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Starting Guide

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Mizahar is a collaborative storytelling environment that is designed to make it as easy as possible for a new player to begin playing.

The first thing a new player should do is to go to the Mizahar wiki and review the Things You Need To Know, the Valterrian, study the maps, review regions, and do some browsing of cities just to get a feel for the game. Getting a flavor for the local environment will help considerably when deciding on a character concept as a whole, which is the most important part of roleplaying in Mizahar. If a new player loves to roleplay and really enjoys to write they will have no problem with succeeding in Mizahar’s game world. Mizahar thrives off of character interaction, and each new player brings a breath and scope to the game that can never be anticipated. People are encouraged to breathe life into their characters through the stories they tell, their characters interacting each other, and within the Mizahar World.

Contents

Read the Rules and Browse the Wiki

Before you begin playing, be sure to read the Rules. Go over the Terms of Use, and then make sure you read the Mizahar page. Feel free to browse the wiki and read the Creative Manifesto to get some idea of what sort of world you are getting yourself involved in. Once you have a firm grasp on the rules and what we do here, go ahead and start your character. Each player can have up to five characters. Those characters cannot interact with each other in any way shape or form. They can, with Domain Storyteller permission, be in the same cities at the same time so long as they again, do not interact.

Starting your Character

Starting a character is relatively simple. It requires you to make a few decisions about your who your character is, as well as his/her background. As you read through the following sections, it might be helpful to take out a piece of scratch paper or open a notepad on your computer to start taking notes on all the decisions you make as you read through this guide. That scratch piece of paper or notepad document will form the basis of your Character Sheet when you get to that section. Character Sheets or CSs can be posted in the Character Sheet Forum. There are also sample templates there if you want a 'cheat sheet' to start your character with.

Now, it's time to create your character! This is the fun part. Whether on scratch paper or using a template from the CS forum help threads, this is one of the funnest parts of getting started on Mizahar.

Character Name

Hopefully you've already picked your character name when creating an account on Mizahar. If not, feel free to do so now, keeping in mind that account name is indeed your PC's name. Multiple word names are allowed. The wiki articles about the various races will give you an idea about what kinds of names are common to those races.

Race, Age, and Gender

Next, select a race and all the attributes that go along with that race (age, gender, physical appearance). By reading each of the races, you can get some idea of what those races are like, what genders are allowed, and where they commonly live. Here is a short list of current races and a brief description of them. Feel free to read the more in-depth write-ups before making your selection.

Appearance

After you decide on a race, you will have a better idea of the physical description of your character, and what physical parameters are allowed for the race you've chosen. Stick to the guidelines for the appearnce of the race and customize your PC in terms of those parameters. Pick height, weight, skin color, eye color, hair color and anything else distinctive that might represent who your PC is. Any drastic deviations from the guidelines the race descriptions give you requires Special Permission.

Picking a Home Region, City, or Other Domain

The second big decision after Name, Race and Gender is basically 'Where are you from?'. Which area is your PC from or where are you going to be primarily playing? Where you are from doesn't have to be where you are planning on playing, but most people starting out might find some advantage playing from racially familiar locations. Most PCs should feel free to start out in any open domain of their choosing. A domain consists of a city or area of interest that has an active storyteller. Below is a link to a complete list of the domains that are open (or will be open) for play. Please pick a city that has a moderator. If you choose to begin play somewhere where there is no active storyteller, then you are in an unsupported area with no leadership to help you get started, place you in a job, help you open a business, or even gain a residence. Domains that have moderators are always recommended for new players.

Character Concept

By now you will already know a great deal of information about the character you want to play. Developing a 'character concept' is the next step -- some idea of your PC's personality, interests, and goals. Is your character a restless rogue, one that enjoys a life of carefree thievery? Does s/he feel driven to pursue an honorable life of sacrifice, perhaps as a Syliran Knight? Would your PC enjoy a quiet life, devoted to one of the Gods? It's not necessary to decide everything right now. However, knowing what sort of basic personality your character has will be very helpful as you start playing.

Personality Merits and Flaws

Mizahar is a game community that values well-rounded characters. Each PC should have both strengths and weaknesses designed into their concept. Characters quickly become 'cardboard' if they are absolutely perfect - or absolutely imperfect - physically and emotionally. People inherently have fears, weaknesses, trust issues, challenges, or character flaws. Maybe someone doesn't let others close to them, or yet another player has a problem with chronic pain and is addicted to herbs to control that pain. Perhaps a character is generous to a fault and routinely gives too much of themselves, even to the detriment of their own personal situation. Your PC doesn't need to be a psychopath (although they're certainly welcome!), but idealized characters are to be avoided.

