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Welcome to Star Army! This article has the basic steps and info you'll need to participate. Please read it thoroughly.
Note: You must be 16 or older to join Star Army.
The online Character Creation Guide (CCG) is your primary resource for making your character. Note that there are several species-specific character creation guides to help you. Before you make your character, if possible, do a little background reading on the role-play and get an idea of the plot you want to join. Once you're somewhat familiar with the role-play setting, you'll want to get started with the CCG. It should give you vital information for your character, based on your choices. The character creation guide is meant to be easy, but also to be in-depth, and you may find your brain feeling tired if you try to go through it too fast. Take plenty of time to think about your character in advance, and the possibilities of what he/she could be.
We strongly suggest your first character serve in the star_army_of_yamatai or military; this is the best way for you to get a feel of the Star Army universe. With a plot ship, there will be other characters around to interact with, whereas if you made an independent character, you might be on your own. Civilian and other types of characters are available, but characters in major factions are usually easiest to play because they get the most resources and guidance and the most adventures and plots to be in (after all, it is a military themed RP).
There are many ways to get help:
When you're done with your character biography, you'll need to:
If there are no problems, approval will usually be quick and painless. If there are issues with your biography, the game master will do his best to help you adjust it so that it makes sense or fits in the role-play. The most common sources of problems are overpowered, glorious histories and skills, story continuity issues (things that wouldn't make sense, like joining the Star Army before it was founded), and lack of detail.
NOTE: If you update/edit your bio, post a reply to its thread so the reviewers will know to look at it again!
A character forum moderator will post approval of your character in the forum thread you posted. The topic will then be moved to the APPROVED forum (so if your character thread seems missing, check there!). The character forum moderator will should also send a private message to the GM of the plot you listed as your first preference. We encourage you to also send your own private message to the plot GM introducing yourself.
The plot GM should post in your approved character thread to tell you if your character is accepted into the plot. In the unlikely event your character is approved but cannot be accepted, the GM (or if he is not available, the Faction Manager or Setting Manager) will post a notice in the approved character thread and then contact your second choice plot GM on your behalf. If your character is in the military, you will also get an orders thread in the appropriate communications forum. It will tell your character where to go and serves as a record of his/her military service including transfers, awards, and promotions.
Once you're accepted into the plot, edit the plot's page so your character is on their crew roster (or ask your GM to).
If you haven't already, you will want to figure out what your character owns. To be fair to all players, each of their characters initially starts with three-thousand KS (or equiv lent) on his/her electronic money card, minus the cost of items the character starts with. Military characters are also usually loaned a predetermined bundle of standard-issue equipment such as uniforms for no cost. The equipment varies by faction. Ask your GM if you need help finding it.
If you want more than three-thousand KS of items to start with, your character can go up to seven-thousand KS in debt, although this is not recommended. You might also save money by buying used items, which usually are around fifty to seventy percent the original cost of the item (I pity you if you buy used soap, though). To make things easy, for things that aren't found on the price lists, one KS is about equal to one US dollar. See: prestige_system.
Once you're in a plot, start role-playing! If it's a single-post plot you can start right away (or as soon as it makes sense in the plot). If it's a joint_post plot, then find out when the next chat session is (most plots have a scheduling thread in their forum).
Most Star Army roleplay is done by posting directly onto a thread (or start a new one), which is called a Single Post. Sometimes single posts are consolidated into compilations.
For JPs, we usually arrange a meeting time or just spontaneously start role-playing with whoever is on Yahoo! Instant Messenger or IRC that fits into a plot. These RP sessions usually last about an hour or two and when we're done, one of the people in the RP session saves, edits, and posts the transcript (then referred to as a joint_post) onto the boards. The above methods of RP are why some parts of the board tend to have big, long posts with multiple characters and few replies–so don't let them intimidate you, they're just giant edited transcripts.
Etherpad and Google Wave are real-time multi-user communication tools that allow roleplayers to write a group RP post simultaneously. No plot has made this the standard RP method so far, but it is catching on and many GMs have expressed interest and have used it for roleplay posts.
Full rules are available here: Site Rules