Q. How do I kill people?
A. To kill another student on the island, you must have permission from that character's handler. If you're interested in killing off a character (especially if said character has been rolled) PM the handler and ask for permission. If you're granted permission, collaborate with your partner to work out the details of the death, and voila! Remember, you don't decide how another character dies, that's up to the handler. If they say you can't kill their character, then you can't kill their character, plain and simple. Remember though, it's considered courtesy to only PM asking for death rights if the handler requests ideas first, as nobody likes being bombarded with unwanted messages.
Q. How are people chosen to die?
A. Every two weeks (or thereabouts), the staff will conduct a series of dice rolls with a random number generator. Each number coincides with a character. If the character's number comes up, then they're up on the chopping block and slated for death. This is a change from our former system in an attempt to improve fairness - as handlers with fewer characters will now have less chance of getting rolled.
Q. How is weaponry decided?
A. The same way that deaths are decided -- via diceroll. We have a generated list in a staff-only forum from which we roll and give you a weapon. This list is viewable to any and all administrators and moderators to ensure that nobody is rolling unfairly.
Q. So... what exactly is the point of doing dicerolls?
A. While many people will voluntarily kill off their characters throughout the course of the game, many handlers want to make it as far as possible. Dice rolls are a fair way to determine which characters must be killed off each round and allow the game to progress. After all, if nobody dies, then the game never finishes! They are also a fair way to determine weaponry without playing favorites.
Q. When are the dice rolls to determine who dies?
A. Dice rolls take place during the beginning of and approximately halfway through each month, and will be presented with the announcement (if all goes as planned). Be sure to watch for them, and if you're rolled, plan accordingly to give the character a good death! Once the characters have been rolled, there will be a three day window for the playing of 'cards' (for an explanation of how these work, see further down), which can modify which characters have to die. Once this window is up, you will have a further seven days to complete the death and link it in the announcement topic. This was decided because during the first roll, deaths were heavily prolonged due to a misunderstanding. If you require an extension, you must request one from a site admin. You will not always be granted an extension, mind you. Reasons like "I'm in the middle of finals and unable to post," will probably allow you an extension. Reasons such as "I just don't feel like doing it right now," will not. If your time is up and you've not requested/been granted an extension, your character will be turned over to another handler (nine times out of ten, this will be a member of staff) for elimination, and you forfeit any say-so in their death. This is done to keep people from prolonging death sequences for as long as possible.
Q. Does my character HAVE to be from the default high school? I wanted them to be from a rehab hospital.
A. Yes. Your character absolutely has to be from Aurora High School. Not only that, but they MUST be grade 12 students. Why? Version 1 encountered problems in that although the large majority of students attended Barry Coleson, they didn't know one another. Not only that, but we want to see your characters snap, not have pre-generated psychopaths floating around on the island trying to be power players.
Island and Game FAQ
Q. Where is this island?
A. To be updated upon commencement of V5.
Q. Is there any way to escape the island?
A. You can try, but I'm not promising you anything. There may be. Then again, there may not. You've got to remember that these are highly trained professionals working on the SOTF ACT, and this ain't their first rodeo. As of the V3 fiasco with the collars being removed, there has been a massive security crackdown and the measures are tighter than ever. Similarly, since V4, these have all been taken a step further. If you have a plan, then PM it to a staff member. However take note that upon review, they will only point out impossibilities in a plan - you will not be told whether or not it will succeed. You're free to try the plan, but be warned that unless it is foolproof, then it is very likely to result in your character's death. This is to ensure that escape attempts carry an appropriate amount of risk.
Q. Nobody's been on this island in a long time. Does the electricity still work?
Q. Is there running water on the island, or has the water supply been cut off?
A. V5: Yes, there is water. It's been restored on the island for purposes of the game because dehydrated students are not ideal for the terrorists. Note that the water that comes out of faucets would likely include some pipe rust.
Q. What do the collars look like this time around?
A. The collars this time are thin strips wrapped around the center of one's neck, about at the Adam's Apple. Instead of being a plain silver, the design now is a beautiful dark red with an intricate black design. The tribal design resembles avian barbwire, vaguely like a horned creature with two sharp points jutting upwards to form wings. What seems to be the beak swoops downwards like a hook. The collar's name is Avis Prede, latin for "bird of prey", which describes the children on the island perfectly.
