Welcoming New Members

From Wikipedia of the Dark Brotherhood, an online Star Wars Club

Welcoming New Members ( .pdf | .doc | .rtf )

Readers learn the basics of the Dark Fury assignment process and get a crash course on initiating first-contact with both Initiates that plan to join one's clan and how to help these new members make the transition to a clan atmosphere once they pass the Shadow Academy#Membership.


Who will replace you when you leave your command post? Who will ascend to the Dark Council after its current members go into retirement? To answer these questions, we must look to the future generation of members. How you choose to welcome and communicate with these members has a very large impact on how successful they will be within the Brotherhood and how long they will serve as Dark Jedi. It is important to realize that your efforts alone may determine how many of those new members will reply to e-mails, earn their early promotions, or even become good leaders. Each apprentice must be treated as an individual that deserves your attention. That new group of apprentices isn’t a mass of potential members that are AWOL – it’s a mass of potential Dark Jedi Masters. Only you hold the keys to unlocking their destiny.

We all had mentors during the beginnings of our time in the Brotherhood. Some of us are fortunate enough to continue these relationships to this day. We owe it to the new members of the Brotherhood to improve upon our nascent experiences and provide these future aspirant Dark Jedi Knights with an atmosphere of activity, communication, and information. Treat them as brothers. The sum total of your tutelage may one day secure their destiny as a pillar of the Brotherhood of Dark Jedi…


When you are assigned a new member, you must contact that Apprentice as soon as possible. In the case of new member transfers, the Consul, Proconsul, Quaestor, Aedile, and Rollmaster all are notified via e-mail from the database. While all of these leaders are included in the initial transfer e-mail, it is important to realize that each one should not go off and write his own personalized welcome letter. Doing so would only swamp the new Apprentice with too much e-mail – most of which will be redundant. The Clan and House summit should decide who will contact new members. The summits must also coordinate their efforts with the envoys of the clan who are also responsible for mentoring new members. Realize that the Envoys will be contacting new members. Inform them of your expectations and goals as a House or Clan leader. In the welcome e-mail, you receive the member’s PIN, Name, Rank, and e-mail address – oftentimes this is the only information you will have access to.

2.A—Method: E-Mail Basics

Preselected summits should e-mail the new member when notified of his arrival:

  • We suggest that you simply “reply to all” on the database e-mail. If you reply to this thread, the subject: “Dark Brotherhood – Clan Assignment” stays the same, and the guy might think that you (while having a foreign address) are just another guy from the Brotherhood that’s e-mailing him. If you had sent out a separate e-mail with a vague subject like “Welcome,” the member could identify it as being a new e-mail from an unknown source – perhaps a source that is not even associated with the Brotherhood. If you choose to write your own e-mail, be sure you use a specific subject that also includes the name of our club… perhaps “Dark Brotherhood: Welcome Apprentice Blah” or “Dark Brotherhood: Welcome to Clan Blah,” or something similar.
  • Also, “Reply to all” ensures that all of the necessary leadership is included in the e-mail – i.e. the Consul, Proconsul, Quaestor, Aedile, and Rollmaster. You should also consider copying the Clan Envoy and House Envoy on the e-mail if they are not already included. While everyone’s e-mail load is increased, it is important that everyone is made aware of the attempts at contacting new members. Including everyone lets the leadership know proper steps are being taken to contact new members in a prompt manner.
  • Who should welcome new members? Ideally, at least two or three people need to welcome new members (in addition to the clan/house envoy(s)). At least one person from the House Summit and one member from the Clan summit should do the welcoming. New members should be exposed to several members of their clan. One new apprentice could better identify and converse with the CON while a different apprentice might better interact with his QUA. Also, just because the house/clan envoys are e-mailing new members as well, it does not excuse the house and clan summit from also welcoming them. It is important, however, that the clan and house summits make it very clear who has the duty of welcoming new members – either by regular meetings or by clan documents which indicate who has which responsibilities. To be as timely as possible, it is helpful to share the duties of welcome and follow-up e-mails as one person may be more available at certain times. Should one of these delegates fail to perform their welcoming duties, the other member can take over. If chronic dereliction in welcoming/following-up occurs, other action may need to be taken. Welcoming new members and retaining their presence within the clan is the number one priority of ANY leader within the house and clan summit. Failing to perform this duty is a disservice to your clan and to the Brotherhood.

