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Pro-fun Troll Hoedown here!

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The Pro-Fun Troll Hoedown (All welcome)
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There are a lot of words here. If you want to skip the history and philosophy, and just get to the basics on how this community works, logistically, skip to the orange bits.

"Driving through a quiet suburban neighborhood one warm May evening, you notice the road ahead is lined with cars of all sizes and shapes. Slowing down for a closer look, you notice that the licence plates are from all over America, Canada, even England and Australia. Oddly, squeezed in between the cars, stand British police boxes, grandfather clocks, pipe organs, and even free-standing doors.

“What the hell is going on, here?” you mutter. ...

So began the very first "Pro-Fun Troll Hoedown," May 24, 2000, on rec.arts.drwho, an online newsgroup dedicated to the odd, long-since cancelled, British science-fiction television program called Doctor Who.

It began as a simple experiment, to see if an invitation to a party could distract us from the fannish arguments and flamewars that plague so many Internet fora. It ended up as a wild romp where we saved all of cyberspace from the clutches of the Black Guardian, and redeemed the Doctor's evil doppleganger, the Valeyard, with a massive tickle attack. We also had so much fun that we came back, a year later, and did it again, and again, and again: once more on rec.arts.drwho, and twice on alt.drwho.creative.

Each year, the stories got bigger, the plots got twistier, and the guest lists got longer, including (but not limited to) cross-overs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Terry Pratchet's Discworld series, the King Arthur sagas, and, of course, all of the Doctor's regenerations and attendent companions.

Finally, the Hoedowns got too big and we all got exhausted; the Pro-Fun Trolls went into hibernation. But now, Doctor Who is back, shinier than ever, so the Pro-Fun Trolls have decided it's time to stock up on bowls of cheesy puffs, polish the dancing floor, hang the streamers and blow up the balloons. It's party time!

No one knows what will happen once the party starts, but it's a safe bet that we will save one universe or another from unspeakable evil, and manage to duck along home before the neighbors get a chance to complain about our ruckus.

Wait a minute... the what kind of trolls, now?

Pro-Fun Trolls. Just like their infamous cousins, the Nasty Trolls, Pro-fun Trolls attempt to bring lurkers and newbies into the open by posting provocative messages. Unlike their Nasty Troll cousins, however, Pro-Fun Trolls try to provoke laughter rather than argument. We believe that everyone is smart about something, and we try to provide oportunities for those smarts to shine.

In our forum discussions, we praise what we enjoy before criticizing what we don't. When we do criticise something, we give our reasons, avoiding words like "Sucks!" "Stupid!" and "Cr@p!" When the Nasty Trolls try to throw rocks at us, we simply incorporate those rocks into the Zen garden we've got going in the back.

At our Hoedowns, we welocome all comers, from whatever fandoms they enjoy -- usually from the realms of sci-fi and fantasy, but we've had completely orininal characters and historical people show up, too. Puns, wordplay and unlikely plot twists abound. Our "bad guys" usually end up being redeamed rather than beaten down. When it comes time to do battle, a well aimed banana cream pie is much preferred over a death ray or bomb.

So how does this all work?

Our stories are chaos, more or less, and past experience has taught us that "more" is better. Each story begins pretty much the same way, with the fictional "You" stumbling upon the party, already in progess. After that, it's open season, and no one can predict exactly what will happen.

All the authors bring a character (or gang of characters) to the party. Some are avatars of their real life selves, some are original, and some are favorite fictional characters. And often, authors mix it up.

We take turns writing a brief scene (usually no more than a few paragraphs) from the point of view of one of our own characters (taking over another author's character is considered bad form). The plot develops (or not) as the other authors respond, and add their own scenes.

Here are some things that will keep the chaos to a sane level (barely):
  • Post as yourself, rather than create a new user account for each character (this is particularly important for those who bring many characters to the party). The Hoedown is more like a Round Robin, in this way, than it is an RPG (though, actually, it's a bit of a hybrid).

  • If you want to write an extention of an ongoing scene (such as in the beginning, when guests are just starting to arrive), or want to give an alternate point of veiw to a scene, then please add your bit as an comment to an existing post.

  • But if an idea pops into your head that could take the story in a new direction (such as finding a hidden door that no one knew was there, or discovering that the punch you just sipped has been spiked, and you are now transformed into a 7-foot purple bunny rabbit with green webbed feet), then please post your idea as a new entry. This will be particularly helpful when (no 'ifs' about it) the hoedowners split up, and start having seperate adventures.

  • And for the sake of those who have tardis_hoedown on their friends lists, please be considerate, and put longish posts behind a cut. Thank you.

If you decide to join in, you are free to choose your own level of participation. You can write a single, fly-by scene and disapear into the crowd, plant your characters at the bar, spending the whole party getting sloshed, or you can join the band of adventurers and engage the Unspeakable Evil in hand-to-ticklefeather combat; it's entirely up to you. No one will assign you chapters or scenes to write.

