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Making an Application

Starting Notes

Figuring out the Basics

A Good App


Writing Your Description

Some Starting Notes to You

This page is intended as a help writing the actual application to play on SciallaMud. Some assistance with making your character can be found here at the Guide page and other info can be found here at Chargen. Also check out the Scialla planet page and Valrona's writeup. But if you freeze when you actually go write your app, read on!

All characters on the game start with an "application" that must be approved before you can enter the game. In a way it's almost like a job application, except of course you're applying to play a particular character and you're not getting paid RL. But aside from being totally different, it's just like that.

When you apply for an account, you'll get a master account name. This account covers all your characters. Every PC (player character) you play can be linked to this account. This is a good thing, because later, when you want to apply to play a special character, all your previous characters' roleplay points will be right there. Also, you'll be able to see all your characters. It is against our rules to have more than 1 account. If you are caught doing that, it's called multiplaying, and you'll be punished (see policy for more info there).

If we seem a little fussy about your application, please try to understand and work with us. When you apply to play on our game, we are, much like GMs, trying to find a place for your character in our world. It is very important that we know as much as possible and that your concept work as well as possible with our game. Coherence and cohesion are the most important roleplay props we can offer our gamers, so we take applications very seriously. If you've played other RPI games, you'll probably find little here that's new or weird. If you've never played an RPI mud, you may get frustrated. Stick with it! We promise it's worth the investment of your time.

We also recommend you not "retread" your old favorite characters into this game. Chances are what you played before won't work here. This game doesn't do wizards or "thieves' fellowship"-style thieves, for example. If you're tempted to re-use an old concept, talk to us or read our documentation carefully to make sure it fits. If it doesn't, we'll let you know, but that may slow down the acceptance process.

Our goal is to get your app dealt with within 24-48 hours. If you asked for something unusual, though, it might take longer. If you start feeling antsy, you are most welcome to mail us and ask what's up.

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Making a Character

You'll want to pick your character's race and concept first. If this is your first time making a character on Scialla, chances are you'll be a normal Sciallan human. See here for info about what that means. Basically, you're a regular human, with no special stat bonuses or penalties. You can make just about anything within that context: see here for some concept ideas. We don't recommend halfbreeds for first-timers; these don't give any stat bonuses either, but can be difficult to roleplay without an understanding of the gameworld. See Chargen Help for more information about writing the actual character application.

All 0-RPP Sciallans begin in Valrona, which is one of the Eastern Cities south of the capital of Priascialla. Valrona is famous chiefly for the University of Valrona, one of the most prestigious in the Kiassan Empire. You can't be from Valrona itself, but can be from one of the nearby cities or from the frontier far outside the Perimeter. This will allow you to RP someone "new to town" and work your way in.

Be also thinking in terms of finding a place to live and somewhere to work. All PCs need a place to live ingame; there are numerous boardinghouses and apartments available, and as you gain wealth and status, you'll be able to afford better and better places to live.

Because we do not allow "my village got burned down by wolves" or "bandits killed my family but for some weird reason decided to raise me" type of apps, your PC may also have a family out there somewhere. It's okay to be an orphan, but frontier villages usually try to help out by raising the kid. In the cities, orphanages run by the Church of Haran typically take responsibility for feral children. But if you do have a family, then you may see them appearing ingame, depending on plot needs! Being an orphan sounds terribly dramatic and it is, but a family can complicate your life even worse.

If you've been in touch with other PCs and want to make an app that will work with theirs, that's perfectly all right. Just let us know in the app itself so we can evaluate it properly.

Your background is not seen by other players, only by staff. It's meant to be an explanation of your past and how you got where you are at the point of chargen. We use this information to figure out where you'll fit into plots.

When typing your background, know this: basically we want to know where your PC is from, his major motivations, his job aspirations, and if he's a good guy or a bad guy. We really don't need 20 pages about every single woman he's ever loved and lost, or a deep psycho-analysis of every time her shoelaces have gotten untied. We do want a decent idea of who your PC is and where he's going to fit, so please feel free to be as detailed as you feel you need to be. We'd rather have too much info rather than not enough. Just make it pertinent, is all.

Don't feel you have to be the most damaged-goods ingame to win. It is not a "unique snowflake" past that makes a character interesting--it's your current roleplay! A cliched or overly-tragic background won't force others to give you more respect or get you into plots. We do want your character to have a life previous to entering game, but we also want you to steer clear of concepts we'd rather not see more of. Believe me, if we like your RP, you'll have plenty of drama to deal with.

One final note of warning: if you didn't put it in the app and later try to reference it ingame, it may be refused. On one mud a long time ago, a PC got in with a pretty generic fighter-type application, then began saying ingame that she was the bastard child of that country's prince. That's a pretty important thing to have left out of one's application! If you do that, we may let you do it and just not support it--in other words, if someone tries to investigate the claim of bastard-nobility, they may find out it was all just a lie your PC told. If you have something important about your character that you absolutely will need support on, you must put it into the application or it might not be supported by staff!

