Eyes flinching. Shuttering open. Squinting. Tunnel vision. Wiping your face. Wet with rain--the window was open. With every flash of lightning you're in an unfamiliar place. The room shudders with the oncoming railway train. The TV turned itself on. The static gives a dim light to the room. A flooded toilet bubbles from across your television set. Rusty pipes drip fluid on the stained carpet. Someone screams down the hallway. A drunkard heaves his dinner on the sidewalk outside. A dog cries in the rain. And then door pounds. Cracking. Creaking. Beyond the peephole. Nothing. Your head pounds. Your cold sweat hands juggles the knob. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Welcome to Fountain Lake Dear Friend, We understood you may have had a rough trip to our beautiful city. Please accept my condolences. Our Fourth Floor Hotel should greet you kindly. Be sure to have a look around the city. We truly are one-of-a-kind. Tomorrow afternoon will bring us to a Church Service for the bureaus of our great city. A board meeting with our members will resume to decide your final fate. Dress your best. We look forward to serving you.Regards, Governmental Services ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THEME *recommended listening while reading* ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________TELEGRAM I'd like to welcome you to Fountain Lake City. It's a quaint city--I'm sure you'll like it. I'll be world building this RP from the ground up. Hopefully, you like what you see. I plan to put together this atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful adventure that opens up a new dimension of RPing that keeps you fully immersed and emotionally invest in at all times. With that being said, welcome to the Known Universe. Story & Concept A Strange Psychic connection--even you can feel the ethereal static between your comrades. You visit a different world. Every time you close your eyes, you run the risk of never returning from beyond the veil. A Mysterious World abducts your soul somewhere far away from home. A nightmare. A mystery. A new adventure. A city steeped in evil. Your blurry reflection belongs to somebody else. The skin of an unlikely criminal. Do you want to wake up? You'll have to find out how. Your time is about to run out. So hurry and wake up. Something is happening beyond the veil. Welcome to Fountain Lake City. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What's Mandatory to Read (Move your mouse to reveal the content) What's Mandatory to Read (open) What's Mandatory to Read (close) Hey there. I noticed there's quite a bit to read for this RP. You may or may not want to to do that, although I highly recommend it. You may be asking yourself "what do I need to read to just get into the RP, the rest I can deal with later". Well if you want to go that route. All you need to read is 1) How to Sign up 2) Writing Guidelines 3) About this RP. 4) Disclaimers #1 and #2 DISCLAIMER #1 (Move your mouse to reveal the content) DISCLAIMER #1 (open) DISCLAIMER #1 (close) This is for those RPers begging to be on the edge of their seat. This RP isn't so much about an intellectual process of finding out--it could be anything. It's about How. Where. What. You can paint an apple a thousand ways. Colorful and bright, dark and somber, or dead and rotten. But the apple is an apple. It stays the same. That's what this RP is. The plot isn't relevant, it's just an apple. But how we paint the apple for you matters. The immersion and style of the RP dominates clearly over the plot even though the plot does certainly exist in a suspenseful secret. It's the journey that matters. The actual experience, not the giant picture. It's not the story thats important. So spoilers shouldn't be tempting. Its how I manipulate it. Sounds experimental? I guess so. Even worse. Opening the spoilers may ruin the RP for you by exposing all the secrets I may have had hidden from you to find out in the first place. Open at your own risk. Thank You, Your Local GM :) SPOILERS (Move your mouse to reveal the content) SPOILERS (open) SPOILERS (close) *Gasp* So you still want to read them huh? Well, comment below if you read some spoilers! Settings This is Fountain Lake City. Someone--something is organizing and controlling this world--and they don't like you. The more you stay here the more you'll realize this city is just like the Earth you know and nothing like it all at the same time. Fountain Lake City is located somewhere beyond the veil. It's a dreamlike mix of oddities in an alternate dimension that's closely related to Earth. This is a dark city--steeped in evil and sinister plotting. A city on the last threads of human decency. Plot You and your friends have only met online. You always complain about having vivid dreams--dreams