The Quick(er) Newbie Guide
First off, welcome to Post Terminus!
What you see here is a bunch of geeks banding together over a love of anime, sci-fi, fantasy, books, movies, and games... plus an interest in authoring stories and roleplaying with friends. If any of that strikes a chord with you, then maybe you should stick around, see what this place has going for it.
Although we've recently moved over to an original setting (this setting), this community began all the way back in April 2004. Things started out with a Bleach fanfiction RP located on BleachForums.com and... pretty much stayed a Bleach RP, although it went through several different iterations, the longest of which was Halcyon Days. A lot of great writers and RPers have come and gone over time. After a while, the world of Bleach starts to feel a little cramped, so we got together and built the foundation for a new roleplay in a new, original setting.
Where to get started, though? First things first, if you haven't already, you should go ahead and register an account, so you can say hi or just tell everyone what nerds we are. There's no pressure to join the RP itself or start writing.
Once you register, drop a line in the Introductions board. We commonly hang out on Discord, also. It's often the best place to just shoot the breeze and ask questions. If you'd rather avoid Chat, though, the next best place to ask questions about RP-related things is in Post Terminus Q&A, and then you have Post Terminus Discussion for just about anything else.
What's Post Terminus actually about?
Post Terminus, in short, is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, magic and technology in a steampunk/aetherpunk type of world. 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, unlike certain popular series, the world didn't stay a wasteland: society recovered, civilizations were rebuilt, and out of the ashes a new, strange world emerged. You can read the history of Araevis and Terminus in greater detail in the Post Terminus Guide.
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.
So, say you're interested in working up a character. What's involved in that?
Start by picking a race. There are four main races: Laicar, the Terrans (our closest analog to humans); Enlil, the Avians (a winged humanoid race with reputation for ferocity); Velen, the Aquatic (an amphibious humanoid race originating from deep beneath the seas); and Demvir, the Machina (a race of humanoid machines, possessing sapience but a mysterious origin). You can also make any blend of heritage for the biological races (laicar/velen, velen/enlil, etc... even enlil/velen/laicar); such mixed-blood individuals are known as 'Spurii.' Each race has its own history and culture, as well as some bonus abilities related to the race. More details here.
There are no skill restrictions based on race, so pick what feels best.
There are twenty-five total skills, currently, and your character can learn any (or all) of them. Your character's competency in each skill is measured in five tiers, from Novice to Grandmaster.
A short and simple explanation of how progression works: you write; your writing is given a grade and comments; use the points from your grade to upgrade your mastery. As your characters do more, they get better at what they do.
If we were to relate those to schools in the real-world:
High-school/GED level. You've been studying or practicing for years and may be pretty good at what you do, but you're still at a level most people will reach if they put in the effort.
Technical College. You've pursued your training further, capitalizing on your interest or talent to set yourself apart.
Bachelor's Degree. Others are starting to recognize your proficiency, and your skills are actively sought after.
Doctorate/PhD. You're not satisfied with just recognition, or are just too engrossed in the field to stop. You're in the top of your field, and you've committed your life to this passion.
Legend. There's no class for you, because you long since passed a point where you could learn from others. You're at a different level, and you had to get there by working harder, pushing further, than those who came before you.
But which skills should you take? Each character starts out with 4 skills at Novice level. You can mix and match any 4 skills. You could make a character devoted to crafting, or one surrounded by different minions, a master of all melee weapons, or a student of all the vis... but just as easily you could create a practitioner of Bellator who carries a greatsword and keeps a hand-cannon on his belt; or an enchanter who infuses his own spear with spells; an engineer who augments his own limbs to enhance his hand-to-hand skills. You're also not limited to 4 total. Once you get more points, you can pick up as many skills as you like.
You can view them in greater detail in the Arcanum Apotheca, but the skills are:
The Arcane Schools (Magic Skills)
School of Castus (The Immaculate): Study of healing magic.
School of Occultus (The Hidden): Study of illusion magic.
School of Bellator (The Destroyer): Study of destructive magic.
School of Serpens (The Serpent): Study of spells that restrict or restrain.
School of Aquila (The Eagle): Study of spells that protect and enhance.
The Martial Disciplines (Melee Skills)
Discipline of Militis (The Soldier): Training in direct melee skills. Specializes in mid-size weapons.
Discipline of Battuentis (The Fencer): Training in the melee art of parry and riposte. Specializes in light weapons.
Discipline of Contigeri (The Lancer): Training in the melee use of reach weapons. Specializes in polearms.
Discipline of Barbaris (The Barbarian): Training in the use of crushing melee force. Specializes in heavy weapons.
Discipline of Pugilis (The Brawler): Training in unarmed melee combat.
The Armaments’ Way (Ranged Skills)
Way of Pistolii (The Duelist): Drilling in the use of handguns and close-range firearms. Specializes in handguns and light crossbows.
