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Beginners Guide to Roleplaying Here

The big enchilada, the coup de grace, the whole purpose of Vaxia: Roleplaying, or as it's often written, "RP."

In order to roleplay you must know first what type of style we RP in Vaxia. We use a third person point of view and narrative style when writing our posts. Posts are what we use to communicate what our character does. Since we do not have a graphical system like Diablo or any other fighting, roleplaying, or strategy game, the descriptions in our posts are crucial. We must describe what our character is doing, as well as when and where they do it.

RP happens 'in the moment' so any actions the character is making at that time will be in the present tenses. If talking about something that happened previously then past tense will often be used. When talking about future plans, the future tense may be used. There are no strict rules or preference on tense usage, so use whatever method flows best for you.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about:

Jace pushes open the door to the Bard's Inn with a heavy sigh, still worn out from practicing with his sword all afternoon. The tall half-elf makes his way to the bar, settling on a bar stool and ordering himself an ale. Feeling his scabbard thump against the rungs of the stool he's sitting on, he unclips his sword-belt and rests it gently against the front of the bar, careful not to scratch the wood on the ornate hilt. When his mug of ale arrives, he thanks the barkeep and taking a long drink, glancing around at the other patrons and toward the stage to see if any of the locals are brave enough to try their hand at singing.

In Vaxia, it's customary to post when you enter an IC location, especially when there are other characters already present. It's a wonderful opportunity to describe what your character looks like, or what rough state or mood they're in, to help set the tone for others' reactions to your character after you enter. Don't count on everyone reading your character's description! If there's something unique about them that would make them stand out in a crowd, cover it in your first post.

When you RP, you are telling a short story about what your C is doing. The only trick is that their story happens one tiny scene at a time, reacting to and interacting with the scenes of the other characters around them. Be sure to leave the other roleplayers space for their characters to interject or reply to what your character is saying. There is nothing wrong with a short post, especially if your character is asking someone a question :)

Let's take a look at how you might RP after you make your entrance. Someone might approach you, or you might have your character approach someone else, or, on rare occasions, neither. Be patient! It may take a post or two before another character comes over to say "hello," especially if your character hasn't previously met anyone in the room. Give the other players time to look for a way to weave their stories into yours. Sometimes, it won't happen at all, which is unfortunate, but it's important not to try to force it. Keep at it! The more you make yourself seen IC, the better the chance another character will get curious and come say hello, if your character isn't the sort to do so themselves.

The trick is to just respond how your character would, doing what they would do and saying what they would say. Here's a good example:

Character 1: Spotting the tall half-elf enter the inn, Kennedy gets up from her seat in the corner, grabbing her half-empty mug of ale and making her way to the bar. Glancing Jace's way, she plants herself on a stool not far from him and slides her mug over to the barkeep. "You look like you've been hard at it," she says with a grin, eying the sword resting against the bar. "Practicing for the tournament?"

Character 2: Jace pauses to swallow and set his mug down before answering the woman, not wanting to be rude. "I have been," he answers, following her eyes to the sword. "Oh, heh...yeah. I heard the winner gets a date with the princess. That was a prize I couldn't pass up!"

Character 1: Kennedy tries not to roll her eyes at the man's answer. Yet another combatant lured by a chance at a few hours with a princess. She chuckles at Jace. "That's it? Not the chance to prove yourself in the arena? With a sword like that, I figure you could even beat someone like me." She offers a hand to greet him, using the other to grip her newly-filled mug of ale. "Kennedy de Silva. Pleasure to meet you."

You see how they responded to each other? That's what RP is. You respond to what the other party is doing and try to keep things moving forward. For a more generic breakdown, see our Diagram of an RP post page.

If you're feeling intimidated by jumping into RP, just let the other players know that you're new using the OOC (or Out of Character) box. They'll know to be patient and help you with any questions you have. You can also ask for help and answers in Limbo at any time. Limbo is an out-of-character area, so there's no need to RP there :) Just post however you're comfortable.

That's basically what you need to know about RP!

Post Color
You can set the color of your text to help everyone tell the difference between your posts and others, and to give it a bit of a personal flavor. The problem is - sometimes your choice of color is - in a word - painful on the eyes. Please don't abuse the eyes of others. For help on finding a post color that you like see: Text Color Help Guide

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Beginners Guide to Sessions

What is a Session?

