OOC:Wise Character Creation
No, not in terms of coding; there's lots of info out there on that. Instead, this is a guide to wise character creation in terms of the MUSH's setting and what you might want to know.
Getting to Yuriba
Characters in Yuriba can, generally, come from one of two places; Yuriba or anywhere else. The vast majority come from the latter, so we'll address that first. While the terminology may differ, Yuriba is a dimensional nexus and anchor. What this means, in practical terms, is that 1) There is only one Yuriba for all worlds and it exists equally in - and not in - each of them and 2) Yuriba tends to attract those who become dimensionally unhinged in some way, especially those who are female and are interested in their own sex. Becoming dimensionally unhinged may be as obvious as a teleportation error that pulls you to Yuriba instead of your destination or it can be as inexplicable as turning the corner as you walk to your favorite grocery store and finding yourself suddenly on cobblestone streets. It is also possible to try and reach Yuriba deliberately through methods that would normally work, which mostly means trying to travel there by small boat although a clever dimension hopper could probably figure out a way. Shipwrecks are also known to wash up on the island although, again, for some reason they almost all seem to have lesbian proclivities. (In fact, many believe that generally the island only appears to those with such a nature, although there are a few exceptions recorded.)
It is, incidentally, often difficult to move back and forth between Yuriba and other places. The majority of folks find it impossible or are uninterested; others have no issue. Whether or not one can travel to and from Yuriba easily seems to have a great deal to do with perception - Those that believe it should work like normal often find it does, those that expect problems encounter them. (For that matter, a great many things in Yuriba seem powerfully affected by perception...)
Races and Time Periods
Another important factor of this dimensional nexus nature is that time period is a flexible thing; an immigrant to Yuriba may come from a world where everyone is a catgirl... in the equivalent of the 1500s. Yuriba's calender is treated as matching that of 'our' world, since the seasons align and most of the residents are from that time period but there is a definite degree of fuzziness. Similarly, due to it touching on all dimensions and worlds, immigrants to Yuriba can be of almost any species that possesses female members; still, the majority of the residents tend to be humans, or at least, generally humanoid. (Those interested in a more detailed break down could look at the Yuriban census records.)
For characters native to Yuriba, things are a somewhat more limited. Native Yuribans live in a subdimension commonly called "Underhill", seeming related to the reality of the same name associated with some European mythos. The common races that live there are kitsune, fae, and female nature spirits, mostly sylphs, naiads, dryads, and oreads. The culture is ancient and complex, following a local animistic religion that worships goddesses who represent the natural elements. For those wishing to play a character from this background, a few hours spent reading the Yuriba wiki would be a good idea, starting with those pages recommended in the section of the Beginner's Guide focused on in character culture. Yuriba is a culture deeply steeped in magic and mysticism, the two being focal points in the daily lives of inhabitants and relied upon far more than technology or science.
Women of native races vary fairly widely in skin tone and coloring dependent on heritage, but most native Yuribans are between 5' and 6' in height; average is about 5'7", although very rare individuals outside of the typical range are seen. Natives nearly all display one common physical marker; the native heritage leads to a slightly slanted, almond shaped eye.
The World of Yuriba
Yuriba is, by and large, a pre-industrial society. There is no power grid on the island, nor a cell phone network, nor radio towers, and so on. Homes are usually heated and lit by firelight and candles; those with the capability often use magic for this purpose as well. The hot temperatures of summer are often handled via leaving doors and windows wide open to allow the breezes off the ocean to move through. Some immigrants with more advanced technological knowledge have made a small sideline in selling personal generators and setting homes up for individual power; such generators are usually solar or wind powered although some make use of geothermal energy. Still, most have learned to make do without, or to keep their power usage small.
Yuriba does have running water and a sewage system; the overall plumbing is very close to that used in Roman times, although the natives favor copper and bronze pipes. There are known to be several reservoirs hidden in the forests and hills of the island, although none are believed to be accessible. Natural gas is also available, mostly used in stoves and the rare street lamp; most notably, the one in the Village's Center and in the lighthouse. Some of the roads are 'paved', to use the term loosely; either covered in cobblestones or widely spaced flagstones. Many others are simply pounded dirt. There are no motorized vehicles, nor common riding animals; travel is either walking, teleportation, or making use of natural magical shortcuts like the Faerie Circles. (Recently, The Omnissiah's Chariot has begun to sell sturdy bikes appropriate for Yuriba's largely off-road conditions as well.)
Nature vs Nurture
All – let us repeat that, all – naturally occurring life in Yuriba is female. To the native mindset, men are women as well... Just of another species. Rather than standard genetic reproduction, Yuriban life reproduces through a process called memetic exchange, wherein elements of the personalities and souls of the two parents are combined to form a new spark of life. (Strictly speaking, not completely new, as natives also believe in reincarnation, but let's keep it simple for now.) This process applies as much with plants as with people, although it's more complex in sentient species; to conceive a child by memetic reproduction both parties must desire a child. However, it is important to note that this desire need not be conscious.
