Are there advantages to establishing myself here as a roleplayer?

Definitely! The longer you're active and the more you post on EF, the more you can do in and out of character.

There's a whole category of awards just for length of membership, and a ≈Veterans usergroup that comes with better forum permissions. Members who have been here a while and proven they aren't going anywhere are more likely to be considered for staff and positions of responsibility, and old-timers are more likely to get consent for rare things like Dracovari Lifemates.

You'll also get more roleplay opportunities if you make yourself known by participating around the site and chatting with the other members, and characters that have been around a while and participated in events make a profound impact on the setting.

Can I customise my own avatar/photo/signature graphics or do I have to get a mod to do that for me?

You can edit them for yourself through your User Control Panel.

Please check the Rulebook beforehand, though.

Only ≈Veterans and staff can upload their avatars to EF's webspace, however, so you'll otherwise need to host it yourself on something like Photobucket, Flickr or Imageshack.

Your ad says "open to new ideas". Does this mean members can add to the setting?

Yes, we welcome submissions? to our wiki. Once approved by an admin, your creations will become a canonical part of the Elysia 'verse.

If you'd like to submit something, please read the Submissions? guidelines.

Your ad also says "open to suggestions". Does this mean members get a say in how EF is run?

To a large extent, yes. I will say, just for disclaimer's sake, that EF is my baby and I've worked hard on every front of this game to make it as detailed and realistic as possible, so I will always have the final say.

That said, while I don't always consult the members for little things, I do always try to consider what's best for the site as a whole and this means a lot of polling and feedback threads. I especially try to involve members in the big decisions. In fact, you'll probably get sick of my "I want to know what you're thinkiiiiinggg" topics, but it's all in the name of being fair. (:

How do I arrange times for roleplaying with others?

The beauty of forum-based play-by-post games like EF is that you don't have to be online at any specific time in order to roleplay. Some threads are open (sometimes indefinitely) for you to just jump right on in, and participants make their replies to yours the next time they're online.

It can be more fun if all the participants are online at the same time, of course, since threads move faster that way and you can easily discuss events in the shoutbox, but you can also use the the Plotting Board to recruit.

Can I open my own shop?

Yes! We welcome new member shops (see the How To)! Make sure you've read the market rules first, though.

You can also purchase a custom subforum for your shop from the Prize Shop.