GrapevineLARP

Home of the Grapevine LARP Administration Utility

Sending Email

Keep your players informed without subsidizing the ink-cartridge industry by sending sheets and reports through e-mail.

About SMTP

Grapevine uses a method of sending e-mail called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Sending e-mail through SMTP requires the internet name or address of a SMTP server, which is a computer whose job it is to route such e-mail messages through the Internet. An SMTP server usually requires a valid username and password to use.

If you pay an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your internet access, it’s likely that you get SMTP service from them. Consult your ISP documentation or contact them directly to find out.

If your computer is set up to use an e-mail program like Outlook, Eudora or Communicator, your SMTP server information may already be specified there. Look for your SMTP settings in these places:

  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 (XP). Under the Tools menu, select E-Mail Accounts. Select View or change existing e-mail accounts, and click Next. Select your e-mail account and click Change.
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 / Outlook Express 5 or 6. Under the Tools menu, select Accounts. Select your e-mail account and click on Properties. Click on theServers tab.
  • Eudora 5.1 and 5.2. Under the Tools menu, select Options. Select Sending Mailunder the category list on the left side.
  • Netscape 7. From the Window menu, select Mail & Newsgroups. Select your account and click View settings for this account in the right-hand pane. Then selectOutgoing Server (SMTP) in the left pane.
  • Netscape 6. Under the Edit menu, select Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings. Click on Outgoing Server (SMTP) in the left side list.
  • Netscape Communicator 4.5 — 4.7. From the Edit menu, select Preferences. Under the Mail & Newsgroups in the left category list, select Mail Servers.

Unfortunately, free web-based e-mail services like Hotmail and Yahoo! usually do not provide SMTP service to their users. If you only get e-mail access through the web — and your ISP doesn’t give you any SMTP service — you will probably be unable to use the e-mail features of Grapevine. Sorry!

E-Mail Setup

Your first step is to supply Grapevine with the SMTP information it can use to send e-mail. You can reach the setup dialog by clicking “E-Mail Setup” from the output window. This dialog will also appear each time you try to send e-mail without having provided valid setup information.

The e-mail setup window requires the following information:

  • SMTP Server. Here, enter the name or IP address of your SMTP Server.
  • SMTP Port. Most servers use port 25.
  • Account E-Mail Address. This is the e-mail address from which you are sending messages.
  • User Name and Password. This is the name and password you use to access your SMTP service: it is usually the same as your e-mail account name and password. Some SMTP servers do not require these at all.

Checkmark the “Remember Password” box to have Grapevine remember your password for future uses of the program on this computer. If it is left unchecked, Grapevine prompts you for this information the first time you send e-mail each time you run the program.

Click the “Test E-Mail Settings” button to send yourself a test e-mail message. It should appear in your e-mail Inbox quickly. Grapevine will alert you to any errors it detects, such as an incorrect username and password.

E-Mail Addressing

After selecting the sheets or reports you want to e-mail, click the “E-Mail” button to open the addressing window. This window allows you to specify exactly who your output will reach, and how it looks when it gets there.

A number of fields appear at the top of this window:

  • Sending. The type of sheets or reports you are sending out.
  • From. The address you are sending from: this is specified in your e-mail setup.
  • Reply To. This is the address that will receive replies to the messages you send.
  • Subject. This is the subject line created for each message. If the tag [Name] appears here, it will be replaced in each message with the name of the character or player whose sheet is being sent.

Below these fields are a number of tabs:

  • Send To, CC, and BCC. These tabs control those two whom the message is sent (and how it is sent), just as with all e-mail. If a checkbox appears labeled “Send to Players of Characters Selected for Output” or “Send to Players Selected for Output,” ensure it is selected to e-mail each individual person the sheets or reports specific to him or her. The list on the left contains other additional recipients chosen from the list at the right. Use the leftward arrow to add an address or group of addresses to the recipients; use the rightward arrow to remove them.
  • Message. Text you type here will be affixed to the beginning of the e-mail message(s) you send.
  • Attachments. Use the “Add” and “Remove” buttons here to attach additional files that will be sent with the message(s).

Double-check all your recipients, message text and attachments before you click “Send.”  Once you do that, Grapevine immediately sends the e-mail — and if you have a large game, that can be a large amount of data.  It’s also disastrous if you send secret information to the wrong people, so take care!