2.B—Method: E-Mail Content

Consider including some of the following in your initial welcome e-mail and some in your follow-up e-mails. Each summit has different priorities and expectations for such e-mails. Be certain that your Envoys are aware of these expectations as they will be sharing the duties of first-contact.

  • The first e-mail should address the member directly, by name. If his dossier contains additional information, try to use this information to write your e-mail and appeal to his interests. If there is no such information, you will want to ask appropriate questions in your e-mail to discover his interests. You must construct this e-mail to be both a source of basic information and a method of gaining more information about the member. Consider including the following in your e-mail:
    • Basic information like what clan and house he is in, who his direct superiors are and how to contact each
    • A link to the IRC guide, description of what IRC is, the purpose of IRC, and the benefits of using IRC.
    • Links to house/clan websites and possible “new member” guides, if they exist within your clan
    • Links to important sites like the DB site, Dark Side Compendium, competition websites, or other websites you feel to be equally important.
    • Questions about alternate contact information. Does he use Yahoo, MSN, AIM, or anything else?
    • Questions about what SW PC games the member owns and plays.
    • Questions about what the member’s interests are as a Dark Jedi. Does he like writing, gaming, etc.
    • A short list and description of things that the member can participate in and what the incentives for participating are – i.e. promotions, awards, etc.
    • A description of what the member can do, immediately, to earn his first promotions or awards. Consider assignments which cultivate his connection to you and the clan. Avoid relying entirely on the Shadow Academy to advance your new Apprentice.
    • A link to clan/house promotion guidelines (if your clan has guidelines like this).

2.C—Method: Follow-Up E-Mails

So your new member replied… Now what? Follow-up e-mails are just as important as your initial welcome e-mails.

  • Should your new apprentice reply to you, it is extremely important that you follow-up with a reply of your own in a timely manner. You need to keep the flow of information maximized early on. Let your new member know, by your actions and speed of reply, that you are interested in him, his success, and his continuing presence as a member of your clan.
  • New apprentices can formulate a wide variety of replies, some of which may be in no way related to your initial e-mail. While you want to maintain the new member’s interest, it is also your responsibility to help direct his attention and ambitions toward something that will solidify his connection with you and your clan.
  • What if your new member doesn’t reply? The response is the same…continue to e-mail him. You want to keep this guy around. Sending him plenty of e-mails lets him know you are interested in talking to him. Send a new e-mail every couple of days to maintain contact. You are guaranteed to lose new members the second you stop trying to contact them. Your primary goal as a leader is to retain your membership – not to lose it. Do not be discouraged by a lack of reply. Keep trying. If you can’t make contact, see if someone else can. Again, if people stop trying to make contact, you will lose your new apprentice – what a waste that would be! Be certain you make every effort to stay in contact. Note, however, that some new members may interpret your attempts at contact instead as consistent, annoying, pestering spam. This will be a small minority, so it may be a price worth paying, knowing that most will welcome your efforts at contact.
  • Remember, follow-up e-mails can just be an extension of welcome e-mails. You may choose to create a standard follow-up e-mail that discusses only IRC since it is a rather important part of any DB member’s path to success. Almost everyone that is active in the Brotherhood uses IRC. It’s no coincidence that people who find IRC are productive members of the Brotherhood.
  • Consider the following array of e-mails: Your first e-mail, the welcome e-mail, could be a simple introduction and referral to IRC. A second e-mail sent a couple days later, a follow-up e-mail, could discuss the structure of the apprentice’s house and clan, and their function. A third e-mail, another follow-up sent another day or two afterwards, could discuss activity and earning promotions and awards.
  • Remember the Master/Apprentice program. Your apprentice may be interested in establishing a more formal relationship with a mentor who will help to familiarize them with the Brotherhood and who will guide the apprentice toward knighthood. This may serve as another way of opening the new member to new contacts or even showing the apprentice that there are programs available designed specifically to elevate and award new members.
  • Giving up? There comes a time when no matter how much effort you and others put into contacting the new apprentice you have to admit that in this instance it has been futile. This is when it is useful to accept the loss of a new member and move on. Generally, if the leadership has been active in contacting new membership and there has been no reply from the new member after at least 5 e-mails from at least two different people, it is acceptable to e-mail the MAA Staff and report the member as being AWOL after a couple weeks of being in the clan.