Way of Sclopeto (The Rifleman): Drilling in the use of mid-range firearms. Specializes in rifles, shotguns, and crossbows.
Way of Perspicax (The Sniper): Drilling in the use of long-range firearms. Specializes in sniper rifles or longbows.
Way of Polybolii (The Gunner): Drilling in the use of rapid-fire weapons. Specializes in automatic firearms.
Way of Cannonis (The Bomber): Drilling in the use of explosive weaponry.
The Overseer’s Calling (Minion Skills)
Calling of Mansuetis (The Tamer): Pursuit of the calling to tame beasts.
Calling of Fundibuli (The Mechanist): Pursuit of the calling to command machines.
Calling of Daemonium (The Summoner): Pursuit of the calling to summon daemons.
Calling of Pythonis (The Contractor): Pursuit of the calling to bind a familiar.
Calling of Exanimum (The Necromancer): Pursuit of the calling to animate the dead.
The Tradesman’s Arts (Trade Skills)
Art of Aedificare (The Blacksmith): Practice of crafting martial weapons.
Art of Terriculum (The Gunsmith): Practice of crafting technical weapons.
Art of Alchemia (The Alchemist): Practice of crafting poisons and potions.
Art of Cantatus (The Enchanter): Practice of imbuing spells into items.
Art of Ingeniarius (The Engineer): Practice of crafting machines and using them.
Now that you have a character in mind, how do you officially apply?
Applications are in the Elata Spiritus section of the forum. The name is a reference to one of the smaller cities in the RP, where travelers from all over arrive in Terminus. You are encouraged to skim over some of the Approved applications -- see what kind of characters people are making, and what kind of feedback they've gotten before. When you're ready, though, you can jump into submitting your own application.
The rules are pretty loose. Members of application staff will look over your character to see if it fits into the world, and give you some basic critique on your sample chapter. You need any two members of staff to give a thumbs up to say you're ready. You should never wait longer than three days before you get a response, and if you do, notify one of the GMs (swaswj, K3, Nargles).
A quick checklist. You'll need:
- A name:
- As long as it's not a copyrighted character from existing media, just about any name goes.
- Your character's age:
- No hard limits, either young or old, but make sure it fits with your character's history and skills.
- Laicar, Enlil, Velen, Demvir, or Spurii.
- Think up something that describes how your character is most of the time. This shouldn't be much more than a paragraph or two. Focus on norms, not exceptions. "Will was usually chill, except when something made him angry," only confuses things. There are always exceptions, so you don't have to spell them out. On the other-hand, if your character makes a point of avoiding exceptions -- like being a pacifist to a fault, refusing even to kill in self-defense -- that's worth bringing up.
- Physical statue:
- The description of your character. You're allowed (and encouraged) to feature artwork that represents your character, but you have to show us that you can describe the character in writing. It only needs to be a paragraph or two, focusing on key identifying features. You can be even more detailed, of course, but you're not required to write out every individual flaw and blemish.
- Should be noted that this is a brief biography. Tell us what led your character to where they are now in a couple paragraphs. If you already have a long, detailed history in mind, that's great: save it for writing material for later.
- Pick the four skills you want for your character. No restrictions.
- Sample Chapter:
- Here's the big one. 'A picture is worth a thousand words' is the old saying, but here we're looking for the opposite. Give us a brief scene, of 500 words or more, that gives us a good picture of the character. This could be a part of their history, a story showing their aspirations, or even just a scene demonstrating how they react in a scenario. It doesn't have to be a long or complex story. Important note: a Xenforo forum doesn't play well with indented paragraphs. You'll need to put block paragraphs (a blank line between paragraphs) in order to be read easily.
Once you get Approved, you can copy your application over to the Character Registrar. Your application is sufficient, but you're free to doctor up your character profile as much as you want. Some are fancier than others.
Your sample chapter (and any other writing you want to post) can be posted in the Writing board. Preface your subject line with your grading group and the week number (feel free to ask which week it is if you're unsure). For instance: [Be] Week 001: Titles Are Overrated!. Then just start writing, either by yourself as chapters, or together with other members as collabs.
Each week ends on Saturday at 11:59 PM EST, and everything you posted that week should receive comments and a grade by 11:59 PM EST on the following Tuesday. You should post your updated stats every week, because any points you put in your skills only officially count after you post them.
Where do you look if you want to know more? About anything? About everything?
The best source will be the Post Terminus Mega-Thread
More detailed posts on the skills can be reviewed in the Arcanum Apotheca
The latest updates to the RP will be posted in News and Announcements
You can browse through some of the flora, fauna, and other world details in the Codex Informatum
Finally, if you have anything you want to talk about or ask about, you can always post it in Post Terminus Discussion or talk to us in Discord. That includes if you have suggestions for making this newbie thread more helpful!