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Mr McRobbie

PHP Out of Character Guide

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Mr McRobbie

In this guide, you'll find lots of helpful information about different parts of the VH experience.

 

Maybe you're getting started on the site for the first time, or maybe you want to learn how to meet new people. Maybe you want to learn more about coding your posts, or about an activity you haven't tried yet. This guide is here to help you learn about different features and activities the site has to offer before and after your character is sorted into a house.

 

You don't have to read the whole topic if you don't want to. Here's an overview of what each post covers to help you find the information that you want:

 

 

1. Getting Started on VH

2. Posts, Profiles, and VH Off Topic
3. Developing Your Character
4. Roleplaying
5. How to Meet People
6. Banks and Shops
7. Getting Sorted
8. Lessons, Exams and House Points
9. Extracurricular Activities and Events
Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Mr McRobbie

Getting Started on VH

 

Welcome to Virtual Hogwarts, and welcome to the Pre-Hogwarts Programme! The Pre-Hogwarts Programme (PHP) was created to introduce new members to the site, and give all Pre-Hogwarts members opportunities for making friends, roleplaying, and developing their characters. We have something for new members, old members, AND returning members.

 

PHP isn't mandatory, but you can participate in as many (or as few!) activities here as you want. You don't have to make a scrapbook or roleplay in all of the lessons and excursions unless you want to. We don't just have roleplaying and character development opportunities, either! We have also compiled a lot of resources here to help you learn about many aspects of VH, for both before and after Sorting.

 

Did you recently make your account? Are you just getting started on VH? We'll start with some helpful rules, tips, and guidelines to help you settle in.

 

Account Names

Here are some rules and guidelines about what account names are acceptable on VH. Basically, your account name should be your character's name.

  • DO include a first and last name
  • DON'T use your real name
  • DO use proper spacing and capitalization
  • DON'T use the name of a character from the Harry Potter books or any other books, TV shows, movies, or fandoms
  • DON'T use a celebrity's name
  • DON'T use numbers or symbols
  • DON'T use any inappropriate words or sexual connotations

 

You also can't use a last name from the Harry Potter universe without first submitting an application and getting approval from the moderators.

 

Here are some examples of what names are acceptable, and what names are not allowed:

✘ Sirius Potter
siriusjohnson
✓ Sirius Johnson

 

If you've registered with a name from the books without approval, or if your name does not follow the other naming guidelines, you'll need a name change. Accounts in the Member group (Pre-Hogwarts) can change their own names - but only once! So if you didn’t see our naming guidelines before you registered and are stuck with a name that doesn't fit, you can quietly change it by going to “Account Settings” and then “Display Name”. Type carefully. You won’t get a second chance to change it yourself. If you need another name change, you can request one here.

 

VH Mentoring

Do you want some one-on-one help with anything on the site? VH has a site mentoring program to help connect mentors with new members, returning members, and seasoned members who need some help in different areas. Mentors are also someone you can just chat with and roleplay with, if you want! Their job is to help you with whatever you feel you need help with, whether it's making friends or getting started or learning more about areas like dueling or lessons.

 

If you want a site mentor, sign up here!  You can request a certain person or quality, such as someone who has a Hufflepuff character or experience with dueling or anything else. Check out the list of mentors who are available, and their areas of expertise.

 

How and When Do I Get Sorted?

On VH, characters are sorted into the Hogwarts houses by a unique process. When the Sorting form is open, you'll be able to answer questions about your character to help the Sorting Hat determine which house best suits them.

 

The Sorting form isn't always open. One in-character year lasts 5 months on VH. The form will only open after the year ends, and it will close before the new one begins! Depending on when you register your account, you'll have to wait some time before the Sorting form opens - or before the Sorting ceremony happens and before you find out what house you got.

 

But don't worry! PHP is here to help you find plenty to do while you wait, so you can enjoy your time as a Pre-Hogwarts member.

 

You can read more about Sorting in a later post here .

 

Virtual Hogwarts: A History

VH has been around for over ten years, and the in-character timeline has spanned the decades following the Battle of Hogwarts. If you're interested in reading about what's happened before on the site, you can read highlights from the in-character history of VH in Virtual Hogwarts: A History (VH:AH).

 

There, you can read about key plot points such as the rebuilding of Hogwarts or the end of the Death Eaters, or even pranks and events put on by the Hogwarts student body. VH:AH also records past staff, prefects, house cup winners, Quidditch cup champions, and Triwizard champions.

 

Other Reading

All About VH

The Next Sorting is...

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Posts, Profiles, and VH Off-Topic

 

Site Themes

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the site, and you'll see a footer that's visible on any page. If you click on the part that says “Themes”, you'll see three theme options to choose from: “Castle”, "Colour-Change Ink” and “IPS Default”. Using this feature changes the skin and background of the website to your liking.

