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Character Creation: Considering Choices

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Character Creation: Considering Choices

Postby Octavius » Fri May 23, 2014 9:20 am

As previously announced, you can now begin developing characters, descriptions, and backgrounds in the new online character generation system:

Character Creation: http://www.middle-earth.us/generator/index.php

This post is to help explain a few of the important choices you'll make, and what design considerations we put into them in developing the game. We want all players, old and new, to have some common understandings to help smooth your applications process.

Skills

Number of Skills Chosen

You have the option of choosing between 4 and 8 skills. Your available skill points are divided evenly over them, creating very different character concepts. Consider your desired character background when making this choice.

Four Skills: You have lived a focused life pursing your passion - a narrow profession. As you enter game, you will be fairly proficient, likely having spent time as an apprentice crafter and now stepping out and hoping to rise to journeyman, or as a warrior who has seen a few battles. This is a good choice for someone who wants to hit the ground running with a specific concept.

Six Skills: You are fairly proficient, but have lived a life of mixed interests. Yes, you have some experience and can act competently as an apprentice in your field, but you also have some hobbies that you've picked up and enjoy, too. This is a good choice for someone who wants a rounded character.

Eight Skills: You are either young or inexperienced, having dabbled across a broad range of interests without any narrow focus. You are a new apprentice, or have come from the training ground looking for your first real battle. The road is open before you and your broad experience across several fields gives you open options, but you will spend time working your way up from the bottom. This is a good choice for someone who wants to play a coming of age story.

Dabbling versus Depth
We have a process of prerequisites that requires multiple skills to be chosen in order to demonstrate focus and get to higher-focus crafts or skills. You'll see these prerequisite pathways enforced in character creation as greyed-out skills become enabled as you make other choices.

First-Aid --> Medicine
First-aid is for dabblers, devoting the second skill for Medicine allows access to remedies as a professional.

Leathercraft or Metalcraft --> Armorcraft
You can have some background as a blacksmith or leatherworker, but actually working Armor demands more focus and a second skill.

Woodcraft, Metalcraft, or Stonecraft (orc) --> Weaponcraft
Same as armorcraft; the crafting of weapons is a specialty that requires additional focus.

Sole-wield --> Dual-wield
It is common for anyone to have a weapon skill, but a serious warrior begins to study weapon styles, beginning with Sole-Wield. Learning to focus on one weapon successfully is the first mark of a professional. Dual-wield then offers additional advantages, and can be taken once Sole-Wield is selected, and shows the warrior has experience in combat with two weapons or with a sword and shield -- skills appreciated more on the battlefield against intelligent and armored foes than in the forest haunts against wildlife.

Bludgeon or Polearm --> Longblade
In our northland realm amongst huntsmen and foresters, it is axes, staves, and hammers (bludgeon skill), or spears (polearm skill), which find most common use and are the first weapons learned by warriors defending their towns or warrens. The longblade is a more specialized weapon preferred by professional soldiers on battlefields against armored foes, and is less common to learn. Someone who is skilled in the use of a sword has devoted more of their earlier life to battle (denoted by the second skill pick).

Any craft-skill --> Artistry
Artistry is not restricted as a pick, but is important to take to separate a dabbler from a professional. SOI represents a world with professional artesian craftsmen making individualized hand-made goods. While anyone with leatherwork, for example, can make basic goods, the Artistry skill is required as a second pick to be able to rise to the peak and make Superior or Masterwork wares.

It is good for characters to dabble and have hobbies, as this rounds out concepts and makes characters more enjoyable to roleplay over the long term. Many areas have an introductory skill for those who dabble and incorporate secondary picks for those that are seriously pursuing the profession.

The following skills make good choices for dabbling/hobbies:
  • Artistry (decorating other objects with custom designs)
  • Music (to be expanded; will include code-playable instruments)
  • Woodcraft (the Humans are in a lumber town; making small goods, or in combination with artistry)
  • Stonecraft (the Orcs have options to work in mines and get materials this way that humans cannot)
  • Foraging (basic woodland knowledge, plus for orcs the ability to scavenge waste pits)
  • Cooking (everyone loves to eat)

Choosing a Profession
Most character concepts benefit from having sets of skills - usually four - that function together. We don't have a "profession picker" in the application yet, but you can consider the following list of recommendations to help you on your way.

