The following is a comprehensive guide to the creation of Iromakuanhe characters, including primary considerations when writing, background information and links to useful pages on their culture and society to better explain things. The standard character template has been replaced by this Iromakuanhe-specific character template.
1.0 Character Concept: Build your original character.
2.0 Fleshing Out: Give your character a past, a face and the abilities needed to survive the current era.
3.0 Details and Finishing: Give your character quirks, ambitions and unique attributes that make them leap from the page.
When developping an Iromakuanhe, one should create a basic concept for their character, based on the three factors which are most important in a well-developed and well-detailed character. At this phase, the player is encouraged to develop a rough idea of their character's personality and background, and select an occupation, which will determine their position in a given plot.
A character's occupation reflects their learned abilities and the positions that have been given to them on this basis. In the civilian sector, occupation generally refers to a person's main field of work at a given time, and may be used quite loosely. Military occupations tend to be more stratified, and organized along specific specialist fields that a soldier is trained in post-basic.
Soldiers of the Astral Vanguard receive training in specific occupations. These range from combat occupations such as the ground-pounding general infantry and glamorous frame runners, to highly competent starship operations and support crew, and effect the level of RP exposure and specific actions a player might have to undertake. As character mature and gain experience, they may also eventually have the option of taking specialist training or entering officer training.
Enlisted and Warrant Officer Occupations Include:
The is a strong diversity of civilian occupations in the Commonwealth, due to the long-standing peace in the core worlds of their system and widespread proliferation of high technology. In some cases, people may seek employment with the government as a way of securing a stable, life-long income, while others might turn to the various corporate agencies and join themselves to the rising economic superpowers inside of the Iromakuanhe's sphere.
Civilian Careers Include:
Not every plot can offer the same amount of exposure for a character of a given occupation. In combat plots, medical and maintenance crew may spend large periods of time on standby, waiting for something that requires their attention. Plots with little or no combat might see the handful of combat crew sitting around because they do not have the expertise to contribute to the current situation. When looking for a plot to join, players should consider if a given plot has the sort of options that they are looking for.
In addition, civilian and military settings are often mutually exclusive. Civilian contractors are only occasionally allowed in certain circumstances and may have to leave if the situation is too dangerous for them to remain at a military outpost or on a vessel, and military characters are not frequently assigned to civilians. Exceptions may exist, but these require consulting the setting manager.
Iromakuanhe are diverse, with a range of personalities shaped by environmental factors and upbringing and physical types due to genetic engineering and environmental adaptation over the course of centuries. Because of this, various ethnic groups arose and combined together to form the unique cultural tapestry of Commonwealth culture.
Choosing an ethnicity for your Iromakuanhe character is important, as it will have a large bearing on your character's history, personality, and the way they are perceived by other characters. For example, in a high-stakes military plot, a jovial Curdatl farmer might not be well-received. However, every Iromakuanhe does not meet all the stereotypes of their ethnicity - there is plenty of “wiggle room,” and you should not feel confined when making your choice.
There are eight main cultural backgrounds, each representing a lifestyle, region and set of cultural mores that a character has grown up in, split up into the more modern and understandable metropolitan cultures and exotic and anachronistic traditional ethinicities. Metropolitan culture reflects the culture of an entire planet and its cities, while the traditional culture is more closely tied to smaller regions, bloodlines and lifestyles. There is an interplay between them, as the environment that fosters a given metropolitan ethnic group surely affects the cultural evolution of traditional settlements and enclaves.
For example, the Sund Wakir desert nomads have continued their survivalist lifestyles even as they spread to other worlds, always choosing the most inhospitable places to dwell. While on Maekardan, they plied the deserts in robes and body wrappings; those on Hlarai became boatmen and riders of whales; the settlers of icy Mazerin are pallid and gaunt figures clad in insulated stillsuits, moving around in caravans of hovercraft that resemble mobile trade cities more than roving herders. Some cultures, such as the isolationist Ivuori and airship-dwelling Eyr Ranr had very little to change in regards to their actual lifestyles, and only altered the technologies of their enclaves and airships. The Curdatl, as premier settlers and colonists, essentially became the rural counterpart to the city dwellers of a given planet, but retained the core ideals of their society while coupling them with those of metropolitan society.
Background Options Include:
Just as with human beings, the personality of an Iromakuanhe is shaped by their family life, where they grew up, their experiences, and myriad other things. A character's personality will determine how they get along (or not, as the case may be) with their plot-mates, and in turn their development will be shaped by the people they choose to interact with. Therefore, to create a character that will fit into the plot you have selected, you should consider several things - the attitude of the GM, the nature of the plot itself, and the other characters.
