Please be respectful with everyone, from guests to staff. This applies on the boards, in PMs, and in the cbox. If you have a problem with someone, please either calmly call their attention to it and let them know what would make you more comfortable, or talk to a member of staff. If someone makes a polite request, please try to be accommodating or come to staff if you feel the request is unreasonable. We can all be civil.
If your issue is with staff, either in terms of behavior or a staff decision, please voice it calmly and directly. We do our best to make this a fun and fair experience for everyone, and we care what you have to say. We will always do our best to ensure as many people feel accommodated as we can manage. At the same time, if a ruling or change was made you don't personally care for, we are interested in hearing your alternative suggestions, but we may not always take them right away if at all. Please respect that we will always try to make what we feel is the best choice for the board as a whole, even if sometimes-- such as when balancing a mechanic that has gotten out of control-- that may not always be the most popular decision shortterm.
The cbox is not a ventbox, nor are OOC areas made for vents or callouts. If you are upset, please talk to someone in IM or elsewhere, or ask if someone would mind talking. Some minor venting about off-site things is fine (i.e. recapping a rough day at school or work, etc), but try not to make a habit of it and do not dominate conversation with it. Offline stress, intoxication, or other factors do not excuse excessive venting or drama-stirring, either; if you think you might say things you'll regret, it's probably best to walk away for a while and come back later. If your issues are with on-site things or other members, a calm discussion is fine, but avoid outright venting.
As one potential exception: if venting OOC feelings into IC posts can be done mutually as a healthy outlet to work through tension, or channeling your frustration into a solo RP thread will help you calm down and avoid other means of lashing out, by all means have at it. Otherwise, please keep things civil. Don't hold IC events against a player, and don't let OOC tension ruin what might otherwise be a fun RP thread. If you feel another player is harassing you IC or OOC, be certain to voice that the behavior is bothering you, and if they don't stop don't hesitate to report it to staff.
Both IC and OOC, on the board and in the cbox, please be mindful of the rating. Cursing is fine, but keep it casual and do not aim insults at others. Slurs of any kind will not be tolerated. Innuendo and suggestive topics are fine, but things too overtly sexual in nature should be taken off-site. Violence is treated similarly; a little detail is fine, but don't make it too gory or gruesome. If someone expresses discomfort toward a topic, please be respectful. If there is mutual, clashing discomfort, please take it up with staff.
Whether it's another board or something else, please do not advertise. Do not PM members soliciting a board or service. If someone in the cbox expresses interest in something, you may link it: for instance, if you mention working on something for your own forum and someone wants to see it, that's fine. But do not solicit or beg.
Do not control someone else's character. Do not treat your own character as invincible. Do not use knowledge that you have OOC to your character's advantage if that knowledge would not be available to the character. Do not assume an attack or other actions connects with its intended target unless you know the other writer is okay with it. Do not give your characters such spot-on "intuition" that they always know the intent of other characters, such as always seeing through efforts to trick them or always recognizing a villain as such. Do not act excessively within a post to a point of assuming long-standing inaction from an RP partner without their consent, as this can also control a character and force them to act (or rather not-act) against their nature; give others the chance to react, or talk to your RP partner to make sure a post idea is okay.
Conversational grammar is fine, but please use a standard third person narrative format and avoid chatspeak or the like in IC posts, unless of course the character is texting themself, or would say something like "lol" out loud in dialogue. Posts have a fairly low minimum word count at only 100 words, but be mindful of context. Posts that earn a mechanical benefit, such as catching a Pokémon or earning evo points for battle, generally ask for 150-200 minimum: greater effort in exchange for earning that reward. Basic interactions, starter posts for solo threads, and the like can be as short as 100, though.
Just be mindful that you give your RP partner enough to work with in interaction threads. If your character is not being very engaging, for instance, maybe a Pokémon or NPC could be, or you could use the environment to your advantage, etc. Of course, it's okay to have a few awkward posts; just be sure your partner is fine with it.
Ideally, we'd like you to aim for 5 IC posts per month per character, or 10 for League positions. Activity checks are every few months and activity does not have to be maintained consistently; it's fine to get swamped for a bit and then make it up right before an AC if you need to, etc. We all get overwhelmed by offline life and other obligations from time to time. Just do your best.
