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Are there any rules in this game?

Yes. They are:

  • Be the player you want to play with. (Don't be a dick.)
  • Only invite players who are players you want to play with. (Don't invite other players who are dicks.)
  • Treat other players and other characters with respect. Get permission before you use a character or enter a private space.
  • Play cooperatively rather than competitively.
  • Play fewer characters, more often.
  • Play with more than one other player with all your characters.

What kind of characters can I play?

You can play any character from any canon source, provided that there is enough source material to adequately define the character and enable you to play that character with multiple others. A bit part in one episode of television is probably not enough. If you really want to play the character, email the mods with your reasoning. We'd rather say yes than no.

You can transfer a character from another game. If you are transferring from a game that one of the mods plays in and they know the character, you don't need a full application. Just the basic information and the questions section.

You can reboot a character you played in a game your mods were in and treat the character as a transfer. If your departure point or other character choices are significantly different this time around, please write up a full app. Is it basically a new character? App. Is it basically the same character? No app.

We will consider OCs that have a) been played substantially elsewhere (i.e., an OC that is a transfer); b) an OC that is from some sort of game system that establishes character parameters - i.e., D&D, Shadowrun, KOTOR, etc.; c) an OC that is otherwise clearly defined and delimited. For an OC, we will expect a complete background, personality, and powers section. Since OCs are on a case by case basis, we encourage you to discuss them with the mods before writing an app so that any potential play issues can be resolved before you invest a lot of time in an application.

We encourage players to make thoughtful choices and bring characters who can contribute something unique to the game milieu rather than try to fill up canons or bring canon shipmates. That's not to say you can't bring canon shipmates. Just that you shouldn't bring them if that's the only reason you want to play them.

What kind of characters CAN'T I play?

There are really only a few. And when in doubt, ask!

  • Real people, including biopic versions. However, fictionalized versions of real persons, like Shakespeare's Antony or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or William Shakespeare from Shakespeare in Love are A-OK.
  • Gods. No one who has world-breaking powers. No one who cannot die. No one whose powers are greater than the Inn itself. If you have an idea for a character who might be confused with a god, or is some sort of demigod, talk to the mods. Likewise, archangels would require special approval. Here, we're more likely to say no than yes. So don't get your heart set on it.
  • Duplicates. The world only needs one James T. Kirk. On the other hand, John Watson (Sherlock), Joan Watson (Elementary), and James Watson (Sanctuary) are all very different characters. If in doubt, ask, but keep in mind the need for characters to play a unique role. If they're too similar to do that, they're probably duplicates.
  • Evil characters. We're not talking about thieves, grifters, assassins, repentant evil Queens. We're talking about characters who actively try to harm other characters. Conflict is fine, but playing a serial killer in a game this size isn't going to work.

How many characters can I have? What do I have to do with them before I can have another?

The current character cap is 6. It will probably be raised, eventually, to 8, but not now.

We're not interested in counting points or threads or making artificial play requirements. You may app up to 4 characters for opening day. You can add a 5th and a 6th at any time provided that:

  • the characters you have are being posted and played with some regularity;
  • they have ongoing relationships (of any kind) or at least ongoing attempts at relationships with two characters each that are played by separate players.

Note that this presumes at least a few weeks of play between characters after the first crop. We're mods, not police. Be honest with yourself about what and how many characters you can play. This is intended to be a game where you can play one and only one character for years without being a second-class citizen. Playing multiple characters is permitted, but not required.

It's not a contest or a race. You do you, boo.

Are there any NPCs?

The Madonna Inn has a staff of 5 embodied spirits: The Innkeeper, The Groundskeeper, The Cook, The Maintenance Worker and The Housekeeper. These NPCs can talk exactly enough to perform their functions and no more. They don't have names. They don't have relationships. They cannot be bribed or sweet-talked or in any way affected by characters. These NPCs do the very bare minimum to keep the inn running. Everything else (including cooking anything other than chicken or putting out a continental breakfast) must be done by characters.

From time to time, the mods may introduce an NPC into the inn for the purposes of stirring up a little mystery or drama. Pets and companion animals are fine. Children under 10 and familiars are situational; ask your mods. Otherwise, there are no player-owned NPCs.

Within the adventure-worlds (see below for an explanation), there may be many NPCs. These will be both mod- and player-controlled to suit the needs of play. Details will be provided as the occasions arise.

How does play work?

There are three different kinds of play in Strange Trip:

  • Regular one-on-one or group text RP:
    • Logs - play done in email.
    • Threads - play done in Dreamwidth.
    • IM Logs - play done in some kind of IM.
    • Gathering Posts - event or setting posts that anyone can play in. If you need an explanation of how to play in a gathering post, ask a mod or fellow player.
    • Open Posts - a post by a single or small group of characters that anyone can tag; sometimes called an EP. These are strongly encouraged for players who find it uncomfortable to ask for people to play with.
  • Adventure-world RP:
    • once every few months a room will turn into a themed world where characters can go to get supplies for the hotel or engage with NPCs.
    • mods will provide some basic details and a few plot hooks that any player(s) can use.
    • any kind of play that's permissible normally is permissible in adventure-worlds.

What kind of stuff can I play?

We're all grown-ups. Play what you like. Just make sure you label anything that's excessively violent, gory, sexual, or deals with mental and physical abuse with a trigger warning. Pretty sure we don't need to spell this out by now. This is no one's first rodeo.

As long as your characters have meaningful interactions that you enjoy, you're doing it right.

How do I know what room my character is in?

The application asks you to consult the Room Assignments to see what rooms are taken and then visit Guest Rooms. Choose three rooms that you would like your character to be in and tell us why. The mods will decide and let you know when we return your application.

