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The Planet-Tolkien FAQ

1. Why should I join Planet-Tolkien?
2. What will I need to become a member?
3. Will it cost me anything to join?
4. What is mithril? How do I get some and what do I do with it?
5. What else do I get when I join?
6. How do I get into the chat room?
7. Posting netiquette and guidelines – what are they?
8. How and where do I introduce myself?
9. What are Journal Entries?
10. What is an Avatar and how do I get one?
11. Why must I post in English?
12. Who are the Council Members and who are Ant, aka Grep and Taz, aka
The Fraggle?
13. Who do I contact if I have a problem or query?
14. Why are some areas of the website empty?
15. Is this site affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate?


1 Why should I join Planet-Tolkien?
Planet-Tolkien offers the chance for fans and would-be fans of Tolkien’s work not only to discuss, learn and investigate more about Tolkien and his work but to join a friendly community of like-minded people from all over the world, each with their own contribution to make, be it in serious discussions or light-hearted chats, games, role-playing and story writing. Planet-Tolkien is a family friendly site, Family Friendly Website and is moderated by the Council Members and is therefore suitable for younger members as well as adults.

2 What do I need to become a member?
You will need a user name, which can be anything as long as it is not offensive, and a valid email address. Many people choose a Tolkien-related name but it can be your own name or a nickname. Your user name will be seen on every post you make so please make sure you are happy with it as it cannot be changed later. You will also be asked to choose a location from the choice offered on the registration page when you click on the ‘New Account’ link. You can change location at a later date provided you have enough mithril (more about mithril later). Eventually, as the site develops there will be more interactive features involving locations. Upon joining you will receive an email with your password and other details. Please keep this for future reference. You can change your password if you wish following the instructions in ‘Your Account – Edit Profile’.

3. Will it cost me anything to join?
Planet-Tolkien offers free membership. There are no hidden fees, however if you wish to become a Community Supporter it will cost you £1 per month. Details are on the registration page. You can also ‘sponsor’ another member for an additional £1 per month if you wish. This small charge helps offset some of the running costs for the site.

4. What is mithril? How do I get some and what do I do with it?
Mithril is used as currency for sending private messages. More ways of spending and earning mithril are planned. Mithril is earned when you log on for the first time each day and at times The Council will award 100 mithril pieces to a member who has made a post worthy of special recognition.

5. What else do I get when I join?
As well as enjoying our world-wide community you will be given a Private Messaging account for which a small charge in mithril is made for each message sent. You will also have a buddy list to make it easier to contact your favourite members and you will be able to post Journal entries. More features are planned for the website.

6. How do I get into the chat room?

The chatroom facilities have been temporarily withdrawn but will hopefully be reinstated in the not too distant future.





There is a ‘chat now’ button above the right hand menu. Insert your username and click. Click on accept when the java box appears and wait until the Tolkien chat room appears on screen. The chat room can also be accessed by clicking on ‘Chat Room’ in the left hand menu. The smiley faces with sunglasses on the right denote channel ops and moderators. Please say ‘Hi’ when you get in. The channel is subject to time zones and it is possible that no one is available to chat even though nicks are there. Please be patient or come back later. If you have a problem please ask in the main channel as there is usually someone who can answer your query. Channel ops are the best people to ask. We have another channel where we hold discussion/study groups. Details of these will be announced in Tolkien Weekly Courses in the Misc message board. A more detailed chatFAQ can be found below this main FAQ.

7. Posting netiquette, guidelines and posting rules – what are they?
Please respect other members’ views! Offensive or unsuitable posts will be edited or, in extreme cases, deleted, as will political, religious and sexually explicit posts not in accordance with our Family Friendly policy. Please use English and avoid text speak such as ‘r u…’ and ‘c u l8r’ etc. and excessive use of smilies. Text written with caps lock on is considered to be shouting and should not be used. A more comprehensive list of guidelines and rules can be found at Posting Guidlines. Please find the Message Board most suitable for your post. The Taverns are the place to post non-Tolkien related posts and the Ivy Bush is the tavern designated for games.

8. How and where do I introduce myself?
Please come and say hello in our Introduce Yourself ' forum under Website Talk on the Message Boards and let our members welcome you to Planet-Tolkien. Click here Introduce Yourself

9. What are Journal Entries?
This section allows you to keep your own journal, in which you can enter your own thoughts that you would like to share with other members. If you are quoting song lyrics, poetry or any portion of a work written by someone other then yourself, you must give accreditation to the true author.This section also allows you to read other people’s journals too. You can do this by either by typing first letter of the member's username whose journal you would like to read and selecting it from the drop down menu or by viewing the 15 most recently submitted entries from the menu to the right. Please note, however, that Planet-Tolkien is a family site so journal entries should be PG rated to the same standards as our Message Board and the Council may edit or delete flagrant violations.

