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Tomato



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 312

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: The Bering RP OOC Thread Reply with quote

The Bering RP is a unique Steampunk/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Hybrid RP that touches on a multitude of genres and ideas. The premise is that in an alternate past, an alien race called the Contractors came to Earth in the late 1800's and taught humanity a great deal. Essentially, they laid the groundwork for human technology to jump forward by teaching humans new branches of science and thought that had yet to be explored by mankind. In exchange for this technology, the Contractors simply asked that they might employ humans, to help in the construction of colonies, the population of factory-planets, and the execution of interstellar trade and exploration. The world's governments could simply not say yes fast enough. The human population gladly took to the stars joined and with a myriad of other contracted alien species to further their individual societies. With their new sciences, humans have developed vast new arrays of fields of study, promoting sciences in a manner unprecedented. Specifically, experimental anatomical studies have revealed the process by which man can implant augmentations into his brain, making him capable of generating various energetic fields that were previously impossible. Other studies have revealed much about physics, astrogation, genetics, and even horticulture. In every sense, mankind is blossoming.

The Earth year is now 1923, and Humanity has left the cradle of Earth and found it's place in the stars, but things are not simple. Human minds and human technology have still not quite caught up to the hyper-advanced races that brought them into space. Human spaceships (called Steamships) take flight with a baffling combination of steam power, electrical current, and Calabi-Yao Manifold based fusion engine cores. Most space-faring humans are simply unable to fathom the technology that sends them aloft, and as such are found frequently in the company of various alien species that populate other portions of the Galaxy.

The focus of the story is to revolve around Steamships. Specifically, a small trade ship named the Bering. The Bering is a first generation Type-A Columbus class freighter/frigate of no particular reputation that is designed to ferry goods and people across the vastness of space. Like all modern space vessels, the Bering is incapable of independent faster-than-light travel: They rely on a series of dimensional gateways that ferry them between the incalculable distances between stars. The smaller distances between planets and gates are covered by the Steamship’s engines. She is outfitted with weaponry, though of Human design (Contractors simply do not arm their employee species in any sense) for defense. She is as of yet unmanned and un-crewed, as the Contractor company that owns her has not yet acquired the employees for manning her.

The employees themselves are to be hired from a group of colony-born humans and non-humans who have been raised into human society. The reason for this is to keep the ship-board culture relatively stable. Alien societies by and large are unknown to the young human culture, and so must be folded in over time. Because of the nature of such culture immersion, only three alien species have opted to join in Steamship operation. These three species are the Contractors, the Linaut, and the Sreekaanse.

By human standards, the Contractors are a tall, lithe, and humble-looking species prone to long lives and slow reproduction rates. It is theorized that this combination has not only made them adept at scientific studies – but also inspired them to hire in alien species as a part of their various corporate empires. They share a very human temper; though can sometimes be seen as bureaucratic or officious. Their societal structure is obviously focused around corporations. The buying, selling, and trading of various goods and services and expanding to new unexplored parts of the universe are what drives them. Their facial features exhibit wide-set warm eyes, no visible nose, gray or mottled-gray skin, and horse-like hoofed legs. Along with this, the Contractors reproduce in a similar manner to humanity, as a response to physical unions between males and females. Males are typically adventurous and irresponsible, while females tend to be matronly and autocratic. Males and females, however, are so emotionally distinct however and such unions so psychologically unrewarding, that childbirth is relatively rare for their species. Contractor language is unnecessarily complex and verbose. This has lead Contractors to typically learn an odd number of languages and dialects and be masters of the spoken and written word. Poetry is considered the highest art in Contractor society, though to humanity it typically resembles legal documentation or scripting.

