These are only starting ideas. If you have an idea for something not listed here, run it by us and we will be happy to talk about it.
Newcomers' Quick List
The city of Valrona is made up of four general quarters, each with its own feel and ambience. If you're kind of new to the game and aren't totally sure what you'll want to do for a day job, the main hangout is the Azure Dragon, located in Azure Square in (you guessed it) the Azure Quarter on the west side of town. There you'll find an employment board and possibly employers themselves. The church and convent of Saint Elisis, along with schools, marketplace artisans and shopkeepers, and the mercenary academy, The Brotherhood of Swords, are located here. Almost any of the job concepts on this page would work for this area.
If Azure Square is just too high-falutin' for your PC concept, then Sun Quarter may be more to your liking. A slum district near the docks, with less-expensive accommodations and what could only be gently called "entry level" work, this part of Valrona can be both more welcoming and more forbidding. Of the concepts on this page, most could work for the Sun Quarter: beggars, thieves, medical concepts, religious types, and perhaps reporters; with some tweaking, the others might fly. A defrocked priest, a shopkeeper in debt, a student who has had to scrimp and save every penny to get into college and just doesn't have the funds for a nice place, a refugee, anybody who has something to hide.
The bohemian Plume Quarter is situated in the north part of town, right next to the University of Valrona. Its main population are students and businesses that serve students--bookstores, coffeeshops, clothing shops, sporting goods shops, and the like. The main newspaper in the city, the Valrona Sun, has its main office here. Obviously, student, shopkeeper, and journalism concepts work wonderfully for this area. Those who wish to actually attend the university can be quite free in their concepts.
The last quarter, Pearl Quarter, is the super-expensive part of town. It stretches along the east part of the city, connecting directly with the docks in Sun Quarter. Most PCs won't be from here, but of those who are, concepts connected with the House of Gold (a very high-end entertainment establishment and floating palace) work well, as do servant and bodyguard concepts.
If we don't find you and get you an ingame job quickly, if you need cash, the docks and poorhouse in the Sun Quarter are good places to earn a few pennies. The soup kitchen there is also free to the hungry.
On most muds, you pick a mercenary concept as a basic, all-around fighter character. This one handles them differently, however. In the city itself there are no mercenaries, nor are mercenary companies allowed to form without express permission from Duke Severan. All being an unsigned mercenary means to those in power in the city is an armed, armored soldier with nothing to do and no allegiances. Duke Severan has not given a charter to a mercenary company for 15 years.
All soldier wannabes must register ingame with Valrona's Brotherhood of Swords. If their references pass and they have the entrance fee, they will be inducted. Only Swordsmen and Nobles may wear any weapon beyond the one knife permitted by any citizen, or armor. Most people have no idea how to fight. The ones who do, certainly are careful in Valrona about displaying that skill without the requisite licenses.
See the Swordsmen's Resource Page for more info about the Valrona Brotherhood of Swords.
There are two kinds of licenses for fighting in the city-state of Valrona. One is a duellist license. This license is given after certification in skills and questioning regarding practices and policies. Nobles are automatically eligible to earn this license, though it's not automatically granted; commoners may earn it with approval on a per-case basis and will need a Noble's backing. The license is expensive (price varies) but lasts until either the duellist dies or does something that'd revoke the license, like attack a non-duellist. Duellists are basically licensed to carry weapons and are allowed to use the avenue of honor duels to settle disputes, rather than having to go through the sometimes more time-consuming and expensive avenue of the legal system.
The second license is a mercenary license. A mercenary is not necessarily a duellist, and most duellists aren't mercenaries. Only the Brotherhood issues mercenary licenses, which allow a person to carry weapons and fight for the specific holder of his or her contract. Once training is complete, a Sword's contract is auctioned to the highest bidder. Once the contract is signed by both parties, the license is tailored to the conditions of the contract: in other words, it gives permission to be a bodyguard in the service of Lady Whozit or to be a soldier in the service of Lord Soandso. Martial exercises outside the license are grounds for immediate revocation of that license.
