Difference between revisions of "Newbie Guide"
(→Finding your @voice)
m (1 revision)
Latest revision as of 14:56, 22 May 2013
 What is Sindome?
Sindome is a cyberpunk-themed roleplay intensive cyberpunk game. Its influences are myriad, ranging from the proto-cyberpunk of Philip K. Dick, to Gibson’s sprawl trilogy and other literature, as well as comics, film and video games.
It features extensive coded features purposely designed to support and enhance roleplaying.
 What is Roleplaying?
The opinions on this are various and sometimes conflicted, but at its base roleplaying is simply creating (or being given) a character and staying in-character. As long as you speak, act and react as the character would, you are roleplaying. Roleplaying also implies you only make use of knowledge your character would have.
 Roleplaying on Sindome
SD falls somewhere between a MUD and a MUSH in playstyle: there are stats, skills, character advancement, combat and death but the main focus is the roleplay – that is to say, the interaction between characters and the conflict that develops therefrom.
The form of RP encouraged by Sindome isn’t the sit-in-a-bar ass-patting that plagues MMORPGs and non-RPI MUDs (though it does occur, from time to time). The RP here is meant to be driven by conflict, by shifting alliances, by both trust and mistrust – it is a living thing. You may create a character with a given intent, but the world, the opportunities that present themselves, other players’ actions and most importantly your own actions and reactions may lead you very far from what you first envisioned.
Players are expected to use all forms of coded systems, as relevant to their characters, in their RP. This includes not only the description and emote systems but also drugs, combat, vehicles, cybernetics and the myriad other systems in place – all of them are there specifically to breathe life into the RP. To ensure things don’t consistently go as planned, that events may well carry each and every character along strange paths just as long as everyone stays and reacts in character.
Players are expected to bring their characters’ motivations to bear and drive the RP. In return, the GMs will animate NPCs as required and fill in where the code can’t. They will bring the world around the players to life just as long as players continue to drive the roleplay with their characters. They will both help and hinder individual players so as to make events more interesting and exciting.
 Important Disclaimer! Using The Text Editor!
At times you will be asked to enter multiple lines of text - for example, when first writing your description or history. At these times you will see a prompt similar to this:
- [Type up to 7 lines of input; use `.' to end or `@abort' to abort the command.]
Once you are done writing, what is meant by "use `.' to end" is that you need to start a new line (by pressing Enter) and put a period on that line by itself, then press Enter again.
This has been a sticking point for many new players.
 General Commands
The commands in Sindome are fairly straightforward to anyone who’s played a text-based game before.
- ‘Look’ is used to see your immediate surroundings
- ‘Look at <anything>’ is used to look at things and characters
An easy way to find the commands that can apply to a given object is using ‘examine <anything>’
- ‘examine here’ will show you commands you can execute on the room you’re in, and ‘examine <direction>’ will show you commands you can execute on that exit. The same applies to various items found in the game world.
- ‘examine me’ will show you all the commands you can execute that aren’t tied to a particular object. Try it!
- 'examine <anything>' will show all the commands tied to an object.
Almost everything, from driving cars, to jumping off roofs, to fixing cars is performed using commands found via use of the ‘examine’ feature.
- To go in a direction, type the name of that direction.
- To check your inventory, type ‘inventory’.
It’s all fairly straightforward.
You’ll probably want to speak to people, since roleplay is a big part of the game. There is an OOC channel so you can ask questions to other players in an out-of-character manner:
- xm <message>
Will transmit over the OOC-Chat channel.
- You can use ‘say’ to say something in-character in your immediate area.
- You can use ‘ooc’ to say something out of character in your immediate area. Use it sparingly.
Directed speech can be used by typing
- to <person> <message>
In public areas, like streets, speech can be drowned out by ambient population! Make sure you type ‘address <person>’ to make sure a given person can hear you. If you want everyone to hear you, you can type ‘speak loudly’ and ‘emote loudly’.
Detailed explanations of all the in-character speaking commands can be found in:
- help speaking
Emotes and poses can be used to convey your characters non-coded actions.