Q. The rules say something about two cards that can save my character from death... what are they, and how do they work?
A. Ah, the cards... the cards are your trump cards. There are two cards, a swap card and a hero card. Your character is rolled, but you're in the middle of this fantastic storyline with them and they just can't die yet! What do you do? Well, one time, and one time only, you may use your swap card to swap them with another of your own characters that isn't quite fulfilling your current needs. But, what if you've already used up your swap card, and the character is once again rolled? Fear not, for you can ask someone to use their hero card! The hero card allows one handler to swap out one of their characters for your character, thusly saving your character from certain doom. Be nice to your fellow handlers, you never know when you'll need a favor.
Q. I've heard about something called a roll null. What's that and how do I get my hands on one?
A. 'Roll Null' is short for 'Roll Nullification' and it does exactly that; nullifies the rolling of a particular character outright, whether a character of yours or that of somebody else. Naturally these don't just get given to just anybody and are available only as prizes in the monthly best death awards. Essentially, if you write such a good death that it gets voted the best of the month by your fellow members, you are awarded with a roll null to use as you please. Fun stuff! You may also be awarded a null for exceptional and dedicated work to the site beyond the expectations of a normal member.
Q. If I kill one of my own characters, can I pick up their weapon?
A. Originally, the SOTF policy was that if you killed your own character off with another one of your characters, you were NOT allowed to pick up and use their weapon. However, we've decided to change this for Version 2 (and beyond). Now, you may pick up their weapon after killing them, provided you don't abuse the privelege.
Q. And... what is considered abuse of the privelege?
A. Well, here's an example. If I were to kill Terrie Brightwell (my own character) with Kallie Majors (another one of my characters), and Kallie picked up Terrie's gun, that wouldn't be abuse. However, if I proceeded to kill off Khrysta Lawrence, Viki Valentine, and Andrea Vanlandingham (all my own characters) with Kallie and pick up each of their weapons, that could constitute abuse of the system. Abuse is basically creating characters simply to increase your flagship's entourage of weaponry. If we notice you doing this, you'll face some pretty steep consequences, because we're putting blind faith in the members to avoid this.
Q. What are the consequences for abusing the system and killing off my characters solely for better weapons?
A. The consequences are quite steep. If you're found to be doing this, you'll be forced to discard ALL of your weapons (even your designated one). You won't be able to pick up any weapon at all for one game day (one real-life month), and when the penalty is lifted, you aren't allowed to return and pick up the weapons you had to discard. In the end, abusing the weapons privilege isn't worth it, because you wind up losing everything.
Q. Besides killing my own character and taking their weapon, how else can I get different ones?
A. There are many different ways to acquire new weapons. For starters, if your character kills another character on the island, they can pick up and use their weapon. Keep in mind, though, that if their gun was down to one bullet prior to you picking it up, it won't magically be refilled when you get it. You can also trade in your old weapons for random items laying about the island. How does this work? Well obviously, if your character mysteriously finds a loaded gun lying around somewhere even though the island has been stripped, the staff is going to call you on it. However, it's plausible that you might find a broom stick, an extension cord, something that could double as a weapon lying around. Finally, there is one other way to gain new weapons. If the members vote for your character during our monthly "Best Kill" contest, Danya and company will issue you a brand spanking new weapon to slaughter the competition with!
Board and Member FAQ
Q. I'm roleplaying with [handler] and (s)he keeps backing my character into a corner where they have to get injured! What do I do?
A. Politely request that the handler stop forcing you into a certain course of action. If they refuse or continue to do so, feel free to alert a member of the staff, and we'll resolve the matter.
Q. [Handler] entered my topic, but I don't want to roleplay with him/her. What should I do?
A. If you don't want to roleplay with a certain handler because of reasons like god-moding and the like, you can always just leave the topic. However, if you don't want to roleplay with them because they're new and/or not "up to your standards", we can't help you. The staff team isn't going to tell someone they aren't allowed to enter a topic because "you said so". If you've got a private storyline going on and you don't want anyone else to enter, note it in the topic.
Q. What's the difficulty level of this roleplay?
A. This roleplay is geared more toward intermediate and advanced roleplayers, but we also try to help out roleplaying newcomers. After all, we were all new once. Knowledgeable members and staff have written roleplaying guides and the like to help newcomers along, and don't ever be afraid to ask questions if you don't fully understand something. However, if the staff comes to the decision that your writing is not up to a decent standard, you may be prevented from joining the game proper. Never fear though, this is where SOTF Mini, a site more aimed towards beginners comes in.
