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Biographies are written histories that players can submit for their characters. Well-written biographies may entitle characters to extra skill points or a higher level of skill in certain areas.
In order to help provide a high quality roleplaying experience, it is necessary to write a biography to get your character into roleplay. Approved bios give both entry to the grid and other benefits which may assist with early character development. Writing a biography is also the only way to gain some of the more unusual gifts, quirks and faults.
Having a predetermined history can help a player to determine their character's reaction in certain circumstances, especially for those players who are new to Otherspace and therefore don't already have a deep knowledge of theme. Perhaps you've mentioned in your character's background a childhood trauma that stands out more than the others, for instance, they were trapped down a well for three days. In an early plot you're trapped in a cave-in on Antimone. How might your biography affect your roleplaying in that situation?
- Your character might be afraid of the dark or claustrophobic; they may even have the phobia quirk.
- Your character might not have wanted to follow their friends into the cave in the first place.
- Your character is suitably freaked out — and her fears are confirmed — by the cave-in.
Perhaps you mention in the biography that your character once let his temper get out of control and he struck an ex-girlfriend, putting her in hospital. Your character has since sworn never to hit a member of the opposite sex again. On the grid they now face the business end of a pulse assault rifle being wielded by a woman.
Maybe your character has always loved cats — and now they are thrilled to be around the big walking-talking variety on Demaria.
Putting together the biography Edit
Perhaps you have a rough idea — 'a pilot' — or perhaps you have a more detailed idea — 'an Ungstiri male pilot who's spent the last three years with the militia but was a prospector before that'. Either way your biography would benefit if you read articles in the Races and Worlds categories, and perhaps the Ungstir and Ungstiri pages in particular.
When you start to write the biography, remember that it doesn't have to be the length of War and Peace, nor must it detail every one of your character's thoughts and actions from his birth to the day he steps onto the grid. It's best to try and keep it to the main points. Your biography should be concise and explain the more important aspects of your character.
Does your character have any family? Are they still living? Are they dead? How does your character relate to his family?
Give a brief rundown of your character's history. Did he go to school? University? What's the most important event of his childhood? Teenage years? Did she have problems with the law? Does he have a career? This isn't a definitive list, but you get the idea. Try to include only events that would have a major impact on your character. You might have a look at the timeline and decide if any of the events there would have had an impact upon your character.
Does your character have any hobbies? Does he like history? Does she play sports? Does it have a penchant for underwater basket weaving?
What's your character like? These are the nuts and bolts of the character. Is he a straight arrow who tries to do the right thing or does he like to cut corners? Is she overly curious, constantly sticking her nose where it's not wanted? Is he likeable or a pain in the ass? Does she have any major problems? Irrational fears? Likes? How does he react to other races?
Gifts, Faults, and QuirksEdit
Add any desired gifts, faults or quirks you would like to the end of the biography. This also applies for any skills that you would like set above Good initially. +sinfo list gifts +sinfo list faults and +sinfo list quirks lists all of the gifts, faults, and quirks availible.
If you're still stuck for ideas, the following sites have questionaires to help you get your creative juices flowing again:
- Character Questionnaire by Heather Grove at The Burning Void
- Character Background Questionnaire by Tim Emrick
- Ideas for Character Backgrounds
- Character Background Help
- How to Write a Bibliography
Submitting your biographyEdit
You can submit your biography to the staff using the following command:
+str biography/<Character>'s biography=<Your biography>
If your biography is long, you may decide to submit it in smaller pieces.
You can also add a %r%r between paragraphs. %r%r between paragraphs represents a double line space.
This is a paragraph.%r%rAnd so is this.
Will be read when the +str command is viewed as:
This is a paragraph. And so is this.
Review and ReviseEdit
After submission, within 48 hours most of the time you will either be approved or denied. It should be noted that many first efforts are denied and sent back with recommendations and points to revise to improve the bio. Don't feel bad, this happens to a great number of players on their first attempt. It's our way of making sure that both you and those you play with have an immersive experience once you do go in-character.
Writing a biography should get you some perks on your character sheet. More importantly, it can give you a handle on your character and help with your roleplay. For both reasons, the time spent writing a biography is more than worthwhile. For examples of how not to do it, see the Bad Bios.