Townsfolk...
  • armorsmith (light): leathercraft textilecraft artistry armorcraft
  • armorsmith (heavy): leathercraft metalcraft artistry armorcraft
  • artist: artistry stonecraft earthencraft woodcraft
  • baker: baking cooking haggle farming*
  • brewer: brewing haggle baking farming*
  • carpenter: woodcraft metalcraft artistry haggle
  • clothier: textilecraft leathercraft artistry haggle
  • cook: cooking baking butchery gardening*
  • fletcher: woodcraft metalcraft artistry weaponcraft
  • herbalist: forage hide first-aid gardening*
  • merchant: haggle [education] handle*
  • musician: music [education] haggle
  • physician: first-aid medicine gardening* [education]
  • weaponsmith: metalcraft woodcraft artistry weaponcraft

Mirkwood venturers...
  • battlefield veteran: bludgeon longblade sole-wield dual-wield
  • caravan guard: polearm longblade first-aid handle*
  • huntsman: hunting shortbow polearm butchery
  • scout: hide sneak hunting shortbow
  • town guardsman: polearm longblade sole-wield picklock*
  • woodsman: forage bludgeon woodcraft hide sneak
  • woodswife: forage polearm first-aid medicine hide

* Marked skills are available, but not supported for Alpha-start. They will be made available as Alpha play progresses.
[] Education skill requires RPP or special application to Frigga for Alpha.

Those who venture into the woods should consider their balance between martial skills (bludgeon, polearm, longblade, sole-wield, dual-wield) and woodland skills (foraging, hunting, hide, sneak). Many concepts can be chosen between these options. Foraging is important as resources are the reason the forest is risked. Hunting includes the ability to track your enemies and to find, remove, or build traps for your foes. Hide and sneak provide the stealth to seek out the enemies you wish to fight without being drawn into conflicts you don't want, or may not survive.

Attributes

This was announced previously, but will be quoted here to consolidate the references...

Octavius wrote:We have reworked the relationships between attributes and skills. All attributes are important and the decision regarding their prioritization will always have impacts.

Our attributes are:
  • Strength
  • Agility
  • Dexterity
  • Constitution
  • Willpower
  • Intelligence
  • Presence

The following principles now apply:
  • Intelligence is a key skill in determining how fast you learn. All skills count intelligence into how quickly you advance.
  • Intelligence determines how much you can learn - your total cap across all skills is determined by this attribute. when you reach this limit, you'll begin forgetting old, unused things as you learn new things.
  • Willpower is a key skill in determining how far you'll push yourself in your pursuits. It is a key factor in determining how high any individual skill can become.
  • Dexterity, covering the fine motor skills of the hands, is key to pursuits that rely on delicate control, such as crafting, art, musical instruments, and surgery. It also plays a smaller role in martial skills that require a degree of finesse, such as small-blades and dual-wielding.
  • Agility, covering whole-body movements and gross-motor skills, is key to all martial pursuits as they require coordination, lunges, strikes, and evasion in their mastery. It has additional importance to sneaking, hiding, and dodging which primarily rely on this type of aptitude.
  • The martial skills also take additional factors into count, particularly Strength for brawling and bludgeoning, Dexterity and Strength for prowess with a longblade, Dexterity for finesse with a small-blade, and Agility for keeping things at bay with a spear or polearm.
  • Presence is a key skill for interactions with both men and beasts, playing a key role in learning Haggling, Handling (of mounts and hunting animals), and Music.
  • Intelligence also is important for knowledge-based skills and the adaptation and application of that knowledge, including first aid, medicine, education, forage, hunting, and some crafting.
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Re: Character Creation: Considering Choices

Postby Octavius » Mon May 26, 2014 8:37 am

Icarus wrote:So, for applications and such, these are the two roles that will be available to start things off with:

0RPP Human - New Settler:
You hail from some small settlement or another along the River Running between the small sawmill settlement of Utterby near the old Dwarf Road and Laketown on the Long Lake. In each town and village in between, heralds have been shouting for fresh blood to join the hard but profitable work hewing timber on the edge of Mirkwood. Men and women from all walks of life across the region have heard these calls, and in response to the promise of a fair wage for honest work they have boarded the recruiting barge that runs north and south along the River Running. You yourself signed up not long ago, and hopped upon the barge for Utterby, and now you have arrived, green and new. Maybe you cut wood back home, maybe you were a smith, or perhaps you were a spearman in some hunting band. Regardless, here you are. The only directive you have is to report for work and stay out of the drink until you've been settled, though on the trip down you heard tales of trouble in Utterby that may have given you second thoughts...

0RPP Goblin - "Voluntary" Labor:
Congratulations! You have been "volunteered" from whatever sad hole you emerged from to join the band of an old war-goblin named Striza in the Mountains of Mirkwood, near the eastern border of the forest. Your protestations of spiders, feral wargs, numerous other bands of hostile orcs, various bodily ills, flat feet, and other objections came to naught against the harsh whip of the caravan driver. You spent long months traveling from your old home, which may have been in the foothills of the Misty Mountains, the southern portions of Mirkwood, some sad cave along the borders of the forest, or really anywhere where sad and pitiful goblins call home. Now you have just arrived, likely as part of some small group, and now must find your place, or die trying. Welcome to the Vadok!
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