 

The Colour-Change Ink theme lets you to customize the look even further. At the top of the page, by your user bar, you’ll see an icon of a camera and an icon of a paintbrush. Clicking on the camera icon lets you change the banner. Clicking on the paintbrush icon lets you change the site’s colour palettes to your taste.

 

Coding Posts

Whenever you start a new topic or reply to an existing topic, your reply window will have a rich-text editor with lots of formatting buttons. The rich-text editor lets you format the text your posts with bold or italics or underline, different fonts, text sizes, text colors and background colors, and alignments. You can also use it to embed links and images into your post.

 

If you ever want to remove the formatting, you can just click the eraser icon. You can preview your post by clicking the paper icon next to the eraser, too!

 

There are still quite a few other features in the editor. Try hovering over buttons with your cursor; the function should show up. For example, hovering over the smiley face button should bring up "Emoji."

 

If you're familiar with BBCode or older versions of the forum, you can still use BBCode tags on VH if you want. However, we won't be covering how to use BBCode in this guide.

 

Status Updates

You can share status updates on your profile and comment on other members' profiles and status updates, too. Here on VH, status updates serve a particular purpose - one that you might not expect. Typically, they aren't used as an update about your out-of-character status. Instead, VHers use status updates as a way to share in-character thoughts and news, and to converse with other characters. A couple of good pieces of etiquette to keep in mind are that status updates should not replace roleplays, and you should avoid spamming status updates and comments.

 

You have to first enable status updates for both you and other VHers to be able to comment on your profile. To do this, click on your log-in name on the user bar at the top of the page. On the list of "Content" options, click "Profile". Once you reach your profile, click on the faded-out "Edit Profile" button on the far-right (next to a pencil icon). Your profile editing options will pop up, and under "Basic Info," you'll find the "Enable status updates?" option. Make sure to click the button next to it so that it turns green and has a check mark icon. Now you'll be able to make status updates!

 

You can code your status updates exactly like you would code your posts.

 

Using Avatars and Signatures 

Like on other forums, VH lets you customize your profile and posts with profile pictures (also called avatars) and signatures.

 

As a Pre-Hogwarts member, you won't be able to upload your own avatar yet. However, you can use one from the site's Avatar Gallery. When you've decided which avatar you'd like to use, hover over the image and use the "Set As" option to select "Set as profile photo". 

 

Once your sorting form has been accepted, you'll be able to upload your own images and use an avatar of your choosing. To do this, navigate to your profile (using any of the menus that pop up when you click your username in various places around the board) and click the image icon on your profile's avatar. This will allow you to edit your avatar ("Profile Photo"). You can upload an image or use one from a URL. When uploading or displaying images on VH, make sure you credit appropriately. 

 

You may notice that some Pre-Hogwarts members have custom avatars already even before sorting! You're also able to use an avatar image that another member has uploaded, with their permission.

 

Once you've made 5 posts, you'll also be able to edit your signature. To do this, you'll want click your username on the topbar of the page and select Account Settings. From there, select the Signature section of the menu.  You'll be able to modify your signature by adding text and images. Remember to "Save" once you're done! From the Signature settings, you'll also be able to choose whether or not you'd like to view signatures across the forum. If you'd rather not view anyone's signature, you can toggle this setting to off. 

 

Once your sorting form is approved, or once you're a sorted student, you'll be able to upload images directly into your own gallery on VH. From there, you can easily set an image as your avatar or embed the images in your signature. Until then, you have the option of uploading signatures to image hosts like PostImages or ImgBB. (Some people use Imgur, but we don't recommend it - Imgur does not allow hotlinking so they might delete your content!) These hosting sites will give you direct image links that you can use on VH.

 

If you want to use an image that isn't already hosted on an image hosting site, you need to save it and re-host it onto one of those sites. DON'T link directly from other websites - this is called hotlinking, and it's not allowed on VH or in general. Remember to credit your image sources!

 

Avatars and signatures have size limits. Avatar images can be no larger than 160x260px, and the files can be no larger than 50 KB. If your file exceeds this limit, you can compress the image using a site like TinyPNG so that it can be uploaded on VH. Signature images can be no larger than 600x300px in total, and signatures can consist of no more than 3 separate images. So if you have one large banner, two large icons, or three small icons in your signature, together they must be no larger than 600x300px.

 

Finally, the length of your file name can prevent you from using a chosen image as an avatar. If it's too long, you'll probably get an error message. Simply rename your file to something shorter and try again.

 

VH Off-Topic

VH Off-Topic (also known as VHOT) is the off-topic and out-of-character section of the board. You can find it by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the board index. There are designated sections for chat topics and games; resources for character development, lore, and writing; galleries of VHers' creations; and requests for roleplays and plots. Posts in the Off-Topic section will not count towards your post count.

