simpathis: (Default)
Empatheias Mods ([personal profile] simpathis) wrote2014-05-25 12:36 am

[ game information ]

— GAME INFORMATION —


Note: For more technical policy based information, refer to the Rules page. For more information that is available in-game, refer to our Reference Folder.


❖ GENERAL SET-UP


» What is Empatheias?
Empatheias is a role-playing game with a premise focused on building character relationships. However, rather than just a run of the mill sandbox, Empatheias also has a bit of world building that relies on the actions and emotions of the characters. How both the game and the world progresses will depend entirely on what the character's do. As the world expands, new places will be uncovered and this will allow some adventure elements for those who would like to have their character more active. It will also reveal more about the world's lore as well as perhaps uncover the game's story. And there is of course the slice-of-life aspect to it, but we are hoping to keep the game from becoming too slice-of-life as that is not its focus.

Events are taking a bit of a different turn from the past. While they are still driven by both individual character progress as well as cumulative population emotional progress, the way we use the Emotion Tracker is different. While emotions can still influence and spark events, events will now be more dependent on the results and activity surrounding the game's new direction, expeditions onto the surface. What happens down on the surface will directly or indirectly affect those on the island and the overall plot.

Currently, all Arehtei have been gathered and focus has been shifted to the world's surface. Expeditions both player and mod driven are in play, and character influence is going to have a greater role here by how they affect the environment, what they find, and what it could lead to. Additionally, players are highly encouraged to help with the worldbuilding of the game, even able to suggest certain types of locations, environments, and culture.

There is both a logging community and a network community, [community profile] empatheias and [community profile] crystalnet. Our IC:OOC day ratio is 1:1. Activity Checks are monthly, HMD and CR Memes occur on occasion, and applications are open during the first four days of the month. Original characters are also accepted. Please refer to the rules, the relevant FAQ section, and the OC application page for the criteria.


» How did my character end up here?
That's an excellent question. No one knows, not even the locals. It's a mystery that will have to be solved as more of the world's history—and mysteries—are uncovered.

Characters are pulled out either near or during a time where they experience "strong feelings" about something. This can be taken loosely, but in general the character should have been in the middle of something rather than just sitting around daydreaming. Perhaps this strong burst of emotion attracted the world and pulled them in. Dead characters are also allowed and their arrival is a bit more loose. It could be from the moment of death or a little bit after.


» Upon arrival.
All characters will arrive somewhere around Verens, or they can also land just outside of the city. Along with the amulet, they will arrive with their usual clothing and any weapons or particular items players may wish for them to have. That includes any random memento. For information about "sidekick" companions and summoning companions, scroll (or ctrl+f) down to the "sidekick" section.

Both an OOC Player Intro post and an IC Character Intro log are created right before applications are processed. These entries are linked within the acceptance notices. While you can create your own introduction post, everyone is encouraged to use these logs so as to reduce clutter and to help players and characters mingle with one another.

It should be noted that all characters are referred to as Otherworlders by the local denizens. Very original, we know.


» What types of characters would best fit the setting?
Because Empatheias is a mix of plot and slice-of-life, we would recommend characters that you can easily play and have some goal in mind. Given the premise, emotional characters will work very well here, however we have a fair number of "emotionless" or emotionally stable characters who work just as well. In addition, while we do throw events, we highly encourage player initiative. Villains are welcome! Otherwise, any type of character can work in theory, it's just a matter of how creative you can be with them and some will be easier than others.

The game is also well suited for focusing on personal character development and building character relationships. There are a lot of events and scenarios that encourage character building, especially when they have to face their own emotions.


» Is there a "goal" of some kind? A way to get out?
Yes, there is! However the characters won't figure it out until certain plot events unfold. But for your benefit, if characters want to return home, they should try to fill up the amulet with emotion drops. These will be the key to return home. Again, this information won't be available to the characters yet (and so far still has yet to be discovered), but we're letting players know beforehand to serve as something to work toward and give some purpose while in-game. For the record, assuming that something doesn't happen to destroy the amulet or the emotion drops within it, it would take roughly four months to fill the amulet up for an average person. Some may take longer, some shorter. More information about crystal completion can be found here.

