Getting Into a Cabal: Basic Outlines and Philosophies Regarding This Topic
written by Harry the Hound on June 23, 2003

1. Your Character
2. Attitude
3. Meeting requirements
4. Application do's and don'ts
5. Waiting for an interview or even a brief notice of your application
6. Handling an interview
7. Passing any sort of test or problem set forth to show your worthiness
8. Handling acceptance or dismissal

1. Your character, of course, is what your ideology is going to be based on, how your character talks, how he thinks, what his long-term goals are, how he's going to treat other people depending on their class and/or race, is all something you need to decide. The best time to figure out your character's attitudes, is before you even create him, some of the best cabaled characters, were ones that were planned out long in advance of being created. Although there's been a few gems of outstanding talent from characters just made for a good time. Is your invoker going to be a fire bug? Is your druid going to think those sheep there are pretty sexy looking? Is your fire giant going to be afraid of the dark? Your dwarf afraid of proper hygiene? Characters flaws are even more important then outstanding character qualities. Sure, people get props for being great pkers in a cabal, and it goes a long way into getting in, but if you're not great, or if you want to be remembered on a long-term scale, then focus on having peculiar character flaws. And wanting to smash gnomes with your huge stone club isn't a flaw. It's a dumb generic joke for all the jackasses who think they're roleplaying. Your ranger or druid raised by animals because his parents were killed? Yawn. Hoo-hum. That's new....not really. Nor is it a character flaw, more of a character background. Of course, you could always say your character was raised by animals, and therefore can't talk. This would be mean you'd never be able to grouptalk, tell, say, etc etc though. I saw a ranger who wrote things in the dirt with a stick because he was raised by animals, and therefore never learned to talk. Only problem there, is how the hell did he learn how to write then? So try to reason out any interesting traits ahead of time, because having some weird trait that's mockable isn't going to get you points for effort. So regardless, unless you're used to the cabal circuit, and have a steady hand on it, you should think out your potential cabal characters traits. And make sure those traits aren't in conflict with your cabals basic guidelines on attitude. A warrior who likes to lie and lure people into the cabin in the woods for some blair witch action with his two dark knight buddies sitting in their invisible, waiting, isn't going to be Warlord material. And try to remember, originality is best. Don't try doing something thats been done lately, any version 1.01 of Lucan will be shot on sight, because Version 1.00 was bad enough. And try not to have some socially disturbing trait, because even though a Legionairre is probably pretty sick and twisted, molesting the dwarven youths in the daycare is going to make people wonder what sort of repressed childhood memories you're repressing to want to play that sort of character. And you don't want anyone wondering about you, do you, you red-headed stepchild?

2. Attitude, not your characters attitude, so much as your own while playing that character. Staying In Character is a big factor, going out of character with your group, even for a moment, is bad etiquette, and is going to be even more potentially damaging, if one of those groupmembers is an alt of an Imm, or the alt of a character for the cabal you're applying for. Hell, even if that's not the case, people post on ar_chat a lot of ooc stuff they hear in game, and then it's pretty well guaranteed to be seen by someone who has a say in your application for a cabal. Other things, being pked, you need to take that in stride, if you swear or curse at the person who killed you, and call them a f*cking *sshole or what not, and that'll circulate back to other people too a lot of the time. Silence is a virtue when you're mad. And you don't need a perfect pk record to get into a cabal focused on pk. Hell, if you're in Knights or Legion, it'll be more focused on gangbanging anyways, so your current pk record won't make too much of an impression. Unless it's truly atrocious, if your pk record is a 1:3 ratio with the 3 as your deaths to players compared to your kills, it might have some weight with the cabal Imms when they're deciding, though even then your chances can still be alright, because roleplaying counts for something, usually.