that always felt shockingly realistic. It's almost like an outer body experience. Every time you go to sleep, you feel you run the risk of never being able to leave such a world. A nightmare wakes you up to a strange room. You've been abducted. You're not in your own body. You soul has been switched and you've been trapped in this foreign universe. You've been placed in the body of a criminal you would otherwise not have known about. A teacher who is a rapist. A child that slaughtered his mother. An old man that kidnaps young women. A bell hop that poisons his guest. Etc Etc. You've been called upon the the City's governmental services. Your fate is set. You will serve the rest of your life working for the city doing odd-jobs that no one dares to try as service for your crimes..Or..the crimes whoever owned your body before..did. You will be exploring the dark depths of Fountain Lake. Hopefully, you also have the courage to figure out where you are and escape before your impending doom. You want freedom? Discover who and what stole your bodies. What are they doing in real life with YOUR body. Figure out just what Fountain Lake City is, and return the Orb back to its sacred place before you die both in this world and the next. Lore In the beginning. There was nothing. And then. They created Life. Human beings were created from something. We know that. But what? In whose image were we made? No one knows. They call them The Known. A tribe of meta humans that created a sister dimension to the one you come from in order to trap the evil souls of man away from their brothers and sisters--a place where they could not hurt anyone anymore. This is Fountain Lake City. One of many placed beyond the veil. Yet, the magicians and witches of this cursed land prophesied: the veil will eventually thin enough to make contact with their lost brothers and sisters. This is what they call Nightmares. A crooked cult that runs the City has decided to make contact once more, before their captors once again return to seal them forever into this dimension with the power of The Final Sacrifice. However there is a fee. Every time an individual performs the sacrifice in order to transport and capture a body, their soul gets split in half as a price, leaving a part of their conscience back in the realm they came from as a marker in which to return to. This was the knocking heard as you originally woke up. The Final Sacrifice is a chain of event. It requires a chain of sacrifices in order to build up to one final sacrifice to achieve dimensional unity. A harsh ancient sacrifice that requires the bodies of innocent dreamers to be abducted into this world as sacrifice into the new world. While they are fooled into allowing their sacrifice, the captors of their bodies in the Realm Beyond the Veil must perform a paralell sacrifice in order to connect both dimensions in unity. Every time someone needs to pass the veil, they must offer a sacrificial crime--hence why you woke up in the body of a criminal being held in custody at a hotel. They say the evil of the original ancestors has so seeped into Fountain Lake, the very fiber of this dimension is corrupt. A fusion of both these dimensions may just corrupt the entire Universe with evil, sacred magic. Technology In short. 1940s Characters of Interest You may have the help of "The Happy Laundromat" manager, Kirby Karooney. He's a short 5'3 man. Very dapper. Very mysterious. He seems to have taken a liking to you and your friends, and he's willing to help out "out of this miserable situation you've seemed to find yourself in". He moved here from "out of the city". Which oddly, is no where to be found. Regardless he seems to have migrated here in order to work hard and make a living for himself here. He also seems very interested in gaining the Orb of Jadha and placing it back into its original place. Kirby Karooney is actual only half a soul. A strange spiritual oddity created when his other counterpart transported over to the Realm Beyond. He stands as one of the missing fragments. Every time the ritual is performed on an individual, their soul is split in two. A Ying and Yang if you will. Kirby Karooney is the good left of his evil counterpart that now controls on of the captured bodies in the Earthen world you come from. You may run past more like them on your journey. Surprised why there was no one knocking on the door of your hotel room? It was him. His soul was left behind, trying to break you out of your custody-held apartment. Disclaimers #2 (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Disclaimers #2 (open) Disclaimers #2 (close) This RP is a suspense, thriller, mystery. It also may have some horror elements. I consider this a mature RP compared to what I've done in the past. Sadly, I'm not just