The current goal set for the characters is to help restore the world's surface.


❖ WORLD SETTING


Originally Empatheias was isolated to just the floating island, but it has since expanded and places are opening up outside of the main city and the island itself. For a full list and description of all the notable locations accessible to the game, refer to the Locations entry.

» A floating island.
Empatheias is a large land mass that floats around in the sky. It's around 1000 square miles (2590 square kilometers), which is just a little smaller than Long Island, USA. There is currently only one known majorly populated city, Verens, with smaller hamlets and towns scattered around the island. The rest is untamed wilderness and mountains. More information can be found in the Locations entry.


» Tree of Memories.
In August 2015, a giant tree grew and overtook the main clock tower in the city. Hostile creatures used to reside in the tree, but they seem to have quieted, attacking only if provoked. While under tight supervision, people can venture through it and scholars are constantly studying its changes. Its petals reflect the memories of those who go near it, and there are large pods that appear to contain memories of the world and of the Arehtei. However, they only fall when a certain amount of emotions have been absorbed. The tree is also affected by emotions, sometimes appearing to wither or flourish depending on the flow.

A record of the memories revealed by the pods can be read here and a tracker for the pods can be found here.


» Teleporter.
As of March 26, 2016, a teleportation device appeared on the island. Located southeast of the Ferril Mountains, it appears to be operational and currently used to travel between Verens and Shaarnath. Potential uses may be seen in the future.


» The Lower World.
As mentioned, the world beneath the island looks as if the apocalypse occurred and the island was the only survivor. There had been efforts in the past to venture out and down to the Lower World, but all expeditions met with death and destruction. The atmosphere is too volatile and toxic without proper protection, and such protection is not easy to come by.


» Shaarnath.
On November 20, 2015, Thras revealed a thriving city called Shaarnath existing in the Lower World. This city will play more of a plot role as the game progresses. For now, refer to this document for the details on the city.

As of August 29, 2016, full access has been granted to the city. More details as well as general FAQs about visiting the city can be read here.


» Worldbuilding.
The game has now shifted focus from gathering the Arehtei to helping explore and restore the world itself. As it's pretty much an apocalyptic blank slate, we are encouraging players to bring forth any ideas, be it specific or general, to help recreate the world. This recreation is "implemented" ICly through the actions of characters and where they go. Those who like creating maps can even use this map generator. To offer suggestions, refer to here.


» Expeditions, Adventures, and Excursions.
Characters can go on grand (or less grand) adventures onto the world's surface. Supplies and means of protection can be provided. Expeditions can come in two flavors: mod run or player run.

Every month, we have an excursion focus where we pick an area that players can explore. With these excursions there are special missions to help give some guidelines and goals. These usually have a planned intention that can affect either the immediate or distant future events for the game.

Adventures, however, are player initiated expeditions and are highly encouraged! In this case, players can request a location and a goal they would like to achieve, effectively designing their own mission. From the request, we provide the details necessary and off you go. These can be casual jaunts or be related to the game plot and affect it in some way.

More information can be found here and a chart of all expeditions can be found here.


❖ AREHTEI


The Arehtei are currently mysterious beings, known as guardians who are supposed to protect and reflect the health of the world. There are eight Arehtei, each one representing a set of emotion dynamics. As the game progresses, more information will be revealed.

As of May 2016, six have made physical appearances with Piphron the last on the list but set to appear in August. Current information about the Arehtei can be found here but here are some quick information blurbs for some basic understanding.


» Corruption and purification.
Initially, the Arehtei's appearance will appear black, almost demonic. This is a reflection of how much negative emotions they have accumulated over the past eight hundred years. When in this state, they lose all sense of reason and have one thing in mind: destroy the source of the "blight."

However, with enough positive emotions, they can be purified or at least neutralized enough and return to reason. Currently everyone is trying to "fix" the Arehtei to prevent future attacks.