3. Meeting cabal requirements is an obvious must, most cabals have a level prerequisite, and while this can be overlooked in some cases, it's very rare, and done for only the most dedicated players. And you want to get in a cabal badly right? So why lower your odds? Stick with the program Chief. Well written description is nice. Run your description through a spell-check, make sure punctuation is correct, make sure its more based on characters physical traits, no character histories, no ansi art. This stuff is usually checked before you get to too high of a level regardless, but if you manage to slip it by Immortal scrutiny, time to fix it now, because your description is bound to be checked when applying to a cabal. And if you're one of those schmucks who reuse character descriptions, well, having a drow description for a storm giant ain't going to be too impressive.

4. Application do's and don'ts. This is where a lot of newbies bite the slim-chance-in-hell of getting in bullet. Not that I'm saying your odds are slim-chance-in-hell, with my help, they'll be average or better, but so many people say something stupid in the application that earns them a disqualification even before the match begins. Don't mention anything OOC, gods, this is caught a lot of spuds right here. "My brother has had level 50's, and he'll help any character I get into the cabal, so it's not really just me applying, it's more like both of us." I saw that once, honest to god. No one gives a damn about your brother or your cousin or your bestfriends characters, this is about you. Which doesn't mean you should mention your characters either, that's just as dumb to do. Proper punctuation, capitalization, sentence structuring, that makes an application look nice. Description Length? I'd say 15-25 lines is nice, more is alright, too much more will make most people smash their heads on the monitor since they're going to have to read all of it if they want to interview you. So maybe they'll be in a bothered mood and delay the reading of really long boring applications until the next week. So you might want to avoid this with a more brief summary. Mind you, I've had 30+ line applications which I've been told were extremely funny and enjoyable. But there's always one or two exceptions, so it's best to go with the masses. As for under 15 lines? Well, I'm Frank, and I'd like to be the next big stone Warlord, isn't impressive. You have to show you have some possible talent and skill to you, and yeah, this sometimes can be noticed in your application, to a small extent. When you spell right, and you have good grammar, and sentence structures, people tend to think you're probably alright with roleplaying, or at least you'll be easily molded. Wood u plz let my dude in? Thx. - poor spelling, grammar, or much of anything. Anyone who reads it will get a good laugh out of it though, before they pass it over and forget about it completely. Things to do in applications though? Well, most require a history, it doesn't have to be extended to the point where you create a daily conversation between you and your family everyday for the last 20 years of your characters life. Specific points which have guided him to the point where he is now, and has made him want to be in this cabal for a reason, and so forth, is a good idea. I already mentioned in the beginning the my parents were killed bit is old and reused til its worn thin, so try to avoid stereotyping. But at the same time, sometimes stereotyping works, especially if it fits into your characters class and race selection. A Gnome warrior is more likely to have had parents slaughtered by giants then a Giant is to have had his parents and village slaughtered by halflings. Though maybe it'd be funny to have the roles reversed, because remember some people are evil because they have the wrong understanding of what is often considered a "goodly" race. Maybe something to consider, though if this essay becomes popularly used, that might get overdone too. You'll have to mention why you want to be in this cabal, try not to be vague in your answer. "I wish to become powerful!" Okay. Sounds good. Why though? To do what? How will being in this cabal make you powerful? There's nothing wrong with sounding confident either, confidence is always good thing to present, especially when you have fair reason to be confident in your characters abilities. And make sure the reason for wanting to be in the cabal fits with the cabal guidelines. Wanting to be in Legion to convert into into a missionary, is probably not going to go over well, and as much as they appreciate humor and good roleplaying, that'll probably get a big "Go away." Try to present character attitude in the application, and make sure it fits. If your character stutters, well he's not going to write his sentences in stutters either, unless he's epileptic. Remember, this is a note, it's your words, but not your words being spoken. Some people forget that too, and sometimes the Imm or cabal member reading it won't realize it either, but sometimes it does get noticed, and if they mention it, it's embarassing. But if your character second-guesses himself a lot, try displaying it in the application, "What I mean, is, uh, I'd like to be a member of this proud cabal....I think, well, I'm not sure if I think, it sort of seems impulsive, maybe I should rethink'm sure I want to be in this cabal." That'll get you points. Stuff like that. That covers this section I think.