allowing anyone to RP this story--not this time. That's only because I'm not sure everyone could handle what is required. I need you to give up your control. I need you to give me the power to orchestrate this story. The truth is, in real life, things are not in your control. The environment around you is a living, breathing thing--it's a character on its own. How much more then can you say of a dimension like Fountain Lake? Exactly. Which is why I will not be a character in the RP--I'll be posting "GM POSTS" that will play and act as the environment around you. Remember. This is a dream-like reality. Weird things happen. I need you to suspend your disbelief because this may be quite a trip. I need you to be immersive. I shouldn't have to tell you. Show, not Tell. I need you to have a level of showmanship. A level of pretend that feels like reality. Whatever it is that keeps up the suspenseful illusion--do it. Pictures, music--any sort of media done tastefully helps. I'm no perfect RPer or writer. So let's help each other create this awesome new world. I need you to Visualize. I need you to step into the RP. Use all 6 senses. Smell. Touch. Visualization. Taste. Hearing. And your emotion. I need you to allow your characters to die. Irreversibly So. Granted, this may never actually happen in the RP. Or it may. Who knows? I believe leaving this as an open-ended answer leaves more suspense so you actually are if you and your character die or not. So yes. You can die irreversibly. Is that going to happen? Stick around and find out. I don't know. I need you to write your IC in a certain way. Another thing I shouldn't have to say. If you had a hard time writing it. We'll have a hard time reading it. We need concise RPers that can get their point across appropriately I do not enjoy giant posts that communicate only a few ideas. Be concise. Be exact. Show don't tell. I'll be posting my writing guidelines down below so you can see what I mean. You are encouraged to use media and showmanship. Just reminding you. ^__^ I need you to stick around This is my first attempt to make an ambitious, high quality RP. You'll need to jump through some quality control hurdles. On top of that, you'll need to read the rules and understand the style we're going for. I need you to want a challenge If you desire a writing challenge and fun experience rolled into one. This is your RP. If you want to try to grow as a writer/RPer. This is your RP. This is an exercise in storytelling and showmanship. I invite you to join me if you're up for that challenge. I need you to accept/give criticisms in a non-dramatic way. I'm not a perfect writer or RPer. So feel free to critique me. I'm relatively new to all of this so advice is always extremely welcome. On that note, none of my critiques are ever attacks on a person. There is no drama involved in critiques, and that's my overall policy with anything OOC related. The reverse also is true when I say IC drama is not OOC drama. Have Fun! Make this a labor of love! Let's all have fun and love what we're doing! Proofread, edit, add media, be immersive--let's make this as epic and fun as we can. How to Apply & Quality Control (Move your mouse to reveal the content) How to Apply & Quality Control (open) How to Apply & Quality Control (close) This RP will be very highly monitored by yours truly to ensure the most appropriate standard quality is met. This isn't meant as a bullying tactic or meant to look down on some that are "illiterate" or "unskilled". Not at all. That being said, if you aren't accepted into the RP it's not a personal attack. Every player will need to apply to the RP (information below). After your application you'll be coached/guided so that your writing is primed as much as possible for the RP so that you fit into the RP as much as possible. How You'll Apply to this RP Please follow these directions to the T. Failure to do so will just allow me to ignore you. That's not because I'm mean spirited, but because rules are rules and I can't run behind 5-7 people every time they're not organized because they didn't follow a few steps. The steps are very simple. You will message me in my inbox. The title should be appropriate to let me know what it's about. It will include two prompts as stated below. 1) Your first prompt: Be creative with these vague instructions. "Tell me something that's creepy to you. Tell me why. How. Be descriptive. 2) Your second prompt: Be creative with these vague instructions. "Give me a creepy scene." 