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Rakuen Moderators ([personal profile] utopiamods) wrote2011-01-05 04:47 am


Preliminary questions

Do I have to know a lot about Shitsurakuen to play in this game?
Nope! The game system and general setting are based on the manga, but there are significant differences to make the game more user-friendly. Everything is explained on our Exaclan and Setting pages.

Is this a memory loss game?
Not exactly, but sort of. Every character loses ten memories upon arrival in the game, but what quantifies "one memory" is really up to you. A single memory could be knowledge of one specific fact, how to perform a skill, a period of time from your character's life, or something else; see Memories for more information. At least some of the lost memories should be important, but it's also recommended to make some of them silly, pointless things like how to tie shoelaces, or what apples are.

Note that any characters apping from Shitsurakuen are required to lose a specific memory; speak with a mod before apping from this series.

Is there a game chat?
Yes! It is exaclan. You should be able to self invite, but if you can't just let a mod know and we will happily invite you in!

I don't have AIM but I want to participate in the chat; what can I do?
Well, you could get AIM, since it's a pretty useful chat client anyway, but there are online clients that simulate AIM if you don't want to download the program, such as Meebo.

Can I join chat if I'm not in the game already?
Yes! Although you might be mobbed by enthusiastic players if you mention you're thinking of apping. If you're not sure yet who to app, and can't see anything you like on our Wanted Characters page, why not ask in chat?

Do you have a wiki?
Yes! It's there for you to put up pages about your characters, and for lists of fun things. All of the important game information is here on [personal profile] utopiamods, though.

Is it just me, or does this game look ridiculously complicated?
It's not just you. While the essentials of the game are fairly simple -- 'you're in a school, go fight this person using a weapon you just pulled out of your friend's chest' -- there are an excess of rules because not every character will bother to read up on them. Each character will have a different experience with the Exaclan system precisely because they will have read and learned to exploit different rules and features of the game.

Why are the staff characters fandom characters?
Unlike a lot of game NPCs that exist on the periphery, the staff characters of Rakuen are very involved in the day-to-day workings of the game. Whilst they are facilitators of plot or character movement, that isn't their only role; they are also a constant part of the setting, there to help or hinder as needed. Gamewise, they are the remnants of the last iteration of the Exaclan game in Rakuen, and proof that the game can be won. That is to say, they are played as normal characters who were promoted (or cursed) to remain as a natural part of the system, and when the time comes to reach endgame, six of the current characters - whether mod-controlled or not - will become staff themselves.

That being said, we reasoned that we as players would be more involved with and invested in fandom characters, and they are more easily invested in by the playerbase besides. In Rakuen you actually get to see how the NPCs (as inappropriate as that name is) operate and think, and that makes them more involved and less estranged from the general flow of the game.

What is your activity check?
AC will be held once a month. To pass AC you must show that you have done either one post or two comment threads (of any size) in that month, further more it must be in an open (so not closed or locked to certain characters) post. Those on hiatus are exempt from AC. We understand that people have busy real lives and things come up, so if you ever can't make AC and haven't been on hiatus for whatever reason come and talk to the mods or ask for a second chance when AC comes around.

What the hell are 'Neulings'
Neuling is basically just the German equivalent of 'newbie'. Two of our mods are German speaking and Neuling sounds cuter.

Application questions

I know you're giving invite codes to players for their character journals, but how do I apply if I don't have a personal journal?
For the time being, Dreamwidth does not require invite codes. But if they ever turn them back on, you could go over to [site community profile] dw_codesharing and find a code there, or if there's nothing there, use OpenID to post your application.

How many characters can I have?
Six is the current limit, though this may be increased in the future.

Can I app more than one character from the same series or source?
If doing so would mean significant interaction between the two characters, then no. If the characters only have their series in common and have never/rarely met and you think you can cope with it, then go ahead!

What sort of characters can I apply for?
Fictional characters from almost all published works are allowed, so long as they are able to wield weapons, we also accept OC's and AU's (see below for more information on AU's). Since powers are nullified (no telekinesis, etc.), that means opposable thumbs are required at the very least, unless the character is dextrous enough to wield a weapon in an unorthodox way, eg. holding a sword in their mouth or between their sparkly hooves.
  • If a character is unable to fight or wield a weapon, we may consider allowing them so long as they are given the Pact upgrade. Please speak to a mod prior to apping in this case!

Can I app a character who is dead in canon?
Characters who have died in their canon may be applied for, and will find themselves alive and corporeal in Rakuen. However, they will take massive damage from healing and light-type attacks.

Is there an age limit on characters?
Not at all! They can be any age from single-digit kids to supernatural beings hundreds of years old. Or natural beings eighty years old, or your general thirty- or forty-something-years-old character. Any character over 18 is employed as a teacher; in your app please state what subject you would like your character to teach.

What about AUs?

