In order to play in Origins, you must first have your character approved. There are two stages of character approval: Soft-RP Approval and Hard-RP Approval.
A character that is approved for Soft-RP can participate in normal, casual RP with other players. This will generally occur around Site-77, will usually not be GMd by any particular person, and most of the time doesn't involve rolling stats.
A character that is approved for Hard-RP can go on runs and participate in events. These are led by either a member of the GM team or a Guest-GM, and usually involve some amount of dice rolling and stat using.
In order to be approved for Soft-RP, you have to create a character sheet and have it approved by a GM. To have your sheet reviewed by a GM, just ask them in chat. Once they have approved your sheet and marked it, you can participate in Soft-RP. The primary things that the GM will look at when determining whether a character is fit for Soft-RP are whether the character is solid and fitting conceptually, whether they have an acceptable backstory and other non-stat factors, and whether the sheet generally makes sense. For Soft-RP approval your stats don't have to be perfect, but they should be in a close-to-final form, so that the GM has an idea of how the character will be played.
The process for Hard-RP approval is much the same as that for Soft-RP approval. The only major difference is that the GM will look even more closely at the sheet, and the sheet cannot be changed without special permission after it has received Hard-RP Approval. In general, sheets up for Hard-RP approval are judged much more stringently than sheets up for Soft-RP, though still along the same general criteria. Also assessed in this process is how well the player has played the character in Soft-RP, and whether they display sufficient ability to be allowed to participate in runs.
You must have a different GM approve your character for Hard-RP and Soft-RP - one person can't do both. Anyone holding the GM or contributor rank can approve sheets, but other people can certainly be helpful in drafting and advising you on potential improvements for the sheet. Because GMs weight player ability during Hard-RP Approval, it is recommended you request that permission from a GM who you know has seen you play in Soft-RP. If a GM hasn't seen you RP but you've been around long enough that other players have, they may be used as references to assess this via a third party.
You can have up to two characters approved for any sort of RP at a given time. If you want to add a new character to the Active list and you already have two Active, you must change the status of one of your existing characters to Inactive (for characters which you may pick up again but don't plan to play any time soon) or Retired (for characters you will never play again). Hot-switching (rotating characters between the Active and Inactive lists) is not allowed, and a period of at least one month is generally required before a character can become Active after being listed as Inactive.
It is recommended that new players only play a single character until they are familiar with the game and have participated in several runs. Additionally, new players will not be approved to play Anomalous characters, as these tend to be much more difficult to pull off well. In general, the more experienced a player is, the more leeway will be given in what GMs will allow them to play - riskier and more challenging characters are more likely to be approved for players who have demonstrated great skill in RPing.
There are a lot of attributes that GMs look at when determining whether or not a particular character sheet will be approved for RP. The collapsible below contains a highly detailed look at exactly what qualities you should think about when making your character sheet.
In order to make it easier to see what we want out of new players, the GM team has, with help from the players, prepared a few example character sheets.
- Soldier - A character focused on combat and military-style operations.
- Spy - A character focused on sneaking, smoozing, and general espionage.
- Medic - A character focused around healing and supporting other characters and NPCs.
- Engineer - A character focused on the creation, modification, and augmentation of devices, structures, and mechanisms.
- Scientist - A character focused on the investigation of phenomenon and the gathering of data, as well as the creation of novel systems and objects.
- Academic - A character focused on research, knowledge, and interpersonal interaction.
In addition to examples of good characters, the GM team and players have worked together in order to create an example of a bad character. There are notes explaining what about the character is particularly bad, in italics.
GMs, and to some extent players, use Wikidot's tag functionality to keep track of character approval. Tags are markers that are placed on a page to describe certain attributes it has, such as whether or not it has been approved. More information on tags in general is available in the Tag Guide.
In relation to approval, three tags are used.
The 'unapproved' tag is automatically placed on character pages that have been created through the 'New Character' box on the sidebar of the site. This tag tells GMs that the character has yet to be approved for RP in any way.
The 'approvedsoft' tag indicates that a character has been approved by a GM for soft-rp. This tag is placed on the page by the GM who approves the character. That GM will also remove the 'unapproved' tag when they do thi.
The 'approved' tag indicates that a character has been approved for hard-rp by a GM. This tag is placed by the GM who approves the character, and is accompanied by the removal of the 'softapproved' tag.
At not point is anyone who is not a GM or Admin permitted to add, remove, or edit any of these tags. This is because players do not determine whether their character has been approved or not. If a GM tells you your character has been approved but forgets to modify the tag, tell them about it - do not change the tag yourself.
Additionally, character which have anomalous abilities are tagged 'anomalous' for tracking purposes. You can apply this tag yourself, if your character is anomalous in its current form, regardless of approval status.