» Alignments.
One of the requirements for the game is to choose an alignment. This is a game mechanic where characters are "aligned" to a specific type of emotion and thereby aligned to a specific Arehtei. All types of emotions are still absorbed by the crystal amulet, but the aligned set of emotions will have significantly more weight. Players will have to choose which alignment would best fit the character OR, if the character has no particular dominant emotion, you are free to choose whichever one you think you'll be able to work with most. Additionally, emotions can be forced, and there will be events and situations where this option will be available.

Those who are aligned will also resonate with their Arehtei and have more opportunities and priority access to that Arehtei and events revolving around them.

More information about Alignments can be read here.


❖ EMOTIONS


» Importance of emotions.
Empatheias and the world it floats around in thrives off emotions. Emotions can actually help create as well as destroy things around the island. The impact could be as small as a crack on a wall to as large as either adding or destroying a large chunk of the island. It all depends on how strong the emotion and how much of it there is. Large amounts of positive emotions will expand whereas large amounts of negative emotions will only destroy or create dangerous threats. For more in-depth information about how emotions work in Empatheias, refer to this entry.


» Emotion drops?
These drops will form whenever an individual feels any kind of emotion. It could be slight or it could be intense waves of feelings. How big the drops are will reflect the "weight" of the emotion, so intense waves of emotions will result in larger drops whereas only slight passing bits of emotions will be tiny.

Both positive and negative types of emotions will create emotion drops, but any notions of apathy or a distinct lack of emotion will actually destroy emotion drops. By "distinct" we mean that if given the opportunity to feel an emotion, the character instead feels nothing at all. So there is no "passive" destruction, only "active."


» Emotion Tracker.
To help keep track and figure out how the world is being altered, we request that all players comment to the Emotion Tracker with any threads or entries that has their character experience something really emotional. It could be either positive or negative, but it only has to be something significant enough to leave some mark on the world. Even if it's just a few cracks on a wall, it still counts. Alignments also play a role, and the tracker serves to track how an Arehtei is doing. More information and examples can be found on the Tracker's page.


» What if my character is an apathetic person/animal/deity/being that doesn't feel anything?
Aside from slower crystal growth, there's no real punishment because apathetic people exist even for the local Empatheians. They even consider apathy as part of the norm. To help compensate the destruction of emotion drops, any emotion that they do feel is probably going to actually impact them a lot more than an average person. So even if they just feel a little happy, that emotion drop will be much larger compared to the average Joe who would just get a sliver of a drop.

As the game continues to progress, apathy will be affected by how many characters utilize it. For instance, as of June 1, 2015, effects are starting to occur for apathetic characters. The change is small, but it's one of the following effects: loss of color, surface distortion, tiny holes. These changes could potentially grow into something more. Further information can be read here.


» Affect the game.
Large events will be the result of a larger accumulation of emotions, but effects on the environment can also be individualized. Essentially, Empatheias takes the concept of "showing how your character feels" to a literal level. You don't need to say that the character is mad. The actual darkness that's forming around them, the sound of distant thunder, the cracks forming at the ground at their feet, the wilting plants, and the light bulbs suddenly bursting is good enough imagery.

This can build up to actually change the very shape of the island and affect the Arehtei. A lot of the events that occur are in consequence of the "flow" of emotions.


» Dunamis.
Introduced November 2015. Also known as "emotion magic," it's a technique that was developed by the people of Shaarnath. Similar to the concept of using one's "chi," dunamis is the practice of controlling and using one's emotions so that it doesn't disperse into the environment as "violently" as it does normally. That is to say, emotional effects are more controlled and subtle. It has also been proven that dunamis can fulfill almost every aspect of living, from replacing the need of actual appliances to medical care. To put it in perspective, where Verens is a place of technology and a bit of magical elements, Shaarnath is more pure "magic" with their use of emotions.

In terms of gameplay, it is possible for any character to learn dunamis and have it augment or add to their own abilities. Those who have no magical ability at all can now begin to learn something similar. Additionally, players can use dunamis to help replace or alter certain canon abilities that would otherwise needed to be nerfed. For example, a canon ability to blow up an entire building in one shot would need to be nerfed. However, in-game development with dunamis could restore that ability to perform in a similar manner. Of course such an action would still need to be reasonable, but it's at least more doable.