A plot mostly made up of stoic Sund Wakir would probably accept a chilly Ivuori scientist, but one from a different part of the planet, brought up with different social mores so he asks questions constantly to find out everything he can, might not be as well-received. On the flip side, a character different from most of the others in his plot can make for interesting roleplay - an adventurous Eyr Ranr constantly pushing his Sund Wakir comrades to step outside of their comfort zone will provide new opportunities for all the players involved.
Each Iromakuanhe ethnicity has a “stereotypical” way of action - religious Sund Wakir, scholarly Ivuori, etc. But by no means does every member of each ethnicity adhere to all of the stereotypes, and in fact, intentionally making a character who does not is an excellent way to make them stand out without having to rely on giving them a strange appearance. For example, you might create an Ivuori who prefers to give his work more personal attention, or an Eyr Ranr with very conservative views on sexuality.
The Iromakuanhe mindset is shaped by their introspective and spiritual culture that favors the qualities of compassion, determination and loyalty, although each ethnic group may change this a little. Perhaps more than any other race, Iroma are extremely educated, even if they do not have the advantage of digitalized brains or cyberized minds, due to long lives and the emphasis of their culture on seeking personal enlightenment. No formal distinction is made between the many fields of academic endeavour. The sciences are seen as being equally good for the being as the pursuit of a better self as philosophy and theology.
In short, Iroma may be naive, but are rarely ignorant. Beyond this, there is no set character for the entire race, and only basic patterns that arise in the various ethnic groups.
Skills are a given character's knowledges and abilities. Because the SARPiverse uses an extremely low-number roleplay system, the key to expressing a character's strength and specialization is dependent entirely on the wording of skill sections and the interplay it has with a character's history. It is far more important to describe 'how' a character is good, than to simply state they are the best.
Basic skills represent the bare minimum skills a character posesses. For military characters, these are required competencies that the character must meet in order to be considered a soldier, learned at the time of their basic training. Civilian basic skills are simply reflections of the basic abilities one might pick up from Iromakuanhe society, without an advanced education or special skills.
Civilian Basic Skills
Occupational skills reflect your the training and education that has allowed your character to pursue their chosen career. For military characters, those skills are selected through the occupations page, while civilian characters generally have a greater flexibility. Although a private physician might need an understanding of medicine, the skills for a freebooter or adventurer differ greatly. It is ultimately up to a player and GM to work together to better define the essential skills of a given civilian player character.
Player characters begin with 7 skills, and additional spaces may be filled with any number of extra skills until they reach the allotted 7. Additional skills allow a player to flesh out their character's history and round out their abilities to give them relevance in a variety of situations.
History, in the case of a character, is the series of events which defines them by imparting experiences and memories. It provides the reasons for why a character is where they are, and why they've become that person.
Every character, not just Iromakuanhe, is shaped by their past. Wars, strife, love, and happiness all play a part in determining how a person is and acts. The history of the Commonwealth, though unfamiliar to the player, is just as filled with activity as any other culture's, and its people are formed by the ebbs and flows of its government and military.
A character's ethnic background has a definite impact on their upbringing and the educational options available to them growing up. While the modern cities of the Commonwealth tend to have uniform standards over education, exceptions might arise in more traditional communities. In particular, Ivuori enclaves maintain a system of apprenticeship that is recognized by the state, and Sund Wakir children spend most of their teenage years in monastery city boarding schools. Eyr Ranr often do not even have the niceties of a formal education system and must depend on networked courses or remain on larger 'city ships' with relatives.
Characters choosing a background as an outer system Cohronl might even have histories touched by conflict, as the frontier regions of Iruotl have a history of uprisings and secession attempts by distant colonies.
Iromakuanhe characters are almost always born in the Iruotl System, and ultimately descend from the original colonists who settled Maekardan many centuries ago. A close majority live in either in the space colonies at gravitationally stable 'Lagrange Points' or in the orbital habitats attached to the solar collection rings of the Capital and Hlarai, while the remaining citizens of the Commonwealth can claim to have been born on one of those comfortable habitable worlds. By comparison, the population is significantly more sparse as one ventures as far as Mazerin, and settlement becomes even rarer beyond this area. These areas are better detailed and offer a good base for a starting player to develop a character.
Even though it is referred to as a sparse minority, those who live in the outer system number in the hundreds of millions, living in specialized habitats constructed to the exacting requirements of a corporate, social or religious interest. More often these frontierspeople, referred to as 'Enders'1), are forced to eke out livings in hollowed out asteroids or hulks of throwaway vessels assembled together into livable environments. Because these areas are undefined, they offer creative options for players who wish to contribute to the setting and also offer a twist on the standard Iromakuanhe.
