Version 1.0 of the FAQ is located here.
• What's different between this Earth and normal Earth?
• What NPCs can I use?
• What about player plots?
• What sort of events will run this season?
WHAT SORTS OF CHARACTERS ARE ALLOWED IN GAME?
Goes without saying, but published characters.
Canon Alternate Universe (AU) Characters:
The game allows characters that deviate from the mainstream canon, but only those that are also published. For example, the Marvel Comics canon has a large number of alternate universes. Any and all of them are appable, but player created AUs are not permitted.
The game does not allow duplicate characters in the most direct sense- i.e. the exact same character twice. However if they are notably different to a version already in game, they may be allowed to be applied alongside their alternates. The difference must be sufficient to justify this. The general rule of thumb is that if material aspects (appearance, history, powers etc.) are left out of the equation their personalities are different enough they might not be recognised to be the same person. A character that is no different between two universes even if the worlds are altered could be applied, but not alongside another version they are identical to. If in doubt, ask before starting on an app.
Original characters can be applied for, but in general will require more detail in their applications.
Game Setting Originals:
Characters from the game world and therefore a completely ordinary human can be applied. This may not seem appealing in early gameplay, but will become more relevant in later seasons. There will also be chances in the future for players to apply for members of the enemy's army.
IMPORTANT! Characters that require more headcanon than canon to flesh out history and personality sections are not permitted.
CAN I USE SUPPLEMENTAL/SPIN-OFF MATERIAL FROM CANON?
Characters must be from one path/version of events. This also means that if there are multiple mediums that a character's canon is in (a videogame, a novel, whatever) and they contradict each other, you must choose which one they're from and stick to that line of events exclusively.
If the supplemental/spin-off material does not contradict a character's canon, it may be used.
HOW MANY CHARACTERS CAN I PLAY?
Each player is presently allowed five character slots. This may actually be more than five characters, due to Combo Apps.
WHAT ARE COMBO APPS?
The simple answer is that they are apps for multiple characters that will count as one towards your character count. More information is on this page.
CAN I PLAY MULTIPLE CHARACTERS FROM THE SAME CANON/FRANCHISE?
You may apply for the reincarnations of up to two characters from the same canon/franchise. Given the advantage that castmate characters can potentially give each other in-game, we ask that any two such characters are not close in canon, have no significant CR in common and won't be likely to specifically influence each other (such as by introducing Echo material that is especially relevant to both) in the game environment; they also may share no Pre-CR (what happens in game will happen, but they may not start out as connected).
CAN I APP A CHARACTER WITH A DIFFERENT RACE AND/OR SEX FROM CANON?
While this is allowed, we require the applicant to treat these changes with respect and supply sound reasoning for them. If we find the changes superfluous, we will not accept them.
CAN I USE POSTS OR THREADS FROM OTHER GAMES AS SAMPLES FOR MY APP?
Yes, but we may ask for an original sample if it is felt it is needed. It shouldn't be a big deal, as long as you pick an example you are confident in. Note too that at least one of the samples must feature the reincarnated character rather than their canon counterpart.
CAN I CANON UPDATE?
Considering the nature of the game, that'd be unnecessary.
WHERE IS LOCKE CITY?
Previously left intentionally vague aside from "somewhere on the East Coast", Locke City now resides in New Jersey. However, the state is New Jersey in name only. We may reference the actual state for information, but reserve the right to be flexible.
CAN MY CHARACTER LEAVE THE CITY?
Technically, yes. There is nothing physically preventing any character from hopping the next bus out of town. However, in gameplay terms a couple things are likely to keep them there. First and foremost, their ordinary life is still there. They'd be abandoning their home, job and family. Secondly, during the first few seasons travelling too far from the city will cause the traveler to temporarily lose all their Echoes and any Echo related memories, meaning if the decision to leave was related to the game's plot they will promptly forget why they are so distant from the city and probably just come back home anyway.
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.
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 when they return to Locke City or the designated locations of Season 2.
IMPORTANT! The Network still remains inaccessible outside of Echo boundaries.
WHAT ARE ECHOES?
Echoes are both integral to the plot and an important game mechanic. Their effects only exist within designated locations (Locke City, NJ and the Las Vegas Strip, NV). If a character leaves the city limits, they will immediately revert back to their pre-game self, losing all items/physical changes/memories as well as memories of interactions with people that came about as a result of game plot.
The full scoop on Echoes can be found here.
As of March 9th, 2014, what happens when a character leaves the city limits has changed.
WHAT IF AN ITEM/CREATURE ECHO WAS IN POSSESSION OF MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER IN CANON? WHO ECHOES THE ITEM/CREATURE BACK?
To whom the item/creature is Echoed back is mostly up to player discretion. If the characters are already in the game and each has a strong case as to why the item/creature is most important to that character, then players ought to discuss who eventually Echoes back that item/creature. If an agreement cannot be met, then we encourage players to bring the matter to us.
If the item/creature is most important to multiple characters, but only one of those characters is currently in the game, then we operate on a first come, first serve basis. Assuming the Echo is approved and the reasoning is sound, that character will receive the item/creature Echo and no others may (unless that character is dropped and thus loses their Echoes).
WHAT IS 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.
The full scoop on the Network can be found here.
YOU KEEP MENTIONING SEASONS. WHAT'S THAT ABOUT?
A season is the term here for a period in which the game setting remains relatively stable. Once the player characters achieve (or fail) certain goals or certain plot points are completed, the setting will be changed.
