Feb. 23rd, 2013

Setting

Feb. 23rd, 2013 09:10 pm
theearth: (Default)
SETTING

The game's location is ordinary and familiar, planet Earth in the year 2014. The world's human history will be completely identical to the real world with the exception of game events and the existence of the city which acts as the early focal point of gameplay. As time progresses, the setting will expand to a completely global setting and characters will be allowed (and plot will encourage) them to go elsewhere. Nothing supernatural exists, although certainly lots of the unusual. It's a place which contains all the things that make up a world. Nature, mankind, peace, war, love, hate. But it has nothing special. It's just the same as the real 21st century Earth.

With just two differences. The first is that the planet itself is alive and sentient, a cosmic entity that guides the development of life on Earth very loosely by deciding which soul to place in which body. The second is that a mysterious entity that appears to be from another reality attempted to encroach on the planet in its ancient past. The sentient life force of the planet realised it was in danger and had no adequate form of defence. In response it used the breach the entity created to gather the 'souls' of dead beings from destroyed universes and implanted them into new born lifeforms. Now when dangerous breaches occur, these people are slowly reformatted to match their old lives in an attempt to act as the world's guardians, whenever they get involved in the unfolding conflict. However, their souls were not chosen for reincarnation by any method further than being from dimensions beyond; the people they might find themselves becoming may not be the most obvious choices for the Earth's protectors.

The characters won't know this for a long time. They will probably be more focused on keeping themselves alive, as the game will have a lot of dangerous events that will largely revolve around the previously mentioned entity attempting to take a foothold in this reality through a series of schemes. There will be no self resolving events. Players will have to be proactive in dealing with what is occurring.

The story begins in Locke City. It's a particularly massive city on the coast of New Jersey, USA, and contains everything you'd expect a city to contain: slums, business and industrial districts, suburbs, hotels, schools. The city has a very strong multicultural make-up, and features an equivalent to a 'Little Italy' or 'China Town' for every culture you can think of. The exact contents of the city and its surroundings are left to the players and the requirements of the plot. In other words, world building is a community effort. To add to the city's geography and to see the contributions of others, go to the City Development Page. For current weather, Ocean City, NJ can be used as a guide.

Whilst it has already been decided the game will undergo 'seasons' where when one ends the setting changes drastically, much of what will occur with the plot will be a response to the player's actions. Some things players will be asked to stick to (such as for at least the first 'season,' they will need to hide the truth from the public), but otherwise a lot of what happens will be reactions to what they do. The only NPCs will be normal humans and the enemy (and their minions) with no untouchable NPCs that are in control of the setting.

Something like a memory loss game and something like an AU game, the idea is that you do not play your character but their reincarnation from their canon in this game's setting. They will have lived their whole life there as an ordinary human being, with the player creating an AU history and personality. Players will be allowed a few major deviations (and lots of minor deviations) from the canon character's personality to make them logically fit into their AU life, but as they spend time in game they will have parts of their previous life returned to them as memories, personality traits, powers, appearance changes and be given items etc. that link them to their past selves. This process is called an Echo. For more detail on Echoes, see this page.

First season events will mostly be based giving clues to the mystery that the players are already privy to, the emergence of supernatural beings and the character's attempts to deal with them. Each time a character is involved in one of these events (which will be chaotically distributed instead of at regular intervals) they will receive an Echo.

A timeline of in-game events can be found here.

THE NETWORK

When a character receives their first Echo they become unable to forget a long string of numbers. This number is used to connect to an otherworldly communication network, which does not exist on the internet or in any physical form. Ordinary humans cannot perceive the the network at all. They will only be able to sense the original string of numbers.

Almost anything can be used to establish a connection, so long as the number can be applied to it. A piece of paper, phone, computer, reflective surface, etc. Be imaginative.

Using one's own number connects to the general network which is available for all to see. Using someone else's number sends the message directly to that person, but they still need to connect to the network themselves and therefore an ordinary phone would be better for emergencies. This also means accidental posts are nearly impossible.

As a note, due to the way "private" lines are established, posts can not be filtered to or away from a certain group; as soon as the original character puts in their own number and then that of another, it opens a line directly to that other character. If one wants to send a particular message to a number of people, it must be done one by one and the messages will not be visible to anyone else except the two the connection is between.

More information on IC- mechanics of network posts can be found here.

When posting, both the initial poster and repliers' tags are to be formatted as CANON: Character's Canon Name. Additionally, the tags for +location, for type of post (#action or #network), and if applicable the !open tag should be applied.

