A brief summary of this RP would be something like this: "The story of a group of players who get sucked into their video game and are forced to play it for real." The situation is something like Log Horizon - Players will respawn if they die (although NPCs will not), and their consciousness is literally placed into their game avatar, rather than being trapped online like SAO. OOC THREAD IS UP! Please note: The rules described below, such as General Skill Construction, apply only as a setting - in the actual RP, I'm not going to assign skill components or anything - just let you do as you please (within reason, of course!) So, without further ado.. the setting! Great Sands Online An unusual game, as online games go. Rather than a class system, your class is decided by the weapon you equip (and there is a near infinite variety of these), as well as how you build your skills. That's right - custom skills; no character is quite the same as the next. Combined with the state-of-the-art character creator, this gained Great Sands Online the reputation of 'Most Immersive Characters Of All Time'. There are two kinds of skills in Great Sands Online - Personal Skills and General Skills. Each player, upon reaching level 10, is contacted by one of the game's Moderators, who works with them to create a unique but balanced personal skill which is known by them alone and cannot be changed. The way General Skills work is as follows - Throughout the world, and through leveling up, players will receive Skill Components. These can be combined in any way to create any General Skill. Components can be extracted from a skill and used again, although there is a cost for this and a chance the component will be destroyed (to prevent players completely changing their role in the middle of a battle). A few examples: Example One. I reach Level 15, and gain 5 skill components - "Primary Weapon", "Secondary Weapon", "Fire Element", "Stun" and "Charge Level". I could combine these in various ways. The type of attack depends on the weapon equipped - for example, a Primary Weapon skill using an equipped Tome would act like a long range magic spell, while the same skill used while a sword is equipped would act as a close range melee attack. - I could combine PW, FE and CL, which would give me a skill that used my primary weapon to cast, inflicted Fire Damage and could be 'overcast' - I could hold the skill on charge instead of firing it the moment it finishes preparing, which would deal boosted damage. - I could combine SW, CL and Stun that used my offhand weapon (assuming I have one - I'm not using a two-handed weapon) to inflict a stun on the target. It would have a charge option to deal a longer stun. - I could combine all 5 components, making a skill that uses both weapons, inflicts fire damage, stuns and has a charged form with increased damage and longer stun (though this would cost more Mana to cast). Example Two. I kill a boss mob, and gain 3 copies of the "Lightning Damage" component, and two of the "Delayed Charge", as well as two "Area of Effect damage". I already have 3 "Primary Weapon" components which I had an Enchanter craft for me (see below, somewhere) - I could combine one LD and one DC with one PW, which would make a lightning attack. The Delayed Charge would mean that it would take a second or two for the skill to activate after being cast, but in exchange, it would deal more damage. I would be able to move while it was charging itself, and use further attacks. Note, I could not make this skill 3 times - I can only possess one identical combination of components. - I could combine them all with a PW to make a triple Lightning Damage attack with a double sized AOE and a double Delay that would probably be so powerful it would one-hit-KO most things of the same level. Unfortunately, the MP cost for this would be really really high - much higher than my mana pool would ever allow, at any level. Feel free to make up components too, I'm not going to impose a list on you. The Game Itself There are other reasons this game stands out. It is the first MMO to have no storyline; no main quests. NPCs can give side quests to help you get started, and these are run on a random generator. The bulk of quests come from the Bulletin Boards spread around town. At one of these, any player may create a quest for other players to complete. They may specify a time limit and the objectives as well as how many people may take the quest before it disappears, plus the reward, and an advanced AI will calculate the difficulty, recommended level and gear quality. Monetary rewards are given automatically from the player's inventory, and the game system provides the XP reward. Any items the quest requires are handed in will be mailed to the player. The game centers on three towns - Terien, Aroze and Incerra. There is a rumoured fourth town, though no one has found it yet. The three towns are arranged in a triangular fashion at the compass points - Terien in the South, Aroze in the North and Incerra in the West. The rumour of the fourth town is based on there being no known Eastern town. The environment there is particularly harsh, so no one has managed to push further than a few kilometers into it. Around these towns is a series of progressively more difficult and high level areas, each with its own share of dungeons. They expand radially, so the further from town you go, the stronger the monsters you'll face. The environment itself is primarily a desert, but is interspersed with occasional oasises and magical biodomes. Many of the latter act as World Boss Areas - environmental hazards that any number of people may team up to defeat, instead of being limited to the usual 6 person party limit or 42 person Raid limit. This particular RP will start around Terien, the largest of the towns - it has a player population of around 3,000. The game is very player driven. Every building can be purchased by a (very rich) player, as can plots of land in which personal or guild residencies can be constructed. Shops and market stalls can be purchased or rented too. New players are given one free (small) room within the 'Slums' - a shanty town outside the city's walls that was annoyingly far from any of the facilities and was prone to attacks from monsters, but it did come with a private storage and a stamina-restoring bed, which is always nice. Fortunately, the game was quite aimed at the RP-ing type, so a lot didn't mind this. Additionally, most Guilds can afford a guild hall, which a lot of newer members stay in to be closer to the city center. Players of Great Sands are encouraged to role-play as much as possible, and OOC talk found in the close range channels may be penalised if noticed. This is to aid the immersion that the game thrives on. Getting Sucked In Normally, you know when you get sucked into a game, don't you? In these RPs, I mean. Well, in this one - you don't really know when it happened. You were playing and you got so absorbed in your adventures that hours passed without you noticing. You check the clock on your UI (which has remained after the consciousness transfer), and notice it's well into the evening. You curse, and wonder why you weren't very hungry, but you press Log Out anyway. Or rather, you try - but it doesn't work. Is there some lag? You make the motion that's supposed to force the shut down of your VRMMO headgear, but the game doesn't close. In fact, you notice that your ability to sense the game would has increased quite a lot, and your movements are many times more fluid... as if it was actually real life! But of course, that's ridiculous. That kind of thing only happens in light novels written decades before! At this point in time, around 30% of the original player base has been sucked in. The other 70% have been... having difficulties logging in recently. 