The application process is designed to do three things: First, it's designed to make The Undisputed Truth's job as easy as possible while still encouraging characters with depth and a richness of flavor; second, it's intended to help guide you (the applicant) to a broad understanding of your own character; and third, it's intended to give staff something they can mine for hooks for TPs. You are strongly recommended to read this information before applying.
Special Note: Mage Apps
Mage has a reputation as a sphere purpose built for abuse, ruining fun, and turning vampires into lawn chairs for the lulz. To the extent that Mage spheres on other MU*s have earned this reputation, we lay the fault at the feet of staff. Because of the role paradigm plays in Mage, Mage concepts require far more investment on the part of players than do other spheres. A Mage concept, in addition to a character story and personality, must also come with a metaphysical model of the universe and this philosophy must be narratively coherent with the other parts of the character concept.
With this in mind, we screen Mage apps intensely. In addition, we expect a very high level of maturity of our Mage players. In many cases you may be asked to app to another sphere so that we can see you in action as a player. We don't have alt limits, so this won't bar you from apping the mage after a couple of months of getting to know you.
Finally, while we have streamlined the app process to the greatest extent possible, expect a Mage app to be a lengthy back-and-forth with a lot of negotiation and many steps to the process.
- Read our news files — everything labeled 'MANDATORY' in particular. Definitely read our mage-specific news files.
- Get a rough concept together, figure out what whets your appetite.
- File a +request/mage with a title of your Character Bit Name, e.g. Brady. A 1-5 sentence description of the concept should follow.
- Once The Undisputed Truth has given your +request the okay to proceed, assemble your application proper as described below.
A Mage-Sphere application is an email that consists of three parts. Each part is important, and the middle part is often confusing so please read the instructions carefully. When the application is complete, you will send it, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should read "[MAGE APP] <Character name> - <2-3 word concept description>"
The Character Questions
All Mage applications must include answers to the eleven questions listed below. Apps with strong ties to the mortal world will need, in addition, to answer questions from those mortal spheres (e.g. Law, Crime, Media, &c.). All questions should be answered in 'short answer' format. An essay is too much (although more information never hurts), but more than a single sentence will often be needed as these are compound questions that dig into a specific part of your character or your playstyle.
- Concept: As long as 2 sentences or as short as mad lib: __Adjective__ __Noun__ This should be what you filed in your initial +request.
- History: Should answer the question "How did your character get to be the concept you just named in #1." No more than two paragraphs. Very top-level sort of review. Don't go into tortured detail; we give broad latitude for you to fill in the spaces in your head and have them be "canon" unless they're materially interfering with the game we're trying to run or others are trying to play in.
- Flavor & Flaws: Should be the rest of the idea, "Now this character is definitely the concept named in #1, but you might be surprised at..." - this can be longer than history because stuff that is likely to surprise me about a concept is the stuff I definitely need to know. Flaws are often not obvious based on concept and history, which is why they go here, too.
- Location Draw: Why is your character in Detroit despite (or because of) the complete lack of mages around in the last couple decades? What do your character's mage superiors and/or peers think about them coming here? What is your character doing to prepare themself for the Walk Into The Unknown? Include immediate and longer term goals - however your character would define it.
- Intended Play Style: Including something about what you expect or anticipate needing from staff/other players, and something about how you expect your character to act in regards to local mage society (chantry/construct, etc). Examples: "Intensely physical but NPC-directed" or "research heavy inquiry, may need f'real staff support" or "secret social powerhouse, very spy vs. spy" or whatever.
- Mage stuff: I need a little about avatar, paradigm, focus, magickal style.
- Story spectrum: from "my very most favoritest story/themes that could possibly be run" down to "I will not participate in this kind of thing if it is run and might walk away from my character if it became a thing I couldn't avoid" with stops for "this is my bread and butter" and "I'd rather not but it's a MUSH whatayado."
- Essence: Link or attach anything, a youtube video, a picture of a cat, a poem, anything that you feel communicates the essence of your character. It may not be prose."
- Stats. (There is no section for stat justifications; if I can't see from the combination of 1-3 why you have the dots on your sheet you're doing it wrong.)
