Starter Guide

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  • Starter Guide
     

    Welcome to Starlight Academy! This guide will walk you through the basics of the site, introduce you to all the information you should need to know, and guide you through your first few days on the site.



    Intro to Starlight Academy
     

    Starlight Academy, the site, has been around since 2005, and has a long and rich history. While it is named for the main school in our setting, Starlight Academy is not just a school-based roleplay, and allows for citizens unrelated to the school to be played. The setting is in the present day, in a world just like our own, with one important addition: The secret island of Manta Carlos, which shelters supernatural creatures, humans with abilities, aliens, and whatever else you can imagine. The islands of Manta Carlos themselves being safely tucked away within an extra-dimensional space for everyone's protection. Starlight Academy allows for open and flexible species creation. There is no one 'type' of supernatural being that you'll be stuck with, and players are free to pick and choose what abilities and history they want for their character.

    Starlight Academy is an original sandbox roleplay, without a strong focus on combat. While abilities are a big part of both the setting and character creation, they're primarily used as a bouncing off point for personal conflicts and character development. Players are not limited in the number of characters they can play, nor do we keep track of face claims or playbys. We allow for the use of original art, anime face claims, or real life playbys with a few limits, which can be found in the Site Guidelines.

    The majority of roleplay happens on our forums, within the larger setting of the Manta Carlos Islands. Starlight Academy does not have a word count, but the average post can be anywhere from fifty words to five hundred words, depending on the player. Players are encouraged to focus on giving their partner enough to reply to, rather than trying for a given word count. Players are also free to post at their own pace. While some players post back within an hour or two, others might take a few weeks to reply to a given thread.

    Starlight Academy also features a canon in-character chat channel set in the Manta Carlos Community Center, along with additional private in-character chat channels and ones for use during events. All of these channels are hosted within a separate discord channel for ICC use. This allows for rapidfire, script-style roleplay in a more laid-back environment, but is considered secondary to the main site. Feel free to request access in the mod request channel on our standard discord server once you have a character approved. The site also runs monthly events and challenges, the majority of which serve as springboards for player ideas.


    Getting Started
     

    Assuming all of that sounds good to you, you should get started with reading through the Site Guidelines. These are our rules, and cover the basics of roleplay on Starlight Academy. From there, you should check out the Premise, Island Overview, Academy Overview, and Major Events pages. These will cover the most important bits of lore that all players should know. You can also check out the other pages of our built in wiki for more lore and information.

    Making a character starts with reading the Character Rules and Application thread. This thread details all the guidelines for making a character, as well as offering several suggestions. Players are free to make what they'd like for their first character (making a student is not mandatory), but staff generally recommend that players make someone new to the island for their first character. Your application will be a new thread posted in the Character Hub section of the site, titled with the name of the character and the first post should have the information requested in the template filled out. Over a couple days the staff will review your application and then one staff member will take point on that character. If there is an issue with your application, or something that needs clarification, you'll receive a private message from the member of the staff who takes point on your application. Pends are a normal part of the application process, because while Starlight Academy does not have strict application standards, we lean on the side of preferring clarifications where there might be confusion, rather than finding out there's an issue much later on. After acceptance your character application will be converted into a proper character sheet. Please go through and follow the guidelines for setting up a character sheet before you start roleplaying with the character.

    Out of character, players are encouraged to introduce themselves in coming and going! Visiting the discord, linked at the bottom of the site, is also highly encouraged, as this is where most site discussions take place. Your account on the discord will be separate from your account on the site. When you first enter the discord, your nickname should be set by staff to your name on the site to avoid confusion. If it isn't done within a reasonable amount of time please say something and a staff member will handle it. If you're feeling up to it, please also drop by and answer how you found us, to help us tailor our advertising a bit better.