A session is an adventure that your character may get involved in, with the help of the Story Hosts (SHs) and Apprentice Story Hosts (ASHs). Most sessions involve dice rolling, combat, and some degree of danger or unusual happenings that your character might not run across every day. For instance, you wouldn't see a session about getting a beer at the pub, but you might see one about rescuing people from a pub that's on fire.

When an ASH or SH posts, it will often with a post with no name and no picture. This is called a "narrative" post, and will be where to look for a summary of the action and the ruling on how successful your character was on what they just attempted to do. Narratives can also help distinguish the "rounds" in a session. Often, especially in combat, SHs will ask players to limit themselves to one post per round. Once you've made your post, wait until you see the next ruling narrative before you make another post. This will help make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute with their characters actions, and help the SH keep the in-character timing straight.

Dice Rolling

In a session, you'll periodically be asked to roll dice to see whether or not your character succeeds at what they're trying to do. Occasionally, as in the case of Awareness (AWA) rolls, the character may not be actively trying to do anything at all, but the ASH or SH may ask for a roll anyway.

For help rolling dice when asked, see the Help Tutorial on dice rolling.

The typical die roll in Vaxia is a d100. Pair that with one stat and occasionally a skill, and you're all set! Adding your Stat and Skill together creates the total Might your character has for that action. The higher the might, the greater your chances of success. Don't get discouraged if you roll low! Often times, if your Might is high (something even starting characters can achieve), even a low roll can yield success.

If you're ever unsure which trait to roll, just ask the SH running the session what they'd like you to roll. Likewise, if you think a skill applies, but you're not certain, either ask the SH, or post with the skill included, and mention in the OOC field that you're not sure whether it should apply. SHs will appreciate your honesty, and that goes a long way toward making sure everyone enjoys the session :)

There are a series of helper buttons above the dice rolling system for common actions which will pre-load the appropriate Stats for you. For instance, if your character is casting a spell, click the Magic button, and then select the appropriate skill out to the right. The helper buttons should also help speed things up when combat lasts several rounds, and your character takes a similar action (like attacking with a sword) each round.

Combat

When you are in combat, you should always describe what your character is attacking and the manner in which they are fighting to help the SH provide a rich, accurate ruling. The ruling party must be able to determine the outcome, which involves what was hit and what happened. It is much easier to rule an attack that was centered at the neck, than it is to rule an attack that was “Swinging a sword at the opponent”.

Death and Real Life Harm

In sessions most sessions, there is a chance your character may get injured, maimed or even die. If that occurs, it is up to you and the SH to talk about what happens. The Real Life Harm rule (RLH) was put in place to avoid people being hurt emotionally by the death of characters, so if the death of your favorite character would affect your real life in a negative way, you have the option to say "no" to any certain action. The same applies to possession, mind control, or any IC circumstance that makes you truly uncomfortable out-of-character. Bear in mind when citing RLH, just because your character is not dead (or mind-controlled, or possessed) doesn't mean that nothing at all happens. They may simply fall unconscious, meaning you may not be able to keep RPing them that session. RLH is meant to avert actual mental harm, not merely the discomfort of not getting to play in one session.

Time Commitment

Expect sessions to be long. Most last 4 to 7 hours. Be ready for that before joining. Naturally, if you have to join late or leave early unexpectedly, be courteous to the SH and work with them for a reasonable exit for your character.

Finding Sessions To Be In

You can find postings for upcoming sessions in the Forums, or occasionally in Limbo It's typically good to ask the SH if you can join a session before jumping IC, as some are tied to larger sagas and may not be able to easily integrate your character at the halfway point. That said, the majority of sessions are open, and we would love to have new players come along and join in the adventure. There are few better ways to have your character meet new people and start new friendships in-character than fighting side by side with other Cs and coming out victorious!

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Help and Tutorials

Welcome to the Help and Tutorials page. Here you can find links to our video tutorials, written guides and FAQs about the site.

Still need assistance? Contact us in the Feedback and Questions Forum. Thank you!


Getting Started - Help for Beginners

General FAQ

Libraries and Collections

Advanced Mechanics FAQ
Quick links and videos of some of our more advanced parts of the game.

