So you want to make a new character to play on the NLS Southern Cross. But maybe you only know what job you want to play, or you only have a vague idea for a kind of personality to play, or maybe you're totally stumped and just want to try something new, but what? This guide is intended to help both total newcomers and long term players alike create a brand new character - or add a little depth to an existing one - with a relatively fleshed out, lore-friendly backstory to make any Space 'Nam (Not a thing) veteran from California (The Earth one) envious. Feel free to jump around this guide as needed, there's no reason why you shouldn't do almost any step in almost any order; often something as simple as a name is what comes to you dead last.
The majority of this guide will be focused on making a human character, but can easily be adapted for any species with a little extra knowledge of their lore.
- 1 The Basics
- 2 Fine Polish
Your character's name is often a reflection of their origins. Whether it was their given name from the culture of their birth or chosen later in life, keep in mind that the galaxy of 2574 is filled with a multitude of cultures, both those familiar to you from Earth in the 21st century, and countless partially or entirely new to the far-flung reaches of space. Feel free to use the in-game generator, or external name generators for inspiration here. Don't be afraid to use an unusual or 'sci-fi' sounding name - Polaris is after all a sci-fi setting.
If your character has a nickname or shortened form of their name, you can fill it in the "Nickname" field so that it will be highlighted in-game when other characters say it.
Sex and Gender
In the 26th century - with the rare exception of some of the galaxy's most socially conservative colonies - gender has little bearing on a person's opportunities in life, nor does their identity have any intrinsic connection with their birth sex. Transgender, non-binary and agender people are common, and reassignment surgery easily available for those who desire it. In other words, this option is entirely up to your own preference in making a character.
A character's age is the most basic representation of their level of experience, and will vary vastly based on their occupation. Keep in mind the level of education that might be required for a particular position, and take into account any previous experience they might have. An older character might have held previous jobs or be a senior employee, while a younger character may be a total newcomer, or even an intern - though older people might be in those positions too!
Due to the wonders of modern medical technology, humans live to be 100 with some regularity, and depending on their job they might be expected to work well into their 70s.
As noted before, the galaxy in 2574 is filled with an abundance of cultures and ethnicities, and Vir is no exception. Thanks to five hundred years of migration, your characters appearance need not necessarily be "typical" to the culture they originate from by 21st century standards. Similarly, today's standards of masculine and feminine appearance may be quite foreign to your character, and simple body modifications like hair dye and tattoos are common and hold few negative connotations in the 26th century corporate world.
You should consider adding more detailed descriptions of your character's physical appearance to your flavor text, so other players have more to go on than a simple 32x32 sprite.
While often prohibitively expensive, a character who has lost a body part to injury, illness or deformity may own one or more prosthetic or assisted limbs or organs, and in the most extreme cases may require a Full Body Prosthetic. Consider your character's personal history and decide whether this is right for them. Keep in mind that 'realistic' looking prosthetic brands like Vey-Med are extremely expensive and usually only available to the most wealthy (and vain) individuals. Even more affordable brands are often only available to a person as part of an insurance plan or contract with their employer.
See the Prosthetics page for more details on brands.
Your character's occupation is the most important aspect from a gameplay perspective, and will often form the basis for other aspects of who they are, from age to personal beliefs. Consider why your character chose this job - or had to take it as the case may be. You should ideally create a character with a specific job or department in mind, as it is commonly essential to their background and defining them as a person in some regard. Alt-titles can be used to specialize your character further, and you should typically try to act within your occupation's expected skillset unless your character has good reason to know more.
Skills - the second tab in the character creation window - are usually tied directly to your character's occupation(s), but also their personal history and hobbies, and acts as a handy reference for what your character "should" be capable of in-game. The approximate skill level is based on number of skills picked, as well as the character's age, but is not perfect and should not be used as a strict guide, but do try not to go overboard here. You can use a pre-configured skillset if you aren't sure.
There are dozens of languages spoken in Vir, many from far across the galaxy - some common, some quite rare. The languages your character speaks may be based on their upbringing, or certain professions may expect knowledge of sign language or Encoded Audio Language (Which requires an implant selected in the loadout to speak as an organic character.)
More details on languages can be found on the Regions page.
Home System and Citizenship
In the broadest terms, your character's birthplace (or where they grew up, at the very least) will often determine their core ideals - whether that it in line with the local culture or just influenced by it for better or for worse.
Humanity has spread far across the galaxy, and its colonies range from luxurious cities where citizens want for little, to airless orbital mining outposts where penniless workers toil for decades to fufill draconian contracts in exchange for bare sustinence and air for their company-issued oxygen tank.