As mentioned, anyone is capable of learning dunamis, but it does require time and practice. No one should be a master in the first month; it should take several with repeated trial and error. Fuller details can be read here.


❖ CRYSTALS


» Crystal in the sky.
An observatory stands at the highest point of the city, and above it is a very large floating crystal that can be seen practically anywhere within the city and just outside the city. This crystal is like a giant version of the character's own amulets, only rather than absorb emotions it just monitors the emotional flow of the population. There are three states:

  • Prismatic Neutral. It's essentially a "clear" color, but due to the light it behaves like a crystal and can give off a more prism color-like appearance. When this "color," it means that the emotional flow is roughly balanced and isn't swaying one way or the other. For the most part, the crystal will remain in this "default" state so unless we specifically point it out in these updates, it's safe to assume that's the color character's see.

  • Gold Positive. When the emotional flow is more on the positive, it will start gradually changing to a golden color. The brighter it is, the more positive the emotions. Once it's shimmering in pure gold, the island will expand and other good things will happen.

  • Black Negative. On the flip side, if the emotional flow is more negative, the crystal will blacken. There will be times when the crystal might seem a little gray, but the people only become concern when it becomes more of a dark gray and more opaque. At that point efforts are made to try and reverse the flow by throwing parties or celebrations. If somehow the crystal turns completely black, then expect something really bad to happen, such as parts of the island falling off or natural disasters occurring.

Normally the changes are gradual, but it's not impossible for something to happen to "spike" the flow. We post its status at least twice a month and it will be up to the players to decide on whether to swing it one way or the other or just keep it as is. There will also be mod run events that are designed to shift the crystal's state, but with opportunities to change it again. The Tracker will also be used to determine what state the crystal will be and will likely be the key factor.


» Amulets.
(Note: the term "crystal" and "amulet" are used interchangeably.)

All characters will have a personalized crystal amulet on their person. This amulet will store all of the emotion drops and be a physical meter of their progress. As mentioned, both positive and negative emotions will fill it up. They can have a customized look on arrival or have it customized later at a local shop.

In addition, amulets are what help fuel the magitech around the city and their homes. The magitech already has a minimum baseline of power that runs on its own, but the more emotion drops within an amulet, the more power and efficient things will run. Some need the amulet to be powered at all. For instance, more powerful machines and appliances may not even work if there isn't enough. It's mostly a passive effect, but there are central conduits that amulets are inserted for personal houses. Note: emotion drops are not spent in any way when powering devices.

More general information can be found here.


» Source of protection.
Crystal amulets are important in protecting the character from the world itself. Without it, the world will basically suck the character dry and effectively kill them, so hold onto it! If it's destroyed, characters will have to replace it within a month. Crystals will also have to be replaced upon completion as this effect will diminish over time. The process of doing this will be revealed in a plot related event and this section will be updated.


» Changing colors + Alignment.
Crystal amulets will start to reflect the color of the character's respective alignment as it begins to fill. The amulets will also exhibit strange behavior during certain events, often times glowing or shimmering various shades of their aligned color. Such changes are noted in mod notes.


» Upon completion.
While the local natives normally just turn in their crystals upon completion, there will be a specific purpose for the characters. This will be revealed in a future plot event. Until then, here is what you need to know. Upon completion, the crystal will completely solidify and take on the color of their alignment. The crystal will also be more powerful in terms of energy output and can be used a stronger energy source. Finally, as mentioned their ability to protect the individual from the world diminishes over time so a replacement will be needed.

As mentioned earlier in this entry, it takes at minimum six to seven months for a crystal to complete through natural means. It can be slower, but no faster. There is no requirement to track it and it's up to player discretion as how the crystal progresses, but there are some requirements to have it official.

For more information and submit your character's completed crystal, refer to this entry.


» Replacement crystals.
Should anything happen to the amulet, such as being destroyed, lost, or filled, characters will need to go to a specific place to get a new one. Because their crystals are unique and different from the locals, they cannot use the ones that the locals use. Instead, they must go to the Temple Ruins located outside of the city on the western side of the island. Not to worry, travel there isn't too difficult nor are the ruins dangerous—unless you count overzealous researchers and archaeologists stationed there. At the lowest level is a lake, and within this lake are the crystals that work only for the characters. Several sections have already been sectioned off for ease of access. Some parts require a little bit of wading, but no need to dive under. Unless you want to of course.