The Linaut are a rare and intellectual species that bears an impossible resemblance to humanity. Also descended from primates, they have long, pointed ears, striking multicolored eyes, and generally slim features. It is generally accepted that evolutionarily, they are approximately 50,000 years older than humans. As a result their society and technology are much more advanced and complex than anything humanity has constructed. They have something of a nostalgic view of humans and consider humanity to be something a sister race to the Linaut. The Linaut are typically slightly taller than your average human, and somewhat less hairy. One point of note is that evolution has forced the Linaut into a peculiar mating cycle in which each parental union conceives twins. The twin pairs grow up closely, spending their youths bonding emotionally and psychologically, eventually mating between themselves. Genetic diversity is actually introduced through the mother’s diet. The Linaut female digestive system breaks down some food into its essential DNA and will introduce portions of this DNA to the embryonic children. This DNA will affect everything from hair and eye color to relative muscle mass and other such attributes. These attributes are randomly distributed between the twins, typically causing distinct physical differences between the twins. Because of their odd mating cycle, early linaut learned quickly the science of genetics and the importance that it plays. To this day, Linaut geneticists are the most respected and prolific in the known galaxy. Their understanding of genetics rapidly lead way to other scientific advancements, and on the whole, the race has benefitted from consistantly being on the cutting edge of modern technology. In modern days, Linaut are rarely seen outside their laboratories and universities: they leave the traveling of the stars typically to the other species. Linaut are not commonly seen among humans, and those that are are commonly mistaken for humans, or vice versa. Sreekaanse in particular have a difficult time discerning between the two races.

The Sreekaanse are a small, cold-blooded, anthropomorphic species descended from upright-walking, lizard-like creatures. Short-lived, short-statured, but incredible muscular, they are incredibly intelligent and agile. Despite their intelligence, they’re also widely viewed as completely insane. They throw themselves physically and emotionally at whatever problem or situation they encounter, devoting themselves utterly in situations of dire need. The mortality (and birth) rate of Sreekaanse is far and away the highest of any sapient species yet recorded. Their sense of honor and self-sacrifice are inflated enormously as a result, with their society focusing on respect towards heroically departed ancestors and the matrons currently bearing the next generation. Females and males appear to be physically identical, and also seem emotionally identical as well.

Unlike humans, however, these three species are incapable of using the new human implants that allow access to the energetic field generation. These energetic fields can perform a variety of functions. Humans are capable of generating fields that can alter gravity, magnetism, electricity, and non-relativistic energy. While Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism alter obvious properties in nature, non-relativistic energy (called NRE) alters the membranes between dimensions. The most common way of use of NRE fields is a form of telepathy, which channels excess electrical fields that human brains generate into a readable form by the user, allowing for reading of basic thought and emotions. More complex or nuanced thoughts cannot be transmitted, and distances have to be close – nearly point blank for success. Despite the potential power of NRE fields, experimentation into them is rare as so few people are capable of even generating them – let alone sustaining them well enough to perform a given task. This is limited primarily by the lack of human ability, but also by the complexity of the implants that they require. The implants themselves can only affect the brain in any one given way; a gravity implant can only affect gravitational fields, an electrical implant can only affect electrical fields, and so on.

With all the changes, the human world at large has been effectively been turned upside down and shaken. The governments that thought they might be empowered by the human migration to the stars have all but dissolved without the populations or regulations to support them. Alien migrants (who are accepted) are common on Earth, and indeed operate many Steamship production facilities. Essentially, the world is finding itself becoming folded into the corporately structured bureaucracy of the Contractors as more and more people migrate to the colonies, factories, and trade-businesses that gladly employ them.

Employment is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Humans by and large live fulfilling and often adventurous lives if not always comfortably. They are paid in a silver bullion currency in a few forms of coins and bars. The mass of the coin/bar denoting its value, one standard unit of currency is called a “Credit.” Because of the beauty, malleability, regular availability, and utility of silver it is a universally accepted form of currency. It is used in silverware just as commonly as it is used in electronics and machinery.

The Contractor hiring firm called “Dytari CSS, ints.” that is searching for the human and alien applicants will be putting up available positions on the Bering shortly. A strong and competitive trainee pool is expected, and the future of The DSS Bering is bright.

If any applicants have questions or issues they wish to bring up, please contact our resident agent Tomato as soon as possible, or post them here.

Thank you.

