So you want to make a bio. Great! Bios, especially your first one, add to the roleplaying atmosphere of Mobius Roleplay. But first, you have to do a couple of things to make sure it'll fit. Think of it as paperwork. The first set of things you must do are mostly reading a few things.
A lot of people skip this step, but they wind up having to do it anyway. It's real simple. First thing, is your character a Feature Character or Original Character? Feature Characters are characters such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and comic characters like Kragok and Scourge. Original Characters are made up just by you, and have not existed in the Sonic world prior to you creating them. An Original Character can just skip the next two paragraphs; but for a Feature character, a number of considerations must be made. Also note, you can only have two Feature characters in your possession at one time, tops.
Feature Characters Only: First, who's the character? What canon do they come from? There's a number of 'canons' or, in layman's terms, 'media types' they come from. Number one on the list is SEGA games: if the character generally appears in a game or you're using their game background, then you're using this canon. Now here's the problem--games made after Sonic Heroes don't really apply to MobiusRP anymore, so you'll want to avoid mentioning them in your backstory. But if you have a newer character made AFTER Sonic Heroes, you'll need to get special GM permission to make them. Next up, we have the comics. There's a lot of comics, and I don't particularly remember them all, but here's the info: comic characters all have to be adapted to fit the RP because there is no Knothole and there is no alternate dimension stuff going on. So when you get the itching to write some magical character from the comicverse, just know that their powers aren't likely to survive the bio approval process intact.
Feature Characters Only: Next, and most important, is concerns about roleplaying. Have you been roleplaying a while? Do you have a semi-decent ability to separate characters from yourself? Do you understand the character you're apping enough to properly run them? In the past, many FCs were played up like they were just costumes for their player to wear. These FCs then contributed to a lot of weirdness which derailed an entire set of FCs, and wound up in their collective fates being reset so new players wouldn't have to learn an alternate history of Sonic just to play. Thus, if you have some idea where Tails becomes a hermit living under a bridge or Rouge suddenly becomes moralistic, you'll want to shelve that. While slight deviations can and will happen, if you can't properly roleplay the FC, it will be rejected.
Now, of course, your character will be in our world of Mobius, so you'll need to prepare by studying this world. While this isn't schoolwork, your bio WILL reflect how much you have looked at our vast array of data, so without adieu, here is the important stuff:
- The Rules - While not directly useful for making a character, they'll help warn you against behaviors which will get you banned. Since you can't have a character if you're banned, this may be good to read if you feel like you're walking on eggshells, or have no clue why people are being annoyed by your behavior. Also notes how you shouldn't bug GMs to look at your bio.
- Get on IRC - This may be the most important part of all. The IRC room is of infinite use to someone trying to app a bio. Many times we won't accept a bio unless we know you're on the IRC. So get on the IRC, if you wish to help ensure your bio being approved. Just note--sometimes it is in IC mode, and in that case, you should join both #mobius and #mobius_ooc .
- Canon Info - Says which games are canon. Not 100% updated all the time, but basically, if it isn't in this list, and you want to include it in your backstory, you should ask about it.
- The Map - Shows what zones are in the game. You'll be using these to help determine where things are. You CAN add new zones in your bio, but no more than 2, and only if they make sense.
- The Story - Gives you a rough idea of the overall RP backstory. Note that these events are fairly old, and nothing that gets written in here is actually recent.
Now that you've either read all of that, skimmed it, or even just picked a couple to read, you're ready to go on to the next step. Just keep in mind that you may be going back to these documents while making your bio--there's all kinds of little issues to check when making any bio, after all. Also, please do this step in a text editor first--the bio system is not there for you to submit an unfinished bio to. It is meant for finished products only.
Writing the Bio
Should be a piece of cake, right? Well, it might be, or it might not. The first thing of note is that you have to write a certain length for certain sections to get in. This was implemented to stop spammers from spamming junk bios at us, but it also makes each bio have to have a certain amount of detail to it. There's some other filters as well, so don't try to get around them--bios which try that usually get deleted. Although occasionally, bios set off the filters by accident--please tell us if that happens. Now, I'll go into the bio writing process, step by step. Of course, for brevity's sake, I will only explain the complex segments to you--simple fields like 'hair' need no explanation.
