So, you want to join the sad-cats in the alternate timestream of Nirn? Already have a big intro planned out, or not sure what kind of character to have? Well, either way, this guide is meant for all of you! Except you, whomever answered "no" to the first question. This guide was created by Raeseil, and then [censored] by Kratochek, to ease you into our little corner of the internet.
First things first, if you're planning on joining the RP, you should DEFINITELY read some of the RP itself. After all, in the past few hundred pages, a lot has happened. You won't be brought completely up to speed, but you WILL get a better feel for the tone and setting of the Prequel RP if you've read at least one page.
Creating a character
Now, this can be a bit tricky. At the start, most characters were mid-level NPCs who weren't professional murder-hobos. However, the ongoing power-struggles mean that you're likely to be a bit behind the curve. Accept this. Characters are meant to grow, and if you start out with guild-mastery/multiple specializations/rare-or-better artifacts, expect to be nerfed. If, however, you start out with a believable character, most members of the chat will work with you to be part of the story.
Introducing your character to the world
If you followed step one, you probably noticed that not all characters are from Mundus. This means that, yes, you CAN bring in a character from another universe. Just remember that they have to fit in: Mecha, spaceships, firearms, etc. Will disrupt the world greatly. Adding a hobbit will not. That said, the goal is to *create* a character, so don't throw in Bilbo Baggins. Make an original character.
Once that's done, you'll have to integrate the character into play. We can't really guide you on that, but if you're agreeable and you seem fun to have around, we'll do our best to include you.
Welcome to Nirn. Daedra, trolls, bears, aliens, and talking cats all want to eat you. Whether they're disposable mooks or someone's projection of themself, it's important to have a good, clean fight. Well, between typists, that is...
So, there are certain rules in play. It's best to assume that your character is at the skill level they're supposed to be. if you play an untrained bodyguard, then it's unfair to other players if you use Real Life martial arts moves, especially if they don't exist in your character's continuity. Likewise, if your character is a well-trained swordsman, and you aren't, then don't try to throw out excessively long descriptions of their moves. If you really want a blow-by-blow choreographed fight, then it's curteous to let your opponent know beforehand. If any participant doesn't want to, then find a middle ground, be it dice rolls or a mediated fight. Communication is important here.
As a general rule of thumb, whoever types first gets the first move in the first round. So on, and so forth, for the rest of the first round. Once this happens, this is assumed to be the turn order for the rest of the fight. if you want to delay, please say so. And if you can, say what you're waiting for, be it a single move or the end of the turn. Each turn lasts roughly 1.25 seconds, but you shouldn't take that as a hard-and-fast rule. Use common sense; a block takes less time than a Hammerfell lockpicking.
Try not to outright 'shut out' other typists, such as by denying them the ability to do something or disallowing them to react, disrupt, or resist things. (Example, ignoring an action on an OOC level just because you don't feel like accepting it) It's ok to OOCly try to say that something they insist didn't make sense as being possible, that their continous timings of resisting are basically cheating, etc., but avoid stuff like automatically confirming attacks and stuff like that. Generally, if it doesn't become too inconvenient, following an implied order is appreciatable. (If Rae, Kjang, then Rall start posting in that order, we typically will continue to do so)
Be nice in other ways, like not name calling.
Finally, it's pretty important to be sure everyone's on the same page sooner than going with something and assuming everyone went along with it. Mostly this concerns when a scene is/isn't skipped, but if I can give other examples, I'll try to remember to update this page for more clarification.
Custom stuff, World Design, Preexisting Techniques of Note
Anything with 'absolute potenency' like the way calm will derail any hostility, paralyze automatically disables a character, etc. should be interpreted in a dampened way. Like, paralyze will restrict someone but won't outright disable them on the spot just because they were casted at.
The compactness and simplicity of the surrounding world is to be interpreted as a game convenience that isn't present. That is, it would take numerous days, if not numerous weeks, to travel across Cyrodiil. It's not like a half day kind of length the game makes it out to be: This is a whole region with many towns in it! It even has the Imperial capital!
Finally, when it comes to custom content, that can be ok as long as it doesn't break the world setting's design, or it should be something that does as an acknowledge abnormaility. For example, the ainsou species is something that is openly acknowledged as not native to Nirn, and this was even a plot point. The wolf anthropomorphic "vukasin" species, on the other hand... Although they still turned out to not be native to Nirn in that same plot explanation, would have been practical to be assumed as being around. (That is, practical as something that can fit rather than practical as being something that should have been around...which the plot wouldn't really indicate, in that sense) This is especially a worthwhile to spells which are strangely narrow and specific in scope to adventuring in the actual games.