3) I will then critique, guide and coach you into the style of the RP. Writing & CS Guidelines (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Writing & CS Guidelines (open) Writing & CS Guidelines (close) Character Sheet and Guidelines #1 1) One version served as an in-depth CS for my use. Details below on that. We call this CS-A Preferably Messaged in the same Conversation as your Application 2) One version serves as a less in-depth surface-level CS for other players to use. You don't know everything about everyone when you first meet them. So your players won't either. It will roughly outline what others know about you from your online accounts. Details below on that. We call this CS-B 3) Every CS will have two characters developed in them. This is how it will work. CS-A (Inbox to Me) An in-depth CS of who your character is in the real world. An in-depth CS of the criminal your character was placed into in Fountain Lake City. CS-B (Posted on Official OOC) An in-depth CS of who he/she is in the online world. An in-depth CS mocked to be a newspaper article of the crime your character committed. Character Sheet and Guidelines #2 CS-A (Inbox to Me) Real Life Persona Full Name Apperant Age Age Height Weight Nationality Crime Record (If Any) Location Travel Experience (If Any) Wealth Class Occupation Online Username Name You Gave Yourself Online (If You Didn't Use Your Real Name) Websites Visited Appearance Birth Date Personality Sexuality Psychological Issues (If Any) Hobbies, Interests/ Extracirricular Activities Dislikes, Pet Peeves House Life (If Any) Fears: *These MUST be your real fears. An avid description of what you think is scary/creepy and why* How to Make Your Character Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Suspense is the art of putting the everyday man in bizarre situations. You will make a character very much like an everyday man. Try to make it as close to your actual personality as possible. How experimental and personally immersive would that be? :) I highly encourage that as your character's creation. Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) If you don't prefer that. You will be creating a character as close to a real person as possible. Using models or animated pictures are not at all allowed. Other than that, there are no instructions--be as dark and strange as you'd like to be--or not at all. Just don't make a Mary Sue. Fountain Lake Persona (Will Be Generated and Given to You By Me) Full Name Apperant Age Age Height Weight Nationality Crime Record (If Any) Location Travel Experience (If Any) Wealth Class Occupation Online Username Name You Gave Yourself Online (If You Didn't Use Your Real Name) Websites Visited Appearance Birth Date Personality Sexuality Psychological Issues (If Any) Hobbies, Interests/ Extracirricular Activities Dislikes, Pet Peeves House Life (If Any) CS-B (Posted on Official OOC) Personal in Real Life Apperant Age Height Weight Online Username Name You Gave Yourself Online (If You Didn't Use Your Real Name) Websites Visited Appearance Fountain Lake Persona (New Version Will Be Given to You to Post) Name Apperant Age Age Height Weight Crime Record (If Any) Wealth Class Occupation Online Username Name You Gave Yourself Online (If You Didn't Use Your Real Name) Websites Visited Appearance Birth Date Personality Sexuality Psychological Issues (If Any) Hobbies, Interests/ Extracirricular Activities Dislikes, Pet Peeves House Life (If Any) My Writing Guidelines Workshop The Theory of Suspense: Juxtapositions What is suspense? "A state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen." This isn't an intellectual process of "I don't know" "Who did it?". That is mystery. Although that element is included, that isn't the core of suspense. Mystery is about hiding information from your audience. Suspense is giving information in a specific way to keep them on edge. Blend this with an eerie creepiness and some disturbing themes--you're gold. Let's take an example. A mother and her child are eating and playing at the table. A bomb goes off. The audience is shocked for 10 seconds. That's it. A short lived experience. Whose bombs is this? Why? This is not suspense. A mother and her child are eating and playing at the table. They have no idea that a bomb is about to go off in 2 minutes under their table and blow them to shreds. But you know. The audience knows. Now the entire atmosphere changes. You know this may be their last words--and little Jamal talking to his mommy about how much he loves G.I JOE's is much more emotionally intense knowing this may be his last words before he's horribly beheaded and his guts plaster the kitchen walls. Jamal kicks under the table in excitement, a bomb slides from under the table. A mother screams and yells, throwing the bomb out the window before yelling her son to get under the table. They both bawl. Their apartment wall is blown open by the force. They just escaped a mysterious killers plot to destroy them. Is this more suspenseful? Yes. The key is, to play your audience. You must not let the bomb go off. This is the