Wait a minute - I remember a game very similar to this.
You'd be right. A few years back, a panfandom game was started with the exact same premise and the exact same name. Due to real life issues, the mods were unable to keep the game running at the time. This is the same game, just revised and started anew. (Sorry, no plotlines from the previous game will be carried over into this one.) Only it was taken one step further when that moderator disappeared, so the players moved to the current location at plentyofroom, where the game has flourished beautifully.
So, what is the Hotel California, exactly?
The Hotel California is a place that isn't bound to geography or time. No one knows how long it's been there, no one knows who originally owned it and no one knows how it got there. Anyone who hasn't come across the Hotel California doesn't know it exists, either -- mainly because anyone who does come across it is never seen again. There are gravestone plots in the front yard; it's highly possible that whoever lies within those graves are the very people who founded the place, though no one will ever know for sure.
The Hotel has a presence about it that people, no matter who they are, find irresistible. Once people enter the Hotel's force-field, there's no way out of it. Why? Who knows. That's not the point -- you're not supposed to know why, because no one does. It just is.
Wait -- not bound by geography or time? What does that mean?
Basically, you could be anywhere in the world, travelling. Perhaps you're driving home, perhaps you're running from someone, perhaps you're on a road trip across Britain -- it doesn't matter where in the world you are. But you might find, as you travel, the road becoming dustier, the surroundings becoming sparser and soon you'll find yourself in desert. You can turn back if you want, but you'll find yourself trekking back through endless desert; that means you've entered the Hotel's force-field.
And, no, the hotel isn't bound by time, either. You might be a 19th century character riding on a horse and cart, and you find yourself entering the Hotel's force-field. Or you could be a present-day doctor on a road trip to a medical convention, and the same thing happens.
So, can my character leave the Hotel California? As in the building?
Yes, you can. But don't think you'll be going very far, because you won't be. You'll be able to amble around the building's perimeter, maybe have a look at the grave stones, but that's it. If you start to walk off, the Hotel has a way of making you walk a full circle until you're back at the Hotel's front door again. And remember -- it's the middle of the desert. There's nothing to see for miles and miles, except, well, desert. You can checkout any time you like, but you won't ever be able to leave.
What about the interior of the Hotel? What's in it?
The Hotel California is sentient. This means that it supplies anything and everything that you need. The inside of the Hotel is ten times what it appears on the outside. Probably even bigger.
What's in the Hotel:
- A banquet area, that's supplied with a smorgasboard of fresh food 24/7. You don't actually ever see the cooks; the food just always seems to be there.
- A bar. Every hotel has one, after all. But have you ever seen 'The Shining'? If so, do you remember the scene where Jack was in the bar and there seemed to be no one there? But when he sat down at the bar, a bartender suddenly appeared? That's what happens in the Hotel California. Don't expect the bartender to talk to you much, though -- he's just there to serve you drinks, nothing more. And when you leave the bar, he disappears without a trace.
- Rooms. Lots and lots of rooms. A never-ending amount of rooms, actually. All rooms are equipped with a bed, a toilet, a shower, a bath, a wardrobe, towels, linen, every basic essential that all hotel rooms have. It's very, very plush, too. Probably the most upmarket you've ever seen. So, you're a prisoner in the Hotel California, but you're living in absolute luxury.
- A recreation area. This includes a gym, a huge indoor pool, you name it.
You get the idea? Yeah -- every thing you ever need is right there for you. See the Locations page for more available places in the Hotel.
Is this place haunted?
Hmm. It might be. You might feel yourself being... watched. You might be aware of a presence, but it's not one you can ever see. The walls have ears and eyes -- not literally, of course. But the Hotel will know everything about you. You can keep secrets from those around you, but there's no keeping secrets from the Hotel.
So, is it magical, then?
Yes. Absolutely. In fact, it's so magical that sometimes, it can cause people to see hallucinations, hear voices, and even lead them to physical injury. The hotel can also make the rooms move or hide them from guests entirely.
If the Hotel is magical, does that mean it allows other people to perform magic if they're wizards or something similiar?
Oh, no. You are completely, utterly human within the walls of the Hotel California. The Hotel, after all, doesn't want anyone stronger than it. No -- if you're a wizard, a shaman, anything magical at all, you'll find yourself completely without any magical powers whatsoever. And if you're a god, no matter how powerful you are in your world, you are nothing but a mortal human being in the Hotel.
What about if my character is a vampire or a werewolf? Will he/she be fully human, too?
Even if your character is a vampire or a werewolf, they become fully human in the Hotel. No fangs grow for the vampires, and no monthly change happens to the werewolves. That being said, that doesn't mean that the desires aren't there; if your character is a vampire, he/she might still crave blood. If your character is a werewolf, he/she might get tetchy and restless during the full moon. It's how they react and cope with this new-found humanness that matters.
What if my character arrived at the Hotel in his/her car -- what happens to the car?
If the character is to come back outside after checking in, they might see that their car has completely disappeared without a trace.
Not quite. The car is transported down into an underground carparking space. No, there's no explanation as to how it got down there. But yes, your character can decide to jump in his/her car and drive off into the sunset if they decide they want to leave. Hell, the hotel manager will even let them checkout of the Hotel -- because your character can checkout any time he/she likes.
But don't expect to drive very far: your character might find him/herself driving so far off into the distance that he/she loses view of the Hotel, and just when he/she thinks they've escaped the Hotel for good, there in the distance ahead of them is the Hotel. It's as though they've driven in a complete circle.
My character was vacationing/returning home from vacationing when he/she arrived at the Hotel. What happens to his/her belongings (eg., suitcases, clothes, souvenirs, etc.)?