Q. I feel like a staff member is abusing their power, what should I do?
A. I'd like to think that SOTF has an open-door policy when it comes to problems with the management team. If you're having issues with one staff member, don't be afraid to report them to another staff member, or take your issue to someone else. While the staff does work together, we aren't of one mind and body, and we don't tolerate unreasonable treatment of our members. Don't ever think that we'll side with another staffer just because they're staff.
Q. Who, exactly, ARE the staffers, and what are their roles?
A. The staff are as follows: Crash and MurderWeasel are site administrators. The current mod team consists of Wheeler, MK Kilmarnock, Namira, BetaKnight, facesinbooks, Ruggahissy, and CaseyNuge. Megami is also a site administrator, but she is currently on indefinite hiatus.
Q. I'm confused about the inactivity list. How, exactly, does it work?
A. This roleplay, just like all other ones, faces a few problems. Sometimes, people come onto the site, create characters, get all set to go into the roleplay... and then just disappear. As of V4, two weeks without a post from a character will lead to your one and only warning (this applies for all your characters, not just the one you didn't post with). Following this warning, you will have a further week to post before being considered irredeemably inactive and your character will be killed off or placed up for adoption. If you post within a week, then for the remainder of the current version, you must not go two weeks without posting (unless you have an appropriate absence message) with a character, or they will be taken from you. We do try to give a bit of leeway for threads that have been held up, but it is considered your responsibility to monitor your own activity.
Q. My character has been taken off me, but I had a good reason not to post, can I get them back?
A. It varies on a case by case basis. If your character has been declared irredeemably inactive, you will have an opportunity to lodge an appeal to get that character returned to you. If you can provide the staff with a strong reason for your lack of activity ('writer's block', 'I didn't feel like it', or 'I was busy' not being good enough), then your situation will be assessed and the staff will decide whether or not to return your character. Please don't rely on the appeal system as a safety net! We have a system in place for situations where you know you won't be able to post. (see below)
Q. What happens when a character has gone inactive?
A. Once a character goes inactive, a member of the staff will take them over, remove them out of any current topics they may be in, and then it gets interesting. Said staffer will take over the character, roll a location from one of the possible areas on the board, and send their character into that location. Different scenarios can occur from there (for example, if they're sent to a dangerzone, they'd simply die by collar explosion). Once the inactive character enters a topic, they may either attempt to attack the people there or may be attacked by them, depending on that character's disposition. It's basically an "open kill", and the controlling staffer roleplays out the fight and chooses when to kill off the character. Please note that you may NOT godmod during these fights. You're to treat the inactive character as though it actually belonged to the staffer, and you WILL be called on it if you try to godmod your way into a kill, because it's not cool. This method allows us to efficiently and impartially take care of inactive characters. In certain circumstances (e.g. the character went inactive in the middle of a fight scene), the inactive may just be killed off in their current topic for the sake of convenience.
If the character goes inactive early in the game, they may be placed up for adoption. Please refer to the Adoption Zone for more information on the adoption process and how it works.
Q. Alright... but what if something comes up in real life and I'm unable to post for two weeks or more. Does that mean that I forfeit my character?
A. That depends. We have a buffer, if you will, for separating the inactive from the unable-to-post. It's in the "Roleplaying Discussion" forum, and it's also direct-linked in the welcome box. It's a topic called 'Away'. If you ever know for sure that you're going to be away for a certain amount of time, be sure you post there. If you, for whatever reason, can NOT post there, email, IM, call, get ahold of somebody and have them post for you. If you are "Away", your characters won't go onto the inactive list, UNLESS you are gone for a prolonged amount of time (read: you post as away but we see nothing of you for three months after that), because at that point it becomes a hindrance to the forum.
Q. So posting on the away list exempts me from inactivity. Does it also exempt me from dicerolls and dangerzones?
A. Unfortunately, no, it does not. Being away only exempts you from the inactivity list, meaning that your characters won't be auctioned off or killed while you're away. However, we cannot allow you to be exempt from rolls or dangerzones while you're away. Why? Because it hinders the site. It isn't fair to the active members to only roll active characters and leave the ones that're sitting on the shelf alone. Likewise, the timer to get out of the dangerzone is three days, no exceptions, so if your character is still lingering there after the timer has expired, there's nothing we can do. A tip: if you know you're going to be "Away", remove your character from their current storyline. That way, you aren't hindering anybody else's progress. Simply post your character leaving with a ((Continued: Elsewhere)) tag, and you'll avoid the dangerzone problem! Remember, this is your responsibility, the staff won't do it for you unless you've PMed one of them asking them to because you're unable.
Q. I have a question that isn't on here, what do I do?
A. PM any of the staff and it will be added promptly.