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A Good App

Don't use this exactly (OR ELSE), but this would get through on the first try.

Name: Moreen red haired woman green eyes

  • All adjectives and nouns from the short and longdescs are in here. Good. Notice the name isn't a ripoff from a video game or movie. That's important, because we will run exotic-sounding names through a search engine to ensure Suikodens and Sephiroths (or Legolases) don't get through. Normal Earth-sounding names are perfectly fine in this gameworld. We do want a last name, too, if you're from the Eastern Cities. If you're from the frontier, you can do whatever you want there. Moreen's from Weston, where they don't have last names all the time. Also, don't use Japanese or Chinese names; they are not thematic to this game.
  • Shortdesc: a red-haired, green-eyed woman

  • Short, simple, to the point. Generally, this should be a very succinct summation of your PC. No subjective terms. If you use a non-descriptive adjective like "classy" or "suave", your application may get rejected; talk to us first if you want that. "Maiden" and "gentleman" are all right, since they don't denote legal classes in the game.
  • Longdesc: stands here.

  • Longdesc is always an incomplete sentence, but it must end with a period.
  • Age: 28, Sex: Female, Race: Sciallan

  • Character is old enough to justify the background given.
  • Description: This young woman stands about average height. A little plumper than average, she has a very womanly build. She has long red hair, with bangs falling into her oval face and into her medium-green eyes. She has a generally cheerful demeanor, and tends to move quickly. Old scars mark her skin here and there where her skin is visible.

  • No subjective terms at all -- desc just tells you what you see. Pertinent information -- height, weight, build, hair/eye color, any identifying scars/markings -- is given in a stylish way without grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Background: Moreen was born to a Constable father and a weaver mother. Though taught how to weave from a very early age, Moreen doesn't like it much. Her mother died when she was 12, and her father more or less abdicated responsibility over Moreen and her younger sister. Moreen took in weaving to help support her father when he got too old to perform his duties, and when he died some years later, Moreen got the house. She paid for her sister's wedding, and now she's got the house to herself. Freed of all responsibility, she can now finally do what she's always wanted to do... except she doesn't really know what that is yet. For now, she's going to try to find a weaving job till she figures out what else to do.

  • Background is fairly straightforward. Her skillpicks in weaving make sense for her life, and give her a reason to suddenly show up in play, and also explains where her family is. Best of all, the RP admins now know kind of where she will fit in -- as a crafter -- and can look into whether or not this concept will fit into the game.
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    How to Get Declined Fast

  • Words like "mysterious", "beautiful", and "frightening". These are called "subjective". That means that you're TELLING us how to feel about you. Sorry, but not everybody will find your "mysterious" PC mysterious -- most might actually think he's a pretentious blowhard, and bad guys would probably just laugh at him. Nor would all people and races find you beautiful. Before you tell us he has eyes that anybody would trust or that his laugh would put anybody at ease, remember that your RP will greatly impact how people interpret those things. Try instead that his eyes are "deep" and his laugh "deep and booming." Just tell us what we see, and let US, as players, decide for ourselves what we think of you.
  • Descriptions that include actions, like "He smiles wickedly." You won't always be smiling wickedly. A feasible alternative is "He often smiles wickedly" or even "his smile can be very wicked," but don't give us the impression that you're doing the action 100% of the time or RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND. RP your actions -- don't put them in your desc.
  • Descriptions that include stuff like tattoos or scars in places normally covered by clothing. Um.. are you planning to RP topless? You can always emote that you have them. In your application, do mention them so it can be evaluated, however. A PC who slips in full-body tats without prior clearance is in trouble.
  • Descriptions that include specific heights, ages, or details from your background. The last part is particularly silly -- if you looked at me, would you know exactly where I got the scar under my left eye? (Hint: NO, you wouldn't.) Just the facts, ma'am.
  • Insane hair or eye colors. It's okay to just be "brown-haired", but please, leave the exploding-thesaurus synonyms (sienna-skinned, saffron-haired) on the ground where they belong. This most definitely includes silver eyes, white hair on young people, and other oddities. We will not hesitate to decline an application if it includes a word that a college-educated professional writer doesn't recognize or if that word doesn't mean what you think it means.
  • Keywords that don't include all nouns and adjectives from your short and long descs. If you use "grey-eyed" in your short desc, make sure "grey" and "eyed" make it into your keyword list. Unless your app is for someone raised far from the Perimeter, please make sure you include a last name. We're pretty casual about those last names as long as they're not "Blooddrinker" or "Deathblow" or something stupid like that, but make sure you have one.
  • Backgrounds that try to do too much. If you want a warrior who is also an alchemist assassin gourmet-chef woodcarver, you'll probably be declined. The chances of you being really good at more than one major profession are quite slim.
  • Backgrounds that try to do too little. If you want to offer a detailed psychological analysis of your PC, fine, but what we really want to know is where you're from, why you're in Valrona, a bit about your family, your professional training, what you expect to be doing for a living, and something about your short and long-term goals. Think of this part like you'd think of making a tabletop PC. Also, please don't write "Nobody knows anything about him" and expect that to adequately substitute for reading documentation. WE need to know about him.
  • Background that makes you some kind of badass. No, you aren't a badass. Sorry. All characters start out pretty much low or mid-level in skills. No, you did NOT wipe out an entire brigand gang at the age of 12 with your bare hands. No, your nickname is NOT "Deathbringer," unless you mean it as a joke or unless your mother didn't like you much.
  • Age is inappropriate. It's okay to make your PC older, but don't expect this to confer expertise in your chosen profession. Older PCs may also face significant limitations in their employment options. My suggestion is to stick to the early- to mid-20s, unless you have some specific background need, like apprenticeship. Going too young might also give you problems. Just be aware. PS: If you want a hugely musclebound character, make him older than 16.
  • Character is insane. People who hear voices demanding they murder folks will be insta-declined with a smile. It's okay to be insane, as long as your concept has adapted to the point where it works and fits in with our game without being guaranteed to die within a week. If your concept seems doomed from the getgo, it will be declined, period. This means that whatever form of insanity floats your boat, it has to be a functional insanity. We also decline MPD/DID apps and "cutters".
  • Also, don't use titles in your app, like "lady". "Maiden" is kind of pushing it but permitted if your PC is young and not desced like a lush slut. Legal terms for class include "sir" and "dame" as well as "lord" and "lady". Obviously, "duke," "prince," and "baron" are also reserved.
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    Writing Your Description

