Joining the Game/Character Creation.   Posted by Shan Yu.Group: 0
Shan Yu
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Wed 12 May 2010
at 06:04
Joining the Game/Character Creation


This thread tells you what you need to do to become part of this game.

Joining the game:

     Joining the game is conducted in the normal manner at RPoL…just drop me a RTJ.  Please include the following information in your RTJ:

1)  How familiar are you with the Firefly/Serenity TV series/movie?  How about the Serenity RPG?  Do you have access to a copy of the RPG manual?

2)  Please read the “The Rules” thread, and indicate your agreement to abide by them.

3)  Please provide a brief writing sample, or refer me to another game in which you are playing so that I can see what kind of writer you are.  You may submit your character profiles at this time (see below), and these will suffice for your writing sample.

Once you respond, if everything is okay, I'll approve you, and you can start working on your character profiles, if you haven’t submitted them yet (see below).  I should emphasize that at this point, you aren’t actually accepted into the game yet, but you have qualified to COMPETE for acceptance into the game.  Any problems or questions, just ask, or drop me a line any time ().
     The crew in this adventure consists mostly of returning characters from a previous game, SERENITY: HARD BURN.  We currently have a Captain, a shepherd, a gunfighter, a Registered Companion, and a passenger.  However, there are still several positions that need to be filled, including the vital positions of pilot, engineer, and doctor, and the following applies to those who wish to apply for one of these positions.  Please note, however, that ANY kind of character is potentially acceptable.  I’m looking for long term, dedicated players, hopefully players that will remain with the game until the end, which could be years down the road.  HARD BURN lasted 3 years and over 6,700 posts, and there were three players that lasted the entire time.  Don’t apply if you plan on just “passing the time” playing this game until college starts in the fall, or anything like that.  While I absolutely have no problem with absences that may unexpectedly pop up, I expect players to be committed to staying in the game for the long run.

Character creation:

    Each new player will prepare character profiles for two characters (with names, please).  More than two profiles may be submitted if a player wishes to do so (improves chances of selection).  Although you’ll only play one character, keep reading and you’ll see why you submit more than one character profile.  While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that the two characters represent a variety of character types (such as one doctor and one Companion).  It is not necessary to choose specific skills or assign values to attributes at this time, but any skills that the player would like the character to possess (and would be of interest to a prospective employer) should be mentioned.  You should indicate a specific job position for which the character is applying, or at least make it pretty obvious in the profile which jobs would be suitable for the character.  You don’t have to mention yet all the characters’ quirks, secrets, tendencies, or personal stuff that will be revealed in the course of a game.  All that is initially necessary is to provide a background/personality profile for each that a Captain might be told in order to pick a crew.  Now comes the reason for submitting more than one profile.  The profiles will be used as the primary means for selecting the crew (see example profiles).  The profiles will be submitted to the GM, and players will not be allowed to see any other players’ profiles.  Both profiles should be submitted at the same time, and may not be changed once submitted without the GM’s approval.  Any information that the players wish to remain secret from the other players should be specifically mentioned as such.  This “secret” information will not be known by anyone other than the GM.
     The only job NOT available at this time is that of Captain.  The Captain is one of the returning characters, providing much needed continuity and guidance.  The Captain will be provided the character profiles, which he will review and use to select the rest of the crew.  These profiles act as resumes and “job interviews”.  The Captain will not be notified which profile is submitted by which player.  Once again, the importance of the profiles cannot be stressed enough.  It is through these profiles that the Captain will determine who reaches out into the Black, and who stays dirtside.  Players are strongly encouraged to spend a bit of time on these profiles so that the Captain has the information necessary to decide.  There’s a fine line between providing too little info and too much info.  The Captain will then notify the GM as to his selections for the crew.  Depending on the Captain’s selections, it is possible that more than one character belonging to a single player may be selected, or none of a player’s characters may be selected.  Since each player may only have one character in the game, the GM may need to intervene and use secret and devious means known only to GMs around the world to even out the crew selections.  Don’t worry, when the dust clears, each player will probably be playing one character that they developed, and the Captain will have a hand-picked crew.
     Obviously, when a player first develops the two character profiles, they should both be characters that the player would like to play.  Many players develop a single character that they use over and over again, with minor modifications, in game after game.  While these characters may be very comfortable for the player, part of the idea behind role playing games is to play roles (note the plural form of the word).  The whole idea here is to throw in a little bit of a surprise for the players, and to give players a chance to play different characters than the same old ones they’ve played in the last ten games.  Take a chance, use your imagination, expand your horizons, and move outside of your comfort zone.  Of course, a prospective player could submit only one profile, or one very good profile, reflecting the character that they want to play, and one very bad profile that no one would select, thinking that this would guarantee which profile is selected.  As mentioned earlier, the Captain is just given a stack of job applicants, without any indication of which two came from the same player, and it is quite possible that the Captain will not select ANY of a player’s profiles.  If this happens, it’s quite possible that the unlucky player will not be a character at the start of the game, since none of the characters were apparently worth hiring (oh, the shame).
     Once notified of their selection, the players may start doing the paperwork and fleshing out their characters, assigning attribute values, choosing skills, etc. Players will use the procedures in the Serenity RPG manual to develop their characters.  As a first step, the heroic levels will be assigned to each character by the GM (greenhorn, veteran, big damn hero).  I lean towards the lower levels so that players may “grow”, but it’s not out of the question that someone may start as a Big…Damn…Hero.  And now for some uncustomary pleading from the GM.  Please…select skills, assets and complications that are appropriate for your character.  If your character is a pilot, don’t make him/her blind.  If your character is a doctor, give him/her some medical skills.  If your character was a former colonel in the Alliance Fleet Marines, give him/her the Military Rank asset.  If your character is a registered companion, give him/her the (surprise, surprise) Registered Companion asset.  Traits may be selected from any legitimate source, such as the Serenity RPG books, or any internet resource website.  You can even make up your own.  Of course, the ever-magnanimous GM will need to approve your final selection.
     Players may be able to play passengers as well.  Of course, they probably won’t be able to enter the game until the rest of the players acquire a ship and prepare for a voyage to…somewhere.  Players should be aware that this could be a significant period of time, so it is not recommended that players select passenger characters to begin the adventure.  If you really, really, really want to be a passenger character from the beginning of the game, be sure to come up with a reason for the Captain to agree to take you along before he/she even has a ship.  If passenger status is desired, just indicate this fact in the character profile.

