We do allow players to create and submit playable characters for the roster, primarily to help flesh out orgs and provide good character options for players. However, we're very concerned about providing a good experience for new players to help them acclimate to the game and become involved in stories, and we wish to provide a template to help roster submissions to be fleshed out enough to provide strong direction in helping players get started. They also should be developed enough that it doesn't create a situation where staff are trying to fill in blanks that new players will very much want to pursue. We also want to define several relationships with existing roster characters so ideally players have other characters they can intuitively turn to in order to become introduced to the game.
Anyone wishing to submit a roster character should first put in a +request with all of the following:
- Please describe the character in a few sentences. Who are they, what makes them compelling, what would you find personally fun about playing them, what stories would they pursue, what characters are they connected with?
- What mechanically would this character excel at? What coded command aside from 'work' can they use better than other characters? IE, social characters using social commands like praise, combat characters using 'fight', merchant characters haggling, crafters crafting, investigators using 'investigate', etc.
- Select a primary org for the character. For noble characters, this is likely their house. For commoners, this is likely a major institution such as the Faith of the Pantheon for Godsworn, Whispers for courtiers, Iron Guard, Inquisition, King's Own. This should provide a core for the RP that the character is likely to find, and be reflective of the charater.
- How does the character feel about their primary organization? What is their overall relationship to it?
- Define at least 2 meaningful relationships they have with other living roster characters in that primary org. How do they feel about them? How can the new player use that for their initial rp?
- What ICly would the character change about their org, what do they wish to preserve? What are their goals in regards to their org?
- Why is the character valuable to the org? Why would other players wish to get them involved in current stories?
- A character should have a secondary org that provides an available source of RP and story that's not implicitly tied to their primary org. This should ideally be a major organization that no one or very few in their primary org is a member of. For example, if the roster character is a noble, this would be where they are a member of the Iron Guard, Inquisition, non-whisper courtier (but member of their org), the Champions Guild, in a Faith discipleship that no one else in their house belongs to, or any large org that almost no one in their primary org is tied to. Conversely, if this is a Godsworn or King's Own member, this secondary org could be the house or commoner family org they came from.
- At least one established relationship with another roster character in the org, and preferrably more.
- Why is this secondary org important to the character, how does it help define them?
- Under what circumstances would they ever leave the org? What is potential character development a new player can pursue in regards to it?
- The secondary org CAN be a secret metaplot org (ie assassins' guild, thieves' guild, foreign powers, demon hunters), but a character cannot be written as a disloyal character or one that could potentially out other characters involved. If it's a secret org, they need a full secret background of how they were recruited, what their goals are in regards to the org, in great detail.
- Any orgs that the character would be a member of, but is not necessarily very relevant to their story. List them and the ranks. This would be, for example, a hobbyist crafter where the crafting is not a key part of their identity, but they would still be a member of the Crafters Guild, Apothecary College, mercantile org or the like.
- Who are their parents, are they still alive? If dead, how did they die? How did their parents meet?
- If the parents are part of a house, who are the grandparents? If second cousins of a main line for a noble house, who are the great grand parents? These must be named specifically, and lineage defined.
- If the parents are unknown, how does this play into the secret of the character? Define it.
- Are there any NPC siblings, and what ages are they?
- If a character is illegitimate, this has to be heavily justified with knowing that thematically contraception is 100% reliable and having characters out of wedlock is an active choice unless there is a specific story justification.
- Define at least one roster character relationship outside of their primary or secondary orgs.
- For each relationship, define the type such as friend, family, enemy, rival, frenemy, etc. If it's a potentially antagonistic relationship, describe how the character is designed to try to keep that fun to RP, rather than something that would blow up, and what limitations exist that would keep it from spiraling out of control.
- Any ties to NPCS? If it's a new NPC, it has to be clearly defined, with any NPC noble house having a clear fealty chart all the way up to what PC house it's linked to with no continuity errors. IE, the NPC count that murdered their father, who's his liege and who's their banner-duke?
- Any major plot NPC connections? Any mysterious NPCs implied in secrets have to have several suggestions of exactly who they are. These should not be major story NPCs without an extremely strong reasoning, and a clearly defined potential story arc with points of success and failure, with a plan for how it could be developed in PRPs without GM time.
-- These will be added using the goal system, and should be named and described. At least one of each of the follows:
- What is a very short term, easy goal that a new player taking the roster that knows nothing about Arx can do immediately their first day on grid to get involved in the game? This can and probably should be trivial, but something that makes sense to the character, something that is easy to do, and something that hopefully gets them involved with at least a group. For example, a goal could be meeting a noble from each fealty to broaden their social circle, or talking to another inquisitor about a case, or asking other iron guardsmen about the current situation in the Lower Boroughs. Etc.
- What is a long term goal, that is definitely achievable, but would take time and show character growth? This could be something like a strong political marriage, or defeating a shav chieftain defined in their background, or seeing their house gain new lands or becoming an archlector or anything else. A long term but potentially possible goal.
- What is an impossible goal for them, that almost certainly cannot be achieved, but their failure at it will let the character grow and develop? A defining ambition for the character.
-- One of the following:
- What is a mystery, unique to the character, that they can explore? Give both an IC pitch for it and 3 possible OOC outcomes for GMs behind it.
- Pick a plot in the metaplot and give them a significant role in it that can be developed, that would not negatively impact the metaplot if the character was inactive, but the character has agency to feel relevant if played and developed.
- A transformitive story for their major or minor org, that is unique to the character, and can only be done by them. If a player is writing the roster submission, this cannot be for an org of their alts.
- A story that strongly reinforces the core narrative of the character and that would have a major effect in how they develop, but isn't explicitly contradictory to their public sheet. IE, darker secrets.
- None of these should be reliant on any other roster character, in the sense it cannot be progressed or even -seem- like it cannot be progressed without them.
- Generally, no rare physical traits. IE, hetrochromia, unusually tall, unusually short, unnatural physical characteristics like tattoos. Any that are added need to have a specific story with their background and/or secrets. Use a spellchecker, double check grammar, if there's any superlatives they need to be strongly justified. No descs that imply reactions from the viewer that might not apply (ie, effects of attractiveness on the viewer, fear, etc).
- Something that someone can actually play up. This can't be just a placeholder. If it's an antagonistic personality, it absolutely has to have ways you can be certain that it will be checked against bad actors and not force authority figures to engage in tedious RP to rein them in. It should be something that is attractive to players without encouraging RP that would be miserable for others. Assume played by a bad actor or new roleplayer, never an experienced one or exceptional one.
- There should be no or at least very few questions that prompt the new player to ask staff for clarification. If something happened in their background, when did it happen? Always assume a player is going to want anything clarified. NPCs aren't faceless, they need to be defined, and basically everything can be looked into eventually. The background should be a selling point of a character, since it defines what everyone knows they've gone through to this point. Plausible, but build up what makes a character compelling here since it can show either their hard luck life, their accomplishments, their failings, what they've hoped to do and what they've done. Generally a character should have at least one memorable anecdote that helps define them.
- Nothing too referential or that would be culturally mononymic. Nothing too distracting to immersion. Nothing so similar to other characters it would create confusion in messengers, mavs. Probably nothing too culturally at odds to the regional flavor of the different fealties.
Once the request has been approved, then a player can log in as a guest and cg the character with a dummy email in the format of <name of cg>@<cg by character name.com>, such as making a new cg named bob done by apostate, the dummy email would be firstname.lastname@example.org - if there's errors we'll just contact you to fix.