THE SETTING WILL CHANGE?
Yes, in reaction to player character actions and the plot's advancement. Currently there are no plans to reveal future seasons, but please be aware that the game will change a lot as time goes on. This is not an exaggeration.
DOES THE GAME HAVE A PLANNED ENDING?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: sort of? The game will end whenever the conflict that is the crux of the game is over, either with the enemy or the player characters succeeding in their goal. No previously confirmed ending exists; whether it's a good ending or a bad ending is up to the players. It may take a year or it may take five or more. What happens then will be decided by the players.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHARACTER DIES?
They're dead, barring player character interference; there is no game mechanic to return the dead to life, and if the same character is re-applied, they will be a completely new 'version.'
WHAT HAPPENS TO A CHARACTER WHEN I GO ON HIATUS?
They temporarily lose all their memories, abilities and items from Echo related occurrences and once again become a completely normal person. Attempts to remind them fail and they then even forget those attempts. By default they are completely out of the loop regarding gameplay, although players can make other arrangements if they wish.
WHAT HAPPENS TO A CHARACTER WHEN I DROP?
Assuming you don't kill them? The same as above, but permanently. If applied for by another player, it will be new version. If a former player reapplies, they can choose to regain all memories and Echoes or start from scratch.
CAN I APP A CHARACTER SOMEONE ELSE PLAYED BEFORE?
Yes. In this case, the character is assumed to be from a parallel universe with an extremely minor difference that doesn't otherwise affect any major events. The reincarnated character must also be different from the previously-played character, with a different name, history, etc.
MY CHARACTER HAS AN INHUMAN APPEARANCE. WHAT HAPPENS?
You have two choices. Have them start as a human who will transform into their inhuman form through Echoes or start as the closest terrestrial creature to their inhuman form and have their first Echo give them sentience.
ANY LIMITS TO WHAT WE CAN GIVE OUR CHARACTERS IN THEIR REINCARNATED LIVES?
Not really, so long as you're reasonable. It's fine to make them extremely rich, so long as you don't make them the richest man in the world, for example. Some characters will have IC advantages over others, but that's all they are. IC advantages.
ANY POWER LIMITS?
Not in the traditional sense. It just happens that powers are recovered bit by bit. Powers dealing with time travel are the exception. They are currently not allowed.
WHAT ABOUT THE 4TH WALL?
The fourth wall is intact for any and all canons represented in the game, meaning that characters are not allowed to recognize others as fictional. Canons that have not had characters in play are fair game, though if relevant characters are apped after the fact, any references to their canon will need to be assumed ret-conned and/or replaced by an expy. The only exception to this are characters from canons based off of historical events, widely-recognized fairy tales, and things of that nature.
IS THIS EXTRA-DIMENSIONAL HORROR INSPIRED BY LOVECRAFT?
Nope. If anything it's more inspired by Earthbound.
MY CHARACTER RECEIVED THEIR FIRST ECHO A LONG TIME AGO. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR GAMEPLAY?
The network the characters use went live on April 1st, 2013. Any attempts to the number to connect to it before then simply didn't work and therefore its importance would likely be overlooked. At game start, a mysterious pink light in the sky reminded the characters of their number and a similar process, sans pink light, will awaken the number in the minds of characters when they join the game. This means that they can receive their Echo at any time, but be disconnected from the rest of players until the moment they join.
As of April 1st, 2014, we are allowing new characters to use a Tier 2 Echo as their First Echo if and only if the character was present in Locke City near the Business District on March 9th, 2014 when Wise Snake awakened.
This Tier 2 Echo must follow the original rule on Tier 2 Echoes. Information on them can be found on the Echo Request page.
As a general rule, this Tier 2 Echo cannot be used to Echo back something that the character would not be able to hide from the public. For example, large robots or an unruly ability they cannot control and would have been noticed shortly after its regain are off-limits.
WHEN ARE EVENTS RUN?
Often, but chaotically. They will not occur at regular intervals to fit a routine. They will be no self resolving events. They will all require player involvement to end and may overlap with each other. Whenever an event is occurring a plotting post will go up to help OOC communication.
SEASON TWO SPECIFIC FAQ
WHAT'S DIFFERENT BETWEEN THIS EARTH AND NORMAL EARTH?
Only one noticeable difference so far, the existence of Locke City. The North American continent is a tiny bit bigger to fit it in.
WHAT NPCs CAN I USE?
Players have automatic right to use their character's direct relatives (siblings, parents, spouse etc) for any reasonable purpose. Similarly ordinary citizens can be used for anything reasonable, but people in positions of authority (politicians, military, police) require permission. If in doubt, ask.
WHAT ABOUT PLAYER PLOTS?
Outside of the guideline of keeping the secret and remaining IC, you basically have free rein to do as you wish. Particularly big stuff should be run by us first, but otherwise we're very open. Just be aware there may be consequences you didn't expect. The setting will react based on player character actions, after all.
WHAT SORT OF EVENTS WILL RUN THIS SEASON?
The plots of Season 2 will revolve around the exposed existence of reincarnates and characters splitting themselves into a few different roles. Some will have to focus on political matters such as public opinion and others will have to be globe trotters to reach the locks before the enemy, whilst others will have to work on preventing other troubles in Locke City. After Wise Snake is destroyed, the next location will be possible to visit. A huge pink light will appear above the location so that the group will know where they have to go. Each locale is meant to be temporary.
There will also be plots in relation to character actions.