MUDs: Improving Your RolePlay through Character Creation
I recently overheard someone say that to properly RP you have to first take time to gauge the atmosphere of the game. But I disagree! I say get right in there from the time your character’s feet hit the ground. In Achaea that would be the moment you ENTER POOL to exit the Trial of Rebirth, a basic newbie tutorial, and enter the Ring of Portals, which is the first room you experience in the actual game itself.
Your First Adventures
Often the first person you encounter will either be Romeo or Juliet, one of two helpful guides that spend their entire lives doing nothing but assisting newbies. While they can tell you the best way to use your pack or how to get more health elixir in your vial, they won’t be very helpful when it comes to making personal choices. So when it comes to writing up a background, you are pretty much on your own.
However, that is not totally a bad thing! Having the freedom to write your own background means that you can write your own personality, giving it whatever flavor and style that you choose. Here are some things to consider when adding flavor to your character, whether you are brand new or several hundred years old.
- Physical Traits – Sure, you chose a race on the way into the realm but what now? There are plenty of other things to consider and most you can take care of when finishing the 2nd of your Orientation Tasks, which is setting a personal description. Do you have wide-set eyes? Thin lips? A receding hairline? People won’t know unless you reveal it in your description!
- Voice or Accent – Achaea has a neat feature that lets you set a voice or an accent. (HELP VOICE will explain more.) For example, just because you are a satyr doesn’t mean you can’t have a high-pitched, lisping voice. You could be one of the only sirens with a low, guttural voice. Keep in mind that accents are more geographic in nature, while voices are usually described with an adjective.
- Clothing – Have you heard the phrase dressed for success? Thanks to Achaea’s unique tailoring system there is an endless array of clothing and accessories from which to choose. If you can’t find it in a shop, a tailor might have a private pattern that they’re willing to use in order to craft you some new threads. And if all else fails, you can become a tailor and introduce the realm to your own designs!
Developing a Backstory
Every character in Achaea begins at age 18, give or take a few months. So what happened between the time you were born and age 18? That’s largely up to you! Achaea offers something called a character background, which is viewable by other people in the realm. An essential element to roleplaying in Achaea, after writing your initial background you can add chapters to keep your history up-to-date.
Like everything else regarding the character you play in Achaea, your background must remain in character at all times. Avoid using out of character methods of communicating such as 1337, otherwise known as leetspeak, or references to real life. Whether you are a 15 year old high school student or a 25 year old college graduate, as far as Achaea is concerned, how old you are is whatever you see when using SHOW AGE, which reveals that information about your character.
Finding a Family
Another way that you can add flavor to your character is by finding a set of parents and joining a family. BLOODLINE SHOW (someone) will reveal whether or not they have parents or children, but neither is required to start an entirely new family. Some families have their own clans which allow them to speak to one another without outsiders listening to the conversation. Other families are prominent in one city or another – but don’t be surprised if you find that Achaean families are as likely to have black sheep as one’s real life family.
A final way that you can add flavor to your character in regards of family is by being adopted. If you are adopted, then these people are not on your bloodline. It is assumed that your parents died, were kidnapped, or suffered some other fate that left you orphaned. Regardless of what background you write for yourself, remember that once in place you only get one chance to alter it and then it is set in stone.
No matter if you are an orphaned grook whose parents were lost when Shallam slipped under the sea or an atavian with a long bloodline of Arcadian family history, the important thing to remember is to be true to your character. Remain consistent, and if you do have to make a change be sure that it’s roleplay-inspired. You will gain more respect from both your fellow adventurers and the Divine, and who knows? Your character might be the one who inspires someone else to add a little flavor to their own roleplay!
About the Author
Annie Foster joined her first D&D group in college when a boyfriend told her that girls made horrible roleplayers. After proving him wrong on that count she went on to defeat countless dragons and eventually take over as GM. Now traveling around the United States as a freelance writer, Annie enjoys playing MUDs online whenever she isn’t busy with a new assignment.