Character's Name: Just plunk a name in here. Don't make it too long or wacky, though.
Type: FC or OC. Pick the one which makes sense. For example, Sonic is an FC, but *Insert your name* the whatever is an OC.
Height: Just a note; Mobians average 3'5", while humans average in the 5-6 foot range.
Alignment: Lots of fun choices here. This doesn't have to fit 100%, but it's basically a hint at your character's overall personality. I've included a list of descriptions so it makes more sense.
- Chaotic Evil - A villain bent on causing evil to everybody they encounter, including other villains. They also dislike law and order, destroying that whenever they encounter it.
- Chaotic Good - A revolutionary figure who fights for principles of good--regardless of what laws are in the way. The archnemesis of, say, evil lawyers. They also generally run afoul of royalty, at least the corrupt kind.
- Chaotic Neutral - Unpredictable people who tend to go whichever way they feel is right, regardless of the consequences. Good, evil, it's all the same to them--they just do what they feel like. Bounty hunters, mercenaries, etc. tend to have alignments like this.
- Lawful Evil - A vile being who chooses to play by the rules when being evil--two possibilities. Either they have their own moral code for their evil, or they subvert existing laws to excuse their evil. Vigilantes and corrupt policemen are good examples of these. This may be subjective--be sure to choose based on what YOU think is right, not how others will see the character.
- Lawful Good - A good citizen who upholds the law, and fights for the spirit of it as well, at least the good ones. The true policeman of the bunch.
- Lawful Neutral - Those who believe in the law foremost. Played mildly, it's a civilian or an honest policeman. Played a bit heavier, and you get paladin-like law-worshipers, who go as far as necessary to enforce their 'laws', even if those laws might contradict a little with the established ones.
- Neutral Evil - An evil person who is not picky in their victims. Your traditional villain.
- Neutral Good - A good person who does so regardless of law or chaos, and simply out of the good of their heart. Typical hero alignment.
- Neutral Neutral - Switzerland. A self-concerned type of person who acts regardless of the morality, good or bad. They only care about their thoughts, yet are not evil, good, lawful, or chaotic. They just do their thing. Often are mercenaries.
Appearance: One of the more important bio fields. You need a minimum of 400 characters (that's 400 letters and numbers, not including spaces) to get into the system at all. What does this mean? Your character's physical makeup, the sound of their voice, how they move, and their common clothes/tools should be described here. A poorly described character cannot really be made sense of in the minds of other roleplayers, so, that's why this is so important. Also, having a picture does not excuse you from this field; it must be fully done. Shooting for the minimum will simply get your bio rejected. Similarly, saying 'Like Sonic' is not a description, and will not count towards your bio being approved.
Personality: Another big field. This requires 350 characters. Again, describe many things--different moods your character tends to be in, the behavior which flavors their actions, and how they make choices. Again, shooting for the minimum is not going to serve you well. Additionally, no one is 'mysterious' to the extent that these bios cannot tell something about their personality. Everyone has one, whether or not they want it. Even machines have quirks to them--or, alternatively, their lack of a normal personality is a personality unto itself. A final note--be careful with nasty or evil personalities. Your character WILL become hated for it, and you WILL wind up roleplaying the aftermath. You can and should write these if the character requires it, but just be prepared.
Backstory: This one is the mother lode, folks. The most important single field in the bio. While you can post only 200 characters and get it through, it won't last long under scrutiny if you do. The field is simple in execution--just write everything you know about your character's history in it. But wait, there's more to think about. First thing, if your character is one you used elsewhere, don't bring the old backstory in, as it won't fit. Adapt it to fit, yes, but don't copy paste it in and expect it to work. Next, your backstory has to respect the canon of this place. Look up and read all the canon and story information again if you're not sure--it'll help a massive amount.
Backstory, Cont: Once you have that in mind, then remember there's also some canon-specific issues not mentioned anywhere else, which will be noted here. First, don't apply any more GUN experiments--there aren't any left. In the game, all the ones which were ever made have already been found, and GUN isn't making any more. On the other hand, the less moral factions out there might work for it. Another thing to avoid is randomly killing off your character's parents: if they have no real parents, how do they learn anything? How can they act normal when they have such a gruesome event on their conscience? They can't, most of the time, and assuming your character can just ignore that will just annoy the other players.
