Answers to frequently asked questions about The City of Sin. These, along with the rules for the game, must be read before application. If you would like to add more or have a question that hasn’t yet been addressed, please post below!
Plot and Premise
1. Is this the game Bete Noire?
This game is an unofficial spinoff from the game Bete Noire which ran from 2009 until early 2014, loosely based on the setting but with several major changes to the world and new moderation.
2. Is this game a remake or a reboot?
The events in the original game are part of the continuity although the NPCs largely don't remember what came before. Only the player characters that existed in both settings have retained their memories. As well, there appear to be some strange questions some NPCs might have in regards to the very strange existence of some of the PCs.
3. Why is there a whole new game instead of just changing or continuing the original Bete Noire game?
The original game, as created, was not intended to outlast the involvement of the original moderators. The City of Sin was created to continue with the same history and ongoing CR, but with changes to the setting to reflect the move and out of respect to the original creators to the game, to not re-use the plots, characters and the exact setting that they created.
4. Is the continuing metaplot of the City of Sin directly related to the metaplot of Bete Noire?
No, the world of the City of Sin assumes that the setting rebooted and recreated itself, only the player characters that carried over from Bete Noire remember the things that happened there. The metaplot and NPCs of CoS are entirely new.
5. These "Magistrate" NPCs seem really familiar. Are they canon characters?
That would be telling! In all seriousness, though, the similarities are intentional, but they are not the same characters that they might resemble, talk and act like. There is a reason that they seem to be very much inspired by certain characters, but that bit of information is largely irrelevant to joining play at this point in time. The Magistrates have very much grown in their own right.
6. So what's the gist of the plot here?
The basic premise is that characters are brought into the City of Sin by means unknown to them or anyone they might ask to reside there. While there is speculation as to what purpose they might be there for, no one really seems to know what exactly that is. The City itself remains a mystery, though some people have more information than others.
7. I have a player plot that I'd really like to do / NPCs that I really want to interact with. Can I?
Our goal is to be as flexible as possible with allowing people to do what they want to do, including player plots. While we do have small, constant bits of metaplot and NPC participation that may be used for driving plot, we fully encourage players to follow the plotlines they’d like to participate in. Contact the moderators here with specific requests, they will be reviewed and we will do our best to find a way to make them work in the existing continuity.
8. How does time run in the game?
The game is currently at a three-to-one ratio (3:1) - three RL days to one in-game days. There is a calendar to help people keep track of the passage of time, and the date of the week can also be found on both IC comms.
9. What happens when my character goes home?
Whether you choose to drop your character and eventually have them return, or have them go home through a hiatus, the result is the same: generally speaking, the City will not allow characters to retain their memories of the City. This is mostly due to the nature of timey-wimey things, and canon characters going back home to their normal lives. If for some reason, a character might be allowed to retain those memories, that would be considered an exception, rather than the rule.
1. I don’t really like writing long apps. Do I have to?
We do ask that your application have some clear thought put into it. We like to maintain certain standards, and that does involve a certain amount of writing. In general, we ask that Personality and History sections (if written) have at least four paragraphs of four or five sentences each, with some exposition into why your character is how they are. We ask that there is some in-depth analysis of the character, as we want to make sure that you absolutely know your character inside and out. If this is something you’re not necessarily comfortable with, that’s fine - perhaps we’re not the game for you.
2. Where do I need to include in-depth analysis?
In the Personality section, for certain. This is a must. We don’t just want to hear what traits your character has, we want to hear about how they embody those traits. If this involves a few canon examples, then so be it - we would love to hear about them. A character’s past always helps formulate their personality, so explaining how they’ve become the way they are through time is also recommended. The aforementioned requirements for length are a minimum. While being succinct is a skill in and of itself, it doesn’t lend itself to truly exploring a character as deeply as we would like to see.
As well, we expect a little bit of analysis in the Appearance section. Obviously this isn’t going to be as in-depth as personality, but we do want to get a good gist of what your character looks like and how they present themselves. Some characters carry themselves differently than others, and while this may tie into personality somewhat, we always appreciate a little bit of crossover if it helps defend what’s stated in the body of Personality.
3. What are my samples supposed to be like?
At least one sample must take place in the City of Sin. It is up to you whether this is the first person / network-style sample, or the third person / prose sample. The other sample may be linked, whether from another game or a meme / test drive. However, if linking another sample, we do ask that the version in the sample is the same version as being apped to the game - we don’t want to read about the adventures of an alternate universe version of your character only to find that you’re apping a canon version from three years earlier.