Please also specify how the post was made in the subject line, such as if it was from a phone, computer, written in blood on the floor, etc.

Echoes

Feb. 23rd, 2013 09:12 pm
theearth: (Default)
BASICS

Echoes are both integral to the plot and an important game mechanic. An Echo is the result of a character either being exposed to the influence of the threat against the planet or experiencing a "reminder" of their past life, "returning" or recreating a part of that past life for them be it in the form of a memory, piece of knowledge, physical mutation, or even a possession or other creature.

Their effects only exist within designated Echo boundaries - the main sites of plot conflict. If a character leaves an Echo boundary, they will revert back to their pre-game self from wherever their Echoes may have left their sense of identity.

Before March 9th, this also came with losing all items/physical changes/memories as well as memories of interactions with people that came about as a result of game plot.

As of March 9th, 2014, the effect of leaving an Echo boundary changed. Instead of completely losing all Echoes and Echo related memories, reincarnates will lose the potency of their Echoes.

Abilities will weaken considerably (to approximately 10% of their original capability).

Physical changes will be naught but a hint and may cause a case of phantom limbs. For example, if a character was originally 5'6" and Echoed a height of 6'0", upon leaving the city, they would shrink to either their original height (5'6") or retain a small amount of their Echoed height (5'7"-5'8") and feel like they should be taller.

Memories (Echoed and associated with Echoes) will be so fuzzy that the reincarnate will wonder if they truly did such and such or met so and so -- like they simultaneously remember and don't remember doing something Echo-related, or remember it in the way one remembers a dream.

In short, the reincarnate that passes the border will revert to almost the same as one who is Echo-less. They will, however, remember that they are part of a group ("the Network", "the Numbers Club", "the Numbered", or however that particular character regards the reincarnates).

Their Echoes will return at full strength when they re-enter an Echo boundary.

WHY?

To summarise the reason for Echoes, seen in slightly more detail on the setting page, they occur because player characters are not naturally of the Earth the game is set on. Instead their souls, alongside cosmic data attached, are immigrants from another universe, placed in the body of an ordinary native human at birth. As a result those dimensional travellers can recover elements of their past lives.

HOW?

Echoes triggers come in three types.

The first are plot Echoes - obtained by being involved in the interdimensional threat to Earth. These threats take on a variety of forms, and as long as the character has been involved in some way, they'll be eligible for at least one Echo. Immediately-available plot Echo opportunities are listed at the bottom of plot posts - and others may be provided or declared as they come as plots develop and leads are pursued! In general, a plot Echo may be used to obtain any effect that you like - any one can be used to obtain a mental, physical, item, or creature Echo unless otherwise stated, and what exactly is obtained does not need relevance to the situation or trigger.

The second are canon reoccurrences - experiences distinguishable as parallel or unconscious "reminders" of a character's previous life. Not every mundane thing which a character can do will trigger an Echo - both a potential Echo trigger and gain need to be of something significant enough to "stand out" or have stood out in the character's mind! Canon reoccurrence always causes an Echo related to the original experience, and as a general rule, the strength of the Echo depends on how direct or visceral the trigger is as a "reminder" of the experience. For example, if a character discovered that they had the ability to fly when they fell from a skyscraper in their canon, seeing someone else fall might trigger a memory of falling, but would not be likely to get them their own flight back. However, falling him/herself would -- as long as they'd never fallen from that high up before. Pieces of context for a scenario can, within reason, be used to support or affect the "strength" of an Echo.

A Echo effect will be triggered the first time a character experiences an event (for example, a character cannot obtain an Echo from watching a vampire movie if it wouldn't have been their first time doing so), and can only be triggered within designated Echo boundaries.

The third kind is only possible for characters with less than sixteen echoes. These echoes are triggered by physical proximity to a character who has been in game for longer than a year. Only tier 1 echoes can be triggered that way, and no character can trigger them in themselves. Both players must, of course, have consented to this oocly. A character can receive echoes through this mechanic no more than 10 times, and only up to 3 times from the same character.
This game mechanic is primarily meant to make it easier for newer players to gain echoes quickly, but also to give older characters something new to play with.

Echoes of either type must be approved before they are used in-game, with approval to be requested on this page.. Submit at any time you like and we'll any Echo request(s) you've got a look and stamp! Once approved, it's up to the player when a character actually receives an Echo's effect - right after encountering the trigger, after it's long passed, the next day. Or even a week afterwards. Or, in the case of certain larger Echoes, developing into fullness over several days or weeks.