Once a new crystal has been acquired, the process starts all over again.


» Telepathic communication.
The "network device" mechanism is the amulet. Basically everyone is using telepathy to "speak" with each other. The amulets are much different than traditional forms of network devices. For instance, there is no type of "caller-id," "answering machine," or "contact list" with the amulets. Since messages can't be stored, messenger birds can also be utilized to send messages. Information on how the network system works can be found here.


❖ LIVING IN THE WORLD


» Living arrangements?
An entire section of the Residential Quarter has been cleared for characters to choose from. They can also choose any other apartments or cottages within or outside the city. At this time we are not creating any OOC residential lists. There are no real apartment systems—just individual small houses and multi-floored building complexes. Players are free to be creative and make up the home their character claims.

Just be mindful that while the initial stay is free, rent will be required after a couple of months. The locals' generosity only goes so far.


» Task Board.
It is an era of progression and opportunity can be found everywhere. Everyone is going to be dirt poor at first and the locals will be lenient for a little while, but so long as they work they can earn a pretty good salary quickly. The best way is taking up various jobs and missions from The Task Center found at the Merchant's Square. This building will have large bulletin boards with various job postings that anyone can take up. They range from simple help for errands to more advanced such as clearing out some monsters harassing neighboring farm lands.

The Task Board entry has both the sign-up as well as a link to the spreadsheet housing the current monthly tasks. We will provide most of the jobs and while some can be taken multiple times by multiple individuals, some will be on a first come first serve basis. Players can also create jobs either for us to post or from their own characters.


» Currency.
The currency uses a coin system. The coin is called sylv (sylvs) and 1 sylv is equivalent to $1 US dollar. There are smaller "cent" coins that are valued at 0.05, 0.10, and 0.25 (based off the US nickel, dime, and quarter respectively). These are just called "cents" and the smallest valued cent is the 0.05. There is no penny equivalent. There are also larger denomination syle coins valued at 100, 1000, and 10000.


» Steampunk and magitech.
Empatheias is by no means modern, but neither is it backwater fantasy. It's currently experiencing a kind of "technological" boom with steam power and gear-based machines. Thus it is best described as early steampunk with traditional fantasy flavors still attached. It is also very nature oriented since the people are living off the land. Although there is smoke from the use of coal, there is not a lot of heavy pollution due to the use of other magitech. Modern technology such as computers, cars, refrigerators, telephones, TVs, etc. are also not available. Think more 19th century Victorian era, the usual time period steampunk fantasy is based upon. So horse drawn carriages, iron stoves, etc. There are airships, but they are also relatively new and mainly used for cargo transportation. Basic electricity is available, so characters won't have to rely solely on candlelight and lanterns, but it's more magitech oriented than "normal" electricity.

The fashion is also steampunk influenced. A lot of leather, belts, straps, buckles, random metallic parts, lace, sometimes even clockwork is incorporated into the design. Although women love their dresses, many wear pants and shorts—the age of wearing stuffy dresses that covers every inch of skin is over. Knee high boots are the rage. The aristocrats may think otherwise, but the "current generation" thinks otherwise. As for the men... Well they pretty much look the same no matter the era. Shirt, vest, pants, boots—they're set. Just a few different embellishments and casual, "grungy" wear is seen as more of the norm. There is a lot of variation in terms of the style, so we suggest doing a quick Google image search to get an idea if you are unfamiliar with the style. Here are some other useful links that might help: here and here.

There are also some elements of magic, but more as a flavor. The concept of using magical spells is foreign to them. The only type of magic they are familiar with is more along the lines of magitech and through the use of elemental cores. They are special crystallized rock that contains one of three elements: air, fire, and water. Through these cores, the Empatheians can pull in the elements to use in their technology, so rather than use electricity or just fire, they can use the fire cores as a source of heat or light energy source. These cores are mined in the distant mountains and can be bought for personal use. For some information on how they work, refer to this thread.

