Society for Interactive Literature West

Starfire | Messages | Letter | Galaxy | Rules


Pre-Game Letter

Dear Player,

Welcome to Starfire.
This letter is the precursor to what you really want: your character hint. However, we really want you to read the rest of this letter first -- we have lots of other important information for you -- so just hang on a few more minutes.

Where we'll be:
We have the Napa Rooms in the Santa Clara Westin for the entire weekend. The Control Room will be set up in a corner of the room,leaving the remainder free as the Starfire's VIP Lounge. The hotel staff have also encouraged us to lounge around in the public areas on the first floor and the mezzanine, and seem quite happy about polite weird people in funny costumes (ordering food in the cafe will no doubt encourage further good feeling).

When we'll be there:
Your character notebook will be available Friday evening (19 November), starting whenever we get set up, but in no case later than 6pm. We expect to arrive some time in the early afternoon, and would very much appreciate your help getting moved in.

If you'll be late:
Any unclaimed characters will be released to players on the waiting list starting at 9am Saturday morning, so if you're going to be late, please let us know in advance. Before Friday, you can call us at 650-780-0403, or send email to If something comes up on Friday, leave a message for Steve Balzac at the hotel. Cancellations must be received at least 24 hours in advance if you expect a refund. There will be no refunds at the door.

What to tell your friends:
The game is officially full as of this writing (Thank you to everyone who brought in new players and kept reminding their friends to sign up!). If you have friends who want to play, tell them to send us their demographic information and a check for the game fee. We'll put them on the waiting list; if they don't get to play, we'll return the check. This way, they will at least get on our mailing list, ensuring that they will hear about our future games in enough time to sign up early.

If you have not yet sent us an ID photo of yourself, please send it or bring one to the game. We use these pictures on a face board, to help you and our fellow players recognize each other. Any snapshot which shows your face learly and can be trimmed to 2.5" square is fine. Your photo will be kept on ile for future games.

If we have not yet received your payment for the game, we must receive payment before you can receive your packet. If you cannot mail us a check by Monday 15 November, please bring it to the game.

Rules Seminar:
There will be a brief rules seminar Friday evening, starting at 8pm. The main focus of the seminar is to explain how the rules work for most normal situations, but we encourage even experienced players to attend. Please save all your special-case questions for private conversations with the GMs.

For your reading pleasure, we have enclosed a number of documents. The heftiest of these is the rules. While we strongly encourage you to read the rules carefully, we also want to emphasize that the rules are not the game. They exist only to simulate those actions we can't let you do for real. The important parts of the game, your schemes and interactions with other characters, are entirely for real. To help get into the spirit of the game, we have also enclosed a number of other documents providing useful strategy hints and describing the world of Starfire.

Also enclosed is a suggestion sheet for costuming effectively and comfortably, should you wish to come in costume. Thanks very much to Carolyn Kayta Barrows, Master Costumer, who helped us put it together. Please understand that the physical descriptions of the species are not law -- we'll appreciate a creative costume even if you decide to punt the tail, or the extra limbs, and you don't need to get permission from anyone to costume any way you like, or to not costume at all. We're sorry that we can't give you your character hints earlier, to make it easier for you to costume, but we cast the game as early as we possibly can.

As you have probably heard on the mailing list, our block of rooms at the Westin may already be full. If you are looking for somewhere to stay or a ride to the game, post a message on Please remember that playing in the game does not exempt you from the normal rules of real life: please be polite and cooperative with hotel staff, and if you have any requests to make of the hotel (other than things having to do with your own hotel room), please make them through a GM, who will go through the appropriate channels. The GMs reserve the right to sadistically over-react to any rude or otherwise inappropriate behavior.

Why is my hint so short?
Your character notebook will contain much more information about your character, the world, the current situation, and your character's place within it. We understand that it's a lot of reading and that many of the best roleplayers like to have a few weeks to get into character. However, we've found that the game is much more fun for everyone (especially the new players) if everyone starts the game at the same time, on an even footing, so we do not distribute this information before Friday evening. If you have a special need (vision or reading problem, for example) that would make it impossible for you to read your packet and still get to play Friday evening, give us a call and we'll see what we can do.

While we've tried to cast you as closely as possible to what you requested on your casting questionnaire, we were not always able to give you exactly what you asked for. However, we've done our very best to give you something you'll have fun playing for a weekend. Go ahead, be adventurous!

Please understand that it is very difficult for us to reassign castings at this point, and will be impossible once the characters have been handed out. If you really feel, from the information below, that you absolutely cannot play the character you have been given, you must call us immediately, and we'll see what we can do. Don't expect much.

Your character will almost definitely have secrets you don't want to reveal, and they may well be alluded to in this hint. We recommend being very careful about divulging your character hint to anyone until you've actually read your notebook Friday night.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call. We're looking forward to seeing you in Starfire!

Your Gamesmasters:

Steve Balzac
George Cole
Tom Lehmann
Aimee Yermish


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