01 January 2015 @ 12:00 am
Milliways F.A.Q  

PEOPLE


Your mods - or, who all is in charge around here anyway?
OOCly (or, out of character, just involving the muns (people who are the players), etc) the people in charge are your Mods. There are currently three regular mods (Cam, Steph MuJi, and Bing) with Bing being the go-to person for any and all enquiries about Bar-the-object (see below), and the physical environment of the bar and its grounds. information for all three mods is available on the bar comm info page.

ICly (or, in character, involving the actual in-game-play, etc) the current head Barman are Michaelangelo and Sallie Reynolds.

So I go to the mods with a problem?

Yes! The mods are here to help, not hurt, and they are available for anything. Plus, they just like talking to people. Mods are players too, and all.

But I have a problem with ___ who is a mod.

Talk to a different mod. That's why there are so many of us! It goes without saying that any question posed to a mod will be treated with strictest confidentiality.

So I should ask them EVERY question I have?

You can, but remember, your other players are there to help you too, and most of them are glad to do so.


Your fellow players - or, where is everyone and what the hell is crackchat?
Crackchat is the affectionate name we have for the AIM chat where you can usually find a few muns (and often more than a few) hanging out. It's a great way to meet people and make friends, as well as keep in contact during a thread. The name of the room changes from time to time, so if you want in, check the Back Room comm, under the 'where's crackchat at?' tag, or ping someone and ask for an invite.


PREMISES


Milliways - or, where am I and what on earth am I looking at?
Milliways is a bar at the end of the universe - in all senses of the word. The physical space of the bar is highly fluid. All that we seem to agree on is that there are tables, booths, a Bar, rafters overhead and occasionally a pool table and/or an evil karaoke machine. There's also an observation window with a pretty spectacular view (what with that whole 'end of the universe' thing), as well as doors to the Lake, the Staff Hallway, and to the kitchens.

What does the area around the Lake look like? What about the seasons? Day to day weather?

Well, it's nebulous, though there is a rather uncanny resemblence to the grounds surrounding Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. There are gardens and lawn furniture. There are stables and a paddock on one side. There is a greenhouse. There is a Whomping Willow. There is (occasionally) a firing range. There is a rather unusual labyrinth, though nobody quite seems to know where the entrance is. There an Air Temple made entirely of glass beverage bottles. There is a forest. And there are snow-capped mountains. The latter two are metaphysical mobius strips, if you will; for example, if you head into the forest on the east side of the lake, and keep walking, you will eventually emerge from the forest on the west side, back where you started. Same basic deal with the mountains. The Milliways grounds are self-contained. Seasons follow current earth seasons for the most part. It's just easiest that way, and we tend to sort-of-maybe-ish follow Scotland's weather patterns, but not precisely by any means. For instance, people rarely mention it raining, and yet things are green and nice during the spring and summer. Explanation? Magic.

How much leeway do I really have?

Loads. Some have said the lake is huge; others have said it's not that big. There are rocks here and there along its edge, as well as small beaches, but they haven't been all that closely described. If you have a worry about a description, just contact Bing, who is the Bar-mod who handles physical aspects of the bar.

The Landlord - or, why am I here and who do I send my angry letter to?
Milliways works in mysterious ways, and many people attribute things such as the appearance of doors to Milliways or random bindings to the shadowy figure of the Landlord. Does he exist? Nobody really knows. One thing's for sure - nobody's ever met or spoken to him, and nobody ever will.

Bar - or, why can this long wooden oblong hear what I am saying, and why is it a she?
Sirius Black, the first (in-game) Barman, bound himself to Bar with a spell called Servete, giving Bar a measure of sentience, and allowing her to serve drinks and food on her own. This spell has grown stronger with time and a little help from ambient free-floating magic...

What that means is that Bar and Barman communicate on a telepathic level, their personalities bleed into one another, and there's a one-way physical connection from Bar to the Barman. When you hurt her, you hurt them. The mental connection is both-ways, though. (We don't know why Bar is a she.)

Bar seems to have a personality. What can I have her do, and what do I need to ask about?

Bar generally gives people what they ask for, with certain exceptions. Broadly speaking, she won't give out things like: commonly illegal drugs; functional weapons, unless she is aware that a practice session is being arranged; things she can't possibly know about, like maps of the Lost island; living beings. If you have questions about something you need from Bar, contact Bing and ask. Characters can also leave letters or packages with Bar for another patron.

Personality-wise, Bar is fairly motherly, but capricious. She has been known to play jokes, even on her own Barman, and has a habit of fitting patrons out in costume when certain holidays roll around - but she's not given to wanton cruelty. She tends to communicate with people via little notes on napkins, and can remember birthdays and anniversaries.

