frequently asked questions


Written on March 24 1994. Updated 11Sep1994, 10Dec1994, 12May1995, 9Jul1995, 9Nov1995, 22Jul1997, 19Nov1999, 12Jan2000.
HTML version created September 5, 2001.

Compiled, written, and edited by Bill Keyes, with help from Geoffrey Brent, Greg Rapawy, Steve Jenkins, Benjamin Franz, Lisa O'Donnell, Susan Franz, and others too numerous to list. Thanks all.

Alt.devilbunnies is a shared storytelling group, written around the existance of intelligent, evil bunny rabbits. Only posts that share in this premise are considered acceptable; full details are in the alt.devilbunnies FAQs, parts 1 and 2. We do not accept any advertising, and prefer to see only posts concerned with the actions of characters, and (rare) administrative posts, the latter handled by established writers. Please enjoy the stories, and send the writers and FAQ keeper lots of praise and money.

On alt.devilbunnies, we fight imaginary bunny rabbits who kill people and eat their toes. We fight them using urine and fireman's axes, not F-16 fighter jets or heavy calibre laser pulse-rifles. But let's try and be specific about what the group does and does not consist of...

1. Ultimate death weapons need not apply.

Omega weapons that will kill everybunny in a thousand-mile radius are no-nos. We try to maintain a sort of status quo, as well. The bunnies win one, the Fudds win one, and so it goes. The war should last forever (or at least as long as Usenet!).

2. If you play in our sandbox, you need to use our toys.

Alt.devilbunnies is a group with a long and very strong tradition, a mythology of its own, and certain rules (both spoken and unspoken) that are followed. It is not an anarchic group. We have an established, strong, and logical mythos of our own. There is plenty of room for adaptation and creativity, but if you try to bring in your own mythos, or one from a different usenet newsgroup, then don't be surprised if you are ignored or jeered. If you show an unwillingness to adapt to the established view, there's little that anyone can do to stop you. But don't expect the established mythology to adapt to you. Along the same lines, there are certain things that we simply don't play with on this group. Magic is one, along with things like super-powers and psionic abilities. If you aren't sure an idea will fly, please email an established writer and ask!

3. This isn't an arms race.

The war isn't going to be won by those with the biggest guns. It's going to be won by the most creative people. We're alt.devilbunnies, not! If you feel that your story wouldn't work without a Really Big Gun(tm), you may need to take another look at it. Remember: fireaxes, supersoakers and the occasional shotgun for the Fudds; claws, fangs, and bunnyarmor (when needed) for the bunnies. Also note that, though similar in many ways, alt.devilbunnies is not a role-playing game. "Play-balance" is not generally an issue; we don't care that your Mega-bunny from the 16th Dimension is easy to defeat if you simply dump him in ocean water. We want to see you build your character as a person (or fluffer), with likes and dislikes, bad habits and close friends... not as a collection of statistics and numbers.

4. Don't monkey with other's characters without their permission.

We've had this problem in the past on occasion. If you want to run a plotline with someone, then email them and ask for permission/input. Keep in mind that earth-shattering events by their very nature affect other people's characters, whether they are immediately involved or not. If you want to write a story where the whole of California is destroyed in an earthquake, or Microsoft imposes martial law on the USA, or the bunnies of the world suddenly lose their craving for toes, make sure you check with your fellow writers first. There aren't many absolutes in the ground rules, but this one definitely qualifies. Appendix 1 is a list of most everybody's addresses. Write to us and ask for input or invite us to collaborate! We love to hear from you!

5. Bunnies versus Fudds.

Keep the aliens, bears, foxes, ameobas, killer dinosaurs, etc. out of the group. We're all about killing Bunnies (or Fudds, if you're a wabbit). Be original with your character, but don't go overboard. The premise is that there are bunnies trying to take over the world, not that Fairies and mutants and time travellers exist. Work within the mythos, even if you think you see someone else doing something odd. For example, You may occasionally see characters on the group that don't fit this rule, like squirrels, the "Four," or the Ferrotti. Alt.dbs is flexible. There are many authors who enjoy expanding the limits of the group. However, all of them will be glad to tell you that it isn't easy. It's a delicate process, requiring time, effort, and a thick skin. New creations will be criticized, and the necessity for them will be questioned. We advise you to learn the rules before you try to introduce something new -- far too many people try to delurk with an innovation that really doesn't fit, and they don't generally last that long.

6. What's the fun in playing an unstoppable character?

Sure, go ahead and make yourself tough and mean. It wouldn't do for your character to get killed! But no one likes to see SuperFudds and UltraBunnies. Folks who go too far overboard will very likely be ignored. Even an "Achilles Heel" that no one knows about is not good. What makes a story worth reading very rarely correlates with how good its main character is at killing bunnies (or Fudds, if your tastes run in that direction). Writers who spend a great deal of time intricately describing the successes and failures of their heroes and villains are not generally interested in reading about novices who somehow perform superhuman feats of skill with little training, no experience, and not much character development. Just remember, you don't have to be the best, and sometimes you can be pretty bad and still be good.

