Thie guide will help you get started creating your very own unique character within Avaria. It will cover the various steps in the process and help to further explain some of the concepts and choices involved.
You should have already created an account for yourself as outlined in the QuickStart Guide. Although you will most likely be using the web-based character generator, you may want to stay logged into the game at the same time so that you can ask any questions you may have over the GameHelp channel. The syntax to ask questions on that channel is simply GAMEHELP <message>. If there are any staff members online, or even more experienced players, someone will be happy to answer your queries. You can also use this wiki to read through some of the basic lore and gameplay concepts.
Step 1: Origin
The first step in creating a character is to choose your origin. This is generally either the place where your character was born and raised, or where they have lived for some time -- essentially, it's wherever they consider home. Starting out, your origin will default to the Sirdabi Caliphate, where most of the roleplay in the game is centered. However, once you spend some time playing and earn Presence points through your RP, you will be able to choose to invest those points into your account to open up more origin options.
Step 2: Sub-Origin
Directly related to this step is the next one, choosing your sub-origin. Sub-origins are various smaller localities that fall under the wider umbrella of the origin you selected. These sub-origins might be smaller political units like a province, such as the province of Raziya where the game's main RP hub Omrazir is located. Or they might be a geographic locality such as the Gilded Plain in the southern continent of Idiri, or the High Hinterlands in Ruvera. Again, you will start out being able to choose from among the numerous sub-origins within the Sirdabi Caliphate, and later may access additional options.
Step 3: Name, Age, & Gender
These are important for defining the absolute basics of your character's identity.
Next you get to choose your name. The chargen will supply you with a sample of names suitable for your origin and sub-origin. You can either choose one of these, or simply use the options provided for inspiration. Please note that your character's name should be relatively original in the sense that it shouldn't be a name taken from a famous character of fantasy or literature, unless the name is a very common one. For example, you wouldn't want to give your character a name like Aladdin, but giving them the much more common name of Jafar would be perfectly fine (as long as no one else has taken it already).
When choosing your age, it can be anything between 16 and 80. Since time in Avaria passes at a 1:1 game time:real time ratio, you can make an older character without worrying that they're going to rapidly age themselves into senescence and death. Although age is largely an RP choice, it does influence the number of skill points you will have to spend later in chargen, with older characters receiving a few additional points to account for their longer life experience.
SoA offers you four gender options to choose from: female, male, ambiguous, and neutral. While obviously encapsulating a huge range of preferences and life experiences, female and male should be relatively self-explanatory. Neutral and ambiguous characters are a little more open to interpretation.
Ambiguous characters might be definitely either male or female, but have a relatively androgynous appearance and behavior that makes it difficult for others to determine their actual sex. An ambiguous character could also simply be someone with a more fluid or non-traditional gender identity.
Neutral characters might actually consider themselves relatively sexless, or like ambiguous characters they might just have a complex gender identity not well defined by the traditional categories of male and female.
It may help your choice to know that the pronouns used by ambiguous characters are they/theirs, and the pronouns for neutral characters are it/its.
Step 4: Heritage
Now it's time to choose your heritage! Heritage represents a character's ethnicity and to some extent their cultural background (in concert with their origin). This is an important choice, as the heritage you select will likely be very important to your character's identity and will definitely influence how they are seen by others. It will be identified in your character description, and some NPCs might interact with the character differently depending on whether the NPCs in question have positive or negative opinions about that heritage. The heritage you choose will also heavily influence what appearance traits are available in the drop-down menus as you set your appearance further on.
If you would like your character to have a mixed heritage, you can choose a secondary heritage to complement the first. Your character might well have a more diverse ancestry than that, but whatever heritage(s) you select represent those with the greatest influence on the character's appearance (and possibly on their values, beliefs, and customs as well).
Like origins, not all of the heritages that exist in Avaria are available in chargen starting out. For your first character you will be able to choose from among those heritages that are most common within the Sirdabi Caliphate. If you invest Presence points into your account, this will eventually give you access to a larger selection of heritages too.