Your character can choose from any room with one bed. If you're choosing a room with multiple beds as one of the three, tell us why we should allow them the extra room or super-fancy space. "When my character checks in, he will tell The Innkeeper that his sister will be joining him shortly so he needs two beds," is a good reason if the character needs to believe his sister will be arriving soon. "Because he likes it," is not a good reason.

"He wants a roommate" is a good reason. If you're looking for a roommate, you can ask for a specific incoming character or a character whose player you've been discussing it with. Roommates are not guaranteed, but we'll do our best to cooperate. Also, roommates who share your bed are different. Those requests, whether to move into a larger room or to move into a lover's room, will be honored. However, be wary. If you move out of your room, it can and will be reassigned if someone wants it!

These decisions, including who gets the fancy rooms, are not personal. They're first come first served in part, determined by numbers of characters and quite often decided by a dice roll. Please keep in mind that a wholly inappropriate room may generate more play and fun than the one your character likes best.

"Fine. I'll just redecorate it." Nope. That won't work. You can add personal touches or bring in furniture that wasn't there. But if you try to repaint or change the bedspreads, the room will revert. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Characters trying to outwit their environment is hilarious. It just means they won't succeed.

What do I do if I'm having a disagreement with someone?

Disagreements happen.

  • Dos:
    • Talk to the other player. We know it's uncomfortable to talk to someone when you're mad or scared or sad, but there's just no other way to resolve the problem.
    • Try to see where the other person is coming from.
    • If it's an RP problem, you have our permission to be creative to resolve it as long as you do it together.
    • Take a few deep breaths and a day off. Remember, while it's an important game, it is a game. Not getting your way isn't the end of the world.
    • Be patient. Some people need more time to process answers and emotions than others. Give other people the room they need to communicate well.
    • If you can't work it out, or you're just too worked up to handle it on your own, talk to one or all of your mods. That's what we're here for.
  • Don'ts:
    • Gossip. Just don't. Your problem with Player A is your problem. No one else's.
    • Backstab. See "Don't be a dick."
    • Cause drama. Conflict happens. Don't disrupt the game or the community with it.

At present, the players are all friends and all know each other. We'd like to keep it that way, even when we start adding new ones. It is possible to have a game with no drama, and we're setting the bar exactly that high.

Other Stuff?

  • Do I have to use an st_ journal name? Yes.
  • How do you come up with good st_ journal names?
    • Email the player's list and ask for help! It's a lot of fun to try to come up with great names for characters that play with the beginning letters in interesting ways.
    • Look through quotes from your character to see if there are any phrases that work, like Caroline's "st_raighttovampire" or Lydia's "st_rawberryblonde".
    • Look at word lists for words starting with st
    • Look at phrase lists for common words starting with st like stand, stir, stop, still and so on.
    • Think about st_ as "saint" and see if that helps.
    • Ignore trying to make a word or phrase out of it and just use the st_ as a prefix.
  • Can I use the same PB as someone else?
    • If they're the played by the same actor.
    • But I always use "Actor McBritishpants" for this character! Think about the possibilities that might open up by using someone new. Someone fresh. Someone no one else has in game!
    • No, I really want to use Actor McBritishpants. It's important to me. *Shrug* Okay.
    • In other words, you can, but we'd rather you didn't. Giving characters unique faces is a good way to keep things interesting.
  • If I do use the same PB as someone else, will people get them confused?
    • That's up to them.
    • But I really want them to confuse Spock and Sylar (who are both played by Zach Quinto)! It's kind of unlikely. And it's still pretty much up to the other player. If you think it would make a great log, talk to them. Whatever you guys agree is fine with us.
  • What about canon puncture? You know, when my character has watched yours on TV.
    • No. The inn distorts perception so that Buffy can watch reruns of Buffy without realizing it's herself. If she can't recognize herself, neither can you.
    • But my character canonically has abilities because of... *Shrug* Okay. Regina (Allie) recognizes characters as story characters because she knows she's from a storybook. Any Marvel university characters are known to her. That's fine. She can know them. She can't tell them unless their player is okay with it.
    • What about in the general sense, like telling someone that someone else is a fictional character? Nope.
    • What about mythic characters or characters that exist through multiple realms? Discuss it. It's up to King Arthur's player whether people will recognize him as THE King Arthur when he introduces himself as Arthur from Camelot. Ditto Shakespeare, if you're playing the version from Shakespeare in Love. Snow White? Up to Umi. Regina? Up to Allie. You get the picture.
  • How do you decide what worlds the adventures are in?
    • Roll dice against a table. No, really. We have a table with all the rooms on it. Each one is assigned a theme world. We roll and whatever we come up with is the world of the month.
    • None of the worlds are anyone's homeworld and no one can stay there. There might be a generic superhero world, but there won't be a trip to the DCU unless all the players agree to it.
  • Can I suggest a world?
    • Hell, yes. We have plenty of rooms without worlds tagged to them yet, and if we run out, we'll just replace one we've already used with your suggestion!
    • It's not a guarantee it'll get used any time soon, though. We're hella serious about the dice.
  • Can I run a text-RP plot in a world? In the hotel?
    • You bet.
    • Run the idea by the mods so we can help iron out anything that doesn't work with the world rules. There's almost always a way if you're flexible.
  • I searched the wiki and someone has a character I want to app in their queue or list of possibilities but they're not on reserve. Can I app the character?
    • Talk to the other player first. For some players, a "queue" is an ephemeral thing that changes with their moods or the passing winds. For others, it's an iron-clad intention to app that character.
    • If you can't come to an agreement, bring it to the mods. We'll sort it out with you. Queues aren't meant to be perma-campsites, but if a player has regularly been putting a character into memes, trying to app out from under them won't be permitted.
  • My question isn't on here.
    • Email us or grab us in a chat window. We're here to help.

We love you guys!

-- Allie, Silensy, and Umi