A character's appearance is important for two reasons. Because it is natural for most roleplayers to describe their characters as being attractive, defining their features allows them to be distinguished from others more easily. Second, having a well described sheet also makes it easier for commissioned and free artists to produce artwork for them.
Iroma do not deviate greatly from the morphology of normal humans, but there are some basic differences. First, are the trademark horns and bony plates which adorn their bodies, and the light glow of their eyes which increases with age. Structurally, they tend to be taller on average, lean and possessing wider set hips and shoulders. The differences are noticeable, but the majority of Iromakuanhe would not appear to deviate greatly from normal human beings.
A combination of genetic drift, natural adaptations and genetic engineering have resulted in a wide variety of physical types among the Iromakuanhe. In effect, this has resulted in certain features and builds being more common than others among certain sections of the population, although the nature of Iromakuanhe ethnic identity means that most people are often of mixed heritage, even though they may consider themselves otherwise.
Common physical traits are listed on the selected ethnic pages.
Iromakuanhe characters have names derived from Middle Eastern, Indian, African, Southeast Asian and Oceanic roots. Eastern European names are also possible, but only found in the Eyr Ranr and Ivuori populations.
Iromakuanhe characters age slightly slower than baseline humans such as Nepleslian. They reach physical and mental maturity at 16 AR (roughly 21 in YE), and do not age significantly until they reach their late 60's (over 90 YE). As such, they tend to only have established careers by the time they reach their late twenties, after spending several years in advanced education in one form or another.
Most recruits in the military will be between the ages of 17 and 20, although some as young as 16 are possible2), but less common. Junior officers tend to be in their early twenties, having spent a nominal three to five years in service. Enlisted characters begin at the rank of Vayshirin.
The Iromakuanhe do not use the Zodiac starsigns, and instead have their own starsigns based on the 16 months of their calendar. The various months of their year are named after the 16 Greater Saints of the Dreamer Vigil. The patronage of a Saint is similar to a Zodiac sign. It is believed that a person will inherit some of the characteristics attached to their Personal Saint, but the impact on their actual personality is basically null.
Physical quirks can be relatively simple details that allow a character to be more than a palette swap and hairstyle change from another. The Iromakuanhe have a culture that values personal expression, so many people decorate themselves to show off their personal tastes or to reflect their heritage. Facial tattoos, handmade jewelry and clothing are rather popular ways of expressing one's individuality, identity and status, and biomodifications give a character aesthetic and functional differences from their unmodified kin.
People are not perfect. They have fears, flaws and personal agendas that conflict the those of the people around them, creating subtle conflicts that can build into intense interpersonal drama. Psychological quirks are a great way of offsetting or subverting an otherwise archetypal personality, giving them depth and potentially creating a sympathy that would simply not exist for a 'perfect' character. Every character is different, and they think and feel differently as well.
Psychological quirks can be as simple as disliking some things while liking others, or be twists to a personality that add a sinister or noble undercurrent that contradicts their apparent nature. A noble and kindhearted person who commits great atrocities because of their convictions, or a seemingly heartless evil person who is only acting under orders because of their loyalties create people who are more complex than simple heroes and villains. Another potential consideration to be made, is the situation that arises from the different portions of Iroma society suppressing or encouraging different facets of a person's psychology, resulting in the same basic archetype developing in different ways. Though a free spirit in Eyr Ranr culture might fit in perfectly and his Ivuori counterpart might become a visionary artist, their Mazerinii compatriot might be forced into becoming a more somber and personal thinker because of the mores of his society.
When working on the values for height and weight, a player should refer to the selected culture page for a rough guideline of their character's weight and height range. Generally, Iromakuanhe tend to be a bit taller than normal humans and weigh 5-10 lbs (2.2 - 4.5 kg) more because of their denser, quartz-laced bones.
The three standard measurements for a woman refer to the dimensions of her Bust, Waist and Hips. Bust should not be confused with band or cup size, which are the measures of the ribcage beneath the breasts and the actual size of the breasts, respectively. As mentioned in Section 2.3, Iroma females (and also males) tend to have wider hips and shoulders, leading to a trend towards a 'pear shaped figure' among females, with a bust that is larger than the waist but smaller than the hips.
Iromakuanhe characters may join Astral Vanguard military plotships, or civilian plots on a more limited level. Because the Iromakuanhe are relatively isolated from the rest of the galactic community, the terms upon which an Iroma character is introduced to a plot set in another nation should be discussed with the GM of that plot, and the faction manager, Exhack.
Iromakuanhe characters begin with a starting sum of 13000 KD by default, the equivalent of 3250 KS. A player may use this to purchase additional items, and GM may modify this amount at their discretion depending on the circumstances of their plot, and allow a character to begin with more or less as it suits them and the player.
Military characters also begin play with Astral Vanguard Standard Issue.