Creating a Character
By Malkav @ TwilightMUCK
(twilight.tigerden.com 6010)
Based on the questions, comments and experiences of the users, helpstaff and wizards of TwilightMUCK


Okay. You've explored TwilightMUCK as a guest and you've decided you want in. So how do you create a persona to explore this world in?

Essentially, you have two choices: Pick a character that will join one of the existing species or clans of individuals, or create a new species. Either way, your choice and creation should reflect creativity, dedication, and an aspect of the fantasy world or even the human condition that you as the player want to explore.


Joining an existing clan
Connect as a guest (after telnetting in, type "connect guest guest") and take a trip down to the Clan Information Board. (Type ctn, then down, then south) On this board you will find descriptions of the major clans and species that you will find on Twilight MUCK. Type "read" to get a list of the message headers (and there are a lot!) and "read" the message numbers of whichever messages you find the most interesting. (Note: One notable omission fromt he Clan Information board is human. We all know who the humans are. And humans can be very interesting characters to play!)

Many of the existing characters have been developed within the context of a live-action or tabletop role-playing game. (White Wolf's World of Darkness games are the most common, for obvious reasons; GURPS, Shadowrun and AD&D based characters can also be found.) If you wish to join a clan based on one of these games, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the rules of that game first, or to ask one of the players in the clan to help teach you the basics.

Other characters have been developed independent of any role playing game's rule system. Their players should be approached and asked if you can join their clan. Their abilities and weaknesses, as well as their primary motivations and personality traits, are also spelled out on the Clan Information Board.

Once you have picked a clan or species, develop your character's traits, abilities and weaknesses. If you're playing a White Wolf vampire, for example, pick which bloodline you will belong to, your sect—Sabbat, Camarilla, or Inconnu, what generation you belong to (Most characters created have been between the 6th and 13th generations), which abilities, disciplines, flaws, and merits you wish to possess, et cetera. While doing all this, consider the game balance. Will this character be too powerful? Will she run roughshod over all her opposition? Will he, to put it simply, be annoying to play with? Try to make a balanced, playable character that will have to use wits as well as abilities to meet her challenges. Once you've completed this, round out your character (see below).

Creating your own species
This is a more challenging, and possibly more rewarding, prospect than to select a character from an existing clan. You have a blank slate to work with, and can do much much more with it. The challenge is to make a character that fits within the MUCK's scheme, both in ability and in nature.

The first thing to remember is that most characters must APPEAR to be human in public, and the rest must either be invisible to the human eye or appear as normal animals. (Note: Normal animals means animals you'd expect to see in a city, such as domestic cats and dogs, squirrels, mice, rats, and birds. A tiger walking around the city would be shot by the police.) For role-playing purposes we recommend that you choose a human guise, though some have made alternate choices and had success with them.

The next thing to do is to establish the framework for your species' traits, abilities, and weaknesses. Allow room for variety between the members of the species, both in characteristics and in personality. Also keep in mind game balance—don't make your character ultra-powerful or invulnerable, nor a meddler who'll get in absolutely everyone's way. Make the character fun to role-play with. You can establish this character based on a myth or legend (say, one of the legends of the unicorns), an existing role-playing game (There are many that haven't been brought to the MUCK yet), a novel, TV show, or movie ('Interview With The Vampire', 'Highlander', 'Forever Knight', 'Manimal', et cetera), or from your own imagination. The important thing is that you establish guidelines for what this species can do, how members develop, how long they live, how they may interact with other species that exist, et cetera. (It will be important to write something out for the Clan Information Board to introduce your species to everyone else.)

Finally, using that framework, specify what your character in particular is; what his abilities, powers, weaknesses, and other traits are. Is she an exceptionally powerful member of the species or an exceptionally weak one, or maybe somewhere in between? Either way, get specific. Identify specifically what you can or can't do. (See the preceding section for examples and ideas.) Once you've established all this, then fill out the rest of who your character is. (See below.)


Rounding Out Your Character
Develop your character's personality. The psyche is as much your weapon and armor as your body is. Consider the values you want this character to hold. His interests. Her prejudices. Her phobias. What angers him? What makes him happy? Is she proud? Vain? Nurturing? Frightened? Does he have a false demeanor different from his true nature? Is she sincere, or manipulative? These questions are essential to role-playing, even moreso than powers and abilities. Through your character's personality, he can manipulate, persuade, enrage, sadden, guilt, or evoke pity, just as he can be manipulated, persuaded, enraged, saddened, guilted, or pity based on his personality and how others interact with him.

Develop your character's history. How old is he? Was he born human? How did she become what she is now? Are there special, defining moments in her history, moments of triumph, of failure, of joy, of pain? How does this history shape the person that your character is now? Is he rich? Poor? Has she favors or debts accumulated from past relationships or conflicts?

And most importantly, how does your character maintain her Masquerade; that is, how does she hide her true nature from the public? (This is important; not only is it one of the few standing rules of the MUCK, but if you're discovered, your character will be captured and dissected by either hunters or (gasp) the government.)

Wow. You've got a character now. (Gasp!) So how do you bring this incredible creation of your mind to life on Twilight MUCK?


Registering Your Character
Character registration has changed slightly on Twilight MUCK, but
it's still a simple process. There are no formal applications, no
ungodly character history requisites. Simply type out a short paragraph
explaining who your character is - what race you're choosing, what powers
you'll have, and a short explanation of how you'll maintain masquerade with
this character. Submit this application e-mail to twilight@tigerden.com,
and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible. These applications are
kept on file, so if there's anything special you want us to know, feel free
to let us know. If we have questions or concerns, we'll e-mail you back.
So, as the man said: Have at it!

Multiple Characters
Twilight MUCK allows players to have (under most circumstances) up to five characters at a time. However, we recommend that new players begin with a single character until they get used to how the game is played. We also recommend that you create only as many characters as you can keep active at a time. Someone who gets in five hours of online gaming a week might not want to have more than one or two characters, while someone who's on three hours a night could handle five.

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Music: Princes of the Universe by Queen.

This page is copyright © 1999 Brian A. LaBounty (twilight@tigerden.com). All rights reserved.