As you can imagine, this method of storytelling, even when it's confined to a single thread on a newsgroup, leads to a rather nonlinear plotline, with many alternate realities going on at the same time. In fictional time, the adventures all take place during the course of one night. But in real time, the stories can take several months to unfold. If you're looking for logic, or a well-polished work of narrative art, you would do better to look elsewhere. But if you want to kick off your shoes, let your hair down, and boogie till the sun comes up, than you are one of us!

Some things to remember:
  • That sign out front is for real. All really are welcome. But our hostess claims the right to bounce any Nasty Trolls that try to disrupt our fun. Annonymous postings will be screened, and rude or insulting words will not make it past the foyer.

  • Pro-Fun Troll Hoedowns are all about play, but there are no "Winners" or "Losers." Plot twists that can be resolved by any or all of the participants are a lot more fun than those which only your own character can get us out of. You don't get any superhero points at the end.

  • Things are going to get chaotic around here. To keep things from getting too chaotic, please post story scenes only. If you have a question about the plot, or just want to chat with fellow Hoedown writers, please take those discussions over to our support community, pro_fun.

  • This is, first and foremost, a community of Doctor Who fans, and the Doctor's history will play at least some role in the unfolding of our plot. You can expect spoilers, for both the "classic" and "new" Who. If this kind of thing upsets you, look elsewhere.

  • But we will also depart from Doctor Who canon at will. Fasten your seatbelts, and be prepared for sudden left-hand turns.

  • Even if you know nothing at all about Doctor Who, you are still welcome, as long as you embrace the spirit of Pro-Fun Trolldom, Grasshopper.

Meet your hosts.

(all characters of this community's maintainer, capriuni)

The Pro-Fun Trolls:

Eloise: Raised by a family of Nasty trolls, Eloise ran away from home at an early age, and lived alone for a long time. Then, one day, a mysterious TARDIS with no pilot materialized beside her bridge. The TARDIS became her new friend and her new home, and took her on many adventures, during which Eloise met the Doctor. She started the tradition of Pro-Fun Hoedowns, plays the fiddle at the opening dance, and tries her best to make sure the party goes smoothly. She never leaves home without her birthday hat because, as she says: "Everyday is somebody's birthday!"

Walter Duncan: This is the very first person her TARDIS took Eloise to meet. He's an elder Pro-Fun Troll, well-versed in ancient troll magics and keeper of his clan's lore. He lives deep in the shadowy reaches of the forest, but he always makes time to help Eloise with her Hoedowns every year, using his magic skills to ensure that the buffet tables are well stocked with the guests' favorite foods. You can work up a mighty appitite saving the universe!

Ruthie: Walter Duncan's youngest cousin. She loves Eloise, and one year, declared herself to be "Deputy Hostess." Eloise is glad she did. The Hoedowns can get pretty crazy, and extra pairs of eyes and ears are always a blessing.

Florestandrezoreptrizon (a.k.a. "Florestan" and "Estandre"): The TARDIS's original Time Lord pilot. He's from relatively early in Gallifrey's history, when the founding of the Time Lords was still more history than legend. He became trapped between regenerations at the edge of a black hole's singularity for several milennia. The Pro-Fun Hoedowners rescued him by accident a few years ago. He's still trying to get his bearings.

The TARDIS: Eloise and her friends call her "Sweetheart;" her pilot calls her "Beloved," but by any name, she's a very special ship. In her most common guise, she appears to be a modest suburban ranch house from the outside. The main room inside is usually either an oversized barn, or a grand, gold and marble ballroom, depending on her mood, and and the tone of the party. Sweetheart can use her chameleon circuit to take the form of living creatures, whether that's a team of circus horses, a baby dragon, or an archer-maiden of the greenwood. And when she does, she thinks and communicates like each of these creatures as well. As far as anyone can tell, this is a unique ability among TARDISes.

If you like this community, you may also like these:

pro_fun (tardis_hoedown's support community), dwcanon_fodder (no question too trivial, no answer too convoluted), curse_of_meta (Where the theorizing about the Doctor Who universe gets hard-core), thistimeround (the pub outside continuity, where Doctor Who characters go to unwind)
crossovers, doctor who, doctor's companions, fan fiction, fanboys, fangirls, fictiverses, fiddle and banjo tunes, filk songs, getting home safely, gods and goddesses, history, hoedowns, knotty plots, mad adventures, muses, old british police boxes, peaceful solutions, philosophy, plots that wobble, pro-fun trolling, psuedo-science, puns, redeeming bad guys, renegade timelords, round robins, sets that wobble, silliness, space-time travel, technobabble, tickling the nasty trolls, timelords, typo gremlins, wordplay