Post Terminus is a play-by-post roleplaying game in an original setting: the world of Araevis, a blend of sci-fi and fantasy with magic and technology mingled together.
How to Get Started
Welcome to Post Terminus! This is an open-ended writing roleplay where you're given a vast degree of freedom in how you want to build your character and write your story. For many, it can be daunting. If it feels like there's too much to dive into, in terms of lore or mechanics, you're not alone. That said, no one is expected to learn all or even most of the material in order to jump in. We're all here to write stories and continually build onto the lore surrounding the world. There will always be more to create or discover, but you're not here to take an exam.
What do I need to know to get started?
First, the world of Araevis is one of both magic and technology, but things we take for granted as modern conveniences tend to be very limited. As a player, you should feel comfortable in making your characters exceptions to that norm! Everybody may not be walking around with a phone in their pocket, but maybe your character received a device to stay in contact with friends.
Next, the heart of the world is Terminus, a Grand Metropolis located far to the north; the city is enormous, larger than some countries, and it has some of everything. If you have no idea where to start writing, Terminus is your best bet, and there's room for all sorts of homes and districts in the city. While not a true utopia, Terminus does maintain appearances and so even the slums are nicer than your average den of sin. If you don't want to start in Terminus, though, you can hop into or create a place anywhere in the world, even in an underwater city of the velen or high in the massive trees of Boreas.
Races: all three of the prime races are 'human,' but laicar are the closest to what you'd expect from the word, while the enlil are an avian people with bird-like attributes (including some ability to fly) and the velen are an aquatic people suited to life in the seas (including the ability to breathe both on land and underwater). It's possible to have a character that's mixed blood of any or all three, known as a spurii. Finally, there's a machina race known as the demvir, whose origins are a mystery even to themselves.
Progression in Post Terminus is broken into skills. There are twenty-five total skill trees, and your character can pursue any or all of them. Choose four to start and you can improve them or add more as you go on. You can choose from martial skills, ranged proficiency, or magic, and can even focus on skills to train up followers and minions, or dip into crafting.
When getting started, my advice is to start broad and run with it. You can flesh out the details as you go along, and as you interact with other players and their characters, your own character's plot may change and grow more complex.
So what is a play-by-post RP?
In the internet age, there's of course all sorts of ways to RP, including some that are a little too lurid to talk about right now. In our case, roleplaying is done through writing personal chapters in your characters' stories, collaborating on writing pieces with other players, and joining in overarching plot scenarios lead by the GMs. As you write, your characters' latent potential grows, and you can realize that potential by improving their skills. You also gather currency, gear, and items while unlocking new feats and abilities, further setting your character apart.
What kind of setting is Araevis?
Things aren't entirely modern (there are no computers, and even simpler technology like radio is absent), but not entirely feudal (engineering, magical lighting, airships). The RP is technically post-apocalyptic: five hundred years before the start of the RP, the world was almost entirely destroyed. However, the world didn't stay a wasteland: society recovered, civilizations were rebuilt, and out of the ashes a new, strange world emerged. Your character is trying to get by in a world that dramatically changed over a scant few centuries, right when events are starting to set in motion that threaten to rock the foundations of their civilization.
Who am I in the world?
Your character is the protagonist of his or her story, and a main character in the plot at large. You're not limited to being an NPC in the GMs' story or a bystander to veteran characters. The choices you make can have an impact on the world.
What kind of rules are there?
First Rule: "Story comes first."
As a writing roleplay, story comes first. The world, the lore, the skills, the rules... all of it is intended to create a framework for players to write their stories. None of it is meant to restrict what you can or cannot write. In certain limited scenarios, like plot missions led by GMs, the rules may be stricter for participants, but most of the time, you should consider the rules as suggestions or guidelines.
Caveat: The First Rule applies within the RP. We also have forum-wide rules, found here, which are not suggestions.
What kind of roleplaying etiquette rules are there?
There are a few standards. The first one is to stick true to your character, or as a past GM once explained it, "Chaotic Neutral is a lame alignment." You're here to write and roleplay, so part of that should be having a character that has wants, needs, and personal standards. They might lean evil, might be good, follow a strict set of rules or consider the law to be more like guidelines, but the key is to be consistent to your character. Don't stand in judgment of someone for stealing in one moment and then run off with a magical artifact that doesn't belong to you in the next.
Next, avoid power-plays. Although we all play a little fast and loose with them, the stats of your character are a guideline to what they can do, and it's that sort of guideline that tells you where your characters stand in relation to one another. Acknowledge what other players do in the same way you want them to acknowledge what you do, whether you're together or against one another. It leaves a sour feeling if you're writing a duel, but both of you no-sell each other's attacks and walk away with a stalemate after neither of you wanted to concede; it's disappointing when you're working together, but every time your character does something the other writer tries to one-up it, giving the impression that your character isn't needed.
Finally, remember that you are not your character. "Don't hate the player, hate the game." … kind of. Seriously, though, if something happens to your character, don't take it personally. If another character hates yours, that doesn't mean you and the other player are at odds. Maintain a separation of in-game and out-of-game so that you can enjoy the bumpy ride of your characters' journey.
How many threads may I be in at one time?
There's no limit to how many threads you're allowed to be in, but make sure that it's a number you can handle. Most of us can only be in three or four at once before it becomes a chore to keep up with. Don't join so many at once that people are frustrated waiting for you, or you're frustrated with keeping up.
Is there a minimum wordcount? Maximum?
There is no minimum. Progression in Post Terminus is based on how much you write, but you can submit a piece that just says, "Burp." You won't be getting rave reviews for that, and it's worth 1/10th of a latens point, but you can do it; artists' minds work in mysterious ways!
There is no technical maximum, either, but if you want people to read rather than skim or skip, keeping things under 10,000 words per piece is recommended. If that seems like a lot to you, don't worry, you're not alone! If that seems too small, though, try breaking things into multiple parts. Readers need to take breaks, and if you're splitting the writing into chunks, you can at least dictate where in your story they get a breather.
What writing tense is used when roleplaying?
Third-person limited is the preferred writing tense in Post Terminus. You'll see a smattering of third-person omniscient, and rarely first-person or even second-person. The norm is not the rule, though. Write in the way that appeals to you in personal chapters, and communicate with your partner on which tense to use in collaborations.
What if I have more questions?
Don't worry too much. You're not expected to know everything before you start playing, and the members here will help you as you go.
I would recommend looking through the rest of the New Player Area first, since we're trying to get all of the most important things localized here. If you still want to know more before starting, many questions are answered in our FAQ, so be sure to skim through that. If you have questions that weren't answered or you want more detail on an answer, you can post them in our Q&A forum or jump in Discord and ask us there.
How do I create my first character?
When you're ready to create your first character, go to the Character Applications board and click Submit Application.