2.D—Method: E-Mail “Sanity” Checklist

Read these before you send off your welcome e-mail:

  • When composing your e-mail, be sure to remember that you are talking to an Apprentice who has no clue about the infrastructure of the club, the various shorthand lingoes we use, or any number of other things. Avoid abbreviations in any of the first welcome or follow-up e-mails – if you do, keep it to a minimum and be sure to put the actual written-out meaning next to the abbreviation.
  • Use the appropriate tone when writing the welcome and follow-up e-mails. Don’t automatically demand subservience if you’re an Epis – the new member likely doesn’t understand what that means. Use a personal/casual tone. Being too formal may limit your member’s willingness to accept and reply to information you offer or may make you seem egotistical and power-hungry. It is useful, however, to establish good habits like <bow> (or other appropriate gestures) and the use of ID lines.
  • If your welcome e-mail is pages and pages long, you need to shorten it. Keep it simple. Your new member is more likely to read a concise e-mail than a novel which he will likely not understand. Delete frivolous parts of the e-mail. Make them feel like a Dark Jedi – but don’t make them read too much. It is VERY useful to split up your welcome e-mails into several parts. Consider giving the new member only the most basic information in your first e-mail. Follow-up the next day with some different information and then maybe a third e-mail later on with even more information. Your new apprentice is more likely to read short installments than he is to read entire manuals.
  • ALWAYS try to sell the Brotherhood to your new Apprentice – they may try to learn more if they like what they hear. Describe something that’s awesome in both your e-mail and via chat should you establish real-time contact! Remember to show interest in your new apprentice and his needs.
  • Concentrate on finding ways of communicating with your new apprentice. Rely on communication media that the new member is familiar with (i.e. MSN/AIM/Yahoo) if he is not immediately willing to find out how to use IRC. Remember, however, that the ultimate goal is IRC. We all know that when new members discover IRC, the world that is the Brotherhood is opened up to them and their future careers are more easily secured. SELL IRC TO THEM. I can’t stress that enough.
  • You MUST make yourself available to new members. You will become one of their mentors. Set up times to chat or play games.

2.E—Method: Coordinating With Envoys

Be certain that you coordinate your attempts to contact your new member with the envoy that was assigned via Dark Fury. Your envoy may or may not have made contact while trying to get the member to pass the Test of Lore. If the envoy did make contact, you would do well to obtain any information about the new member through this envoy and share information that you gather with the envoy. Be certain to remember that the envoy is another official contact of the new member. Dark Fury was designed to bring the clan to the new members of the Brotherhood. The envoy should continue his own independent efforts at making first contact. It is possible that the envoy may have made a strong contact with the new member already. Use this to your advantage and be certain that you communicate with the Envoy to try and integrate the new member with your Clan. As a team, you may be more likely to secure the future activity of this member while exchanging information. Try to maintain contact with everyone that has contacted the new member. This may provide you with additional information when composing your welcome e-mail and follow-up e-mails. It would be more useful to know what has already been conveyed to the new member so that you do not repeat unnecessary information. If you do repeat information, be sure it is done only to emphasize very important aspects of the Brotherhood – like IRC. Be sure, however, that you do not unnecessarily repeat information already given out by other house/clan summits or the Envoys. Do not flood new members with the same information. Be sure you coordinate efforts at contact with all of the summits and Envoys involved. Act as a contact who can offer the new member something important that he has not yet heard. Also, you may choose to inform the member of the master/apprentice program via the envoy instead of via the house and Clan Summit.