[UPDATE - 4/21/08]

Ship Weaponry:

Though the DSS Bering is classified as a freighter/frigate intended for transportation of goods and people, it is armed for defense. As such, it is equipped standard with two primary weapons and two secondary weapons. The primary weapons consist of two steam-powered 172mm cannons directed towards the bow of the ship. They work by shunting energy from the fusion drive core and into the steam capacitors. The heat and pressure takes moments to build until they reach a specified pressure threshold. Once that threshold is reached, the weapons may be discharged. The cannons have an effective operational limit of 27,200 meters, and an ideal operational distance of 10500 meters, and are capable of putting their non-volitile 172mm rounds onto the target with a force of 89kN. Because of the massive energy requirement as well as the necessity to build up heat and pressure before discharge, these weapons have a long load and recycle time, limiting their use to once every few minutes - at peak capacity, they can be expected to be operable every 61 seconds. The secondary weapons are a pair of internally powered, chain driven, single-barrel weapons which may be fired in semi-automatic or automatic modes. They are limited, however, to a 7000m maximum range with an ideal range of 2000m. Operation of these weapons consists of loading, target acquisition and training, and discharging. Maintenance includes regular cleaning and casing disposal.

Ship Operations:

It is not uncommon for modern shipping companies to combine multiple unfilled job postings into fewer roles. This allows crosstraining, limiting overhead required for food and training of a new employee, and also gives that employee critical skills for continuing forward. A common example might be a cook/medic, or a first mate/gunnary sergeant, or a pilot/communications officer.


Communications:

All ship-to-ship or ship-to-ground communications are completed through a Linaut or Contractor communications package that operates on a sub-stellar frequency. Working on the principal that there is an alternate dimension "below space" called sub-stellar, in which energy travels nearly instantaneously. However, into this sub-stellar dimension, only energy can be efficiently transmitted or recieved. As a result, this allows for easy communications between two otherwise distant points. Many shipping companies are networked in manners that would otherwise be impossible if not for the sub-stellar connection. Dytari CSS ints. requires that all of it's correspondents maintain substellar communications, regularly checking and staying on their inter-corporate network.


Space Travel:

Space travel is actually a relatively simple thing. There are engines, and there are gates. The engines - fueled by fusion drives, get the ships from surface to air, and then into space. Travel between star systems is allowed through the use of devices called "Jump Gates". Essentially miniature space stations, they remain in asynchronous orbit around whatever planet or moon they are on and act as relay points for incoming and outgoing space traffic. The general operation of one of these gates could be described as a series of events: First, the approaching ship signals the gate as the captain, pilot, and navigator each imput their ID signatures as approval and state their intended destination. This signal then causes the nearest gate to begin it's operational cycle, powering up it's reactor and beginning to build it's charge to create a singularity. Simultaneously, the gate at which the signalling ship wish to arrive is signaled and also begins power-up proceedures. Once both gates reach an appreciable critical mass, they both begin generating quantum singularities at a focal point within the Jump gate. Then, using the sub-stellar link that both gates are networked through, they each draw portion of the singularities' energy into the link. The sub-stellar link responds by creating a stronger energetic response, basically 'pulling' more and more power into the link between the two singularies. Finally, at a final critical point, the two singularities merge over the sub-stellar link and essentially "fold" the two points of space into one. This fold spreads out as nearby space within the gate is effected, and so the traveling ship can enter the fold created and exit at the targeted point.

[UPDATE - 4/23/08]

Implants:

Only in recent history - the last few years or so - have neurological implants been widely used. Linaut geneticists working for Thulos Genomics (a subsidiary of Dytari CSS ints.), when mapping the human genome originally discovered a wide realm of possibilities when noted an odd mutational habit in human cerebellum cells when exposed to certain chemical and electrical combinations. These mutations are temporary at best - they are typically immediately corrected by the cell's DNA, however in this temporarily mutated form they can exhibit a variety of interesting properties. The ability to generate tiny electromagnetic fields was the first discovered, with electric and gravitational fields soon following. As more and more experiments were performed and more learned about the incredible genetic flexibility of human neurology, they unlocked more and more of these cellular capabilities. Most of these fall in the experimental catagory. As a result they tend to be heavy regulated by what various governments rule in a given situation. Typically, they are most heavily regulated locally. Many regional governments and companies simply ban their use altogether while some permit their extremely limited use in certain situations. There have been moral complications as well: Many religious groups have seen accepting implants as form of self-condemnation: The perfect design of the human body being warped by technology. Even still, many humans are lining up for the inexpensive simple outpatient operations required for implant technology.

The combination of laws based on an as of yet unknown factor, people signing up for powerful bodily enhancements, and an overzealous scientific community eager to experiement with this technology has produced an interesting implant based subculture. Implant junkies beg, borrow, and steal any power enhancing piece of experimental technology they can find - some for the power to control, some for the inate sheik interest that it provides, and some simply for the adrenaline of having your neurology temporarily shifted as they lift objects with their minds. This isn't the case with everyone however - but the impression of an army of out of control abusers is rapidly surfacing.

