Newcomer's Guideby T.A. Saunders ©2010 v2.0
Welcome to the World of Imarel! The events and story of Imarel have been a series of ongoing adventures since 1988, when Imarel was created as a homebrew tabletop game for AD&D 1st edition. In 1995, Imarel was brought forth as part of an online role-playing community on AOL, where it existed until 2003, when it moved to IRC, on the Sorcery.Net IRC server. Over the years, the channel's changed names, (having been originally #stormsend_tavern, then #whispering_raven) and changed servers a few times, with a short stint on Starchat and a shorter stint on Espernet, before finally settling in our present home on Darkmyst.
In that time the ongoing game world has generated a great deal of lore that has added to the richness and diversity of the gameplay. One thing our channel does differently than most other channels is that our environment is not static. As storyline evolves, events shift from one part of the world to another, allowing players to experience the entire world, rather than a small part of it. These transitions we refer to as chronicles.
In each chronicle, characters develop, explore the area of the world they're adventuring in and create bonds with other characters and NPCs involved in the chronicle. As one chronicle ends and another begins, those connections and relationships carry over and become influential in effecting events in the next chronicle, as the character's name and reputation grow. This allows for a richer roleplay experience, instead of a static city, or tavern where you never meet anybody important and don't have an influence on anything that really happens.
Occasionally, rather than starting a new chronicle, we ‘reset' and encourage our players to make new characters to start fresh. These ‘newbie chronicles' are also a great time for new players to jump in on the action and start at the very beginning. It also serves to keep the game fresh and to keep older players from having a vast advantage over newer players.
Now that you know a little about us and how we run our channel, let's move on to the topic of how to get involved in the role-play. Let's start with what you'll need to get started:
1. Our OOC channel is #imarel_ooc and our RP channel is #imarel. Join both so you can ask questions and use !help in the OOC while watching RP in the RP channel. The channel's bot, Xandra can be a wellspring of information on how to get involved through aforementioned command.
2. Read the Channel Rules. The first cardinal sin of this channel is to say you've read the rules, do something that's against the rules, then claim ignorance.
3. Character concept: Our preference is that you make a canon character and race, but this is not a requirement. We have several race/class combinations that can allow for quite a bit of variety. However, we do allow offworld races, so long as they are reasonable. This means no breaking the technology cap (which can be slanted through clockwork/magitech), no excessive crosses, like a half demon, half vampire, half goat, half pixie, quarter dragon and one tenth human and nothing too wildly obscure and unrelatable (in other words, GM discretion). It should be noted that non-canon races are not given bonuses for any reason (though they can gain bonuses through playing a canon class).
4. Take a moment and read the site, specifically information about the chronicle and look at the maps. Understand where your character is, where they are going and what to expect. This is nothing worse than the player who announces they're walking into a tavern with their character, when the only structure standing before them is a fortress. Looking over the races/classes helps too.
5. Ask questions and don't be shy about it! Our ops and our community leaders (recognized with a +) can answer most basic questions or find the answer for you in relatively short order. We do ask that you're patient as we all do have lives outside of IRC. If you're not answered immediately, try using the bot or the site search to find your answer.
Q: Magitech? What's that?
A: Magitech utilizes a marriage between magic and Victorian Age technology, which breeds something not too different from Steampunk, except instead of supposing everything runs on steam or clockwork somehow, there's the added dash of sorcery to make things a little more fantastic and add to the possibilities of what can be done.
Q: Semi-freeform? I was looking for a freeform game!
A: Originally, Imarel was a freeform game. However, it was becoming readily apparent that a fully freeform game made it impossible to conduct game events without some means to enforce culpability for character actions and choices. Freeform systems are rife with players that can choose to ignore the death of their character, or have conflicts between characters that simply do not end, because of ‘forever dodging' attacks, or god-moding.
The Imarel d100 dice system addresses this problem in the most economic way possible. For events, this dice system and the character sheets were instituted to enforce fair play and promote an organized way to conduct events. As players are not required to attend these events, those who wish to simply role-play and not be bothered with dice need not participate, but can become involved in goings on in non-combative ways. As always, if two players agree to freeform RP something, it is up to said players to agree to what can and cannot happen.
Q: Do you require character sheets?
A: If you do not attend any of the dice-driven events, then no you are not required to sheet your character. However, attending events and sheeting your character go hand and hand. If you are going to play in events, you will be required to sheet your character.
Q: Where do I get a character sheet?
Q: So your character can die in this game? Can a character be returned from the dead?
A: Yes. A character may be resurrected once before final death. That one resurrection can also be taken depending on the manner by which the character dies. If the soul is destroyed somehow, utterly devoured by a thing, then resurrection simply isn't possible. Such instances are rare however and begin running the gambit of higher danger encounters.
Conversely, a character can cheat death past the one resurrection, by being reincarnated, however, the character will not initially remember who they were in a past life, if indeed they are reincarnated as something sentient enough to have memories at all. What a player is reincarnated as is GM discretion. That character will be effectively ‘retired' for being newborn, and cannot be played again until the character has aged enough to play.
Q: Nobody is paying attention to my character! Why?
A: Much like in real life, people generally don't pay attention to other people unless it's a passing glance or a nod hello. More friendly folk might even say hello but generally speaking, even good-looking or remarkable people don't get fawned over initially (though may garner slightly more attention). So too in role-playing, recognition must be a proactive thing, not an expectation that everybody should pay attention to your character.
Q: But I wrote this great post? Doesn't anybody appreciate my writing skills?
A: Having a well-written post does not guarantee other people will have their characters pay attention to your character. This is by far, the biggest mistake most role-players make and it's a mistake of vanity.
Even if you write this amazing monologue about how your character has eyes the color of heliotrope and moonlight follows your character's wake when they walk, there is no guarantee that it'll draw the attention of the Zissah warrior in the corner, or the Half-Shei lord pouring over battle plans to save the city. Being proactive and engaging other characters is the key.
Q: Do I get starting gear and starting money?
A: Yes. All new characters can start out with basic armor and weapons, with no bonuses and twenty silver coins of the current denomination of currency, providing they are canon characters. Off-world characters will not have native currency, but could exchange it later likely.
Q: How do I get better stuff?
A: That really all depends on what your gaming goals are on the channel. If you're here for just the freeform experience, then your character really doesn't need amazing gear with stats on it. Though, if you wanted, it's easy enough to role-play with other characters to acquire better weapons and armor. If you choose to participate in events, you have the crafting option open to you, plus the chance of acquiring loot from various events.
Q: What else do I start with?
A: A character may know one extra language aside of the ones his character race starts with if the character is canon. Off-world races will know no local languages, except perhaps the Common Tongue, and would have to learn one either through RP or spending event points. Characters from both Imarel and off-world can learn either three trade proficiencies or work to become legendary in a single trade proficiency, but always may always begin with one trade at novice, one weapon skill at Proficient, six non-weapon proficiencies, and the option for one unarmed combat proficiency to start. Off-world characters will be limited to non-Imarel proficencies (for example, Biomancy would not be available to an off-world character), but would be able to take things like first aid, direction sense, and so on.
Anything not covered in this article or the FAQ within can be addressed with an op at any time! Never be shy about asking questions!