To start, each member is allowed 2 characters. They can make another character after a month, and another a month after the third is approved, and so-forth. There is no upper limit, but please try to make sure your other characters are active before making more. If you feel a new character might kickstart your muse, you can try it, but if you find yourself unable to pick up active characters it may be best to archive them until muse returns. After all, archiving is easily undone in most cases; it only marks a character as inactive so others know they are unavailable for RP, and potentially frees up limited positions for people who might make more use of them. Please do not hoard limited slots witch characters you aren't using.
Similar to the wait time above on making new characters, if you have multiple characters archived due to inactivity in an AC, please only take out one or two at a time until you get back on your feet.
Not "rules" so much as a bit of extra info:
Horizons uses the Proboards built-in shoutbox, located and the bottom of most pages (but not this one), to alert mods when something needs a review or response. Simply tell us what you need with a link if applicable. Examples include linking to the evolution thread with "Evo Request", linking a catch thread to have a catch approved and/or request a new spawn such as "Catch confirm, respawn Rugged terrain", or simply posting "using 5 Move Techs" when using items that don't have an associated thread.
As you can see, the chatbox area has a tab for a second chatbox, which is meant specifically for character interactions. You can play out a fast-paced scenario, test out a new character, or more. You can also click above them to hide both; the board will remember which box you had opened or if you closed them between page loads.
Posts earn money, or "muns", which can be spent in the PokeMart. Items and muns can both be traded with other members as well via "Gift/Trade" and "Donation" options on their profiles. When receiving muns or items, you will receive a notification in the upper left corner of the screen with a link, but you can also check both via the bar of small icons in the bottom left corner of the screen. You will also receive a notification when someone has accepted something you sent them. Occasionally, you may get a duplicate notification; this is just a minor issue with the plugin and no cause for concern.
By typing "Staff" as a PM recipient, you will message all Staff Members at once, allowing you to conveniently contact all of us without having to enter every name. You can also find a "Send Staff Message" button on the profiles of all Staff members. (This does not include Summon Mods, who only help with spawns and are not Staff, although they still may offer helpful advice and answers to many questions in the cbox.)
In addition to all of this, you can also find a bit of history and information for each city in the City Info threads, pinned in each board.
Horizons does not ascribe to any specific version of the Pokémon canon. Major events, especially those that take place across multiple canons, still happened here, but we tend to avoid describing the details in order to leave it open to everyone. For example, Team Rocket existed and may or may not still exist, and they once took over Silph Co, etc. Two years passed between the events of BW and BW2, but how long ago BW2 was is vague. Some minor inconsistencies in this regard (ex: two characters are both ex Plasma grunts, but the ages they were as grunts compared to their ages now create a noticeable time gap) are best ignored and handwaved where possible. If in doubt about whether referencing a certain point of canon is okay, don't hesitate to ask!
All boards' original settings and even totally made up settings are fine to include in your character's history so long as you don't include any details that would clash with Horizons canon. Ex: if you're brining an import from a dystopian future, some of the dystopia elements portrayed as unique to that region may be okay, but don't include details like it being the last remaining human civilization or tech that would identify it as too futuristic. An exception can be made for alternate universe settings, however: see the Fallers section in the Characters tab for that. If 3 or more members have characters from the same non-canon region, it becomes more acknowledged in site canon. Examples include Nue of Epoch, Horizon's predecessor, and Era of Vicious Circle, former home of quite a few members.
Depending on your definition, Mewtwo could qualify as a "PokeMorph", but if so they are the only ones / the closest thing to it. Referencing non-canon Pokémon as species in other regions not well-known in Veria or as undiscovered species is also fine as long as it's very vague.
English is referred to as "Common" and spoken by most people worldwide for ease of communication. Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh also speak Japanese (collectively "Kantonian"), and some parts of Sinnoh speak Russian ("Sinnohan"). Unova speaks mostly Common with some communities speaking various languages from all over. Kalos speaks French ("Kalosian"). Alola speaks mainly Common but has some Hawaiian ("Alolan", albeit replacing "Aloha" with "Alola") and Pidgin ("Alolan Slang"). Orre speaks Spanish "Orren", though effectively Spanglish is also common. Here in Veria, Common is the main language, but Caravella City also speaks Italian (Venice dialect, "Caravellian"). Other languages are allowed so long as they are attributed to other places or "passed through the family", etc.
