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Author Topic: Character Submission - Long Version - Updated to March 18th 2016  (Read 462 times)

Rowana

Welcome to the Long Version of the Character Submission Guidelines that will answer more in depth questions about the process of character creation and deal with questions regarding special circumstances and advancement. If you are just looking for the quick guide to character creation and format to use, please see this thread.

Below are the links that will take you to the subject matter you are looking for. Please feel free to ask questions clarifying any of these in the Ask A GameMaster forum if there are confusing parts or your questions are not answered here.

Basic Biography information for completeness
LanguagesPrC Resubmissions
Policy on Class additions and PrCs post level twenty (20), as well as resubmission guidelines in general
Organizations and RanksCDQ Rules (the short version)
Number of Characters per Player (not per account)
Restarts/Rebuilds/Relevels
On Correctly Portraying Your Alignment and Requesting Alignment Shifts
On Changing Wizard Specialization
On Dark Elves and The Test

If after looking through all of this you remain uncertain about how your concept fits into the world lore of Layonara, please ask your question/concerns/ideas in the Ask A GameMaster forum prior to submitting your character for approval. This saves everyone from a long drawn out, possibly frustrating, character approval process and allows you, the submitter, to get an idea and think over the information and idea before starting the process. Note: A character submission is acceptance of the player rules. If you have not yet read the rules you will be agreeing to when you submit your character, please do so now.

A note on citing old applications in argument with the GM/CA staff:

Many people have cited examples of old applications as proof of our prior standards and allowances. That forum is kept for a great many reasons, not the least of which is for the GM staff to interact deeply with the characters that do make it through the process. Citing applications for your case that are more then nine months in age likely cites irrelevant information that no longer applies to the process. The process of character approving is ever evolving to keep up with lore standards and standards of play. As such we make semi frequent changes to best serve the community.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 12:51:16 am by orth »
 
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Rowana

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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 10:38:00 pm »



Name
All names of character submissions must be the original creation of the submitting applicant. They can not be copyrighted names from a game, book, television show, movie or any other medium not covered in this list, nor can they be names belonging to existing characters in Layonara. We check these to the best of our abilities and will require a name change even after approval if a name is of copyrighted.

Race
There are numerous races on Layonara. Not all are available as player races but there are many options in game at this time.

Only the sub races Wemic, Brownie, Ghostwise Halfling, Sea Elf, Dark Elf and Goblin will require additional justification for choosing this race in the biographies. When you chose one of these races, please take into account that the review may take an extended period of time and may be subject to special availablity. Exotic races are only opened a few times a year.

Due to lore reasons, Tiefling and Aasimar will no longer be an option for new character submissions. For the same reason, no half races (Half elf, Half orc, Half giant, Half ogre) can be born after the year 1421. You can find the current year at the top of the page underneath the logo.

The following races must start out with an alignment of CN, TN, NE, or LE: Dark Elf, Half Orc, Half Giant, Half Ogre, Orc, Goblin, and Deep Dwarf. There is one exception to this; a cleric character that follows Az'atta (regardless of race) may start out with a good alignment. (see further down for more information on alignments in general.) Please see the racial pages for further information.

Please note: First time players can play the following races: Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Human and Gnome.

Age
When selecting the age of your character please keep in mind that many age at different rates and some races naturally mature slower as a result. As well, each race has a minimum starting age since we do not allow child player characters. See this page for more information. Please note that humans must start at the age of 18 despite their listed age of maturity of 15.

Classes
The mechanical classes of Layonara have several wide interpretations and some have very specific needs. Most standard character classes do not require anything in the way of justifying the choice of class over some other in the character submission. As such, a detailed justification for a particular class is an optional thing, and we will not overly scrutinize them, excepting for very obvious glaring issues (I.E. a submission where a sorcerer studies his magic rather then innately acquires it or a level one fighter is taking on whole mobs of orcs on his own, etc). Basic lore elements are required. An example is for bard, a lore heavy class, would need to acknowledge on some level the discovery or some similar element of their talent.