In terms of weaponry, the early revolvers and rifles have been developed, but swords and bows are still a preference. Elemental cores are also used to enhance the weapons and used in a more passive way. Using cores as an actual weapon is something that is frowned upon by the locals, but who knows what could be developed...


» Languages.
A quick note about languages. Thanks to these amulets, everything is automatically translated. While in reality everyone is speaking and writing in their own native tongue, they can still understand and comprehend each other. They will not know what the exact words are being said and they might notice strange accents, but they can understand the meaning. The words they hear will sound exactly like their own language, so it's quite possible for people to misunderstand that they're speaking the same language when they really aren't. This is also true for the local Empatheians, whose language is also different from everyone else's.

For an example of the writing, if someone were to write in English, a non-English speaker would see the letters and words. However, despite not knowing what said letters and words actually are, they would understand what is being written. Thus while they are aware they are seeing a completely different language, they can still understand it.

And finally, if you would like for a character to deliberately say something that another wouldn't understand or be automatically translated, then all that's needed is a deliberate intent for that particular word or phrase to be said. So for instance, rather than "Goodbye" you might want to say, "Adios." If that particular word is what is intended, then that is what the character will hear.


» What if my character brings a piece of modern technology, like a cell phone?
While such devices might power on and work on their own, they would not be able to connect to any networks. Also, unless a method to recharge their batteries is devised, they won't last very long. However, characters who are into the technology can work on developing or integrating what they have with the current magitech system, and the Empatheians may also be curious.


» Is there a law enforcement system?
Yes there is and there are consequences for breaking the laws—if you get caught. It should be noted that the city of Verens and the rest of the island has a bit more of a "rough and tumble" type of culture. Everyone is allowed to have a weapon without much restriction, and licenses are only required for the high powered artillery (that could also be acquired through black market means). In addition, the laws of Verens only pertain to the city. Once outside, you're basically on your own.

The laws of Empatheias are moral based, or the "natural" laws, and the police force is known as the Enforcers. Most of the population maintain "good behavior," however, there are bandits and pickpockets about. Despite there being an actual security force, vigilantes and the notion of self defense is widespread. Still, there are prisons and police, and if someone is caught, they will have to serve a sentence that will vary depending on the crime. Bail can be made for early release.

Those who kill, however, have a heavier sentence. If it's for self-defense or an accident, and it can be proven that it is, then nothing is done. But if it's in cold blood, then the amulet is completely shattered and the offender will stay in the prison until they can prove some kind of penance. If they don't, then they are effectively killed off by the world. So yes, a very harsh "death penalty," and the rules of death will be different for those convicted and die this way. It will be different for each case, but they will not just simply return to life.

Needless to say, players will want to contact the mods should they wish to have their character be their serial killer self. This is very important because we also do allow "break outs" and will try to work with the player so that their character can "hide out" and "evade" getting caught. There is an entire island to work with after all. However, keep in mind that while a character may be brilliant at hiding, there are characters who are just as brilliant at finding. So there will be an eventual resolution to this. Careful planning and communication with both the mods and the playerbase must be had.

In addition, we do stress in-game consequences, and a new mechanic called the "Reaper" is in play. More details are written in the "Death" section, but essentially either once the killer has been caught or it's plotted ahead, the Reaper will exact its own punishment. All of this can and will be discussed with us, but this allows to keep things fair as punishments set by the local setting on its own would be inadequate.

Finally, it is possible for characters to join the Enforcers. They would work within the local divisions and can participate in anything related to the Enforcers. There are a few characters who help mentor and watch over the characters, but otherwise everyone is under orders of the local higher ranks.


» The calendar and seasons.
We have a calendar spreadsheet that reflects both in-game and important OOC dates. Although the Empatheias' in-game calendar basically tracks ours, it still runs a bit differently. For those interested in game world lore details, refer to this document to learn about how it works.


❖ CHARACTER QUALITIES


» Non-humans welcome.
We do not require characters to be humanized. They can maintain their original form. The only change we do require is for gigantic non-humans to be downsized to a maximum of 8 feet. This is actually more for practical purposes than any other reason. If they were any bigger, they would have a really hard time getting around the city!

