Jigoku Mods (jigoku_mods) wrote in jigoku_apts,
Jigoku Mods


Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that doesn't appear here? Ask away in a comment and we'll address it as soon as possible!


Game Basics

Using the Apartment Network

About the Characters

About Applications

About the Communities

Game Basics:

Where am I?
No one has yet discovered the town's true name; maps, phone books, and other documents appear to have it scribbled out, or blotted off with water damage, or some other way of making it illegible. There was once a sign on the front lawn of the apartments proclaiming the building's name, but time and the elements have made it likewise illegible.

The apartments and town itself are inhabited by ghosts. Most of these ghosts are imprints of the people who once lived there, and appear to be carrying on their lives and jobs as they had before -- or as well as they can, considering the interruptions of those pesky living people to their routine. Other ghosts are deliberately malicious, seeking to harm those who have invaded their territory.

The town and all its buildings are decrepit, dying a slow death due to time and neglect. The living will find that they are able to live in relative comfort, but without any of the luxuries to which they may be used from their home worlds.

Note: there will be in-game opportunities for characters to learn more about the history of the place in which they now live. These opportunities will be outlined at a future date; the mod team thanks you in advance for your patience!

Why am I here?
The simple explanation is that the living are a source of fuel for the dead. You see, life as a spirit has its own hardships, and it's difficult to exist as a mere shade of your former self without someone to acknowledge your existence. Thus the ghosts validate their hollow existence by the impression they make on the town's new residents.

The second and more complicated part of the explanation is that every living creature gives off a sort of energy. It is an energy that the dead do not possess, and they covet it greatly. They are usually satisfied by being near the natural aura given off by living creatures, especially as it helps them manifest, but sometimes their hunger will grow enough that they'll actively leach energy off the living, resulting in headaches, feelings of nausea, dizziness or weakness, or inexplicable chills. The severity of the effect depends on the strength of the ghost and how much energy it's trying to draw from the person in question; players are encouraged to experiment with the whole range of the spectrum.

And those with unique abilities (including but not limited to innate or item-based magic, chi/chakra/ninja powers, mutant powers, etc.) are especially attractive to the ghosts, particularly when they use their powers. Any such outpouring of power will attract hungry ghosts to that physical location where they will eagerly try to leech the lingering power in the air and trace it back to its source. Thus, those using their powers may feel the drain more acutely than those who don't have powers, or who don't use them.

It is to be noted that evil characters may deem the drain worth it, as making the ghosts stronger will cause more terror and chaos among the town's residents. Evil characters may eventually be able to control the spirits that feed off of them and have become dependent on their dark energy. If this is something in which you're interested, please contact the mod team and we'll help you to set things into motion!

What sort of technology exists here?
The apartments have electricity, heat, running water, all of those things that would be considered basic amenities, although it doesn't say much in this place. The light bulbs, no matter how high their wattage, always seem dim. The televisions are functional, but there's no cable -- not even what would be considered 'basic' or 'local' channels. Each apartment has a computer that's wired into an intranet, but there's no internet access (i.e., nothing outside of the apartment building's network). Hardware-wise, each computer possesses a tower, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and webcam; none of this equipment can be considered top-of-the-line but is actually rather average in nature. The computers can be used for text, voice or video posting to the network, via an engine similar to LiveJournal (i.e., characters can type or record a 'journal entry', comment on other's entries, encrypt entries to certain people, hack encryptions provided their skill sets allow, etc.).

Sometimes the computers may pop up with a mysterious file transfer that turns out to be a clip of information about the apartments or the town. Sometimes the televisions will blare out a sudden, static-filled news broadcast -- even if they hadn't been turned on. If you're lucky, turning on the television will yield at least part of an old movie from back home (though we can't guarantee that the audio and video are from the same movie). Or sometimes you might sit down in front of the screen only to discover it's the events going on in another apartment that are being broadcast.

In addition to the computer found in each apartment, every resident will also find in his or her possession a fully charged communicator resembling a Blackberry (complete with charging cable but sorry, no fancy bluetooth or anything like that). The Blackberries can be used for text or voice posting to the network, and have limited video capability (that limitation mostly due to the small size of the lens). They also function as phones, and can be used to call another resident directly. Their range extends to the furthest points in the town, such that no matter where a character is, he or she can always get in touch with the apartment network.

Provided the ghosts aren't interfering with the signal, of course.