 

Please read the rules for each sub-forum before jumping in! The general rules and guidelines of VH also apply there.

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Developing Your Character

 

Everyone's process when creating a character is different, and we embrace that. Whether you like to dive into roleplaying as soon as possible or plan out everything first, we have resources to help you out.

 

If you haven't already, check out PHP Scrapbooks. Your character's Scrapbook is yours to do with as you'd like. While we have a list of options to help you get started, you're also encouraged to use your Scrapbook however you want as a tool for creating and developing your character. 

 

You can also check out the Off-Topic forums, where there are various discussions and resources related to character development. Don't see what you're looking for? Start a topic!

 

Character Libraries

When you're sorted, you'll have the opportunity to create a Character Library (often referred to as a CL). Your CL is a topic you can use to store information about your character, keep track of your roleplays, grades, graphics, you name it! A Character Library is not required, but many members choose to have at least a simple one to provide the basic information about their character to others who may want to know. 

 

Some members like to prepare the beginning of their CL as a development exercise before Sorting. You can do this in your Scrapbook if you'd like! The How To Post Your Topic guide should help you get started.

 

The Character Library forum defaults to an alphabetical sort, to help you find a specific character's information if you'd like. However, if you'd like to view the CLs of our recent members to get an idea of how others use this feature of the site or inspiration on what to include in your future CL, you can adjust the "SORT BY" on the forum, or use this link to view recent topics in that forum.

 

Character Background

When developing your character, you'll want to figure out their family and their background. These aspects of your character will help you figure out exactly what makes your character who they are. 


When planning your character's background, one thing to keep in mind is that they MUST live in the United Kingdom or Ireland before they turn 11, or they won't receive a Hogwarts letter. They'd receive one to whichever school is closest to where they lived, as there are magical schools throughought the world.

 

The Committee for Character Excellence

The Committee For Character Excellence (CCE) approves special character abilities and traits.  The following special character races, conditions, and abilities are available only upon successful application to the moderators:

  • Part-giant
  • Part-goblin
  • Part-Veela
  • Werewolf
  • Animagus
  • Legilimency & Occlumency
  • Seer

Only those who have been on the site for several years may apply for these races, conditions, and abilities. Further, a successful application includes a ban on sorting new characters for a few years, to ensure you're focusing on and making the most of your rare CCE opportunity. Lastly, applications for these races, conditions, and abilities does not guarantee approval. 

 

CCE also oversees characters with canon and plot relatives. Anyone may apply for one of these characters. Some staff relatives and relatives of existing minor off-canon characters are also available through cooperation with existing members rather than moderator application. Canon and plot relatives also include a restriction against sorting new characters for a few years, depending on the type of character. 

 

 

Roleplaying Sensitive Subject Matter

When developing and eventually roleplaying your character, there are some important rules and guidelines regarding sensitive subject matter to keep in mind. For some members, VH has been an escape from their real-life experiences. Because of this, the mods ask you to be mindful and respectful about writing about certain identities, topics, and life experiences, or to avoid writing about them altogether.

 

Please familiarize yourself with the rules about Roleplaying Sensitive Subject Matter and Death.

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Roleplaying

 

Glossary

We've defined some terms and acronyms that are pretty common on VH. You might encounter them not just by reading the rest of this guide, but also when you explore other parts of the site or start talking to other members.

 

  • RP: Roleplay or roleplaying. If you are less familiar with roleplaying, here it means writing posts from a character's point of view. You play the role of your character. On VH, you'll be roleplaying with other people, which means writing a post for your character, then waiting for someone else to respond from their character's point of view.
  • IC: In character. This is typically used to describe words, thoughts, and actions of the fictional character - not the person who plays them. IC is also sometimes used to describe information or contexts in the world that your VH character inhabits - not the real world.
  • OOC: Out of character. This is the opposite of IC, so it usually describes words, thoughts, and actions of the real person behind a character - like you!
  • Godmodding: Refers to the act of controlling someone else's character in your posts - including their thoughts, actions, reactions, and words.
  • Open: Refers to an RP thread where anyone is free to join in and post.
  • Closed: Refers to an RP thread where only certain people are allowed to post, usually those who are invited and part of the plot. This status is usually specified somewhere in the thread's title, tags, or body.