While most human colonies exist under the Solar Confederate Government and are required to meet some basic democratic requirements, smaller non-member corporate colonies are not necessarily SCG members, and independent systems range from socialist communes, to culturally regressive dictatorships. Others are born on ever-mobile spacecraft or fleets and can call no one place home. You may also be a local - somebody who calls Sif itself home.
Do not be afraid to invent your own colonies, planets or ships to fit your needs - these can also be officially submitted via forums and made full-fledged canon for others to use.
Consider how well off your character is, and how they might have come to be in this position. Were their family similarly rich or poor? Were they brought to Vir by hardship and need for cash, or did they relocate for a cushy position without much thought?
Also consider your character's current, and previous jobs. A janitor or bartender is unlikely to be particularly wealthy, unless of course they come from that background - legitimate or otherwise. Economic inequality is rampant in 2574. The poorest often work under unfair corporate contracts for survival wages, while the ultra-rich are wealthy beyond modern comprehension. That being said, employees on the NLS Southern Cross would be expected to at least own a small place to live or sleep, and the truly extremely rich are unlikely to have any business on such an average work station.
This should also determine your character's loadout to some degree. If your character is poorer, consider that they may not be able to afford designer clothes or high-grade prosthetics.
As with many parts of this guide, your character's religion will have an influence on their personal morals and ideals, whether they are a devout worshipper or a casual follower - and of course, will determine the kind of expletives they might scream when encountering something altogether terrible.
Religion in 2574 is every bit as varied as Earth today. The sheer geographic and cultural range of humanity means sects of every description have emerged from every permeation of religious thought imaginable, though most are members of a number of more widespread belief systems. Naturally, atheism and agnosticism are every bit as popular as well.
See Religion for some of the most influential religions in the galaxy that your character may follow.
While your character most likely works for NanoTrasen, this option allows you to determine whether they are in fact an outside contractor - or if they work for NanoTrasen but their true, most deep-set loyalties lie elsewhere. The default options allow you to choose from some of the largest Trans-Stellar Corporations in the galaxy, but this may also be more personal. An off-station gang your character is a member of, a smaller company, or simply something as innocuous as their family or religious organization.
While not strictly required, these details can be what distinguishes your characters from the average schmo. Often these more 'passive' aspects are what will catch another players' attention and lead to interesting roleplay scenarios for both yourself and others, and is well worth the little extra effort in character creation.
These records are visible to medical, security and command staff respectively, and should be used to exhibit your character's background in an 'official' way which should inspire some roleplay opportunities. You may also want to include details such as identifying features, place of residence and next of kin.
Check the Character Records page for some easy to use templates.
Consider whether your character has any physical or mental health concerns, and how they might effect current treatments. Prescription drugs to manage ongoing symptoms, or complications that may arise with surgery or cloning should be noted and can help you engage with medical staff during the round beyond the most rote treatments.
Here you should consider if your character has a criminal history. This doesn't have to mean anything serious, even the most straight-edge stiff might have had some teenage convictions, or similar misdemeanor charges from their past.
This should include everything from school and college education, to any training or certifications that your character may have earned over the years. These should generally tie into your chosen job as well as their employment history, and in a broad sense determine which jobs slots your character should be played in. These may also be used to explain skills, or reinforce your character's out of work interests.
Use this as an opportunity to consider your character's past and expand on it to whatever detail you like. While some characters may have been working on the NLS Southern Cross for their entire lives, it's likely that most will have held other positions in their lives, whether they be with NanoTrasen or other corporations or smaller companies across the galaxy. Maybe your character was a member of a ship's crew, served in some local or larger government service, or just held mundane jobs on some far flung planet.
Exploitable Information is visible to many types of antagonists, and should consist of anything about your character that might be used as blackmail, pin them as a target of a murder or kidnapping, or simply give hints as to their behaviour when threatened.
Perhaps your character has been involved in criminal activity in the past, or done something otherwise questionable. Are they surprisingly wealthy? Could they be framed? Do they hold beliefs that might influence them to work with an antagonist to some degree?
This could even be as simple as an observation that your character is cowardly, or particularly violent.
Remember: The more people who fill out this section, the more inspiration antagonists will have to involve people in the round.
This is the most immediately visible bit of information to other players, and you should try to include at least a basic description of your character's appearance to help others understand who they are interacting with.
Your character's personal items are a reflection of their personality, and will make them stand out from the army of jumpsuited workers aboard the Southern Cross. Do consider whether certain items of clothing would be suitable for their chosen job's dress code or safety regulations, and certainly some jobs (bartender, for example) are far less restrictive than others (such as security officers, or scientists.)
Traits give you a few options to make your character mechanically unique. While these are all drawbacks to some degree, you should consider whether any apply to your character and if you feel like any would be interesting to play.