't need dice or rulebooks, just an imagination and a keyboard. The 'Facts' and 'Places' sections of this site will give you information about the world your alter ego inhabits. Register your character with the Citizenship form.

Rules and guidelines.
1. Role playing takes place on the forum.
2. Visitors are welcome to take part, but if your character lives in Umbagollah then you are requested to become a citizen. Basically, all this means is that you give your people names, occupations and a place to live. In return, I send you a nice letter and the populance welcomes you with open arms. You can join on the Citizenship page.
3. Anyone can join a storyline at any time, but please make your entrance believable. Don't pop out of thin air. Example: "Martin arrives. He has been rock climbing in the Two Shows Ranges and did not know there was a war on. Now that he is back in civilisation, he has decided to join the others and defend his country."
4. You may start your own stories.
5. You can't undo what someone else has already done, and you can't write other peoples' actions for them. For instance, don't write, "I hand Mike a hive of bees. He says, "Thank you," and accepts it. The bees sting him to death." You can go as far as offering Mike the bees. Whether he accepts them or not is up to him.
4. Travelling times should be as realistic as possible. For instance, you can't travel from Gum Gooloo to Ex in a single night. See "The short, short guide to life in Umbagollah" for travel times.
5. Please remember where you are. Are you in Ex? Jail? The Forest? You can't be in two places at once unless you want to bisect your character and mail bits of her/him off to different locations. I do not advise this, because it will make you dead.
6. If you're going to play more than one character, please notify the Gov by email or announce it on the forum. Anyone is welcome to invent as many characters as they like, just as long as you can keep track of them. (see below for notes on additional characters.)
7. Out-of-character comments in role-playing threads should be prefaced with 'OOC.' In-character comments in non-RP threads should be prefaced with 'IC.' (The Gov often forgets to do this, so she's prepared to be flexible)
8. There is no magic in Umbagollah. If you are a sorcerer by trade then your spells will shrivel as soon as they hit the air. The aim of this is to drive people to think of imaginitive solutions to their problems that do not include simply waving one's arms and turning the enemy into a frog, or teleporting out of danger. Show us your active brain instead of your magic fireball.
And finally, 9. - Please don't become an integral part of a story and then mysteriously disappear from the internet for days on end. Other characters will be stranded, waiting around until you get back. If you know you're going to be away from the keyboard for an extended period of time, please warn us before you go.

Additional Characters.
If a principal character has a mother, a lover, an enemy, or any other secondary character closely attached to them then the person who plays the principal character may also play the secondary one. The rules that apply to principals also apply to the secondaries, ie, you can't take control of someone else's secondary character, you need to know how and why they are appearing in a certain place and so on and so forth.

The short, short guide to life in Umbagollah.
Click on the links for more information.

(based on the speed of a single rider mounted on a beastie)
From Ex to Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet - two weeks.
From Ex to Jail - Five to seven days.
From Ex to the Wandering Woods - four or five days.
From Ex to the edge of the Forest of Ex - one day.
From the north end of the Falling Hills to the south - over a week. The countryside is rough and roadless.
Across the North-West Flatlands - four days.

The fastest way to travel overland is to ride a Long-Leggity Beastie. (Umbagollah does not have horses, or any other large, rideable land animals). Beasties are usually bred in the North-West Flatlands. They can be hired or bought in Ex, Gum Gooloo, Jail and most of the smaller towns as well. Alternatively you can walk, or pay ferrymen to carry you along the rivers.

Umbagollah is split into five provinces. Each province has its own government, but the country as a whole is run by the government of Ex.

Umbagollah does not have a currency. Goods and services are exchanged through a system of barter. This boils down to finding someone who has what you want, and wants what you have.

Foreign Relations:
Umbagollah does not tend to interact with other countries. It does not have a navy, or any large man-made ports.

Umbagollians do not work well in ordered groups and we seem to be blase about invasions, so there is no army. Defense strategies are made up on the spur of the moment and sometimes involve socks.

Swords, bows, arrows, spears, knives, socks, theatre sports, sharp sticks, harsh language and anything else that comes to hand.

Ex is the capital city. It is situated on the northern coastline, at the centre of a dense hedge maze. Anyone visiting Ex needs to travel through the Forest of Ex. Umbagollah is governed from here.
Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet is the country's oldest city. It is a sprawling, open place, covered in plants. This is the place to find dedicated craftspeople of every kind.
Jail is a town of thieves, bandits and murderers on the western coastline.
Cumber Poidy is located on the Isle of Yunck a small piece of land off the western coastline. It is unique, being Umbagollah's only underground settlement. The Poidians live in a system of caves.

Other inhabited areas:
The North-West Flatlands is a large farming area.
The Falling Hills is a vast stretch of bleak, blasted moorland inhabited mainly by poets and eccentrics.
There are also small villages around the coastline and along the Fly River.
The Kelp Forests off the eastern coastline and the mud-bum willows in the Kadmudia Gouache mudflats are inhabited by small groups of people.

The Forest of Ex stretches all the way along the northern coast. It is vast, dark and dense.
The Wandering Woods is a sunny area of spreading trees about half-way down the country next to the West Drosophila River.
The Fly River (or The River Fly) runs from The Two Shows Mountains in the south to the Bay of Ex in the north, spanning the entire country. Its path leads roughly up the centre of the Umbagollah land mass.
The West and East Drosophila Rivers flow outward from the Fly. The West runs into the North-West Flatlands and the East runs into the Falling Hills.
The intersection between the three rivers is a mudflat area known as Kadmudia Gouache.
The Two Shows Ranges is a mountain range which lies on the border between Umbagollah and the nameless country next door.

The ancestors of today's Umbagollians were kept as slaves by the people who live on the other side of the Two Shows Ranges. A small group of them escaped captivity and fled across the Ranges, arriving in the place where Gum Gooloo now stands and building their first houses there. After a century or two, some Goolooians began leaving the city and starting small principalities of their own in the parts of the countryside now known as the North-West Flatlands and the Falling Hills. They gave themselves aristocratic names and titles and started small wars between themselves. Many, many years after that, a band of adventurers made their way from Gum Gooloo up to the Bay of Ex and established the city of Ex. Ex, growing powerful, eventually conquered Gum Gooloo and destroyed the small kingdoms of the aristocrats. Today, the government of Ex controls Umbagollah - as much as anyone can, which is not a great deal - and the ancestors' masters have devolved into shadowy figures of legend, mysteriously known as 'They.' No-one crosses the mountains, and the country on the other side has no Umbagollian name.