If the character does not have a set body, it is possible for one to be created. Players can use a canon analogue, humanize the character, or talk with us with whatever idea you may have.


» Canon abilities.
Only the super game breaking god tiered abilities are nerfed. They can either be done away completely or be weakened. Your character won't be able to move mountains or destroy buildings in one hit, but they can still do decent damage (maybe make a giant crater in the street or knock out an entire wall). The same goes for weapons. Weapons can be brought with the character, but if there's something game breaking about it, that ability needs to be altered or removed entirely. Any other abilities can be left as is, but if you have a question feel free to ask us.

In terms of how abilities that utilize specific canon world energy, such as a world's mana type, that is all automatically converted/transferred to use Empatheias's emotion energy. Magic users may notice a slight difference in the feel of it, but they should be able to use their abilities without much issue. This also includes characters from canons based off MMOs, like Sword Art Online or .hack. Rather than there being a system dictating what and how skills and abilities are used, they are translated to be like "natural" magical abilities. So no energy point costs, just actual physical energy and stamina used.


» Character/Species/Canon specific characteristics.
If your character has a peculiar quality or ability that requires some canon mechanic, such as an item, to work or even live, there are alternatives to keep this trait. One alternative is to use the emotions in place of that mechanic. For example, if the character requires a special serum or song to keep them from going berserk, positive emotions can be used as a substitute. Feel free to ask us if you have any question about this and if you have an idea, shoot it at us!

We've had some character/canon specific questions, so here are some links to some various solutions we've had so far: sources of power (soul gems); consuming emotions; mmo anime avatars


» Character doubles+possession.
Characters who are possessed or share a body with another soul or sentient being can be tricky to apply for. By default, a player will always have the ability to control both. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible to separate the two so that both could co-exist in the game as separate entities. This will highly depend on the canon and the character(s) in question. Some in-depth answers we've given on this matter can be found here and here. When in doubt, feel free to ask us with information as to the character and canon in question.


» What if my character has a disability or some kind of illness?
If it’s some kind of disability, like a missing limb or damaged organs, then it will carry over. However, if it’s an illness then it’s up to the player whether that illness carries over. If it is carried over, attempts for a cure can be made. If the player wants a cure, then we can grant permission for it somehow happening. This would have to be worked at, but it could be done.

Such things can also be inflicted upon characters. Unless there are healer type characters, the road back to health will be a long one as the medical technology is not modern at all. In fact X-rays are the most advanced medical equipment Empatheias has.


» My character can fly. Can they leave the island?
Yes and no. Those who can fly or teleport may try to leave the island and there have been attempts to leave the island via airships and other flying mechanisms. However, the farther away one travels from the island, the weaker the protection. Even with a full amulet, if someone were to try and fly away from the island, it will not be enough to protect them from the world. The world will break the amulet, absorb all of that fluid, and then proceed to absorb from the person, effectively killing them.

If one wants to travel away from the island, they would need to use the means provided for the exploration crews or somehow devise enough suitable protection to go on their own.


» My character can already use telepathy. Do they still need the amulet to communicate?
Nope! They can use their own telepathic powers to communicate and can bypass all of the restrictions that amulet users have, except for "hacking." They can't eavesdrop on a conversation.


» "Sidekick" characters and pets.
Characters that have pets can bring them along into the game. This rule also applies to characters who could arguably have another player play the partner, but the chances of finding that player are extremely low. If you do this, you will have to include the sidekick character in your application and make any notes about its personality. The caveat is that while you can play both characters, you cannot thread exclusively with yourself. If the sidekick is present, you'll have to write "joint" tags if you wish to include the sidekick's presence. So for example, Digimon characters. It is possible for an applicant to apply for their main character and bring the Digimon partner with them. Note: This is only applicable to characters with a sidekick. This would not apply to "pair" characters, like twins. They must be apped as separate characters and by different players to comply with the Playercest rule.


» Summons.
If a character is able to summon certain spirits or creatures, those beings can also be brought along with them. Ability nerfs will apply. Pokemon also fall into this category. There is a limit as to how many can be brought: five (5).


