Frequently Asked Questions about Phase Two:
Q: What is Phase Two?
A: Phase Two is a beta test for a project we've wanted to do for a long time. Part fanfiction, part writer's workshop, and part RPG, this project will take a group of writers through the experience of being a first-year at Eastridge.
In order to give writers more freedom to pursue their own plots, our current plan is that what happens in these stories should be considered as non-canon. Meaning, what happens in this project won't impact the main story, and some aspects that we allow writers to take liberties with (such as runes or global events) aren't factual to the real world of the main story.
Q: Why did you decide to start this fanfiction-type project?
A: The long answer is that we've created a world we love writing in, and we want other people to have a chance to write in it as well. Both JLY and I have some history in writing fanfiction, and personally, I wish some of the books and shows that I'm a fan of would have done something like this.
The short answer is that basically, we're hoping it's going to be fun.
Q: What are you asking for in the "brief introduction" that we send requesting the application?
A: Just something to give us an idea of what to expect. Many people choose to introduce their characters, although some people also provide a brief background of themselves.
Q: What is the March 13th deadline?
A: March 13th will be the last day that we accept applications. After that, we will review what we have and make our final decisions within the following weeks.
Q: Really? March 13th? That's so far away...
A: Yeah, we know... Sorry! We really appreciate everyone's patience. It's as much to give people time to apply as it is to give us a chance to get everything in order.
Q: Is there anything I can write about between now and March 13th?
A: If you're eager to get started with your writing, we recommend sending us scenes of what your character does before Eastridge.
* Show what your character currently doing--so to speak--while he or she is waiting to hear back from Eastridge.
* Tell us about when your character decides to go to Eastridge.
* Tell us about the friends or enemies that your character has in his or her hometown.
Q: Are you charging any fee for this?
A: Since this is a beta test of this program and we're still figuring out how it will work, we're offering it for free... but considering how much work it's looking to be, if we do this again, we might ask the next round of participants to donate to the cause.
Q: How is this going to work? Is it like an RPG?
A: That's an interesting question. The plan is that we will send out writing prompts that will present the challenges that first-year students face. Writers will decide how their characters face these challenges and develop their own plot-lines that will later become more prominent in the story. We're hoping to take these pieces and have a sort of writer's workshop, where the pieces can be read by the entire group, and the authors can get feedback in order to polish the writing and make changes they feel are appropriate.
The idea is that unlike an RPG, there will be a plan before the scene is written, and there will be rewrites. You will be trying to tell the unique story of your character and how your character overcomes the obstacles of Eastridge Academy.
This, however, is very subject to change. Part of having a beta test is that we want to be flexible to the new situations that come up.
About the Characters
Q: Can my character double major?
A: Your character may apply for a double major, however, you should be aware that double majoring requires significantly more work than the standard courseload, so your character will have less time for friends, activities, and plotlines.
Q: Can my character double major and minor or take two minors?
A: No, characters are only allowed two fields of study. In the upperclassman years, however, students are allowed to choose elective classes that may deal with other fields of study outside of their own.
Q: Can my character double minor?
A: No, characters are only allowed two fields of study. In the upperclassman years, however, students are allowed to petition to take elective classes that may deal with other fields of study outside of their own.
Q: Can my character have a rune?
A: It is possible for characters to enter Eastridge with a rune, however their back story would need to solidly explain why they have this advantage, and it would need to be balanced in other areas. For example, if a character has a rune, he or she would need to come in without any fighting/healing/thieving abilities. Also, in considering what rune your character has, a first-year with a Light Rune or a Shield Rune, for example, would be more believable than a Blast Rune, since combat magic is more highly regulated.
Another thing to consider is that the process of getting a rune is somewhat regulated. Only institutions like academies and monasteries typically give out runes on a broad scale. While there are exceptions, it isn't common for most students to enter Eastridge with any runes.
Q: Can I make up my own rune?
A: Since we have more background knowledge about how the rune system works, we will need to approve any hypothetical runes.
Also, please note that for the purposes of this project, we may let some runes be used that will not necessarily be "canon"-- meaning that they may not exist in the story proper, but for this writing workshop/game, they can be used.
Q: Are you planning to write about the characters we submit?
A: Unfortunately, JLY and I can't promise any guest appearances for your characters in the main story. The idea of submitting your characters is that you will write about them.
Q: What is the point distribution for the stats?
A: Since we use the "stats" portion of the character sheet as just a way of staying on the same page as far as what people can do, we don't have any hard and fast rules about the stats. If you want a guideline to use, other applicants often use 82 total possible points with the lowest being 8 and the highest being 18 for any given stat.
As a side note, the stats should not be the focus of your application. This is more about writing and developing a character and a plot than, say, rolling dice.
Q: What do the stats mean?
A: A brief study in stats...
Strength - How much physical strength your character has. How hard can he or she swing a sword, lift a heavy object, or win an arm wrestling match?
Intelligence - How book-smart your character is. How hard does he or she need to study to learn a rune, memorize a fact, or pass a test?
Dexterity - How nimble and agile is your character? How difficult is it for your character to run swiftly while dodging obstacles, thread a needle, or pick a lock?
Fortitude - How resilient is your character? How easily is he or she shaken or unnerved? How often does he or she fall ill or how well does he or she bounce back from an injury?
Wisdom - How "street-smart" your character is. How easily does he or she learn from past experiences, draw conclusions from observations, or understand the world?
Charm - How charming and likeable is your character? Is he or she able to make friends, work well within a team, or convince others to help him or her?
Some thoughts: Strength would be important for Warriors. Clerics and Mages would need Intelligence and Wisdom. Thieves would do well with Dexterity and of course Charm.
About the Application
Q: What format should I submit my completed application in?
A: We prefer Word documents (.doc), but that failing, we also accept rich text format (.rtf).
Q: How long should I spend on my application?
A: There's no specific recommended time, but we do advise you to read your application through before you send it in. To catch typos, it can be particularly helpful to read it out-loud.
Q: What are you looking for in an application?
A: We're looking for applications that demonstrate creativity as well as technical ability. The character you create should be interesting while still being believable. Your character should be fun and unique, with skills appropriate for a first-year.