For questions about the creation of characters, their limitations, and so on.
Supporting Characters are characters primarily intended to support the development and growth of other characters. They do not have personal plots of their own, and their character development is not a focus. You can read more about supporting characters here. Supporting Characters always go in the Supporting Character forum, regardless of whether they're a student or otherwise.
Students are characters on Manta Carlos who are attending Starlight Academy. Students who are being home tutored, or who are attending the police academy are not considered students, and would instead go in citizens. Being a student takes priority over being a citizen.
More information on students.
Staff are characters on Manta Carlos who work as faculty for Starlight Academy. This includes both teachers and non-teachers such as librarians, custodians, school doctors, etc. If a character has a civilian job and a position at Manta Carlos, they're considered staff.
More information on staff.
Citizens are everyone else, the people who live on Manta Carlos but who are not either a student or staff of Starlight Academy. Citizens will generally have a job, although a job is not mandatory to be a citizen. Characters who would not legally be considered citizens are still placed in the citizen category.
More information on citizens and businesses.
- Make sure their personalities have some positives and negatives. No "nice, smart, beautiful, friendly, shy" stuff. Personalities need a little more complexity than that.
- Be wary of using diagnosed mental illnesses or other diseases when writing a character. It's important to be respectful and well researched on the subject if you plan to roleplay it. If you're not confident in your ability to portray these things accurately, you shouldn't.
- Do not write abilities in other sections.
- The abilities listed in your application should be their abilities at the time of acceptance. Please don't include abilities they'll get in the future.
- All abilities should have limitations. What types can vary depending on the ability, but things such as range, the number of times it can be used in a period, drawbacks, etc are all useful.
- Starlight Academy is not a combat based roleplay site, so it's not really worth the effort to write hard statistics and probability in your app. Combat based abilities likely won't get much use. Rather than giving the exact number of liters your water manipulator can manipulate, giving a general idea (as many as five water bottles, half an olympic pool, etc) is more helpful.
- Do not copy paste ability information from other websites. Do not copy parts of another players app without their permission.
- Being vague for storytelling purposes is okay but we need complete transparency when it comes to abilities.
- While it's okay to keep a history simple, it does need simple facts. Where they're from, what they were like growing up, major events in their life, and how they came to the academy are important.
- Your characters history should not have an impact on the real world. For example, you can't say that your character destroyed the real town of Davenport, Washington.
- Don't make your character have a history with someone elses character unless you've talked to them about it first.
- When taking a wanted ad, it's common courtesy to show the application to the person who created the wanted ad before submitting it. This can help avoid any confusion or issues that might pop up, and ensure that the character fits the want ad.
- Consider your characters size and how that may impact your ability to roleplay. If their size is so extreme they can't interact with another character reasonably, they would likely have a human shape charm or a human size charm.
- We are an original roleplay site. All characters should be your own--Canons are not allowed. This also extends to species--please don't use copyright species from other works. Species from classic works of fiction are the exception.
- Your character cannot be directly related to recent real life people. You can't be the son of Bill Gates or anything like that. However, father back it becomes more vague - if you want to be the descendant of Attila the Hun, go for it! Just keep in mind other people and make sure that your canon doesn't prevent someone else from making a character in the future. Your character can be connected to or related to a mythological figure. They can even claim they inspired that figure. However, you can't directly play a mythological figure (gods, legendary heroes, angels, etc).
- Characters cannot break the fourth wall, and abilities related to breaking the fourth wall will not be allowed.
- Any character without at least human-level intelligence must be a Supporting Character.
- Make sure your app is properly organized and easy to read, with line breaks between paragraphs and proper punctuation.
ALT: Is there a limit to the amount of characters I can have? How many posts do I need to make a new character?
An active ability is an ability that can be turned on and off, even if your character does not have exact control of it. Characters can have three active abilities without needing to include weaknesses.
A passive ability is an ability that is naturally active. If your character is naturally faster than an ordinary human, that would be a passive ability. Characters can have five passive abilities without needing to include weaknesses. Generally speaking, passive abilities are weaker than active abilities.
Limits vs Weaknesses vs Flaws:
A flaw is a part of your character's personality that hinders them in some way. Being arrogant, being trusting to the point of naivete, being rude, etc can all be flaws. We ask that all characters have at least some flaws to avoid any character being too perfect.
A limit are restrictions to an ability. These include things like range, usage limits, drawbacks, etc. All abilities should have limits, but what kind of limits appear on an ability depend on the nature of the ability itself.
A weakness is something about them that is worse than a human. They are not the same thing as limits. If your character cannot regenerate when injured by silver, that is a limitation on their regeneration ability, not a weakness, because a normal human can't regenerate in that situation anyway. Something like a vampire's weakness to sunlight would be a good weakness. Characters are strongly encouraged to include weaknesses, but weaknesses are only required when a character goes past the free ability limitations. Weaknesses should hinder the character as much as the additional abilities benefit them.
Magical items should be included as if they were a natural part of the characters abilities, with the ability description explaining that it's tied to a specific item. Being tied to an item (and requiring the item for use) is considered a limitation.
Some items are common on the island, and not counted against a characters ability limits. A list of common magical items can be found here, and should be included in the 'Common Magical Items' field. Please note that these items come in a wide number of varieties (such as a nullification bracelet which only affects certain abilities), but in those cases they are not considered a common magical item and are treated like normal magical items.