5. What to do and how to act while waiting for a response to your application? Activeness is the most important thing you can do, I can't stress how much I'd see some guy apply to a cabal I was either in, or running, and I wanted to talk to this guy to give a heads up of how he was to the head Chief. But he was never around! When does this guy finally show up? When the Patron Immortal of that cabal was visible. He was clueless of how often they were around, but just wizinvis, and when we got asked of our opinion of that person, well, I quite simply said I never saw them around. I'm not sure if that was the pertaining factor, but that person never even got squired, which is sad, because they'll squire any newbie under the sun if they at least try. So activeness is #1 in importance. Showing examples of what makes you good for this cabal is another thing? Applying for Warlords? Cream everyone in your range, in duels, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone worth dueling, because dueling a gnome might be fun, and an easy win, but that's not really showing how good you are. Find some dark-knight three levels higher then you, and cream him. Now that's impressive. If you're a Knight or Legion, well, pk evil-doers/light-walkers like mad. Of course, if you're sitting at 35 with 100 pks, and your excuse for the Immortal is "I'm waiting for a reply to my application." It might not go over well, so try to keep this within maintained limits. Chances are by the time you have 60 or so pks you'll get a response, hopefully anyways. Assassin applicants? Eh...I'd have to say while killing people shows you have skill, roleplay counts for a fair bit, and not dying much at all probably counts more then pks. And just a side tip, the best Assassin is the one no one thinks twice about, so friendly facades count for a lot, if they think you're some cheerful spud, they'll not think of you twice. Then you gut them like a fish. Herald applicants should probably focus on roleplaying, activeness, maybe have a few sample pieces written up on a notepad file so you can copy and send them in a note if you're asked for an example of your materials. Justice, activeness is the most important thing, not breaking ethos is obviously an essential too, you see those dumbasses who start yelling or sending you angry tells when you break the law with a different character, because they're a Justice wannabe, and they think berrating people for breaking the law is a good start. Personally, I think that's just stupid and pointless, at best someone says "Glad to see you respect the law so much." More likely some guy with a Justice alt will say, "What a dumb spaz, he's grating my nerves to hell." Mystics Who? Yeah. 'nuff said true believers.

6. Handling an interview can sometimes make you nervous, but hey, it's just a game, so simmer down. First thing to do, is review your application yourself, and any points you briefly mentioned, be sure you can go into detailed mention of them at a moments notice. My last cabal interview as of the time of this essay was with an Imm who asked more questions then most of them do, so I sorta tripped and fumbled with the ball for a second. Which is where thinking quick on your feet comes in handy. But for those who aren't as fast thinking as others, think out your application, maybe even write out the details briefly on a notepad file to alt-tab between during the interview, so you can throw out answers steadily, so it sounds like you know what you're talking about. And you should know what you're talking about, because your character better damn well know who he/she is and what his/her life has been like. If it's Immortal giving the interview, and he's wizinvis, don't ask him/her to show themselves, you can assume if they're giving you the interview, that it's the Patron Immortal of that cabal, and that if it's not, it's probably another Immortal who's doing the interview because you're not around at the same time as the Immortal who runs that cabal. If it's a mortal leader of the cabal, give them a nice little bow or something equally respectful, call them sir, or whatever. Even if you don't like the character, or your character plans to eventually kill that leader and take control of that cabal for yourself, being polite usually works best, because you won't be mortal leader if you can't even get into the cabal. Though maybe you want to be borderline offensive with your Legionairre, it really is up to you, but this remember, is a guideline for new players, so stick with what you can pull off the easiest. Answer questions promptly, without hesitance (Unless your character is hesitant of course), and make them as detailed as they are expected to be. You might not get inducted right away, they might say that's all for now, or something else, this is fine, sometimes if they're not sure about you, or want to test your resolve, they might let you dangle. Stick with your guns, keep the attitude up, and cross your fingers, because if you did everything right, they'll contact you again eventually.

