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1.5.6 Character Background

Your background is the story of your character heretofore, the events and personality traits that shape her personality and how she will interact with others. Your background is also used to describe the character's goals and motivations, her likes, dislikes, and personal idiosyncracies. The background has two parts, a Public background and a Private background. Your Public background includes things that people who know you or know of you would be aware of. Your Private background includes things that only you or people you have told IC would be aware of.

The +background (or +bg) command is used both to display and edit background. To display your backgrounds, just type +background or +bg. To edit your backgrounds, type +background #edit, and follow prompts. You can display other players' backgrounds as well, by typing +bg <player>. Players will be shown the player's public background only; staff members will be shown the private background as well.

Your Private background should explain your advantages and disadvantages... why you have them, what form they take, etc. Monitors will use this information when deciding whether to approve the character and when overseeing RP.

When possible, your Public background should at least hint at disadvantages. The Public background is also a good place to put information about your social station and calling: other players will be better able to interact with you if your background lets them know who and what you are.

Again, being as specific and detailed as possible is all to the good, but you don't have to create a finished product immediately. It can be provisional and a bit sketchy at first if necessary. Unlike the other chargen commands, +edit is global and will work after the character is approved. You can continually refine and update your background.

Nim discusses her character conception with a monitor, who tells her that it sounds really good but that she's not sure how either the Lady in Green or member-of-a-coven idea would be implemented. She suggests that Nim go with the coven idea for now, with the other witches to be roleplayed by staff members with NPCs as needed. As storylines involving the coven develop, new players can be brought in. Nim agrees and sets her background accordingly.

She uses the +background command to set both a public and private background. The public background is purposefully vague, describing Nim much as someone who lives nearby and has met her would, but omitting all directy refrences to her coven: 'Nim? Oh she's mostly harmless. A bit queer, but pleasant enough. You'll see her out and about at odd hours, gathering things and putting them in that old sack of hers. Toadstools and roots, it looks like. A witch of some sort, no doubt; you might go see her if you have bad toothache or need a potion to excite a girl's interest,' and a bit more in this vein. Possibly, later, when she's gotten the feel of the MUCK better, she may choose to put in some clues about her coven.

Nim also uses the +background command to completely explain her character conception (hedge witch who is also something more) and the coven story line as she and the monitor worked it out. This, plus some crafted details about her family and lifestyle, will allow a monitor overseeing RP to review Nim's character at a glance and be able to make good judgements about how she fits into the world's theme and society.

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