Those wishing to enter game as a soldier should pick appropriate skills at chargen, but nobody enters game immediately as a soldier, not even with roleplay points. You may need to get a "day job" to earn the coin first to get what you want. You'll be interviewed and sworn in, and expectations made very clear about conduct and comportment. Soldiers work hard, but you'll be given good food, clothes, a room of your own in the Brotherhood hall in Valrona, and though training is tough, you get plenty of free time. Once you get done with training (ie, Adroit in at least two weapons and block/parry), you'll be given one month of freedom and a stipend while your contract goes to auction. After that, you work for your employer for the period of time specified in the contract (usually 4 years). If you choose to leave service after the contract is up, you can, but your license would be revoked at that point. You only get to be a mercenary if and only if you have a contract. Some mercs leave for the wilderness after that, becoming miners or wildcat bodyguards outside the Eastern Cities, where their actions aren't so tightly monitored. But if you ever entered one of the Cities, you'd need to leave your weapons off your belt and abide by the noncombatant rules of the city.
Noble characters will have the option of getting a duellist license ingame (depending on the application and tenure of the player, it may be granted up front or may need to be earned ingame; this is not a reflection of our opinion of the player but a need to make sure the *player* knows the rules). They in turn, regardless of whether or not they have the license, can sponsor other characters to get duellist licenses. A Noble can have several duellists in his entourage; these people are called "bravos" ingame and aren't bodyguards, just buddies who can, if desired, fight on behalf of the Noble if needed. They may also run odd jobs or negotiate on the Noble's behalf. A bravo is just a person who trails after a Noble, but the duellist license means that the Noble can claim bragging rights if the bravo gets into a duel.
Please don't choose this profession because you just can't think of anything else. This is very much a prestige profession, one suited for those who can prove themselves worthy, and the pay and benefits are without question about the best in the game. This is not a dump class for newbies. It will take most players time to amass the backing and/or money to even enter training for this kind of role. However, rest assured the staff has plenty in mind for our Swords: skirmishes and wars will absolutely depend upon how PLAYERS handle their roles and how they work with tactics and training.
Valrona is a sophisticated city, and there's plenty of work in the herbalism field. Herbalism is distinct from chemistry and alchemy in that it involves the preparation of raw ingredients into powders, oils, unguents, and extracts, which the other fields then use in their formulae. Herbalists do create consumer goods like flavor extracts and essential oils, which many people use in cooking and personal grooming. They also can create basic first-aid items and, thanks to their understanding of anatomy and physiology, can perform medic duties if need be.
I've always loved herbalism crafts and the PC concepts that work with them. Forage code is cool, and the plants you get are pretty neat--especially if you can customize for seasons, which our new codebase should be able to handle easily. If you want to make an herbalist, don't let anybody stop you. Here's what you'd want to know:
* I'll work with you to figure out if you work for a large company or if you're a freelancer. If you freelance you could end up making a lot more money, but starting out will be harder. A large company gives you room and board most likely, but pays less.
* Gathering in the wild is possible but not nearly as lucrative as having a greenhouse or garden. Some plants are really only found in the wild, like truffles IRL. But most are easily cultivated. Forage code being what it is, chances are you'll find it hard to get the quantities you need to make real money. A garden plot/greenhouse, though, lets you grow a lot more, direct your focus to particular plants, and keep quality high. (Did I mention yet that crafts look like they'll take into account ingredient quality when determining the quality of finished goods?) However, greenhouses and gardens mean you'll need land, which is not usually cheap. A company will have its own, of course, where you'll work. But again, it pays less. So: in terms of income and startup costs, I'm seeing it be like this: Gathering < working for a group < freelancing with your own land.
* Cultivating also has one distinct advantage over gathering--less risk of poisonous doppelganger plants. WHOOPSIE. Gathering's main advantage, barring the uniquely-gatherable ingredients of course, is that it's pretty much free in most places. (Note: "most." Some nobles will demand fees to access their land.)
* In either case a license may be acquired to up your street cred, which will allow you to sell to more people for more money. Graduating from the University of Valrona is a nice easy way to get the license, but the School of Hard Knocks works too; there is of course a test (meaning your skill level must be high enough) and it costs money. This license is not required; a company may not care if you have one for the lower-level work they'll have you doing, like weeding plots or distilling peppermint oil. But with patient study and self-motivation, you could find yourself moving up the ranks very quickly.