Rakuen is very much open to AU's, Canon Crossover AU's, Canon OC's and Game transplants. The app is the exactly the same, just give us all the information in the background part of the application process. For AU's or crossovers please provide a link to the original canon as well as giving an explanation of the alternative universe as mods may not be familiar with all canons.

Do you let OUs and AUs to be in the game simultaneously?
Yes, we do! Currently the limit is 1 OU and up to 2 AU versions of any character.

Do I have to choose a typical weapon?
Not at all! Weapons span every conceivable type, and more besides. Feel free to have a frying pan, an origami crane or a magical wand; anything that can potentially be used in a fight can be a weapon form as long as it's not organic or alive. If your character would better suit a weaker weapon or a joke item, go for that! If you aren't sure what weapon to pick, ask a mod and we'll be happy to give you some suggestions.

How do you all come up with these weird weapon names?
Well, some characters will have a named weapon already. They're the easy ones. Otherwise, it's a good idea to look through lists of mythological characters -- weapons are often named after angels, demons or spirits. Alternatively, it could be a word or name that has special meaning to your character, such as the name of a loved one.

How do I come up with upgrades?
Think about your character. Do they have any special powers in their canon? If not, what are their strengths and skills? Do they have an elemental alignment or affinity? If you're still having a lot of trouble, try popping into our AIM chat to see if anyone would be willing to help.

Alternatively, check the upgrade list and choose some arbitrarily. It must be noted that you should not choose all five of their upgrades from the Abilities page - please ensure that at least two are other types, such as Boost, Conditions or Elemental.

The character I want to apply for is on the reserve list!
You can still app them! But we're going to wait until the reserver submits their application before we judge yours. (If they wind up dropping the reserve, or if the time period runs out, we'll go ahead and judge yours as normal.) When apping a character who is currently reserved, make sure to put "CHALLENGE" in your app subject line so we'll be extra sure to notice!

Gameplay questions

How many IRL days are there to an IC day?

Mostly, Rakuen Revolution runs at a 2:1 scale. However, in between each round there is an OOC week's rest, although IC it only lasts for one day, Saturday (though backtagging and making threads set in the previous round is encouraged). Round change then lasts four days and is IC Sunday. The week then follows a 2:1 ratio until the following Saturday.

To make things a little easier to keep track of Ketsu created a calender with the OOC and IC dates.

Okay so my character is really powerful and can blow everyone up...
All supernatural/superhuman powers are nullified upon arrival in Rakuen. That means no flying, no teleporting, no energy blasts, no psychic powers. However, some semblance of these powers will remain in the form of Weapon Upgrades.

Above-average intelligence, speed, and strength will remain as long as they aren't out of bounds for what humans can accomplish in the real world. If your character has extra limbs - even wings - or various other non-human traits that are a natural part of their body, they may keep those, too.

Can I break the fourth wall?
Nope! If refraining would be a major problem, we recommend you seal those memories as one of your character's lost ten, and we recommend you don't unseal them.

How does everyone communicate if they speak different languages?
The Exaclan system is MAGIC.

Seriously, though, part of the Exaclan software will translate all languages spoken into your character's native language, or the one they are most competent in/expect to hear. If you're Japanese, everyone will be speaking Japanese. If you're German, everyone will be speaking German, and so on. A conscious effort to speak in a particular language will override the program and leave it untranslated. All textbooks and text not written by hand are translated automatically, meaning that a single math book will look different for everyone.

If a character has forgotten how to speak and/or read a particular language, the system will use their second language. If they aren't competent in any other language, they'll just hear or read their forgotten language without comprehending it.

Do we have some sort of spiffy communicator for everyone to use?
A PDA can be purchased from Recette for fifteen raks, and you can upgrade it with a video and voice function for ten additional raks. They're much cheaper on your character's first arrival week, so consider buying one then or, if you wait until later, getting a newbie to buy for you. If you don't want to shell out for a PDA, you can use one of the computer rooms around campus to make posts.

Online posts as well as in-person posts should be put on [community profile] rakuen. Use the tag !!online - fortitude, !!online - conquest, or !!online - rakuen on any online posts.

Tags? How do those work?
In Rakuen, you should put your character's tag on any post they have made or replied to. In addition, the tags !!online - fortitude, !!online - conquest or !!online - rakuen should be used on online posts in [community profile] rakuen. In [community profile] exaclanarena the tags !!conquest, !!fortitude and !!interschool should be used depending on what kind of battle it is. There is another special tag, !!round change, which is only for mod use on the updated player/weapon lists that go up at the start of each round.

Whether your character is posting or commenting, they should use the same tag. If you need to find all top-level posts made by a specific character, use the URL form http://rakuen.dreamwidth.org/?poster=USERNAME instead.

