|paxnarrator (paxnarrator) wrote,|
@ 2010-05-24 16:31:00
premise, rules, and faq
Five years ago, Pax Letale opened with much fanfare to provide a home to a unique set of clientele in Newport Beach, California. After nearly a year of mishaps, culminating in the death of one of its tenants, the apartment complex was shut down by the authorities after management was considered culpable in what was being called a murder investigation. In time the investigation turned cold case, and no charges were ever brought.
Now, Pax Letale is opening its doors once more. Boasting the tagline, "under new management!," the complex is newly updated to the latest fixtures and ready to cater to customers once again. Though the building offers the latest in amenities and apartment layouts, it's difficult to get a lease. There isn't even a waiting list to be put on. Instead, tenants who do manage to end up living in the building are special — they just don't know it yet. Anyone who does end up calling Pax home belongs there.
Every tenant of Pax Letale is a deity reborn in a mortal form. Those gathered within the complex are close to an awakening, touching the memories of their former selves and realizing once again who they truly are. With this awakening comes dangers in a new form, whether it be from old enemies, those who control the building itself, or from mortals who will throw themselves at the deities' feet for the barest scrap of attention.
To each and every new member of Pax Letale — welcome home.
basics | applying | activity
1. NO GOD-MODDING.
One of the strangenesses of journal RP is that it's somewhere between conventional roleplay and collaborative fiction writing, and it can be difficult, especially for those more accustomed to writing fiction, not to sometimes write in the reactions of other characters, or even the actions of other characters. The issue is in roleplay, even journal roleplay, this is considered extremely bad form. There are times when it can happen without the player realizing it, but we ask that you please be diligent. The only characters whose actions or reactions you can control are your own - this includes something as subtle as writing "Lola's smile was utterly irresistible" (well, she might have a great smile, but it's up to other players to decide how resistible their characters find it) and things as obvious as assuming that a gunshot/bat hit/punch to the groin hits without giving the other player a chance to react to it first. Now if you and a fellow writer are comfortable enough with each other to do a little writing in for each other here and there, that's great - just please make sure you communicate about it clearly first.
2. IC =/= OOC.
On a related note, OOC information is never, ever to be used IC. For example, if two characters--Lola again and her pal Bruce--are interacting, and Lola is lying, Bruce shouldn't be necessarily be aware of this at all unless in game, in character, he has knowledge of such. Bruce's player should not write him as having some sudden insight that Lola's lying unless a) that's his power, b) his background might let him pick up on it (in which case, that should be discussed with Lola's player), or c) Lola's player is purposely writing Lola to show that she's not the best liar/that Lola is giving herself away somehow.
3. NO POWERGAMING.
Your character might be a super hardcore awesome deity, but if he gets shot in the face, he is still going to die--unless your character has an ability which prevents this of course, and we'll get to that. Don't be afraid to let your character be vulnerable--it makes for more interesting gaming, and more realistic story. And of course, with any of the above, if you're not sure about whether or not something you're doing will be OK with the person you're playing with, ask them. It will help you avoid a whole lot of trouble.
4. EXHIBIT COURTESY.
Personality conflicts happen; it's one of the side-effects of having a robust and diverse community. If there is an issue that affects gameplay, you can always approach the mods to help mediate, but generally, we urge you to try to resolve things through communication and courtesy. If you are unable to come to a resolution, it might be best to avoid interaction with that player from that point on. We are all adults here, and we encourage an environment of mutual respect. Dramatics are unnecessary, uncalled for, and won't be tolerated.
5. TALK TO THE MODS IF YOU HAVE AN ISSUE.
If you cannot work out an issue with a player in the game, please contact the mods and let us know what's going on so that we can help. Don't take it to BRPS. Don't take it to the anon meme. Just talk to us. In this way, we avoid wank while exponentially increasing the fun factor.
6. KNOW YOUR GRAMMAR.
Journal roleplay is heavily writing intensive. The most fundamental element of the game - its medium - requires a firm grasp of English grammar, spelling, and syntax. Of course, we won't be checking posts against The Chicago Manual of Style, but thoughtful, well-written, self-proofread posts make for a better, happier time for us all. Idiosyncratic style is one thing, but neither RanDOm CaPAtaLIZAtion nor chat and l33t speak are accepted.