WHAT?

Mental Echoes:
Mental Echoes return something of the preincarnation's mind. This can be a memory, a skill, a feeling, a sensation, even a personality trait. Be imaginative! Give them skill with an ability they don't have, or with a weapon they don't have access to. Abilities which rely on knowledge instead of an element of their physical make up fall under this.

Physical Echoes:
Physical Echoes return something of a preincarnation's body. A special ability, appearance, old wounds, degrees of strength in their abilities, muscles, better health, illness and so on. Abilities which are a part of physiology fall under this.

Item Echoes:
Item Echoes return an item which belonged to the preincarnation. A weapon, clothing, a vehicle, money, a childhood stuffed toy. Anything, really, as long as it belonged to them. Items may return in strange or incomplete forms, and require more than one Echo to be completely restored. For example, a sword which has special abilities originally may return as a normal sword, and then another Echo will restore a portion of its power.
Note: No items specifically from your character's canon exist on this Earth. This Earth has costume wizard hats, but you won't find the one your character used to wear. You may be able to find something similar enough to trigger an Echo, but it won't be exactly the same.

Creature Echoes:
Creature Echoes do not directly effect the character, but instead a related life form which associated with them in their past life. They operate as above but for another being, such as their preincarnated life's animal companion, mount or pet.

The only trait that is common to absolutely all Echoes is that when the process begins the one undergoing the change briefly feels as if they are completely hollow and a powerful noise as if from a particularly strong heartbeat resounds inside of them.

The process itself doesn't make it clear what's happening. There's the initial physical reaction and then they have to work out what has happened to them. Some might be more obvious (like suddenly having a tail as opposed to getting more sarcastic), but there's not an inbuilt understanding of what's going on. In cases where they receive a memory they'll experience it as a memory, not relive the moment.

FIRST ECHOES

First Echoes are something like warm ups, fairly small and with not too big an impact on the reincarnation. Something to ease the character into the concept, as opposed to being dropped in the deep end with something really life changing. It's not something I can have really hard and fast rules on, I don't think, but that's why I do apps the way I do, with quick replies first to let me collaborate with players.

When applying for a character, they'll have experienced their first Echo already. This Echo is quite weak, and will not have restored much at all, but it comes with a special, one time effect. It gave your character a string of numbers which they can never forget. Entering these numbers into any electronic device, or writing them down in any way, will connect the character to the private network. More information can be found here.

ADDITIONAL

A character's overall Echo process is meant to be a steady development. Any character is eligible to request one Tier 2 Echo a month, which can be used to either allow for a big development or change to take place at once or grant two separate but related Echo effects (such as two memories of one person, an item and a memory of how to use it, etc.), but otherwise, special powers will arrive in degrees and rarely all at once. The order and fashion of that power's return will, however, be up to the player. They might start with a basic ability that's simple to use, or an advanced ability that they haven't got a clue how to use properly or that takes up too much energy to be effective.

Abilities which rely on the player's soul or soul equivalent are no exception to this. During their reincarnation, the souls of the characters will have been converted into ordinary human (or animal) souls, and will regain their special properties via Echoes.

The method by which Echoes return something is entirely up the player. Maybe sometimes they'll instantly and painlessly gain something. Maybe over a course of weeks, they'll painfully mutate to accommodate a new appearance. Perhaps memories will return in a dream. In other words, whatever looks most interesting to you, go for it - feel free to mix it up and get creative!

ECHO FAQ
What happens if an echo is left behind?
How how often can I have my characters receive how many echoes?
theearth: (Default)


THIS APPLICATIONS PAGE IS NOW RETIRED. TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION, GO HERE.



As of April 1st, 12:00CDT, applications have opened.



The Application Explained.

Please post the application to the character journal and post a link to this page. In addition, please check for spelling and grammar prior to submitting the application. Applications that are error-ridden to the point of severely affecting clarity may merit revisions or rejection.

OOC Information:
Name: Whatever handle you go by.
Are you over 15? If not, sorry but stop here.
Contact: Should we feel the need to contact you privately, what is your preferred method?
Current characters in the game: Include preincarnation's name and canon, or none if applicable - please do NOT delete this section entirely!