Either way you want to go, I'll help you see your vision through. I'm cool with either; I just want it to be as balanced as possible. Gathering in the past on games could have disastrous effects on an ingame economy if not handled correctly--and it never did make sense to me why a shopkeeper would merrily buy a bag of who-knows-what-herbs from Joe Blow Random Dude rather than have a contract for "3 pounds of mint monthly" from Jane Licensed Herbalist.
To get you thinking in the direction I'm going, here's a cool link to a botany site that includes a huge searchable database of useful medicinal and edible plants. I used to use this site daily when I was writing crafts for several RPI games; if you see something in here you'd especially like to see as a craft or ingame, pop me a line.
To enter game as an herbalist, pick appropriate skills, then talk to an admin about where you'll be working. This sort of work is a bit like farming; you can consider it fairly entry-level for the most part.
Begging is legal in Valrona. There are some flophouses and charity kitchens in town, but overall you're on your own there. There are some crafts and hardcoded commands planned to make a beggar's life more realistic, but that's in the future.
Organizations ingame control this or that turf for begging; lucrative begging spots are viciously fought over. Whores and scammers are other beggar-related concepts that would work in Valrona. Most of this kind of activity occurs in the Sun District, near the docks and well away from the respectable folk.
Reporters cover the Valrona area for the quarterly news magazine, the Valrona Sun. The Sun's publishing officers are located in Plume Village in Valrona, near the University.
A reporter gets a decent monthly salary, along with bonuses for each story contributed to each magazine. Scoops may get better bonuses! A reporter can have any background, but self-preservation and nosiness are a plus. Reporters can take beats in society, crime, national or interplanetary news, or combinations thereof.
Players who want to take this kind of role need to be discreet, energetic, inclusive-style people who can involve themselves in plots and get others involved as well if needed. Make sure you have some literacy ability, and sneak/hide wouldn't be a bad idea. Ideal characters would be dependable and trustworthy; a PC who isn't, or who gets a reputation as an idiot, will quickly find scoops and leads drying up on him.
Farmers and Outdoorsy Concepts
Craft support for farmers, ranchers, and the like may be limited at first, but there's certainly room for this kind of concept! Contact a staffer if you're curious about this kind of work and we'll see what we can do in terms of crafts for you. Concepts we particularly wouldn't mind are luxury good farmers (herbs, fancy fruits, etc) and horse breeders. If we do have agricultural or husbandry-based professions ingame, we'd rather they be higher-end than barely squeaking by. Your ideas are welcome!
This isn't an easy role! If you are caught, bad things will happen to you. It actually isn't too hard in theory to steal from most places in Valrona. However, Valrona's large enough that there's just about NOTHING you can do that will escape detection. The hue and cry system is in full effect here. This doesn't mean you can't steal, but it does mean that compensation-fantasists are advised that thievery is not an easy role on this game. Be aware at all times of the highly legal system that Valrona has. Admins on this game are not opposed to thieves.. just stupid ones. If you play your role well, you will get the same support the goodie-goodie PCs get. If you do not, then you will probably lose your character pretty fast.
There are no "thieves' fellowships" in Valrona. There are organized crime families and some Nobles are even sometimes rumored to be part of the many illegal activities in Valrona. However, this is something you'll need to find ingame or RPP into. And you'll probably want to investigate the laws of the land first to be sure you're on the right page in terms of your character's expectations and behavior.
"Batman" apps (ironworker by day, Talen-style sneak thief at night) are absolutely not supported by this game no matter how kewl you think your concept is. Sorry. If you insist on trying it, we will spank you with the logical RP consequences of your actions. If you think you've managed to find the one concept that actually works, talk to us first. Players may count on the thieves ingame being mostly staff-run, for plot purposes, as are the odd homicidal maniac and definitively short-lived concepts like that. The reason we don't really accept these apps is that we want our characters to be ingame a long time. We want them to grow and develop. Thieves and cutthroats don't tend to live long. Con men and "protection racket" providers, though? Those are the bad guys who last a long time. Approach us if you think your concept is one you can keep alive a while.