They go into the Hotel with your character. So, everything he/she brings with them remains with them.
My character has a cell phone and/or a laptop that has internet connection. Do either of these work?
The cell phone will switch on and function in every way except call mode; no calls can be made from the Hotel to the outside world. At all. Your character will only hear an engaged tone. No calls can be received, either. Voicemail cannot be retrieved and text messages/SMS cannot be sent or received.
The same goes for laptops -- they will function in every way, except the internet. Your character will see nothing but a 'Failed to connect' message on their computer with each attempt to log on.
Any other device used for external communication (pager, walkie talkie, etc.) will not work. This goes for any magical devices that might be used as a communication device.
There is no contact whatsoever with the outside world.
So, what about the hotel manager, then? Or if my character wants to talk to management? Is there anyone my character can interact with?
When your character checks in, it will be assumed that the hotel manager who stands at the front desk checked them in. There is no management to talk to - the residents of the hotel are left up to their own devices to work the hotel out.
Bear in mind that the hotel is sentient. This means there are no end of things to discover about the hotel. Do not hesitate to ask the mods any questions whatsoever about this. If you want your character to discover a new place in the hotel, please notify the mods first to get their OK on that.
Does my character have to pay money to stay in the Hotel?
No. It costs no money to stay at the Hotel California. After all, why would it need money to survive when it seems to strive on its own? Your character is paying with their body and soul to stay at the Hotel California; money is no object, not when the Hotel can own people.
What about plots? Do I have to let the moderators know if there's a major plotline that's going to happen, or do I just go ahead and do what I like?
Plots are always going to happen on rpgs. That the entire point of them, after all. But sometimes there are plots that take place which can affect more than just a couple of characters -- sometimes dramatically so. In a situation where this is the case, the moderators need to be consulted first of any major plot development before going ahead and doing anything. The reason for this is because if a plot is big enough to affect any characters in a substantial way, the moderators need to know that all characters/players involved are okay with it. Otherwise, it could turn out that people aren’t happy with it and this can eventually spiral into a wank. We don’t want wank on this game.
So, to reiterate: You must, must, MUST let a moderator know if there are any plans to carry out a major plot.
How do I contact the moderators?
The moderators' preferred method of contact for things like major plots or questions from players regarding gameplay is by email. Please send an email to the mods (email@example.com), who will address your concerns as soon as possible.
Can I make up my own original character or say my character is like one from my favourite fandom, but AU so that I can make changes to their history, personality or sexuality? Can my character be a real person, like an athlete or a celebrity?
No, as stated in The Rules, real person characters and original characters will not be accepted into the game. Characters must be played based on their canon characteristics. If something about a character is unknown, ambiguous, or otherwise not accounted for in canon, it is then up to the player's interpretation.
Can my character fall pregnant?
Female characters can fall pregnant, yes. But you need to consider this very, very carefully before you go about deciding to have this happen to your character. Before you even consider having your character land pregnant, you must discuss it with the moderators first, so that the mods have a clear understanding of why you want to have your character fall pregnant, and to be certain that all other characters involved in such a storyline are fully aware of it and fully consent to their characters being part of the storyline.
Please be aware that should you decide to establish this kind of storyline, there is no reverting it. Sure, there are things such as miscarriage, abortion and infant death, but please be considerate of other players and characters; some of these issues are extremely upsetting to some people to play out. Adoption is also out of the question, unless there’s a very, very good case for it. So, again: you must think over this very carefully before deciding to have your character fall pregnant.
The moderators would like to make it clear that there will be no such thing as mpreg (male pregnancy) in the Hotel California.
Can my character die?
Everyone, no matter who they are -- be they fully human before they entered the Hotel, vampire, Wizard, or a god -- is fully human once they enter the Hotel. This, therefore, makes them fully mortal. So, yes -- character death can happen.
Think very carefully about this before deciding anything, however. Once your character dies, he/she can never be resurrected, and can never be brought back into the game again by another player. Meaning, the character will be fully retired from the game, permanently.
Naturally, before even considering going ahead with a character dying, the moderators must be informed and good reason has to be given for the character death. All those involved in a death plot must be fully informed and have their full consent to being a part of it, too.
What is canon puncturing?
This is when a character in game recognises another character in game from his/her canon. For example, when a character who's read the Harry Potter books recognises one of the patrons of the hotel as a character from the J.K. Rowling series/from the movies.
Is canon puncturing allowed on the game?
Fun and cracky as canon puncturing is - no, it's not allowed. The reason for this is because it can end up being problematic and unfair to the players whose characters have been canon punctured. It can also be a form of god modding in cases where the player of a character hasn't consented to having their character canon punctured. Therefore, to reduce confusion and to avoid any drama, canon puncturing is not allowed. Leave canon puncturing to crack movies like Last Action Hero.
This game has a networking community. What is this?
It is basically a computer network (plentyofchat) in the hotel with which all patrons can communicate with each other. Computers are provided for the patrons of the hotel to use. Bearing in mind that the outside world cannot be contacted through these means.
Think of this place as like an open forum, like LJ - your characters in an open forum, typing to each other. Like you would do in an LJ community! Your character can post thoughts about something, post questions, can even post a request to just talk to somebody because maybe they are lonely. This way, you may strike up a mutual agreement to take a conversation into a thread on the game. For instance, a conversation may strike up between two characters where they both decide meet up in the bar for drink. In which case, you would then take your characters across to the main RPG, plentyofroom to start a thread of those two characters in the bar. Characters may also send Private Messages (PMs) to other characters; this is like sending an email, where only these individual characters are privy to what is said.
If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment here or contact the moderators at hotelcalimods @ hotmail.com.