News:Players Guide - Character Generation

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Getting Started

Okay, now that we've got the basics out of the way, time to dive into the wild world of Character Generation (CharGen) and start getting you set up with a character so's you can start usin' all those shiny new commands you just learnt.

CharGen is divided up into stages here, each stage building on the one before it. You can travel freely backwards between the stages as need be, but to advance you'll have to be sure to finish all of the commands needed for that stage.

Welcome Room

Inside, you're going to find a few things to use the look command on they are:

CG Service - Type: look service

It's highly recommended that you do just what these files say, and again, to repeat what was said in the intro, toss in Browncoats, and Firefly Wikia. You can never have too much information about the 'verse.

Aside from that, the only actual command you'll need to enter here is

+email <your email address>

Be sure to carefully read the information in this room, which shouldn't take long, but it is important.

One you've done that, you're ready to get started creating your character in earnest, so type: CG

Character Development Starting Room

Okay, now that the preliminary stuff's out of the way, time to get down to brass tacks. This is where you'll actually start creating your character. Here you'll select your Archetype (A fancy way of saying 'class' but not nearly so restrictive, details below).

You'll decide how old your character is and what gender they are, set an alias to make it easier to page or email you. And last, but not least write a short concept that'll help you begin to define who your little virtual person is going to be and what job they're interested in.

So, roll up your sleeves, put “The Ballad of Serenity” on your MP3 player and let's make some magic!

Zoe's Note <-- Look
Character Development Statement <-- Look
Kaylee's Note <--Look
BHG INFO: MUST read for Bounty Hunters <-- Look

You should read those notes by typing the command "l", a space, and the first few letters of each of them in order.


Type: +help +archetype

Your Archetype is like your character's class in Serenity MUSH, but you are by no means restricted to creating a character that only fits strictly within those categories. You're more than welcome, even encouraged to mix and match as many Archetypes as you like to make your character come out the way you want. That said, you have to pick out one Archetype for your character. Best way to think of it is that your Archetype is who your character is down at their core, what they were born to be. No matter what other interests or skills they make pick up during the course of play, this is always going to be, if not what they're the most skilled at, what they're always the most passionate about.

A quick note on the Alliance and Companion Archetypes, both require Admin approval. Alliance applications are almost like standard CharGen, but require a bit more depth as to what you intend to actually do with the character, as Alliance types wield a goodly amount of authority in the 'Verse. Applications for Companions are expansive, as they often become sexually involved with the other players in the game and some people can't handle that very well. They're also meant to be played as having an incredible amount of grace and dignity, just as they're presented in the series.

Readers, on the other hand are by Admin Invitation Only, and no exceptions.


Reader RP has to be exceptional, which means that it takes the Admins a little while to get to know a player well enough to trust them with a character that has so much power to disrupt the game.

Once you've found an Archetype that fits what you're after, type: +Archetype <archetype>

Okay, now that you've got your Archetype set, it's time to write yourself a short conceptual. Now, we ain't talking literature here, just a rough description of who the character is, what they're like and what they're interested in, minimum of 75 characters, maximum of about 320. However it is helpful to keep in mind that the better your short conceptual is, the easier it'll be for other players, and most importantly, Judges or Admin looking to start Tiny Plots, to figure out who they're dealing with. If you'd like feel free to check out some of the backgrounds of the other characters on the mush to get a feel for what kind of characters are out there.

+bg/view <Character>

Another helpful tip is to check the Bulletin Boards and see what kinds of jobs are available.

Type: +bbread 10

Once you've got a bead on who it is you'd like to play, write up the short concept and submit it.

+concept <text>

Tip: It might help to use the document you opened to write your concept out in so you can run it through spell and grammar checks before posting it. When you're ready, all you have to do is cut and paste it into your MUSH Client, tack + concept at the beginning and you're ready to go.

The Easy Stuff

@sex me= <male or female>
@alias me= <Alias.> (Remember, your alias is meant to make it easier for people to page you and for Admins to work with your character. The simpler, the better.)

+realage <age> We here at Serenity :: The MUSH have limited play on this MUSH to those players 18 years of age and older. As our way of keeping track of age, we require you to set your age here. You can type +realage <age> to set this. Remember, minimum age for play is 18.>)]

Now you're ready to advance to the next stage.