The first person sample must be at least five to eight sentences long, including action. That said, unless there’s a reason your character wouldn’t say much, we’d prefer more dialogue to action. Obviously, longer samples are always welcome.
The third person sample must be at least 200 words, and must include your character dealing with their chosen sin in some regard. This may be from any time in their history, or from the City of Sin. If you have any additional samples you would like to include, feel free to add them onto the end where indicated.
4. How long will it take for my application to be processed?
This will vary according to how much time the mods have at any given time. If it’s a very slow period in their lives, then your application may be processed sooner than other times; if you apply at a convenient time, then it may be quicker as well. This is entirely dependent on what kind of availability the moderators have, as all applications will be discussed amongst them to determine if it fulfils all requirements.
In general, it may take up to a week, possibly two, in order to get all applications processed. If you’re waiting more than two weeks, please get in contact with the moderators to see if there was a problem. We’re people too, and we have lives that need tending to.
5. Do I need a reserve?
Yes, you do. When we first opened, we made reserves optional, but now reserves are required as part of your application. Note that from February 2016, we will not be accepting reservations for characters whose canons are less than three months old. This includes OCs and AUs for that canon.
6. If there’s already a reserve up for a character, can I submit a ‘challenge app’?
No. If someone has already reserved a character, the only way you can apply for the same character is if their reserve expires or if you choose to apply for an alternate version of that character.
7. I recently apped a character into the game. How soon after that can I apply for another character?
We love your enthusiasm! Players need to wait two months from the time of their last application before sending an application in (with the required reserve).
However, if a player is found to be in poor standing with AC (i.e.: calling a lot of hiatuses or proving themselves generally not 'around' as a player), the mods reserve the right to refuse the reserve and/or application.
Note that from February 2016, we will not be accepting reservations for characters whose canons are less than three months old. This includes OCs and AUs for that canon.
1. I want to bring a character to the City of Sin that was in Bete Noire. Do I have to submit a full application?
At this point, we would prefer that any characters who were once in Bete Noire remind the mods of their characters by filling out the full application again. However, it will be noted that the character was once present in the city, so please mention that within the body of your application. Other than that, simply fill out the application as you would in the case of bringing them in from any other game.
2. I want to apply for more than one character at one time! Can I do that?
While we appreciate your enthusiasm for our game, we currently ask that players limit themselves to applying for one character per month. Assuming that the first character makes activity check that first (applicable) month they're in the City, players may then apply for a second character.
3. I want to apply for a child character. They are very mature, and they come from an insanely violent and sinful world so the City of Sin wouldn't be different or traumatizing for them.
Child characters are not allowed in the City of Sin. If you would like to bring your character from a post-canon point where they have become an adult, that's fine, although they'll likely be counted as an AU version of the character. This rule was decided on based on the comfort level of the players and the moderators, and is ultimately non-negotiable.
4. Can my character bring their pet/mount/animal companion into the game with them?
When applying for a character, feel free to mention the presence of the aforementioned companion, and ask the moderators if it will be allowed. Ultimately, these requests are subject to review by the moderators, and will be determined at the time of application.
Animal pets or companions that are sentient and could be applied for as characters in their own right are generally not allowed to be brought in, but the line for a valid, "appable" character can be a gray one so these requests will be granted on a case by case basis. Additionally, if a character's pet dies it will not be resurrected through the normal player resurrection means.
5. Can my character bring their vast fortune with them?
Characters in the City of Sin will not be able to remotely access their accounts in their home universes. In addition, any currency they have on their person will not be valid in stores in the City, though there may be NPCs willing to do an exchange for a (high) cut of the proceeds.
If they have universally valuable items like precious metals and gems that were on their person at their time of arrival these can be sold, although the prices that one can get for those items might not be as high as they would be in the character's home universe (again, with the "fees"). For example, if a character brought in a pound of gold, they would likely not get the full value of each gold bar, but perhaps half of the worth. This is to prevent some characters from being much more well off than others; we encourage an even playing field when characters come into the City of Sin.
5a. What kind of currency does the City use then?
They have their own version of the dollar. Just as with our various currencies, its worth varies depending on the strength of the economy in the City.
6. Can my character bring their universe-ending weapon with them / have use of their universe-ending abilities?
As a rule, no. We rather like this universe and it would sort of ruin everyone's plans. The moderators may in cases like this modify weapons like they modify powers so that they aren't as destructive. With weapons, as with powers, we ask players to be respectful of godmodding others. If you have specific questions in regards to your character, please ask the moderators.