10. What is an Avatar and how do I get one?
To the left of some posts you will see a small picture. This is an Avatar chosen by that member to represent him/her in this our virtual Middle-earth. If you need any assistance with your avatar send an email to rednell@planet-tolkien.com or amarie@shiremail.com

11. Why must I post in English?
We need to keep the site uniform as possible and Council Members need to be able to understand all posts in order to moderate the site. We therefore insist that all posts are made in English. Non-English posts will be deleted.

12. Who are the Council Members and who are Ant, aka Grep and Taz, aka
The Fraggle?

You will find a list of Council Members under The Council link on the left hand menu. Council Members moderate the website, answer your queries and develop suggestions. Updates on what the Council has been doing appear in the Website News thread. Taz is the creator and founder
of this website and Ant is the website owner and is responsible for its continued evolution.

13. Who do I contact if I have a problem or query?
Check first that your problem or query is not dealt with in this FAQ or in the Help File. If it isn’t just click on ‘Contact Information’ in the left hand menu or email council@planet-tolkien.com.

14. Why are some areas of the website empty?
Planet-Tolkien changed over to a new format in January 2004 thanks to Taz, and Ant will continue modifying, updating, upgrading and perfecting it. Some areas are yet to be fully updated. There are many new and exciting features planned for Planet-Tolkien.

15. Is this site affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate?
Planet-Tolkien has no connection with any official or licensed Tolkien entity. Planet-Tolkien is a non-profit making fan site made and run by and for fans of Tolkien and his work, including the movies. The views of our members are not necessarily the views of the site administration.

A more detailed Help File for members is available in the left hand menu.

The planet-tolkien.com chatFAQ

The chatroom facilities have been temporarily withdrawn but will hopefully be reinstated in the not too distant future.

(this is mainly for people who use the Planet-Tolkien applet on the website)


1. What are #tolkien and #bilbos-study?
2. How do I get into the channels?
3. What do I do when I get there?
4. Who is in charge of the channel?
5. How do I post smileys?
6. Who are Barliman and Chanserv?
7. Why isn't anyone speaking to me?
8. How do I make my nick do something?
9. What do I do if I have a problem?
10. How do I send private messages?
11. Someone asked me for personal details. Should I give them?
12. How do I change my nick?
13. What do all these abbreviations mean?
14. Someone posted a link in the channel? Can I look at it?
15. Are there any rules?



1. What are #tolkien and #bilbos-study?
These are the names of the two channels used by planet-tolkien.com. #tolkien is the main channel and is used for general chat and sometimes even Tolkien-related chat and is not restricted to Planet-Tolkien members. #bilbos-study is used for study sessions which will be announced in the Forums and for playing Tolkien Hangman and Tolkien Trivia. Study sessions take priority and games will be disabled for the duration of any session but the games are available to play at any other time.

To start hangman type !hangmanstart. For Hangman anwers must be preceded by !hangman or !h but for Trivia you only need to type in your guess. Trivia has to be started and stopped by an op. If you have a problem just ask.

If you are using the PT applet to access the chat channel and you wish to be in both #tolkien and #bilbos-study, you will need to open two browser windows and use two nicknames. Adding an underscore (_) to your original nick works.

2. How do I get into the channels?
If you are used to using mIRC or another chat client, you need to log on to the darkmyst server and then join #tolkien or #bilbos-study. The address of the darkmyst server is irc.darkmyst.org, port 6667. If you are using the planet-tolkien.com applet on the website follow these instructions:

Ø click on Chat Room in the left hand menu under Your Account (or you can use the ‘chat now’ button at the top right hand side of the page. Put in your nick first. Using this button depends on whether your browser or firewall will allow you to. If nothing happens, use Your Account – Chat Room on the left.)
Ø click on 'yes' in the dialogue box that pops up about java. Please note: in order for the java applet to work it must be enabled in your browser - Internet – options. If you use the ‘chat now’ button you may not need to click on the java applet, just wait a moment and it will take you straight through to #tolkien
Ø enter your nick in the box and click on the ‘connect now’ button. You will automatically be logged into #tolkien

3. What do I do when I get there?
It is always best to say something like 'hello' or 'hi'. That way the other people in the channel know you are there and they will reply if possible. Please don’t join and leave without saying anything – give people time to respond. Remember to hit the enter button after typing otherwise no one will see what you type.