❖ ORIGINAL CHARACTERS


All of the criteria regarding original characters can be read on their respective application page. But for a quick reference, here are the types of OCs we accept: pure OCs, MMO OCs, blank slate protags. We do not accept non-canon/fanmade AUs.


❖ DEATH


Death is possible and normally permanent, but for whatever reason, characters do not stay dead. At least in general. If someone wants to drop a character through death, that is totally possible (adds more plot twists). Upon dying, the amulet will crack and shatter, the character disappearing along with it. From a few days to a week, they will later respawn at the edge of Empatheias with a brand new amulet. They will be severely weakened and will need to be treated.

As of June 2016, we have officially implemented a kind of "Grim Reaper" mechanic. There is a being that now watches over the passing of souls. Those who die may catch a glimpse or hear its voice without much consequence. However, if a character dies under dubious circumstances, such as from a convicted death penalty or has nefarious background, the Reaper may give them a more personal visit while in hell. Murderers of all kinds and other nefarious criminals will not only get a visit, but they will also receive an additional punishment fit for the crime. We will of course discuss it with the player as the Reaper's punishments have a more "reformative" or "lesson teaching" type quality to it. Life is important, dammit! These punishments are still designed to be as punitive as possible so that the character ICly learns from it and potentially they and others will be dissuaded. So if a death plot of some kind is to happen, there should be substance and good reason behind it.

Another constant consequence is to their amulet. It doesn't matter how much was in it before, it's been completely reset. Even though it will automatically reaccumulate liquid from current and pre-existing relationships, it will be much less as it won't have any that was gained through other personal accomplishments.

There is also something like a penalty, as if the world used some of those emotions to help "recreate" the individual. Thus about a fourth of the liquid will always be taken away. This penalty actually stacks. This means if a character dies again, another fourth is taken. Thus a second death would result in half of the liquid gone no matter what. A third is three-fourths, and four and beyond is the entire amount. Even if there are pre-existing relationships, there's no sudden boost. It's all zero and they have to build it back up. The rebuilding will be faster with existing relationships, but it will still take time.


❖ GAME BREAKS AND CHARACTER CHANGES


» What happens if I go on hiatus?
There are two options for when a player goes on hiatus. You can either have the character just handwaved that they're bustling about the town and gathering a couple of emotion drops here and there. The other option is to have the character crystalized. Yes that's right. For the entire time you are on hiatus, the character is a crystal statue. There is no penalty in terms of emotion drops for this, but it will probably freak out a few people (and give them some emotion drops). When you return, the crystal will shatter and free the character. For the hiatused character, it will have been as if time had stopped, though they will have a vague sense they were stuck in that crystal.


» And what about character drops?
It is basically assumed that the character met the threshold. The character will simply disappear. In addition, their name will appear on a wall in a room in some temple ruins, and a crystal will also appear around one of the shrines dedicated to the Arehtei. Currently it is assumed that the crystal is theirs though there is no in-game proof of it yet. Future plot events will reveal more about what exactly is happening.

OOCly, we post a list of all the characters that were dropped or removed after the Activity Check, and this list would be the same list that is ICly posted in the Residential area at the beginning of the month so characters can see who has disappeared.

If the character is reapplied for, either by the old player or a new one, they will restart from scratch. This applies even if the character remembers everything from their previous stay.


» What about canon updates?
For characters that are canon updated during their stay, the character disappears but the amulet is neither full nor broken. It remains a strange translucent state until the character returns. The character will reappear either in the exact spot the amulet currently is or somewhere near it in case the amulet is in a place like a drawer. Unlike the death scenario, there is no loss of emotion drops so the character can pick it up right where they left off. In addition, the character's name does not appear on the wall.

The form for canon updating can be found here.


❖ UNANSWERED QUESTIONS


Still have a question? Then just comment to this entry and we'll answer it ASAP! Just double check and view the top level comments to see if anyone has touched on it yet. If we feel that it's an important one, we'll add it to the actual entry. If you wish to contact us in private, you can either use the Confidential Contact or send a message to the journal.


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