FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
you guys ask these questions a lot
How often do activity checks happen and how do they work?
First and foremost, please read the rules outlined at the start of every activity check. They are usually the same every time, but occasionally we might change one or two things, so it's on you to make sure you know what's going on. If you're ever confused or unsure about something, please contact an admin ASAP so you have enough time to complete the check on time.
Generally, activity checks happen every 3 to 4 months and they always last for two weeks. The admin team tries to take people's school and work schedules into account, so the timing is never to punish people. We almost always require 8 posts per character, but about once a year we tend to throw in a check requiring 16 posts just to keep everyone on their toes.
IF you have an absence up before an activity check starts and it extends past the final day of the check, unless given an exempt from the admins, you'll have an additional week to complete your A/C and post it in the face claim. IF you have an absence up before an activity check starts and it ends before the final day, you will still be required to complete the check (if you're unable to, please contact an admin ASAP to work something out). IF you post an absence AFTER an activity check starts, please make sure you message an admin to see what you can do about saving your characters. Unfortunately in the past we've had many people coincidentally post absences five minutes after the activity check is posted, so we apologize if this seems strict or unfair. If you are truly unable to post, though, just contact an admin about it (or have a friend do it for you) as soon as possible and you'll be fine.
You guys throw around the phrase "active thread" a lot. What is considered an "active thread"?
We define an active thread as an in-character/non-communications/non-AU/non-development topic with at least 8 replies in it, the last reply being no older than a week old. If there are 3 characters in the thread, 8 of the replies must be your character's; if there are 4 characters in the thread, 12 of the replies must be your character's; and so on and so forth. Basically, add an extra 4 replies on for each extra character in the thread, so we know you're pulling your weight in the thread.
You'll need an active thread with your most recent character if you wish to make new character. You'll also need an active thread with all of your characters to complete the activity checks. If you have any questions about this, ask an admin!
I was posting my last few people into the A/C before 11:59PM, and it was closed when I hit "post". What do I have to do?
First and foremost, don't argue about it. We tend to stress heavily on people that tend to do A/C at the last minute to avoid having people rush to make that last minute. We usually don't hesitate to close it once the midnight hits, so if you missed your chance, you need to come up with a plan to get all your characters added into the A/C on time and not wait till that last minute to do it (we suggest just posting in the face claim ASAP if you missed the deadline, that way your faces are safe). Unless you have personal matters going on, then that's a different story.
Unfortunately, you are not exempt from the A/C with the charries you missed. You will STILL have to post the A/C format with those charries into the face claim topic. For failure to do it during the A/C, your face claim will remain available for a week before we add the character in. Again, don't get mad at us for doing our jobs. Take responsibility for your actions and try to do better next time around.
I want to use a face but someone else has claimed it already. Can I have it anyway?
Short answer: Just find another face!! There are so many good faces out there and stealing someone else's is 110% unnecessary and mean. Let it be known that the admin team officially discourages people from stealing faces. Also, if you need any addition help, you can view our face claim resource - here
Long answer: Maybe. Read on:
At HTB, we don't deactivate character accounts until after activity checks. So, theoretically, you can go 3 months without posting and your character will still be technically considered active. We don't encourage this, of course, because nobody wants to wait that long between replies... but you can do it and be fine. HOWEVER, if you haven't posted for your character for over 2 weeks, that character's face claim could be up for grabs if someone comes along and decides that they want it.
To put it simply: Your characters are active until you fail to save them in an activity check, but if someone wants one of your characters' faces, they can take it if said character hasn't had an in-character/non-communications post in 2 weeks.
We do this to prevent people from hoarding faces that they don't use. So... moral of the story: DON'T HOARD FACES.
If one of your faces does get taken, your account will be deactivated until you find a new face to replace the one that was taken. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, contact an admin as soon as possible.
My character was deactivated. How do I go about reactivating them?
There are a variety of reasons that accounts go inactive, so there's no single answer to this question. If one of your characters goes inactive and you want them back, you will need to contact an admin. Make sure you include a link to the character's application and let us know which member group the character should be sorted into.
My thread got archived. How do I go about bringing it back?
We archive threads roughly once a month, so if it got archived you might want to consider starting fresh. We do not un-archive threads during activity checks, but otherwise if you want a thread moved back to the active forums, you will need to post in TOPIC MODERATION. Please also let us know what forum the thread should be moved to. PLEASE USE THE TOPIC MODERATION THREAD. Please don't reach out to us--via AIM or PM--to move a thread when we could have 5,000 different things going on at the moment.
CONTENT & POSTING
Is there a word count?
Where are all the templates?
Our site was created long before the mandatory templates trend, so at the moment we don't have any premade templates. You're free to use whatever template you want for threads, shippers, trackers, development, etc. Just make sure you keep people's credit in tact and don't stretch the board if you can help it. If you're wondering where you can find templates, try SHINE, CAUTION, or CANDYLAND COUTURE.
You're also more than welcome to create your own codes or not use any codes at all, if that's your style.
Do I have to post a shipper?
No. You are not required to use the shipper system, but we very strongly encourage it. Having a little bit of quick/important info about each of your characters in a single place makes it easy for other people to give you plots and bounce ideas back and forth. But if shippers aren't your thing, we're not going to force you to post one.
What's the deal with tags and warnings?