theory of suspense. Putting the every day man in weird situations. Telling the audience information in a juxtaposing way. Then playing their mind. You must give them relief, or too much suspense will psychologically give them blue balls. The bomb didn't go off. But it did play into another creepy aspect: someone is trying to kill you. A killer is near. Whats more creepy? Someone being killed by a murderer that appears out of nowhere? or Someone hearing the creaking steps of someone they don't know down the stairs. They are rushing to complete a task in the house, but the unknown entity comes closer. The door opens, you manage to finish last minute and escape out the window. Creepy is: Things we don't have control over. Things we cannot control. Things that are juxtaposed. The known with the known. Creepy can be anything. Remember. If it's creepy to you, it's creepy to me. It also helps to to listen to eeries music as you write. It helps a lot. If you need music to write this RP to, ask me. Being Concise Sounds hypocritical. But it's a vital part of showmanship and immersion. That is. Do not. Type. Too. Much. How many of you go into RPs to read a few thousand words worth of prose just for one scene or purpose. No one. If you had a hard time writing it, we'll have a hard time reading it. It takes out the immersion. Being too wordy is often a sign of: 1) Repeating Yourself. "Some people say the same things over and over in their rp; they keep repeating the same point before moving onto the next. It's called repeating yourself." Above is a great example. There are three sentences, totally different in nature, that say the exact same message. What if I just said the first sentence? Actually, what if I deleted it all because the header explained itself. This is the concept of repeating yourself. You have on concept, image or message you want to get across to the readers--say it well once and move on. Real life doesn't repeat the same moment over and over. If a car crashes, let the car crash. Don't drag it out. 2) Telling the Audience Too Much Many people who write try to describe the scene as perfectly as possible, with as much detail to immerse the audience. You want to describe the bed, the floor, the mattress, the carpet, the lights, the weather--everything. Nothing is less immersive. Let me explain why. Look at the scene I wrote above. The room is perfectly envisioned by the reader isn't it? Didn't you imagine some sort of old rickety apartment/hotel near a railway. A sort of old city gritty sort of thing. Yes? Then follow along my theory You don't need to describe everything. Chances are your reader can fill in the blank spaces with their mind. The blank spaces feel more real because we're not dictating them to it--they imagined it themself. Psychologically, this immerses them--what's imagined is more real, isnt it? If you could describe a few characteristics, a few of the 6 senses. That's enough to immerse them. A shuddering railway. A bubbling toilet. An old TV that lights up the room--so the room was dark? A stained carpet.. Here's the game. You want to figure out a scene in your head. I wrote this scene literally like this "I want the to start in an old creepy hotel room" "I want a gross toilet. And old TV. It should be scary and in the city. An old school city" You could have began the scene as "You woke up with your eyes flinching. Your face was wet. Somehow, you were in a dark hotel room, shuddering with the oncoming railway. etc etc" Not as immersive or cool, right? Readers are smart people. If you give them enough through a point of view, they can fill it in by assumption. Showing vs Telling This is also important. I can tell you "Bobby hated puppies a lot". Not as immersive . Not as interesting. Actually. Pretty bad But if I can show you Bobby kicking his neighbors puppies, that seems much more interesting. Dont tell me it was raining. Show me something wet from the rain. Dont tell me he's hungry. Show me his weak legs and rumbling stomach. Dont show me your frustration. Show me the fist you make behind your back when you're angry. But remember. Don't over describe it. Find a balance. Think of it like you are filming a movie. All you have is a camera to VIEW the scene. You can't write anything. So try not to TELL us, try to show us. The man behind the camera never says "it was raining" and doesn't show a wet window. So you don't either! Of course. That's not always practical. Not every sentence can be this way, but try your best to use discretion. Thinking of the Audience Think of the audience's emotion. Be a showman. What sort of descriptions and scenes emotionally interest or affect the audience? Lightning? Shuddering rooms? If it's creepy to you. It's creepy to me! Dialog is Not Important Actually. Yes it is. But I meant