FS3 Character Generation

Creating a Character on Battlestar Orion


Please note: The game has gone through some leaps forward in its timeline. When familiarizing yourself with game info on the wiki, make sure to read Current sections. All previous time period information is being migrated to links at the bottom of each page.
Also note that not all sections have been updated yet, so when in doubt, reach out on the game and someone can help you.

Here are some useful post-leap wiki articles while we're still getting the wiki in shape:

The Leap
The Timeline
The Arpay
The Machines aka The Skath

Character Applications, or "How can I play here?"

You're new here (or, lets face it, you wouldn't be reading this page), and you might even be new to the entire 'Battlestar' theme: that's okay! This page is going to walk you through it. The content is broken down into sections, so you can bookmark this page, come back to it, and click on the link for the section you need, to easily skip right back to it if necessary. If this is your first time here? Be prepared to read for a bit - you will thank yourself later. Read through the whole page top to bottom - even if you've played on previous Battlestar games, there are some significant deviations on Orion that you need to be aware of.

A lot of this information is based on a FAQ originally written by Polaris, the Lead Storyteller from a previous Battlestar game (Cerberus), so we would like to say up front that we are thankful for their help and allowing us to, in some cases, borrow huge chunks of their descriptions and documentation for this project.

Basic Survival Guide

Battlestar Orion's code base might use some commands differently than you are used to. While all of this information can be found in +help files, here are some basic ideas to get you started:

Talking on Channels

The Newbie and Public channels will be turned on by default when you log in for the first time. To talk on either of them, use +pub <text> and +new <text>. If you need to silence them in order to focus on a conversation or work in chargen, you can gag a channel (turn it off until you log back in again, or turn it back on) by using @chan/gag <channel name> (and then use the /ungag switch to turn it back on).


The game has several pre-made partial descriptions built into a descer for you - the advantage of having a PC base that wears uniforms? People dress remakably identical! +help +desc to look at the code and set yourself up to use it.


Orion uses +mail (not @mail), so please read +help +mail for the syntax before trying to send any. Additionally, to further RP, there is also an +icmail command that formats your mail for you in a special way, with your own mail_sig. (+help +icmail)

"What Can I Play?"

At first glance, especially to someone that's never played on a Battlestar game before, this can be a rather daunting question. First, everyone should be certain to read the following page:

Policies - Read This First. No, really, we mean it. This page covers some important points that will save trouble later down the line.

Where can PCs come from?

Character Origins covers both the initial setting of the game and events since game start, including choosing a home Colony. This page also provides a list of all the available options for bringing new characters onto the Orion.

Setting - This information is more specific to why the PCs are where they are. It covers the Battlestar Group 114 (the fleet your character will either be in or associated with), which is currently led by (what is believed to be) the last remaining Battlestar in existence, the Orion. This page also explains what is actually known about the Machines. PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Do not assume some aspect of the the to humanity is true here just because it was on the TV show. Staff have chosen to take this story in a different direction and some very basic story foundations are different here than they are in Battlestar Galactica TV canon! A lot more time has also passed ICly, and situations have developed.

Twelve Colonies - This is a list of the colonies and their histories and culture. If you want to find out more about each colony before deciding which to have called home, this is the place to go. Player generated content for colony pages is encouraged, but should be confined to local area effects, rather than world changing content. If in any doubt, talk to Staff.

Colonial Conditions - This is a current list of known IC (In Character) information about the current state of the colonies and other outposts of mankind. In contract to the link above, this is more militarily focused, with details such as hostile forces present, rather than the overarching culture.

Feel like you have a better understanding of where a character can come from? Good! On to the next step:

What kinds of PCs can I play?

Battlestar Orion is a game primarily for military characters. While a wide variety is available, different types offer different RP opportunities and restrictions, so take some time to read over this section before deciding.

Character Concepts - A quick overview of what is generally available and what the game might be in need of (where good RP opportunities are). If you need any clarification on the information posted there or want more, ask on the <Newbie> channel (+n <text>) on game - while staff can answer, the players will likely know the answer to these questions as well.

Personnel - The current roster of all PCs and NPCs in the game. This will give you a good idea of where good sources of RP are, as well as give you a chance to possibly work out some hooks in your background. (Did she previously fly with a pilot who now serves as CAG? Does she now regret that offhanded comment she made about their nose?). Any character name marked as 'NPC' is not currently represented by an actual login name on the game (in some cases, they used to be PCs that idlenuked out), so if you want to tie in to one of these characters, please talk to staff, but keep in mind that you will probably get more RP mileage out of hooking into a PC, instead!