Type: On

This one's easy as pie, as the only species available in Serenity MUSH is Human; the first one's a no-brainer.

@race me=human

The next one's not much harder.

+age me=<Your character's age>

Once you've done this, it's time to move on to the next stage. As to why we even have this room, well, it's just how the code was written.

Type: On

+ Sheet Development Room

Serenity MUSH uses Dahan's Skill System, or DSS to handle Skills, Attributes, Combat and Health issues. The first thing you need to do here is type: +reset

That initializes your character sheet and gets it ready for you to start adding information to it. Now type: +sheet

That'll show you what your sheet looks like at the moment, the most important bit vbeing the amount of Experience Points (XP) you have. At the start of CharGen, you have 750. Also note that your Attributes are all set at 40, as well as the Dodge skill. Setting up Your Character So, here's where we get to the brass tacks of turning you from a guest into an active and thriving member. This has been written up in a step-by-step process that we think seems to be the most logical way of tackling the matter. Does that mean your bound to it? Of course not! Feel free to follow the various stages of developing your character and character sheet however you'd like. This is just our opinion, and as the man once said, we could be wrong.


See also: +sinfo list feats

Feats are DSS' way of expressing qualities of a less than common nature that you may choose to give your character. Some of them, like Lightning Reflexes or Total Recall can give your character a useful, sometimes significant advantage over their rivals. Others like Allergy or Rough road can be annoying to seriously dangerous disadvantages that nevertheless can really add spice to your role-playing.

As you can tell by the listing, Feats that are disadvantageous to your character are listed with negative values, which mean that selecting them actually adds XP to your character's sheet. The reason we chose to list this section first is that it's a lot easier to buy a desired Feat by using the XP from buying a disadvantageous Feat. Now, a word of warning on Feats, please do not make the mistake of hampering your character with a whole mess of disadvantages in order to buy advantages. You can only have 3 negative feats and 3 positive feats, maximum, to be approved. Keep your eyes on the rough character sketch you did in your short conceptual and use the Feats you get to further that idea.

Type: +bg/view to review it if needs be. Don't be shy about going back to the starting room if you think it needs to be amended. When you find a feat you like and think will help advance your character concept,

Type: +select <feat> and DSS will automatically take off or add the necessary XP.


See also: +sinfo list languages

Now, as English and Chinese are sort of the lingua fraca of the 'verse, you start out knowing them automatically. But they're not the only languages from Earth-that-was to survive the Leaving.

See one you like? Type: +select <language> and DSS will automatically deduct 25 XP from your sheet and give you the language. Now the obvious question is “why bother with this at all?” Well, DSS has this shiny little trick when it comes to in-character linguistics.

Type: +speak <a language on your sheet> (it works best when it's a language from this list)' now take another gander at your sheet:

Type: +sheet Notice how there's two big white asterix by the language you just selected?

Now type: +say <text>

Now, if there's anyone else in the room you're in who can speak that language, they'll be able to read what you just said perfectly fine. DSS will display it in English. Anyone in the room who doesn't speak it will get '...'. It's a handy trick for having that quiet conversation between you and a friend and making sure absolutely nobody but you and the staff will be able to eavesdrop.

You are given English and Chinese and can select two more during CG adding others after you hit the grid.

A Whole Mess of Pointy Stuff

Not of much help to talk about making up a character sheet without talking about what the numbers are supposed to mean. After all, how can you tell if the character you're seeing in your head matches with the numbers?

See also: News:Attributes

Your character has six basic attributes. They are:

Attribute Description
Agility This is a measure of your agility, speed, and fine motor control.
Technical This is a measure of your ability to fix something, or make something.
Strength This is a measure of how tough you are. How much punishment you can take, or how much you can drink is based of this attribute.
Intelligence This is a measure of your reasoning and problem solving abilities.
Perception This is a measure of how alert you are to your environment, and how quickly you can determine if something feels wrong.
Charisma This is a measure of how adept you are when dealing with people, though not necessarily how appealing you are.