If the computer and/or Blackberry is broken, what happens?
In both cases, the item in question will remain broken. It may be possible to replace it by looting one from another apartment or from the town, but doing so won't yield anything super-highly technological or shiny and new, and still won't enable characters to access the internet outside of the apartments' network.

If the item was damaged by spiritual activity however (i.e., a ghost deliberately breaking it), then it will be fixed when the character's back is turned. For the Blackberry, it will be found as good as new in a drawer, on a desk, or wherever the character typically keeps it. For the computer, it will be mysteriously fixed when the character isn't in the room, even if that absence lasts only a few seconds.

What do the apartments look like? Do they all look the same?
All apartments were previously lived-in, so the furniture and decor may not suit your character's particular tastes. Characters are welcome to attempt to personalize or redecorate them with items from other apartments, from the mall, or from the hardware store. Just note that they may not stay redecorated. It is entirely possible for someone to wake up one morning and find that all their hard work has been erased overnight, such that the apartment has returned to the state it was in when he or she first arrived. (Note that this is up to the discretion of the mun; it is by no means required by the game mechanics or the mod team.)

Each apartment has two bedrooms; thus, two people could comfortably share an apartment while still retaining some semblance of privacy when they desire it. Characters can room with whosoever they choose, as long as both muns in question are in agreement about the arrangement.

For a sample apartment layout, please refer to this post. For a listing of who occupies what apartment -- and some information on other rooms of note -- please refer to this post.

What about plots? Is everything mod-run, or can I create my own?
There will be mod-run events and plotlines, but players are both welcomed and encouraged to create their own as well. The only thing we ask is that the mod team should be informed of plots involving more than three or four people. This isn't meant to control or squash player creativity in any way, but is meant more so we can work with you, if necessary, so that there's not too much happening and things all running into each other at once.

How does time work in-game? What if I miss something due to time zone restrictions?
The game runs in real time -- that is, one game day equals one real day. Of course, not everyone is in the same time zone (nor should they be!), so backdating is a perfectly acceptable option. Characters can also specify in their tags when they see a post: immediately, or sometime later. It's all up to you!

Will there be activity checks? What counts for activity?
Generally speaking, we ask for two posts a month in order for characters to be considered active in the game. Note that we count both posts to characters' individual journals and logs posts as activity; for the latter, as logs are typically more time-intensive and detailed than journal posts, all log participants will receive the point of activity. For journal posts, it only counts for the person making the posts, although we may make exceptions for particularly long threads. This will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Activity check is done at or around the end of the month, for the month previous (i.e., January's activity check will be done around January 31st). A list of journals in danger of failing the check will be posted to the out-of-character community at that time. Muns will always be given the chance to get their characters back into activity before they're removed from the game. For characters who were accepted into the game later than the 15th of the month, only one post will be required to meet the month's activity. A full activity requirement of two posts will come into effect the following month.

Now, sometimes things come up that keep a person away from the game, and that's perfectly understandable. We encourage posting a hiatus notice to the out-of-character community (for which there is a dedicated hiatus tag) or contacting a mod directly. The only thing we ask is that 'hiatus' not be abused for character-sitting, but most people are pretty good about this so we don't anticipate it being a big concern.

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Using the Apartment Network:

How do the journals work in the context of the game?
The computers and Blackberries are all connected via a wireless intranet (the server of which is, at this point in time, physically inaccessible to characters, nor can it be hacked through the network). As such, the characters can use their computers or Blackberries to post to the network in a fashion similar to you or I posting to LiveJournal. The network supports text, voice and video posts and replies.

Like LiveJournal, posts can also be encrypted to or away from a certain character or group of characters; this is done by noting said encryption in the header or body of the post or comment. Do note, however, that no encryption is ever one hundred percent unhackable, and a character whose skill set includes the ability to hack computers may be able to gain access to the post.

We do ask that both encryptions and hacking be kept in line with the characters' skills. A character who is using a computer for the first time isn't going to be able to make a post that's at a high security level, and a character who's computer skills include only minor hacking isn't going to be able to hack into a locked post made by a computer genius. Above all, please obtain permission from the mun in question if you wish to have your character hack a post, and respect the answer if it happens to be 'no'.

So, characters can see other conversations/threads in someone's post, as long as they aren't locked or otherwise specified as being closed?
That is correct! As long as a thread isn't marked as private to or from a character or group of characters, anyone can see and/or comment on it. Threadhopping is generally allowed in the game, but we ask that if a particular mun doesn't enjoy it, to not pursue the activity (though, in all honesty, most people are okay with it).