7. What does my character arrive with?
All characters will arrive with only whatever they were last carrying on their person. For example, a character who typically carries a sword might arrive with it, or a character who carries a handbag could arrive with that. Keep in mind that there are certain obvious limitations here - please don't abuse what all your character could bring along with them. They are not given warning when they are brought into the City of Sin. In addition, it’s noted that some characters may have the ability to "access hammerspace" so to speak. In this case, we ask that characters not abuse the privilege, and maintain the even playing ground as mentioned above. If you have further questions, feel free to ask the moderators.
8. What if my character doesn't have a "Sin"?
There are few characters in all of fiction and creation that don't have at least one sin to a minor degree. A shining and righteous paladin might be wrathful in the way that they strike down evil. A very generous person might take an excessive amount of pride in what they do. Be creative, think outside the box - the sins aren’t hard and fast rules, but loosely used frameworks. If it seems to be an absolute stopping point that you can't get around, contact the moderators and we will help you brainstorm.
1. What is the in-game network like?
Each character receives, upon arrival, a device not entirely unlike a cellular phone. This is the default, for any characters with modern inclinations. It will be a device that appears familiar to them: for example, a character from 2014 might find themselves with a generic looking tablet-style device, while a character from closer to the turn of the century might find themselves with a flip phone complete with antenna.
However, in the case of less modern characters, they will receive a handheld device that would be familiar to them and appropriate to the world that they came from. Examples of this might be a notebook, where all text messages are sent and received as written word, or a mirror, where a character might be able to view other characters and speak to them through that. It is up to players to determine what will work best for them. As a result, some devices might only send and receive voice or text, while others may have greater availabilities, such as video and games, like on a typical cell phone.
1a. Can the network be hacked?
It cannot. For some reason, the City prevents anyone from doing so. Any attempts made will be worked around as characters try, cutting them off at every turn.
1b. Can my character upgrade their device?
They can! There are shops throughout the City that offer more modern devices, so characters can feel free to upgrade whenever they like. Keep in mind that any characters upgrading may not necessarily understand the many nuances of modern technology, so have fun with it!
2. Does everyone speak the same language on arrival?
They absolutely do not, and this is very important to remember. There is one exception to this, and that is if a character goes to the Tower District. Standing within the confines of the Tower District, or broadcasting a message to the network from it, will automatically translate what a person understands of what they're hearing in their mind, though not the actual sounds. Characters will still look as though they’re speaking another language, like a badly dubbed movie. There are services that will translate documents for a price, and the Magistrates seem to be able to speak and make themselves understood in all languages. Not so much with the regular NPCs of the city, who speak a wide variety of languages from many different worlds but seldom more than one.
3. How big is the City of Sin?
It is fairly large, and takes approximately half an hour to drive from one end to the other at the farthest points, with variances for traffic, and even longer to walk. With the Tower at the center, the radius of the City's edge is about 15 miles out in all directions. There are further details on the World Information page.
4. Can my character leave the City?
There is nothing stopping them from driving, flying, sailing or walking out of the boundaries of the City, but everything seems to taper off into a formless gray void after a few hundred feet. If the character goes further than that, they will either find themselves turned around and heading back into the city of their own volition, or reappearing back where they started in between blinks.
4a. But my character would never stop trying to get out, even if it meant running back and forth into the void forever!
Well, that's unfortunate. If your character really would never see the futility of this and you would rather that they did so that they could be playable in the setting, contact the moderators and we can probably work out a way to have their mind changed by metaplot means.
45 What happens if I go on hiatus, what happens to my character?
Your character can go on "autopilot", they can keep living their life as normal except without direct control by the player, or something can happen that takes them out of commission for a while. You can simply have them go missing for some reason, or if there is something specific and plotted that you want to do outside the normal logical boundaries of the game setting, like having them return to their world, contact the moderators and we will see if we can work out a personal plot for the character that causes them to be gone for the duration of the hiatus.
6. What happens if my character dies in-game?
Once a character dies in-game, they will appear very much dead. In fact, for all intents and purposes, they are. It’s not a given that characters will come back to life in the City of Sin. However, if you do choose to bring them back, there is something of a narrative to go along with it:
They will be greeted by a cheery young woman who appears to exist in some kind of misty afterlife, but is still limited to the City. She will seem like an old, trusted friend to your character despite whether or not this makes sense. The two of you will go back to her Realm, which is mostly decorated like a modern apartment. She has two goldfish and a lot of silly hats. You will talk about your life and your problems, and maybe have tea or coffee. She might offer you some advice on your life, or just listen. You might watch television for a while with her, or listen to the radio. Even if your character is insane, evil, or willing to get back to the city by means of violence, this will not occur to them as being an option. They will sit, and talk, and share their anxieties and troubles.