Alternative idea: instead of flat-out robbing people or picking pockets, think about becoming a con man, a dishonest guard, or a corrupt politician/councilman. Valrona has a lot of room for "good guys" who aren't so good.
Assassin apps are accepted only on a provisional basis. No full-time assassin app will be accepted. Some of the organized gangs may occasionally employ one of these, but for PC concepts, they are limited. More likely a PC may moonlight as a hired gun.
Please don't app for an alchemist/assassin or anything that even vaguely looks like a ninja. You will be refused. The closest thing would be an Academy graduate, but these require an awful lot of RPPs to get!
The economy of the game is based upon craftsmen and PC-run shops. Not everybody will have one, but we anticipate that most people will be involved with businesses of one capacity or another.
Valrona is NOT guild-based. There are no guilds. There is only the Council. If you want a shop, there is a fee that must be paid just to be considered, and the Council will decide if they want to let you in. If you are a total unknown, they may accept you provisionally -- by asking you to work for a current shop owner or Council member. It's a lot more flexible and easier to break into, especially since there is no formal "apprenticeship" system.
Every shop owner in the city gets a vote to allow you in or not. Each Council member gets two votes, and the Head Councilman gets three plus veto power.
It is entirely fair for you to try to influence votes however you wish; it is also fair for someone to vote against your shop idea simply because you'd be too much competition. It is also fair to "sound out" the shop owners/councilmen about your idea before applying, so you don't waste the money; if you get turned down, you must apply again with a new shop idea, and pay the fee again. In game terms, when you app for a shopowner character, it is suggested that you just make a general idea for the character; you will need to appeal your case before the council yourself to actually get the shop. As a last note, it is also entirely fair for voters to know exactly where you're getting the money for your business. Falsehoods obviously will weigh very heavily against you should they be discovered.
Once you are in, you will get a vote about all new businesses in the area. It is suggested that you carefully consider how this business will affect your own. (Functionally, this means that all apps for businesses will be run by you for a vote.)
People may conduct business without the Council's approval, as long as they do not have a standing building/kiosk; this means that foot peddlers are not subject to the full vote, though they still need to pay a nominal yearly fee to operate.
The Council does not expressly forbid owning more than one business, but bear in mind that each business requires its own application; if you seek to operate, or own a controlling interest in, more than one business, you will very likely be seen as attempting to gain a monopoly, and you will likely be voted down.
As long as you have business managers ingame and the money to afford it, you may invest in however many shops you like; the administrators will assess the return on those investments. Choose wisely! And be aware that competition can sometimes mean the death of an investment.
Priests/acolytes of Haran are great choices for those who may not be familiar with the game. The Haranite faith is very similar to the Earth system called Catholicism, though there are notable differences. Should you wish to become a priest or acolyte, it is expected that you RP priest/acolyte sorts of things (performing religious services and confession, praying, doing acolyte duties like cleaning the kitchen, etc.) You will NOT be allowed a second profession if you join the Church as a cleric.
The Church does hire a number of non-monastic types for its work. Soldiers, cooks, herbalists, woodworkers, you name it. There's room for almost anything in the Church, especially in the monasteries or convents. Since the Church runs the educational system, there are even spots for schoolteachers!
Neither the Cultists, the Machinists, the Sernians, nor the Flameholdan mustikae are open for players at this time. To become a cleric of Haran, you will need to enter game as a pre-acolyte, and apply for the position you wish. You'll go through a period of instruction, then be sworn in and set to various duties. Perform these well, and you will in time be made a priest and set to more advanced duties with one of the several churches in and around Valrona. Perform THOSE well, and you could go straight to a bishopric or more.
Students and Other University Types
The University of Valrona has a huge demand for student and employee concept PCs. Students are almost always of upper-class or Noble background; employees can be anything lower- to middle-class. Students declare majors and are expected to graduate and do something with their lives within 4 to 6 years. Majors common here are things like Classical Literature, History, Drafting and Architecture, Classical Medicine (read: Medicine in Primitive Settings), Archaeology (one of the best Arch departments in the entire Empire), and Astronomy. There are also majors in Economics, Fine Arts, and Agriculture/Forestry. The athletics programs here are excellent, with everything from Cross-Country Running to Quintzel (the team here, the Valrona Burgundies, are high-ranked).
