Hints, Tips, and Facts
||How to Roleplay, Names
||Creating a Background for your PC
||Dealing with IC Conflicts
||PC vs PC vs NPC Equality
||How to make new gadgets
||The IC Gossip Channel
||A brief primer on some of the city's IC groups
||Where to find help
||How High School works on the Mux
||How to earn extra Teener Points
||The 4th Estate in TFOS
||Allowance and Money
||A suggested reading list
||The Golden Rule on TFOS Mux
||Four letter words and You
||Helpful tips from Faculty and Players
||Settings, Switches, and Toggles
We may be taking a big step here, but it's safe to assume that you on the other side of the screen are not an alien, have not been kidnapped by aliens, or are currently pregnant with the child of an alien. On this assumption, we've taken it upon ourselves to help you out in understanding Aliens.
How do you pick one? Our favorite method is to find a star chart and drop a pencil on a star. Then you make up an name and claim that is your home world. We're not too picky about it and we don't police it very tightly. What happens if two people pick the same location, yet are different? Nothing. It's a big Universe out there.
Aliens tend not to to have normal names. Some suggested ones from R. Talsorian Games are Rami, Baldernash, Weird Alvin, and Sattch Boogy. Of course, since Earth is the coolest thing any Alien will ever see, names such as Bob Dole or Frank have increased in popularity.
Note - The Mux has troubles handling names over 22 characters in length. We recommend that you put your first name there and then fill people in on your full name during roleplaying.
The description of your Alien is entirely up to you. Depending on what type of Alien you are, you will have to make your description look like that. Make an effort to fit in your powers. Can you fly? Perhaps wings are necessary. Monster Out? Make a second description so that when you activate that power, people know what you look like.
|We do not require extensive backgrounds about your PC, but you may find
out that it is for your benefit to do so. It gives you more to RP with
plus if we delve into it, we might actually find something that we
can use for a plot.
For example : It's a lot more difficult to play Bloob the Near Human
that it is to play Bloob the Near Human from Rulion who was orphaned
at a young age and became a Alien Foreign Exchange Student along with
his tendency to eat cars and save leaves as they fall to the ground.
Conflicts are inherent in playing roleplaying games. Sometimes its fun, sometimes its not. How do you deal with them? The best way is to simply step away from the computer and take a few deep breaths. Calm down before you type anything that might anger the person on the other end. Never forget there is a real person over there.
If you ever need help, contact a Faculty member and they will assist you in anyway that is possible on the Mux. Shouting it out on channels or through pages usually does not do the trick. Counselors are the preferred first contact, then Teachers.
One should never go after another PC in IC just because they annoyed you through a page or channel. That is OOC/IC Crossover and heavily frowned upon.
All PCs are not created equal, though it doesn't really matter. The Filthy Rich character can get humiliated or knocked flat just as well as the guy with Fly. It happens and it will most certainly happen to you eventually.
PC vs PC, with all other things being equal, means characters fresh out of CharGen are going to be pretty much equal. Once you leave Chargen and enter the IC world, however, all bets are off. Some PCs might be here long and have earned more Teener Points and gathered more Knacks. Others might have gotten a Spacester through plots or are dating the hottest dude/chick in the school.
PC vs NPC is a different matter. Some NPCs are created more powerful than PCs for the sole reason that they are supposed to be. Mr. Mauler could possibly wipe the floor with anyone on TFOS Mux and that's the way it should be. He is the Vice Principal. If he were knocked down by a pea shooter, that wouldn't be very intimidating now, would it? But anyone that has ever played TFOS can tell you one thing - being the most powerful person backfires more often than it succeeds.
In Loco Parentis (Crazy Parents)
No matter what race you are, no matter what planet, everyone has a crazy family. Don't believe us? Take a look at yours. You've got Aunts and Uncles who stop by and decide you are perfect for washing the car. Mothers who want you to baby sit on Prom night. A Dad who mows the lawn in spandex. Family constantly embarrass you, ruins your life, and makes sure nothing goes right when you want it to. And you are legally obligated to love them.
It is a requirement in CharGen that you set a &FAMILY attribute on yourself that explains a bit about your family. The Faculty will review this and if its good enough, you will be approved. Be warned, however, that the Faculty has a rather nasty streak when it comes to Family. There are some rules that must be followed when creating a family.
1. Family should never listen to anything you say until it is important that they ignore you, whereupon, they gain Superhearing.
2. Family is constantly planning all sorts of useless chores, errands, family events, and babysitting jobs without consulting you today. These are all inconveniently timed and make no sense whatsoever such as 'Did you water your grandmother today?'
