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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.
In a nutshell, Star Army works like this:
You must be 16 or older to join Star Army. There is no cost to join or participate.
The wiki login system is separate from the forum one, so you will need to register for both.
There are many ways to get help:
The 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.
When you're done Creating Your Character, 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 who approved your character will send a private message to you and 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.
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.
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 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.
You are responsible for keeping your character page up-to-date. Keep track of changes your character's history, skills, inventory, and finances (including pay) and edit your character article accordingly.
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).
Full rules are available here: Site Rules
The following formatting is standard for in-character posts:
There are several available methods of Communication available to RP Members. Yahoo! Messenger, E-mail, private messages, and the forums themselves are some examples. Sub-plots, problems, questions, concerns, suggestions, and many, many other things have to be worked out between members, and these are the best ways to do it. Please respect the decisions of your Game Master.
Any major event, situation, condition, action, etc. which directly involves another Player's character must be discussed with said Player beforehand, if possible. The Player reserves the right to have any post deleted that directly involves their character and was not discussed beforehand, unless that post was made by the GM. The post will be deleted or moved and sent to the offending Player for editing.
In the case that someone has used your character in some way, or done something that went against one of your plots, sort it out politely and quickly. Attempt to work it out with the offending Player first. If this fails, take it to the Plot GM. In an RP as large as this one to become, it is nearly impossible to avoid all problems, but if we can sort them out smoothly, politely and quickly, there will be minimal difficulties.
Let's all remember to keep OOC knowledge separate from IC knowledge. Don't direct your character to stuff if he/she wouldn't find it by themselves. That includes sniffing at a random moment when a character has no reason to do so and then find someone stalking them that way. If something is hidden, let it be hidden until there is a plausible reason for it to not be. Just because you know a player character is plotting to kill yours, etc. does not mean you can have your character act like he's especially alert for some reason. Keep it realistic.
Try your hardest to read each and every new post in your roleplay. This cuts down on confusion and prevents conflicts in the storyline from arising. If you don’t have time, at least read the ones involving your ship. Print them if you need to. You are expected to post regularly (at least one RP post a week). If you can’t for some reason, let people know why and kindly excuse your character or arrange for someone else to play her in the meantime.
In each adventure there are two types of plots: The Backbone Plot, and the various Sub-plots. The Backbone Plot takes precedence over sub-plots. Sub-plots must be worked in and around the Backbone Plot in order for the RP to function correctly. This is not to say that because a sub-plot goes against the Backbone Plot it can't be used. It simply means that you must either rework, or put off the sub plot until such a time as it can be used.
Writing is the means with which we interact with one another. It is vital that you write well, so that others can understand you and so they aren't distracted from the RP by errors. Don't bother posting a sentence if you can't be bothered to capitalize it or put a period at the end. The clearer your post, the less the likelihood it will be overlooked or misunderstood.
Most Star Army roleplay is done by posting directly onto a thread (or start a new one), which is called a Single Post or just a 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 online 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.
For more information on JPs, read the Guide to Joint Posts.