- Type ‘help pose’ for details.
Of particular note is the SIC. The SIC chip is your very first piece of cybernetic enhancement. It is your main form of identification and also allows you to instantly communicate citywide in an in-character manner. To do this, use:
- cm <message>
Additional details on the SIC can be found in:
- help sic
 Making Money
Ask around for directions and you can find the Shinohara Heavy Industries factory, where you can type:
To begin working, and periodically typing:
To actually perform the work. You will need to type ‘work’ periodically or you could get booted out of the factory. The pay is about 100 chyen an hour, so it should be used as a last resort. When you’re ready to leave and collect your pay, type:
There are other ways as well. You can run packages for ACME or Withmore Wholesalers or see if any NPCs need anything.
To speak directly to an NPC, you would use the ‘to’ command. So, if you wanted to ask Larri at ACME Couriers if she has any work for you, you would go to the NPC type something like:
- to Larri Do you have a job for me?
Or if you see an NPC in the streets and want to know if they want something, you would type something like:
- to Chaim Do you need anything?
These are the baseline, bottom of the barrel ways of making money however. There are many others – other players may need someone to do something for them, whether based on your skills or not. There are also regular, salaried jobs you can get by applying either in person or through the Grid. These require GM intervention to get you set up, but yield a weekly salary. Such jobs range anywhere from Cyberdoc to sanitation worker to bartender to Street Judge. You can find out about available employment either by word of mouth or through the Employment board on the Grid. To access the Grid, find an NLM Street Term and “look” at it for instructions.
Keep in mind that these automated job systems require an approved history.
However, the very highest payouts usually come from business you make for yourself, or with other players.
In Sindome, roleplay is a 24/7 affair – the world doesn’t stop just because you log off and things that can affect you can happen at any time. This is why it’s important to find a safe place to live.
As a new character, you’ll be allowed to sleep in coffins rent-free for a few weeks. These are cramped oblong boxes that are good for sleeping in and not much else. This is important because when you log off, your character remains in the world.
Once your free stay runs out, or when you get sick of sleeping in a sardine can, you can rent a hotel room or apartment.
Hotel cubes are cheap but feature showers, space to store a few belongings and can be shared provided your potential roommate is trustworthy. Cubes are available at the New Rose Hotel on Red and Habitat-X on Gold. It’s recommended that you keep current on your rent as when it expires, anyone can come along and rent the cube you’ve left yourself and your things in.
Apartments are a significant step up, but are also more expensive. You have a good deal more room, and can even redecorate if you so choose. Additionally, you can upgrade the security on your apartment door so as to require a code to both enter and exit. This makes it a lot harder for a burglar to sneak in, as they would then be unable to leave provided you remember to close and lock your door. Apartment complexes include Westinghaus and Ashlin on Red, as well as Krakeon Apartments and Viesques place on Green.
So you need to buy a sweet pair of shoes to show off to all the other girls working the assembly line at SHI. So you go into a shop - how do you see what’s for sale? How do you buy it?
If ANSI color is on, you will see certain elements of the description highlighted in cyan. If ANSI is off, you’re going to have a hard time overall, so type:
- @ansi on
It’ll save you some headaches. Now look for the things highlighted in cyan - tables, racks, counters, shelves. You can ‘look’ at them for a list of things to buy. Type:
- look <whatever>
Now you will see what’s for sale, all of them with numbers alongside. So if you want to buy the 6th item from a shelf, for example, you would type:
- buy 6 from shelf
The game will ask you to confirm, then perform the transaction. You can also look at items on the displays, with the following syntax:
- look <item number> on <whatever>
As always, you can examine the shelf, counter or whatever else for other commands you can use.
Withmore is a dangerous place, and someday you may find yourself in a fight. Combat is simple to initiate. Type:
- attack <whoever>
This form of initiating attack will keep in mind how your @fatal is set. @fatal determines if you’re fighting to incapacitate or fighting to kill – you can toggle it by using the command:
If your @fatal is set to show mercy, you can bypass it when initiating combat by typing:
- kill <person>
Combat typically conducts itself automatically, but there are commands you can use to increase your chances.
