In most cases, a player can have two characters on Blood of Dragons, provided that one character is based in King’s Landing and the other in Dorne. With permission from the Admin, players are able to have more than one character in the same area and more than two characters in total. See the Alt infofile for more information about the general alt requirements and restrictions.
On Blood of Dragons, Feature characters are defined as characters that are mentioned (not necessarily by name) by GRRM, either in the books or elsewhere, such as in correspondence with fans. For the time-period of the MUSH, they include all Targaryens, most Starks and some other characters scattered throughout the family trees.
As part of our agreement with GRRM and to maintain the canon history (some of which is known only to the Admin), we use Feature characters primarily as background characters. No player—and this includes Staff—plays a Feature character as a regular PC. Instead, Staff emits or puppets these characters when they are needed to advance plots and/or to add general atmosphere to the game. At times, experienced players may also be asked to help Staff run these characters in a similar fashion.
On the whole, we feel that this is the best solution since most of these Feature characters hold positions—King, Hand, Kingsguard, etc—that are poorly suited to characters being played on a day-to-day basis. However, their presence is very much an integral part of the setting and as such we try to integrate them into the game as much as is reasonable.
To learn who the Feature characters on the game are, you can use the +cdb/search command to list them by typing +cdb/search type/feature.
First off, let us stress that applies to a very small number of all total characters. 90% of the characters available are Open and they can be had with an extremely minimal “application” which consists of the prospective player telling us if have read the books or not and if they have MUSHed before or not. With those answers, we can better tailor our help and advice to what the player is likely to need. They also get the option to send in their concept for feedback before entering CharGen, but that is entirely voluntary.
The vast majority of players on the game are playing Open characters. They are not, by any means, insignificant; they can be members of great houses or even heirs to anything but the great houses and their CharGen setup is designed to be above average.
But, yes, there are other character types too. Each character has a Type attribute which determines its availability. Other than Open characters, players can also request Restricted and Limited characters, and for these the application process is more detailed.
The reason for the more detailed applications lies in why the characters are assigned these types. Some represent more difficult roles, some represent more powerful roles. In all these cases, we want to see players with solid experience of the setting and of MUSH roleplay so that they can function as role-models for less experienced players, setting examples through their roleplay, leadership and initiatives. We also want to see particularly solid concepts for these characters, especially those that are in positions of more IC power where they will have more effect on the game and on other players.
Given the above, we ask for an actual application when someone requests a Restricted or Limited character. It is, however, perfectly possible to come to Blood of Dragons as an experienced MUSHer and be approved straight away for a Restricted character such as a lord of anything but a great house or a particularly famous and skilled Tier III knight.
For a Limited character, we generally want someone to have played on the game for a while, but it isn’t entirely out of the question. However, Limited characters have considerable effect on the shape of events on the game, so generally we do want to know that any player in such a role will be able and willing to work closely with the Admin. Because Blood of Dragons does follow canon history—some of which is known only to the Admin—players of characters such as lords of great houses and Small Council members need to be willing to take a fair amount of direction for their roleplay.
In some senses, Restricted and Limited characters represent the same types of characters that some games might call “Features”, though we use that exclusively for the few canon characters that show up in our family trees. Overall, Type and Tier simply means that it is possible for an experienced player to start out with the sort of role that otherwise might only be available through in-game promotions if they are willing to make the extra effort of submitting an application. If they prefer not to, Open characters are readily and easily available and they are not in any way second-class characters suitable just for newbies. Some of the key movers and shakers on the game are Open characters.
Tiers were added to the CharGen system as a way of portraying the great fighters, the great masterminds and some of the rare and unusual concepts of the series. If we did not have Tiers, everyone would be setup equivalent to a Tier IV, which is designed to be above average and that is what we feel PCs should be. But we wanted to leave room for the Jaime Lannisters and Brienne of Tarths and we felt that it was easiest to manage by giving access to different things for each Tier rather than randomly adding more points to the setup of such a character.
Tiers were then tied to Type so that one component that decides the Type of a character is its CharGen setup, where Tier IIs and IIIs are given more points to set themselves up with as well as access to some attributes that IVs don’t have access to. A Tier II character is always at least Limited and a Tier III character is always at least Restricted. However, it is also possible for a Tier IV to be Limited; for example, the lord of a great house is always Limited, but that does not automatically qualify him for a higher Tier.
With this connection to Type, Tiers are essentially one component of what other games would consider “Feature” positions, though we use that exclusively for the few canon characters that show up in our family trees. Overall, Type and Tier simply means that it is possible for an experienced player to start out with the sort of role that otherwise might only be available through in-game promotions if they are willing to make the extra effort of submitting an application. If they prefer not to, Open characters are readily and easily available and they are not in any way second-class characters suitable just for newbies. Some of the key movers and shakers on the game are Open characters.