 

General Guidelines and Etiquette

When RPing on VH, there are some rules and guidelines you need to follow:

  • Posts should be written in the third person past tense. For example, you should write "He said" - not "She says" or "I say."
  • Posts should be written in English.
    • If your character might occasionally speak in another language, you should still keep the text in English. Sometimes people italicize the text or use a different color to distinguish it from any English dialogue.
  • Use correct grammar and spelling to the best of your ability.
  • Netspeak is not allowed in IC posts.
  • Godmodding without explicit permission is not allowed, so please let other people decide what their characters do.
    • Sometimes people might give each other permission to godmod their character on occasion - for example, Hogwarts professors let people sign up to be godmodded in lessons. But you should only do it with clear permission, and we don't recommend you make a habit of godmodding everyone even if you do have permission.

 

Besides the rules, roleplaying etiquette is also helpful to know:

  • VH is a home for writers of all comfort and experience levels, and there is no general minimum or maximum length for RP posts. RP posts are typically at least 1-2 paragraphs, or at least 50-100 words, but that's not a hard requirement. We encourage you to focus on giving other members something to respond to in your posts.
  • Avoid double-posting (posting twice in a row) if someone hasn't responded to you quickly enough. Sometimes people need time!
  • RPs that have more than two people typically have a posting order - either designated, or based off of the order in which they joined the thread. On VH, we generally encourage everyone to follow a posting order unless you collectively decided against it. If you want to move away from the order for whatever reason, we encourage you to talk to the other members about it to let them know!

 

Open and Closed Threads

When starting or posting in a new thread, one thing you need to decide or look for is whether the thread is OPEN or CLOSED. Most people will put in the tags of each thread whether their thread is Open or Closed. It is always a good idea to also read the first post of each thread, to see if there are more specific instructions for that thread.

 

An open thread is one that anyone is allowed to post in.

  • Open threads are a great way to meet people you might have not had a chance to RP with yet, or who you might not normally talk to.
  • Someone might post an open thread but, after a lot of people have posted, decide to close it so only the people who have already joined can continue to post.
  • Threads might also be open to a certain number of people. So if the thread says "Open to Three", the thread will be closed once three other people join.

 

A closed thread is only open to the people who have been invited.

  • Sometimes it won't say "open" or "closed" anywhere, but instead just have someone's name or tag. That means the thread is closed, and only open to that person.
  • Occasionally you might come across a thread that says "PM to Join". This means it is closed - but if you PM the person who started it, they might let you join.
  • It's important to know that even if a thread is closed, any staff member or ambiance character can join. This includes professors, prefects, creatures, ghosts, plot characters, etc.

 

Likewise, this all applies to open or closed threads that you start.

 

If you're looking for open threads to post in, or want to advertise your own open thread, you can post in the Open Thread Thread!

 

Using Tags

When you start a new topic, you'll be able to add tags to the thread. Below the Title text field, you can click the + button under "Tags" to open up a new text field. Here, you can add tags like "open" or "closed", or even tags to indicate when the topic takes place or personal character tags. Some members make their own tags for their characters (for example, Harry Potter might use the tag #harry potter) to help them track their own RPs or indicate who the thread is meant for.

 

You can also search for topics under a particular tag by going to advanced search options and clicking "Search By Tags" under Content Search". Searching by tags is helpful when you're looking for your past RPs. After you're sorted, you'll also be able to search for new lessons, duels, and events if you know what tags to look for.

 

Roleplaying Spells and Magic

Pre-Hogwarts characters, especially those who don't have wands yet, won't realistically be able to cast spells or focus their magic. While the occasional burst of accidental magic would make sense, you should avoid using spells in your Pre-Hogwarts RPs - your character hasn't learned any, so they wouldn't be able to successfully cast any.

 

When your character does begin their studies at Hogwarts, learning spells and when to use them is incredibly important for your RPs. Keep in mind, however, that a first year will have a very limited knowledge about spells and casting. Even if you’re writing a pureblood character who has grown up in the magical world, not only have they only recently gotten their wand, but their magic wouldn’t be completely accurate every time they attempted to cast something. Even as they advance at Hogwarts, they would only be capable of using magic and spells that are appropriate for their level of education.

 

When it comes to learning and using spells, please use your judgment. Have fun with it! Have the spells backfire, or RP being frustrated because that super awesome spell just doesn’t seem to work. There are so many options when it comes to spell casting that every spell you RP working the first time, every time might start to get boring. We encourage you to mix it up a bit!  

 

Other Reading

New to Roleplaying?

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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How to Meet People

 

Meeting people is essential for making new friends and finding people to roleplay or plot with. While posting in random open threads is a great way to interact with a variety of other members, making friends IC and OOC is extremely helpful for developing your character and being an active part of the site's community.

 

However you choose to contact people, please remember: you are not allowed to post or request personal information on VH. We also strongly encourage you to be careful with your personal information in off-site conversations.

 

Here are some suggested ways to meet other members of the site outside of RPs.