You can read a short description of the available heritages on the wiki, but if you would like more information please feel free to post questions on the forums!
Step 5: Archetype
Your archetype is representative of your character's interests, skills, and career path. There are seven different archetypes you can choose from: Warrior, Knowledge Seeker, Rogue, Crafter, Healer, Socialite, and Spiritualist. Selecting one of these archetypes from the drop-down menu will give you a short description of that archetype. Based on whatever archetype you assign, you will then have a further choice of specialization, such as Public Servant for the Socialite archetype, or Tailor for the Crafter archetype.
You don't need to worry that picking a particular archetype will limit your RP opportunities or set your character's professional identity in stone forever. Mostly it serves to help you conceptualize your character, and decides the stats and skills that will be automatically generated for you on the following screens. You can then make any changes to those skills and stats that you want to.
Step 6: Stats
Assigning your character's statistics is next. These are fundamental attributes that reflect the core of your character's personality and ability. There are four classes of attributes: physical, mental, social, and ineffable. Each of these statistics has a chance to affect the outcome of various things your character might decide to attempt, from picking a lock, to landing a fish, to convicing an NPC to share information with you.
You will have a total of 75 stat points to assign to your character, and they can be set to any value from 1 to 10. For brief reference, a value of 1 in any given stat is considered abnormally weak, 3 is average, and 10 is almost incredible. This reflects the idea that PCs are a little out-of-the-ordinary in some way compared to the general populace -- even if it's just that they're extraordinarily lucky or unbelievably placid, and hopeless screwups beyond that.
Unlike skill points, you can never earn more stat points: the number you start with is the number you will always have. There may be occasional opportunities as you play to make small adjustments to your stats, but by and large you should consider your point assignments here to be permanent and choose accordingly.
Important Note: You should also be sure to keep in mind that stats are in-character in the sense that they should represent that character's actual strengths and weaknesses as an individual. That means that your roleplay should consistently reflect a character's stats, and vice-versa.
Step 7: Skills
This is where you get to decide on skills -- all the things that your character is good at, or simply has some trained ability in.
First off, you get to pick three innate skills. These represent things that a character has an especially strong affinity or natural talent for. As a result, you can train them indefinitely past the normal 10-point cap, and they will cost 10% less experience to train than your ordinary skills. Setting innate skills is a one-time choice; you won't be able to change your mind later.
Assigning Skill Points
Now you'll distribute your points among the many options available to you. The archetype you chose will have determined the distribution you see now, giving you points in things which a typical person of that archetype might be skilled at. However, you can change this up however you want to -- the important thing is how you see your character, and what you think they should be good at.
For any skill on the list, you can invest up to 10 points. Again, 10 is the highest you can ever train any skill, except for those you have selected as innates (and even innates can only be set to 10 in chargen). There are three different types of skills available to you: Action skills, Weapons skills, and Crafting skills.
Action skills are a versatile set involved with performing various actions out in the world, from sailing to playing instruments.
Weapons skills of course give you some skill in various combat abilities, from the use of particular weapons to maneuvering in armor or general footwork.
Crafting skills will allow you access to certain abilities or recipes associated with a profession, whether its's lumberjacking or cooking.
The Skills page on the wiki will give you a brief run-down of each skill, as well as the stats that are often use with them in making a roll to see whether a given action succeeds or fails.
Important Note: One thing you may want to invest at least one point in is Education! This will ensure that your character knows how to read, and will be able to read any items written using their native language. If you want to play an illiterate character, though, you can leave it at 0. Generally speaking, playing an illiterate character won't handicap you too much, though it may be a bigger deal in a highly literate society like the Sirdabi Caliphate as opposed to a place like the Kingdom of Ensor, where many people get along just fine without being able to read and literacy isn't necessarily expected of ordinary people.
Step 8: Background Details
To be continued soon!