The "Guides and Information" section provides everything you need to know about HAU, but sometimes potential members have a few specific questions used determine if they want to join or not. Here we've created a list of simple and to-the-point answers to the most common criteria or preferences people have when looking for a HP roleplay.
If you decide to join, and we sincerely hope you do, the full details can be found in the Rules or our various helpful guides. We encourage members and guests to reply to this thread with any make-or-break questions that aren't included.
Is this liquid time?
The flexible time scheme known as "liquid / fluid time" refers to the ability to roleplay a character in multiple threads and locations at the same time.
On HAU, classes and free time can be posted simultaneously. Your character's Sorting Ceremony exists outside of current RPG time, as it likely occurred in their past. However, due to the story and character progression experience, HAU as a whole does not subscribe to liquid time. Your character cannot be in two places at once, and we follow a general schedule for day / night cycle, classes, Quidditch, events, and more. Your character has a lot of freedom, and many ways to keep busy, but must leave a location before moving to another.
Can I play an adult?
Yes, but not right away.
To ensure everyone has the same fair opportunities, new characters are always students. We currently have 2nd, 4th, and 5th years open. When the RPG year changes, so does their age / year etc.
Their time at Hogwarts determines their future, skills, careers, and role in the story. They become adults after graduation, though starting as a 5th year will get you there faster if you prefer adult characters. We haven't reached the point where students have graduated, which is why there's only NPC adults on site so far.
What's the word count?
There's no exact word count on HAU. We have a preferred guideline of roughly 5 - 7 sentences per post to ensure there's something to respond to, but anything longer is a matter of preference or how immersed you want to be in the story.
When is this set?
There's no specified year, but it's set in the early 2000s. It's an original era of our own creation, not a period focused on in canon or that's common among other RPGs.
Are there canon characters?
Hogwarts AU is inspired by canon but exists as its own version of Hogwarts and the Wizarding world. Harry Potter, Voldemort, and various events of the books / movies don't exist. Every student on HAU is created by members or staff.
Your character cannot be a Malfoy, Potter, Lovegood, or otherwise. Your character's journey and their impact on the story are entirely in your hands. The only canon characters are a few chosen NPC Hogwarts staff such as Professor Snape, Hagrid, Filch, etc.
Is it one account per member or per character?
Each character requires its own account. It greatly improves the efficiency of HAU -- being able to keep track of skill exp, items, pets, brooms, who's in what house, and so on. Without this requirement, HAU and its features cannot function as intended. There is an easy switch account button on the bottom right corner that doesn't require logging in / out again each time.
How may characters can I have?
A new member starts with 1 character, known as their "main" character. There's a post count requirement for requesting additional characters, which is quite easy to achieve. Each member can have a maximum of 3 or 4 Hogwarts-age characters. Graduated / adult characters are unlimited, so long as you can handle whichever number of total characters you choose.
Is there an activity check?
We completely understand that everyone has a different roleplaying pace or real-world schedule / free time. Being active is important, but your account won't be in danger if something urgent comes up and you can't post for a week or around a specific date.
Our main rule is if you haven't posted as a character for 4 months, and we haven't heard from you regarding it, then that character will be considered for removal. Dormitory spaces are limited, and we prefer our member count to be an accurate representation. Even if an inactive character's removed, their bio and Sorting are archived (not deleted).
What sort of character can I make?
HAU encourages creativity and for members to create the character journey / story they want to. However, the nature of our RPG requires some realism to it -- such as characters who are balanced, have flaws, and are still figuring things out. How their skills progress over time depends on what focus / goals you give them. Having a talent in combat gives a boost but does not make them a master duellist; it's still something they have to learn.
Being halfblood cannot include a non-human species such veela, werewolf, vampires, or otherwise. Some rare cases may allow an additional character to have those unique genetics, but it's usually pre-plotted in advance with staff. Though possible, there are no guarantees.
Your character can be interesting and fun without having a deeply tragic past, special abilities, being highly intelligent, or have a personal vendetta to give them an edge. Sometimes it suits them, but most times there's nothing wrong with being an ordinary kid / teenager when you start out. It's their journey and character development that shapes who they become.
Can my character be gay, non-binary, transgender etc?
HAU is diverse and accepting, as a community and built into our RPG. You can create a character who's LGBTQ+ the same way as creating one who isn't -- without limitations or being excluded from anything. Though non-binary Hogwarts students are, unfortunately, assigned a gendered dormitory for RPG technical reasons.
Gender plays no role in who your character can marry, if they're eligible to become a Prefect, or any career etc opportunities available to them. HAU is, and will always be, a safe space. Unlike JKR and the source material, we do not discriminate.
Is HAU active?
Yes, we're very active both on site and in our community on Discord. With the Covid situation, BLM movement, and other events in the world today or that arose in our personal lives, we'd slowed the progression of RPG time to help those struggling with the extra stress, though we were still posting on a regular basis. That adjustment is why it may seem as if we haven't made a lot of RPG progress, for a site that's been open for three years.
However, we've since returned to our normal, actively-progressing pace as of late 2021.
What are the members like?
HAU staff are online daily in our Discord and on site. We're always around if you have any questions or need help with something. Our lovely members are friendly and happy to help as well. We enjoy roleplaying together but also just hanging out and supporting each other. Many life-long friendships have come from here.
Community is at the heart of HAU. We believe in creating a safe, drama-free, and enjoyable experience. A place where we can escape the stresses of the real world, immersing ourselves in a Hogwarts story where everyone has a role to play. Apart from a few additional character allowances (when necessary), staff are on the same footing as other members -- no extra privileges or exceptions to the rules. HAU's standard applies to everyone.