4. Who is in charge of the channel?
The channel is moderated by Chanops (channel operators) on behalf of Taz. Channel operators/moderators are the ones with @ in front of their names (if you are using an irc client like mIRC) or the smiley faces with sunglasses (if you are using the planet-tolkien.com applet). The colour of the smilies may vary, but the operators are always the first names on the list and they have a different colour from the rest. Chanops ensure that there is no fighting, swearing or annoying behaviour and have the power to kick and ban people at their discretion.

5. How do I post smilies?
Some irc clients have a little smiley box, much like the reply-in-thread box on Planet-Tolkien. Just click on that and select a smiley but unless other people also have that facility they may not be able to see what type of smiley it is. It will show up on their screen as just text. If you use the Planet-Tolkien applet type colon, right bracket and a happy smiley will appear as if by magic, or colon, left bracket will make a sad smiley.

6. Who are Barliman2 and Chanserv?
You don't need to worry about these two - they are not real people. Chanserv is the concern of the chanops. Barliman is a sort of sleeping policeman; if a swear word or other prohibited word is used he may kick you off channel with a warning or devoice you for a while. You can come back but don't do it again. Also he will kick people off who 'flood' the channel with continual lines of uninterrupted text.

7. Why isn't anyone speaking to me?
The channels are subject to international time zones and the fact that people have to be at work, school or even asleep. Some people with permanent connections stay in the channel even when they themselves are away. If no one responds to you it isn't because they don't want to speak to you, it is just the wrong time of day/night or those who are there have moved away from their pc for a while. Please either wait or come back later. Eventually you will find people to talk to. We try to be as welcoming and friendly as possible.

8. How do I make my nick do something?
Commands are preceded by / (forward slash). To make your nick do or say something type
/me andthentheactionyouwant (notice the spacing). /me is replaced on screen by your nick so if your nick is Bob, /me is happy will show up as *Bob is happy. Just try it a few times.

9. What do I do if I have a problem?
If you have a query about how to do something feel free to ask one of the Chanops or even ask in the channel. There is usually someone who is willing and able to help. If anyone is behaving in a way you are not comfortable with, tell one of the Chanops. Remember, this is a text-based medium and it is not always easy to tell what tone of voice someone is using. Please don't take offence at what might be intended as humorous banter. But if someone keeps pestering you with private messages and you have already asked them to stop, or if they use inappropriate messages or text tell a Chanop. You can put a person on ignore in the private message window by clicking on the ‘Ignore’ button. This is a toggle and clicking again will unblock them. Other users may be able to do this by right clicking on the name in the channel list and selecting ignore/unignore. Chanops only control the channel they are in but you should also tell them if you receive unwanted or inappropriate messages from elsewhere. They may be able to do something about it but make sure you keep the messages so you can send a copy to the Chanop if asked.

10. How do I send private messages?
Double click on the name of the person you wish to message and a box should pop up. Please don't keep sending messages if someone has asked you to stop. This can be very annoying. The channel is the place to chat unless it is something you need to keep private.

11. Someone asked me for personal details. Should I give them?
NO! We recommend that no private or personal information is given out and you shouldn't be asked for anything like that. Asking things like age, sex and location might be considered bad manners and may be ignored but you may be asked whereabouts in the world you are, which is OK and useful for others to know. Do not give your address or telephone number or any passwords to anyone. If someone persists in asking for this information – tell a Chanop.

12. How do I change my nick?
Type /nick thenthenewnickyouwant. Don't forget the / (forward slash). /nick Bob will change your nick to Bob.

13. What do all these abbreviations mean?

LOL = Laughing Out Loud
ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing
wb = welcome back
ty = thank you
bbl = (I'll) be back later
brb = (I'll) be right back
bbiab = (I'll) be back in a bit
asl = age, sex, location
afk = away from keyboard

The list is endless and you will pick them up as you go along.

14 Someone posted a link in the channel? Can I look at it?
Unless you know and trust the person who posted it we would advise you not to open links. You never know what they might be. Sometimes a spammer or bot goes through lots of channels posting url/links but these may contain nasty viruses! Do not click on a url or link without knowing who or where it came from and what it is about.

15. Are there any rules?
Basically the rules are the same as on Planet-Tolkien. When you first log into the channel from Planet-Tolkien you will see a message - No offensive language and when speaking please use English. For other users this is also shown at the top of the channel window in a scrolling bar.
No filesharing – this is not allowed by the darkmyst server administration.
Do not ask for ops (operator status).
No advertising.
Please do not use uppercase text as it is considered shouting and bad manners.