Backstory, Cont: Some other considerations go in here. Your character's backstory can't be an all-positive narrative which screams "I AM THE BEST EVER AND WILL PWNZ JOO" because, well, it's obvious. Nobody's number one in MobiusRP's world, at least, not everywhere. Another thing to avoid is linking your character to other characters or organizations without permission first--saying your character was Sonic's best friend without making some reason they haven't appeared until now is doubly bad. For your character cannot drastically change the world of MobiusRP just by appearing--the technology and knowledge they have must be justified, and if it is brand new, there must be a reason it was never seen until now.
Backstory, Cont: This is getting a bit long, but, here's the rest of the considerations. As much as you may think it is cool, having a character that learns from an old master like Karate Kid is so overdone that doing it will actually go a long ways towards making the other fighting characters think your character can't fight. In the world of MobiusRP, there have been too many of these, and adding any more will just work to your character's detriment, UNLESS you have some new and original twist which is not boring or predictable. Another big thing to avoid is creating huge new factions or villains just around your character--unless you have GM permission, you simply aren't allowed to do that. Finally, if you work in old events, you'll want a character who's kinda old, as those events happened a while ago.
Residence: A nice little field to put where your character lives. Only use it if they have a residence, otherwise leave it empty.
Abilities: This one gets a bit tricky. First thing, there's a number of abilities your character can't have: chaos control, magical powers, time travel, teleportation, mind control which automatically works even if the target is resistant, and anything else too close to those. The next part is that your character's abilities don't all have to be fighting, and can include modest things like cooking. Finally, having a zillion abilities is against the rules and unfair--while Sir Swiss Army Knife may be able to unlock all doors, draw a sketch of someone he saw for one fourth of a second, and shoot someone while stabbing them and doing a Judo move, no one else will be interested in being remotely near such a show-off. Oh, and if your bio has more ability info than everything else... you may want to stop writing the bio immediately, as that's generally a very bad omen and indicates you should talk your entire concept over with the GMs first.
Strengths/Weaknesses: These are for little one-liner things about your character. If you feel they would be good to add, do so, but you don't have to. Also, this field should not just duplicate the ability field--we don't need to see the exact same thing twice. This field can sometimes help in showing when you have too many negatives or too many positives on a character bio.
Custom Fields: We miss something you have to add? Put it in these. Note that duplicating pre-existing fields in these is redundant... naturally. Also, having a 'Super Form' field is frowned upon, as odds are your character will NEVER touch more than one Chaos Emerald, let alone all of them.
Comments: Anything else we need to know, like, how you got the bio, the history of the character's use outside MRP, art permissions, etc.
Checking Before Submitting
So you have a bio. But that's not the end of the process! Yes, before you send in the bio, there are some more concerns to address. First one is PURPOSE. What is your character's meaning for existence? What is their overall goal? What kind of scenes will they get? If you can't fill this out in your head, then you're not going to be able to find many scenes after being approved, and all this work will be in vain.
Then you should think of WRITING QUALITY. We want bios which are easy to read, so please make your text in paragraphs instead of giant blocks. Also, constant misspelling in your bio or later on in your roleplaying will get you in trouble--this place is supposed to be literate to an extent. It's hard to get into a story where no one capitalizes words and all the punctuation is randomly thrown out the window.
When you have that in mind, another thing comes to mind--ENTERTAINMENT. You can have the nicest looking bio in the bunch, but if your character bores you, it doesn't matter. Make sure to throw in some traits which may help you get scenes, or make it interesting for others to see your character. After all, the name of the game is to have fun.
Finally, when you've got the lesser concerns done, you might want to make sure your character is MEMORABLE, as many characters come and go, but a truly well-done character will often burn its presence into history rather than become a featureless part of it.