Clerics and paladins however, must give their stated commitments in their biographies and we would still like them to make clear in their biographies their respect for their deity's dogma and/or organization.

Druids also have their own submission requirements, and we would like to have any druid players read the druid information page.

Additionally, applications asking for dual classes are not expected to include more then what a single class of the same would require, though lore elements are still requested. Resubmissions to add a second or third class after initial approval (excepting druid, paladin, cleric or monk) need only be a resubmitted biography with a few additional lines explaining the IC reasoning. Resubmission to add druid, paladin, cleric or monk (especially if the starting class was monk or druid to begin with and a character is returning to this class) hold the same requirements and stipulations as above with potential extra requirements (such as CDQ, CDT or other need).

If you have a character with multiple classes, you must have 5 levels minimum in each class before level 20 (e.g. You cannot have a level 3 rogue, level 17 fighter, you need at least 5 rogue)

Monk, Paladin and Druid classes have restricted multi-classing.

Please note: First time players are allowed the following classes: Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Monk, Rogue, Ranger, Sorcerer and Wizard.



Alignment
Most alignments are unrestricted and will not require special support with in the biography to be approved so long as there are no glaring conflicts.(For example, a Neutral Good rogue who mugs and robs travelers indiscriminately to make a living.)

Chaotic Neutral remains a special alignment, and the submitting player must have had an active character in the world for four (4) months prior to the submission of the Chaotic Neutral character. There is no minimum level requirement for this active character. You do need to submit, in your own words, an acknowledgment stating your acceptance of the rules of the server and giving a statement acknowledging that Chaotic Neutral is not carte blanch act randomly, expecting to be free of penalty. In the game and in our community, actions have consequences, and if you are not willing to accept the consequences, do not make those actions. **Please see note on update to CN policies*

Evil too is special and with the heavier requirements. Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil require an active character for at least nine (9) months. There is no minimum level requirement for this active character. As with Chaotic Neutral, on the character submission the player is required to state in their own words that they accept the rules of the server. As well they must state that they accept that the alignment of Evil may put them at odds with the majority of the player community as well as the NPCs they interact with, and that they accept the consequences to their actions.

Chaotic Evil is not available to player characters on Layonara, and if a character's alignment shifts to Chaotic Evil territory the character becomes property of the GM team and is no longer playable.

The actual approval of these alignments lays ultimately with the GM team, based upon appropriate roleplay of previous alignments. The team holds this to protect the community as a whole and not to target any particular members of it. Realize that by choosing these alignments the review time is longer than for standard characters, as input from the GM team will be sought.

Please note: First time players are allowed only the following alignments: CG, NG, LG, LN and TN.

 

Deity
Deities are an active, if indirectly so, power upon Layonara. When a character passes from the world the deity may choose to call their souls to their domain. Some classes require a deity choice but most do not. Do not choose a deity to enter in the deity field unless your character is truly devout as it will bring consequences (both good and bad) to your character. If you do select a deity for your character please use common sense where dogma and your character's worship is concerned and if there is an extreme case, such as a dwarf worshiping Lucinda, make certain the details are touched on in the biography.

A final note on deities: The GM team will enforce the accurate portrayal of a character who is devout. If they are caught doing something their deity disapproves of, there may be consequences. These include, but are not limited to, helping the enemy of your deity, doing something strictly against the dogma of your deity, and furthering the goals of an unfriendly or enemy deity.

General Biography details and lore
The primary focus of biographies is RP and lore. Despite the above leniencies, lore will still be strictly adhered to and possible conflicts with lore will receive the most scrutiny. In the case of reapplications for alignment shifts, secondary classes, etc, an RP justification will be requested as always, but a few lines should suffice (as long as they are explanatory). When applying using your own format, please link all pertinent information along with your request.

