Hogwarts Handbook

"I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.” - Professor Dumbledore

Article III: Membership

Section A: Members

The members of HOS shall be any registered users who are in compliance with all HOS policies, those who are actively engaged and participating in the site regularly, and those who are in good standing with the HOS community.

Subsection (1) All registered users of HOS must be at least thirteen (13) years of age in real life in order to participate in the HOS community. Any registered user of HOS that is found to be under the age of thirteen (13) will have their account suspended until their thirteenth (13th) birthday.

Section B: Character Limits

The character limits are universal and apply to all HO regions (the UK, France, and Sweden).

Subsection (1) Membership within HOS is divided into four groups. Each group has limits on the number of characters per writer. The groups are:

(1) Any character within the United Kingdom;
(2) Any character within France;
(3) Any character within Sweden;
(4) Any character that has completed the requirements of graduation from any HOS school. These characters can be any type of character from any group and do not count towards a member’s character limit.

Clause a (Teaching Staff Members): Members may only have one character who teaches classes within a school. Members may have as many non-teaching staff member characters as they want as long as they are within the character limit rules.

Clause b (First-Time Members): First-time members of the site must wait at least 3 months before making their second character in any region.

Subsection (2) Character limits are placed on each of the above groups.

There are two parts to the Character Limit Rules:

1. Character Maximum: You may have up to 5 characters within a single region. (For example: 5 characters in the UK, 5 characters in France, and 5 characters in Sweden, for a total 15. Official School Alumni do not count toward this maximum.)
2. Creation Wait Time: You must wait at least 3 months before making another character within a single region. (For example: When was the last time you made a character in the UK? If it has been at least 3 months since the last time you made a UK character, you can make another UK character. This is a timeclock within each region.)

If you joined before July 2014, the only thing that’s different for you  is that you can have a max of 10 within a region. You can still follow the 3-month wait time in between each character.

Subsection (3) Character limits are will be enforced by all HOS Administrators (as defined by Article II Section A Subsection 1 including Global, Regional, & Divisional Administators).

Section C: Character Names

Upon registration, members will be required to create a name for their new character. All names must contain a first and last name (in that order); this is known as a complete name. The following complete names are not allowed throughout the entire HOS: real life names, any major names (first or last) from the Harry Potter series, celebrity names, characters from books or movies, historical figures, copyrighted names, or names from any other canon.

Section D: Character Faces
Subsection (1) Each character of HOS has the option of selecting an actor, actress, or other celebrity of merit to use as the physical representation of their character on the forums. This will be referred to as the character's face. Celebrities under the age of 13 may not be used.

Subsection (2) Each member who elects to have a face will be required to reserve it within their respective region. No two characters may have the same face within a region without the permission of the first claimant and the manager of the region’s Character Mirror.

Subsection (3) Each region will appoint a member who will maintain a record of active face claims, called a Character Mirror, within their region. All rules concerning mirrors and face claims will be universal and enforced by each region's appointed manager. You may see these rules by visiting one of the three regional mirrors.

Subsection (4) Special exceptions to the rules shall be granted to members who meet certain criteria outlined below. These special exceptions shall be documented, maintained, and enforced by each Character Mirror manager.
  • Clause a (Official Alumni): Characters classified as official school alumni may permanently hold their face claim within the region, provided they remain active.
  • Clause b (Higher-Level Admins): Characters who serve as current Governors, Headmasters, Ministers and Head Healers.
  • Clause c (In-Character Celebrities): Characters that are recognized as in-character celebrities, as determined by a majority vote of the HOS Governors
  • Clause d: The Governors reserve the right to grant or revoke special privileges to any member they deem to merit such an action. Prior to invoking this right, the governor must speak with the Coordinator of RP and the Mirror.

Subsection (5) The following rules are established to protect those who have claimed a face and see it in use by another user.

(1) Members using claimed faces or using a face without claiming it will have their graphics removed. Repeat offenders will not be allowed to claim a face for their character.
(2) Members who wish to claim a face that is already being held by an inactive member should contact the account charged with maintaining the region’s face claim.

Section E: Character Adaptations

Subsection (1)

Character Abilities (Non Canon): Each character may have up to 1 special ability. These special abilities must be approved by the RP Coordinator in the respective region before they can be used. The approval process involves an application which asks you to describe the strengths and weaknesses of the ability.

  • Definition of Special Ability: Special abilities are special magical skills that are not found in the Harry Potter books, such as Telekinesis and Astral Projection. Characters are typically born with these abilities and develop them over time with practice and intrapersonal understanding.