To attempt to run away, type:
To attempt to knock away your opponent’s weapon, type:
- disarm <person>
To attempt to grab your opponent and hold onto them, which will prevent them from attacking:
- grapple <person>
If you find yourself grappled, you can attempt to break out of it by typing:
Another feature of combat are postures. Postures give you offensive and defensive modifiers to allow you to adapt to the situation and play to your chosen weapon’s strengths.
To change posture, type:
- posture <posture name>
The available postures are:
- neutral : no bonuses or penalties
- offensive: attack bonus, defense penalty
- kamikaze: massive attack bonus, massive defense penalty
- defensive: attack penalty, defense bonus
- guarded: full defense – you will only counterattack when possible
Depending on the type of weapon, injuries can be bruises, lacerations, cuts and gunshot wounds. If an injury is deep enough, bleeding may occur which will continue draining your health until stopped. A severe enough blow may well render you unconscious.
You can check your health by typing:
- health or ht for short
- help combat
- help death
 Character Advancement
Every day, depending on how long you’re logged in and playing, you can gain up to 3 points of Unassigned Experience (UE). You can apply these points to your stats and skills by typing:
- @assign ue
Keep in mind that once high enough, the UE costs of raising a stat or skill will start to steadily increase.
You can see how much UE you have on your character sheet, which also contains a slew of information about your character. To view your character sheet, type:
 Your History
 What is my history and why is it required?
Your history is essentially a summary of your character’s life events leading up to their arrival to Withmore. It’s meant as a major roleplaying aid in helping both you and the GMs interact with your character. Your history helps establish character motivation, helps you decide how your character would react to situations he or she may encounter in game and lets you answer questions other characters might ask with some consistency.
It also gives GMs an idea of what kind of roleplay and plots would be appropriate for your character and whether or not they would be eligible for certain in-character jobs. This is why automated (non-player salaried) jobs require an approved history - a high-end corporate clinic for example wouldn’t hire some guy off the streets who says he has medical skills. They would want to be able to verify that he did actually go to medical school. That’s where your history comes in.
Additionally, GMs will often go over player histories for plot hooks - indeed, some of the more interesting histories have had entire plots run around them involving large segments of the playerbase.
 History Requirements
Your history doesn’t need to be a hundred page epic. It can be very basic, one or two paragraph summary or it can span several pages. The longest histories aren’t always the best and the shortest histories aren’t always the worst - it’s all about the actual content rather than flowery prose. At minimum, this is what needs to be included:
- Birthplace and date
- Key event(s) in your character's past
- How did your character acquire his or her stats and skills?
- What does your character want?
- Why did your character come to Withmore?
Check out ‘help timeline’ and http://universe.sindome.org for information to help you write your history!
 Guardian’s “Why? x 3” History Writing Method
People often get stuck writing histories. They just stare at the page with the character’s birthdate and don’t know where to go from there. Guardian suggests an alternative method - start from how you want your character to be and work your way back.
The “Why? x3” method is a simple methodology for quickly writing a coherent, logical and themely history that fits in with your character’s looks, stats and behaviour. You essentially build your character backwards - rather than start with his history and select his skills, stats, mannerisms and description based on it, you rather create your character as you want them to be and build your history starting from this point and towards the past.
For example, you may decide your character has a jagged scar across the bridge of her nose. This is where the method begins to work.
Why does she have this scar? Because she got into a knife fight when she was 17.
Why? Because a local gang was harassing her.
Why? Because her father is a cop.
Boom! Look at that! A huge chunk of your character’s history taken care of, and a justification for taking short_blade(if she won the fight) or at least dodge. Perhaps drop some points into Endurance if she was left for dead in the gutter. All that from an element in your description!
Now let’s try it with a skill. You give your character the pistol skill.
Why? Because she purchased a handgun to protect herself, in her home town.
Why? Because she was afraid of being assaulted.