Your Attributes are the most basic way of expressing your character's abilities. They can be used to test your character's ability when no specific Skill applies, for example, a Judge or Admin might ask you to make a Perception check to see if your character can overhear the hushed conversation of a pair of Alliance Military Officers who are trying a little too hard not to look at you. They also effect how proficient you are with certain skills; a character with low strength might find soaking up the recoil of high-powered rifle a little much. Your character's Health, as well as what type of armor they're wearing can have an impact on your Attributes; some forms of body armor can restrict your character's movements, and we all know that someone who is wounded isn't going to be as fast, agile or clear-headed as someone who's completely healthy.

At the start of CharGen your Attributes are set at 40. You can raise or lower them at variable rates. Attribute costs work like skills, but are ten times greater. To raise an attribute from 40 to 50 will cost 200 points.

See also: +sinfo Experience Points

Now remember that short concept you wrote for the last stage? Here's where it starts to come into play. The very best thing that you can do for your character is to really sit down and think about what level Attributes would best fit the character you imagine. Would a shifty Con Artist really need a Strength of 45? Those leaning towards the Gunfighter or Bounty Hunter types would do well to have a high-ish Perception Attribute, and a goodly amount of Charisma is what makes the difference between a Preacher that can actually lead his or her flock to Heaven, and one that just mouths the right platitudes. When you're ready to start setting your attributes, just type: +raise <attribute> to <level>

See also: News:Skills and +sinfo list skills

There's a whole passel of skills available to choose from, and, by and large, they mean exactly what they say. There's a more comprehensive list with precise definitions and more details such as any Focuses, a fancy way of saying specializations that may be available. This is the basic list, and don't hesitate to type: +sinfo <skill> for further details when on the mush.

Where Attributes describe your character's raw physical and mental capacity, or lack there of, Skills reflect how that capacity's put to use. In plainer terms, Skills are how your character gets things done in the 'verse. Now, as you probably noticed when you first looked at your sheet, there's two values listed before the name of the skill, in case you haven't looked at it, well, shame on you, go on and type: +sheet

See, right there in the Skills section, it says “Adj Base Skill” Just like your Attributes, your skills are also adjusted, but in this case, the average comes from your Attributes, as well as your other skills as well as your other abilities. For the fancy, technical version, type: +sinfo Skills

Selecting Skills

Now, it's powerfully tempting to spend whatever XP you've got to set the relatively small number of skills your character's going to use for his or her job as high as you can and forget the rest. But remember, Serenity MUSH is a heavily RP-based game, so it's a good idea to really sit down, think about your character and write out a short list of skills that you think he or she would have picked up over the years before they make their IC debut. Think about where they're from, what their family life was like during their formative years, what kind of hobbies they might be interested in. You don't necessarily have to buy those skills at really high levels, but having them on your sheet in at least a semi-functional form gives your character a little bit more depth and roundness. And who knows? One of those little “she learned how to sew up cuts at her Momma's knee” type skills might lead your character to branch out and discover more uses for them during the course of the game. Once you've picked out all the skills you think your character should have type: +raise <skill> to <level>.

As far as how far you can actually raise your skill level, Serenity MUSH has one hard and fast rule: No new character is allowed to have more than four skills at 50 and none may be over 50. No exceptions.

Going rate for adding and/or raising skills is variable, based on your current skill level:

See also: +sinfo Experience Points

Tip: Once again, we're back to that document we talked about at the beginning of this section. It's a very good idea to keep track of the feats you've selected; your attributes and what level you've set them, ditto for your skills. That way, if you should run out of XP before your sheet's finished, you've got a record of where the XP went.

If at any time you run out of XP, or think your skills need tweaking, feel free to type: +reset That'll set everything back to zero. Good idea to have some notes handy so you don't forget where you were.

Once you spent at least all but 10 of your available XP, you're ready to move on to the next section. So just type Forward

Character Development Room

Remember that short conceptual you wrote a couple of rooms ago? Well, this room's designed to help you start taking that short concept and developing it into a full-fledged bio of your character. How do we do that? Well, simple, we ask you questions!

To see the questions type: Look character

So, now that we have the obvious out of the way, let's get into the thick of it. Here's what we're looking for by way of answers to this little pop quiz. Now questions five and six are optional, but hey, why not just go ahead and fill them out anyway?