The Paradigm Questions
NB: TUT is currently rethinking and streamlining the paradigm questions. For a great idea about what she's looking for, see TUTs Metaparadigm.
These questions must be answered in your character's voice. At Arete 1, we expect at least half of them will have answers, but these answers may be very short. Arete 2, every single question must be answered, and at least one must have more than one sentence. At Arete 3, all questions must have at least a full sentence answer, and three must be short-paragraph or better. As your Mage gains in Arete, their understanding of their own paradigm crystalizes and becomes more sophisticated.
- When you perform magick, what is occurring in the universe, related to the process you go through, that produces the change?
- Select 3-5 instruments of your magick. What is the mechanism by which these instruments enable you to enact the above mechanics?
- Describe your avatar. What have they/it done for you? How does it/they appear? Include a summary of it's involvement in your awakening, and your prior seekings. (Awakening is Arete 1, every dot of Arete beyond that involved a Seeking.)
- What are your principle moral values, and how do they tie back as implications to #1?
- What is impossible - not just for you, but for anyone to do?
- What /is/ the Avatar, as a concept?
- Why can you do magick, but most of those around you can't?
- If your paradigm is (demonstrably) correct, why are others able to do magick differently?
- What is fate/destiny? Does it exist? How/why? Can it be changed?
- What is Arcane? (In game mechanics, it's the propensity for Mages to be overlooked/forgotten by society.) Why does it happen to some, but not others?
- Explain, briefly, other supernaturals, if you're aware of them, how do they work?
Every app should end with the stat sheet for your character. This should be a standard starting-stat set and should conform to your post-chargen +sheet (or very close thereto). Concepts being Elevated to a higher Tier will have XP applied after-the-fact. This is for record keeping purposes.
|Arete||3||Seekings past Arete 4 can be lethal. Do at least one lower-stakes seeking with me.|
|Node Background||0||All nodes on grid are accounted for.|
|Fae Blood||?||Expect EXTRA scrutiny for these concepts.|
|Shapechanger Kin||?||Expect EXTRA scrutiny for these concepts.|
|Natural Linguist (2)||Obsoleted by 20th Anniversary 'Language (1)' Merit|
|Jack of All Trades (5)||Obsoleted by 20th Anniversary handling of the same merit.|
|Charmed Existence (5)||No.|
|Guardian Angel (6)||Too much work for staff.|
|Supernatural Companion (3)||Make friends on grid.|
|True Faith (7)||Redundant with Arete, and no rules support.|
|Unbondable (3)||No active vampire sphere, and if we did, it'd be double-no.|
|Occult Library (2)||Obviated by 'Library' background.|
|Sphere Inept (5)||Basically 5 freebies for not buying a sphere you don't like anyway.|
Once a concept has been received it will be reviewed. If you haven't heard ANYTHING in a week, feel free to send along a gentle reminder by tacking an addition onto your Cgen job.
Once your concept has been approved, you may go through chargen and write up your jnotes. You will need jnotes for any backgrounds, merits, or flaws that your character possesses that are not cut-and-dry in the RAW. (e.g. you need a jnote for the Cursed flaw, because curses and their specific mechanics may vary, but you don't need one for the 'Language: French' Merit, because it's very obvious what that merit does.) You will also need a jnote each for: Avatar - a description of your Avatar, it's agenda, names, and common forms it has taken. If you include information beyond what your character knows, make this clear; Paradigm - A 2-3 paragraph summary of your Mage's paradigm should provide a PrP ST who has not read your whole app a sufficient grasp of your character's paradigm that they can judge scenes for you; Foci - Every may has 3-5 general foci, and may select 1 additional focus for each sphere they have at least one dot in, these two groups of foci may overlap only one jnote is needed; Rotes - Each custom rote (you may start with a number of rotes up to your Arete + Library + Status) must be described using an example 'PAT' (see 'news mage pat'). You can, of course, do all this prior to this but you may be wasting your time if the stats need tweaked so it's worth it to wait if you think any of your requested stats might warrant a raised eyebrow. When your stats and jnotes are done, contact TUT and she'll finalize you, assign any elevation XP (which may be spent immediately via +jobs), and you're good to go!