There are some character types or concepts that don't work well in Yuriba. For simplicity's sake, we will cover them here!
- Characters that rely on very high tech, or are very high tech. In addition to the bit above about the lack of modern conveniences, Yuriba has extremely high levels of magical energy that can interfere with the functioning of most complex machines. Beyond that, they're generally outside of the 'flavor' of Yuriba, which leans more to shoujo schoolgirl romance/fantasy/high drama/a lot of things, but not really mecha.
- Characters that are UBER POWERFUL AND ALL CONSUMING. Yuriba does have immigration screening, both ICly in the sense of protective goddesses and magics, and OOCly in terms of the newbie room. Characters whose power level would be disruptive to general RP are generally asked to dial it back or make compromises.
- Characters that feed off of other characters. This means vampires, psivampires, creatures that live off of others' emitted emotions, whatever – if to live, you have to consume some part of other people, even if it's just their spare feelings, it's too risky in an island with a very limited population, especially as these things are often assumed to be transferable. It's just easier not to allow it.
- Characters that are undead. No vampires. No zombies. No liches. Our primary theme remains love and friendship; these are things we find to generally be disruptive to it, plus, see above about eating other people. Ghosts are sometimes allowed, but in general, nothing that's not alive.
- Characters that are excessively sexual. This mostly means that the character wants a power like 'everyone who sees her wants her' or 'lust inducing hormones'. Why? Well, that leads into our final point, ie...
- No characters or powers based around mind control. We're pretty big on the right of people to do what they feel is IC for them; if one character has a power that allows them to coerce a response from their RP partner, it's not really fair!
- Characters that are primarily non-humanoid. This doesn't mean 'no furries' or 'no catgirls', it means, 'no full time sentient rocks or talking cows'. Your character has to spend more of their time looking more or less person-ish than not.
These are character concepts that, while allowed, will either face far more intense scrutiny, or character concepts that we fell obliged to inform you up front have been overdone and don't seem to go over well with the local population in RP.
- Angels and Demons. These have no real place in the Yuriban religion, and while allowed, on Yuriba, they're races, not divine agents. Because of this, powers that are tied to religion/closeness to God/overwhelming evil/whatever may not be allowed if they don't make sense in the IC world.
- Evil characters. While we're cautiously allowing some of these through since we've moved to in character actions have in character consequences, reality is, you're running a high risk that an accepted consequence is 'someone finds out, and kills you'. We also really prefer to avoid certain subsets of, er, being really graphically or obvious evil; scheming bitch, master manipulator, or subtle nastiness are not precisely appreciated, but a lot more likely to pass muster.
- Characters who show up ICly prejudiced against homosexuality. Not disallowed – but if you're not careful, it's very, very easy and very, very quick to permanently alienate almost everyone, who's generally not interested in going through 'converts a screaming bigot to be more tolerant' as an RP storyline.
- Horribly broken birds. Characters who are incredibly sheltered or incredibly abused in their history and now are scared of themselves, scared of women being involved, scared of their own shadow... A few people appreciate this, but it's a trope that's been done to death and beyond, and will limit your RP options pretty severely as people get exhausted of dealing with every situation being about reassuring you.
Native Yuribans are, with very few exceptions, polyamorous in nature. When one takes into account the immigrant population over the last decade, numbers become more evenly split; very nearly half and half between those who consider themselves polyamorous (people who may have many committed relationships) and monogamous (those who have only one committed relationship at a time). There is very little differentiation made between married and unmarried couples in terms of how society treats them and while there is a mild stigma on casual, meaningless encounters it is, indeed, exactly that; mild.
The adoption of close friends as honorary family members is very common in Yuriba, particularly among natives and long time residents. These bonds are usually honorary and technically informal but there is a native blood binding ceremony to make these relationships legally and spiritually binding.
The native Yuriban religion is animistic, meaning that it believes that all things, alive or not, possess a spirit that must be respected. The greatest of these spirits are the Yuriban goddesses, who are fifteen in number. In general, the pantheon as a whole is worshiped but most Yuribans feel a special kinship with anywhere from one to three deities at any point in time, considering those to the ones who are currently guiding their life. Who these goddesses are can change over the course of a life.
Perhaps the most common means of displaying an affinity for one of the goddesses is to wear their blessing - what is also known to foreigners as a "Jusenkyou curse". These changed forms are often associated with a particular goddess and a person may wear the form sacred to a deity they feel close to, one they want to become close to, or one who they feel they need protection or assistance from. Priestess can serve one deity or, more rarely, two and can be largely found Underhill, although a few exist in the village as well.