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|Getting Started on CHOMPstation|
|The Basics||General Help|
|A Crash Course In Roleplaying|
|Character Creation||Guide to Vore|
First, if you're starting from scratch you need to think about a few things.
- What kind of character do you want to play?
- How often do you want to participate in vore activities?
First, you should consider who you want your character to be. An easy way to start is, what job do you like? If for example, you want to play an engineer, you'd need to make your character fit into the job at least well enough to do it. If your character is deadly afraid of poisonous gasses, construction worker is an option. If your character however, couldn't set up the engine, this would make them unpopular.
After you've chosen what you want your character to do, you should think of a few key traits on how they'll act. Is your character confident or shy? Strong and masculine, or lithe and weak? Do they like to be eaten or eat people? Or are they afraid of the idea. Perhaps they're claustrophobic, making them nervous in
stomachs maintenance tunnels, or have a quirks such as a winged character disliking jetpacks as they're not "real" flying.
Your character is required to be a believable character, who has a believable life. What is your character a multi-trillionaire who owns several corporations doing working in a research station full of hungry crew members? Stick to someone who has a reason to work in a job.
Naming characters, and you.
Naming your character is a very important thing. You literally can't play the game without entering a name. Names (In most cases) are required to be a first name and a last name, with the optional middle name.
- Characters aren't allowed prefixes or nicknames in their names.
- Most races are required to have a first and last name. Unathi are known in some cases to use the alternative "verbs-the-noun" naming convention.
- Non-human races that aren't listed in the wiki, such as a tajaran being used as a anthropomorphic cat are allowed to bypass the two name rule if it's acceptable in their culture.
This isn't an absolutely concrete rule - essentially, give them an actual name rather than something that'd be more suited to a nickname. If you've got a single name for your alien critter and nobody minds, it's unlikely to be enforced. If you're playing a human from Earth and just walk around being "John" people are going to be asking "John who?" unless you're doing something like the visitors from V.
A little bit of backstory
Now that you have the general base of your character, you can start working on a backstory. You don't have to make an expansive one for every day of their life. You can easily make a vague backstory and fill in the holes as you go. Simply think of a few key points.
- Where were they born?
- Did they have a nice childhood, or a rough one?
- What did they do before working for NanoTrasen?
- Is NCS Northern Star their first NanoTrasen workplace?
- How did they wind up getting assigned to NCS Northern Star?
- How educated are they?
- Is there anything they'd rather not talk about?
Most of these bits are simple enough to easily memorize, and will help you think of something to answer when in a conversation in game. They will also be handy when filling out your character records, particularly your employment records.
Do note that your character's backstory should be believable - villainous characters and organizations in their past, if any, should have motivations beyond "just because it's evil", or "because I have an OOC fetish for this". Multi-stellar corporations and planetary governments don't go polluting backwater worlds for the sheer sake of polluting them outside of Saturday morning cartoons, and it's a rare criminal that commits criminal acts because they're against the law. Likewise, try to avoid some of the Mary Sue warning signs - just googling for the phrase "Mary Sue" will bring up a whole laundry list of resources for you here.
Furthermore, check with an admin (the guys that play CentCom) before introducing a character with a backstory along the lines of "NanoTrasen did X" or "CentCom did Y" if it's something that falls outside what they would normally do, especially if it's something that would be so morally bankrupt that other characters would quit their jobs if they found out. "NT bought out the company where my father worked, stripped its assets and reassigned or laid off all the staff" is probably fine, it's within the realms of things that actual companies do if they can get away with it, while "The NanoTrasen Navy landed on our planet and abducted the population at gunpoint to sanguinary them for medical bloodbag supplies like that bit out of Blade 3" is stretching it a tad far.
Likewise, a backstory tie-in with an existing character should not be done without OOC permission from that character's player. They may have backstory elements in mind that haven't been revealed yet, or may well be planning on introducing one of their backstory characters as an actual on-station character, and may not take kindly to you hijacking them or forcing something they don't want into their canon. In short - if a character or organization has been created or is played by anyone other than yourself, seek permission from the person or people that play them before dictating their actions.
Give them a set of skills
The Skill System is a new way of detailing out your characters abilities. These are optional and purely for reference purposes. They do not have any effect in-game. Repeat, they have no in-game effects. While we don't really enforce this to Baystation's levels (and probably never will), the system is there as a handy guide to help players to create realistically skilled characters, and to know when they're starting to stretch the point of being overpowered.
Based on your backstory, you should have a set of skills chosen for your character that make sense, but also aren't overpowered. You can use the "Skills" tab in the character creation for deciding what knowledge your character should possess. These choices do not affect any in-game interactions on CHOMPstation, but rather, they exist as a tool to help guide a player into creating a believable character.