When it comes to game versus game, a given action or component is generally associated with its source game. For example, ice spears from the Skyrim game typically used by people hailing from Skyrim, and the modular spell system expressed in the other releases is asscoiated with the way the culture developed spellcraft in places like Cyrodiil. For example, poisons and diseases caught in a Cyrodiil area won't be magic that gets absorbed by magic absorption techniques. Similarly, elemental damage is outright it's own thing, and not automatically a form of magic like it specifically is in Skyrim. As you can tell, this is mostly negating using gaming simplicifations in later releases to an abusive advantage.
Text that are *like this* are 'emotes' and convey actions. people usually use text 'like this' inside emotes to designate thoughts, text <like this> are usually foreign language, and finally, [this kind of text] usually designates different characters associated with dialog. For example...
NPC: [Guard]*Strikes out with his sword, thinking 'I'm too old for this crap!'* [Bandit]*Ducks under the sword, and starts fleeing!* ((AFK))
This line would mean that although the account itself is "NPC", a guard attacked a bandit, thinking about how he's getting too old for these kinds of things, but the bandit ducked under the strike and ran away. The typist also let everyone know that she is going away.
There's some quirky inconsistancies, but we generally conform this way and usually it gets pretty clear. It's just that it's easier to read when the formats are at least mostly similar, and OOC (Out of Character) parenthesis usage is pretty much universal.
There's a few things with directly managing characters. For one, there's no obligatory character sheet or measures you have to go through. You can pretty much put the character in on the spot. It's easier if you make a page for yourself on the wiki, but it's not required, just something helpful for reference in the long run or entertainment of the trivia reading.
It's helpful when the member list's user name designates your player name (if you use a separate name) and character name, as well as the character name in the nick tag that displays before each message. The minimum appreciated is that the nick tag designates the character when the account logged in is mostly controlling one character.
When using multiple accounts in the chat, please somehow make it clear that it's the same user between all the accounts. It's just considered nicer and doesn't make the member list feel as bloated and confusing.
The sense of balance is to even things out. This works in two ways:
Characters who are supposed to be able to do something competently, or actions that are desired to work out, are supposed to be assumed to be done competently or 'rule of cool' overriden against logic. For example, a painfully impractical spin attack or combat roll shouldn't be dragged out as absolutely impractical unless if the character is inexperienced or otherwise foolishly motivated and incapable. This is to bridge the gap between people who want to be an awesome fighter character and those who are reasonably closer to it IRL. If something's too jarring, prioritize pointing it out to pretty much going 'haha I'll take advantage of you being an idiot' when the character should very obviously know better.
On the other hand, we have a pretty broad span of skill levels with characters. Fine, some people are going to be stronger than others... But generally speaking, don't make it blatantly one-sided. Having an edge over one another is ok, but it's really annoying when a character's unstoppably powerful, except when the other character's just as deliberately incapable.
Obviously there'll be exceptions, like antagonists, and that most NPCs are either awesome-strong guards or throw-away mook bandits. The abnormalities in such cases should have a purpose as much as they have a reason, and just to beat another player isn't really a valid reason.
Generally speaking, throw game logic out the window. Yes, the RP takes place in the Elder Scrolls universe... But literal health bars, in-game menues, pausing, saving, and loading, weightless items/currency, etc. are really generally game simpliciations and playing conveniences/encouragements more than anything else, unless the lore actually goes out of its way to clarify that it's really how the world of Nirn runs.
Finally, when it comes to mods, exploits, glitches, etc... Well, mods were covered earlier, but when it comes to the others, just because the dev team didn't think of everything and you found some game breaking trick doesn't mean it's how the world is 'supposed to work'. Respectively, something completely absurd like abusing custom spells to almost instantly master a field of magic just because the game technically allows it does not make the associated action valid.
In other words, treat this as a 'life' first and a game second when trying to figure out if something's logical. Of course there's silly parodying, like the way guards and NPCs are, but try to cut it out when it's serious. Speaking of NPCs, assume a realistic skillset. This is especially signficiant on magic: Every adventurer begins with a couple starter spells in the games, but...uhm, they're legendary heroes, you know. Most NPCs do not express the capacity, whether in lore or practice, to be able to use spells. Although they may have picked up a couple spells in their trade, it's not really appropriate to expect that everyone with any wits knows how to cast fireball.