3. Family is prone to mentioning embarrassing things in front of your friends such as bring out photos of you as a baby while potty training or revealing who you have a crush on.
4. Parents are the ultimate conservatives or liberals. Anything you wish to do is viewed as the end of civilization as they know it. 'You want to go where? McDoggies? Oh, god, no!'
Everyone must have at least one or more siblings, be it an brother or sister, young or older. There is a tendency for long lost siblings to appear out of the blue as well. Babies like to burp up on your best clothes or use your CDs as shovels. Older siblings enjoy pushing you off the couch before you are about to score or taking the car keys when you need them. And these are just Human siblings. Imagine Alien ones.
Your &FAMILY attribute is very important to Teenagers from Outer Space. These are the people to whom you come home, who punish you when you screw up, and who give you goodies when you are good. Note - the last recorded instance of a parent rewarding a Teenager was in August of 1994 when Alan Dorkimeir accidentally taped the correct TV show when asked by his parents.
Some people have decided they are derived from Nobility. That's fine (so long as its not overused). Princes and Princesses are often sent to Earth to learn the ways of Earthlings. However, it does not matter if your Father is the King of Nannoligoila 12 or the CEO of the Multi-Zillion dollar MegaMicrosurf Corporation. You're the kid. Diplomatic immunity does not apply to you. . You do not have your own personal army. You can't snap your fingers and make things happen. If you have bodyguards, they are there to prevent you from being kidnapped and causing harm to your family, not to do your dirty work or muscle other people. It's in their Union contract (all bodyguards belong to a Union). Parents, be they Kings or Waiters, all follow the same rules - make their children's lives hell.
TFOS Mux provides a great deal of gadgets - Zap Guns, Popcorn Grenades, Atomic Bug Zappers, etc. But we know you. Just when we're not looking, you are going to want a Neutronic Osmosis Power Learner with Nose Hair Trimmer Attachment. That means we need to have a means for you to create that and the knack Weird Science is perfect for it.
How To Make A Gadget
1. Decide what your gadget does. If you don't know, how are the Faculty supposed to know? Try to put the description in a few simple, easy to understand sentences - 'This device turns the entire planet into a giant marsh mellow'.
2. What are you going to call it? Use strange mad-scientist names. If you have the TFOS Rulebook, check out 'Inventing New Gadgets to Destroy the Basis of Life As We All Know It' for some ideas.
3. Submit it to the Gadgets Queue (+tfoshelp queues). Use the following format:
•Parts/Other Notes for Creation
What Happens Next
A Faculty member will get in touch with you and work out the fine details such as what other items you will need, what won't work, what will, etc. You may need to spend some money or acquire parts through less than normal means. After all that has been setup, the Faculty will assign a secret Difficulty Number. You will then roll Smarts + Knack (Weird Science for example).
The Result is dependant upon your roll. If you succeed, the Faculty will create an object and give it to you with appropriate notes. If you fail, you may still create your object. It just might do unexpected things. If you have a very good success, it might do more than you expect. Example - that Ultra Speedy Popcorn Cooker works in less than 1.5 seconds, burying you in a mountain of popcorn.
Nearly all creations will have side effects depending on the roll you may. This can range from blowing up in your face to turning your skin different colors to turning you into a newt to vaporizing your clothing or maybe it'll print the words 'I'm a Loon' on your forehead. Weird Science is definitely not an exact science.
TFOS Mux has a channel called 'Gossip' that everyone, once IC, can join. The Gossip channel is treated differently than all others. It is completely IC and no OOC information is allowed. It is also an Anonymous channel to PCs, though Faculty can see who says what. Avoid profanity as well as answering or commenting on Gossip.
To Join - addcom gos=Gossip
To Speak - +gossip <insert gossip here>
Gossip, by its very nature, should not be 100% accurate nor does it have to be truthful at all. Some examples:
'I hear there's a party at Al's tonight!'
'Those rich dues from Richmond Academy are plotting something evil for the Homecoming game.'
There are several major groups in Pebble Beach that everyone knows at least a little bit about. Anything contained within these News files can be considered IC information.
The Anti-Homework Society (AHS)
Misfits. Degenerates. Troublemakers. That is what most of Pebble Beach calls the AHS. The AHS follows a platform of abolishing all homework. They have been known to stage parties on School nights or raid the High School to steal homework and test answers. The High School authorities, the PTA, nor the Police have found the HQ of this anarchist group.