Character backgrounds can comprise pretty much of whatever you wish but should cover the following:

  • A bit on where your character came from.

  • A bit on their family and its fate.

  • Some finer points on why your character thinks and acts like it does.

  • All characters must be from Layonara. There are no off-world biographies permitted.

  • A bit on why they have stepped out on their current path with an acknowledgment of loss of family ties in situations where nobility or well-to-do peoples are involved. This can come in a variety of flavors.

  • Be creative, as we are open to lots of things.

We do not accept characters that:

  • have direct ties to gods, dragons or royalty of any kingdom.

  • have direct contact between themselves and a deity (this includes visions or dreams provided by a deity, a deity walking the lands and visiting the player or their ancestors, physical markings by a deity or an agent, or gifts provided by a deity, or anything of this nature).

  • have apparent powers beyond that of a level one (1) character. This can be rather tricky with characters who are intended to have a level split but try to keep in mind power level when addressing level splits.

Some of the GM Team will be keeping a stock character applications that will be in a pool to use by players who do not wish to write their own. Some adaptations may be necessary if chosen for submission depending upon current standards for the applications at that time. A small amount of customization will be asked of the player (mostly to adapt the character to the current events of the world).

 

Rowana

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 10:47:39 pm »



Languages
Available Ears: Elven, Halfling, Dwarven, Dark Elf, Gnomish, Thieves' Cant, Wemic, Animal, Brownie, Underwater, Sign Language, Orc, Goblin, Draconic and Florane (T'oleflor). Everything except Draconic and Florane are available on initial submission with some additional support in the biography.

Races receive their specific ear on creation. Dark elves receive both the elf and Dark Elf ear. Sea Elves get the elf and underwater ear. Druids and rangers start with the animal ear, while rogues start with the ability to use thieves' cant. Certain clerics may also begin with the animal ear depending on domain. Half elves will be able to understand the elven language but the biography and intelligence must support the ability to speak it. These default ears do not count against your bonus languages.

Languages may also be learned in game from other players. They cannot be learned from familiars or NPCs, and after creation, your character journal must reflect the learning of the language to have it approved. Approval after initial creation involves submitting a request and a link to your character journal as well as the support testimony of your tutors. In any situation, except for automatic languages and where specified to be outside of the norm, all applicants wanting additional languages need to make certain they have the appropriate intelligence to support the request. The maximum number of additional languages to be requested on submission is two (2).

The maximum number of non-racial/non-class languages that a character can learn is equal to the character's base Intelligence (INT) modifier. For example, an elven Druid would automatically receive the elven and animal “ears” when the character first signs into the world. With an INT score of 12 (+1 modifier), the character may learn one additional language, if desired. This language may be granted on the initial approval or learned over time in-game.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 10:53:38 pm »



Prestige Class (PrC) resubmissions
PrC submissions are changing as follows:

  • Weaponmaster, Duelist, Undead Hunter and Battlerager can be approved on initial submission, providing the application supports the extra class.

  • Bear Warrior, Skald, Arcane Archer, Spellsword and Sacred Fist require an updated biography submission and either a well kept CDT for a minimum of two (2) weeks (explaining the how and the why) or a CDQ.

  • Shifter and Shadow Dancer require an updated biography and at least one CDQ.

  • Agent of the Realm, Knight, Dwarven Defender, Champions, Palemaster and Assassin are a multi step process that require an updated biography, a well tended development thread and either a WLDQ or one or more CDQs, depending on the character.

  • Red Dragon Disciple remains WLDQ only.