 

Using Private Messages

Private messaging is a feature on the forum that lets you send a private message (PM) to another registered member. On a Pre-Hogwarts member, you'll only be able to start a private conversation with two people at most, but this is still a very helpful way to make contact with new people.

 

At the top of the page, you'll find a paper airplane icon. This is the forum's Messages feature. From there, you'll be able to preview recent messages, compose a message, and access your inbox. Viewing another member's profile or hovering over their name in various locations around the board will also provide you with the option to send someone a message.

 

Using PMs to contact other members in your character's year is a straightforward way to find people to roleplay and plot with. If you're reading someone's posts and think they'd make an interesting friend or enemy for your character, you can just send them a quick PM to see if they'd be interested in plotting.

 

Using VH Off-Topic

VHOT has an entire section dedicated to plotting and finding people to RP with! Convenient, isn't it? You can browse through the Roleplaying Connections subforum, where Pre-Hogwarts students, sorted students, staff, and alumni can post requesting RPs or plots.

 

Search the different tags to find other members' threads and what they're specifically looking for, and feel free to post and answer their call. You can post to say you're interested in plotting and RPing with them. You can also PM or IM them, saying that you saw their posting and that you want to roleplay. 

 

You can also create your own plotting thread in Roleplaying Connections! Follow the guidelines for posting, explain a bit about your character, and say what you're looking for. This way, you can find friends and enemies for your character, or even start exploring other plots.

 

Not only will you be plotting and writing with the people you find on VHOT, but you'll also have the chance to chat with them and get to know them better after this starting point.

 

Using Discord

Discord is VH's current instant messaging platform of choice. Most VHers use Discord as the main way to meet people, plot, and find RP partners. For many people, it's easier to get to know someone, come up with plots, and brainstorm ideas through instant message conversations.

 

Many members will list a Discord account in their profile, so you can add people and message them when they're online to chat or talk about RPing. If you look along the bottom of a profile, someone's username might be listed there for everyone to see.

 

If you have or intend to make a Discord account, you can join the VH site-wide server here! Say hello in the #fresh-off-the-boat channel where our members are waiting to welcome you, and don't hesitate to get involved in the chats! You can also search for your sorting year's server using this list or asking another Pre-Hogwarts member.

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Bank and Shops

 

The Bank & Shop Systems are currently unavailable. If you'd like to learn more about them (for when they return), you can find information regarding them later on in this post. Even with the Bank & Shop system down for the time being, you can still roleplay in the shops and be chosen by a wand at Ollivander's! 

 

Ollivander's

Ready to get your wand? Stop by Ollivander's!  The first thing you'll want to do is read the Ollivander's information to ensure you understand the process. Then, you'll have two options for getting your wand ... 

 

The roleplay purchase option involves starting a topic in the Ollivander's forum. This option allows you the opportunity to roleplay with one of the shop assistants as part of the wand selection process.

 

Or, if you prefer, you may obtain a wand using the Speedy Wand Service. This option is generally faster, but if you choose this option you will not be able to obtain a wand through roleplaying.

 

Regardless of the option you choose, it may take some time to get your wand. Have patience! While ICly your character must bring a wand to Hogwarts, you're not OOCly required to receive a wand before Sorting, so don't fret. Your wand will show up in your profile as soon as our staff are able to update it.

 

 

Roleplaying in Shops

There are various Shops forums in Diagon Alley, including Flourish & Blotts, Gladrags London, Leaky Cauldron, Magical Menagerie, Slug & Jiggers Apothecary, and Quality Quidditch Supplies. You're encouraged to roleplay in these forums! Some of these shops have active staff characters who will roleplay with you, but you're also free to roleplay in shops without staff assistance. Some shops also pinned information threads which list NPCs you may use in your roleplays. 

 

When you reach third year, you'll also have access to Hogsmeade shops!

 

 

Getting Started with the Bank & Shop

Once the Bank and Shop return, the first thing you'll want to do is activate them for your account! You can do this by navigating the menus at the top of the forum, or with these handy links: Bank and Shop

(Because the bank and shop are currently down, these links will not work just yet.)

 

Activating your bank gives you some starting galleons and ensures you'll be able to earn money by posting. 

Activating your shop ensures you'll be able to receive and purchase shop items. 

 

You'll want to read the Bank and Shops rules before proceeding. 

 

With the Bank and Shops currently down and no way to obtain items, you may overlook the rule about needing to have a shop item in your profile before roleplaying as though your character owns it. 

 

 

The Bank & Shops System

You should read the rules in their entirety, but here are a few highlights regarding the Bank & Shops to keep in mind as a new student.

 

Pre-Hogwarts (Member) accounts cannot transfer money or items to any other accounts. However, as a Pre-Hogwarts member, you'll be able to earn money (by posting around the board) and purchase items for yourself from the shops. To purchase items, you'll first need to withdraw money from your bank, because your cash in hand is used to make purchases.