Knowledge Squared (K^2)
The mere mention of this organization strikes fear into the hearts of those belonging to the AHS. These geeks, losers, and geniuses are dedicated to making certain the Teacher gives out far more homework than is necessary. Like the other society, this group maintains an extensive HQ rumored to be hidden somewhere in the High School. Well liked by the Faculty and PTA, this group often causes issues for other students. They are known for invading 'Study Sessions' and handing out new light bulbs in the belief it will make it easier to study.
The Alien Control Officers (ACO)
When Aliens first arrived, there was a general agreement that no one wanted these folks running around without someone to keep an eye on them. Thus, the ACO was formed. These dedicated men and women are always Human and dressed in identical shiny black suits and mirrored sunglasses. They are a combination of Truant Officer and Supercop. They are nearly always weighed down with bandoliers of gadgets and huge weapons. As a general rule, they cause far more havoc than they could possibly prevent, usually showing up at the worst time and making 'incursive assaults' on students sneaking off campus. They do not allow Teenagers to join the ACO, though will sometimes side with them.
Alien Foreign Students (AFS)
All of those Alien teenagers have to live somewhere and not all of them come with their families. Every year, the AFS diligently finds homes for over a thousand Aliens all around the world. Maybe next year, you too can have a roommate who breathes chlorine and eats glass. PCs can be AFS as long as its mentioned in their &FAMILY and Background.
Both AHS and K^2 make money via fundraiser's or other activities. For the AHS, this usually involves keggers, toga parties, fake IDs, selling of homework answers, and so forth. For K^2, this usually involves car washes, student teaching, or tutors for hire. At the same time, both groups use their money to keep up their HQ, purchase new goods, or holding their own events such as parties or science fairs.
The leader of each club will have access to a 'Bank Account' that keeps track of how much money the group has. Each time something is earned, the club should set aside X amount of dollars that goes to the club, usually 25 percent. The rest goes to expenses or the Teens involved. Remember, what you give to the club comes back to help you and what you take from the club, usually means they're coming to get you.
If a Faculty member is needed, simply contact them.
Need a bit of help in using the everyday commands of TFOS Mux? Look here:
High School is a wonderful thing and fairly constant throughout the world. in fact, if you are reading this right now, we know that one of three things will apply to you:
1. You are in High School right now.
2. You have already completed High School.
3. You are going to eventually get to High School.
Why is Teenagers From Outer Space based on High School? Simple - it gives us a very convenient place to keep all of the PCs for at least six hours of the day. The law even allows us to use beefy Truant Officers to drag you there. Use of +time will tell you if you should be in School or not.
Here are some simple rules about High School that all PCs must follow:
Face it - the only time you have ever seen the Principal is when you graduate or have committed a crime so heinous that even Ghangis Kahn is ashamed of you. What is really funny is that no one knows what the Principal looks like. If you ask your parents, they'll dodge the question, not even referring to what sex the Principal is. The typical statement is 'The Principal seemed nice.'
The Vice Principal
The Vice Principal of the High School is a huge man. Eight foot tall, four hundred pounds of pure muscle, and a former Marine. He dresses in fine attire and nearly always looks snazzy, even with his smiley face lapel pin. Students quiver in his presence, except for those who suck up to him, and no one ever talks back to him. Mr. Mauler has the Knacks of Drag Offending Student to Detention by Scruff of Neck +10 and Inspire Fear in Students +8.
Each of the Teachers are Pebble Beach High School have their own personalities. You'll have to meet them to figure that much out. After all, what would High School be without teachers? Besides fun of course.
The High School employees Hall Monitors to keep a strict eye on all the students. Usually these are geeks or losers or those who wish to suck up to the Faculty. Armed with only a badge and pad of paper, these people have a good tendency to get you into trouble.
A fine tradition that everyone has done. Your parents will say they haven't, but that's a lie. If you get caught skipping school or class, you will be dragged back in chains. News will spread throughout the community. Your parents will be ashamed and you will almost certainly be grounded.
When the Aliens arrived, the Caf just started serving more of the same food rather than changing their menu. After all, it wasn't meant for Human consumption in the first place. Students are always trying to sneak out and get something at the local fast food joints.
Pebble Beach High School meets Monday through Friday, beginning at 8:00AM and going until 3:00PM Mux time. The Mux runs on its own time zone - 3PM CST is actually 10AM Mux time. The reasoning behind this is that it enables Faculty and Students alike to RP in School when they return home from real-life work, school, etc.