The Barman - or, what kind of madman runs this crazy joint?
The head Barman manages Milliways, and, as above, is telepathically linked to Bar herself; apart from the Landlord, who may or may not exist, the Barman is the top dog at the end of the universe. The position is currently filled and shared jointly by Michaelangelo and Sallie Reynolds.

Waitrats - or, why the hell are there rats serving drinks? No, seriously, what the fuck?
It's a long story, and, like many things about Milliways, one that doesn't actually make sense - it's better to just roll with it. Don't worry, they're clean, mostly alive, and mostly friendly...provided you don't step on their tails. And those bullet holes? They're for speed.

Baby - or, what kind of name is that for a jail system anyway?
We don't know, we didn't come up with it. Baby is the sentient jail located within the Security office. She was created by a patron, Tim Hunter, so that the bar would have a place to jail patrons who violate the (IC) rules. Like Bar, she's somewhat benevolent, and dedicated to her familiar (currently Andrew Wells), and her job. While she might not look very big from the outside, no matter the number of miscreants she always has enough cells. The front wall of each cell is a clear, impenetrable glass-like substance that can only be opened by Mike, Sallie, or a Security Officer.

She can hold anyone. Jailbreaks are not possible.

Security - or, don't taze me/floor me with a ninja kick/paralyze me with magic/turn me into a small animal, bro!
The Security team is a hodge-podge of Milliways patrons employed to make sure nobody breaks the rules - in-character, that is. Members of Security that are on duty can be identified by their badges.

Jobs - or, I'm cold, and hungry, and there are wolves after me! How can I get a job as a ______ in the bar?
First, ping the muns who play the people in charge of hiring and talk to them. Then, in game, have your character ask the people who work there. Sometimes there are positions available. Sometimes there aren't. It's an IC and OOC commitment, though, to have a job. So if you really want one for your character, keep this in mind. However, if you simply want to have your character tend bar once or twice for the lulz, keep an eye on the back room comm on Mondays - there are usually a couple of available Happy Hour shifts available each week, available on a first-come basis.

Tabs - or, the best things in life are free, but how much is this here sandwich?
Some patrons of the bar choose to pay for their food/drinks/room/etc. in cash (or their equivalent commodity), while some characters prefer to put daily expenditures on a tab, which is automatically tallied up by Bar. Generally speaking, how or how often your character chooses to pay off their tab is something you should feel free to handwave - however, every blue moon or so, Milliways does call in outstanding tabs. But don't worry! This is really just an occasional excuse to shake things up and give characters a fun reason to run around panicking about money. If you don't want to actually play out your character paying off their tab, you don't have to.

(Of note: over the years, various patrons have donated funds to help with the paying of tabs. The two in effect are the Joe Manco Fund, from which money can be put towards paying the tabs of bound characters, and Phil - don't ask - which covers the tabs of those characters below the age of majority. Disbursement of monies from Phil is automatic; funds from the Joe Manco Fund, however, must be asked for by the characters themselves.)

PLAY


The IC Rules - or, why am I in the cells and what is this traffic cone doing in here with me?
Milliways-the-establishment has three simple rules which patrons are 'forbidden' from breaking. These are:
No violence in the bar - self-explanatory!

No naked(/sex) in the bar - also self-explanatory!

No business in the bar - the cardinal rule, and one which does not mean what you think it means! Go right ahead and exchange goods/services for money in Milliways; nobody minds that. What 'no business' means is that Milliways is neutral ground for everyone - demons don't try to tempt and angels don't try to smite them, vampire slayers keep their stakes in their pockets, Chosen Ones and Dark Lords politely ignore each other, and so on and so forth. Unless you're on the staff here, when you're in Milliways, you're officially off-duty.


Wait a minute - which patrons are 'forbidden' from breaking? What's that supposed to mean?

What can we say? Rules are made to be broken, it's only wrong if you get caught - and as players, we all love a good brawl or a bit of public indecency to liven up the evening. If you want to have your characters break any of the rules above, you are cheerfully encouraged to do so. HOWEVER. Before your character starts throwing punches or stripping down, the one thing you must do is contact the player of a character on Security. With them, you should arrange to either have your character get caught, or agree on an explanation as to how/why they got away with it. To do otherwise would be godding Security as absent/incompetent, and that is a no-no. Remember, communication is always key.

What about outside in the grounds? Do the IC rules still apply there?

Short answer? Yes.
Slightly longer answer? Yes - the outside grounds are part of the Milliways establishment, and just as with anywhere else on the premises, if your character gets caught breaking the rules, then they'll have to face the music. But - and this is the fun bit - while the rules are technically still in place, Security rarely, if ever, patrols the outside grounds. So, you know. We're just saying.

Bound characters - or, don't you people have homes to go to?
From time to time (because we are all sadists here and find it fun to torment our characters), characters will find themselves unable to leave the bar - generally because the door out has disappeared for them, or is visible but impossible to open. This is generally referred to as being 'bound', and is 100% at your discretion.