7. NO DUPLICATE DEITIES OR PBS.
This is fairly straightforward: only one version of each deity will be accepted unless it is dropped and marked as 'adoptable,' and no duplicate played bys will be accepted. There is a list of taken PBs, so please check it before applying. If you apply with a taken PB, you will be asked to pick someone else. (Exceptions may be made in the case of identical twin characters.)
8. KEEP IT REAL.
Pax Letale is a collaborative writing and roleplay community for adults. (But we don't mean like the adult section of the magazine rack. Mostly.) Overpowered, underdeveloped, suspiciously perfect characters -- in other words, one exhibiting many qualities of a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) -- will not be accepted or tolerated. Rather than wish fulfillment, what we strive to achieve at Pax is a collaborative narrative. Therefore, we strive to create and welcome characters that are flawed, well-rounded, and carefully considered.
9. FOR ADULTS, BY ADULTS.
Pax is an 18 and over community. Though (to our knowledge) the idea of gods inhabiting the bodies of human avatars is generally a fiction, that doesn't preclude realism in the least. The themes and issues the characters at Pax will deal with are adult in nature: they do and will include swearing, (sometimes graphic) violence, and (often graphic) sex. We are also slash friendly.
You must be 18 or older to play in this game. No exceptions. If you are found to be under 18, you will be asked to drop. It's nothing personal, but this is simply not a community for underage players.
10. WIDE REACHING PLOTS SHOULD BE MOD-APPROVED.
We eagerly encourage our players to come up with both large- and small-scale plots. However, plots that will affect everyone in the building should be approved by the mods beforehand; plots that will affect another character or a handful of other characters should be approved by those players beforehand.
11. ADULT CONTENT GOES BEHIND A CUT.
If it involves anything above an R rating, it should be behind a cut. Simple as that.
12. NO ADULT/MINOR SEX IN THE COMMUNITY.
We do not accept characters under the age of 18. Sex between minors and adults, consensual or otherwise, is not allowed in the community.
13. APPLY WHEN HOLDS ARE OPEN.
This one's pretty self-explanatory.
14. CHARACTER LIMIT
Currently, our limit is 6 characters, with no more than three characters from a single pantheon. We reserve the right to limit which deities from a pantheon to avoid players controlling deities that would otherwise align too closely (e.g., both Apollo and Artemis).
15. WAIT TIMES
If you apply and your character is rejected, you must wait one week before you apply again.
Once accepted into the game, there is no wait time before you may apply for another character. However, all of your current characters must be considered in good standing; that is, they must all meet or exceed the activity requirement of one scene (not including narratives) per month. Dropped/abandoned threads and inconsistent activity will be taken into consideration when applications from current players are under review.
16. CHARACTER CREATION RULES
Theme: Pax Letale is intended to bring together varying pantheons from history, and we don't want any one pantheon to dominate the game. We also don't want the game to shift toward historical figures, and so figures that were worshiped but are well-documented as being human - the Pharaohs, for instance - will not be accepted.
Consistency: We want people to choose one version of their deity. We limit the choices to major deities so that others can easily find information on them, particularly because we have events in which the humans turn into their deities.
Respect: Since our game is inexorably tied to religion, we ask that writers approach their deities with due respect. This is especially important in the case of deities still enjoying some degree of reverence or worship today. Again, use common sense.
Balance: We limit certain character tropes for realism's sake and to maintain balance in the game.
Character Guidelines (subject to mod discretion and exceptions):
Characters who are based in religion and worshiped by a culture at any period in history.
• Deities originating in monotheistic religions (i.e. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity). This is for balance reasons, as the game would quickly fall apart were such omnipotent beings thrown against single-faceted concepts!
• Characters well-documented as being historical rather than mythological.
• Supernatural creatures, fables, and other non-deities.
The mods can and will limit certain characters and character types that might otherwise be permissible if we feel the game's theme is shifting. We will also make group decisions on what characters are more historical than mythological.