Starting Package

Now that you have the basics your character selected, it's time to give them some skills. Please read the Starting package page thoroughly. Each PC begins with some basic gear, a home or horse, and 50 skill points to use as you see fit.

Read the starting package page thoroughly, add what it gives you to your notes, and be ready to start your Character Sheet.

Magic

In Mizahar, magic is treated the same way skills are. If you want your pc to be a mage at creation, put skill points in the magic disciplines of your choice instead of in actual skills or mix and match a little of both. For example a martial artist may take 20 points in Unarmed Combat and 20 points in the magic of Flux (the ability to transfer power and strength to various parts of ones body) and then perhaps use the remainder of their 10 points in medicine or perhaps wilderness survival. For the sake of character creation, treat magic and skills interchangeably when parceling out points. Again, the Starting package page will help you figure out what points you have to use and where to use them.

Gnosis

Each PC can potentially start with a first mark from a God or Goddess. PC's can only potentially start with ONE mark. Some deities, like Avalis with the Konti, mark specific races at the birth of that individual. Other individual gods and goddesses do not mark PCs at birth but encounter them later in life and leave them with a mark. Check the gnosis lore entry for specific info on the gnosis you are looking for.

If a PC wants to apply for a Gnosis mark at start of game, they must do so in the Help Desk. Gods that grant Gnosis marks at birth require nothing more than a polite request. Other gods and goddesses that do not grant at birth must be applied for by writing a story and posting it in the Help Desk. These stories need to includes the encounter with the deity, what happened, why the PC attracted the god/dess' attention, and what was said during the actual marking itself.

All these requests are posted through the help desk. There is no guarantee your request, especially in story form, will be approved. PCs with mental illnesses are almost never marked by deities. Your request can be approved or rejected. If your request is rejected, you might be asked to revise it for clarity or to be more true to the god or goddess you are applying for. You can attempt to get approval more than one time.

All decisions of the Help Desk are final.

Create your Character Sheet

Sometimes called a CS, a Character Sheet is a simple record of your PC's vital statistics, possessions, and experience. Each PC needs to post a full Character Sheet before they begin posting. We have designed a full page to describe what is required on a character sheet and where to post them. The purpose of a character sheet is to allow Storytellers and other players to read about your character, what sort of skills, equipment and money they have, where they live, and a little about their history. It is required to keep your character sheet updated at all times. It's also helpful to include a link to your CS in your character's signature.

Post your Character Sheet in the Character Sheet Forum found under the 'Getting Started' drop down menu on the header of all main forum Mizahar pages. There are also sample templates there if you want a 'cheat sheet' to start your character with.

Begin Playing

Now that you know who your PC is, what their history is like, and have a solid character concept with a starting package all fleshed out, it's time to play! We hope that by now you've met some people, picked out a city or other domain to start in, and are ready to dive right in. This is the point to take a deep breath, relax, and work on your first posts, establishing your character as 'someone of note' and making some friends. This is just about the point where you don't need this starting guide anymore. So, we'll leave you with some final advice, and then turn you loose upon the world!

First Posts

Once you decide where to begin playing, it is a great idea to research that city completely. There will be a wiki page describing the city in detail, outlining the NPCs involved with the domain, and listing key locations. Your first posts should be made in the Character Registry, a topic in the city forum which lets the other players in the city know that there is someone new to play with. It also gives the Storyteller for that city an idea that someone new is in their territory. They are available for help if you might need them.

Your next post should look for someone to roleplay with! In Mizahar, we use "tags" to show which threads are Open (open to anybody who wants to join) or Closed (made specifically for certain people).

An example of Open and Closed topic tags.

Look for an Open thread that doesn't have any replies, and join in! Even better, create your own Open thread. Be sure to give it a Timestamp! Introduce yourself in the OOC thread of the city you started in!

Establishing Your Character

The best way to establish your character is simply to post! Join open threads, interact with people, and volunteer to go on adventures and quests. Help others out, start a business, and be a positive productive force (or an evil threatening menace depending on your character concept!) to the domain community where you play as a whole.

Making Friends

Social threads are a great way to make friends. Joining adventures is a second way. But a third way is to simply be friendly, helpful, participate on the ooc boards, enter or comment on contests, and generally interact with other players. We also have a Matchmaker Forum where players can post 'Want-Ads' asking for role-playing opportunities. There are apprentices seeking masters, PCs looking for friends, and character requests for PC families, slaves, etc.

Having Fun!

We hope that's just what you'll do! If you feel confused or need help, just ask a Domain Storyteller or an Admin, and s/he will point you in the right direction!