The Basics

1) It's a joke. It's for fun. Cursing is allowed to a point, innuendo is allowed to a point. This is rock and roll we're dealing with, here, people. These things are inherent in that gendre. But let's not go overboard. No NC-17 type stuff, no strings of dialogue that go on like "You f@*&^@@#$%^&&**!! And your **&^^%$#@@^* mother**&^%%$#@% too!!" No racial slurs, no dissing the other members. You're all big kids. You know where the line is. Keep your cute little pink toes away from it.

2) Your character must be based entirely on a particular rock band, without straying into 'solo' territory--i.e. Avatar Journey may not use lyrics or themes associated with anything Steve Perry has done without the band. She may not run out into the street and thwart a one-hit wonder with the Oh Sherrie attack. If she tries, it will fail, and she'll get hurt. Black Sabbath can't fall back on the Blizzard of Ozz to help her, either, as tempting as that is.

3) Don't fall into what's known in fanfic as a 'Mary Sue' situation: don't base the character on yourself. One or two traits, fine. Don't get carried away (at least not in this respect).

4) Almost all your character's dialogue in the game should be based on the lyrics of your chosen band. This will make the dialogue in the stories challenging but funny. Yes, this is gonna get ridiculous. That's the whole idea. We're going for cliche' and fun bordering on the ludicrous. Try not to be too incomprehensible, though. Inside jokes common to fans of your band are encouraged, so long as you take a stab at explaining it.

5) Your character will not have a family; you're going to be on a tour bus, or dropped interdimensionally somewhere, stomping out evil wherever it may roam, and that puts a real crimp in school studies. They'll be pretending to be human wherever they are. There will be safe houses set up around the world to accomodate the Avatars, set up by good record execs, friendly roadies and kind managers. The majority of the characters will be Gen Xer's (twentysomethings) and old enough to get into places where rock n' roll evil lurks.

6) If you're going to write someone else's character into your part of a story, ask them first. Collaborate at will. Don't just take their character over and put words in their mouth--unless it's only a quick cameo, which you can keep simple. And you'd mostly be dealing with their band's lyrics, but not exclusively. Work together.

7) A disclaimer will be necessary on your webpages, detailing the fact that the use of real names and titles (i.e. those of your band and possibly their music) is for entertainment purposes only, and that you're not affiliated with or speaking for the band in question. If you have mature content on your page, please warn the unwary.

8) There's room for non-player characters and non-Avatar characters - a good manager, a good record exec, etc. that can dive in and save the day. We may need roadies.

9) If you need to leave the RPG, you have the option of either letting your band be subverted, or passing it on to someone else. You might want to put it back up on the block. But for the purposes of this RPG, it wouldn't hurt to let a band be subverted here and there. It'll be up to you.

10) Submit completed applications only, with a one-page writing sample of your character. Put 'AOR RPG' in the subject header. Decent grammer (outside of song titles and lyrics!), correct use of punctuation, and spellchecking are *strongly* encouraged. I'm not nitpicking. I'm guilty of some heinous inconsistencies. But this is basically a writing game. The point is writing for fun. Yu pleeze doo a gud jobb. Any app with incomplete sentences, bad spelling, etc, will be AUTO REJECTED.

11) It's okay to put someone else's band in danger. It's encouraged, because then it gives that Avatar a reason to jump in. If another band is opening for yours on tour, that makes it especially fun. But don't kill each other's band members or Avatars. Please. That sort of puts a damper on the festivities. Wounds will need to be dealt with appropriately. Wham's Disharmony cannot cause Avatar Santana's head to explode. Beat each other up, toss some cartoonish violence in there, but don't cause anyone to scream 'Oh, GET REAL!'

12) You may only control a total of three characters at a time, meaning three bands. You may also control a Disharmony if you like, especially if it has any ties to your band. Two members of Journey went off to do Bad English in the early 90's, and after a couple of hits, Bad English dissolved in the face of some bad feelings. Avatar Journey looks over her shoulder a lot. You can safely control your band's manager and roadies if you like, in lieu of a 'family'.

The Technical Stuff

This is an 'email RPG', or 'PBEM', which means that one or several players will plot and begin a story, then pass it to other members who wish to participate. Stories for this game will be posted at - and posted TO - Yahoo Groups. If you aren't already signed up at Yahoo, it only takes a couple of minutes.

Beginning a Story: Post ideas and outlines to the Yahoo group; anyone interested in joining you in filling out an idea will be able to pipe up and let you know.

*E-mail addresses: If an e-mail provider is found to be exceptionally unreliable, players using addresses from that provider will be asked to change to another provider. There are a number of reliable free email provider that you may switch to. In addition, only one player is allowed from any one address.

When it's your turn to post to a story, if you do not send a story back to the person who sent it to you within fourteen days from the date you recieve it, you must reply to him or her, saying that you sent the story to someone else or that you still have it and are working on it. If you do not do this, the player who sent you the story may disqualify you and send the story to someone else.

*Writing out of turn: Adding to a story when it is not your turn is frowned upon as it generally throws off the story. A person who does this will get a warning and will probably have their addition removed. If you wish to add to the story, you must mail the request to the person currently adding to it. That person then has the option to send it to you if the story will permit it.

*Lack of Participation: If you are noticed not participating in any story your character is in, you will receive three emails, once every two weeks. If after two months you do not reply, explaining your absence, you will be expelled from the RPG and your character will be made available, or your band will be subverted.

*Warnings: Three warnings and you will be kicked from the RPG. You receive warnings for the violation of certain rules. For example, if someone reports you for not sending a story back in time, you will get a warning. Two more and you may get kicked from the RPG. There are exceptions to the "three warning" rule, depending on the severity of the action, just like real life.

*Quitting the RPG: If you quit the RPG permanently, you have the option to either have your character killed off and your band subverted, or you may leave your character for someone else to use. If killed off, the character could conceivably be resurrected.

*Returning after you quit: if you quit and want to rejoin, you may only do so if someone else isn't using your character. And you'll need approval.

*Leave of Absence: You may request a leave of absence for a reasonable period of time. During this time, you may either leave your character for someone else to use, or your character may have a reason for not being present. For example, your character went on a sabbatical to 'get in touch' with his/her musicians. Hey, it's an idea.