Homestuck App Guide

Let me tell you about apping Homestuck
Let me tell you about apping Homestuck

Overview

As mentioned in MUSHer's Guide to Homestuck, Homestuck is a popular web comic by Andrew Hussie.

The purpose of this guide is not a general handbook for MUSHers, but instead to provide an idea of how to effectively apply for a Homestuck character (and theme) at Multiverse Crisis MUSH.

While this guide will be covering a few things that are spoken of in the main guide, it will make the assumption that you have at least read the other guide, and may in places assume that you have read a significant portion of Homestuck proper.

Mostly though, it is focused on how the theme has been adapted to MCM, and what to avoid in your application.

The first thing that you need to know is that Homestuck is a Restricted theme at Multiverse Crisis MUSH, and very narrowly avoided being put in the banned theme list.

Thanks to Arthur Lowell, also known as the admin Lord English, this was avoided and Homestuck has taken off at MCM.

But, Arthur set many important precedents for the Homestuck theme at MCM, and many of them will be mentioned here.

Chief among them is a strong de-emphasis of the more fourth-wall breaking comedic elements, such as characters only receiving names on their 13th birthday, fourth walls, Andrew Hussie making direct appearances, and so forth.


Joining Existing Themes

Applying into an existing Homestuck themelisting is most likely the easiest way to get a Homestuck character at MCM, and it is what most people look at before anything else. You don't have to establish any of your own rules, you don't have to write up a whole new story. Everything is good to go except yor character.

Unfortunately, because of the fact that each Incipisphere (the mini-universe in which a session of Sburb takes place) has to be hand-tailored to each player, and adding more later on is not plausible, Homestuck-1 and Hivebent-1 have shut their doors for applicants.

It is still possible to apply for Carapacians (the chesspiece-like inhabitants of Derse and Prospit) in these themelistings, but applying for a Player of Sburb is no longer possible. For more information on Carapacians, see MUSHer's Guide to Homestuck.

Homestuck-2 remains open for applications, but takes place in a session of Sburb that has long since been finished, and therefore does not have an ongoing TP associated with it at present.

Anyone interested in applying for a player from Homestuck-2 should contact Jordan Cypress for details.

One thing that is extremely important about applying for a post-session character, such as those that would inhabit Homestuck-2, is that they must be extremely considerate of the ongoing plot in Homestuck-1 and Hivebent-1.

While they have IC reasons not to "spoil" the game for the other players, Homestuck-2's approval was partly contingent on not ruining the ongoing plots with Sburb and Sgrub.

Homestuck-3, in the meantime, takes place in a session where all of its players save the one survive were killed, and therefore has little to no potential for player applicants.

AlterniaBound-1 remains a viable theme for Trolls to apply into, but does not take place during a session of Sburb, and the status of Alternia itself remains unclear. If you are interested in applying into AlterniaBound-1, you'll want to talk to Lupita Auryon and Aethra Hagano.


Apping Original Themes

On the other hand, because of the situations explained above, or perhaps simply because you wish to create your own version of Homestuck, you may wish to apply for a new themelist entirely. There are a few very important things to keep in mind when doing so, and unless otherwise stated, every guideline laid down here is entirely applicable to all other sections of this guide. (Such as applying for an FC-based theme, below.)

  • While contrary to ordinary MUSH policy, Homestuck wouldn't exist as a theme at MCM without the adaptation of Arthur Lowell with Homestuck-1. In deference to this, new Homestuck themelistings are expected to either contain no spoilers that could derail their TP with a deluge of Sburb game information, or the players themselves are expected to keep their knowledge to themselves.
  • Time Shenanigans and Extreme Comedy should be kept to a minimum. Trollian is an apped power for a reason, despite being a silly Instant Messenger client. It's okay to have silly things and references to other continuities of Homestuck floating around (such as posters of The Midnight Crew), but don't beat the fourth wall with a battering ram. Kids should have relatively mundane lives and not be named only on their 13th birthday, for example.
  • First Guardians are a subject best avoided across all themelistings. It is possible that Becquerel could be an (extremely limited) exception to some extent if canon Homestuck were applied for (see below), but as they are generally treated as omniscient and omnipotent within the boundaries of their own paradox space, they're a pretty big issue when it comes to the MUSH.

Apping A Canon Theme

Simply put, under MCM's current time travel policy, even with Paradox Space existing in a temporally flexible location in the void, the canon Homestuck theme is extremely convoluted and would be difficult to follow or execute as a TinyPlot. While this is true even of a session of Sburb that is not influenced too much by time travel, it is much more so with canon Homestuck.

Practically speaking, you have two options:

  • Session 413 and 612 (the canon Kid and Troll sessions respectively) launched in the Multiverse, derailing the plot entirely. The characters are OFCs engaged in a fairly regular Session of Sburb and Sgrub respectively, and Lord English is nowhere to be found. Essentially, the Alpha Timeline (representing the canon Homestuck universe) that we know of never occurs within the Multiverse as it did in the web series.
  • The canon Homestuck is applied for at the series conclusion, after everything has happened and settled down.
  • The canon Homestuck is applied for with a modified conclusion, after much of what has been seen has happened and settled down.

With the first option, every character remains alive and applicable for most practical purposes but the storyline doesn't necessarily remain intact.

With the second option, many characters will be deceased but the overall storyline remains more or less intact, but it is over and done with.