While School is in session, PCs are expected to be at the High School. PCs that are not at school are subject to having Parents, Police, the ACO, or Truant Officers come in search for them. Unless a Teacher is present, PCs are always able to RP their own classes anyway they like. Some teachers are nice. Some are bumbling. Some are destructive. Make up a couple of teacher names and stick with them, possibly passing them onto other PCs to keep some consistency. Also, if you walk into a classroom and PCs are emitting a class, that means you're late. Try sneaking in.
If you wish to skip school, sneak out, or whatever may happen, +referee first. Faculty may or may not be able to help you. If they can't, don't try sneaking out. It wouldn't be a lot of fun since you couldn't dodge the Hall Monitors.
7:00 - 7:50 : First Hour
8:00 - 8:50 : Second Hour
9:00 - 9:50 : Third Hour
10:00 - 10:50 : Fourth Hour
11:00 - 11:50 : Fifth Hour
12:00 - 1:00 : Lunch
1:10 - 2:00 : Sixth Hour
2:10 - 3:00 : Seventh Hour
Extracurricular activities - such as sports, clubs, etc - begin at 3:30PM.
By the way - while we are on the subject of time, it is worth noting that Pebble Beach does have a curfew. At 1AM, all teenagers should be off the streets. Of course, this is not always enforced unless you are being rowdy, disruptive, or loudly plotting the overthrow of the United Federation of Planets. So make sure you do that quietly.
Every player will receive either a House or Apartment to live in. The choice is up to the PC. To request a home, do one of the following:
Visit a location on the grid where you might like to live. Look at the exits (the number of the house) to see if it's FOR RENT. Use +request home to ask for an already built house or for one to be built.
Visit Paideia Apartments and go to the floor you wish to live. Look at the exits (the number of the house) to see if it's FOR RENT. Use +request home to ask for an already built house or for one to be built.
All Houses and Apartments have set descriptions except for the Teenagers room. That room you may customize for yourself. If you wish to customize the rest of your house, write up the description and then contact a Faculty member. They can set those descriptions for you.
Some areas are restricted for future building and expansion. These areas are:
||Moreno and West
||Moreno and Bluebird
||Moreno and Alamo
||Moreno and Kermit
PCs can submit logs of exceptional roleplay. Why submit logs? Well, aside from earning a few extra Teener Points, it allows the Faculty and rest of the Mux to know what you're up to. The Faculty are more than willing to adjust your RWP if you so request (such as when you've blown up Dad's car) or pursue the possibility of further plots. Also, logs can give newcomers a good idea of what to expect when they play on the Mux. And lastly, having a log published on the web page gives you a warm fuzzy feeling right before you tell someone else that you got accepted and they didn't. Logs can be huge four hour long sessions or a quick twenty minutes of arguing with your siblings.
There are a few rules to submitting logs:
•Edit out all the unnecessary information such as Channel Talk, Pages, WHOs, Inventory, etc.
•Make sure the log is formatted in a way that it is easy on the eyes.
•Contact a Faculty member before sending a log. Some like to read them, others don't.
If we accept the log, we will inform you prior to putting it up on the web page.
The arrival of Aliens has provided the Media with a boon of fresh news. Naturally, as per their very nature, the media has screwed this one up too. Almost any action, no matter how trivial or stupid, is instantly the subject of 'hard hitting investigative reporting', 'in-depth analysis', and 'non-human interest stories'. Anything PCs, especially Alien PCs, do has a tendency to attract the media in overwhelming numbers.
There exists several media outlets in Pebble Beach, the primary ones being Channel Five News, the Radio Station, and the Newspaper. These stalwart defenders of the First Admendment are dedicated to bringing the news to your parents when you'd rather they not see. They will show up when you least expect them too, such as in the bathroom, to ask for a statement and are prone to listen to your statement, run it through a shredder, throw it away, and completely make up their own information on the spot.
The News Board (+bbread 4) is an IC News Board. PCs may read it, but only Faculty can post. Sometimes the latest escapades may be posted while other times you will find hints to future plots.
All PCs receive an allowance once every two weeks. PCs may hit up their parents for more money, but it may cost RWP or a favor. You may also bum off your friends who might ask for even harsher terms.
Many businesses, stores, and shops have NPCs that will allow you to purchase items. These are constantly being added. You may also RP spending money, then get in touch with a Faculty member to have the actual cash removed. You may also receive an actual object in your inventory if it is an important item.