Magic systems are heavily varied, and there is no one 'correct' magic system. If a player is giving their character magic, it's up to that player to detail the way the magic system works. What can your character do? What are their limits? How do they do it? All these details should be noted in, so that staff can get a good idea of what they're looking at just like with any other ability.
We do not allow fandom OCs. For example, your character cannot be a ninja from naruto, or a sailor scout, regardless of whether or not your character is a canon or your own original OC. The issue with this is that Starlight Academy takes place in our own world, so whatever series or fandom your character would be from actually exists as fiction in-universe. Having someone who has read Naruto meeting someone who is from Naruto would be extremely weird, and only complicates things if their abilities did not one hundred percent follow naruto canon.
If your character is a dimension hopper, the dimension they hop from should be original. They can be inspired in broad strokes - a universe where ninjas are super important for example - but should not be similar enough that someone reading the app would go 'this is clearly a Naruto OC'.
This also applies to other roleplays. While you are free to reuse a character you've used elsewhere, please don't reference any elements unique to other sites!
ALT: Who do I talk to about my character?
To keep the free spirit of SA, we do not enforce mandatory face claims or put up face claim listings. You can use whatever image you like to represent your character. Actors, models, anime/cartoon characters, dollmakers, fanart, your own art, and virtually anything public domain are all allowed as long as the character you made remains original.
However, there are a few restrictions. When using a real person for your character make sure the picture used is a stock photo (released for public use), a model (with a modeling page) or a media star (with either a Wikipedia page or already starred in their own TV show/movie).
When using art, Starlight Academy does not allow original character art without the permission of the character's creator. This can lead to some grey areas, detailed below:
- Open and Closed Species (from Deviantart, FurAffinity, etc) are handled on a case by case basis. Most species will give a clear answer in their terms of service as to whether or not the lore can be used/edited/etc on other sites.
- Art listed as 'adoptables' are OCs which cannot be used unless you personally were the one to buy the adoptable.
- A character being part of a fandom does not make it free to use. You cannot use someone's Naruto or Attack on Titan OC.
- Similarly, when using art of a character from a fictional species (such as pokemon), please keep an eye out and try and judge for yourself if they're an OC. Does the character have unique or defining features? Have they been named by their artist, or drawn multiple times? Even if the character is from an existing canon, that doesn't mean they might not be someone's OC.
- On the other hand, AU versions of existing canon characters (modern AU Naruto, for example) would be fair game.
- Webcomics are a grey area. Generally the rule of thumb is that if a webcomic is large enough to have a fandom and be selling comics for a profit, such as Mob Psycho 100 or Homestuck, they are free to use. Smaller webcomics, such as those posted by Tapas or other free webcomic hosts are not free to use.
- Vocaloids (which are a commercial product) can be used, as can their AU variants. Utaites, on the other hand, will vary depending on if the Utaite in question is being used casually, or if they're selling merch/soundtracks/etc with them.
- Drawn images of real life people follow the same rules as photos of those people.
- Projects like "Pixiv Fantasia" are not free to use. These are generalized settings, but the characters depicted are people's OCs.
- The artist's permission supersedes all the above. If the owner of the OC says something like 'feel free to use this character, just be sure to credit', then as long as you credit them (linking back to them and the piece), you're fine to use it.
ALT: Do you have face claims? What is a Playby? Can I use my own art as a face claim? Can I use an actor/actress as a face claim?
If you want to do an app for one of these background NPCs, look at the Named NPCs system.
Supporting Characters sit on the cusp between PCs and NPCs. They are characters who are actively played by the person who makes them, but do not have a personal plot or a focus on their own character development. If a character exists only to facilitate the plots of others, then they're a Supporting Character.
If you want your character to have someone important to them (say, a teacher who mentors them), but don't plan to play them... that's fine! You don't need to make them a profile at all. You're capable of simply describing the character and mentioning them to friends without needing to do anything more. You only need to make a Supporting Character profile if you actually plan to roleplay as them.
ALT: My character is ready, how do I get someone to look at it? How do I post a character?
Weaknesses should be a part of the characters abilities and abilities, and should not be a personality trait. Saying that your character can do something, but won't for personality reasons (because they're too kind to ever torture someone, because they're a pacifist and wouldn't engage in violence) is fine, but would not count as a weakness. While these sorts of things are important and can help create a more well rounded character, they cannot count as either an ability limitation or a species weakness.
All of this goes as well for mental illnesses. While Starlight Academy allows for play of characters with all different mental illnesses, we do ask that players be respectful of those mental illness. A part of that is recognizing that mental illness is not an impossible roadblock which can never be overcome.
In both cases, these apply only to normal versions, but not enforced weaknesses. If your character is a compulsive liar, it is not a weakness--they are capable of improving and eventually overcoming this trait. If your character is supernaturally compelled to make their every word a lie, that is a weakness, because it cannot be overcome by normal methods, and would require an ability upgrade to change.
Characters can develop over time, but developments of a characters abilities require staff approval. A character who might be applied as someone who would never use their ability might later change their mind and come to accept it, rendering the weakness entirely moot without having to go through the usual ability development process. A characters abilities should be balanced regardless of their personality, so that a character's personality is free to develop organically.