With the third option, many characters will be deceased, the storyline will be disrupted somewhere partway through, and it may not be particularly easy to execute in a way that is elegant and appropriate.

Not to mention, the second option isn't possible yet since Homestuck is an ongoing series with a video game on the horizon.

Personally, I think that the first option is preferable, and may even be the only viable option on the table.

It allows the story of the Kids and Trolls to play out on the Multiversal stage, parallel with the existing Homestuck casts, to create something familiar but altogether new. The second option is as clean, but significantly less interesting since it provides less potential for players to tweak the circumstances and make their own stories with the characters that they love.

The second option is also highly difficult to execute plausibly even once the series is complete, given that the whole thing would require the players of those characters to have gone through all that and be required to not mess with the existing sessions at MCM.


App Advice

This section of the guide is simple, straightforward advice for character applications and important post-approval tidbits. A lot of this is cross-applicable, even though it is divided into FC and OC advice. The more critical stuff will be placed under this heading, especially if it is strongly cross-applicable.

  • Unless your character is in an obvious position to take sides, and an obvious shoe-in for a particular faction, go Unaffiliated. Very few characters in Homestuck would benefit from having a faction, and some of them would make things incredibly difficult on an ongoing plot if they occurred. For example, the Kingdom of Derse allying with the Confederacy would complicate a session immensely. On the other hand, Her Imperious Condescension would be a pretty good shoe-in for a Confederate character.
  • The Aspects (Elemental Affinity) of Time and Heart both deal with incredibly iffy subject matter for the MUSH. While they can be applied for, they are probably the most difficult Aspects you can ask for, and also the most likely to require extensive revisions and concessions during the application process. Tackling these Aspects is not recommended unless you are a veteran player who is trusted with iffy things, and willing to moderate the way you use them.
  • To a lesser extent, the Seer Class, and the Mind Aspect can be pretty iffy. Unless you're prepared to be pretty subtle with how they play out, and avoid stepping on toes, they should probably be avoided.
  • In terms of starting Power Level, most Homestuck characters are going to begin pretty low. Human players can expect to be 27-28 at the beginning of their session. Trolls, who are significantly more suited to the game and combat in general, can expect to start around 28-30, and advance from there. Exceptions may occur in freak circumstances (ex: Equius), but usually this is where things should sit.
  • The upper end of a player's potential Power Level is related to their starting Power Level, at least insofar as ascending the echeladder goes. Achieving God-Tier is the 'standard' way to get phenomenally powerful, but that power is still based off of what the character had to work with to begin with. A number of things can modify this heavily, including Alchemization of powerful items, Prototyping exploitation (see: Jade Harley), special racial modifiers (see: Gamzee Makara), etc. Excepting things like racial modifiers, the more RP that goes into this sort of thing, the better.
  • Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to Power Level, both at the start and in terms of long-term potential, is Class and Aspect. Certain Classes and Aspects take a very long time to manifest their full potential, a few of which explicitly begin weak and gain exponential power boosts if they manage to make it through. For example, a Page of Hope stacks a slow-growing class and aspect to produce a player who is nearly crippled at the beginning of their session, but who grows into staggering power later on.
  • Post-approval, expect to moderate your exposure to radio channels. Many Homestuck characters, especially Trolls, would cause significant problems for themselves and others on the various IC radio channels on the MUSH. It's fine if you want to make a ruckus every now and again, but if carcinoGeneticist is hanging around on J-IC shouting, it's going to stop being funny pretty fast.
  • Post-approv@l, don't use your typing quirks too much outside of things like group chat. For the s@me re@son you wouldn't w@nt me using mine const@ntly in this guide. It gets old @nd sometimes h@rd to re@d pretty f@st.

Advice for OCs

  • Be creative with your Sylladex's Fetch Modus if you are applying for a Player. Use something that is narratively interesting and appropriate to the character's personality. For a good example, check out Laohus Enhydr's Fetch Modus.
  • If you're from a themelisting where a session has only just begun, or which will only be occurring after the application, don't stress the history section too much, since it will mostly be composed of the character's mundane pre-session life. Say what you want to say, but don't make it too much of a cornerstone of the app. Most of your story will be ahead of you!
  • Focus more on personality, and use it as an opportunity to flesh the character out. Don't forget that every session of Sburb is also a coming-of-age story — there are plenty of opportunities to phase out traits that don't work out during RP.
  • Please remember that, if you are applying a player into an original theme, your characters should most likely be classified as FOCs — because of the nature of the setting, sweeping retcons are difficult, and every player is vital to a session's completion.

Advice for FCs

  • Be prepared to diverge sharply from canon if you're applying for a Kid or Troll from the main series. Any Homestuck FC is by necessity going to be an OFC to accommodate the complete derailment of the original plot.
  • The exception to the above would be the Carapacians of each session, who are functionally identical save where the direction their particular session takes them relative to that of others. Jack Noir and the Midnight Crew are among the few FCs who would be FCs regardless of which theme listing they're in. Bear in mind though that they play important roles in each session. If there's an ongoing TP, you'll probably be needed to remain more active than is normal for FC players.
  • Certain characters are best not touched as PCs. The First Guardians are among these, and it is best to avoid any characters inheriting their abilities. Though in the case of a TP, something like Bec Noir is probably reasonably acceptable. Lord English on the other hand is probably simply unworkable. Even if it were possible to make him work, it would be in his younger form.
  • You may not app Andrew Hussie.

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