Recommend reading material for Teenagers from Outer Space
Comics & Anime
Foxtrot - Perfect for siblings and family
Calvin and Hobbes
Ranma 1/2 - Perfect example of what a Boy/Girl Gun can do
Urusei Yatsura - The Anime on which TFOS is based
Ninja High School - Loosely based on TFOS and UY
Tenchi Muyo - Recommended source material
Gen 13 Bootleg - Issues 8-10 by Adam Warren
Gordon Korman - Seemingly normal, but not
Star Riders - TFOS after graduation, including many of the same rules.
Saved by the Bell
Although in TFOS, one will occasionally have to save the Universe from their homework assignment, at least 90% of Teenage activity revolves around the opposite sex. Unfortunately for PCs on TFOS Mux, there is one unbreakable rule:
The Golden Rule
No One Ever Goes All The Way in Teenagers from Outer Space.
Why? It's simple. Sex isn't funny. Not even if you are wearing a clown suit (then it just gets weird). Frustration, on the other hand, now that's funny. TFOS Mux encourages every PC to have a significant other or at least attempt to do so.
The Faculty will constantly be watching over your shoulder to make sure things do not get too hot and heavy. Take, for example, two typical Teenagers hanging out. They head up to Lover's Point and start making out. Their hands start to roam. The car gets towed. An hour later, they bail the car out and head to the apartment of one of their brothers across town. Dim lights and romantic music compel the rug to get up and order itself a pizza. Ten minutes later, a pizza truck crashes through the front of the apartment, scattering a thousand slices of extra-cheese pizza and anchovies across the room. The ACO arrives a few minutes afterwards and launcher a pre-emptive strike, Goop Gunning everyone to the wall so both Teenagers are late for their curfew.
Now that is what Sex is like in Teenagers from Outer Space. The Faculty knows they cannot catch everyone, but if they do, you can bet on a scene like the one above.
Marriage and Engagements
Neither of these should happen in the world of TFOS outside of plots. Considering all PCs are Teenagers, ones parents might object to the nuptials. You'll be forced to live in separate houses. You'll be forced to pick up milk on the way home from school. Most importantly, however, the Golden Rule still applies.
There are no set rules about swearing aside from one - please don't do it.
The reason behind this is that swearing is not always fun. Imagine what would happen if you were caught swearing in front of your parents or a teacher? Got soap?
The following are tips that have been gathered from Faculty and Students. None of these are an attempt to tell you how to roleplay, but for a new PC or someone not familiar with the theme of TFOS, they may provide some assistance.
Let someone finish a subject before jumping in and changing the subject. Unless, of course, it concerns the space ship that just crushed the car of someone in the group.
Don't jump into conversations as soon as you enter the room. A scene or something else important could be happening. Wait a few minutes and join in once you have an idea of what's going on.
Introduce yourself to new people. Pebble Beach has held the distinction of having the lowest national rate of muggings following the phrase 'Hi I'm...' for the past fourteen years. Be friendly.
Don't drive your care like an insane idiot unless, at that moment, you happen to be an insane idiot. Pause for ten to fifteen seconds on each block even if you don't see someone. There might be a Faculty member lying in wait.
Invite people into your homes. Teenagers hang out at the Mall and the Beach, but eventually they have to head back home where the food is free, the drinks plentiful, and your entire LOx collection awaits you.
Try something different. The Mall is fine, but Pebble Beach also has a Stadium that can host concerts or sporting events (Faculty can help with this). Try to setup a band or purchase some CDs. Have a party. Race your rival in your car or saucer.
TFOS Mux has many options that you can set on yourself. Some of these you can toggle on and off, others are static. Some are essential and mentioned in CharGen while others are just helpful. Placing a ! before the command (such as in @set me=!ansi) negates the command, i.e. - turns off colors.
||Changes your PC's description
||Short, one line description of your PC viewable with +scan. Ex:
A fat green kid with purple hair.
|&TRAITS me=Trait1, Trait 2, Trait 3
||Changes the Traits on your +form
||Modifies your Schtick
||Modifies your Family information
|@adesc me=@pemit me=%N just looked at you.
||Activates a warning whenever someone looks at you.
||Sets you Unfindable on the +who
||Automatically triggers a command upon logging in. Ex:
@acconect me=+bbscan;@doing Howdy!
||Modifies your IC Info that appears on +finger
||Sets your E-mail address (required). Use a > in front of your address to make it visible to Faculty only.
||Modifies your Quote that appears on +finger
||Modifies your Web page that appears on +finger
|Locks you to prevent people from picking you up or using you to trigger commands
|Global commands that permit you to automatically Lock and Unlock yourself to receive items, money, etc.