7. Passing any cabal tests can be nerve wracking too. Beat this dude in a duel, because the interviewer has noticed he's always whipped you in the past? Well, try your best, don't just throw yourself at the guy and spam trip. Think smart, play smart, run around, utilizing essays on pking, lag, and use of the ticks, try to wear him out and run him to the ground. Berserkers healer faster then warriors, so if you're that, run around, sleep up, drag that warrior slowly but surely down, if you're a warrior, well, keep the berserker awake, always dog him, keep him blinded, yadda yadda. This is how to get into a cabal, not how to win a pk fight, but don't just give up before the fight, show effort, show intuition and insight, and you might get a C+ for effort, and that's still a passing grade. Maybe you'll be required to submit that article(which I mentioned earlier) to Heralds, to get into the Herald cabal. Well, do so, and remember, poetry is fine, but anyone can make a silly poem. Try doing some creative writing article on the ongoing feud between Legion and Knights, or something else. Because in the end, it's the most creative work that's given props. Justice might require you to know the area of what a creature, or a room name is, hopefully you know your areas, or have automapped all of them and can do a quick search through the mapped area and find the room name and the area it's in, uh, though thats cheating. *Cough* Yeah, well, life is full of cheating bastards, and you're just one of many. Legion might require you to have mudsex with the Cabal Imm...just kidding. Or am I?.... They'd have some test for you too though. Knights, well, being squired and surviving and notching the old blade with pks is your test, and its a damn long test usually too. Assassins? Might give you a target to eliminate for them to decide if you're good enough. Or they might just induct you and let your first few weeks be your test, not sure. Mystics? You lost me there, what're those again? Yeah.

8. Handling acceptance or dismissal, well, it's about attitude again. Being let in, first thing to do is say something appropriate to the interviewer, or interviewers, you decide what your character would say that would be appropriate. A favorite of mine was always "Well...YES! Victory will be mine! Bwahaha!" You might want to be a bit more reserved with "Thank you, I shall serve/perform well, and show that I am worthy of the honor." or some other dumb line. Eh, don't say, "Alright, cool, so what's everyones contact information for msn/icq/aim? We're gonna make this cabal gangbang central! Booyah!" Uh, that'll ruin the efforts of the last however long you spent training the character and waiting for them to get inducted. Getting refused? Well, if you're evil, something like "You won't get the chance to live to regret this!" is fitting. Though maybe goods and neutrals should be more graceful and conserved. "I understand then, good day to you." But this, "You damn dirty apes! My alts are so going to take your cabal members out, and you'll rue this day! RUE!" isn't a good idea, nope, not at all. Because the second you tried to do it with an alt the Imms would be over your ass for doing it for non-rp reasons. Another thing to remember is, deleting the character once he gets refused is a big waste of time. It's easier to level them to 50 and take out some of those pent up frustrations about rejection on the people who gave you the thumbs down. Uh, though attacking Knights with a good align probably isn't a good idea. But I'd do it with a neutral or evil! Because it'd be Oh so satisfying. And if your character is trained, he'll do just as well not in a cabal as he would being in a cabal. And deleting well trained characters is just a waste of time. Be a man about it. I'd say be a woman about it, but we all know women take rejection badly, and there answer would be suicide in this case. So yeah, be a man about it.

I think this covers the basics. Eh, if necessary I'll do a edited version of this in the future as deemed necessary, if you're still struggling with ideas and what not, do what you seem to think works best, your first choice is always your best and what not. Unless you're a dumbass. In which case Why did you even bother reading this? You're hopelessly screwed no matter how much effort you put into trying. I could make, train, apply, and get inducted with a character, and then give it over to you, and the second you logged it in, it'd internally combust and be destroyed, because you're that bad. But I'm sure this isn't the case.