Changing the Bio and GM Feedback
Once it's submitted, the GMs will check it over. If it's cool enough to approve instantly, they'll do that. But in most cases, it'll need some changes. The GMs will make comments, and you'll be told to change certain aspects which clash with the above rules and other issues which may come up. In this situation, you may change the things mentioned, or wait for other GMs to check it and go with what they say instead. You need 3 positive votes if it's an FC, and 2 if it's an OC, so remember not to alienate all the GMs--especially since only 3 of them are likely to be active at one time. And don't bug them to look at the bio--otherwise your bio's voting will just be put off entirely.
Finally, be timely in updating your bio once they comment, as otherwise it may be marked as inactive and deleted; your bio's supposed to be more or less finished when you upload it, so, keep this in mind. Then, with enough luck and skill, you will eventually get an approved bio. You may have some difficulty at first, but keep at it--eventually if you keep trying and learning from your mistakes, you'll get one through.
Some Additional Considerations
Even after apping a bio, or before apping another one, there's some things you should know about. First, apping one bio after another with the intent to create a huge forest of characters for you to play will just bog you down and prevent you from developing any of the characters individually. Another thing to consider is NPCs and inter-character relations. The rule of thumb is no NPC should be used in a way that would make them readily confused with a player character. This includes consistently getting scenes for this character and only this character (the person they're linked to being nowhere to be found), having them repeatedly pop up in every single scene with the original character (such that they may even overshadow the character they're supposed to be in the shadow of) and otherwise treating them as an exclusive character.
Inter-character relations is another biggie. Simply put, you cannot app two characters which clash with one another. By clash, I mean that they would be indispensible to eachother's backstory, like Sonic and Tails (as friends), or Sonic and Eggman (as enemies). Whether they be an OC or an FC, if they clash, you can't have both of them; only one or the other.
Another problem I see commonly is some nifty ideas people add to their bio without realizing the real consequences of those ideas. For example, many people may think at one time or another that having a split personality is great. They then proceed to play both personalities for their good sides, and ignore their character's bad sides. So, instead of playing a truly split mind, they are simply playing a double-sided Mary Sue. This wears on most people and gets the person's character branded as some sort of weirdo; thus, the player usually drops one of the personalities, or makes one of them into another character.
Having seen so many of them wind up like this, however, I suggest the would-be bio maker only include a split personality if they are prepared to have it switch entirely at random (perhaps a coinflip before each scene) and have negative traits as well as positive ones to each side. While this idea can be pulled off, it is rare that anyone WANTS to use it once they've found out the truth.
Another favorite of the bio makers I've seen is to make their character isolated from the main canon and live in some sort of niche or group/culture which has, until their first appearance, been mysterious to everyone else. This idea, done well, can be very cool, but comes with a number of issues. First, the new world niche must be sufficiently hidden, and two, it shouldn't drastically unbalance the current world order. Thirdly, it must be approved by the GMs. Finally, you should know this sort of backstory has a way of isolating your character from others due to a lack of a common culture, so you should be ready to address this.
The last thing I'll mention is just some ideas which should be obviously problematic, but you might not think are problems due to being in the moment and thinking creatively and such. The first is time travelers: while you might be able to justify them, or claim they came from another time, the breaking up of time by their existence basically unravels the plot. Only time traveling explicitly planned and executed by the GMs is allowed.
Another issue is sophisticated robot characters and supertech. This world's tech is only light scifi--you can obtain laser guns and genetic modification does happen, but nanite-based machines beyond mindless drones are impossible, intergalactic space ships don't exist, and full on cyborgs are rare and experimental. Roboticization has been outlawed by all the powers that be after a scientist named Dongle used it for evil, and mind-control tech followed it into the garbage bin after a group named Klein Toys almost took over the world with it.
Above all, stay calm, and be ready to rewrite and edit your bio constantly. Even when you've got an apped bio, you can update it, and as time goes on, your old character may need to adjust to current times. Don't worry--if you need to change something major, just ask the GMs. Alternatively, if the GMs find you need to change something later, they'll tell you first. And remember: not all characters are useful forever. If you find yourself done with a character or, heaven forbid, MobiusRP itself, and you've used the character a good deal, try setting it to Inactive rather than deleting it outright--you'll find it much easier to pick the character back up, should you change your mind.
So, with that in mind, good luck on creating your character.