 

As a Pre-Hogwarts member, you'll also be able to receive gifts and prizes from staff, sorted students, and alumni. When you receive an item, it will appear as Pending: you can choose Accept to keep it, or Cancel to return it to sender.

 

Once you're sorted, you'll receive an annual allowance of additional galleons and you'll be able to send money and items to your friends, but you'll want to make sure you follow the rules. Breaking the rules of the bank & shops system will cause all your galleons and items to be removed, so don't try to cheat the system! 

 

 

Other Reading

Shops FAQ

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Getting Sorted!

 

Sorting is an exciting time on VH! Here on VH, new students join first year together. Sorting coincides with the start of a new VH year and only happens about once every 5 months.

 

When it is time for you to be sorted, the Mods will make an announcement, and you'll have a SORT ME! link at the top of the forum. That link will take you to the Sorting Form, which you can fill out and submit in order to be sorted! If the Sorting is not currently open, you can check The Next Sorting Begins ...  to find out when it will happen!

The sorting form is open for about a month. While there's no need to rush to complete your form, you will want to make sure to submit it before the deadline! We recommend trying to finish your form with at least a couple days to spare, because if you haven't finished it by the deadline, you'll have to wait for the next Sorting (about 5 months). 

When you submit your form, you'll receive a copy of it by PM, and then you'll either receive an Acceptance or Rejection Letter via PM from the Sorting Hat. 

 

If your form was Accepted, congratulations! You can now post in the Sorting Ceremony, but you'll have to wait until Sorting Day to get your results. Here on VH, sorting is not an automated process, and a lot of behind-the-scenes magic is involved. Instead of getting instant results from a quiz, you'll get a well thought out sorting based on the information in your form, as well as the unique opportunity to start Hogwarts alongside your sorting class, the group of students your character will grow up with! On Sorting Day, you'll find out your new house and begin Hogwarts with your new classmates. 

 

If your form was Rejected, don't worry! Rejection is almost always temporary. Most rejections are simple misunderstandings of the rules and require small corrections. Once you've done your best to ensure both your username and your sorting form follow the site rules, resubmit your form. Hopefully we'll be able to accept your form the second time, but if not we'll work with you until you get it right! We want you to get Sorted. 

  • Any questions about a rejected sorting form should be submitted to a moderator. Sometimes, a point of contact will be listed in your letter. If not, you can always message the sorting moderators, currently: Scrimgeour and Snape

 

About the Houses

You probably already know at least a little about each of the Hogwarts Houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Your House will become your family at Hogwarts. Each House offers a community of diverse characters and supportive members of the site. Here on VH, all houses are amazing in their own ways! 

 

Whether you're aiming to write a character who ends up in a specific house, or if you just want some in depth information on each of the houses as VH interprets them, the How to Get Sorted & House Information will help you out. 

 

After Sorting

On Sorting Day, you'll be tagged as a first year in your new house, and you'll be able to post in the castle. Many new forums will be available for your use, including some that you couldn't see as a Pre-Hogwarts account.

 

After sorting, many new opportunities open up. This is all part of the fun - you get to choose what to do with your new character! - but it can also be a little overwhelming at first. Sorting Day in particular can be quite hectic, but don't worry. Everything is optional, and you can take your time to participate in those things that interest you.

 

What to expect on Sorting Day:

  • Welcome PM from one of your prefects
  • Sorting Feast in the Great Hall
  • Sorting Night Tour with your house's fifth year prefects, starting in the Great Hall and ending in your Common Room
  • Dueling Mentoring Sign Ups in the Dueling Club
  • Various happenings in your new Common Room, including
    • Sorting Night Party
    • House Mentoring Sign Ups
    • Quidditch Tryout Sign Ups (first years can play!)
    • Lesson Incentive Program 
    • Sorting Week Chat & Activities Schedule
  • Chats and activities in your house's channel of the VH Discord server
  • ... and more!

 

Again, this is a list of opportunities available to you - they're all optional! We encourage you to take things at your own pace. Even many of our experienced members find Sorting Day overwhelming at times, so pick what most interests you and start there.

 

If you have any questions or are unsure where to start after Sorting, we strongly recommend asking for help! You can still sign up for a site mentor after you've been sorted, or contact any site mentor or prefect for assistance. Although your house has a mentoring program, most house programs have an IC focus. It may take up to a week for you to be assigned a house mentor and up to a week after that for the mentor to contact you, so we recommend also exploring the other options for your OOC questions.

 

As a sorted student, you'll also have a lot more of the site to engage with and participate in. You'll have all of Hogwarts to roleplay in, as well as lessons, activities, and events. Keep reading for more information about those!

