Frequently Asked Questions

Minas Tirith Forums » F.A.Q.

This page is designed to help you with questions about the Minas Tirith community.
For answers to software issues, such as logging in, please read the Technical Assistance FAQ.
    -  City Code of Law and Ethics
    -  Do I have to register?
    -  What is required for registration?
    -  What kind of Login Name should I choose?
    -  What is my Publicly Displayed Name?
    -  How should I choose my display name?
    -  What sort of password should I choose?
    -  How do I get my registration request approved?
    -  Why hasn't my registration request been approved?
   Basic Questions
    -  What are avatars?
    -  How do I get an avatar?
    -  What are message icons?
    -  What are smilies?
    -  What are "Today's Active Topics"?
    -  What are breadcrumbs?
    -  What is UBB Code?
    -  What is Instant UBB Code?
    -  Wht r th bttns wth ths spcl chrctrs n thm?
    -  Can I add HTML to my messages?
    -  How do I edit my own posts?
    -  Can I attach files to my posts?
    -  How do I search for a post?
    -  How can I be notified if someone responds to my topic?
   Preferences & Profile
    -  How do I change my registration profile?
    -  How do I add a signature to my posts?
    -  What does my Citizen Status mean?
   Community Issues
    -  What are the rules for trivia threads?
    -  What are the rules for scramble threads?
    -  What are the rules for role-playing threads?
    -  What are the rules for the Library Council?
    -  What are the Library Council's guidelines and goals?

( R e g i s t r a t i o n )

Do I have to register?
As an unregistered user, you are able to view any topic of any forum. To do anything else, including posting, taking part in polls, sending and receiving private messages, etc, you have to register.

What is required for registration?
You are required to post your actual email address. Your initial login password will be sent to the email address you provide once your registration is approved. Failure to provide a valid email address will mean you will never get your password and won't be able to post messages.

What kind of Login Name should I choose?
It should be memorable and not overly lengthy for ease of use. It need not be formatted as a name, since your Publicly Displayed Name (see below) will be used to identify you. Please note that if you leave your Publicly Displayed Name blank, then your login name will be used to identify you. There is a 25 character limit for login names.

What is my Publicly Displayed Name?
Also known as your 'display name', this is the name that identifies you and your posts to everyone at Minas Tirith. Your display name allows you to change how you are identified without having to re-register and lose everything associated with that login name. If your display name is blank, your login name will be used.

How should I choose my display name?
Choose your display name carefully. You may change your display name at any time, but you cannot re-use a previous display name without intervention from Minas Tirith administration. This is to prevent others from using your name or repeatedly switching their name. Avoid all lower or upper cases since they look awkward in a message board environment. Also, please do not use underscores in your name. When wrapping a series of words in a small place, the breaks occur at the spaces. With no spaces, it can't break the word and forces the column to be too wide. Please use spaces instead of underscores. There is a 25 character limit for display names.

What sort of password should I choose?
Your initial password will be chosen for you. It will be a random series of numbers and letters and will be very hard to remember on a daily basis. It is highly recommended that you change your password as soon as possible to something more user-friendly. Choosing a secure password for Minas Tirith is no different than anywhere else. It should be something that can be easily remembered, but not as simple as a single word or a date. If you access Minas Tirith via a public computer, consider changing your password often.

How do I get my registration request approved?
Once you are registered, an email will be sent to you with your initial password. Also included in this email will be some questions. Simply reply to the email with your answers to these questions. It may take up to a day for your answers to be reviewed. If your answers show you are worthy of becoming a citizen of the White Tower, you will be approved and an email announcing this will be sent to you.

Why hasn't my registration request been approved?
If you never send your answers to the registration questions, your application will never be approved. Also, email sometimes doesn't get to where it needs to go. Check for delivery problems and re-send the email. If you answer the questions and over two days has passed, chances are your answers did not meet the standards of Minas Tirith. The purpose of these questions is to keep out those who are likely to be disruptive in some way. If you feel this is unfair, feel free to answer the questions again and your request will be reviewed. If I haven't received satisfactory answers within a month of your registration date, your registration will be deleted.

( B a s i c   Q u e s t i o n s )

What are avatars?
Avatars are pictures that appear below your name next to your posts.

How do I get an avatar?
The easiest way is to find one you like in the Avatar Gallery . Get the filename of the image, search the Citizen Directory to make sure no one else is using it, and send an email to White Gold Wielder. I'll set it up for you right away. If the Gallery's vast selection doesn't impress, you can make your own, following the instructions HERE.

What are message icons?
These icons appear next to each topic in the forum listing and on each post. Think of them as setting the mood of your post. To change from the default message icon when posting, simply click the radio button next to the icon you want.

What are smilies?
Smilies are a series of keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile :) or a frown :(. Certain smilies will automatically be converted to a graphical representation. For example, if you type :) in your post, it will automatically be converted to . There are also special series of characters called Smiley Codes that can produce any of the message icons within your post. For more detailed information, please read Smiley Code Explained.