OOC, this is just a site preference. IC, the Pokémon world seems to have different gravity and atmospheric conditions than our world. Clashing Pokémon attacks are likely to have an explosive effect even when it doesn't seem they should. Gunpowder is very volatile, and a gun is more likely to explode than fire properly; fireworks require less gunpowder for similar effects, etc. Other projectiles such as crossbows are fine. Guns do exist in fiction, much like jetpacks exist in our fiction, so characters can still be familiar with the concept and use phrases involving them, etc.
They are more common in some other parts of the world, especially in regions where Pokémon are rarer such as Orre. Exports on meat and other products are very high for such regions. Non-Pokémon fish and bugs are generally the most common mundane animals in Pokémon-heavy regions, and Veria too has a notable fishing trade. Pokémon products that can be harvested without harming the Pokémon longterm are sometimes eaten, although social attitudes toward things like Slowpoke Tail that do involve some temporary injury vary. Slaughtering Pokémon to eat is seen anywhere from from taboo to outright heinous, however. The sum result of these things is that hamburgers are probably imported beef or soy, not Tauros, but your character is also very unlikely to own a housecat rather than a Glameow or Purrloin. People are generally aware of the concepts of animals even with little personal experience, however, and making classifications such as referring to Growlithe and Lillipup as "dogs" is fairly common.
Shiny Pokémon are not especially rare here. While they currently do not spawn in the wild outside of occasional events, they can be obtained easily by purchasing a Shiny Spritz item from the PokeMart. Unique colorations are also possible and just as easily obtained by buying a Paint Spritz. Pokémon can be "colored" temporarily for free if, say, ICly you color them with chalk, etc, and it's made clear in-thread that's all it is; Spritz is permanent unless another Spritz replaces it.
Very small color or marking differences, such as the black mark on Cosplay Pikachu's tail or a change of eye color, do not require a Paint Spritz. While we're not going to measure pixels (especially considering things like some Pokémon having very large eyes), a "guideline" for what might be okay without a Spritz is "roughly" 5% of the design. If in doubt, just ask! More subtle color variations, to the level one might see between different generations of canon sprites/models, may also be allowed for free as long as it isn't a subtle Shiny specifically (ex: Togekiss). For examples, look at Kecleon or Whimsicott between generations.
Other aesthetic differences may be allowed for free depending on the believability. Things like scars or a broken horn are fine, of course. Pokémon notably smaller or larger than average are fine within reason; just make a note of it in their info. Things like a bit of spiky fluff or otherwise styling a Pokémon's fur differently are also fine, as is having wings or horns a bit bigger or smaller than usual, etc. A unique cut for Furfrou's fur is fine, and only requires a Spritz if breaking from the pattern of white fur, dark skin, and fairly small single-color accents. Canon Furfrou patterns don't require a Spritz either, and can be maintained permanently or switched at will (between threads or if groomed ICly in-thread). Flabébé's line may find somewhat different flowers. Accessories like collars, scarfs, hats, etc are always fine so long as the Pokémon could reasonably wear them. (Ex: Slugma clothes might take more explaining.) Mimikyu may disguise itself as something other than Pikachu, even; just be sure the design is still recognizable as a Mimikyu.
Deerling and Sawsbuck cannot change their forms in thread, but can be any form in a given thread. Wild ones do spawn correlating to the current northern hemisphere seasons, but player-owned ones don't have to adhere to this. Oricorio forms can be changed with a Nectar, purchasable in the PokeMart. Forms that are usually unchangeable, such as Shellos, still remain static.
Not every claim made by the PokeDex is accurate; Pokémon do not get hotter than the surface of the sun, and horns cannot pierce diamonds. However, there are some particular things to make note of. This list may be incomplete, and if you are curious about a particular ability, please don't hesitate to ask Staff!
Telepathy: On Horizons, only Pokémon actively possessing the Ability Telepathy may communicate telepathically. Certain Legendary Pokémon or UBs may prove exceptions to this rule at times, but they are the only ones. Dark-types are immune to telepathy unless Miracle Eye has been used recently.
