Finding Inner Peace in the Character Dossier
|Author: Frank Lee
Date: 2015-10-14 19:14:50
Ahh the Character Dossier. It is a huge, thorough, and potentially priceless resource. By the same token, it is just a huge blank slate to begin with. Going through Character Creation will give you all the information you need to fill out the boxes, but here are a few tips that might help you get the most out of the system itself.
The Submit button at the bottom of the page does not actually send a ticket or tell anyone you are finished. This is just to submit the form to the database, and save your work. USE IT OFTEN! Nothing sucks more than closing the wrong tab or a random crash ending hours of creative work.
I highly suggest that you review the sheet while NOT in the "edit sheet" function, but rather after it has been saved with the "Submit" button and you are able to look at the various sections through the different tabs. This "view" function is how you and the STs will see your sheet, and it's a hell of a lot easier to review stuff when you can see the whole page at the same time instead of just the bit visible in the box.
Formatting through the use of dashed lines, spacing, and subtitles is all a good idea. Even though sanctioning can sometimes take a couple days, you will be using and reviewing that sheet for months or years afterwards. Take the time to make it more easily readable. When you are writing out one of the larger fields, such as History/Background, make sure to break the text into readable sections and provide some kind of a timeline. This is a working document for the ST team, and it is really hard to work from if everything is just a big jumbled mess. Almost any kind of formatting is better than none at all.
Once your character is sanctioned, everything except your description will be locked, set in stone, and will require a Sheet Change Ticket to modify. To avoid that, go ahead and look it over a few times. It's really easy to add a few empty lines and give your eyes a break now, and if you miss the chance to fix a typo or something you'll have to live with it.
Remember that when you do finally feel that you are done with the content and formatting, you must submit a Sanctioning Ticket in order to get a ST to review the sheet.
Once you are Sanctioned and in-game, the dossier only becomes more important. Now most of the tabs will be for viewing different sections of the sheet, but near the bottom you will have a few regarding "tickets" and one for your Journals.
Journals are fantastic for keeping IC or OOC notes, for planning, for off-screen character development, for revealing your characters thoughts to STs, or even just for making to-do lists so you don't forget anything important.
Tickets are your primary way to contact the ST team regarding character specific questions, changes, goals, or whatever. Before you are Sanctioned, only really the Sanctioning ticket matters, but afterwards it's every other ticket type that matters. Review the wiki for details on how each should be used.
Every ticket ever initiated is saved forever, and becomes a part of the record on the Closed Tickets tab. Every single change (no matter how small) to your Sanctioned character is documented and available for you to look at, all the way from the first Sanctioning Ticket to the most mundane Equipment Change. This provides an amazingly accurate way to review ST rulings on things, and sometimes is as good a resource (especially in the case of Downtime Tickets) as the sheet itself.
The Character Dossier is your home base. It can be enticing to want to burn through it and get something in every box as quickly as possible, but if you take a little bit of extra time with it, it will pay off in the future.
Any other questions, comments, tips or tricks on the Character Dossier? Drop them in the Tips & Tricks forum!