Please make sure you carefully read the class information on your desired PrC so that you may quicken the approval process. For more information see the requirements page here and click through to appropriate PrC as needed.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 11:01:09 pm »



Policy on Applications for Additional Class and/or PrC past level 20 –Characters approved for an additional class beyond what was established prior to level twenty-one (21) must take five (5) levels or more consecutively upon initiating levels in the new class. This rule reflects what should be inherent of all applications for a new class. By pursuing a new class, the player is pursuing a new avenue for character growth. This growth should be reflected by an investment in the new class beyond a simple label. Taking one level in a new class and then going back to the initial class(es) shows a limited drive to pursue the path for which you were approved. Once five (5) consecutive levels in the new class have been taken, you are free to level as you find appropriate, provided there are no multi-classing restrictions for the new class. New classes added after level thirty (30) are very difficult to obtain and will require substantial RP support.



Notes on Resubmissions –
Any resubmissions for a change of character REQUIRES roleplay justification. By 'roleplay justification' we mean that during the line of a character's life events some significant occurrences cause a character to shift it's path in some way. An example: A human thief CN, born of the ruthless streets becomes well acquainted with a LN fighter. Over many in game years of traveling with the fighter and becoming good friends, the thief develops a shift in perspective and/or morals. If the player feels it's appropriate the player will apply for an alignment shift towards TN.

We require some sort of documentation of these roleplay aspects. They may come in the form of: Well maintained CDT/PCDT*, GM testimony, CDQ or a mix and match of two or more options. When using GM testimony as an option alone we ask for the testimony of three different GMs in the capacity as GM not as player. There may be a need for more then one posting for each depending on the request. We consider these requests on a case by case basis and in some, there may be new precedent. Because we likely cannot reasonably predict each and every possibility we leave this as a general statement to explain the process. If more detailed information is desired, please post in the Ask A Gamemaster forum or go ahead and post in the Submissions forum and the CA staff will guide the player through whatever is necessary for the character in question.


Resubmissions include but are not limited to: Alignment shifts, PrC application, second or third general class additions and deity related shifts. We will not approve any resubmission that is made for purely mechanical benefit, including Graceful Pleas.

*Well maintained CDTs/PCDTs are considered to be entries that span no less then two (2) real life weeks and are consistently updated every few days. We will not mandate a minimum post number or spacing at this time. Some resubmissions may require more development then this and will be judged on a case by case basis. If a player is curious about their particular situation, please post in the Ask A Gamemaster forum with the specifics so we may be able to guide you appropriately.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 11:07:05 pm »



Organizations and Ranks
There are two very important points to keep in mind. Firstly, just because a player is a Toranite Undead Hunter, it does not automatically mean they are in the order of the Shining Hand. If a character desires to be part of an organization likely a Character Development Quest (or CDQ) or other GM acknowledgment is necessary. Either submit this with the matching class/PrC request or submit for a CDQ to attempt to join the desired organization. Some organizations have very specific procedures and requirements to join (such as the well established Knights of the Wyrm) and can be handled as a group function or as a personal CDQ.

Secondly, most level one characters start out as the lowest level above 'student' in any organization they might be a part of. For instance, most starting clerics will begin in their acolyte phase (where applicable). This does not afford them any special treatment beyond being a priest of their faith. If a player wishes to advance in rank within their church, or any other organization it is squarely on the shoulders of the player to initiate CDQs to attain this goal. Any GM has access to the information and the player need only ask to find out what steps are needed or what general possibilities are available to them.

*It should be noted that character level is not related to rank in a church.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 02:18:58 am »



Character Development Quest Rules

  1. A player can only have one (1) active CDQ request at a time.

  2. A character must be at least level eight (8) to have a CDQ. The only exception is a character who has been approved to CDQ for a PrC before level eight (8).

  3. It is recommended that the character exist in-game for at least two (2) weeks before a CDQ is requested for the character. This includes the CDQ for a PrC.

  4. A CDQ must have a valid purpose, and this will be enforced by the GMs running the quest. Do not request a CDQ just because you want your own personal quest or a quest for your friends. Examples of valid purposes for CDQs include: To take a PrC, to start/work on a long-range character goal, to explore unknown details of a character's past, or any other sort of goal or event that requires GM intervention to realize is valid.

