When creating a character the first thing to decide is whether this character is natural to the world, or has been taken and dropped off into it.
Native or Not?
Natives were born and raised in The Tapestry and it is all they have ever known, generally speaking. They are not at all surprised by the arrival of beings from other places. It is, after all, part of their oldest beliefs that the creator of the world has hand picked these arrivals. Although their comfort level with a species they haven't seen before is something best left to the player to decide. They are well versed in how the world works, obviously.
- Native characters start off with more gold than non-natives.
- If a slot is available, native characters can start with title.
Non-native characters, also referred to as Skaldborne or Strangers, find themselves in a strange land and generally in even stranger circumstances. The way they arrive into the world is up to the player's descriptive discretion, but it is encouraged that their characters should arrive with some vague and varied amounts of amnesia and may or may not lack the clothes on their back. Think of it like a floating scale, where the most extreme cases are usually full blown amnesia and on the other end they retain all their memories, but are never quite sure how they got to The Tapestry.
Because of this constant influx of Skaldborne, the natives of The Tapestry leave wrapped little packages with a change of clothes, a waxed map to the nearest settlement, and a small amount of gold to get them started. They are usually highly encouraged to join a guild for ease in assimilation into the world, plus the guilds would get quite the reputation if one of the Skaldborne proves themselves and becomes a clear representation a champion chosen by The Skald.
- Skaldborne characters will start off with a lesser amount of gold than natives, but will have the 'care package' already in their inventory.
- Their profiles are also marked at the top.
- You can also opt to play a non-native that has been around long enough to adapt.
We are not too worried about which iteration of common classical fantasy races you would like to bring to The Tapestry. As such the only rule/guideline to follow when considering to play [insert classic fantasy race here] is that it continues to hold the essence of what makes it what it is. Many of these races exist in many and altered forms depending on what region you learn about them in, but they typically have a lot of the same qualities across the board. We will not be holding you to one particular presentation of these common and fantastical options.
While Dragons are present as 'quests' (slay the dragon, earn the glory, etc) they are almost always NPC material. Dispensation may be given by staff to play a Dragon, but this should not be assumed to be common, or even likely.
Why no Dragons?
- It is generally the experience of the staff that Dragon characters simultaneously cause more problems, and don't contribute much to the chat experience as a whole. The implication is that Dragons are powerful, so it often ends up being the case that Dragon characters do little but bluster about their presumed power, and rarely interact with other characters unless it is to further this appearance of power. While this is spot-on character trait-wise for a Dragon, a creature who has no interest in anything but their own glory, brooding in their fortress or mountain or what have you, does not promote much in the way of roleplay.
- Another problem with Dragons stems from the perception of their power - Dragon's are powerful so it is assumed that a Dragon character is inherently better than characters of other races, based on their popular role in many forms of media. This obviously creates problems, and sometimes friction if it disrupts roleplay when a Dragon comes in and attempts to just fix a situation by virtue of being a dragon alone.
- Dragons as characters are very rarely actually played as Dragons - they rarely ever appear in Dragon form, and often appear as the most attractive character claim a person can find - this leads to the "Bangable humanoid that is really incredibly powerful" problem that can sometimes appear with characters like these. We would prefer to encourage people to shape characters around their personality and experiences - their character - rather than how powerful or attractive they are.
- There is also the unfortunate tendency for Dragon characters to be seen as quaint little status symbols, which in some instances creates an air of elitism or "collecting" of these characters, which again does nothing to improve the roleplay experience. While this is not necessarily common, it is generally believed that not having dragons as a player race is better for the long term health of the chat.
This is not to say that all Dragon character players fall prey to all these problems, or even some of them, but it is better to be proactive and give the player base realistic expectations and understanding of our reasoning.
- These of course, are immersion breaking, or disruptive by their very nature, and fall victim to many of the same problems as Dragons. Characters with god-like power have no challenges, and easily can break a long story by appearing and just fixing a problem, which can cause unintended harm or dispute among players, particularly if a long and arduous storyline is cut down by meddling from these characters.
- The closest to these kinds of characters are the Maestro's and their corrupted counterparts, the Virtuoso's (and these are at best demi-gods, and are absolutely able to die). At this time there are not Maestro's in the world, and most of the Virtuoso's are dead or otherwise in some suspended state. Permission to play these characters is strictly staff-approved to those that have earned the position.
- Everything that has been said about Dragons can be assumed to apply to these mythical birds too. There is also the problematic nature of their persistent rebirth, which disrupts roleplay - a character who can essentially never die takes a lot of the drama out of many roleplay experiences by cheapening the consequences and permanency of death with the ability to side-step the issue, such as making fights meaningless to them as they can just be reborn, which also robs other players of the right to their earned kill.
The novelty of its rebirth ability is also moot as this is an option for all players. See Death and Beyond.
- Technically everyone that is not native to the Tapestry is an Alien, so this needs a little clarifying. Extra terrestrial creatures with technology exceeding modern day real life capabilities is generally what is meant here. Such technology would obviously completely break the setting when one person walks across the world with a death ray. The Skald has a fine sense of theme and cohesion, so even if these creatures do exist somewhere, the Skald is unlikely to bring them to the Tapestry - there's plenty enough oddness to go around as it is.
Ancient beings (pending revision and approval by other staff)
- This is another one that needs some explanation, as this category is very broad. Generally this description covers anything that is described as living in excess of a thousand years. Many characters that fit this description also fall into one of the categories above, so I won't repeat the problematic elements here. A unique problem of these characters though is that they potentially remove some of the mysticism of the setting if they just happened to be there and have all the answers (the known history of the tapestry is pretty short, and many plot elements rely on things being lost to time, or otherwise poorly documented).