7. The Codes (Bunix and BunnyStumper) are inviolate.

Don't crack somebody's coded message. If you are a Bunny, don't reply to a Fudd's coded message, and vice versa. Other modes of encryption you may see include Tequila and Megiddo, though these are limited to special circumstances and not commonly available. Also, codes should be used sparingly. If all the messages are encrypted, then there's nothing that anyone can respond to. Half the fun is in the banter. 

8. Handle With Care!

As with most groups, alt.devilbunnies has its "danger zones". There are certain things that are established parts of alt.dbs that still must be handled with utmost caution, because it can be very easy to abuse them; for this reason many writers get a little worried when they see newcomers who want to play with these concepts straight off. Examples include most Evil Bunny Technology (detailed in Appendix 3 of the FAQ) and the Ferrotti (detailed in Appendix 5). Until you've been around long enough to have a good feel for the group, it's best to leave them be. Besides, such things lose their impact if they become too common. When everybody has a suit of MorphArmour, suddenly MorphArmour isn't very interesting any more. It isn't exotic, it isn't unfamiliar, it isn't rare, it isn't fun. It ceases being a threat to the characters and becomes a threat to the mythos itself -- which is definitely a bad thing!

9. Follow the rules of Netiquette.

Netiquette is a simple concept. It simply states that the people participating in this newsgroup are what make it worth the effort to read and maintain; for this group to function properly those people must be able to interact in productive ways. Netiquette is a guide to using this and other newsgroups politely, effectively and efficiently. Some of the most basic rules include:

Flame free.

I don't know how many times it has to be said, but alt.devilbunnies is supposed to be a flame-free environment. Sure, Bunnies hate Fudds and vice versa, but the banter is friendly. Even if you see what appears to be a flame, chances are it's just a volley of banter. The war is what's important.

Private discussions should take place in email.

If you have a plot to plan, or you want a private word with someone, do it via email. If you have a complaint, mail it to them personally, don't air out your dirty laundry in front of the whole group. There is a mailing list intended to handle discussion between authors about important issues affecting alt.dbs. Check Appendix 1 for more details on how to join. Just remember this simple rule: Too many alt.dbs [OFF] posts spoil the war.

Delete all that you can before posting.

Nobun likes to read 600 lines of text, especially when we've already read it ten times before. Delete anything that you aren't directly responding to. This includes other's .sigs. Try not to lose the attribution, though. You may also consider limiting your line-lengths to 60 characters or less, and including "hard" breaks at the end of each line. Some folks still read the group on text-based systems, and proper formatting helps!

Remember the golden rule: KISS, or "Keep It Short, Stupid!"  

People have to download the whole dang thing, so don't post unnecessary filler, and if you must post a .sig it should be no more than 4 lines long. Also consider turning off the "SmartText" feature on your Windows editor -- it often includes special characters that non-Microsoft systems can't interpret. Don't post in HTML, and don't post attachments to this group.

Ignore Spams, trolls, and flamewars.

Yes, even alt.devilbunnies, peaceful and friendly fringe group that it is, gets these. Your best course would be to ignore them. This works equally well for spammers and the folks who try to start multi-group flamewars. Above all, don't post a response to the group! This only encourages them...

We're only human! (or bunny...)

Yes, sad to say it, many of the old timers on this group really don't spend as many hours as we should answering posts, and so are often rather selective as to which ones we answer. If you are a newbie and you don't get an immediate response to your postings, please don't despair! Rest assured that we are reading your stuff, and probably enjoying it, but likely don't have the time to respond. Keep at it!

10. Read the FAQ!

It's a masterpiece. Send its creator lots of money. Praise, praise.

11. Be creative!

The most important. This group is here for fun! Short posts with good jokes, long posts with important storylines... One of the most interesting and important things about alt.dbs is that it isn't just a storytelling group. it's also about character interaction and banter. Alt.devilbunnies is only as good as we make it! If you have any questions about these rules, or if you just want to see some astute commentary on them, please check out Greg Rapawy's Guide for Newcomers on alt.devilbunnies. You'll be glad you did! You might also check out the Devilbunny's Dictionary, compiled by Shorthare.

I think that's about it. If anyone has anything else to add, feel free to mail it. I'm at, for your convenience... =:)

"This is alt.devilbunnies. It's little furry bunnies that kill people -- it's imaginative -- it should be light and airy, not whiny and abusive." -- John Chaffey

This document and all information contained within is Copyright 1994-2001 by Bill Keyes. All rights reserved. It may not be reproduced or reposted by any means, electronic or otherwise, in part or in whole, without prior permission from the author.

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