Character Generation and YOU (Pennywise Remix)

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Character Generation and YOU (Pennywise Remix)

Post by Pennywise » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:46 pm

Well, I spent the last 90 minutes making this post and I timed out on my forum login so you're going to get one that is a lot less grand than I originally intended.

I'd like to take a moment to address character histories. I'm not going to get into the minutia of the rules and the guidelines for the process. Timegrinder has made a very informative post on the topic, which you can read in this forum, and there are guidelines for our requirements on the webpage at cybersphere.net.

What I want to talk about is the effort that goes into creating a character concept, ensuring that a character is unique while still being themely, submission standards and how the process of character generation affects we admin and your fellow players.

With the number of new players that have been coming in, we seem to have become somewhat lax regarding our standards for character submissions. I am unsure as to why, as many of you have come from another cyberpunk themed roleplaying game that also requires you to submit applications for each character you create. As such, I would like to speak about some aspects of character generation that are being neglected when character applications are submitted for review.

The first point that I would like to discuss is spelling and grammar. It's understandable that not everyone is a writer. We don't expect the perfect manuscript as a character application. What is expected, however, is attention to basic spelling and grammar. We realize that some of our players speak English as a second language, and that's not what this is about. What I'm talking about is a basic grasp of spelling, punctuation and the ability to put your thoughts into a coherent and readable sentence.

Again, we're not expecting flawless submission, but there is an expectation that words are spelled correctly, that we're not looking at sentence fragments or run on sentences and that the submission is readable. We can read anywhere from 5 to 10 character applications per day and fighting through a stack of poorly written applications limits the number of them we can (or want to) review before we're out of time and real life becomes the priority for the day.

The next thing I would like to address is consistency. This is a personal anathema for me, as a lack of consistency in someone's writing suggests that there is either, 1. a lack of attention being paid to creating a character that is expected to become a part of a living, persistent world, 2. a disregard for the time that has been put into developing a game with a rich history and timeline, both of which are accessible on the website, or 3. that a player has not read the requirements for a character application and sees their submission as a means to an end in achieving gear/credits/clout/etc. rather than a character that will grow and develop as part of the game world that they inhabit.

Consistency and attention to detail also apply to your character description and your public history. Poorly written nudity messages and descriptions, a description that does not match your character traits and a lack of a cohesive personality and background because a player did not make the effort to develop their character during the application process (oh, I'll just write the basics now and flesh the character out as I go) kill roleplay as fast as OOC conversations during a roleplaying session.

This extends to the public history, which is a document that can be accessed in game by other characters, corporations, AI's, law enforcement, and whoever else would have access to it as part of daily life, a plot, application for a job and so forth. As such, your public history should not be written in prose. It should be written as a document of record, because that's what it is. Here is an example:

EMPLOYMENT: He worked at a bodega down on the corner for a nice man named Bob. < BAD

EMPLOYMENT: Bob's Bodega, Cashier, 2045 - 2050 < GOOD.

A properly formatted, informative public history will not only make a character seem like a person who exists in the in game world, but it shows us that a player understands the concept that their character is more than just stats wrapped in a pretty package, and makes us more likely to consider that player's character for sponsored groups, plots, corporate employment and so forth.

The last thing I would like to talk about is originality. We don't expect you to create the next cultural icon or a character worthy of being portrayed by an A-list actor like Bruce Campbell or Gary Busey. But we do expect originality.

I have been here for going on 25 years, and in that time, I have seen every character concept that can be imagined.

A man with a monkey head.

A sentient dog.

I wan be Spav ce Marine.

What I've also seen (too much of) are repetitive stereotypes that have been done to death and have run their course. Characters whose very concepts have become so stale that they have no place in the game anymore.

Current/former RSI employees.

Countless vat grown killers.

The avenging orphan (aka orcs killed my parents).

The streetwise orphan (aka corporate orcs killed my parents).

The wasteland orphan (orc on motorcycles killed my parents).

The misunderstood mutant.

The misunderstood simulant. (Roy Batty was great, once. Once.)

The beautiful mutant sex machine (If I see mutants having moosex with humans I will give them mutant AIDS, I will give the person they had moosex with, mutant AIDS and I will give everyone they come into contact with, mutant AIDS. I've done it before.)

The mutant hero. (Our mutants are not the X-Men. Read about them on cybersphere.net).

The prodigy netrunner (not every netrunner was born with a DNI jack in their skull. Some of them had to work at it).

We understand that there are character archetypes that are part and parcel of the cyberpunk genre. If you're playing one of these characters, we expect a unique, creative and original interpretation of it. Again, a character doesn't have to change the world, but it does have to add to the world.

We cannot help with a player's spelling, grammar or ability to present their thoughts in coherent writing, but if you are struggling with a concept or if you are unsure whether your character concept will fit into the game world (which you can read about at cybersphere.net) feel free to reach out to a member of the staff, ask your fellow players for tips on discord or to check the website (cybersphere.net) for tips.

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