Character Guidelines

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Eclipse has a wide variety of different characters, despite this. At it's heart, Eclipse isn't a freeform RP like some might be used to, Eclipse takes place in a Sci-Fi working environment, and as such. There are some standards that most if not all characters are expected to fill.

General

Names

With names, except for certain exceptions, all characters should have an original name, with most characters having both a first and last name. Direct references, or characters from other works of popular fiction are not allowed. A good rule of thumb is if a google search reveals an existing character on the first page, then that name is probably too well known to be allowed.

Appearance

Character customization can be robust, but you should try to keep your character's appearance realistic to their species. A human is very unlikely to be under three feet in height, and too tall of a character wouldn't be able to walk through most doors on the ship, and too small of a character would be smaller than most of the tools in their work place, or too small to restrain people bigger than themselves. (For a quick and easy way to compare heights, feel free to use this site. That said, in the far future of the 2320's, everything from cybernetic implants to gene-modding is available to those with the means and will to invest in them, so don't be afraid to get a little wild!

Flavour Text

At a fundamental level, flavour text should simply be things that other people would not be able to tell from looking at your character through its sprite alone, as the resolution is very limited. Flavour text can be something as simple as how your characters walks, or talks, or even their height. But first and foremost, these are things that someone would be able to tell by watching your character walk about their day. For example, you wouldn't be able to tell someone's tortured past when first meeting them. It is also not advised to "godmod", meaning to "tell" other people how their characters feel about your character in your flavour text descriptions.

External Lore

We encourage players to write their own backstories, and we understand that you may wish to bring in characters from other servers to continue stories and relationships you may have built there. The story of Eclipse and the Northern Light is its own universe, and our lore is not compatible with other SS13 servers. However this doesn't mean you're out of luck when it comes to bringing characters over. There are simply a few guidelines you need to follow to make your character acceptable:

  • 1. Remove direct references to other server's lore: Do not use the direct names of other stations or servers, and avoid things that are unique to their lore. For example, if you want to use the same character you used on Bay Station, change the name of the station, and remove references that are unique to them.
  • 2. Keep the events in your backstory at the personal level: Events that affect the galaxy/server at large need to be approved by the Lore Team. We quite simply do not have the time or staff to individually approve everyone's backstory; however we have no issue with you writing up a custom planet/star system that your story can take place in/on, so long as the events/stories of that location remain isolated there, and only affect yourself and those players who choose to be involved with it.

If the admin team asks you to change something about your backstory, this is not an attack on you or your writing. This server is focused on the story of the Northern Light, and it is simply not feasible for us to be able to work in everyone's ideas/histories. We absolutely will try to accommodate whoever we can, if you are unsure about your backstory, want more guidance on it, or would like to suggest an addition or edit to the lore, please don't hesitate to reach out to any member of the Lore Team in game or on Discord.

Skills and Occupation

Hireability

Because Eclipse takes place in a workplace, it should be conceivable that your character would have actually been hired to work there. This includes keeping your skillset realistic, rather than excessive and unrealistic.

The following are examples of characters that a company would refuse to hire:

  • A character with disruptive mental problems who is not receiving treatment for it.
  • A character with a known and persistent theft record.
  • A character with a long criminal record with no signs of being reformed.
  • A character with a history of Criminal Espionage.
  • A character who is (or has associations with) a known enemy of a company n board.
  • A character for who it would be impossible or very hard to work on the ship as their assigned job.

Note that Vagabonds, many of whom are not working full time and in fact live on the ship have a much looser hand when it comes to hireability, but a Vagabond should for the most part be able to slip under the radar.

Skills

When it comes to skills, it's important to remember that even if you know how to do something OOC, it doesn't necessarily mean you know how to do it IC. Additionally, if you're not capable of demonstrating the skill needed to do your job, it's unreasonable to expect you would be hired. The exception of course is interns, who are unpaid and here for experience.

Remember that your character also isn't super human, and should have weak-points and flaws. Even someone with a very long lifespan will have weak points, a Unathi Engineer clocking in at 90 might be terrible at remembering how to do CPR, or not have the faintest clue of how Science works.

Your character should try to stick to a specific set of skills, a Doctor shouldn't show up one day as an Engineer, or a Security Officer as a Scientist. If you want someone with a different set of skills, make another character.

Examples of characters that are over-skilled and under-skilled include but are not limited to:

  • A 18 year old Surgeon. (Over-skilled)
  • A 44 year old Engineer that doesn't know how a SMES works. (Under-skilled)
  • A 22 year old Cargo Tech who knows Open Heart Surgery, and how to set up the Engine. (Very over-skilled)

If you feel stuck on how old your character should be for their job, here's a quick guide to current American College degree times, none of which are set in stone, but can be good references:

Degree Minimum Time Maximum Time Age Range
Associate's Degree 2 4 20-22
Bachelor's Degree 4 8+ 22-26+
PhD 16 20+ 34-40+

IC vs. OOC skills.