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Mr McRobbie

Lessons, Exams, and House Points

 

One of the ways you can immerse yourself and your character in the Hogwarts experience is by attending lessons. Many of our members choose to participate in lessons, however lessons are not required to move through the years, with the exception that you MUST pass at least one OWL exam in your fifth year to be promoted into sixth year. Otherwise, as long as you're posting regularly (at least once every couple of months), you'll continue through the years regardless of your participation in lessons. 

 

Participation in Quidditch has traditionally also required meeting a homework requirement, usually the completion of at least 50% of your character's lessons. However, the VH Quidditch system is currently undergoing some changes so this may change in the future. 

 

Class Schedule

The VH year is split into two 8-week terms: Term One, then a break for winter holidays followed by Term Two, with a break for summer holidays finishing out the year. From an OOC (Out of Character) perspective, your character will attend different classes in each term. In Character, you should assume that your character takes all of their classes throughout the year.

 

Your OOC class schedule will vary by term and by year. For example, as a first year you can expect to take Astronomy, Transfiguration, Flying, and Herbology in Term One, with the remaining classes of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Charms, and History of Magic in Term Two. This schedule will change as you progress through the years, and you can find more information about class scheduling in your house common room once you've been sorted. 

 

Lessons

On VH, you participate in classes through a series of lessons. Typically, there are 7 lessons per class per term. Lessons are usually posted weekly, meaning that you'll see Lesson One for all of your classes in Week One, with Lesson Two in Week Two, and so on until Lesson Seven is posted in Week Seven of the term. However, sometimes a lesson may not be posted when expected. Please have patience with any delays! Our professors work very hard, but they all have real lives to attend to as well.

 

Each lesson begins with a roleplay posted by the professor, followed by a description of the attendance requirement and extra credit option(s). Usually, a 50 word roleplay relevant to the lesson is all that's required for attendance. Even though some professors offer you a choice of extra credit options, usually you'll only receive credit for completing one, so pick your favorite! Extra credit options are not required and do not determine your grade, but rather are simply a means of engaging more deeply with the lesson material and earning extra house points if you'd like. 

 

All lessons remain open until at least the end of the term, with many lessons remaining open into the subsequent holiday break to allow students more time to complete the lessons. In addition, some professors accept make up work for late lessons, or will allow you to retake a previous year if you missed it. As this can vary by professor, you should check the class guidelines and/or PM the professor before making up or retaking any work. 

 

Plagiarism

The work that you submit for your lessons must be your own original work for that character! You may not reuse your previous character's lesson roleplays, nor copy someone else's lessons and call them your own. 

 

In addition, if you use any outside sources while completing your lessons, you are required to credit those  sources. If you do not credit, you'll fail the class, lose 50 house points, and receive a detention.  Plagiarism is taken seriously on VH, so don't do it! 

 

Grades

If you attend lessons, you'll receive Out of Character grades for them. These grades are based entirely on the number of attendances completed, according to the following grading scheme:

Outstanding = 7 Attendances

Exceeds Expectations = 5 or 6 Attendances

Acceptable = 4 Attendances

Poor = 3 Attendances

Dreadful = 2 Attendances

Troll = 1 Attendance

 

Since your grades for attending lessons are Out of Character grades, some professors will also give your character a separate In Character grade. Otherwise, you're free to choose the grade your character would've received ICly. 

 

Rewards for Lessons

Your grades for lessons will earn you house points. In addition, any extra credit options you've completed also earn house points. You may also be able to earn house points by volunteering as a grading assistant for a professor!

 

In addition, completion of lessons can make your OWLs and NEWTs much easier. Most examinations usually require a few hundred words of roleplay and/or a short exam, but if you've been attending your lessons you'll be able to do your exams the "easy way". With good grades, you can complete these exams with a few links to your grades and a short roleplay, which makes the process much simpler and easier.

 

In addition, you'll also receive some WP (Wizard Points, usable in dueling) for passing grades. 

 

Electives

In third year, you can begin taking elective classes. The electives offered are Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, and Muggle Studies. Since attendance in lessons is not required on VH, attendance in electives is not required, either.

 

To attend an elective class, just start posting in the lessons! We would recommend taking a minimum of two elective classes, or to at least ICly assume your character has chosen at least two elective classes to take even if you don't actually attend the lessons.  If you'd like, you may opt to take all of the electives. Due to the high number of students who choose to do this nowadays, you may assume that classes are scheduled so that your character can take all the electives without conflict. 

 

OWLs & NEWTs

In fifth year, your character takes their Ordinary Wizarding Levels (OWLs). Similar to canon, the results of these examinations determine which classes your character can continue taking in sixth year. Also, you must pass at least one OWL exam to move on to sixth year. Keep in mind that your yearly grades in a class can be used to reduce the requirements necessary to earn an OWL or a NEWT.