Retaining your new members is one of the most important tasks that you as a leader can perform. Your efforts will ensure that you are looking out for the future activity of your clan. Your mentorship may create the vital connection that convinces the new gamer that this club is about more than just ranks and medals but is also about forming friendships and serving something greater than their own ID line. Your efforts as a leader will cultivate their ambition as a Dark Jedi and may even one day make them want to aspire to learn the ways of command. You are ensuring that your clan will have future leaders who can replace you when the day comes for you to resign or move on elsewhere within the Brotherhood.

4—Sample E-Mails

4.A—Sample: Welcome E-Mail

To: blahblah@blah.com CC: GM, DGM, MAA, (SHW/OHC/KHP), CON, PCON, QUA, AED, RM, Clan Envoy, House Envoy Subject: Re: Dark Brotherhood – Clan Assignment

<bow> Apprentice Xavier Andronicus –

Welcome to the Dark Brotherhood! You have just joined one of the largest Star Wars organizations on the internet. In your search for the ultimate darkness, you joined Clan Blah, one of the most active and successful clans of the Brotherhood. We recently ranked first in the Obelisk Rite of Supremacy, earning a great name for our clan and establishing our reign over the other inferior clans. However, this is just a taste of our many accomplishments. To learn more about our clan’s achievements visit http://www.clansite.com.

I am Dark Side Adept Pyralis, your Proconsul – the second in command of Clan Blah. You can reach me at lordpyralis@gmail.com. I am one of a few people here to answer any of the questions or concerns you have about our Clan and your experience within the Brotherhood.

Your name is Xavier Andronicus, you are an Apprentice of the Sith Order. Your current ID line is: APP Xavier Andronicus (Sith)/Bleh of Blah You should use your ID line in all e-mails that you send to members of the Brotherhood. This is how we can identify you among the many other members within our clan. You can view your dossier here: http://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/dbjedi/dossier.asp?ID=####

One of the first things you should try doing as a member of Clan Blah is using a chatting program called mIRC. Most of the hundreds of Dark Brotherhood members use this to chat about Star Wars and many other Dark Brotherhood events. It is a great place to meet other clan members, make friendships, and have plenty of other fun. There is an excellent guide on how to use mIRC which you can find in the Chat/IRC guide here: http://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/dbjedi/irc_guide.asp.

By now you are probably wondering what you can do to become a Novice, the next rank above Apprentice. [Insert a short, helpful paragraph on what your clan/house requires for members to earn promotion to NOV.]

If you have any problems, please contact me at lordpyralis@gmail.com or find me on AOL Instant Messenger at screenname: lordpyralis. You can also contact me on MSN by searching for quentinj@nmt.edu or on Yahoo by searching for: lordpyralis. Remember, using IRC and staying in contact with the House Summit is the first step toward achieving glory, promotions, and awards. I look forward to hearing from you, Apprentice Xavier Andronicus. I will be contacting you in a couple days with addition information about our clan.

May darkness guide you, Xavier Andronicus.

<bow> DA Pyralis (Sith)/PCON/Clan Blah

4.B—Sample: Follow-Up E-Mail #1

To: blahblah@blah.com CC: GM, DGM, MAA, (SHW/OHC/KHP), CON, PCON, QUA, AED, RM, Clan Envoy, House Envoy Subject: Re: Dark Brotherhood – Clan Assignment

<bow> Apprentice Xavier Andronicus –

As promised, I thought I would put together some more information about Clan Blah for you.

Clan Blah was established in 1996 by Dark Jedi Master Chuck. Many elders and famous Dark Jedi have since come to our clan and risen to serve on the Dark Council itself. We have a rich history of accomplishments, including winning two of the Great Jedi Wars which test our strength against the other 5 clans of the Brotherhood. We have also won a number of other competitions including [blah blah blah].