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Character Creation

Getting Started

The most important thing throughout the entire Character Creation process is to remember that, in Vaxia/Sirian, you're describing a person. This is no two-dimensional video game character, nor an epic fantasy novel hero, just another citizen in a world of adventurers. Think of the character as a person, and bear that in mind on each part of the creation process, from the name to the Stats to the skills they possess.

Also always bear in mind that this is a starting character. They may have a rich and diverse personal history, but as far as you and the site are concerned, their real story is just beginning. Keep that in mind as you describe their history and abilities.

It may be helpful to take the Setting Walkthrough to get the basic idea of our settings to help build your character.

The System Reference for Players has the basics of our system which may help with understanding skills and stats.

Another good idea before you go to make a C is to look over the guide for Evaluators That way, you'll have an idea of what's out of bounds to lessen the chance that you'll have to rewrite parts of the character later.

Keep in mind we encourage the creation of original characters to be played in the games here. For our reasoning and what may happen if we find out a character is copied from pop culture:
Can I use a character I like from pop culture, like anime or video games?

To start creating a character:

  • Make sure your sidebar is visible, it's on the left hand side of the site
  • Scroll down to the "Create Stuff" section
  • Click on "Character Sheet"
  • This will take you to the interface for entering all the details on a character sheet.
Don't be afraid to ask in Limbo if you have any questions about your character or skills :)

Character Details


Name - Character names should try to be original. Try not to use the name of another character or NPC you've seen, and try not to use names from popular fiction and movies. Character names that include numbers or special characters, along with characters that are meant for limbo use only will be rejected. If you do pick a name and it happens to match up with another figure in popular fiction, that doesn't mean the character will be automatically rejected. Character Evaluators will examine each character for their skills and backgrounds as well as their names to ensure originality.

Acceptable: A lumberjack named Aragorn, who clearly isn't a ranger in Middle Earth, but happens to have the same name.
Rejected: A character named William Wallace who is a rebel leader from Grom trying to win his people's independence.

In the end, just try to envision an original character; don't try to map names, skills, or backgrounds off of anything you've seen or read somewhere else. The less you borrow, the more unique your experience with the C will be, and the more enjoyable.


Background – Tell us where the character's been and what they've done, how they got their start and got where they are now. Act like you're telling someone directions. You won't mention every street along the way, just the ones they need to turn on or the important landmarks they're going to pass. We want enough detail so we know who the character really is, but you don't have to chronicle every single event in his or her life, just the pivotal ones that have really affected who they are now.

Remember: this is a starting character, they may not have an epic backstory yet, they are just starting out. They may have had adventures already, but there's a difference between being one of many soldiers in the Orc Wars and being a legendary dragon-killer or a fallen god. There'll be plenty of chances to build epic stories like that when you RP after the character is approved. For now, keep it realistic for a starting adventurer. For more information please see Character Background Limitations

This is also a chance to explain some of your character’s more unusual skills. If your character is a simple farmer with blood magic, you may want to explain how they came by that particular dark art. It's not the kind of thing you pick up a library book about and teach yourself, so you might want to include just a little something on how or from whom they picked it up.

Keep in mind certain conditions, aspects and backgrounds may have an additional set of requirements that a player must meet in order to have them in a character. For more information please see:


Personality – Imagine you’re describing a friend of yours to a stranger. What do they act like on a day-to-day basis? They might be bubbly, quiet, dark, obnoxious; they might shy away from conversation or go out of their way to get to know people, all you have to describe is their general demeanor. It'll help give us an idea of what the person seems like to the people he or she will meet.


Occupation – Despite the name, “occupation” isn’t just the character’s job, it’s what they’re up to on an average day, or an overall goal they’re striving toward (“working on becoming a doctor,” for instance). Of course, if they do have a job, put that too :)


Description – What other characters will see when they look at yours. Things like height, build, hair, eyes, any stand-out marks like scars across one eye or a wooden leg; all the things someone might notice from looking at the person. Don’t stress the little details too much: you'll always have the chance, when you RP, to describe the character as they look at that moment.


Stats
Your character's stats really should reflect the character as best as they can, but we all realize that may not be the easiest thing to judge. For an explanation of what each stat signifies, refer to the Stats : stats page. Once you're familiar with the purpose of each stat, here's a rough guide of what the numbers mean in terms of relative ability:

10: Incredibly low, incapable, most tasks of any kind using stats with this score will likely not succeed.
15-20: Below average, will have difficulty with even simple tasks using stats with these scores.
25-30: Average, baseline, will have 50% chance to complete most simple tasks using stats with these scores.
35-40: Talented, trained, will be able to complete most simple tasks using stats with these scores.