17. TRY FOR REAL TIME.
Pax Letale is meant to move in real time. That means that while logs that occur on January 1st don't necessarily need to be posted ON January 1st, they should, ideally, be posted close enough to the date where plot(s) that might be affected by them can continue smoothly and without guessing, retconning, or narrative awkwardness.
18. ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS
Pax no longer has any kind of standard activity requirement; so long as you are doing something with your character, you are fine. If the mods consistently note your character's or characters' absence(s), we will check in with you to see what's up.
That said, if a player wishes to apply beyond their first character, the mods reserve the right to deny further characters if they do not believe the player is spending enough time on the first character. All characters should receive the same amount of attention; there's nothing wrong with having one character and focusing solely on them, but having other characters only to sit on them denies another player the opportunity to write a character they might be more active with.
19. ACTIVITY CRITERIA
When applicable, your character(s) should participate in group events unless you have notified the mod(s) of a hiatus either by posting in the OOC comm or by email. Participation means some kind of substantive interaction between your character and at least one other character not written by you. This can be text messages, phone calls, forum messages or actual logs. If a moderator notices a player is consistently absent from group events, (s)he may be subject to an activity check.
Please make sure you are tagging all posts in which you participate so that your activity isn’t overlooked for future activity checks. There should be tags in both paxletale and paxletalelogs for all characters.
20. DROPPED SCENES
Occasionally, a thread goes awry. It doesn't go in the direction one or both of the players thought it would, or it starts to go a bit long, or it's not clear how to finish it. It happens. However, while dropped scenes -- a scene in which one of the players simply stops replying altogether and abandons it -- work in some communities, in Pax, it's considered a major no-no. As a matter of consideration for your fellow player's possible plans and simple courtesy, if a scene is losing its shine for you, simply talk to your co-writer. In most cases, the other person is feeling that way, too.
Dropped scenes are will count against a player's activity, and will be taken into consideration when holds are requested or applications submitted.
21. ACTIVITY CHECKS
Pax no longer performs monthly activity checks; instead, we take each on a case by case basis as we monitor the communities. If we note a player's consistent absence or focus on one character, we will check in with them to make sure they can
If you need to go on hiatus, no worries. Everyone gets busy. Just please email the mods to let us know how long you anticipate being gone. Ideally, we would like for hiatuses to last no longer than one month. It is also courteous to your fellow players to make a hiatus post in the OOC community so people aren't waiting around for you to finish a thread before doing something else.
There will be a check in with you after your hiatus has gone for one week beyond your expected return date without word. At that time, you will have the option of either ending your hiatus or dropping. This is because there simply aren't an indefinite number of available deities, and an inactive person can drag down the entire cast while someone more active may be happy to pick up that character. We are not trying to be harsh, just fair to your fellow players.
1. THERE MUST BE A HUNDREDS OF RPGS ON IJ ALONE, AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF MYTH-BASED GAMES. WHAT MAKES PAX SO SPECIAL?
One of the great things about places like livejournal, insanejournal, scribbld, and other journal-based roleplaying venues is the ocean of choice they can provide. Of course, that can be one of the drawbacks as well. We're roleplayers, too; we've been out there looking for games. Searching for the right game can be frustrating and exhausting.
What distinguishes Pax is a combination of factors. Of course, we like to think we have some of the best writers out there, but most communities will feel that way about its players/writers. But perhaps most obvious is that we're a small community. There are many other great games out there. However, a lot of the really great games are also pretty huge, and Pax is not.
This is a matter of preference. Some people prefer to play in communities that can boast 30 or 50 or 100 discrete players, and hundreds of characters.
Pax is definitely not that.
We see this as a benefit, though. A smaller community makes it easier for players to get involved, it can provide more opportunities to more players not only to be directly involved in plot, but instrumental to it, and it allows for an intimate roleplaying experience.
We like that.
2. REGARDING THE DEAD--IE, DROPPED AND KILLED OFF CHARACTERS.
So what happens if someone wants to drop a character? If you want to drop a character, and he or she has had any kind of significant interaction with the other characters in the building, he or she will either be killed off or move away. If the character is still living, he or she will no longer be inhabited by that deity: the essence of that character's deity -- already present in someone else, somewhere else in the world -- will awaken, and that character can be created and played by another player.