When making first-person posts, are icons and usernames visible to the characters? Or is it just purely voice/text, IC-wise?
The icons are visible for text posts, much as they are on LiveJournal. For voice posts, the icon may represent the emotion in the character's voice, and for video posts, the icon can be used to represent the face a character is making at the time.

When text messaging with the Blackberry, is it assumed that such messages go to everyone? Or is it like a cellphone, where they are sent directly from one phone to another?
Text messages or posts, like any other type of post, are assumed to go to the entire network unless otherwise specified in the post itself (i.e., if the post is locked or otherwise noted as being sent to one specific person).

Are video messages limited to the webcams attached to the apartment computers?
Video messages can be made from the computer's webcam (which can be moved the length of its cable, which is approximately 6 feet / 1.8 meters). They can also be made via the tiny camera on the Blackberry.

What about language issues? Will things automatically translate, or be translated by the Blackberry or computer? Will my character have to learn another language?
For ease of game play, there aren't any language barriers in the apartments. While it's not specified what language everyone is speaking, characters will be able to understand each other. If a character has a language that is specific to his or her canon then that character is perfectly welcome to make posts in that language, but they may not be understood unless someone else present knows the same language. Characters that use foreign languages that are real (i.e., German or Russian or what-have-you) are welcome to make posts in these languages, however we will ask for the courtesy of a translation.

The game itself is played in English, because it is the language common to the entirety of the playerbase. Please recognize, however, that it is not everyone's native language, and be respectful of language barriers.

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About the Characters:

What types of characters are welcome here?
We allow characters from all fictional sources (animanga, books, movies, video games, etc.) as well as well-thought-out original characters (OCs). We're sorry, but we do not allow any portrayals of real people.

My character is just an average human. Will s/he see the ghosts?
Absolutely! If your character doesn't see the ghosts, he or she is either blind or in some serious denial. Either state is, of course, completely possible! But no, your character doesn't need some special kind of perception or sixth sense to be able to see the ghosts.

Do note, however, that the ghosts at times may not want to be seen by everyone! It's entirely possible for a ghost to appear to one character and not another, especially if the ghost in question is fond of either mundane or malicious tricks.

Will my character have his/her weapon or power? Will it work against the ghosts?
If your character possessed a certain item in canon, then he or she was likely brought here with said item (for example, Link with the Master Sword or Vincent Valentine with the Cerberus). It won't work against the ghosts -- nothing seems to work save the red tape -- though a magical item may repel the ghosts for a time (until, of course, they realize they can feed of its magical energy). Weapons will work against fellow residents of the apartments, and it's certainly a fact that not everyone is the friendly, neighborly sort. We just ask that any violence done against another person's character be done only with his or her express permission.

Characters will maintain their powers (though we may ask in their application that said powers be modified or decreased such that they don't overpower others in the game). Keep in mind, however, the statement above about powers attracting the attentions of the ghosts. A character who uses strong magic all the time will become a veritable ghost magnet.

Characters with a canon ability or knowledge that can repel ghosts will still possess it, but keep in mind that too many repulsions will make the ghosts angry. Additionally, any attempts at permanent destruction or exorcism will fail.

What happens if my character dies?
If a character dies, he or she will remain dead for approximately twenty-four hours (do note that this time will lengthen for characters who die more than twice). After this waiting period, the character will be resurrected, however he or she will be temporarily possessed by one of the ghosts of the apartments. More often than not, this ghost will be malicious and might very well attempt to do harm to others, particularly close friends or loved ones, while in possession of the body. Possession lasts approximately twenty-four hours, after which point the spirit's hold on the body weakens enough for the person's life energy to push it out.

As far as the details of said possession, a lot of it is being left up to each mun; consider it a chance to explore something entirely different in personality than the way a character would normally act. The only stipulation is that even though the possessing ghost is now in control of a physical body, it would still not want to cross the red tape.

Death is not the only way for a character to become possessed! If you desire to play around with a possession plot without having a character die first, that is perfectly acceptable. As always, we ask that plots involving more than three or four people be run by the mod team, just so we're aware of what's going on.

Do note, however, that character death shouldn't be used as a cheap gimmick or something to do 'because you were bored'. At this point the mod team isn't putting a cap on the number of deaths, but if we notice the same character dying every other week without good reason, we may enact a cap on the number of deaths a given character can have, and increase the possession period for those characters.