For most stats, if you can stay between the ranges of 20 and 35, you have nothing to worry about. If you have one or two stats at 40, that’s expected (spellcasters tend to favor INT and SPI, while fighters look for STR, END and DEX).

3 or more stats at 40 may raise eyebrows, however, so don’t go overboard. Remember that your overall ability is a combination of the stat and the skill, so don’t worry if you’re a fighter with less-than-perfect DEX, for instance. Your combat skill will help ensure that you’re still effective when the action starts.

Any stats below the average may merit some explanation in your character’s Background. Extremely low stats (or very high stats and very low skills) are something of an automatic red-flag for those evaluating characters, so use them only when appropriate to the character concept. If you plan to min-max to save points for other stats or skills, bear in mind that you will be expected to roleplay any severe deficiencies.


Skills
Most starting characters begin with 2-4 skills. These are the things your character is exceptional at, such as sword fighting, certain types of magic, nimble acrobatics or medical practice.

Most average things your character can accomplish without needing a particular skill, so don’t worry about things like languages, swimming, eating, or other basic functions unless they’re something very core to who your character is (a linguist, for instance, not only knows languages, but knows how to decipher new ones).

Skills are a wide open area, so you can write your own, but of course there are limits to the reach and power of any given skill. Also, please do know that our system does not have automated racial abilities, or bonuses or random immunities, whatever a given player may imply. All of Vaxia/Sirian's abilities require a skill and the points put into it to give it strength, and must be rolled to have any effect. Also, this makes any "immunity" skill more like a resistance.

For more specific guidelines, see the Skill Guide and its many examples.

If you’re ever uncertain if a skill is too broad or narrow, submit it anyway! If it’s overboard (or too limited), the SH has the power to send the character sheet back to you with suggestions on how to update it. You can then make changes to the skill and resubmit to get it approved.

NOTE: You can have exactly one skill at zero at character creation. This represents something your character is working on, but doesn't have any real ability with yet. If you find yourself short on points but know there's another skill your character should have, you can add it as a "zero skill" so that it's ready once you've earned enough XP to put points into it after the character is approved.


Relationships at Character Creation
If you would like your character to have a relationship (friend, family, etc) with another character, that's totally allowed provided the other character is owned by a different player. For instance, if you and a friend wish to create a brother and sister pair, that's totally fine! If you want to create a brother and sister pair that are both your own character, that is not allowed.

The reason is that gifts and favors between two characters owned by the same player are prohibited to avoid anyone gaming the system. Family, lovers or close friends are much, much more likely to do one another favors, even if they seem small, or want to interact with one another. If you wish to do any of that, you will need another player to be willing to play the other half of the pair.

Playing a relative or associate of a character who is no longer active is also okay, even if it was your own character. For instance, if a character dies or is retired and you wish to play their cousin, daughter or mentor, that's totally fine once the original character has been set to Inactive. You cannot control two associated characters while they are both active on the site.


What to Expect
When you submit a character for approval, all character evaluators are automatically notified. One or more of them will review your character, and either revert it to draft status with suggested changes or approve it for play. These suggestions can be found under the workflow tab of the character sheet.

This is a human process, and our evals are volunteers, so please be prepared for it to take up to 72 hours between when you submit a character and when it's first evaluated. If it's not approved immediately, it may take longer as the evaluator works with you to make it a legal character.

If you decide to submit a character with "Other" for their race or a Condition (like vampirism), please understand that Setting must give additional approval, which may take longer than the usual 72-hour period.

Additionally, the 72-hour window applies to each character individually, so if you submit multiple characters at about the same time, you may not see all of them evaluated in the same 72-hour period. We appreciate your patience and will try to get your character concepts out and available for play as soon as we realistically can.


Help and Questions
Naturally, if you have any questions on a character concept or the associated numbers, ask! Limbo, the Help Forum, or if you know any other Vaxians personally, we’re all happy to help guide you.

If this is your first character, don’t worry, we want to get you in and playing as soon as possible ? We’ll work with you to get you comfortable with the process and familiar with the world you’re about to dive into. Never be afraid to ask!



Related Video Tutorials
Character Tutorial Video
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