    Some other important resources, which you might be interested in:

    • wiki - As mentioned above, Starlight Academy has a built-in wiki! This growing set of pages contains plenty of the sites lore and information on the setting, as well as player-included species information. When it comes to species, everything listed should be considered optional, as players are free to make their own.
    • FAQ - Starlight Academy has an extensive FAQ, covering all kinds of topics from lore to character creation. If you have a question, consider checking the FAQ for a pre-written answer!
    • Wanted Ads - Not sure what to make? This forum has a whole bunch of posts by players seeking specific characters, professions, or abilities to help with their own plots.'


    Getting Involved
     

    Once your character has been accepted, you have a lot of options! Sometimes the sheer number of them can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some points:

    • While not mandatory, it's recommended that players fill out their site profile after acceptance. The account details page includes optional menus to list your posting status, change your avatar, let us know what pronouns you would like to go by, etc. Signatures are also optional, but it's no longer necessary to put character links in your signature as they are easily discovered by visiting any member's profile and clicking to view their characters.
    • Claims - Getting listed on the academy staff character directory and businesses list is handled by staff automatically when your character is first accepted. However, if something is changing (your character is changing names, getting a new job, etc), or being added be sure to post in the claim update thread to get those fixed up. There is also a subforum in claims for you to, optionally, describe important locations you might reference in character.
    • Open Threads - If you're more spontaneous, hopping into a thread in the open thread listing might be for you. Players are free to hop into any thread that's labeled 'open', but are encouraged to only do so if the thread is still on the first page. Threads are listed in the open thread listing to help people find them, and you're free to list your own as well!
    • Plots - Interested in having your character join a gang? A pack? A secret society? Looking for ongoing plots to join? The Plots forum is for you. This forum has several subforums, including one for Groups & Organizations, and one for Wanted Ads where other members are seeking assistance or others to join them in their plots.
    • Ability Upgrades - While characters have some set limits when first created, players are encouraged to have their characters abilities grow over time via the ability upgrade forum. The full process can be found at the ability upgrade process sticky, which details how to upgrade your characters abilities.

    The most important part of being on Starlight Academy is that being bold will get you further than being passive. If everyone waits for someone else to suggest a roleplay idea, then no roleplays get done. Don't be afraid to approach people with ideas! Don't worry about hopping into a thread labeled open! Talking with your fellow players and making yourself known are two great ways to better connect on the site.


    Extra Credit
     

    Interested in some of Starlight Academy's other features and bonuses? Check these out:

    • Trophies - Starlight Academy has an achievement system known as 'Trophies', which aims to recognize important milestones in your time on the site. There are trophies for overall post count, duration on the site, and more.
    • Challenges - Every month, Starlight Academy runs a monthly set of challenges. These five challenges are goals for players to head towards, earning ability vouchers for their troubles. You can find all the information here.
    • Events - Similar to challenges, you can find current events happening in the Events forum! The event guide will cover different styles of events.
    • Tag System - Starlight Academy allows for tags to be added to threads, letting you mark your character as having participated. The Tag Guide details how we use these tags, to ensure things are uniform. While not mandatory, tagging is encouraged, and can be very helpful!
    • Coding - Interested in making a post or profile template for yourself? This will explain how coding works on the site. If you want some free to use ones, we have a sticky for application templates and one for general templates. Beware that most of these are old and may be non-functional or missing important fields. Use at your own risk.
    • Community Center - This forum serves for all the out of character odds and ends. Want to talk about what you're reading? Want to share a funny screenshot? This is the place to do it. This forum also hosts the subforums for sharing your creative works, the creative corner, and the diversions forum!
    • Staff - Interested in learning a bit about the people who run the site, or the different categories of staff? This is the place to do it.
    • Donations - Starlight Academy's servers are funded by generous members, and this page explains the annual costs associated with the site, as well as linking directly to our patreon.
    • Vouchers - Did you read through the entire starter guide? Congrats, you're eligible to claim an ability voucher! To claim your voucher, just click the 'Vouchers' link, choose redeem, and type in SECRET.
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