Why? Because her best friend was raped and your character refuses to become another victim. Now, not only do we have a big history chunk, a justification for your pistol skill but we also have established part of your character’s attitude - she’s tough, at least mentally and she’s willful, and she won’t let anyone hurt her as her friend was hurt. Not too bad for two minutes’ thinking.
That’s all there is to it - pick a few more traits and do it again, then duct tape the whole thing together and you’re done. Don’t forget to include one of the most important elements for a Sindome character: being in Withmore. Why are they here?
 GMs and You
 Getting GM assistance
Sometimes, you need GM assistance - maybe you have questions, are stuck, need to interact with an NPC or you’re planning something that might require GM interaction. Sometimes, the GMs will see your troubles/attempts and come to the rescue. However, you may need to page the GMs directly. To do so, use xhelp <message>.
 Leaving @notes
Sometimes, however, GMs may be occupied with other players or real life. In these cases, you can use @notes.
@notes are basically messages you leave for the GMs so they know what you’re up to and can manipulate the NPCs around that. For example, you might print out a resume and leave it with an NPC - this is the sort of thing you leave in a @note if no GM is available over xhelp.
You can also write @notes as sort of journal entries for yourself, to remind yourself how your character feels about something or someone, or what he’s planning or how his attitude may be changing. GMs can read these and use things you put in there as plot hooks as well.
To leave a @note, type @add-note <subject>
 Interacting with GMs
The staff of Sindome are generally pretty laid-back, friendly people. They’re on the game for fun, just like you are, and do all the background work (which is considerable at times) on a volunteer basis.
They’re also tasked with enforcing the rules (see @rules) and will give you warnings before taking action - and unless the rulebreaking is particularly grievous, punishment won’t be simple banning. They use the occasion to give the offending player some in-character bad luck with a view of redressing a transgression by generating more conflict and roleplay for everybody.
So please, don’t be a dick.
 Advanced Character Customization
 Finding your @voice
Your @voice appears periodically as an inline emote when you speak, describing what your character’s voice sounds like. This will come in especially handy in phone and radio conversations, but also add a significant detail to others’ picture of your character.
To set your @voice, type:
- @voice me is <vocal description>
Your voice will then appear to other players as: *speaking <language> in a <vocal description> voice*
More info is available in ‘help voice’
 Looking out of place
By default, the message shown when a character is in a room is something like:
- Dudebro is standing here.
You can change this for yourself to reflect either a general attitude or what your character is doing at a given time by typing:
- @look_place me is <whatever>
- Dudebro is lounging around.
- Dudebro is picking at his food half-heartedly.
Likewise, when you’re asleep you have a similar message:
- Dudebro is sleeping here.
You can set this also with:
- @sleep_place me is <whatever>.
 Let’s get @naked!
During character generation, you were prompted to set a basic description. However, instead of putting everything in a basic description, you can set individual descriptions for all (or certain) of your body parts. These will interact with clothing, so, if you’re wearing a shirt, your chest description won’t show but the shirt description will instead. It makes for a much more dynamic-looking character.
You don’t need to fill in every single @naked, but filling in some major ones will let you trim your standard @desc to things that show no matter what your character is wearing (height, general size and bearing).
You can see available body parts to describe by typing:
To set an @naked for a specific body part, type:
- @naked <bodypart> is <description>
- @naked groin is He has a penis.
Keep in mind certain cybernetic implants can overwrite some @nakeds – for example, having your eye replaced with a cybernetic one will replace that eye’s @naked with the description of the implant.
 Options and Macros
 Setting your @options
These commands will allow you to customize your Sindome experience:
- @options - Change a number of optional settings
- @pagelength - Change how many lines are sent to your computer at a time
- @linelength - Change the maximum length of a line
- @wrap - Turn in-MOO word wrapping on or off
- @password - Change the password you connect with
- @email - Cchange the email address on file with us.
- @ansi - Turn ANSI color on and off. We recommend you turn it on.
Client-side macros are forbidden under the rules to prevent cheating. There are however server-side macros you can set up to help you out.
Type help @macros to bring up the instructions on how to set these up.