to say if you can show it. Do it. Also note there is an acception to the rule. Pop quiz! Is this showing or telling? A character described something to another character. Is it? it is. Why? Because it takes place within the story. The author isn't narrating. You're dumping information through the character. Point of View Try telling it from your point of view. This is also a great hint with showing versus telling. Your characters point of view is much easier to relate to than your narration's point of view. Again, tell it through the camera angle or eyes of your character. "The door knob was slippery with his sweat--he couldn't open it because he was nervous." This is showing through narration. You need to trick the reader into feeling it as if they were there. This makes it creepy. "His hands slipped from the doorknob. He was cold, missing the handle with every try--shaking." Sentence length & Pace Simple idea. If your character is rushing. Make your sentences shorter. Cut them off. Make them read faster. If something needs to slow down, perhaps lengthen them a bit. The house moaned with every step. The stairs creaked--every boot would irritate the wooden floors. And then you tripped. You're face slaps the floor. Using all SIX Senses We all have 5 senses. Use them wisely. We tend to only use vision when we're writing. Don't forget the sixth sense--emotion. Heavy hearts. Ears raising. Feeling the presence of something. It's all good! Using Media: Getting into Psychology Here's my simple mantra. If it's creepy to you. It's creepy to me. Know yourself And You'll know your audience. Where to put your Media Music, imagery and media all play into immersion and psychology. Use it wisely. Sound effects are also pretty cool and okay to use in this RP! My Remedy: PROOFREAD! Don't RUSH! You can always ask me more questions of course. And these rules aren't set in stone. You're fine if you're not adept--I'm not either. My tip? Proofread and edit. About this RP (Move your mouse to reveal the content) About this RP (open) About this RP (close) Combat System This RP does have a combat system. It doesn't rely on dice however. It revolves around "common sense". Don't just go assaulting everyone and bombing everything up. This is a very down-to-earth level RP. I mean not really cause..well have you seen the spoilers? But it is in the sense of realism relating to Earth and our every day lives. How to Interact with this RP (Interaction with Media) Personally, I prefer you to have atleast one headphonei n when listening to audio like music or sound effects. When you be How this RP is Organized The RP is organized into chapters. I'll be constantly adding titles as I see fit. Hopefully the titles peak your interest. I may also put up spoilers for each title in case you'd like to RUIN *cough cough* the surprise for yourself. Anyways, it's organized this way because I want to ensure that the RP follows a structure and we're all being active in the RP as much as possible till the very end. Are These True Stories? Yes. And no. I won't reveal which of these stories or chapters were real life events. But rest assured from what I gathered on the net, they were. A few elements in particular that I may include is actually a personal story. Some are made up. Some are from the internet. You just need to know that strange things really do happen in real life. Some elements I just took from things that I think are scary and creepy and rolled them into one. My GM Philosophy My GM philosophy for this RP is simple. Have fun. I try to take in everyone's wishes when I'm making an RP. Some of you may have questions about the world and what's in store. I would normally tell you to wait and find out. In this case though, I've given you spoilers. This RP will be a bit aggressive in plot planning. It will follow chapters as I manipulate the environment around you to push the plot in as steady a speed as I can go. I'll try my best not to rush it. It's all very experimental to me. By playing the character of "environment" I'm hoping to immerse you even more. I STRONGLY encourage everyone be ACTIVE in the OOC to know that you're alive. Don't be shy and mum. Your input and opinion is very valuable. This is my first time, so I would really like some reactions and critiques. Chapters (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Chapters (open) Chapters (close) Chapters (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Chapters (open) Chapters (close) PLOT (Contains Spoilers) 1. Light's Out Chapters 1. Lights Out 2. Welcome to Fountain Lake City 3. The Vanishing Man 4. Lights On 5. An Issue of Riches 6. Something Beyond the Veil 7. Little Boy's Radio 8. The Copycat Man 9. The Phone from Beyond 10. Nightmare Official OOC Thread: Click Here! Official IC Thread: Click Here!