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 has been around since 2005, and has a long history. While 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. 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. 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 only a few limits: You cannot use another person's original character without permission, and real life playbys must be either a media star, professional model, or freely released stock photo.
The majority of roleplay happens out on the forums, within the 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 chatbox set in the Manta Carlos Community Center. This allows for rapidfire, script-style roleplay in a more laid-back environment, but is considered secondary to the main site. The site also runs monthly events and contests, the majority of which serve as springboards for player ideas.
Assuming all of that sounds good to you, you should get started with the Board Guidelines. These are our rules, and cover the basics of roleplay on Starlight Academy. From there, you should check out the Premise, Island Summary, and Academy Summary. These will cover the most important bits of lore that all players should know. Starlight Academy also has a Wiki, filled with more information about the sites legal system, native species, and the veil of secrecy, but this information is most important for those who have already started to role play.
Making a character starts with the Character Rules and Application. This post 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. 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 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.
Out of character, players are encouraged to introduce themselves in the welcome center! Visiting the cbox at the bottom of the site is also encouraged, as this is where most site discussions take place. Your account on the cbox will be separate from your account on the site, but please use the same name as your account name on the site so there's no confusion. 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 wiki! This 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.'
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 personal details page includes a field for your plotter, thread tracker, and an optional menu to list your posting status. Signatures are also optional, but it's encouraged you include a link to your characters profiles for ease of use.
- Claims - Getting listed on the character directory and other claims are 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), be sure to post in the claim update thread to get those fixed up.
- Plot with Me - If you're the kind of player who likes planning things out, the Plot with Me forum is for you. This takes the place of plotters, shippers, or plot pages (depending on what you're used to), allowing you to offer your characters up to other players. Be sure to explain what sort of things you're looking for! That said, making your own plotter is only half the experience. Be sure to post in other people's plotters as well!
- 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 labelled '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 - The parent forum of the Plot with Me forum, the Plots forum is open ended, listing off several larger plots for people to hop in on. Interested in having your character join a gang? A pack? A secret society? The Plots forum is for you. The same forum also has several subforums, including one for Academy Clubs & Organizations, and one for your personal Thread Trackers.
- 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 ability.
- Chatboxes - You can find the chatboxes at the bottom of the site. The main chat is visible by default, and is used for general conversation. The plotting chat is used for when you want to discuss an idea (for a character, thread, etc) in detail, or when you're looking for a thread. The Canon RP tab (also known as the ICC) is used for script style roleplaying. You can see the rules for this type of roleplaying over here, but characters must be accepted before they can be played.
The most important part of being on Starlight Academy is that being bold will get you farther 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 labelled open! Talking with your fellow players and making yourself known are great ways to integrate on the site.
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.
- Contests - Every month, Starlight Academy runs Spotlights (also known as Of the Months), and usually at least one other type of contest. Whatever contest isn't currently locked will be the active one, and you can read more about contests in general here.
- Events - Similar to contests, you can find current events happening in the Events forum! The event guide will cover different styles of events.
- Calendar - The 'Events' link at the top of the site will take you to our calendar, which lists off current and upcoming events and contests. If you aren't sure what's happening next, check the Calendar!
- 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.
- Discord - Starlight Academy has a discord! Our discord is secondary to the cbox, and is less active than the cbox overall. It does have an art channel, for SA's artists to share their works (whether of their own characters or otherwise).
- 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 levels 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 send a message to Romi, or click the 'Vouchers' link to the left, and let them know how you earned it.