FAQ: FS3 Character Generation


Character generation (CharGen) on this MUSH is as painless as we can make it. This FAQ — written by Polaris, the game's Lead Storyteller — is intended to guide new MUSHers through the CharGen and application process, though its insights are applicable to experienced players as well.

Room 0: The Beginning

Before starting CharGen, you should already have a fairly good idea of what sort of character you'd like to create. Would you like to be an engineer who joined the Navy when her promising collegiate Pyramid career went south? A Raptor pilot planning to retire after a decade of service to spend more time with his estranged daughter? A nursing student rescued from Sagittaron who must reconcile his religious beliefs with the human suffering he sees around him? The list goes on and on. Your choice of concept will guide all subsequent decisions. Note that some concepts on this game are restricted. To get more information, please read our handy FAQ.

When deciding on a concept, remember that your character is more than the job he does. While your in-character (IC) occupation is important, equally important is the person behind the suit. What motivates him to do what he does? Why does he believe what he believes? In other words, what makes your character tick?

For inspiration, start with our Theme and Setting files, paying particular importance to our pages on the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. If you want to play a military character, be sure to also read our pages on Joining the Navy and Departments. You'll also find it useful to read other players' wiki pages. And if you're still stuck, just ask around on the <Newbie> channel (+n <text>) and our current players will be happy to help you out. Lastly, the wonderful Faraday has written a guide to creating MUSH characters, located here.

For illustrative purposes, we'll be using the following concept.

Tycho Aidos is a washed-up and jaded detective from Leonis who survived the Cylon Holocaust by chance. Rescued by BSG-132, he finds renewed purpose when he enlists in the Colonial Marine Corps.

Room 1: Demographics

The commands in this room are fairly straightforward. Let's set our character's basic information.

+fullname Tycho Aidos
+age 33
@sex me=Male
+faction Civilian
+position Detective
+org Policing
+colony Leonis

We do not need to set a rank, as Tycho will begin on the grid as a civilian.

Room 2: Abilities

Now it's time to set Tycho's attributes and skills. Battlestar Cerberus uses Faraday's FS3 Skill and Combat System. Details on the math behind the system can be found here, but let's focus on the basics. A FS3 character has two sets of stats. Attributes are roughly static representations of a person's innate ability. Skills represent things your character has learned how to do, from shooting a gun to sneaking around. For a complete list, type +abilities. To see which attributes control which skills, type +rulingattr.

Important Note: Before beginning, make sure to type the +reset command to initialize the system! Also type +limits to check out our built-in caps on what you can and cannot set. Finally, take a look at other characters' stats (+sheet <name>) to see what has previously been approved.

Step 1: Attributes

Attributes are governed on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 12 (highest), represented on your character sheet (+sheet) by dots (@). The ability scale is as follows:

Dots Description
1-2 Profoundly crippled.
3 Below average.
4 The average human.
5-6 Above average to well above average.
7-8 Significantly above average; exceptional.
9-12 Superhuman.

No PC with 1-2 or 9-12 in an attribute will be approved.

To return to our example:

Tycho has decent reflexes and hand-eye coordination (Reactive 5) but manning a desk hasn't done his body any favors (Athletic 4). While he's a capable conversationalist, he's by no means the life of the party, and his habitual scowl doesn't help matters much (Social 4). He also has little patience for computers and needed a manual to figure out all of the different functions on his department-provided phone (Technical 4). He does, however, have a wonderfully incisive mind (Academic 6) and possesses an uncanny ability to think outside the box (Creative 7).

Step 2a: Action Skills

Action Skills are governed on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 12 (highest). The skill scale is as follows:

Dots Description Examples
1-2 Rookie A pilot in flight school; a Marine in Basic Training; a first- to second-year med student; high school education
3-4 Skilled A pilot who has passed flight school; a Marine who has completing Advanced Infantry Training; a recent graduate of medical school; associate's to bachelor's degree
5 Professional A pilot or Marine with two to four years of experience in the field; a doctor pursuing a residency; master's degree
6 Experienced A pilot or Marine with five to seven years of experience in the field; a doctor who has practiced for several years; PhD
7-8 Veteran A highly experienced soldier (7+ years); a well-respected doctor; a leading professor
9 Exceptional One of the best soldiers in the Navy; the Colonies' top neurosurgeon; the lead scholar in a field
10-12 Legendary A master of historical, legendary, or mythical proportions.

Bear in mind that our skills are heavily skewed toward the lower end of the scale: 4 dots, after all, represents professional-level ability. Realistically, no PC with more than 8 dots in a skill will be approved, and even 7s are few and far between.

To return to our example:

Tycho is a trained police officer who can take care of himself on the street. He's been in his fair share of gunfights — mostly early in his career — and tries to go through a few reps of his basic melee exercises every night, though his interest in that sort of thing has been flagging of late (Firearms 5, Melee 4). He's also been trained in the art of vehicle pursuit (Drive 4) and of snooping without being seen (Stealth 3). Over the years, he's gone through at least seven partners, and he's picked up a few tricks for teaching and motivating the greener ones that show up at his door (Instruction 3). And though he's pushing the upper edge of 33, he retains his surpassing eye for detail and almost never gets caught off guard (Alertness 7).

Step 2b. Background Skills

In addition to coded action skills, FS3 implements freeform background skills that allow players to add flavor to their character. You can make up almost anything you want (within reason, of course). Though these skills may never be rolled, they can give a valuable glimpse into you're your character is about.