  5. CDQs can not last more than a total of six (6) hours or two (2) game sessions, whichever comes first. On top of that a CDQ should be completed within three (3) RL weeks once the first session has been run.

  6. CDQs DO NOT HAVE ANY XP REWARDS. Not to the person having the quest run nor its participants. This was done to avoid player abuse of this process

It is important to note that while a player may make requests for the purpose and goal of a CDQ, a player may not fully write or dictate the outcome of the CDQ. How the CDQ is conducted and the final outcome is for the GM to decide, especially in cases where the outcome may be in conflict with world lore. See more information about CDQs here.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 02:23:06 am »



Number of Characters Per Player –
It is frequently asked of us the limit per player on characters. Layonara has a long standing restriction of eight (8) characters per player. This is not the same thing as per account. A player can have several accounts but the maximum remains eight (8) characters per player. We feel this is the best number to maintain quality development of individual character through roleplay through quests and between players outside of quests.

Any player found to be applying for a new character outside of their maximum of eight will be asked to have one deleted before the new application can be reviewed by the character approver staff.

 

Rowana

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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 02:28:31 am »



Restarts/Rebuilds/Relevels
The definition of a restart, for the purposes of this server, is: starting one's character completely over from scratch without any benefit of the previous incarnation's inventory, coin or experience. That is to say you start over from level one with nothing. In addition we will require you to post for a deletion of the old incarnation and create the new version with a slightly different name. Add an extra space, perhaps change one or two of the letters or some other minor change. If the change is not made the database will think it is the same character and will not allow for static quests to be completed, among other issues. It is further recommended that any variation of name be noted in your original character submission thread.

Sometimes it happens that we find ourselves not liking how our character has turned out, mechanically speaking, for a wide variety of reasons. Level five (5) and below seems to be the most common areas where this occurs. To that end, all level five and below characters will be granted one (1) free restart when requested in the Character Submissions forums. Between the levels six (6) and ten (10) the Character Approvals team will still consider the merits and problems with a restart at that point and grant or deny based on the result on their findings. After level ten (10), or if a denial after level six (6), a character may use one of their Graceful Pleas for a restart.

Once a Graceful Plea is used, it cannot be rescinded and anything needing changed (re-name, re-description, etc) after this restart will count in their normal capacities as if it was the original character. This means whatever Graceful Pleas and freebies previously used will count against the restarted character. The character restart does not refresh the count. Please go slow and pay attention to the details as when recreating the character.

A restart does not clear the loss of Soul Strands (see: Soul Strands and the Layonara Death System and they must be reapplied for once the new character is made. Please post for this action in the Grievance Forum.

A rebuild is when a character is allowed to restart and then regain all of their experience, items and equipment. This is only granted for an extensive reason, such as a CDQ or quest that results in the deity change of a cleric or something of that magnitude. The only mechanical exception is when the development team makes mechanical changes to classes that require such action. They are extremely rare and require the support of at least one GM in the capacity of a GM not as a player witness. The backing of the GM in question does not guarantee approval. These will no longer be approved through use of Graceful Plea.

A relevel is when one level is removed and given again. This is only granted for reasons such as accidental clicks, misunderstood feats or spells and the like. This falls under the jurisdiction of grievances requests and must be dealt in that forum with the guidelines stated in that policy.