You should avoid characters who know too many skills, as they are considered not believable, and even potentially powergaming which explicitly violates the server's rules. Characters who have a higher age are granted more skill points, but obviously a man in his 70's shouldn't be moving heavy gear or chasing bad guys with a stun baton, so be reasonable about how old or how young your character is.
- Characters who are new to the server should try to stay around "Average" or less based on a skill set. "Above Average" is okay if your character only specializes in one particular job (such as a Head of Staff).
- Characters who have been present on the station for at least a month are safer to have an "Above Average" skill set, because they have probably picked up a few new skills while working.
- Characters who have been present on the station for multiple real-life years can have a skill set up to "Exceptional" without many complaints from people. A year is a very long time. Chances are you know at least the very basics of most departments, or have been trained by other staff to do different jobs.
- Characters who have a skill level of "Genius" are generally not okay without a special character application, or for an event.
- Characters who have a skill level of "God" are probably bullshit and therefore not allowed by the server rules.
Give them a description
You'll want to give your character some flavor text! Expect an admin to poke you if you show up too many times without setting it, because it's unusual for players to have no flavor text and is usually the sign of a griefer or bad roleplayer. You may also find yourself having trouble finding scenes without it, as your fellow players will have no idea what they are dealing with when they look at you.
Your flavor text should be a brief physical description of your character - what they look like, what physical mannerisms they may have, if applicable, that sort of thing. Basically, whatever information would be available at a glance. Picture references are fine, as are links to RP profiles and the like, such as your chat profile. Try to include any links first and ensure that the URL is under 28 characters, so people examining you will be able to click the link without having to expand your full profile and copy-paste. We recommend Imgur.com for pictures. The links are short enough to be correctly parsed, and nobody is afraid of clicking an Imgur link.
Your OOC Metainfo/OOC Notes should include a brief summary of any RP prefs you may have, particularly any types of scenes you absolutely won't do. See the Guide to Vore for more information.
You don't have to write an essay, just a quick summary will do - for example, the following is the flavor text for Father Heath Wintergreen, a chaplain who occasionally serves on board the station:
An old, sandy-yellow furred rabbit who's turning white around the edges, his movements slow and deliberate. He's clearly past his prime, but still has that glint in his eyes that shows there's plenty of life in this old bun yet.
Remember that you can "set pose" in-game using the IC tab. Normally this tells certain verbs or adverbs describing your character's current status, such as that they are currently covered in stomach juices after a recent escape, but it can also be used as a makeshift OOC Note message to say things like you're okay with being eaten even though you're AFK.
Do not add things like their personality or their backstory. That stuff belongs in their employment/security/medical records.
Give them a file
Your character's records are broken down into three sections - employment, medical and security. These are a great place to put the backstory elements and fluff text for your characters that people wouldn't know simply from looking at them. All heads of staff have access to the employment records, and medical and security staff have access to their respective records as well - if your character has troublemaking tendencies, for instance, it's likely to be something that would be noted in their security records.
Though the character limit is far more generous than it is for flavor text, you are in no way obliged to try and fill it. As an example, here's the employment record for the example character mentioned above:
Prior to his medical discharge, Father Wintergreen served as a chaplain in the NanoTrasen navy for 28 years.
Note that despite his naval background, he has no formal combat training and should not be deputized for active security duty. His experience and pre-service qualifications concerning Space Law and standard operating procedure may allow him to stand in as an advocate should no other crew be available.
And that's it. It establishes that he used to be in the navy, has had a long career as a chaplain and is likely nearing retirement, and that he was discharged from his post for medical reasons - all of which are conversation starters should anyone want to look him up and have a chat.
But I want a snowflake!
In CHOMPstation, you're sharing a map with many other players. Making a character to be above other players isn't going to make a popular character. In short, no one person can be the main character.
However, due to the nature of the server, our characters all are going to stick out a little bit. A good rule of thumb is, don't try to make the game all about yourself. That's not to say that an unusual character can't be interesting if they're well thought out - just take care to avoid straying into Mary Sue territory. If you're unsure or have an idea for an odd character but aren't quite sure how to make them fit well into the setting, hop onto the chat or grab one of the admins! There have been times when a character concept really didn't seem like it would work at first, but after bouncing it back and forth a few times was developed into something far more interesting than what would have happened had the player just dumped them onto the station.
If you still want to play a character that wouldn't normally be permitted, have a chat with an admin to see how they may be allowed into our setting.
- Ex-military characters should be avoided unless you're personally knowledgeable in military life, or are actually a veteran in real life. Otherwise you'll just look stupid, especially to people who actually know it well enough to know you're full of lies. If your character does have a military background, they're better off being fairly low-ranking.