Before he dropped out of college in his junior year, Tycho studied Finance at the University of Metis (Finance 3). He knows the relevant sections of the municipal code inside and out (Law 5) and has years of experience sifting through mountains of paperwork, interrogating witnesses, and the like (Investigation 6). A man of some means, he's invested his spare time learning how to make fine cocktails (Mixology 3).

Step 3. Quirks

Quirks are one- or two-word descriptions of your character's personality traits or significant features. Be as creative as you like! A list of sample quirks is provided on +Abilities2.

Going back to our concept, let's give Tycho the following quirks: Blunt, Jaded, Posh, and Workaholic.

Step 4. Finishing Up

When you're done, hit +sheet again to double-check that everything's okay.

-=[ Attributes ]=-------------------------------------------------------------
Academic:       Avg  @@@@@@           Athletic:       Avg  @@@@            
Creative:       Good @@@@@@@          Reactive:       Avg  @@@@@           
Social:         Avg  @@@@             Technical:      Avg  @@@@            

-=[ Action Skills ]=----------------------------------------------------------
Alertness:      Vet  @@@@@@@          Drive:          Prof @@@@            
Firearms:       Prof @@@@@            Instruction:    Rook @@@             
Melee:          Prof @@@@             Stealth:        Rook @@@             

-=[ Background Skills ]=------------------------------------------------------
Finance:        Rook @@@              Investigation:  Prof @@@@@@           
Law:            Prof @@@@@            Mixology:       Rook @@@             

-=[ Language Skills ]=--------------------------------------------------------
Standard:       Vet  @@@@@@@         

-=[ Quirks ]=-----------------------------------------------------------------
Blunt                                 Jaded                                
Posh                                  Workaholic

Room 3: Background

In this room, you set up your character's backstory. We're not asking for a masterpiece or a novel; all we need is a portrait of your PC that explains your concept and justifies your skill spends. This is your chance to give us a look into your character's mind and show us who (s)he is, where (s)he came from, and where (s)he might be going. If you'd like, we'd also love to read about how you imagine your character contributing to the game. What sort of plots do you want her/him to participate in? How do you envision her/him growing or changing? What role do you see her/him having on the grid?

To liven up your background, you may wish to include choice details from our wiki's Theme and Setting files. If your character has served in the military before arriving aboard Cerberus, consult Stations and Events to see if your chosen ship or unit name has been used — or pick a station that'll give you an instant RP hook with other PCs from that ship or unit. To explain how your character ended up with BSG-132, consult our Guide to Coming Aboard.

If you're playing a survivor and looking for more instant RP hooks, check out the Dramatis Personae to see what other characters were rescued from the same place; maybe you were part of the same group. Rescuee chars should please remember to include in their BGs info about how they survived the Cylon attack and how they've coped since. If you need help figuring out what your char might have done or experienced planetside before being rescued, please ask staff. We're happy to help you come up with something plausible.

What's Tycho's story?

Born into a family that produced twenty-eight policemen and two of the past thirteen police commissioners of the City of Kythera, Tycho Aidos is a detective who bleeds navy blue. Despite attending a posh private school and beginning a degree in Exploiting the Unwashed Masses at the University of Metis, he found economics eminently dissatisfying and dropped out the moment he turned twenty-one. After four interviews, two all-day tests, and a truly staggering number of background checks, he won admission to Kythera's Police Academy, from which he graduated six months later.

During his twelve years in the force, most of which he spent in Homicide, Tycho established a reputation as an officer of uncommon dedication. An unflinching supporter of Mayor Allen Rayburn's draconian city-wide crackdown, he found his loyalty rewarded by a sharp decrease in crime — and the drastic curtailment of his career in the field. By the time the Cylons attacked, he'd been manning a desk for nineteen full months, responding to nightly noise complaints and the occasional DWI while waiting for another worthy case to cross his path.

Tycho survived the Holocaust by chance. Summoned to Aquarian Pete's Gentleman's Club to investigate a particularly gruesome murder, he found himself underground when the bombs hit. He was rescued by Colonial forces led to his location by his one-time partner Hal Morrow and, upon his arrival aboard Battlestar Cerberus, has mostly kept to himself.

When he arrives on the grid, Tycho still won't quite know what to do with himself. He was in the middle of investigating his first major case in over a year when the Holocaust hit, and — a little perversely, given everything else that's happened — he blames the Cylons for interrupting the puzzle of a lifetime. It's a hell of a thing to be bitter about, but there you have it: Detective Aidos' response to the mass murder of humanity. What he's really looking for is an interesting puzzle to keep him occupied, one he'll eventually find when he enlists as a private with the Colonial Marines. There, he'll be able to get involved with all sorts of run-of-the-mill shipboard investigations while waiting for the next big case to drop. His contacts among his fellow rescued Kytherans might also allow him to play an important role in a civilian-side mystery. Finally, he's got a pet project to keep him occupied: all the case files related to the Samantha Berger murder, which he's made his life's work to solve. The fact that the culprit was most likely killed by a Cylon nuke matters to him not a whit. It's the spirit of the thing that counts, and Tycho Aidos isn't one to let justice go unserved because of a minor inconvenience like Warday.

Room 4: Approval

When you're finished, type +bg/submit to submit your character for approval. That's it — you're done! Please allow Staff forty-eight hours to review your application before paging or +mailing us. In the meantime, feel free to hang out in the OOC Lounge, read through old logs and IC Memoirs, and get to know the rest of our players.

Welcome to the game!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License