Okay. So any of us who's ever been in a group roleplay knows it is HELLA frustrating to be rping with one particular character and then suddenly have them disappear on you without a word. (Hell, some of us are probably guilty of it.)
Since we only have sixteen characters, that leaves the basis for interaction pretty limited, unless you want to take the truly bizarre route and just start interacting with NPCs left and right. Therefore, in order to prevent running into a wall should whoever you're talking to suddenly disappear, we have alternates in place.
This is how it works: anyone who's interested can put their name in for a second character. Should the second player's character either quit or randomly vanish (note: have to be inactive for a full week without notice before you may pick their character up), you may temporarily double as the character whose name you put in for.
You do not keep the character you've picked up! In signing up to play an alternate, you're agreeing to fill in until we find a new player to take the other one on. There's only sixteen people on here at a time -- for the sake of letting other people get a chance, as well as preventing the dead ends that come with having to roleplay with yourself, we sort of have to impose a one-character limit. Alternates are an exception, but only a temporary one.
Note: if you have picked up a character whose player has gone inactive and they return asking to play the character again before we find a replacement, you will be required to relinquish the second character.
In the incredibly bizarre event that we lose both an original player AND the alternate, we'll be temporarily reopening the joining forum so as to find replacements for the two characters left playerless.
Additionally, if you know you're going to be away -- vacation, major course load, whatever -- you may give permission to your character's alternate player to cover for you while you're gone. If not (or if the other player can't, for whatever reason), then we'll find a way to explain your character's absence IC. No worries!
If you have any issues with the alt policy, feel free to message an admin. We'll do our best to try and help out. :)