The subculture that seems to permeate the implant users isn't the only factor of consideration, however. Because of the wide scientific community that is experimenting with implants, there is an equally wide variety of implants and effects. Electromagnetic fields are the most commonly used - and also are the least corporately and federately regulated. Their utility is relatively limited: random electromagnetic fields have ways of frying sensor and communication pods. However, wider fields they can also be used to mask objects from any common magnet-based sensor. Along with this, some gifted users have even learned to be able to generate localized magnetic fields powerful enough to move metallic objects. While complex tasks like ship-building and stopping bullets mid-flight are essentially impossible, there have been reports of people shutting doors, lifting large metal objects, and weapons firing on their own. The few users capable of this level of complexity typically have devoted themselves to their particular implant of choice. No one user has, or can mastered more than even one implant, let alone the several available to them. As a result, the most common type of user is someone who switches between implants regularly, using the minimal abilities that each type affords.

The four type of implants are Electromagnetic, Gravitational, Electrical, and Non-Relativistic Energy (NRE) implants. Of these four, NRE Implants are widely illegal and penalized heavily for their use. Even experimentation in NRE implants is considered a felony, with the user being subject to punishment not only from corporate, but interstellar laws. The reason for this is the extremely unpredictable nature of NRE Implants; each implant can affect a person differently, even harmfully. One particular NRE experiment ended with the user claiming to have "gone back" in time. Three days later, however, the remains of his corpse had been found in his apartment. Diagnoses revealed that the brain cells that were affected by the NRE implant had in fact changed completely and permanently, and as a result, his body began rejecting them. Though the alarm this caused stemmed a bit of the interest into this line of research, many a rogue scientist view this as "humanity's gift" and explore their research into NRE illegally.

Electromagnetic Implants: Allows for the manipulation of conductive metallic objects and generation of magnetic "cloaking" fields to hide from magnetic sensors. Experienced users can manipulate fields around heavier or larger objects and maintain them for longer periods.

Gravitational Implants: Allows for the manipulation of gravitational fields, allowing for the compression or relaxation of gravity in localized areas: In essence, allowing for the levitation or distortion of objects. The more powerful the user, the more drastic the potential gravity change.

Electrical Implants: Allows for the manipulation of electrical fields and currents: Can temporarily electrify objects, as well as sense and manipulate the electrical currents of a given object. Users with greater experience with these can even 'mentally' operate local electronic equipment.

Non-Relativistic Energy (NRE) Implants: Allows for a peculiar and generally unexplored variety of abilities, ranging from basic forms of telepathy to short interval time travel. These implants are extremely regulated, and indeed illegal in civilized space.

Governments:

Many of Earths former governments have not simply rolled over and died. While the vast majority simply cannot compete with the costs required to build and maintain a space armada, some have quite successfully invested and grown their own space programs in the archetexture provided by the Contractors. A prime example of this is Great Britain. Though a smaller nation, the wealth of Great Britain all but ensured that they would be able to complete their first Steamship and send it into space. A grant total of 15 Steamships were constructed and operated by Great Britain. However, due to the lack of vested governmental interest in a particular return and the emmense cost along with unstable technology of running such an experimental navy, many of the ships have been decommissioned, the Theseus being the most recent. Along with Great Britain; China, Japan, Germany, and the United States all have their various stages of space-faring Steamships in the stars. These primarily exist as little more than symbols, however. Each nation is utterly unable to compete with the Contractor corporations that have had millenia to streamline their corporate processes to deliver goods and services to the stars. This is just as well, Earth still needs to keep it's own home for humanity.