Considering that we are a premium site based on real life, adult and possibly taboo/triggering situations will happen. Bad people will do bad things and use bad/offensive language. We ask that if you choose to write about these things, tag your threads with an "M" (mature) or "TW" (trigger warning) so people know what they're getting into when they click on your thread. This mainly goes for things like sex, excessive violence/gore, mental illness, substance abuse, various -isms/-phobias, and things of that nature, but it's up to you to decide if you want to tag anything else.
Remember that if you DO tag something as [M] or [TW], you must actually mention what that thing is. Don't just write [TW] without explaining what the trigger is because the entire point of the tag is to let people know what they're getting into.
You guys have premium. That means I can have naked people in my avatars, right?
Absolutely not. Premium means that you can use mature themes in your writing, so long as it is properly tagged, and we won't be in violation of Jcink's TOS. That's literally it. It doesn't mean that you can post pornographic or any kind of graphic images all over the site and if you do, it will be removed and you will be dealt with by an admin.
While the vast majority of our members are 18+ we do not have a minimum age requirement to join, so you can't just be posting areolas and camel toe everywhere without putting Jcink, the site, and our staff in jeopardy. It's also kinda gross. SO DON'T DO IT, PLEASE.
If you're unsure of what we allow as far as images go, please err on the side of caution and ask an admin.
I suck at making graphics. Where can I find someone to make me some?
The first step to recovery is admitting it, so good for you.
Finding someone to make you graphics is literally as easy as asking. You can ask in the cbox or make an OOC thread or even PM the member, if they offer their services. Our Discord server also has an entire channel dedicated to graphic requests, so definitely take advantage of that.
If you really can't find anybody to make you graphics, PIXLR and EZGIF are great places to learn. The dimensions for avatars are 250x375 and the dimensions for gifs are 180x120 and 150x150.
How long does it take for an application to be reviewed?
We try not to take more than two days to get around to reviewing and accepting apps. That being said, the admin team can get busy with real life or other site stuff, so it may occasionally take a little longer. Unless it has been more than 3 days, please don't rush us. Odds are we've seen it but we just haven't had the time to read through it and put together a review.
To make sure we see the app, mark the thread title with a [C] and/or bump the thread to let us know it's finished and ready for processing. If we aren't sure that the app is complete, we won't look at it.
I already have 20 or more characters, but I want more. What do I have to do to create another?
Regardless of how many characters you have, you will need to drop below 20 to create another character. So, for example, if you have 25 characters, you will need to drop 6 of them in order to make a new one. Same goes if you have 40 characters.
The same goes for points (each extra character costs 3,000) points. Even if you have enough points to buy a new character, you will still need to drop below 20 in order to create a new character (unless you have enough points to pay for all of your extra characters).
If you are confused or have any questions or concerns about our system, please contact an admin.
Why do I see some members with more than 20 characters if 20 is the cap?
The 20 character cap wasn't established until the spring of 2016. Many members created all their characters in the 5+ years beforehand, so they were obviously grandfathered in. It's also possible that these members have bought extra characters with points they earned through our REWARDS SYSTEM.
Why can't I make a famous character?
Simply put: Because Ashwick Valley is not a big town and it doesn't make sense for it to be teeming with celebrities and famous people.
Celebrity characters are banned indefinitely (you can find what we consider to be a celebrity/famous character in THE RULES) but if you earn enough points, you can buy a celebrity character.
Why can't I use certain play-bys?
Because that's the rule.
YouTube/Instagram/Tumblr/etc. faces are often just regular people, not agency-represented models or actual public figures. Therefore, we do not allow them to be used as face claims.
It's literally that simple, but as always if there is any confusion as to what faces we allow, contact an admin and ask.
How do the admins deal with pregnancy, murder, etc.?
If you want your character to get pregnant, that's great! As long as your writing partner agrees to it, that's your prerogative. Same goes for deaths of any nature. If all the parties agree to the plot, you are more than welcome to kill yours or other people's characters.
Aside from the excessively evil ones (i.e. pedophilia, bestiality, terrorism) you can do pretty much any plot you want... just make sure your partners consent and that if it's taboo or mature, you tag your threads accordingly.
Of course if it gets out of hand (particularly with the murders), the admins reserve the right to put a stop to it. Some killing makes sense - Ashwick Valley is a rapidly growing town, after all, so it makes sense that the crime rate would increase as well - but it doesn't make sense for dozens of bodies to be piling up each month.
Most importantly, please treat sensitive topics with proper respect. If we see you guys making light of a serious subject, you will be contacted by the admins.
"I have a problem with this member. How do I go about that?"
As we stress heavily: "We're all adults here." Meaning, we should be able to handle all of our problems like adults by either personally talking with that member to put your difference aside or avoiding that person completely. There should be no need for any catty arguments to take place in the cbox. Now if you do it over AIM or somewhere off the site, that's another story, but please don't bring the nonsense to the site. If it's something we should be aware of, don't hesitate to contact an admin about your problem with the member so we can deescalate before it spills over to the site.
"A guest says "the site looks great", "Hello", etc, what should I do?"
Well, duh. Don’t leave them hanging! If you happen to have the cbox open to see a guest in there and no other person around to greet them, be a pal! Go in there and let them feel welcomed. We're all a big family here. When someone new comes into the family, whether it's temporary or for the long haul, let them feel welcomed with open arms. Don't have the guest leaving singing Black Eyed Peas "Where Is The Love?"
The admins reserve the right to modify this FAQ at any given time. If we do change anything, remove anything, or add anything to it, you will all be notified in an announcement.