This will go on for at least 72 hours or 3 days (in-game) from time of death, and up to 96 hours or 5 days (in-game) from time of death, and then your character will reappear either at their assigned housing in their district of arrival (whether or not they've subsequently moved), or in the morgue. It is completely at the player's discretion how much of this encounter they'll remember, and if any advice they received was useful. We will take requests to play this out if wanted, but it will be subject to the moderators' time and availability and may be summarized instead.
7. Where does my character arrive?
All characters will arrive in their assigned housing. If for some reason, players wish to have their character arrive elsewhere, we ask that they contact the moderators to work something out. This should be a rare occurrence, however, as we would prefer all characters arrive outside their respective buildings, at the very least.
8. Where can my character live?
When your character arrives, they will arrive at their new residence in housing appropriate to each district. This basic housing is just a starting point, they can choose whether to stay there or not. Further information on housing can be found on the Housing page. We ask that all players fill out where they’d like to have their character live upon joining the game, according to the availability listed on the spreadsheet.
8a. Can they buy or move in to a place that isn't the one that was assigned to them on arrival? Can they move in with someone else?
They can choose to buy a new residence if they have the means, and they can move in with others or have people move in with them if they want. If they move, their original residence will still be available to them. Please remember that each district is worth a different amount, and that moving straight into the Tower District immediately upon arrival is probably not plausible. However, there are some very nice starter homes in Leisurebrook.
In general, homes in the various Districts run from least to most expensive: Shantytown, the Red Lantern District, the Gardens of Pleasure, the Coliseum District, Leisurebrook, Finance Street, and the Tower District. The middle range tends to be fairly even and affordable, followed promptly by a sharp upward spike when it comes to the Tower.
8b. What if their "Sin" changes over time to something different than the one they arrived with?
If, over time, their basic "Sin" changes to something else, like a very prideful person is changed by their experiences in the city and becomes more wrathful instead, they will wake up one day in a residence in the district corresponding to their new sin. This does not fluctuate from day to day, and should only be done at the player's discretion if their fundamental nature has significantly changed over time.. We also ask that players who wish to make this transition contact the moderators to clear it before making any changes.
9. Does my character have to pay for rent on their assigned house? What about food?
Assigned housing is always free. Only if a character chooses to move will they have to deal with paying for their new residence. The housing is fully furnished as applicable to the district: an apartment in the Tower District will likely be better furnished than one in the slums of Shantytown. As far as food goes, you're just going to have to work for it. However, everyone does receive a care package upon their arrival that should hopefully cover them for a little while. Just until you get settled.
1. I would really like to play in this game. I am okay with (Subject A, Subject B and Subject C), but (Subject D) is very disturbing to me. Even with other players putting warnings on their posts if (Subject D) comes up even with my incidental CR I won't be able to tolerate it. Can you ban (Subject D) from happening in the game/stop this player's plot involving (Subject D)/can I ask this player to stop playing (Subject D)?
First, we're very sorry that this issue is a problem for you. We try to be sensitive to everyone's needs and boundaries in the game and we do encourage players to work out comfort issues with each other OOC. That having been said, we can't guarantee that certain subjects will never come up, and we are not willing to police what can and can't be mentioned in the game due to individual comfort levels with certain subjects. The City of Sin was designed to be an adult game with subject matter that can be considered questionable or uncomfortable to some. If you find it impossible to avoid the issue that is disturbing to you, you may unfortunately want to consider that the City of Sin may not be the game for you. We are willing to take a look at the issue to see if there are true infractions going on like content not being warned for and players not being considerate of others though, so if situations like this arise, please do bring it to our attention.
2. Someone was saying negative things about me on an anonymous "wank" community. I am pretty sure that I know who it was. Can you ban them?
We are willing to review the situation, however comments to anonymous communities are almost impossible to definitely attribute back to the real original poster. If a player believes that another player has issues with them, we ask that they first bring the matter to the player(s) in question, and if there are further problems that cannot be solved, a moderator can be approached and asked to step in. We always want to make sure the playerbase feels safe and happy in the game.
3. I need to take a hiatus! How long does it have to be to be exempt from AC?
Two weeks, at minimum. Anything shorter, and you'd likely be able to make the required number of replies. We ask that hiatuses are not something taken constantly. Extended hiatuses may become grounds for moderators to speak to players in question. That said, if you have extenuating circumstances, please feel free to talk to the mods, and we can likely work something out.