Alien Races:

There are hundreds of registered sapient races among the stars in the milky way galaxy. While the vast majority are physiologically unsuitable for space travel, a good portion still explore the stars. Even then, there seems to be an "inner circle" of allied alien races that operate under similar social and economic standards that promote interstellar growth and prosperity. These races are the Linaut, Contractors, Sreekaanse, and Humans. As explained earlier, each species has their own particular identity, and even roll among their collective: Sreekaanse tend to be the small but powerful muscle, with an indomitable determination and a healthy population to back their advances. Contractors have an innate ability for diplomacy and an emmense corporate infrastructure to continue their efforts forward, and act to be the 'managers' of interstellar activities. Linaut are an advanced civilization supplying the galaxies technological needs and act as the cutting edge of science and development. Humans are the newcomers, but rapidly they are becoming the beating heart of the effort to extend the sapient reach into the stars, with an undaunted spirit and drive to succeed and desire to learn.
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Last edited by Tomato on Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Maeniel



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't send in a bio at the moment(I can only steal my friends' computers for so long), but I'm definitely psyched about this! Very Happy Count me in.
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto.

One question: are humans all the same basic shape still, or are there any ho've adapted/been adapted to new worlds/environments (mainly because I was wondering about bringing back my Welsh heavyworld character, Taf, in some form or another).

Other than that, do we know where the ship is going, and are there going to be player character passengers, NPC passengers, or just crew and cargo?

And finally, are the number of places limited?
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Tomato



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer Maeniels non-question... Wait until I get a bio-thread going before sending anything. Expect it soon, as in - today.

To answer Space's question... Yes, and no.

Humans have been involved with aliens for a little under 30 years now, and have been taking flight of their only only in the last 5. I'm going to be adding this new info, as well as some other things into the post. I suggest reading the update I'm gonna be adding soon.

I plan on adding some additional information about each species of alien, as well as some other factors.

Along with that, I'll be posting the job information that will let characters apply for various positions.
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Dark Star



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, this RP is definitely looking good. It's gonna be interesting choosing between races, as well as between manipulation abilities if I choose a human. I take it that human characters with NRE implants will be strictly limited?
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Spindrifter



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dig it. Sample bio with the bio thread, please...
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds spiffy!
What capabilities do the implants afford? Example, would a human with the gravity implant be able to change where gravity is acting from and thus have telekenesis-style abilities?
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Feaelen



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will it be possible to join later on? i'm not sure i have time for 2 rpg's at the moment but am still interested.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This RPG sounds pretty awesome, but I've never been a part of RPGs here on the Earthsong forums. Is anyone allowed to participate? Also, will I need to do anything to participate? Thank you in advance.
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick explanation on the RPGs: Since we're currently re-starting or starting up new RPGs here, it's fine to throw in your interest in these start-up/OOC threads, or PMing the GM concerned. Anyone is allowed to apply, but sometimes the GMs will have number restrictions and will only take on so many players at a time.

As for what you need to participate, it's best to have a look through the GM's outlying plan and letting them know you're interested in joining in. Providing there's enough room for a new player (there should be at the moment, since no RPs are currently in progress), have a look at the bio template the GM has provided, create yourself a character from that, and then PM it to them for approval. That should be you in business!

If you have any more questions about the section in general, feel free to ask either myself or Space via PM. If you have a question about a particular RPG, then you can always contact the GM of that RP by PM.

And now I shall disappear and let you resume Bering talk.
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Tomato



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to apologize to the folks who've been interested in getting this RP started, I've been a little lazy lately in working this all up.

Well, actually, lazy isn't really the word for it.

Moving, I think is the word.

Yeah.

Just moved to my new apartment this weekend. Awful timing, I suppose.

I'm going to work on getting that bio thread up today. Should be fairly soon.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question; if I'm really bad with machinery-talk and pretending to be all knowledgeable about space and science, would this be a bad RPG to join? I don't know how convincing I can be.
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Tomato



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. In fact, if so desiring, you can indeed make that a function of your character - not great with machines and machine talk.

Honestly, I mostly just fluff it up with descriptions and such because *I* enjoy writing that. It's not true of everyone though, and I wouldn't expect it to be.

If you're not so keen on it - don't play it to that. But please, don't let something like a lack of understanding of my ridiculous BS be a reason for not joining.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. In my pseudo-bio, I wrote that she had previous experience on ships. How inexperienced can I be? Can I have zero ship-board experience? Then I can legitimately not know what I'm doing...

Also, can I put 'Species: Human Female', or would the Contractors not be amused?
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tomato



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be most amused. Honestly, think of it this way: You're applying for a job. What would your character put on her application?


Also: Whatever backstory and relevant understanding you want your character to have, she's free to have. She doesn't *need* to have any shipboard experience, just a willingness to gain some going forward.
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