It bears repeating that although you OOC may know how as an Engineer how to do surgery, or as a Surgeon to deconstruct a wall does not mean that your character would be able to. Just because something like setting up Cryogenics is one or two presses off a button does not mean that it's that easy in character as well. This applies to most things that appear simple but would almost certainly be harder to operate in practice. Including Research's deconstruction, chemistry and medical scanners.

Antagonists and Security

Security

As Eclipse takes place in a work environment, it is expected that most employees obey the rules and regulations set by NanoTrasen, the group for who they work and SolGov. Because of this, non-antags should try to avoid things that would result in a character's immediate firing, execution or permanent imprisonment by Central Command or SolGov, as it's very unlikely that a character would be coming back from a shift after that. For examples of what we mean, see Laws.

Antagonists

Unlike most HRP servers, Eclipse regularly has rounds featuring antagonists and because of that, we have higher standards when it comes to Antagonists than lighter RP servers may have. For antagonists, we have the "Fuzzy Canon" rule. This rule states that while all rounds are canon, antagonists in any given round are not remembered specifically unless the player playing that antagonist agrees to it. For example, if Joe Smith the Engineer is given the "Syndicate Operative" role. Other players are allowed to remember that there was an Operative on board the vessel (assuming Joe gets caught), but will not remember that it was Joe, only that it was "some engineer," or "some crewman." However, Joe's player can declare, usually in OOC or LOOC chat, that Joe is canonically a Syndicate Operative. At which point he must accept the consequences for his actions, and the rest of the crew involved will remember that Joe Smith the Engineer was a traitor.

Self Antagging

For those wishing to create a character who is a canon antagonist, it goes without saying that you must be prepared to accept the risks of this choice, however the potential stories and character development such a choice can drive may well be worth the trouble. The following tips are important to remember when creating any character who may have ties to an antagonist organization, whether in the past, or as part of their ongoing story:

  • Hireability: NanoTrasen and the other companies aboard the Northern Light would not knowingly hire crewmembers with known close ties to any of their enemies. For this reason you should keep your ties secret, only revealing the nature of their ties if you absolutely trust the person you are telling, or if you are desperate. A good place to note your ties is in "Exploitable Information" under the "Roles" section of Character Setup. This is a section that certain antagonists can view when they access crew records, and allows them to identify potential allies, or weaknesses to exploit.
  • Consequences: As we said above, being tied to an antagonist organization has the potential for extremely dire consequences for your character. If you are someone who does not like bad things happening to the characters they play, then I recommend avoiding this action, as it may prove difficult to let go if the crew decides that the best way to deal with you is to permanently execute you.
  • Playing Along: Playing an antagonist is accepting that your role on the ship is to create a conflict or problem that the crew must work together to solve. You are not here to kick everyone's teeth in and declare yourself Grand Emperor of the Universe, though that might be your character's goal. You will probably fail, but even if you don't, your goal as a player should always be to make the round as interesting for the players as possible. Whether you do that by leading the Inspector on a wild chase through the ship, leaving taunting clues to your identity as you pilfer everyone's hats; or by being a sleazy merchant with an ear for "opportunities" whether they're legal or not, trying to stay one step ahead of Aegis; or whatever else your heart desires.
  • Scale: When playing an antagonistic character, an important thing to remember is the scale of what you are doing. This is vitally important when playing a non-antag character. The admin team won't worry too much about Aegis Op who accepts bribes to look the other way, or a vagabond who does a little B&E in Research, but they will step in if the Operative starts murdering suspects, or the Vagabond starts lighting firebombs where he goes. A good rule of thumb is that if you're going to commit a crime when you do not have a specific "Antagonist" role, keep your actions to Minor (1xx) and lower crimes unless you have a very strong reason to commit a higher crime.

Species

Human

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Home planet: Earth

Home system: Sol

Humanity originated in the Sol system, and over the last two centuries has spread colonies across a wide swathe of space. They hold a wide range of forms and creeds.

While the central Sol government acts as a United Front for humanity, powerful corporate interests, rampant cyber and bio-augmentation and secretive factions make life on most human worlds tumultuous at best.


Unathi

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Home planet: Moghes

Home system: Uueoa-Esa

A reptilian species from the Uuosa-Eso system that speaks the hissing Sinta'Unathi language. Most Unathi are guided by a complex Ethnoreligion called the Unity,which stresses honesty, bravery, and the perfection of one's craft. Discovered less then a generation ago by SolGov,an ensuring war against SolGov by the Unathi over the colony of AbelÂ’s Rest has led to cross-migration between the two powers.


