The player's character is the avatar or "toon" that is directly controlled by the player. Characters are customisable in many ways, and are treated very much like central protagonists in the player's "story". A player can have only one 'protagonist' per Plane, but through Storylines, a player can unlock more character slots which can be filled with characters that the player can create, to theoretically infinite end. The characters that this player creates will ultimately become a family, being innately connected. Through ingame marriage, players can build family trees that can be viewed on the game website.
Character progression throughout the game is quite different to most MMOs, being completely devoid of a central 'level' system, rather focusing on actual skills and characterisation as a form of journey and to provide an endgame destination. It also draws a lot of influence from tabletop RPGs, specifically a d10 format, which ultimately drives combat rules, character statistics and determining outcomes.
The character selection screen takes the form of an empty family tree, with a slot at the beginning for your main character (known as a protagonist, or hero). Your whole game experience will revolve around the actions of this character. As you progress through the game on this character, you'll be able to unlock other character slots, which allows you to create a 'relative' of your character. Different storylines will unlock different slots, but the further back in history you go, the harder they are to complete. The furthrest back you can go is currently great-grandfather, but even more distant relations will become available in new content patches!
Creating your main character will take you to a screen that begins with basic creation features.
Initial Protagonist CustomisationEdit
The first step is choosing a race, because this will affect many things throughout creation and gameplay, including your name and where you begin. There are many races available to choose from, including:
After choosing your race, the next step is choosing a name. Keep in mind that, due to roleplaying guidelines, you must select from a very extensive list of predefined names that relate to your character's class. You may pick a first name, up to three middle names, and a surname. There is a number next to each name which shows you how many others there are with each type of name, so you can look for names that are more original.
You may also pick a nickname that is entirely up to you, but still has certain restrictions. Nicknames are set to hidden by default ingame, but can be turned on if a player prefers to use those.
Next is choosing a birthdate and age, which will invariably determine your starsign. Your age can be between 21 and 51 years, which will affect your character's appearance.
The fun part is choosing what your character looks like. The range of options is vast. Also, just because AOL is primarily a birds-eye oriented game, your character's body is seen often enough to make it worthwhile investing lots of time into doing this.
Keep in mind that your relatives appearance will be more restricted when you get to that stage, since the game will automatically generate similar features in proportion to your protagonist, allowing variation to a smaller extent to keep features similar. Of course, things such as hair colour/style, markings/tattoos/piercings, and other cosmetic features are excluded from this rule.
As with most tabletop games, you have six primary attributes that determine your character's proficiency at other things. Due to the lack of levels, this is the only time that you'll ever get to directly influence these statistics (except skill reassignment; see below), so choose carefully. They are:
Each attribute begins at a base level of 16, and you can reduce points in a particular attribute in order to increase another. You cannot reduce an attribute below 13 or raise one above 19.
In case players feel that Personality is far less important than other attributes, they should read about PTs (Player Teams), whose effectiveness is increased by Personality Rating.
In the case that players decide they want to change, they can undergo skill reassignment training, which can only be done once per month (real time). This procedure allows a similar function to the character creation screen, but only 1 point can be taken away from an attribute and given to another, and it can only be done once per training.
There are a number of things players should learn about their character when first getting started. It can seem a bit overwhelming when a player first gains control of their character, so let's go through some fundamental features of the character.
A character will have health points which describes how well he or she can withstand damage from a combat environment. Each character has a base health point level of 100 HP, and this is increased by your thrice your Fortitude attribute score. For example, a character with the maximum Fortitude score of 19 will have 157 HP, whereas one with 13 will only have 139 HP.
They regenerate differently depending on your physical state, a combat mechanic that changes based on your character's situation (between Tranquil, Calm, Alert, Stressed and In Shock).
- In Shock: No regeneration occurs.
- Stressed: 0.9 HP regenerated per second.
- Alert: 2 HP regenerated per second.
- Calm: 4 HP regenerated per second.
- Tranquil: 7 HP regenerated per second.
Skills encompass basic things that all characters can learn, such as Athletics, Sneakiness, and Speech. These are improved in a similar way that trained abilities are, by applying Proficiency Badges attained through various means. PBs for basic skills are generally acquired through carrying out tasks for people and completing chapters in your players various storylines.
Like trained abilities, skills also benefit your character through a MoS (measure of success) system, which determines how well your character performs at a given task, rather than determing whether they actually succeeded or not (as would happen in a tabletop game). Instead of determining success, a skill rating