What are "Today's Active Topics"?
At the top of the main forum page, there is a link called Today's Active Topics . This will lead you to a list of all topics that have had new posts in the past 24 hours. The name of the citizen who last posted will be displayed as well as a preview of the last post. This list is auto-generated every two minutes, so new posts might not appear right away.

What are breadcrumbs?
Near the top of each page, there will be a row of links that can take you step by step back to the main forum page. For example, if we were in The Hobbit forum inside a topic called "Trivia", the breadcrumbs would read "Minas Tirith Forums The Hobbit Trivia". The first link leads back to the forum summary page. The second link leads back to The Hobbit forum. However many links there might be, your current location is always shown at the end of the row.

( P o s t i n g )

What is UBB Code?
UBB Code is a variation on the HTML tags you may already be familiar with. Basically, it allows you to add functionality or style to your message that would normally require HTML. You can use UBB Code even if HTML is not enabled for the forum you are using. You may want to use UBB Code as opposed to HTML, even if HTML is enabled for your forum, because there is less coding required and incorrect coding syntax will not lead to as many problems. For more detailed information, please read UBB Code Explained.

What is Instant UBB Code?

Wht r th bttns wth ths spcl chrctrs n thm?
As a service to our citizens, these buttons have been provided to allow easy access to some of the archaic letters used in Middle Earth. For the discerning Tolkien aficionado, there is a big difference between Anduril and Andril or between Manwe and Manw. To use the buttons, simply click on one and that character will be pasted into your message window. There are only two issues that must be noted. First, the special character is not inserted at the cursor, but rather at the end of the post. Once it is in your message, it must be cut and pasted if you wish to move it. Second, the message window is not the active field after using a special character button. You must click in the message window and position the cursor to continue typing your message.

Can I add HTML to my messages?
No. HTML in posts poses a security risk and has been disabled. Use UBB Code instead.

How do I edit my own posts?
You may edit or delete your own posts at any time. Just go to the topic where your post is located and you will see a line of icons above each post. The edit icon looks like a red quill. Click on this icon to edit or delete the post. No one else can edit your post, except for the forum moderator or administrator. A note is generated at the bottom of each post that is edited so that every one knows when a post has been edited. Note that if your post was the start of a new topic, deleting your post will result in the removal of the entire topic and all replies will also be deleted.

Can I attach files to my posts?
For security reasons, you may not attach files to any posts. However, you may cut and paste text into your post or use UBB Code to provide hyperlinks to outside documents or files.

How do I search for a post?
You may search for specific posts based on a word or words found in the posts, user name, date, and particular forum(s). Just click on the "search" link at the top of most pages.

How can I be notified if someone responds to my topic?
If you create a new topic, you have the option of receiving an email notification every time someone posts a reply to your topic. Just check the email notification box on the "New Topic" forum when you create your new topic, if you want to use this feature.

( P r e f e r e n c e s   &   P r o f i l e )

How do I change my registration profile?
You may easily change any info stored in your registration profile, using the "profile" link located near the top of each page. Simply identify yourself by typing your login name and password and all of your profile information will appear on screen. You may change any items, except your login name. However, you may change what login name is displayed in place of your original login name. All your posts, including old ones, will display any name you choose.

How do I add a signature to my posts?
If you click on the profile link at the top of the main forum page, you will be able to edit your profile, including your signature. Once you have a signature saved, you can choose to include it any post you make by checking the "include signature" box when you create your post. Note: You may not use any HTML or the UBB Code Image Tag in your signature file, but you may use any other UBB Code.

What does my Citizen Status mean?
Each citizen has a title that shows their status. The more you post or the more responsibility you have, the better your title. Meanings behind the titles are:

Soldier of Gondor
Guard of the Citadel
Captain of the White Tower
Steward of Minas Tirith
0 - 100 Posts
101+  Posts

( C o m m u n i t y   I s s u e s )

What are the rules for trivia threads?
If you answer a question and you are sure you are correct, you must ask the next question. Don't answer a question if you don't have a new question ready. If the answer is complex or you're not sure if you are correct, ask for confirmation. You must check back during that day to see if someone confirmed your answer so you can post the next question promptly. If someone answers a question correctly but neglects to post a new question, anyone may post a new question after 4 hours have passed. However, if there is an open question legally on the table, it must be answered before a new one can be asked. If no one is answering your question, you may answer it yourself and post a new one to keep the thread flowing. Lastly, when posting a new question, please try to stay within the parameters of the topic (ex: No Silmarillion questions in the LotR forum).

What are the rules for scramble threads?
The rules are very similar to the trivia threads. The only additions are that clues are optional and any special characters or punctuation must be included (ex: zap-rhanar = Ar-Pharazn). And again, please stay within the parameters of the topic.

What are the rules for role-playing threads?
Due to the complexity of role-playing and the impossibility of defining all-encompassing rules, the following should be thought of as incomplete and a constant work-in-progress. Problems or potential additions to these can always be discussed and decisions (though made by the Minas Tirith administrator in the end) will mostly by determined by the role-playing community as a whole.

The purpose of these rules is to provide some structure to the chaotic endeavor of role-playing. They were not created with the intention of taking away the freedom that makes role-playing so enjoyable. Many different cultures, ages, and experiences can be found in Minas Tirith, and everybody has their own ideas of how role-playing should be structured. These rules were created to fill the need for some common ground that we all can agree on.