    This is intended for people who freeze when confronted with having to write their descriptions. It is not intended to be a staff demand or an example of what to do 100% of the time -- everybody is different, and everybody's idea of the perfect character description is different -- and that's okay. Nor do we expect everybody to be Ernest Hemingway and display stunning writing talent. This is just a set of guidelines to get you started.

  • Don't use "you" anywhere. Especially avoid "you notice" or "you see".
  • Don't force people to find you hideous, gorgeous, or handsome. Just write what you look like and let us figure it out. Chances are if you're hunchbacked, extensively scarred, and mottled-skinned, we'll think you're hideous, but don't force it. Don't use any of those subjective adjectives at all -- especially not "scary", "ominous", or "deadly". (Since everybody ingame starts with medium-level skills, it's extremely unlikely that anybody of note will find you particularly frightening anyway.)
  • Don't describe your clothes, weapons, or equipment. Those get added on later with objects you wear or wield.
  • If you're the type of person whose spelling isn't top-notch, paste the description into an editor like MS Word and run a spelling-checker on it. One or two typos aren't too bad, but your application may take longer to process if we have to keep sending it back or correct it ourselves.
  • Before you get out your thesaurus to find a neat synonym of a word or color, find out exactly what that neat word means before you use it. A thesaurus won't tell you a shade of meaning, and the effect you're after may backfire if you don't know it (like the guy who said he was of "mediocre" height). In public schools, kids are taught to reach for a thesaurus to get a more varied use of words, but they often make the cardinal mistake of using a word without knowing what nuance it expresses, and grab the first weird or unusual word the thesaurus lists--and thereby make idiots of themselves. If you're after an unusual color, bear in mind we'll reject an app for too weird a color (such as "saffron", which a lot of people use as a synonym for blonde without realizing that it's an extremely bright, lurid shade of yellow that no human has ever had naturally.)
  • Don't include information about tattoos or scars unless they're in a place that would be visible while you're in whatever clothes pass for normal for your PC. But do mention them in your background application so we can clear them.
  • Don't include actions (like "he sees you looking at him" or even "she smiles as she looks around") unless you phrase it as a habit ("she often smiles", or "he tends to look around himself a lot"). You won't always be smiling, and you may not always notice someone looking at you.
  • Don't include your profession or exact heights or weights.
  • You don't have to describe yourself 100% top to bottom, as in "a round head sits atop a neck which sits atop broad shoulders which are supported by a tree-trunk torso which is supported by thick legs". It makes your body parts sound like they're stacked like boxes. Just get the important points.
  • Now for the desc. It may help you to think of the desc as "just the facts, ma'am". While you can get very florid with it, really it's just what you'd want to say if describing the person to a friend or an authority figure. As an example, you might start with general height and weight, then hair color, eye color, stuff like that, and ending with distinctive markings that you might not notice right off the bat. Like this:

    She is a young woman of average height and weight, with long, wavy dark-blonde hair that reaches her waist when it's down. Pale blue eyes sparkle from an oval-shaped face, dominating her features. She has narrow shoulders and a trim waist, with small breasts and hips. Her left forearm bears three long, narrow scars on it, running parallel to each other.

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