I've been playing my character, but I think I want to update him to reflect a later canon point. Do I have to drop and re-apply?
It is not necessary to drop and reapply for situations like these. We have a Canon Update Form, which is a shortened version of our application that you may use to apply for a canon update. Please refer to that post for guidelines on its use.

If you wish to regress your character to a canon point earlier than you currently play, we are going to have to ask you to drop and reapply, as the canon update only works for movement into the future. If you are afraid of losing the character while you write the new application, please speak to the mod team about placing the character on reserve.

What if I want to drop?
It happens to everyone, and for various reasons. While we will be very sad to see you go, we're people too and we understand how it is.

While you're not required to make a drop post, we do ask that you comment to the Friend Add/Remove, just to help us keep our records straight. Additionally, if you don't mind, your character will become a ghost, added to the collection of the apartments' haunts. Please contact a mod if you do not wish for this to happen!

People are still able to apply for dropped characters after a particular character leaves, so dropping will not lock someone out of playing a given character. However, as dropped characters become ghosts, ones that are picked back up again may run into a ghost that looks startlingly similar to themselves from time to time (at the discretion of the mun).

For a list of dropped characters who have since become ghosts, please see this post.

Is there a specific age limit for characters?
While we wouldn't recommend playing a character under the age of 12 (this is a scary environment for a child, after all) there are no formal age limits and the application will be judged just like any other. We do suggest that if you plan on playing a character this young, you might want to find another character in-game who would look out for him or her either before applying or immediately afterward. Chances are good that someone with a protective instinct would be willing to take the character in question under his or her wing.

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About Applications:

How do I apply for the game? Do I need to reserve a character in order to apply?
The application for the game can be found here. Applying is as simple as filling out the required information and leaving it in a comment on the application entry itself. Since it is unlikely that the application will fit into a single comment, it is up to player discretion to make a series of comments (with one comment made to the entry itself and any additional ones appearing as a reply to the first comment) or to place the application in an entry on the character journal and provide a link to it in the application comment.

Reserves are not required in order to apply, but may be made in order to place a character on hold for up to a week. Character reserves can be made here.

Is there a challenge system on applications? I see that someone has reserved the character I wanted to apply for; can I challenge that application with my own?
We do have a challenge system for applications. In order to challenge, you must also place a reserve on the character and state in the reserve that you are challenging for him or her. Both applications must be submitted by the day that the original reserve expires. At that point, both applications will be reviewed and the mods will choose which one, if any, best represents the character in question.

How much canon does a character have to have for someone to be able to apply for him or her?
Not every character can be a main character, of course, and sometimes it's the minor characters that really serve to flesh out a canon world. We ask that people applying for minor characters include as much canon information in the application as possible, and expand upon it to the best of their abilities.

There is a point at which there is so little canon offered that a character becomes, in essence, a fandom OC. Please see the question on Original Characters for more information on this point.

What's the deal with Original Characters? The rules state that they're allowed, but is there anything in specific that I should consider when applying for my OC?
Both fandom-based and completely original characters are allowed with the exception in the first case of characters that are related to fandom characters (more on this below). The application for an original character (both fandom-based and completely original OCs) should be just as detailed as one for a fandom character: it should adequately explain the character's world, history, personality, powers, any anything else that would be important to know.

With fandom-based OCs, we hold the stipulation that they not be related to fandom characters. For example, playing a ninja from Naruto's village is fine. Playing Naruto's long-lost twin who was magically separated from him at birth is not. When in doubt, please contact the mod team before submitting your application.

Are multiple versions of a character allowed, if taken from a different point in canon? What about characters who appear in different incarnations over different titles?
We only allow one of each character, no matter what point in canon the character comes from. However, we do allow for characters from separate series to be applied for, even if one character is already here.

For example, if we have a Link from Ocarina of Time, we will not allow one from Majora's Mask, because they are a continuation of the same story. We would allow a Link from Wind Waker, because it's a different story. Similarly, we would not allow both Sakuras from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, but we would allow one from that canon and one from Cardcaptor Sakura, since they are two different series.

When in doubt, please contact the mod team before submitting your application.

Is it ok to apply for a character that has already passed away in canon? Are there any special rules/limits/how-tos about playing characters that have died in canon (more specifically, characters that have died and may have a ghost)?
It is perfectly acceptable to apply for a character who died in canon and now exists as a ghost. Do note, however, that being a ghost will not curry any favor with the ghosts of the apartments; they will still view the newcomer as an outsider, especially as they have lost or forgotten any shred of memory that they were once human themselves. The apartment ghosts may try to attack and scare such a character, the same as they would to a 'normal' living character.