Dead characters - or, I feel fine! I think I'll go for a walk!
Yes, dead characters can exist in the bar. And yes, they can leave the bar, though it is up to you-the-player to decide whether or not they do. There is precedent for both bound and un-bound dead characters at Milliways, so that is your choice.

However, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

When you choose a dead character, you accept the fact that they are, indeed, dead, and that there are inherent limitations in that status. Unless your character's canon dictates otherwise, dead people cannot normally go wandering about. So, should you choose to give your dead character the ability to leave Milliways and come back, there are certain questions you should ask yourself:
  • What sort of status does he/she/it have in that particular world? Will they be ghost-like (ie, non-corporeal)? Will they be visible only in the dreams of the living? Will they start out as corporeal and fade after some time (the general, unofficial consensus being somewhere between three and five days) away from the bar?

  • If you send your dead character to another universe/world and they are able to act as though they are not dead (i.e., walking around, seen by others, living relatively normal existence)... why is that? Was there something that happened at Milliways that allowed that to occur? Ask yourselves good questions about why you're doing what you're doing with your character, and your plots will be all the better.

What about babytimes? My character is dead - can he/she/it still reproduce?

The short answer is, simply, no, because your character is... well, they're dead.
The longer answer is that if your character comes from a canon in which the dead are able to reproduce, or else there is some spell/talisman/really weird herb etc. etc. from that canon that enables them to do so, then it's a possibility. But as a rule, no, the dead at Milliways cannot reproduce.

OOMs - or, what are these link-posts on [community profile] milliways_bar, and why are they labeled with Ent-speak?
OOMs (or Out Of Milliways posts) are any RP threads (scenes) that are located off the main [community profile] milliways_bar community, such as in character journals or one of the ancillary RP comms. Usually, these are threads that take place anywhere that isn't the physical environment of the (downstairs) bar and grounds. All OOMs must be linked to from the main [community profile] milliways_bar comm.

Warnings - or, what are we, the Board of Censors?
No, we most certainly are not! However, we do ask that you add a CW WARNING in the subject heading and then cut the main text whenever your post, the OOM it links to, or the comments below, include subject matter that might be disturbing to other players. This includes violence and sexual content, but also might include other subjects such as abuse, drug use, or detailed discussion of sexual assault including threat thereof.

PROCEDURES


Adoption/Deletion/Retirement of a character - or, what to do when the spark just isn't there any more
Imagine, if you will, that Milliways is a sandbox with unlimited shovels and buckets. You climb in, find a shovel and bucket to your liking, begin to build the sandcastle of your dreams, and all is right with the world.
For now.
But time passes, and maybe you begin to grow tired of your shovel, or that bucket that looked so amazeballs before just isn't all it was cracked up to be. Maybe there's another shovel/bucket combo you're itching to try out, but you've reached your limit of 10 toys and in order to try the new things you have to let the older things go.
Then again, perhaps you're just done with sand all together.

If you find yourself in this particular position you can choose from the following options:
Adoption - or Can I interest you in a shovel?
Adoption to another player is the first of the three options available to you when you no longer feel inspired to play a character on your roster. It differs from Deletion in that while you are not at the helm of the character they remain a member of the community, and from Retirement by the fact that the character remains in play.

Basically, you're giving your bucket and shovel to someone else to build with. They then have the option of continuing the castle that you started, or ignoring it completely in favor of starting a new one of their own. Which basically means they keep the username, and can either continue playing that character as you did, or they have the option of rebooting them entirely.
  1. At any time, email milliways[dot]apps[at]gmail[dot]com with:
    1. the name of the character
    2. your contact information
    3. the contact information of the new player.
    This is the responsibility of the previous player, and ensures the character is transferred properly and no longer counts against their active character limit.

  2. Make sure the new player has the password for the character's journal, etc. etc.

  3. Once in possession of the journal, the new player must email milliways[dot]apps[at]gmail[dot]com with:
    1. the name of the character
    2. their contact information
    3. a minimum of 300 - 500 words regarding their thoughts on the character and whether they're going to continue with the current trajectory, or reboot the character entirely.

  4. Finally, the new player should submit UPDATES to both the Cast List and Contact List to reflect the change of ownership.
Deletion - or I am so kicking this bucket.
Deletion is the second option for when you've lost that lovin' feeling for a character. When you Delete a character you're not just removing them from your personal roster, as you would with Adoption, but are also taking your version of that character out of play going forward.

Millicanon that involved your version of that character would still exist within the confines of the game, as well as the hearts and minds of those who played with you, but unlike with retirement the character would be available for someone else to play.

To return to the metaphor, when you delete a character you're taking that bucket and shovel out of the sandbox, but are not destroying the previous sculptures and castles it helped to create. Instead you're leaving them out for someone else to pick up piecemeal and go.