3 days have passed since you were sucked in, and you've come to accept your situation at least, even if you don't like it. You're currently attending a meeting in a local tavern between some people you partied with a couple of times in lower levels, about what you plan to do from here on out. Races / Weapons (roles) Player Characters in Great Sands Online may choose from a range of races at character creation. At later stages in the game, they will also unlock various other races through achievements, which can be used when a new character is made on that account, or through visiting a Polymorphic NPC character, who can be used to change your character appearance without losing levels or items, for a hefty price. Your race won't make a combat difference, and is mostly for aesthetics. If you have any other race ideas, describe them to me and I'll see if they can be fit into the setting. Starting races are as follows: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Allyrian - Can be considered your basic 'human' race. The NPCs that inhabit the three cities are primarily Allyrians. There's really not much special about them. They're the most populous species, spread across the entire continent to some extent, and have had several empires in the past, the traces of which can still be seen today. Uruni - Thought to have evolved from Allyrians, Uruni hail from small, tropical islands off the North coast of the continent. They are thinner and more delicate in features than the Allyrians, and can be considered this world's variant of 'elves', to a certain extent. Culturally, they favour the use of bows and stealth, although they're by no means limited to these. Uruni are relatively reclusive, and the majority you see on the mainland are PCs. Kemono - Think 'cat girl', and you're on the right lines. Kemono are primarily found on islands to the East of the continent, although few players have been able to venture there so this information is little more than rumour based on the speech of NPCs. Kemono typically look like Allyrians, but come with a varying amount of animal traits. Some may possess only the ears of an animal, while some may essentially be werewolves. Kemono can be quite rare on the mainland because they're a difficult race to play as - there is a lot of discrimination against Kemono by NPCs and by many PCs while in in-character channels. For immersion, Kemono earn less money and XP from NPC-given quests. This is because Kemono have often been slaves to the Allyrian empires, and the prejudice continues now. Orog - A peculiar species that come from underground citadels. These places are infested with hostiles, and are very high level dungeons, so have not been explored yet. The Orog that are seen around the surface world are usually half-breeds. Orogs have thick, leathery skin which is usually tinged a shade of green or brown. Red ones exist, but are rare. They remind people of ogres or orcs. Despite their general aggressiveness and appearance, Orogs face surprisingly little discrimination or prejudice due to long standing good relations with the Allyrians - Orogs are often the life of the party and you know you're in for fun when one walks into the tavern. Achievement-given Races: These races add on to your character's current race, making them all halfbreeds. Currently, no player is known to have achieved purebreed status for any race. Full forms of all the races have the ability to fly, while half-breeds can hover to move more quickly. Neither can be used while in combat. Since these are rare, please plan your character in a way that will allow them to still exist properly without being a halfbreed; I intend to limit quantities. Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Tenjin - A species until recently thought only to exist in myth. Full Tenjin boast glorious angelic wings and supreme divine power. A full tenjin is unique in that it can gain any number of Heavenly Thunder skill components, however, a Half-Tenjin will be capped at 2. These components deal irreducible damage, and extra damage to anything 'unholy' such as undead. Half-Tenjin are limited to one pair of wings, while Full Tenjin may have up to 3, depending on their accomplishments. Narajin - The demon to the Tenjin's angel. Narajin wing distribution works in the same way as a Tenjin; halfbreeds have 2 wings, while fullbreeds may have up to 6 individual wings. Narajin and Half-narajin can gain Hellfire components, in the same way as Tenjin. Hellfire components deal 'withering' damage - armour strength is reduced after taking Hellfire damage, and a poison effect is applied that slowly saps health and mana. Ryujin - The draconic variant of the 'divine trio'. All Ryujin possess only 2 wings, and half-ryujin instead have smaller wings and less colourful scales, rather than fewer wings. Ryujin gain Dragon's Anima components, which deal all 4 normal magic elements of damage - 25% of the attack strength being of each element. They also have a high chance to inflict various status effects - the fire part may inflict a burn, or the earth part may inhibit movement speed. Weapons: Weapon variety in Great Sands is near endless, and theoretically any weapon could be used for any role, but typically it's best to assume certain positions with certain weapons. Equip a tome, and you're likely going to be a Magic DPS since tomes give the highest Magic Attack stat, and have long range. Equip a sword and shield and you're probably looking at being a tank, since you can block attacks. Any weapon you choose to use is cool with me, as long as you can explain what role it would have for something more obscure (Rope-darts, for example) Your skill functions will automatically suit the weapon you equip; the Primary Weapon component will know to adapt to melee range when you decide to equip a warhammer instead of the bow you were using just now. Changing weapons can be done at any time, except when actively engaged in combat. Any armour may be equipped in any role, but heavier armour will impact movement speed, so think carefully before making your Healer character wear plate mail. As with weapons, armour style is near infinite - yes, including armoured bikinis - but such armour offers very little in way of Armour value, so it's best to consider something else for practical use. Did I miss anything...? Probably but I can't remember what so... Lets go! If you're interested, throw such interest down below and I'll either give you a "thank" rating or make a terrible joke!