It is entirely possible for a ghost character to touch and use the red tape, for example to seal the door of his or her apartment just as a living character would. However, prolonged exposure to the tape may cause weakness in the character in question, or cause him or her to feel sick or dizzy.

What about characters who were injured or on the cusp of death before being brought here? Are they brought into the game with their injuries, or are they magically healed?
That is entirely up to each individual mun. Some apartments may have some basic first-aid supplies in the cabinets, and there may be one or two among the residents with medical training. Additionally, the hospital is pretty well supplied with everything needed to treat any kind of wound, but getting to said supplies is a challenge in and of itself.

What about characters coming in from other RPs with their established RP canon history intact?
We do allow characters from other games to come in with their established RP canon history intact. However, it should be noted that said history should be included on the application, along with notes regarding any development that would have affected a character's personality compared to how he or she appears in canon.

It is to be noted that keeping previous RP canon history isn't an excuse for a character to no longer be that character. We respect that development is a fun thing, but we want the character to remain true to his or her canon self at the core.

What is your policy on re-using applications? I want to apply for a character that I play elsewhere; can I use the same application?
As long as the application was written by you and contains the elements we're looking for (for example, we ask for biggest fear, which other games might not necessarily do), we're perfectly fine with re-using applications. Our biggest concern here is that it must be an application that you wrote, not one that was plagiarized off of another person or site.

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About the Communities:

When I was accepted into the game, I was told to join several communities. What are they each used for?
jigoku_apts is considered the game's main community, and it is where you'll find "official" posts regarding game mechanics: the FAQ, the rules, the application, etc. Posting in this community is typically restricted to the mod account only.

apartment_logs is the logs community, where third-person logs between two or more characters happen. These posts are often written 'in person' (as opposed to the 'over-the-communicator' interactions on the individual character journals), and contain descriptions of setting and action as well as dialog.

jigoku_ooc is the out-of-character community, where almost everything in terms of mun communication is posted. This includes, but is by no means limited to, event descriptions, character introductions, hiatus notices, activity check results and plot ideas. This is considered the more serious side of OOC interactions; the fun stuff like fanart and memes are to be posted in get_jiggy.

get_jiggy is the optional fanworks community. This is the place for fanart, soundtracks, memes, spam, and other OOC silliness. This is considered the lighter side of OOC interactions, where jigoku_ooc is more for important or gameplay-related notices.

How do tags work?
In the LJ RP community, 'tag' has two meanings. In the first, it is a slang term for replying to someone's entry or comment: 'I tagged you' or 'you have a tag'.

The second definition has to do with LiveJournal's tags system. Tags are a great organizational tool, and one we employ in the game's communities to keep things organized.

Tags in the main community and on the mod journal are currently being re-worked along with our re-organization; when the task is completed more details will be presented here.

For the logs community, tags are organized as such: series: character name. Additionally, there are tags for open and closed logs, but the use of those is not as enforced -- or as important -- as the character tags. At this point, we are allowing players to create their own tags for the log community as long as they follow this format. For the sake of organization, we ask that no tags other than these be created in the logs community.

For the OOC community, there are several different sorts of organizational tags. Mod posts/updates are tagged as such, and there is a series of tags related to activity (activity checks, introductions, drops, hiatuses). Additionally, there are some specific tags for game updates. Tags labeled 'effect' refer to smaller occurrences, such as changes in the weather or minor ghost activity. Tags labeled 'event' are for more detailed, specific events; for archival purposes, event tags also list the date of the event.

For the spam community, anything goes in tags, and users are allowed to create whatever silly tags they wish.

On their individual character journals, players are welcome to assign whatever tags they please. Some people format their tags for OOC organization, some make them IC jokes, some do a mix of both. Tags on characters journals are at the muns' discretion.

Where do I find [insert resource here]?
If you check out the profile page of jigoku_mods, jigoku_apts, jigoku_ooc or apartment_logs, you'll find links to the game's various resource posts. In addition, here's a quick list:

Apartment Listings
Canon Update Form
Friend Add/Remove
Mod Contact Info
Mod HMD/Suggestions (with screened commenting and anonymous comments enabled)
Mun Contact Information (locked to community members)
Places & NPCs
Previous Residents
Taken Characters

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Last updated: 06/04/2010
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