Clan Blah continues this legacy today under our Consul, Obelisk Exarch Blaster. You can reach him at blaster@clan.com. Our second in command, the Proconsul, is Dark Adept Pyralis. You can reach me at lordpyralis@gmail.com. These two compose what is called the clan summit, the leadership body that directs the fate of the entire clan. Both are Dark Jedi that you will come to know as you stay in Clan Blah. If you ever have any questions, their doors are always open.

Clan Blah is the home to two subdivisions called Houses. We have House Bleh and House Meh. You are currently assigned to House Bleh. Houses are lead by Quaestors and assisted by their right-hand assistants Aediles and occasionally by Rollmasters. They consist of what is called the House Summit, the next leadership body below the Consul and Proconsul. You can learn more about Clan Blah at this website: http://www.clansite.com

Your Quaestor is: Sith Warrior Joe (joe@clan.com) Your Aedile is: Dark Jedi Knight Billy (billy@clan.com) Your Rollmaster is: Jedi Hunter Bob (bob@clan.com) The House Summit will be contacting you shortly with more information about House Bleh and the role that you can help play to achieve personal glory and honor for your House. The House Summit organizes competitions for you to compete in and oversees your progress within House Bleh. They are the leadership body that will watch over your progress within the Clan and award you promotions and medals for your activity and commitment to Clan Blah. Like the clan summit, they are always available to assist you with any questions you might have. You can learn more about House Bleh here: http://www.clansite.com/housebleh

(Talk more about the house or clan here). In the near future, I will e-mail you with some information on what you can do to earn promotions and medals and what you can do to compete for supremacy above the other Dark Jedi in Clan Blah.

May darkness guide you, Xavier Andronicus.

<bow> DA Pyralis (Sith)/PCON/Clan Blah

4.C—Sample: Follow-Up E-Mail #2

To: blahblah@blah.com CC: GM, DGM, MAA, (SHW/OHC/KHP), CON, PCON, QUA, AED, RM, Clan Envoy, House Envoy Subject: Re: Dark Brotherhood – Clan Assignment

<bow> Apprentice Xavier Andronicus –

There are many ranks and awards available to members of the Brotherhood. To earn them, you have to prove to your leaders that you have done enough to achieve the greater powers afforded to members of higher rank. Earning rank elevations is not a very difficult task to accomplish when you know what to do. So, I figured I’d let you in on some tips to keep in mind if you’d like to advance within the Dark Brotherhood.

Clan Blah has a system of guidelines for new members that join and seek greater powers. These guidelines outline what is necessary to advance to the next rank. We provide a list of goals for Apprentices, Novices, Acolytes, and Protectors seeking promotion. If you complete these goals as prescribed, you can easily advance to the next rank. You can view these guidelines here: http://www.clan.com/guidelines.htm (or, simply choose to make a brief outline of what is necessary to achieve each rank instead of referencing a webpage – you could even discuss the basic rank and medal structure of the Brotherhood.)

As an overview, all you really need to do is come on mIRC, play in house- or clan-sponsored competitions, play in multiplayer gaming events, make friends, and have fun. If you do all of this, you are well on your way toward achieving rank, awards, and greater prestige within the Brotherhood.

You may also be interested having a Master assigned to you. Similar to the Master/Apprentice relationship you find in the original Star Wars movies, a Master in the Brotherhood guides his Apprentice along the way toward becoming a Dark Jedi Knight. Under the teachings of the Master, Apprentices are given a set of Dark Jedi Trials – assignments which teach and test an Apprentice’s endurance and strength within the hierarchy of the Dark Brotherhood. The bond formed between Master and Apprentice often lasts long after the Apprentice has earned the rank of Dark Jedi Knight. It is a bond of friendship which can last for years. If you are interested in getting a Master to help you achieve your destiny as a powerful Dark Jedi, e-mail Clan Blah’s envoy – Krath Pontifex Sarah (sarah@clan.com).

May darkness guide you, Xavier Andronicus.

<bow> DA Pyralis (Sith)/PCON/Clan Blah