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HELP: Character Development

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8th Fleet:
Character Development

The purpose of this helpfile is to assist players with developing their character and the common avenues players have used to do this. Your character is the most important thing here at 8th Fleet and seeing them grow and change over time is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Biography
A great character begins with a great biography. Things to consider when creating a biography are:

* The timeline of major life events. At what age did they apply for Starfleet Academy, how long did their training last? (usually 4 years), what was their first assignment, what major events in the star Trek universe have they been involved with? (Wolf 359, Dominion War etc.) These need to follow canon dates. If a player was around during the battle of Wolf 359, they will need to have been born before then and be old enough to remember it!
* Relations. What did your mother and father do? How were you raised? Do you have any siblings and if so, what do they do? A sibling is a great choice for a 2nd character!
* Medical & mental health conditions. Having a preexisting condition such as being wheelchair bound, blind or severe anxiety or a fear of space ants, can all lead to exciting development opportunities.
How much of an effect does your biography have on your character?
How often do you try to incorporate an element of your backstory into your posts? We have players with rich and varied backstories and some refer to them more often than others. It’s no good writing an epic backstory if you’re never going to use it. Referring to your biography and character history is a great way to get others involved in your character and become emotionally invested in you. You’re in a deadly battle with the Klingons? Remember that time a Klingon bullied you as a child, yes, that’s all coming back to you now. Oh look, you’ve slumped to the floor in a seizure.

Biographies change!
I don’t just mean the service history section - which you should keep updated by the way! Over the course of your character life, you will come across events that may have an effect on your character. Perhaps you were involved in a mission where you suffered a major injury and are now left with a nasty scar or facial disfigurement. Referring back to that in future missions is character development paying off. “How did I get this car? Well, let me tell you a story…”

Personal logs - use them!
Everyone has the right to create a personal log. This is such an excellent tool in character development and goes to enrich a mission.Has something happened in the mission that affected you? Write about it in a log entry. Is the ship about to explode? Write a final message to your loved ones. If you move ship, don’t forget to ask your new commanding officer to transfer your log.

Romance...oh yeah
Some people can do this, others are uncomfortable with the idea. Like it or not, romance is an integral part of roleplaying life and is one of the most powerful tools in your character development arsenal. So you meet a girl/boy and form a rapport in a mission. This leads to a date, which leads to a relationship, which leads to marriage, which leads to children, which then leads to bitterness and divorce. There’s all sorts of opportunities for your character to develop in romance. You could have a love triangle, your fellow players could attend your marriage ceremony, your children could be kidnapped by a Klingon. All sorts! Just make sure that if you’re planning on getting close to someone you have their permission out of character first.

Change of department
Perhaps you’re bored with analysing survey samples or performing medical exams. An exciting change of career is always an option, just speak to your commanding officer. Just check the roster to see what’s available. If you’re getting stuck or fed up doing what you’re doing, change it. “Hey, I used to be a doctor you know, here, hold this wound…”

The burden of command
So if you’re dedicated, show initiative and hang around long enough you will likely make it to command level. This has a major effect on your character and different things will be expected of you. You’re a leader now like it or not, how does this affect your character? Did you used to be fun loving and lazy? Well guess what, lives depend on you now, can you cope with the stress or have a break down - character development!

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