What happens to dropped characters?
A character who is dropped vanishes from the school. Where they were standing, a text box briefly appears which reads, "ERROR 404: USER COULD NOT BE FOUND". They leave behind a Memory Charm that contains a memory, either one of the ten from their application, or a memory of something that happened in-game, as well an upgrade ring that contains one of their upgrades, both of which can be found in a particular location, depending on their status at the time of the drop:
  • On top of their pillow on their bed in the dorm room to which they were assigned, if the character was a Player or a Discard.
  • On their current Player's pillow, if the character was an owned, un-Linked Weapon.
  • On their Link partner's pillow, if the character was Linked.
These items will appear regardless of whether the character had unlocked any of their upgrades or memories; as such, it need not be something that they had unlocked during their time in the game.

To drop a character, please comment to this post; to see a list of dropped characters and what they have left behind, see this page.

What happens to my character if I go on hiatus?
Characters can either be put on autopilot, where it is assumed they continue with their lives in the background, or they can be put into a coma. On the day you start your hiatus, they will collapse suddenly and be taken to the infirmary. They'll stay there, unresponsive, until you return and wake them up.

It is your choice what happens to your character when they are on hiatus, though we recommend that if your character is a Player and you must take a hiatus that you put them into the infirmary so that the system can pick an emergency Player.

To go on hiatus please comment here.

Can I canon update?
Yes you can. IC this process happens overnight; they will fall asleep as usual and experiance the missing time while they sleep. It will feel completely real but when they wake up only a night will have passed. Any new physical marks/scars will have appeared overnight as well.

Alternatively if you wish to take your character back in canon, or switch from an AU to an OU version of that character they will disappear on Friday evening and reappear on the train the next Saturday. They will not remember being in Rakuen though.

How do I canon update?
To canon update please comment to the app page with "Canon Update" in the subject line. Please give your characters name, canon and school as well as the new canon point and a paragraph or two describing how this changes your character, what new things they will have experienced and how this might make them react to situations differently. If you have any questions about canon updating please ask a mod.

Can my character die in game?
Yes. Though characters cannot die during Exaclan battles due to their virtual nature, they are free to die at other times. When they die, their body will near-instantly disappear from where it fell, and the character will wake up in bed anywhere between one minute and 24 hours after the moment of death.

The first time they die, their items will be in a neat pile at the bottom of their bed. For subsequent times, they will have to go to the site of their death in person and collect their items, which will be surrounded by a glowing orb. Other characters are welcome to try and steal dead characters' items before they get there, but obviously OOC permission must be given first.

On the table next to their bed there will be an upgrade ring. This is an undead ring; when worn it gives the wearer Undead status. More information can be found here, near the bottom of the page.

Exaclan questions

How is it decided who is a Player and who is a Weapon?
At any given time, a small proportion of each school's population consists of Players, while everyone else is Weapons. Different characters are chosen as Players each round; someone who is a Player one week may be a Weapon next week. ICly, this choice is random. OOCly, the Players are chosen at random from a group of people who have signed their characters up.

Do we have to log battles?
You're free to log battles out, or not, as you like. Either way, you'll need to record the outcome of each battle on our Battle Records page. You can also keep your own records if you like.

If you choose to log your battles ICly, please post them on [community profile] exaclanarena.

Can a Player draw a Weapon outside of battle?
Yes! A Player can draw a Weapon to look at it, practice using it, or for some more unorthodox purpose only you can imagine. However, it is against Exaclan rules to attack another Player outside of battle.

What happens if my character loses too many raks?
If a character has zero raks, they may not spend any more. However, they may still lose raks to penalties and so forth. If a character dips into negative raks, the penalty applies to everyone but that character (also excluding staff characters). One hour from the time when the character went below zero, a random character will be chosen and subjected to the warning penalty -- an extremely painful headache strong enough to make them collapse -- for five minutes. This will continue, with a different person being chosen at random every hour until the character who incurred the penalty has zero or more raks. Of course, a character will only be chosen for the headache if their mun volunteers.

Please let a moderator know if one of your characters drops below zero raks -- and remains there for an hour or more -- so that action can be taken.

Why aren't Players and Weapons segregated by sex like in Shitsurakuen?
One of the things we like so much about Shitsurakuen is the message it sends about gender relations and how sexism is hurtful to everyone. Unfortunately, though, making all the Players male and all the Weapons female wouldn't work as well in a panfandom RP as it does in the source canon, for several reasons:
  • People tend to RP male characters more than female characters, so there would be a major lack of Weapons;
  • Things would get very touchy if people apped intersex, genderqueer, or transgender characters, and we don't want to deny any characters just because they don't fit into the gender binary;
  • One of the major points of the male dominance system in Shitsurakuen is that boys raised in such an environment internalize the messages they're fed; male characters ported in from other settings would behave quite differently from the boys in Shitsurakuen, perhaps even to the point of refusing to battle to avoid subjugating women. Obviously, this would be a problem.
So, we decided that everyone would have the potential to be either a Weapon or a Player, with the roles switching around every Round. We thought this would be the fairest thing to do, as well as providing the most gameplay potential.

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