To Delete a character:
  1. At any time, email milliways[dot]apps[at]gmail[dot]com with the name of the character you wish to delete.

  2. Delete that character from all Milli-related communities.

  3. UPDATE the Cast List and Contact List accordingly.

  4. That's pretty much it.


Retirement - Noooes! You cannot has my bucket!
Sometimes we don't just build a castle, but a grand and intricate landscape. Something so vast and beautiful that when we're finished all we want to do is stand back and marvel at the wonder we've brought forth into the world. And while we're done with that particular bucket, we'd like to keep what it helped to build preserved for posterity for just a little while longer.
Retirement is the way in which we do that.

Much like Adoption and Deletion when you retire a character you cease to be able to play as that character, and it no longer counts towards your total character limit. However Retirement differs from both Adoption and Deletion in that a Retired character is an inactive part of the community which cannot be applied-for or played-by anyone else for a fixed period of time.

Players in good standing can request Retirement for characters they believe have made both a substantial difference to the game as a whole, as well as created significant ties with other characters such that replacement by a rebooted version would negatively impact the playability of said characters by their respective players.

Retirement lasts 1 Year, from 12:00 am September 1st, until 11:59 pm August 31st EDT, and must be renewed annually via email to remain valid.
During that year players of retired characters should be prepared for the possibility that from time to time they may have to field inquiries from other players as to whether they would consider giving the character up.
If allowed to expire, Retirements will be considered Deletions.

To Retire a Character/Renew an existing Retirement:
  1. At any time, email milliways[dot]apps[at]gmail[dot]com with
    1. the name of the character you wish to retire
    2. their username
    3. your contact information
    4. a brief (100+ word) essay per character as to why you're seeking Retirement.
  2. If approved the player must then submit UPDATES the Cast List and Contact List accordingly.

Okay, that's fair enough - but which one should I choose for my character?

That's one of those kinds of questions that you can only really answer for yourself. Take a good long look at your character, at what you've built with them, and the relationships they've made. See which of the above options works best for you. If you still can't decide reach out to your fellow canon-mates and players for input. If you still can't decide...ask Bing.
Though I feel I have to warn you, she always says, "Delete."

Reserving a character - or, a pup in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or something.
If there is a character which, for whatever reason, it would be highly disruptive to your plot/character arc/etc. to have appear in the bar, or which you would prefer that a prospective player contact you before applying, you may apply to have them listed as '-RESERVE-' on the cast list.

To reserve a character, simply email milliways[dot]apps[at]gmail[dot]com at any time listing a) the character's full name and canon, and b) your contact information, and c) why you want to list said character as reserved. As with Retirement, if you choose to Reserve a character, you should be prepared for occasional player inquiries about whether you'd be willing to let the character go.

We do not allow reservations simply for the purpose of holding a character until you yourself can app them.


PROPRIETY


Canon-puncturing - or, what do you mean, you know all about me?
Canon-puncturing is perhaps best explained using an example:
Nymphadora Tonks: *sits at the bar, chatting with a new character*
New character (who is from USA, 2005, so could conceivably have read the Harry Potter books): So! You're fictional! What's that like?
Tonks: Uh. *blank stare* Fictional?


Canon-puncturing is one character telling another that the world from which they came is fictional - which, since all the characters from Milliways are from works of fiction, might soon get very confusing. And while there are quite a few characters in Milliways whose canons have been punctured, it can only be done when the following conditions are met:
  • If, for example, Buffy is planning to canon-puncture Harry Potter, then Buffy-mun needs to contact every other person who plays a Harry Potter character, and every other person who plays a character from Buffy canon, and get permission to canon-puncture Harry. This way, everyone is on the same page regarding which canons exist as fictional works in a given 'verse.

  • And, of course, you must never canon-puncture a character without that player's permission. It is a fairly heady mental burden to place on a character, and not every player wishes to be burdened with it.


Godmodding - or, I cast magic missile!
'Godmodding,' also referred to as simply 'godding,' is when one player controls the actions of a character not their own, via the comments of their own character. Godmodding is forbidden simply because, if you do not know the player or the character well, it is rude to direct their actions without that player's permission, and can often result in an abuse of that character. For example, if Sylar were to slip poison into Peter Petrelli's drink without Sylar's player contacting Peter's player, Peter's player would be forced to deal with the consequences of a poisoned character whether they wanted that or not. Godmodding can ruin pre-existing plots, and is basically just not very polite.

It should be noted, however, that certain kinds of consensual godding do exist. For example, the mun of Wash from Firefly might have godding rights to Wash's wife Zoe, so that, if asked, Wash can tell other characters where Zoe is and what she is up to, because it would be in-character for Wash to know, even though Zoe-mun might not be available to say. This sort of relationship generally exists between players who trust one another implicitly, and whose characters are tightly interconnected in-game.