Skrell

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Home planet: Qerr'balak

Home system: Qerr'Vallis

n amphibious herbivore species, Skrell come from the Qerr'Vallis system, Skrell Society is very rigid and regimental with a focus on knowlege and defined by an all encompassing caste system, with rulers, builders, scientists, artists and warriors. The Skrell city-states are also close allies with humantiy and the Sol Central Government though there remains a great tension over the regimented nature of Skrell society and the refusal of the Skrell to reveal their secrets.


Tajaran

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Home planet: Meralar

Home system: Rarkajar

The Tajaran are a feliform species from Meralar in the Rarkajar system. They have a rich cultural history influenced by three predominant ethnic groups. the Hharar who are the most populous and with noble lineages, The great explorers of the Njarir'Akhan, and the barbarians of the Zhan-Khazan. Unlike many other species, the Tajaran homeworld is still not fully united and even now Tajara speak a variety of languages, including Siik and Akhani.


Mothperson

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

An experiment of growing vast amounts of organic silk gone awry! These insectoid creatures were created by Lazarus Foundation for commercial profit, but turned out to be sapient. Quickly adopted by the shrewd HR department of NanoTrasen, these arthropods are educated and assigned mostly as menial workers on NanoTrasen ships and stations.

Sergal

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

There are two subspecies of Sergal; Southern and Northern. Northern sergals are a highly aggressive race that lives in the plains and tundra of their homeworld. They are characterized by long, fluffy fur bodies with cold colors; usually with white abdomens, somewhat short ears, and thick faces. Southern sergals are much more docile and live in the Gold Ring City and are scattered around the outskirts in rural areas and small towns. They usually have short, brown or yellow (or other 'earthy' colors) fur, long ears, and a long, thin face. They are smaller than their Northern relatives. Both have strong racial tensions which has resulted in more than a number of wars and outright attempts at genocide. Sergals have an incredibly long lifespan, but due to their lust for violence, only a handful have ever survived beyond the age of 80, such as the infamous and legendary General Rain Silves who is claimed to have lived to 5000.

Akula

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

The Akula are a species of amphibious humanoids like the Skrell, but have an appearance very similar to that of a shark. They were first discovered as a primitive race of underwater dwelling tribal creatures by the Skrell. At first they were not believed to be noteworthy, but the Akula proved to be such swift and clever learners that the Skrell reclassified them as sentients. Allegedly, the Akula were also the first sentient life that the Skrell had ever encountered beside themselves, and thus the two species became swift allies over the next few hundred years. With the help of Skrellean technology, the Akula had their genome modified to be capable of surviving in open air for long periods of time. However, Akula even today still require a high humidity environment to avoid drying out after a few days.

Nevrean

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

Nevreans are a race of avian and dinosaur-like creatures living on Tal. They belong to a group of races that hails from Eltus, in the Vilous system. Unlike sergals whom they share a star system with, their species is a very peaceful one. They possess remarkable intelligence and very skillful hands that are put use for constructing precision instruments, but tire-out fast when repeatedly working over and over again. Consequently, they struggle to make copies of same things. Both genders have a voice that echoes a lot. Their natural tone oscillates between tenor and soprano. They are excessively noisy when they quarrel in their native language

Zorren

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

The fox-like Zorren are native to Virgo-Prime, however there are two distinct varieties of Zorren one with large ears and shorter fur, and the other with longer fur that is a bit more vibrant. The long-eared, short-furred Zorren have come to be known as Flatland Zorren as that is where most of their settlements are located. The Flatland Zorren are somewhat tribal and shamanistic as they have only recently started to be hired by the Trans-Stellar Corporations. The other variety of Zorren are known as Highland Zorren as they frequently settle in hilly and/or mountainous areas, they have a differing societal structure than the Flatland Zorren having a more feudal social structure, like the Flatland Zorren, the Highland Zorren have also only recently been hired by the Trans-Stellar Corporations, but thanks to the different social structure they seem to have adjusted better to their new lives. Though similar fox-like beings have been seen they are different than the Zorren.

Vulpkanin

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

Vulpkanin are a race of Canid-likes from the Vazzend system with a long history of religious and philosophical conflicts ended by the current unifying body, the Vulpkanin Nation. Their nation is an isolationist and totalitarian state led by ideas similar to Utilitarianism and with harsh criminal policies,including the generational exile of criminals and dissidents. Meaning there is a large exodus of Vulpkanins to foreign space though there remains a small community of temporary expats, still loyal to their home.

Custom Species

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Home planet: ?

Home system: ?

Eclipse has a system of custom race creation, allowing you to create a diverse amount of custom races. But with this freedom, usually not available on other servers comes some rules on character creation. The regular naming rules apply, together with the ability to name and create a custom race, the following rules should be considered:

# 1. You may not use a species from another setting, including obvious shallow renames of pre-existing species. Yes, this includes Avali.
# 2. Your species name may not be deceptive, and should reflect if you are merely playing as a vanilla species with gene-mods.