It is also quite possible that we will have more prospective players than there are available slots.  In such a case, these players will be placed on a waiting list, and will be offered positions as they may come available.  Only after the waiting list is exhausted will an advertisement be posted, asking for new players.

Sample character profile:

     Here is an example of a character profile.  Yours could be longer or shorter, more or less detailed.  Just have fun and use your imagination.  The GM (great guy) is more than willing to assist in any way he can.
     The character profiles represent both a personal interview and a written background.  The interview portion is to provide a demonstration of your writing skill and to lend personality to your character as he/she comes before the Captain.  The background provides information that isn’t necessarily evident during the interview.  Together, they give the GM and the Captain fairly good ideas of what the character is like.

Name:  Guinevere Cruz

A young woman of about 20 years of age approaches the Captain.  She is rather short, and physically unremarkable.  While slender, she appears to be athletic.  She wears everyday men’s work clothing, a bit worse for wear, but she has an air of confidence about her.  She wipes her hand on her pants and extends it as she says, “Hi there…you the Captain?  My name’s Guinevere Cruz, call me Gin, and I heared you was lookin’ to start a crew.  I ain’t got a lot of experience, but I’m quick to learn, and I work cheap.  I’ll even work just for a bunk and food.  I grew up on Paquin originally, and couldn’t wait to leave that Joo Fuen Chse.  I’ll do just about any job you want, and I’m fair good at fixin’ up folks that need a broke bone set or a stab wound sewed up.  And don’t worry about me getting’ hurt…I can take care of myself real good.  I know my way around the kinds of folks that hang around the docks, and I know how to get things done.  You give me a job, and I promise you I’ll be there when you need me.  That’s ‘bout all there is to say…if you wanna think about it a while, go right on ahead.  You can get in touch with me over yonder at the Zero Grav…just leave a message with the bartender.”

Background:  Guinevere Cruz was born and raised on Paquin about 20 years ago, the youngest child of carnival performers.  She grew up amongst the sideshows and theaters and was never much good at formal schooling, instead developing skills that are best not mentioned in polite, law-abiding society.  Physically, she was unremarkable, and would probably be totally ignored if passed on the street…and this allowed her to become one of the most accomplished thieves on Paquin.  She could pick a lock or pick a pocket with equal skill.  She could scale walls that geckos wouldn’t try.  She had a keen eye for value in items that she “liberated”, and could always get the best deals when haggling with fences…I mean buyers.  She could be as quiet as a mouse tip-toeing on cotton, and seemed to be able to disappear into nothingness when she wanted.  Guns confounded her, but she was deadly with a knife.  Living the type of life she did, she had plenty of opportunity to take care of wounds, and she proved to be a natural at first aid and administering to wounds from knife or bullet.  She knew how to get things done in the shady world of crime, but things started getting too hot on Paquin.  She stowed away on a large freighter, but found out that stowing away was a tough way to travel and now is looking to sign on to another ship as crew, just to keep away from the long arm of the law.  Note for GM:  She has the Filcher and Forked Tongue complications.  Do not provide this information to the Captain or make it public knowledge.  This includes the information mentioned above regarding her thieving skills/abilities and criminal contacts.**

**Note that the player should indicate which material should not be made public knowledge to the Captain or other players.  Players may even wish to create two profiles for a single character, one with the truth and one “embellished” to make them more attractive to employers…only the GM will know.  Of course, if a crewmember is discovered to have lied, there’s always a chance that the Captain may introduce them to the exciting world of catastrophic decompression and chuck them out of the nearest airlock.
The key thing to remember about profiles is that they are the MAIN method by which the crew will be selected.  Whether it is the Captain or the GM doing the selecting, the decision will be made largely on what is read in the profiles.  Spend some time on them and make the character someone that everyone would want on their crew.

For everyone to enjoy:

The lucky winners will have their “interviews” posted so that everyone can see who the Captain has selected.  Be advised, though, that some not so lucky non-winners may have their interviews posted as well.  It’s not intended to embarrass anyone…it’s all in the spirit of the game.  After all, not every interview is successful.

Joining after the game starts:

The previous info deals with joining the game and the initial formation of the crew.  The same general method will be used to bring in a player that wishes to join after the game starts.  New players may or may not have to submit 2 character profiles (the clever applicant will have checked out the game to see if there are any noticeable “holes” in the crew composition).  However, depending on the circumstances, the Captain, the GM, or the entire crew may be involved in the final selection.  Once selected, the new player will be inserted into the game as soon as possible, in an appropriate manner.

Your name will live forever:

Finally, you should know that if you leave the game for any reason, your character will probably remain in the game.  By leaving the game, you relinquish all rights to that character, and I, as the GM, may do anything with the character that I wish.  I may assign the character to another player, recruit a new player to play the character, or just kill off the character.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:25, Wed 12 May 2010.