  1. What profession(s) do you think you will be, or are?
    This one can either be self-explanatory, IE – what is your Archetype? Or you can choose to have a little fun with it. After all, these are tough times in the 'verse, a body can get a paying job; they're apt to take it and be glad of it. So maybe when your character hits the Grid your steely-eyed Gunslinger gal is driving a taxicab on Persephone just to keep food on her table. Maybe your genius Tech longs to be a ship's mechanic, but so far, the closest he's come to the Black is working in a parts store at the spaceport.
  2. What is your personality like? (Be descriptive)
    This one is self-explanatory. What's your character like? Is he or she friendly, open and always smiling? Is he or she dour and distrusting? Does he or she eat, drink and sleep the things they are passionate about to the exclusion of all else? Think of it as prying open your character's skull and peering into their heads.
  3. What is your character's goal(s) in life?
    Everybody's got goals of some kind or another. Here's the place to talk about what your character's aims and ambitions, even if they're too lazy, cowardly or just too darned unlucky to have a snowball's chance in the hot place to achieve them. Even slackers want to be more than they are, they just can't ever seem to get there.
  4. *What do you want to develop on a personal level from this point on? (Becomebetter at profession, weight train? Etc.)
    If'n your character has any kind of grand designs to become rich, famous and handsome/pretty, or maybe they're just nursing a hankering to shed that spare tire from around their middle, here's the place to talk about it.
  5. *Do you see yourself as a follower, a leader, a loner, or otherwise?
    Some folk are born to lead, some are born to follow, right, wrong or indifferent, that's just how the 'verse spins. The funny part about it all is that if most folk are of a mind to be truthsome, most of them really don't know which until the pi hua hits the fan. Just because you say your character's a follower in this question doesn't necessarily mean that he or she can't be a leader, just means that he or she doesn't think they could be. Ditto with being a loner, a body might be of a mind to keep to themselves, but the right people under the right circumstances might make him cleave to them like fly paper.
  6. What are your morals like?
    This one's every bit as straightforward as it appears. This is what your character believes down deep in his or her soul. The moral code, or lack thereof, that guides them through every choice they make. It may be as simple as “Never kill someone who doesn't try to kill me first” or it may be as complicated as the Bushido code from Earth-that-was.

The more specific you are here, the easier you might find it to play your character.

Tip: Just like with your short conceptual, writing your answers in a word processor and using cut and paste to put them into the Mush is a great way to avoid spelling errors, double-check tricky grammar, and have some room to noodle around until you finally lock in on answers you think fit who you're trying to play. Once you've got your answer or answers to the questions ready to your satisfaction.

type: +answer <#>=<The answer you've written>

It's a good idea to type +bg/view2 before moving on just to make sure your answers took. Once you've answered them all, time to move On

Character Background Room

Hey, what do you know? You're already at the last phase of CharGen! Give yourself a hand, friend, 'cause you've done right well so far. Just one last hurdle to clear and you'll be ready to submit your character for approval. This room's basically the culmination of what you started two rooms ago. Here, you get to write up a brief bio of your character. Again, we're not looking for War & Peace here, entries have to be kept under 3000 characters, but the more depth to your answers, the better.

Type Look Character and read further.

Tip: If there ever was a time to open a blank document in your favorite word processor and use it as a place to fine-tune your answers, this is it!