 

In seventh year, your character takes Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests. While you are not required to complete any NEWTs to graduate, some careers have OWL and/or NEWT requirements

 

Other Reading

Life and Magic at Hogwarts

VH Lessons & How to do Them!

Spell List by Year

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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Extracurricular Activities and Events

 

There's a lot to do on VH! In addition to lessons and your own roleplaying antics, there's numerous other activities and events around the site for you to experience.

 

Site Events & Plots

Every so often, there are site-wide plots and events that your character can participate in. Plots often involve Aurors and other Citizens, and there are various ways that you can be involved in site plots. Sometimes plots include student interactions, or your student can react to plot events they've heard about from The Daily Prophet or the Wizarding Wireless Network, or you can apply for a plot character.  Past site events include large scale events such as Hogwarts Tournament of Champions, a Quidditch World Cup, and a few Tri-Wizard Tournaments, but also smaller scale events such as auror-run workshops at Hogwarts. 

 

Site plots and events take a lot of planning and effort, and thus may not occur every year, but keep an eye out because you never know when they might happen. And whenever a new Daily Prophet article or Wizarding Wireless piece comes out, you can always have your character react by posting a comment or filling out this form.

 

Quidditch

Here on VH, we have our own unique system of playing Quidditch. All students can play, so your character can try out for their house team as soon as they're sorted. Quidditch is one of the most exciting and popular activities on VH, and is known for close friendships formed between teammates and fast-paced team chats. 

 

This year, our Quidditch system is undergoing a revamp. This is a great time to get involved in Quidditch since you can learn the new system along with everyone else! Once the new Quidditch system has been finalized, a summary will be provided here for your information. Until then, feel free to ask around to see what the new game is like and how the test season is going. The #quidapocalypse channel of the VH Discord server can help you out!

 

Dueling

The dueling system is another unique facet of VH, and one of the most popular activities on the site. Many of our members enjoy dueling for a variety of reasons, including using dueling as a way to interact with characters they might not have crossed paths with otherwise, or exploring the strategic elements of the system. 

 

You may begin dueling shortly after sorting, when the Dueling Chamber opens for the year. First years interested in dueling should check out the Dueling Club, where you can sign up for a dueling mentor as soon as you're sorted. Mentoring is a great way to learn to duel both in and out of character, and you earn your choice of dueling spell as a prize for completing your mentoring duel! If you're looking for additional dueling help or just want to check out the dueling community, the #ready-dueler-one channel of the VH Discord server is the place to be. 

 

The Dueling Club also hosts various events and activities throughout the year, including a series of meetings and annual tournament split into three tiers of competition, including a beginner tier aimed specifically at younger students. It's not uncommon for students to run dueling-related events, too, 

 

Other Events

You'll also find a variety of events happening around the site. Events can be run by professors, prefects, students, anyone! Some houses will run events as a form of house bonding. Other events are open to the entire school. Some events require as little as one roleplay to participate, whereas others are full-on games with sign-ups and teams that last up to a week. With so many events to choose from, there's something for everyone.

 

Here are a few examples of events held in recent years:

 

VHRPC

VH also offers the VHRPC (VH Roleplaying Challenge). Each challenge lasts a term or a VH year, and is open to all characters. You can even participate in the current VHRPC right now as a Pre-Hogwarts member! 

 

Participation in the VHRPC is optional, and you can opt to join in anytime! VHRPC is intended to help you write things you might not otherwise RP, and to interact with others you might not usually RP with. 

 

When a VHRPC event begins, it will be announced in the News and Updates from the Administrators forum. Details of the challenge, along with a thread to sign up and track your progress, will be pinned in the Roleplaying Connections forum in the Off Topic section.

 

Student Involvement

There are many other ways for your student to be involved on VH as they progress through the years. Those aspiring to become Healers may eventually help out as Hospital Wing Assistants. Students interested in magizoology can participate in Care of Magical Creatures Internships and Expeditions. Several classes also offer the opportunity for your character to become a professor's assistant. Your student can also become a mentor or join a club! 

 

By being active and helpful in both your house and around VH, you might be chosen as a prefect in your fifth year! Prefects are responsible for adding ambience to the site by RPing with other students, answering questions in the Q&A forum, and helping to moderate the site. They sometimes serve as OOC leaders in their houses, host games or events, and give or take house points for IC reasons - but these are all extra and not required of anyone in the position.

 

Every year, two seventh years are chosen as the Head students. Their role is very similar to that of a prefect's, but ICly they act as the prefects' leaders. OOCly, the Head students usually act as organizers or facilitators, but only if they want to!

Edited by Mr McRobbie

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