Since strict enforcement of these rules would be difficult, they are to be considered as guidelines; A starting point from which to build.

1) The Thread Master is the originator of the thread. The final decision of the Thread Master in any matter of conflict can only by superceded by a moderator of that forum or the Minas Tirith administrator.

2) 'Word Aside' threads are required unless the Thread Master has a ranking of 'Guard of the Citadel', in which case they are optional. Only the Thread Master may create a 'Word Aside' thread.

3) Participation is by invitation only. This is normally handled in the 'Word Aside' thread. If none exists, it must be done by private message or email to the Thread Master and not in the thread itself. The only exception to this is if the Thread Master chooses to make the invitation process part of his thread. In this case, the Thread Master must signify in the story when invitations are being accepted and when the invitation process is over. A Thread Master may also declare that no invitation is required.

4) Signatures must not be included unless the Thread Master allows it, in which case they can be a maximum of two lines.

5) There are a number a situations where a post can be deleted without warning.
These include:
   Whole posts out of character in the main thread when a 'Word Aside' thread is available.
   Whole posts out of character without any OOC format; ex: (OOC This is out of character text.)
   Any post by a citizen who was not invited to join that thread.

6) Additional guidelines will be created as they are deemed necessary.

What are the rules for the Library Council?
When you begin a topic, give it a subject name that is a full question. Don't try to fit an overly long question into the subject line. Make it as long as it has to be, but no longer. If it doesn't look right or doesn't properly explain the topic, expect Minas Tirith administration to correct it.

In the message text of the first post, you must actually specify what your question is by making it bold and separated from any other paragraphs. Check previous topics for a real example. Here's a sample:

     What is a good sample question to ask?

Also, please keep it to one question at a time. Even if another point is closely related, open a new thread. The questions have to be separate in their final form, so they must be separate when we discuss them.

Lastly, before posting a new question (especially your first question), read all the rules as well as the guidelines below. Read through some older topics and see if your question has already been answered. Above all, make it a question worthy of entry into the Library. Questions that don't belong will be removed.

What are the Library Council's guidelines and goals?
The Library of the White Tower is going to be the most authoritative Tolkien FAQ ever. Ive seen some good ones around, but almost all have last been updated sometime in 1999. The ones that are active tend to mix apples and oranges by trying to combine a Tolkien FAQ with a name glossary, song index, and other features. In addition, the same stock answers tend to be floating around without enough effort paid to explaining the reasons behind these sometimes-complex answers.

This isnt going to be a cut and paste job from all the old FAQs out there. Were going to treat each topic like a new issue and try to present all the evidence in one place. The Council is where this discussion will take place. This forum is for presenting and debating evidence for the issues currently on the table, bringing new information about issues already submitted to the Library, as well as discussing the format and layout of the Library itself. It is NOT the place for asking questions or idle chat. Thats what the main forums are for. The Council is going to be highly focused on the goal of the growth of the Library. If your comments dont add to the resolution of a topic, they dont belong in the Council. The only questions I will accept are those made during an active debate that drive the discussion and those that are presenting a new issue for the Council to explore. If it becomes a problem keeping a flood of irrelevant posts out, I will restrict access to the forum to only those who request it personally. Hopefully, for the sake of the community, this wont be necessary.

Whenever a topic has been explored to everyones satisfaction, I will submit an entry to the Library. The main page will show an overview of topics much like a table of contents. These topics can be resorted by a number of criteria, including Difficulty and Obscurity, Race and Species, Ages of Arda, Geographic Location, Source Text, and any others the Council decides on. This advanced sorting is a feature I havent seen anywhere else and should make looking up a particular question very easy.

Each topic will have a whole page devoted to it to give it the room it needs to be thoroughly explained. Once an entry has been made in the Library, the issue is not dead. If anyone has new information or a new point to make, simply add a response to the topic in the Council forum.

Another mistake made by many FAQs is to neglect to explain how there might be no definitive answer to a question. The Balrog wings question is a good example. There is no right or wrong answer to this since Tolkien was ambiguous in his explanations. Not only will we present each opinion on the matter with all the evidence, but we will clearly state that each side might be taken as a valid opinion and leave it to the reader to decide.

In a related point, very few FAQs differentiate between the validity of the various texts comprising Tolkiens work. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings can be taken as gospel truth since they were published by the man himself. The Silmarillion, History of Middle Earth, and even the Letters of JRR Tolkien must be taken with a grain of salt as not necessarily being Tolkiens last word on a matter. Many issues were still being resolved up until the last days of his life. The history of Galadriel and Celeborn is the most glaring example of this. Even Tolkien hadnt decided on the correct facts of their lives. Any issues that fall in this category must be clearly noted for the purpose of being thorough.

It might grow slowly at first, but as word spreads of what we are trying to do, we should draw the attention of every serious Tolkien scholar. The purpose of Minas Tirith has always been to have a place for in-depth Tolkien discussion. The Library of the White Tower will be a major addition to achieving this purpose.

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