Ten Big Damn Questions

  1. What is the history of your life?
    Who are you? Whereabouts do you hail from? Were you brought up rich and comfy or poor and hardscrabble? The more descriptive you are here, the easier the rest of the questionnaire becomes and the faster your character starts to take shape.
  2. What were your parents or guardians like?
    How well did you get on with your folks? Were they severe and strict with you, or all progressive and lovesome? Did you leave them under a cloud, or were they on the front porch, waving at you as you pulled out of the driveway, headed for a new life? What was the most pivotal or important point in your life? Ain't a body in the 'verse ain't had a least one moment that took what they thought they knew about themselves and turned it inside out. Fact o' business is, most folk have at least a dozen. All we're looking for here is one, but it's the big one. The moment that you first woke up and realized that there's something in your life you're passionate about and will at least try to pursue for the rest of your life. Or that moment, when your life was turned completely and irrevocably upside-down, setting you on the path your character is on now.
  3. What was the most pivotal or important point in your life?
    Looking at the life history of your character, determine what event had the greatest impact in shaping their personality, situation, or outlook on life. Describe this event in greater detail and explain why it was so important in defining who your character is today.
  4. What events have transpired recently to bring you to this point in time?
    As the ancient song from Earth-that-was asks “And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?” After all, you didn't fall onto the Grid. How did you get where you are when you first go IC?
  5. Do you have any deep-dark secrets?
    Fact o' business is, just about everyone in the 'verse has at least one thing about themselves they'd rather not be made public knowledge. It might be something trivial, it might be something embarrassing, or it might be something that could send a squad of Alliance Federals calling. Here's the place to describe what it is, and how it happened.
  6. Is there any specific thing that would make you stand out from others?
    There's a lot of leeway in this question. It could be a physical characteristic, such as scars from a life of hard work, or an amputated or prosthetic limb. It could be a specific skill or skills that are apt to draw attention to you when you use them. Or maybe all of the above, it's up to you.
  7. Is there anything else we should know about you or anything around you?
    A whole lot more leeway in this question. Here's where you add the little details that don't exactly fit in to the answers to the other questions. Does your character have a negative Feat? Describe it here. Are they estranged from a certain member of their family, but determined to protect them if they should be endangered? Here's the place to talk about it. Do they have scars, do they snore, or are they loudly and pungently flatulent at the most inappropriate times? To make it plain, basically every little bit about your character's habits, beliefs, appearance and/or hygiene that you think we should know about.
  8. OOC: Is there anything we should know about you OOCly?
    This is a particularly good place to talk about your availability, any personal likes or dislikes as regards to role-playing.
  9. OOC: Do you understand the rules, regulations and information within the news files and vow to hold those rules and regulations as best you can?
    Best just put 'Yes' here.

Once you're answers are made out to your satisfaction, just type +answer <#>=<The answer you've written>

Again, it's a good idea to double-check that your answers took, better safe than sorry and all. Type: +bg/view3

If you see one that you're not quite satisfied with, no worries, all you need to do is type +answer <#>=<The new answer> and it'll update it to the new one.

Once you're positive everything's in order, you're ready to move on.

Type: Finish

CharGen Waiting Room

And this is it, dear friends and neighbors, the end of the line for all things


Wasn't so hard now, was it? Heck, it was probably even a little bit fun! Now, hate to break the mood, but you've got two tasks left ahead of you before you're ready to submit.

Tip: Yep, we're gonna talk about that word processor document again. Apologies if it seems like we're harping on it, but it's just so handy.


Just like the hero of any book you've ever read, your shiny new character's going to need a few words as regards what he or she looks like. Now there's many a tenet and tradition as regards Mush descriptions, more than we've room to go over in this section unless you've got a few days to read. So let's just keep this simple.

Close your eyes, go on, close 'em. Now picture your character in your head. Try to visualize their face, how tall they are, their hair and eye color, their build and what they're wearing.

Now open your eyes, and write it down without thinking about the fact you're writing it. It's a lot easier than it sounds. Once you're finished, take your time and pare it down to the essentials. Height, weight, complexion, eye and hair color, what they're wearing and any personal equipment such as weapons, PDAs, notebooks, whatever you think are important.

When you're ready, type: @desc me=<description>

Viewable Background

Remember how when you first started, we suggested that you use +bg/view <character> to get a look at what other types of folk are on the Mush? Here's your chance to return the favor for other new players who might be hankering for some inspiration. It's dead simple to do, most folk just use their short conceptual.

Hopefully you've still got it writ down in that word document we've been harping at you about so, so just cut n' paste it, tacking on the command +bg/view <your character's name> to the front..

Once you've got that done, all you gotta do is type +submit and send your application on to the Admins. Admin approval or help with correcting any errors in your background will come your way as soon as someone has a chance to review the application. Please be patient! Once you get approved you'll start off at the Persephone Spaceport.

Welcome to Serenity MUSH!