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1.5.1 Character Conception

The first step is to decide what kind of character you want to play. A character conception that is as specific and unique as possible will make the resulting character more vivid and interesting, and will also simplify the choices you will need to make as you allocate points.

The theme of the MUCK will have a strong effect on what kind of character you should play. On a medieval or fantasy MUCK, you could be a knight, courtier, witch, merchant, etc., but not a computer programmer or starship pilot. You could be a brain surgeon, but probably not a very good one. Not only the theme but also the emphasis of the MUCK will play a part. A medieval MUCK might have varied emphases including combat, court intrigue, guilds, magic, etc., or it might be more focused: if the MUCK focuses on politics and court intrigue, a player who spends all his points on combat skills and physical ability will be ineffective. You'll need to spend a little time on the world, read the News files, and talk to players to find out about the world before going through chargen.

Antar explores the MUCK for a while and talks to some players in the OOC area, and finds that the MUCK has a medieval theme with quite varied emphases. He decides he wants to be able to fight well, but not be just a warrior. Knights are more than simple warriors, but he thinks that he'd find that role a bit restrictive. Being a bard or minstrel would let him move among all levels of society, but — while a such a character could learn combat skills — this just doesn't seem to go with the fighting-man idea. He decides he wants to be a courtier, a nobleman of no particular rank, active in the affairs of court, and a swordsman of repute. He knows he will need to make this a bit more specific, but decides this is enough of an idea to get started.

Nim finds that she has a wide range of choices: in addition to the society revolving around court and the towns, other groups and areas are fairly well developed on the MUCK, including `barbarian' tribes such as the Picts and magical races such as the Fey. There are outlaws in the Great Forest. She could be a fighter if she wants, especially among the Picts or outlaws, or a magic-user — either a Fey or a human trained in the mystic arts. There are also a good many social roles open to her, from noble woman to beggar. The idea of being a witch catches her fancy, and something about the character just `clicks': Nim will be a `hedge witch', widely regarded as a bit eccentric and mostly harmless, someone who putters around with herbs and philtres and dabbles in minor magic, with lots of quirky behaviors and disadvantages. Maybe she'll be cross-eyed or short sighted, very reclusive. She could have a phobia about spiders, but has to catch them all the time for use in her potions and such. Secretly, though, she'll be involved in something greater. Perhaps she uses spells and skills to transform herself into, say, the mysterious Lady in Green, who oftimes visits court, beguiling the king and setting the knights to amusing quests (which actually further her own far-reaching plans). Or maybe she works with a coven of like-minded witches, who covertly recruit young women to their cause and together work enchantments that topple kingdoms.

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