Everyone in the building will keep their memories of the original version of that deity.
3. SO WHAT'S UP WITH THIS 'AWAKENING' STUFF? AND WHAT SORT OF SPECIAL ABILITIES ARE OKAY?
The reincarnated deities in the game are not all aware of their divine natures. In fact, at the start of play, most probably won't be. But the longer they live at Pax Letale, particularly as they spend more time around the reincarnations of deities they have history with, they will become more aware of who they are. Whether they accept or resist these new elements of their identities is up to the individual player.
As for abilities - naturally, any god worth her salt is going to have certain powers, though those powers will be diminished given the limitations of their human bodies. Every character in the building will have a supernatural ability of some kind. Abilities must relate in some way to the duties or mythological history of the deity. In general, the more 'awakened' the character is, the more control and power she will have over her ability.
Some examples include animal deities (Coyote, Raven) developing the ability to shift back to their true shape. Perhaps Thor could call down thunder, or Artemis is an impeccable sharpshooter. Be as creative as you like, as long as you tie it in with the essence of the deity in a reasonable way.
4. SO HOW ARE MY CHARACTERS COMMUNICATING?
Computers are cheaper and more efficient than they've ever been. The main community is essentially a massive public forum for the people of the apartments and is meant to be posted to the same way you'd post to any community in real life.
5. WHAT TYPE OF POST GOES WHERE?
First-person community posts go in paxletale. Third-person logs go in paxletalelogs. OOC posts go in paxletaleooc. Character driven entries that are not logs, such as descriptions of your character's apartment or entries in their journal, belong in that character's personal journal - and for this reason, you'll want to remember to friend everyone as soon as you are accepted.
6. CAN I MAKE RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE OF THOSE SUGGESTED?
Absolutely! That's what roleplaying is all about, and they're going to want all the allies they can get. Or enemies. Or lovers. Or whatever.
On the topic of sexual orientation and romantic relationships - it would be preferred if you at least tried to stick the relationships in your deity's mythological history, just because someone picking up the other half of that relationship would likely be dismayed to discover the relationship they expected is non-existent. (This does not, however, mean you cannot be creative with the nature of that relationship, and the less documentation available on the relationship, the more leeway you have.) But if no one is picking up the intended love interest of your character, feel free to give them license to shop around. The last thing we want to do is limit your play because no one has picked up a character you need, but keep in mind that finding someone to pick that character up is often as easy as advertising in one of IJ's many rp advert communities.
7. HOW DO WORSHIPERS WORK?
Worshipers are common mortals, unable to reside in Pax Letale but intensely drawn or connected to one of the deities within it. This relationship is not always mutual or consensual. As myth and legend have taught us, the gods do not consistently request or reward even the deepest devotion, and their idolators do not always worship with the best and noblest of intentions. The average lifespan of a worshiper is nasty, brutish, and short. They can be manipulated, harmed, or even killed. Writers taking on the part of a worshiper should be fully aware of and willing to play to these possibilities. For a closer look at the mechanics of deity worship, see this entry.
8. DO I *HAVE* TO APP ONE OF THE PRE-MADES?
The simple answer is no. The longer answer is that the pre-mades are just springboards for players to use if they need help coming up with a character, or if they'd like pre-existing connections between their character and another's before entering the game. This does not mean that you cannot contact players and set something up with a character of your own creation! Think of the pre-mades like a golf handicap; they're just here to give players a leg up if they need it.
9. WHAT SORT OF PLAYERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? I'VE NEVER PLAYED IN AN RPG BEFORE.
Pax Letale is open to players of all abilities; we just ask that you're 18 when you apply. Otherwise, if you're new to all of this but want to get started, that's great! We're more than happy to help. Certainly feel free to throw any questions you might have (at least, ones that aren't answered here) by the mods and we'll do our best to provide answers.
10. WILL YOU HELP ME GET AN INSANEJOURNAL ACCOUNT CREATION CODE?
Yes. If you submit an application that is accepted, we will happily help you create a journal for your character. Please note that we can only do this once for each player, due to limits on code creation. Once you have a journal, you'll be able to generate at least one code yourself, which can be used to make another character account or whatever you like.