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Tempest Mods ([personal profile] tempestmods) wrote2013-11-17 10:49 pm
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☸ Basic FAQ

So what kind of game is this again?

This is a jamjar-style journal game with a metaplot set to run in fixed “campaigns” of 18 months. At the end of the campaign period, the game’s metaplot and setting will change depending on what happened during the previous campaign. Yes, this means player decisions will have a large impact on the setting and future plot. (Basically, the game is journal-based in format but tabletop in spirit.)

Currently, the game is a science fiction game with mystery and horror elements.

What kind of characters can play?

Anybody fictional can play here-- canon fandom characters, AU characters, characters who have been through another game, original characters. Nobody from real life, please, although fictionalized versions of a real person, such as President Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter are welcome.

A single player can have up to four characters in the game, though they may not app more than one character at a time. (So it would take four months to work up to having a full compliment in-game.) This is because our AC is on the high end and we want to make sure nobody gets overburdened trying to make activity.

Friendly reminder that OC and AU applications will be checked more harshly for internal consistency in characterization and detail in world building, as befits the fact that AU and OC characters are actually pretty hard to pull off well. Check the Applications Page for more details.

As for doubles of a character, we will allow up to three instances of the same character, and each instance of the character must be unique through some kind of AU shenanigans. (No, a simple gender-switch AU is not sufficient. Don’t even ask.) We realize that some canons come with AU timelines built in, but canon AU duplicates still count against the duplicate limit. This limit also includes any clones of particular characters that were created in canon and do not develop into distinct individuals.

For example: Player A wants to play James Tiberius Kirk from just after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Captain Kirk from the 2009 Star Trek reboot ‘verse is already in the game. There is also a James Tiberius Kirk from an AU of 2009’s Star Trek in which he was raised by Christopher Pike and met Spock when they were both teenagers. Player A may totally apply to play Captain Kirk, Shatner version, but that means there’s no more room for James Tiberius Kirk in the game.

Do all characters from a particular canon have to be from the same timeline/universe to count as canon characters?

In case the above answer didn’t clue you in: no. For example:

Star Trek IV Captain Kirk would be considered canon for ST: TOS.

Star Trek Into Darkness Captain Kirk would be considered canon for ST: Reboot.

As above, though, the game is limited to only three iterations of a particular character, regardless of canon or AU status.

What if my character has some kind of twin/external mind/mindlinked whatever?

Headfriends will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Friendly reminder that if two players have characters that function as a unit it will get really awkward really fast if one player starts having OOC difficulties and they have to leave the game. Choose your pup wisely.

Help help I’m dead!

That’s not a question.

Apping in a character who is post-death in their canon is perfectly fine! They will be able to manifest in the setting without incurring a death penalty... but their resurrection to join the game will go on that character’s death count for the purpose of figuring future death penalties.

Can I play more than one character from the same canon?

Muncest is strictly prohibited. A player will not be able to play two closely-related characters from the same canon, and apping multiple characters from the same canon is thus strictly frowned upon. Go. Make new friends outside of your canons.

So are we sitting atop the fourth wall?

Let’s not rampantly break the fourth wall, guys. It’s inevitable that some characters will exist as fictional stories for other characters. Clark Kent’s player will naturally want to have Clark making noises only dogs can hear if he runs into the actual Grey Ghost in-game.. but unless a particular fiction franchise is explicitly in existence in your character’s universe, don’t break the fourth wall on people’s characters.

See also each player’s entry on the Permissions Post, because some players are more comfortable with the thought of their characters getting fourthwalled than others.

Players have to be at least 18... what about characters?

Due to the horror nature of parts of the game, please use common sense and don’t apply for anyone who is so young as to be pretty much dependent on others for their care. The mods also request and require that you do not involve children under the age of consent in anything sexual. Seriously guys don’t be squicky. Ewwwwww.

What happens to very large characters?

If you play a very large character (say, taller than 10 feet or so) you have two options.

Option One: You can do the traditional shrinky-dink that a lot of games do and size your character down to 10-ish feet. This will let your character pretty much interact with the human-scale environment normally (minus having to watch heads).

Option Two: You leave your character the size they normally are, and then you have to play out all the problems and headaches involved in being a very large character in a human-scale world. You can probably be fit into a fire company building pretty easily, but it's going to be hard to socialize, for instance. This leaves your character completely un-nerfed, but it creates a challenge to roleplaying.

It's up to player discretion which option you take, but be sure to mention what you do with your ridiculously tall character in your app.

☸ Setting and Gameplay FAQ

Where are we, again?

