SHAZRAD: City of Veils

Unfortunately, we've since closed our doors permanently. We are leaving the website up, as we believe it still has some hours of fun browsing to offer, but please don't apply--we'll only have to turn you away.

Yes! Yes! You're almost in our clutches--uh, that is, welcome to the game. Or, rather, pre-welcome to the game. Although we'd love to open the gates to the floods of aspiring players who no doubt strive for the privilege of participating in Shazrad: City of Veils, we strongly believe that a quality game requires a cap on the number of players. You're welcome to apply at any time, though; if we're full up but we like your character, we'll put you on the waiting list.

We want the best. The cream of the crop. And to separate the wheat from the chaff... That's right, you have to run through the gauntlet. The application itself looks deceptively simple, but make sure that you've gone over everything below and are absolutely sure that you want to join this game, that it's suited for you, and that you're suited for it before trying to fill out the form.

Player requirements

Read the website
We'll start this off just by saying that prospective players should know what they're trying to get into. That is, look over the website thoroughly. You don't have to memorize every page--we're not going to quiz you on it, but trust us when we say that it will show if you skip directly to the application without even glancing at the setting. We're convinced that a number of applicants would have eliminated themselves had they only taken the time to do such a thing. It would also be wise to check the news page to ensure we're not currently closed to apps.

Writing ability
We are looking not for merely good writers, but for excellent writers. This goes beyond knowledge of grammar (but those are important too--we've seen many gamers who still have no clue as to what a paragraph is). You must be expressive. You must be able to delve into your character's thoughts and feelings and make him or her come alive. You must be able to paint with words and let us envision those images that you bury within your writing. This is not an invitation for purple prose, mind you. And please, people, check your spelling before you actually send in that application. We do forgive typos or misspellings of unusual words like "persiflage."

If you disappear on us, our wrath would descend upon you except for the fact that we won't know where you are. But honestly, we've heard many players complain about the collapse rate of PBeMs, which is due as much to uncommitted players as GMs. Why take the effort to apply and join if you're not going to stick around? This is going to be a long-term game, and we're only going to take long-term players. Be honest with yourself, and with us. If writing moves once every week or two is too tough, whether right now or during entire summer vacations, then this is not the game for you. No matter how much you would love to participate, you can only do so if you have the required time! The same goes for those who like fast, post-more-than-once-a-day games. You will chafe at our pace. Search elsewhere if you can't handle your own impatience.

Character requirements

In general
Mostly, just take the time to think about your character. It is a wise idea to take a look at the existing characters and match that level of careful crafting. Have someone in mind even before you begin filling out the application, and ask yourself whether you would enjoy playing with your intended character if he or she were run by a different player.

Integrate Shazrad into your character's history. We do not want generic AD&D characters who were pulled out of the closet and ironed for this game. Remember, this is a unique setting, and we want all the details of your character to fit in. There's a handy language guide which you can use to create the name of your character and of the NPCs in his or her life. After all, having a character named "Bob" or "Zargoth the Mighty of Quet'sagoda" destroys the entire atmosphere. If your character hails from elsewhere, that's fine, but remember that you're responsible for getting him or her to Shazrad in the present, because the game will take place only there. And whatever position he or she has in Shazrad, we prefer it not to be of high rank, although that doesn't exclude connections. This is consistently the weakest area of applications, so we'll repeat this point a lot.

A munchkin is an over-powerful character. The mage who can cause earthquakes and raze an entire city with a single spell is one example. The warrior who slays ten men at the same time when armed with only a dagger is another example. A more subtle breed of munchkin is the over-nice, over-intelligent (usually due to a lack of firewalling), over-popular, over-attractive character. Remember, every character needs flaws. Don't just add one in as an afterthought, like: "Oh yeah, he happens to have a limp, but with his staff he has no problems walking or running," or "By the way, she's color-blind." Take the time to make your character an entire person. Integrate both strengths and weaknesses into his or her history and personality. But remember, we do want interesting and unique characters. Just don't equate "interesting" with "powerful" and "unique" with "exotic."

Head on over to the application

Copyright © 2000-2001 by Alioqui & Yoon Ha Lee

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