Welcome to Alternate DBZ! Now, if you're here, you must have taken a look at the rules section. Rather big, isn't it? Please don't let that dissuade you from joining. While the rules can be a fearsome beast, they're fairly tame and cuddly once you've gotten to know them better.
If you're not the information-absorbing sort, it's okay. You don't need to know every single thing written up there. Much of it won't apply to your character initially, and you can safely focus on the rules that DO matter to your character, until you're comfortable with them. Still, to begin, I advise you to give the rules at least one good look over. You don't have to memorize it, you don't have to fully understand it... just take a glance and give it a go.
And don't forget, we're all nice and friendly in the room. If you aren't sure what to do or how to proceed, ask a staffer or a chatter. We'd be happy to advise you and direct you beyond the scope of this guide.
Making your character
You've got to have a character to start off! Just one is fine to start with. We encourage people to have lots of characters, but you can always make more later. Start off with one, just to get the feel of things.
Stretch that imagination of yours, and think of what sort of character you want to play. Our setting is a mesh between sci-fi, modern, and fantasy. We have modern-like cities full of citizens, we have space stations with robots and bounty hunters, we have old towers and mansions full of wizards, and we've recently added a big fantasy-esque continent... we have options, needless to say. Get your concept straight. Do-gooding magician? Cynical martial artist? Guy with a big sword from some outlying community?
Now, do keep in mind that your character should be one of the pre-existing races. Humans and Demihumans are good to start with when getting used to the rules. Saiyans and Nameks are fine choices too, if they float your boat. For now, it's best to avoid funky alien and pan-dimensional races, because, well, those are complicated, they have to have specific numbers and statistics made for them, and it would make your application take much, much, MUCH longer to process. And you want to get playing faster, right?
Now that you've got your concept and your race picked out, you need to sort out your combat skills. Which brings us to...
Hey, you're in a DBZ room, busting heads is to be expected. You'll need to pick out what force is powering your character's fighting skills. Think of what kind of attacks you'd like them to do, and match it up with a power source. You have the choice of ki power, psionic power, magic power, or good old fashioned physical force. What are the differences?
- Ki - The power of your spirit. Fire energy beams, blow stuff up, fly through the air, be naturally durable and strong, do all that classic DBZ stuff.
- Psionics - The power of your mind. Move objects with your mind, send waves of force to crush your enemies, protect your body with a buffer of mental energy.
- Magic - The power of the arcane. Create elemental attacks, cause incredible things to happen, and protect your frail self with shields and wards. One of the hardest powers to use effectively, but also one of the most versatile.
- Physical - The power of your body. Hit things real hard, take damage really well, use outside sources to fly, fire beams, or other flashy things. Involves extra customization.
And yes, while the rules do allow you to have people with multiple power level sources... don't. Not yet, at least. It's complicated and best saved for when you get the hang of things. Pick one power source, and go with it, and you'll thank yourself later. It's a common belief that Ki is the easiest power level to start off with when you're learning the ropes, but a determined player can make any one of the four options work.
Now, you'll want your character to have a unique special attack or two. Make up a few things, write them down, and think about HOW they work and WHAT they do. If you're stumped on that, pick a few things from the Common Techniques page, and stick those on your application. Just remember that the more stuff your character starts off knowing, the lower their starting power level will be. Try to resist the urge to cram every neat idea onto your application. You can sit on those later, and learn them through the course of play. While it's perfectly acceptable to start with a very low power level, it will take a lot of dedicated play to build that character's power up.
Applying and Waiting
Now that you've got all that, head on over to the application page and start filling things out! If you're not sure what something means, just ask someone in the room. We've all filled out a few of these, and we ought to be able to get you through this. Once that's all taken care of, hit send, and settle in! You can go ahead and mention your application to a staffer... but don't pester them too much about it. A good rule of thumb is to metion it once, then wait about a week before you give the staff a prod. You can check the front page of the Wiki for current application statuses, too! Generally, if you're new and if you've chatted with the staff, they'll try to get you taken care of quickly.
Of course, while you're waiting, feel free to playtest the character. Put together a handle and a picture, stick in a notice that you're playtesting, and go to town. Just remember that you can't get involved in the major storyline RPs, you can't gain power until you're approved, and you basically can't affect the world in major ways. Think of it as a warmup, before the real thing begins.
Playing your character
You've filled out the applications and you've found a great picture and you've set up your handle. Awesome! But now comes the next problem. How and where do you play them? How does the whole interaction thing WORK in here?
To start... you're probably on Earth, on the Cardinal continent. That's where 99% of the characters have traditionally been located. But where on Earth? It's pretty big, after all... but there are some places where people tend to be.
If your character isn't a city-dwelling sort, there are countless small towns and villages outside the big urban areas. Feel free to make up a town name and run with it. There are mountains and deserts and forests as well, if you're feeling particularly wild and adventurous. For reference, most people state where they are in relation to the nearest city. "A town midway between West and Central", or "in a forest close to East City", or what have you.
We've also added the new continent of D'hennex as a play option. It's located south of Cardinal, and it's one great big land of fantasy tropes. High magic, low technology. If you do choose to situate your character there, you will need to make sure they fit the setting. More information on how to avoid a faux-pas (such as bringing a zombie to a polite dinner in Westphalia, or a ki-user into the Demosthene Ascendancy) can be found on the continent's wiki page.
In addition, there are some larger, named settings. There's the ARCHIE III space station, there are the facilities of Empirical Industries, there's Korin's Tower and Earth's Lookout.. and of course, there are the homes that characters make for themselves. In these cases, your character might need to meet certain requirements to actually get into them. Make sure to ask the players behind them for permission, first.
In fact, that's what it all comes down to. When setting up RP, we all tend to discuss OOC (Out Of Character) where the characters will meet, and who can be where at what time, and why. Once again, don't be afraid to ask people in the room for advice on where to start your character off. If no one seems interested in a character who's off training in the woods, maybe you can have them make a run to town for supplies. If no one in the city wants to hire your bounty hunter, you can always see if heading up to ARCHIE III is an option. Keep in mind that you're allowed to be pretty flexible about where you are, and how fast it takes you to get there, and how you do it.
Fighting with your character
This portion to be added later. Maybe. Uh. I think I'm about ready to get right on that!