Currently, we are in the empty city of… you know what? Nobody knows what it’s called. All the signage is blurred into incomprehensibility and none of the computers or robots can return a coherent answer if queried-- they just give back the biggest city in your character’s world of origin. We do know this: A river runs through it, and there are several places where natural geothermal springs have been made into impressive public baths. There are several parks and other green spaces, and the whole city has the charm of something old-world European, for those characters who would understand what that means, smushed together with gleaming, ultra high-tech automation and general technology. The climate is temperate, and the day/night cycle runs a typical Earth-like 24 hours for a location in the temperate zone.

Unfortunately, you can’t leave. There’s some kind of weird anomaly on the outskirts of where you’re staying, manifesting as a shimmery field that gives your character a headache if they look at it too long. If they try to walk through this barrier field, they will black out under a feeling of intense vertigo, senses scrambled until they are tasting blue and a jackhammer noise feels fuzzy, and then regain consciousness on the other side of the map. Characters who started out walking south will be on the north side of town, walking east gets leads you to the west side of town.. like being trapped in a bad video game. Trying to use fancy teleporting devices or psychic powers to leave the area or to look beyond its borders leads to the same screaming black vertigo effect. It’s like the whole place is surrounded by something very, very wrong.

For more detail on the setting, check out the relevant page.

So you mentioned a metaplot...

So we did.

The game runs on a set “campaign” schedule as discussed above, and each campaign by nature involves a rather detailed metaplot. The metaplot’s resolution depends greatly on character choices and interactions, both among themselves and with NPCs.

When can I pester the mods? How does time work in the game itself?

The mods are located in the Eastern Standard Time timezone, so game events and activities will run on EST (GMT -4). If you have a query that is SOOPER DOOPER IMPORTANT the best time of day to reach the mods is in the afternoon/evening.

Time in the game runs at 1:1 or real time, and the calendar date in the game and in real life will match up according to the dates on the postings. For example: A network post dated for September 19th will be assumed to take place entirely on September 19th, even if players tag into it on the 21st. Players are free to backdate or forward-date posts, but real-time is the default setting.

What about languages? Does everyone speak English?

Language difficulties are optional and completely at player discretion. The setting’s default is that everyone’s communicator can translate for characters that don’t normally speak a common language and create understandable text for those that don’t have an actual voice.

If your character deviates significantly from a humanoid body plan, please contact the mods so we can design your character’s communicator to accommodate them.


Yup! Everyone gets a sweet little brick of a smartphone as part of their newbie kit! The exact details of the make and model are up to you, but all communications devices are capable of providing video, audio, and text messages to the network. The communicators come with photo and calendar apps as well so that your character can keep track of appointments, and once your character is assigned housing they can also install a home remote control app that lets them do fun things like change the thermostat or tell the housecleaning robots to have your slippers at the door. Neat!

You can get full details on the phones at the Phones Page.

Will my character have all their powers and abilities?

Yes! Powers will not be nerfed for this game, but for some particularly game-breaky abilities the mods will ask that applicable player and mod permission be sought before breaking out the crazy abilities. Nobody wants to wake up one morning and find out that their favorite bagel place got destroyed out from under them without some OOC warning.

My character has a familiar/pet. Can they bring it?

Yes! Generally familiars are A-OK as long as they are either A: not given personality development to the point that they are clearly an independent character or B: are a fully developed character but are also necessary for the mental functioning of the player-character. (Although these cases will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.) Please try to keep familiars and pets within reason, as this place is a human-sized and fairly futuristic location.

See the Applications Page for more details.

Help my character’s canon has a new sequel/issue/season!

You may canon-update your characters with mod approval. They will fall into a state of suspended animation/deep sleep for a week, in which they will experience the new canon events, and then wake up in-game with their memories of the game intact. Canon updating is completely optional and at player discretion. Just pop a comment in the canon update thread on the mod contact page and we'll get back to you.

Also, try to make sure you warn or cut for spoilers if your canon and/or canon update is still pretty new. :)

So earlier you mentioned dying...

Characters who die in-game will be dead for one week. They will still be able to do backtags, just won’t be able to do anything dated within the seven days of their death period. At the end of the seven days, they will reappear at the Hub suffering from a death penalty, the details of which will be given out when it is assigned. Death penalties won’t last for more than a week... at first. Penalties will escalate as deaths accrue.

Remember that characters who begin play from a canon point after a death will start with an extra death on their count to determine the severity of the penalty. See the Deaths Page for more details.

I have a plot idea!

Awesome! Player plots are totally welcome and encouraged to run alongside the metaplot! Contact the mods at the Player Plot Page and fill us in on the details so you can get your plot-thing approved.