 

Rowana

To end the confusion, here is
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 02:33:00 am »

To end the confusion, here is the solidified step by step process we have always used for a shift of alignment. These are the steps a player should take:

  1. Play the CURRENT and APPROVED alignment. Most people slip from time to time alignment wise, so the occasional acting out is not an issue. Do NOT habitually act outside of your alignment with out proper cause (typically quest related afflictions).
  2. Keep track of certain events that have caused the character to move away from whatever aspect of the alignment that you will be applying for. We would like it most if it was kept track in a CDT if at all possible. GM testimony can also be used.
  3. Submit when you feel it is appropriate to do so with the cited resources for your character. A brief summery of why this is RP appropriate is helpful and will move your request along. Please remember to include your original biography link, any relevant CDT threads and other such materials that you may wish to include.
  4. Not all Alignment shifts require CDQs but most do. Going from a simple alignment to another (I.E. NG to CG) can be done on a well written CDT alone (with justifiable reasons). Evil will always require a set of CDQs. Moving in and out of CN may require a set of CDQs depending on what is contributed in the CDT.
  5. The presiding CA team will make the decision based on what is offered. If CDQ(s) are required the presiding GM will make the ruling of pass or fail within 72 hours of the final quest.

Some notes: If no CDT is kept and there is no GM testimony available, this does not preclude you from an alignment shift. The CA team will decide a time period for some sort of record keeping (CDT, or the testimony or some other suggestion made by the CA team at that time) to evaluate the request with the new proofs. This time frame is typically two weeks but may be a little longer depending on circumstance.

Alignment shifts away from allowed clerical restrictions per deity will be allowed but the cleric will loose all casting ability -without- relevel until whatever issues are worked out via regular quest/CDQ/WLDQ.

Alignment shifts away from mechanical class limitations will not be allowed unless they are accompanied by class shifts. Relevels will not accompany these sorts of request unless it is due to quest/CDQ/WLDQ.

Once approved for a shift, the shift is not mandatory. This means if the RP continues and it turns out the new alignment does not fit the RP, the gradual shift to the new alignment can be stopped. Most of the time the points are distributed at the request of the PC (unless some action is radical enough for a GM to arbitrarily offer), and thus the PC can simply not ask for the point shifts. If the Player is certain they do not wish to continue this route, then they are welcome to bump the approval post stating as much and the request can be closed.

Deliberately playing outside of your APPROVED alignment will bring OOC reprimand and IC consequences (unless accompanied by GM pre-approval for some quest related situation I.E. possession). Deliberately playing outside of your APPROVED alignment will also guarantee denial for alignment shifts for this and potentially alternate characters if the issue is not addressed.

As alignment is somewhat relative (in certain areas) we reserve the right to be flexible or determine results on a case by case basis. As no two characters are alike in their interpretation of morals and ethics, the CA and GM teams must be granted freedom to customize the consequences, results and quest situations for each character.

(original source)

 

Rowana

Wizard Specalization Change
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2016, 02:35:00 am »

Wizard Specalization Change Requests

Wizards may request one (1) free specialization change, with a modicum of justification, prior to Wizard level 10, at which point they've had too much experience in their specialization to readily change. Any subsequent request before level 10 which is justified will be granted, but XP equal to half the amount required to pass their current level will be removed to reflect wasted experience. The exception to this rule will of course be made for GM quest-related events, where the GM in question supports the submission.

(original source)

 

Rowana

Dark Elves and Description of
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2016, 02:42:05 am »

Dark Elves and Description of The Test

In regards to The Test, in order to alleviate any confusion or conflicts over it's substance , please refer to it vaguely in your submissions. Something along the lines of, "I took the test... and lived." will suffice. It is required that there is a reference be made.

Any submission with a change of deity or morals after The Test will still have to provide substantial detail as to why and how their change of heart occured.

(original source)

 

Rowana

CN Alignment -We have updated
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 11:17:00 am »
CN Alignment

We have updated the CN alignment requirements to open it up to more people. You can read the text here: https://wiki.layonara.com/wiki/NWN_Character_Alignment_Rules

This alignment is still closed to brand new players on the server, but with the lessening of GMs and shrinkage of community in general, we hope this strikes a balance. Please note that the big part of the change is that we can and will ask the player to walk back the alignment to something else if the alignment doesn't seem to be understood by the player or if the alignment is being used as justification for abuse of the community at any level.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 12:47:35 am by orth »