Rotom: A Rotom has the capability to possess any electronic item, but only becomes a true threat when combined with Form-compatible equipment. Rotom forms can be used by GLs who support their typing. The forms may be chosen at will, but may not be changed during battle.
Beheeyem: Beheeyem are capable of removing, mildly altering, or fabricating sections of memory with their unique lights. While potentially capable of complete mind wipes over a series of sessions and days of non-stop treatment, brief exposure only acts as an MIB-style mind wipe, erasing memory of up to a day or two tops. Only the Beheeyem who erased a memory can return it to the mind of those they affected. Another Beheeyem cannot undo it.
Ditto: Ditto can transform into inanimate objects, people, and Pokémon from memory. However, when transforming from memory, it is treated simply as a mimicry. They will have none of a Pokémon's moves, be nowhere near their power, and have none of their unique abilities beyond the ability to fly and hover as the other Pokémon would. A Ditto who becomes a ghost from memory cannot pass through walls, nor can one who copies a Blaziken from memory leap over a building. Ditto copying humans often struggle more and hit an uncanny valley effect, but some can manage a pretty convincing appearance. Of course, they cannot speak, and are unlikely to be able to mimic a person's behavior convincingly. A Ditto stunt double may be plausible, but no one would fall for one trying to get special clearance to a bank vault or the like.
Natu/Xatu: Xatu can gaze into the past and future, although the farther it peers the harder it is to keep up with all the information, and they are typically more interested in simply viewing than sharing. Information on the future can also be unreliable, more of a potential than guaranteed outcome. Natu has a greatly reduced ability, being able to see about a minute into the past or future within its immediate surroundings.
Ghost-types: Many ghost types are capable of "haunting" objects with a mild telekinesis, though this is not sustainable over long periods or useful for much more than being spooky. The Gastly and Misdreavus lines can also create minor illusions, but it takes many ghosts working together to be particularly effective. Ghost types can also phase through walls.
Zorua/Zoroark: Zorua can create minor illusions, mostly affecting its own appearance. Its illusion tends to be flawed in some way, though they can fool all five of the senses. Zoroark can create grand illusions, projected up to 400 feet (~122 meters) in diameter, and even completely mask its own presence. The visual elements of illusions are accomplished via light manipulation and can be seen by all nearby parties and can be photographed and recorded. Both can "speak" via projecting auditory illusions. In all cases, though, illusions are dispelled when the user is hurt even slightly.
Nidorina and Nidoqueen are considered Field/Monster, same as their male counterparts.
Rather than breeding with all Pokémon, Ditto is used to breed with Genderless Pokémon without use of incense.
Own Tempo Rockruff / Dusk Lycanroc: Horizons treats Rockruff's Own Tempo like a Hidden Ability, and it is compatible with the HA Capsule. Dusk Lycanroc can breed Own Tempo Rockruff babies, or normal Rockruff babies. However, the two HAs are not interchangable. A Steadfast Rockruff cannot produce an Own Tempo Rockruff (unless breeding the two different HAs together, of course).
Ash Greninja / Battle Bond: On site, Ash Greninja is treated as "Mega Greninja" with a Mega Stone being added to our item lists to represent this. If a Greninja Mega Evolves, it attains Ash Greninja's stats, as well as the ability Battle Bond, which effectively doubles Water Shuriken's damage. When using calc, simply use "Ash Greninja" when calculating "Mega Greninja's" damage.
Type: Null / Silvally: For reasons unknown, Type: Null appear wild in Veria's Safari Zone, and are merely considered Rare rather than Legendary. While very rare and unbreedable, there are certainly more than three. Some have theorized Arceus is stealing them from other dimensions and dumping them in the Safari, but we may never know for sure. Silvally's Memories can be obtained from Missions, up to 3 per mission.
Gyms serve much the same purpose as in the games and anime. They let trainers test their prowess, and grant badges when defeated. However, unlike most gyms in canon, there is no set number in Veria. There is also currently no Elite Four or similar group, so Gym Leaders hold a little more prestige and authority. This also means that there is not really a set "collect X-many badges" goal for trainers. Gyms are more there for personal challenge and growth.