- No, really, military characters are nearly always done badly. Especially experimental combat androids, genetically engineered supersoldiers, lab-grown assassins, navy seals with over 300 confirmed kills, any of that edgy bullshit. Expect a great deal of cynicism if you make a character like this - not least of which, people asking awkward questions like "why is your black ops assassin talking about their time as a black ops assassin?" and "why the fuck is this experimental megatrooper serving on a glorified gas station as a junior officer" and "how come this ultimate badass just got pecked to death by an angry goose". See also Rules.
- Characters who are
insane homicidalincapable of comprehending reality generally aren't going to be working on a highly expensive research station. See also Rules.
- Suicidal characters aren't fun for anyone. Most of the time, they are used for attention grabbing. It's also bannable. ...See also Rules.
- A character capable of mastering engineering, medical and being a lawyer at age 17 isn't going to work on this station. They would be somewhere where they are making better money. They aren't going here. SEE ALSO Rules.
- Even if you're playing a nonhuman, genetically modified, augmented, or otherwise physically unusual character, steer clear of giving them special abilities that can't be easily replicated in-game. A little fluff-ability for private scenes is fine, such as a naga with a venomous bite to subdue prey, but anything that would actually involve a tangible in-game advantage is probably a little too far.
- Characters that are unusual, like a soul-voring succubus or something, are best to keep their abilities under wraps in public. See Souls and the Rules.
- If someone does spout lore-questionable stuff (or things from other server lore that aren't generally publicly known, like talking about changelings, or that aren't applicable here) ICly over the radio or in a loud public conversation, your character is perfectly at liberty to be skeptical. Just because another character says it doesn't make it canon gospel truth.
Playing a confrontational character
Obviously not every character on the station is going to be a perfect cooperative angel. We're telling a story here and sometimes a little conflict is needed to drive the story along even if that conflict is merely someone having different priorities when it comes to how their time and resources should be spent or one character having information that another character does not. Sometimes characters will have goals, personalities and drives that run into complete opposition to the rest of the crew.
Played well, these characters can lead to some thrilling RP. Played badly, they are a massive headache that nobody can stand to share a server with. Please be mentally prepared if an admin asks you to create another character, or to change your existing one because you are the only one having fun playing with them.
The Golden Rule
Before you even start, the most important factor to consider is this: this is a game primarily played for fun. You're here to have fun and the other players are here to have fun. If other players are unable to have fun around you, then... you can take it as a sign that you're kinda just being a dick.
This applies to all characters, not just the "villains". Crooked, hardass cops, criminals, overbearing bosses, rowdy assistants, crazy "psycho" pack-alphas, anyone who goes out of their way to impose themselves upon other players, all these characters should be played with one simple question in mind - "am I playing a character that's fun to play with?"
Ask yourself, as a player - OOCly, what do you think you're adding to the game? What are you as a player getting out of this? What do you think the other players are getting out of it?
Pitfalls to be wary of
By far the largest pitfall of playing an aggressive, argumentative, or merely petty criminal character is to make one that's so aggressive, so over the top, that nobody in their right mind could ever be seriously expected to willingly interact with them, certainly not hire them. If you're a criminal, have more to your personality than "being a criminal". Bring something else to the table.
Say you're a security officer - you've heard another character is a bit shifty and want to be a hardass cop, so you spend your shift following them around, harassing them, watching them, looking for excuses to bust them, then on the tiniest hint of anything that you can use as an excuse to drag them into a cell, you order their arrest and force them to flee into maintenance where you conduct a 30-minute manhunt over a crime that's worth a 2-minute cell timer. After all that, the other player is pissed off that some asshole has been harassing them all shift over basically nothing and has been unable to enjoy themselves. Do you think they like having someone impose their validboner on them?
On the flip side - maybe you want to make a petty criminal character. You might justify this to yourself as "giving security something to do" - the problem is, are you as a player sure they want to be given something to do whether they want it or not? Chasing down the same asshole shift after shift, or seeing a particular name on the manifest and muttering to yourself "screw playing security today if they're on board" is a joke which can get old fast.
Perhaps you want to make a character who's just a little aggressive and unhinged. Picks barfights, threatens people with knives, screams threats over comms constantly - meanwhile, the player who's character you're screaming at just came home from a hard shift at work and just wants to come on and unwind in the bar and find someone to chat and cuddle with and now they've got this edgelord asshole getting up in their face and ruining the mood whether they want it or not.
Sure, your knife-fetishist stabsona might get OOC compliments for your wonderful descriptive bladeplay in the dorm with a fellow slicing-enthusiast that shares your kinks, but the moment you walk up to a nurse and start threatening to gut them like a fish, the ahelps start flying. What gives?
The deepest secret lore
You might have noticed a common factor in the above examples - and it's a simple failure of the player to ask themselves "is the other player up for dealing with my shit today?"
That's really all there is to it. "This is fun for me, but is it fun for them?"
Keep this question in mind when you play, and you'll be alright.