IC Information:
Name: If the names of the Preincarnation and Reincarnation are different, please specify. Remember that your character will have a human name.
Canon and Medium: Please note that only well-established (significant source material published, with viable translations available in English) canons are acceptable here; we do not accept self-published canons due to potential conflicts of interest.
Age: If the preincarnated age and the new life's age differs, please specify.
Preincarnation Species: Their original species, if known.
Preincarnation Appearance: A concise description or link to an image will do.
Any Differences: Remember that only a normal human appearance will be acceptable, except in cases when the character will begin as a terrestrial animal.
Starting Location: What Echo boundary is your character starting in? Current locations: 1) Locke City, NJ, USA. 2) Las Vegas, NV, USA.
Preincarnated History: What happened to your character in their canon? You don't need to explain the entire series to us, just the relevant parts in regards to the character's development, and some context to make sure it makes sense. Headcanon should be written in italics.

If you prefer you may write a bare-bones history and post a link to a wiki or resource that covers more details. If the character is an original character, please outline the world they live in as well.

Reincarnated History: What happened to your character that got them to this point in their normal, human life? While a lot of information isn't necessary here, please give us a clear picture of who they are now and where they'll be headed in the context of the game. If you're re-apping a character you previously played, please include their experiences in-game and what they've been doing in the mean time as well.

First Echo: What caused their first Echo, and what did it give them? Players may choose events from the timeline or a canon recurrence. Keep these Echoes simple, but meaningful, and keep in mind that returned effects/objects caused by canon recurrences must be directly related to the event giving them back. If re-apping, please include all of their previously-obtained Echoes.

Preincarnation Personality: What sort of person were they in their past life? Headcanon should be clearly marked in italics. This section is important, as it helps us gauge your grasp on the character, so spare no expense here.

Any Differences: You are encouraged to deviate from the original personality in three or four major ways, made to make their personality logical to the setting and their new history (which, by default, varies from their original life). If the personality does not differentiate significantly, or if the differences do not make sense given the rest of your app, revisions may be asked for.

Abilities: What abilities did your character's preincarnation have? To what extent were they used? Include any equipment they had access to and any skills they had. Headcanon should be indicated in italics, as before. You may write a brief synopsis and link to a more detailed resource if you wish. Favor conciseness here, and try to limit (or else otherwise elaborate upon) canon terminology to avoid confusion.

Roleplay Sample - Third Person: Some form of extended, third-person prose exhibiting strong voice and key behaviors of your character. If the voice is weak or the characterization appears to be off, revisions may be asked for.

Roleplay Sample - Network: Same as above, but in network-style format, using text, video, audio, etc. This MUST be on the network.
*Note: One of the samples (of your choice) must be done from the perspective of the reincarnated character, set within the game. Samples from the test drive community may be used for this purpose.

Any Questions? If you need to clear up any lingering questions or concerns, here's the place to do it.





Combo Applications Explained.

We allow applications for multiple characters that are deeply linked and will only count as one towards the player's character limit and activity, although to prevent disappointment, any combo apps must be requested beforehand. This is for characters that are deeply intertwined to the point that if they are ever apart, it's a moment worth noting, including characters that are physically incapable of being apart and ones that are so often together that being apart would affect their personality drastically. There is no upper limit to the number of characters that can be in a combo app, aside from as common sense dictates. Combo apps are opt in, so characters suitable for a combo app could also be played individually. Combo apps can be retroactively applied in these cases at request.

To request a combo app, please fill out this form.

OOC Information:
Name: Whatever handle you go by.
Are you over 15? If not, sorry but stop here.
Contact: Should we feel the need to contact you privately, what is your preferred method?
Current characters in the game: Include preincarnation's name and canon, or none if applicable - please do NOT delete this section entirely!

IC Information:
Names:
Canon and Medium:
Why should they be combined? What makes them suitable for a combo app? Be as detailed as you feel is necessary.



Once approved, you may fill out a single application with all the approved characters.



Note: Applications are dealt with as they are received, by a majority vote process among the mods. While we try to get to each app in a timely process, ultimately speed may depend on busyness and the need to discuss some apps before a decision is made. Regardless, if your app has not been seen to within a week of its submission, or if it's been three days since you answered a request for revisions, please feel free to drop us another line here or by some means of mod contact here!

Characters being re-apped: While you may use the same application as before, if you intend to have them be the same reincarnated character, please make sure that the application has not changed, and to include new information covering what happened to them in-game and what they have been up to since losing contact; if they are keeping their Echoes, please include them under the regular 'first echo' heading. Also note: characters who dropped or idled while having a strike can not be be reentered until their first strike has expired (four months past the activity check they failed). For example, a character who took a strike in the September AC must wait until February to be reapplied.

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