Occasionally positions open for Quintzel players. This is a fantastic opportunity to show off your stuff. Quintzel players are sports heroes, with their own unusual set of obligations and restrictions.
This is an excellent concept for an experienced player who wants a background that'll let his playtimes be somewhat sporadic, or who isn't sure where he might land in the game's tapestry quite yet. Noble youths from out of the area, even from within the Perimeter, would most likely be found here, as would non-Sciallan characters.
Chemists exist to take raw ingredients, both once-living and never-living, and turn them into useful substances. Chemists work in everything from perfumes to healing salves to metal polishes to industrial solvents and dyes. When you declare this as your occupation, you'll be asked to select a specialization. Almost anything that you can imagine will fit here--cosmetics and hair preparations, incenses and perfume, industrial applications, healing stuff, even the creation of dyes and paints. Whatever you decide, you'll be expected to keep more or less to that specialization unless you seek outside training to obtain another specialization. A specialization takes 1 IC year of study (2 if you're not devoting yourself to it full-time). Once you get your specialization, you'll get a marker of accomplishment (a plaque or certificate, whatever your instruction source issues) and an administrator will open the new crafts to you.
As you can see, this is a demanding and intellectually exhausting path to take, but an experienced PC who can handle multiple demands will find this a very rewarding path to take. Chemists are much regarded in society--the frontier folk think they're magical. They are also asked to be present for extensive archaeological digs and are consulted by physicians for assistance. A chemist PC can get into a lot of RP with a lot of talented people if he wishes.
This category comprises everything from field medics with the military to the apothecaries who buy chemists' and herbalists' preparations and give them out to the sick and needy, on up to the hand-picked, private physicians of the highest Nobility. You can get into as little or as much trouble as you like with this concept; pick a specialization and you're off. Most of the time you'll be applying for an open position that's been advertised ahead of time on our employment boards, or filling a role we've set up already. Valrona, being very civilized, definitely has room for doctors and medics. Depending on your specialization you may see combat with this role, but of course Duke Severan's private doctor won't be gallivanting about in hostile territory!
To become a doctor or medic, you'll enter game as a post-graduate student or the like, with very minimal skills, and be assigned a position that'll help you develop your skills. In time you'll be moving to other duties and assignments at your own discretion. Roleplay points are required for these positions.
This is a broad category indeed. Pick a specialization--singing, dancing, painting and drawing, sculpture, mosaic-making, or ask us if you have something entirely else in mind. Artists can be either patroned, with a wealthy Councilman or Noble bankrolling their efforts, or can be freelance, as is the case for most popular musicians. Sometimes a musician can get very popular, moving from tavern to tavern singing and plying his trade, with some becoming the equivalent of rock stars. Painters and sculptors often have a patron, and if they don't, they often strive for one even though this places limits on what they create and where they can sell it.
If no roles are listed for this type of concept, you're welcome to enter game with it anyway, but bear in mind that it can be hard to make a good living with this concept.
Players wishing to directly impact the game can apply for open roles in various government offices. Tax assessors and collectors, defense lawyers, investigators, and others are all roles that'll get you out into the mix of RP fast. These concepts are only given to players who have proven themselves capable of IC and OOC discretion.
Lawyers particularly are a role that can be very rewarding. Defending criminal PCs and trying to get them the best sentences possible can be a very fun role, and it'll get you rubbing shoulders with the highest-ranked PCs of the game. You can get your PC into the University of Valrona and from there get into criminal cases and other fun situations. If you think this is somewhere you want to head, please talk to a staffer! We'll help you write a concept that'll get you into play on the ground level, so you can develop your skills and gain the political clout you'll need to advance.
Bear in mind that city representatives are also needed. Each quarter of Valrona has 3 representatives that report to a Councilman. These representatives present requests for new laws or requests to modify existing ones, and provide valuable input regarding citizens' desires about proposed and existing taxes and laws.