To start challenging a gym, first double check-- via PM, IM, or cbox-- that a Gym Leader is available. While we ask a certain activity rate of GLs, they may still have times of hiatus or already be a bit overwhelmed and not be confident taking on another thread. If they agree to take you on, you simply need to post a [Challenge] thread in their city. Please be patient, but if you don't hear anything from a GL you are challenging for at least two weeks, you may contact Staff to look into it. In some cases, a challenger may be granted a badge if they were making good progress in a challenge before the GL went inactive.
Characters of any class may challenge Gyms. Challengers may face up to two Gyms at a time. If one GL you are facing goes on hiatus, but you wish to continue when they return, you can contact staff for permission to put that challenge on hiatus and pick up a new one exceeding this limit, however.
Challengers who manage to earn a badge will also receive Φ100 as a reward! Simply mod summon with a link to a completed challenge. (Do note, however, that a veteran member curbstomping a brand new GL with their fully-evolved full moveset team may earn reduced or no muns; try to keep it fun and fair!)
Gym Leaders, which also have some info in the Class section of the Character tab, are required to achieve at least 10 IC posts as a testing phase before officially setting up a gym. Once that is done, a thread should be posted in your city of choice detailing information on your gym. When choosing a Gym location, please note that cities are hard capped at 3 Gyms. That said, new applicants are encouraged to consider cities with one or no gyms. If a city has no gyms, any type can be there no questions asked. If a city already has two, a pretty strong case is required to justify choosing that city over one with one or no Gyms. For instance, if Caravella had two Gyms already, an Ice or Fairy leader might have trouble justifying setting up there. However, a Water leader making use of the canals as part of their theme would be very suitable.
Be thorough but not excessive with your Gym info. For instance, where in town is it? What will trainers see? Will they be met by a receptionist or walk directly into the arena? What's the name of your badge? What does it look like? Description is all that is required; if you can provide a visual representation of what your Badge looks like, then all the better! Does your gym have any unique rules? Is there low gravity in effect? Does the arena change every x number of turns? Tell us enough to get a real feel for it, but don't describe the doorknobs or that one crack in the back wall unless those things have particular importance.
Basic rules are also required, such as how many Pokémon will be used and in what format, if you allow Pokémon switching mid battle, if you prefer a more calc-based or plot-based battle, etc. Please keep pre-battle rules to a minimum. Delaying your challenger by asking they jump through hoops only frustrates your fellow member. With this in mind, try to be creative, and we look forward to any of your gyms. Upon completing the gym thread, post a Mod Summons. Staff will review it, PM you about edits if required, and if/when it looks good will pin the thread to the board so as it is easy to find. It is recommended but not required to add the link to the Gym rules to your profile links under the Business option.
Rather than being limited to a specific team like in the games, Gym Leaders are free to use whatever Pokémon they wish to greet their challengers. The only rule in this regard is that they may only use Pokémon of the type that they specialize in for official Gym Battles. For example, a Dragon-type gym leader would not be allowed to use a Charizard or a Gyarados in a Gym Battle, despite both Pokémon still having very draconic appearance. To give another example, a Dragon-type leader would be allowed to use a Kingdra or an Altaria during a Gym Battle, but not Seadra or Swablu, although they can be apped with such Pokémon to raise into the appropriate type.
That said, as Gym Leaders can sometimes seem very intimidating, they are also allowed to use "NPC" Pokémon in challenges or flavor text only. These Pokémon are lower forms of Pokémon the GL owns; if the GL does not own a higher form of the species in question, it cannot be NPC'd, and each owned Pokémon only translates to one NPC'd version. Owning one Charizard will not let a GL use two Charmander, or a Charmander and Charmeleon. The move sets of these Pokémon will be the same as their elder versions, with the ability to freely replace any moves they would not learn in prior forms. This allows GLs to more fairly challenge weaker challengers. It is, however, an optional practice.
Finally, GLs are free to decline challengers within reason. For example: a veteran member wants to challenge and you do not feel your Pokémon could keep up without more training first, you are currently busy off-site and wish to wait until you can focus on it, or you are already heavy on threads. However, those seen to repeatedly deny challenges may be contacted by Staff. Most likely we will understand. However, GL status may be revoked if duties are being ignored without good reason.