Subsection (2)

Character Advanced Skills (Canon): Each character is allowed to have up to 2 advanced skills. These advanced skills must be approved by the RP Coordinator in the respective region before they can be used. The approval process involves an application where you describe the history of how you learned the skills.

  • Definition of Advanced Skills: Advanced Skills are special magical skills that are found in the Harry Potter books, such as Wandless Magic and Occlumency. Characters are not born with these skills; they require years of study and practice to be fully acquired.

Subsection (3) Veela, Vampire, & Werewolf: Characters who are Veela, Werewolf, or Vampire must apply for creature status. Each creature requires a different application process, and these applications must be approved by the RP Coordinator in the respective region before members can classify their character as one of these creatures.

Subsection (4) Animagi or Metemorphmagi: Characters who are Animagi or Metamorphmagi must apply for this skill. Each one requires a different application process, and these applications must be approved by the RP Coordinator in the respective region before members can classify their character as an Animagus or Metamorphmagus.

Subsection (5) Patronus: Characters who can produce a Patronus must apply for this skill, and the application must be approved by the RP Coordinator in the respective region.

Subsection (6) Characters wishing to maintain an affiliation with groups such as Death Eaters, Order of the Phoenix, or another related HP group must get written permission from the Head of the School or Ministry.

Section F: Character Deaths

Death has a lasting effect on everyone, and even in RP we must acknowledge that if a character dies, the character will be required to turn into a ghost. Any character that dies for any reason cannot be brought back to life. Death is a final thing. No magic could ever bring life into being. If you intend for your character to die, you must discuss the death with the governors. Also, all ghost characters count towards your character limit (unless the character dying is an Official Alumni), so make your decision wisely.

Section G: House Transfers

Subsection (1) New 1st-Years and 1st-Year accounts may request a transfer by PMing the Head of the House they are in now and the Head of the House into which they wish to be transferred. If both HOHs approve of the transfer, the transfer is granted. The Head of the House into which the character is transferred must re-sort the student.

Subsection (2) Students in older years may request a transfer by PMing the Head of the House they are in now and the Head of the House into which they wish to be transferred. If students are 2nd-year or above, they must include in their PM a rationale for why they should be granted a transfer.

Section H: Leaving HOS

Subsection (1) If a member plans to go on holidays or is busy with life, all attempts should be made to let the characters’ supervisors know for arrangements to be made. If a member plans to leave for good, the same procedure of letting all the member’s character’s superiors know.

Subsection (2) Members are not, in any way, permitted to post a "goodbye" announcement. All "goodbye" announcements posted by members will be deleted immediately. The proper way to inform supervisors that a member plans to leave is to PM a supervisor.

Subsection (3) All adult members are asked to PM resignations to both the immediate supervisors and respective governor. Adult members are not permitted to publicly post resignations. Governors should resign to the owner of HOS, Chauncey Clemenceau, who will then publicize the resignation.

Section I: Transferring to Another Region

Subsection (1) Students wishing to transfer from one school to another must submit a transfer request to their current Head of School and Head of their desired School. A student may only transfer one time during the student's education. Students are not entitled to their face if it is already claimed by another character in the desired region of transfer. When a student leaves their region, the face opens for all members to claim.

Subsection (2) Professors or School Staff members wishing to transfer from one school to another may not transfer once a term has started. They must wait until the end of a term to transfer.

Section J: Time Travel and Time-Turners on HOS

Subsection (1) Time travel is strictly banned on HOS, and Time-Turners are extremely rare and strictly regulated by the Governor of RP. Nearly all the Time-Turners that we know of were lost during the 1996 Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Pursuant to information revealed on Pottermore, we now know that traveling through time more than a few hours is extremely dangerous and has ostentatious consequences. Please keep in mind that Time-Turners are not time machines and do not function the same way.

Subsection (2) Those who wish to structure a class, event, or RP Challenge around time travel should describe the process through other means that do not involve Time-Turners or actual time travel; it should be a magical simulation. For example, you can Transfigure a room to look like a particular time or place, or you can drink a potion that makes the drinker see things (sort of like a virtual reality headset).

Subsection (3) The only characters who might be in possession of a Time-Turner are members/descendants of the Sacred 28 Pureblood families. If you are a descendant of one of the Sacred 28 families, you may apply for a Time-Turner from the Governor of RP (the one whose name is in orange, not your local RP Coordinator) if, and only if, you meet the following criteria: 1) you are a descendant of the Sacred 28; 2) you have a strong application and sound reasoning for why you think you should have a Time-Turner; and 3) you limit the duration of your visit to the other time period to somewhere between 5 and 60 minutes.