When considering the military, keep in mind that there are two 'classes' in the military: Officers and Enlisted. The whole discussion on the difference between rank and respect is something that will take up far too much space here, beyond mentioning that just because you take the lowest rank on the ladder does not mean you cannot run events or scenes. Higher ranking characters carry some OOC responsibility to generate RP for those that report to them, so keep that in mind if you are looking at shiny Captain or Sergeant's pins in your application.

Think you have a good idea fleshed out? Then its time to start building your character!

"How do I create the character I want to play?" (CharGen)

You probably already have a character object on the game at this point. If so, in the OOC Lounge, you should see an exit for CG-Chargen. Go thataway, as-yet-undefined personality!

Room 1: In The Beginning

This room is pretty simple. Read what it has to offer (since this is your first character, read the '+help +alts' information, but understand that it doesn't really apply until you have a second character).

When you're ready to continue, move on to the <n>ext room, Demographics.

Room 2: Demographics

Here, we begin to set basic demographic information about your character. Let walk through the commands one at a time:

  • Full Name - (+fullname <text>) - Your character's full name. Simple!
  • Age - (+age <number>) - Your character's current age. When you enter an age, the system will randomly pick a birthday. If you don't like the date it chose, set your age again and a new one will be selected. If you want a specific birthday, go with what the system selects for you, and then mention that specific date when you submit your character for approval.
  • Sex - (@sex me=<male or female>) - If we need to explain this one, you might have some larger issues we aren't comfortable going into on a public wiki page. What?? M'just sayin…
  • Faction - (+faction <faction name>) - Which faction is your character part of? There are only one choice: 'Military'. It doesn't matter what he/she was in the past…what are they part of now?
  • Position - (+position <position name>) - What is your character's profession? Type (+positions) to see a list, and then choose one from that list exactly as it is spelled out (i.e. 'Intel Officer' will work, but 'Intelligence Officer' will not).
  • Organization - (+org <organization name>) - Which department (from the Personnel page) does your character belong to? Type (+orgs) for a list of all allowed Organizations.
  • Colony - (+colony <name>) - Which Colony does your character call 'home'? Type (+colonies) for the list of correct spellings if you need it.
  • Rank - (+rank <rank>) - Different Organizations in the military have different Rank structures. Type (+ranks) to get a list of the organizations, then type (+ranks <organization name>) to get a list of the proper names of the Ranks in that Org. Set it with (+rank <rank name>). Ranks further down on the list that are darker than the rest are Restricted, and you will not be able to set them with the +rank command - you must already have spoken to staff about this and have gotten previous approval for the concept, as characters of these ranks are usually Section or Department Heads and come in with a significant amount of IC and OOC responsibility.

These times stated are MINIMUM time in service for these ranks in peacetime. It is easier to make your first possible promotion opportunity at lower ranks, but it gets much harder quickly. Making Colonel at 39 would require an absolutely precision career their whole lives.

The ranks on Battlestar Orion have been raised across the board. The ship, and battlegroup, are commanded by a Rear Admiral. The XO is a Commander. The CAG and Marine CO will be Colonels or Lt Colonels. Squadron commanders will be Majors, as will most department heads. Marine Platoon Commanders will vary in rank from Ensign to Major as they pull double-duty as Staff Officers. This all has been done to better reflect the command structure seen on Mercury-class Battlestars, as well as allow OOC flexibility in promotions.

Navy Enlisted Marine Enlisted Service
Recruit Private 0 years
Crewman PFC 1 years
Specialist Lance Cpl 2 years
Petty Officer 3rd Class Corporal 3 years
Petty Officer 2 Sergeant 4 years
Petty Officer 1 Staff Sgt 7 years
Chief Petty Officer Gunnery Sgt 10 years
Senior Chief Petty Officer Master Sgt 13 years
Master Chief Petty Officer Sgt Major 20 years
Officer (Navy/Marine) Service
Ensign 0 years
Lieutenant JG 2 years
Lieutenant 4 years
Captain 7 years
Major 11 years
Lieutenant Colonel 14 years
Colonel 17 years
Commander 20 years
Rear Admiral 25+ years
Admiral 25+ years

Got all that set? Then move on to the <n>ext room, Abilities!

Room 3: Abilities

First Thing! Type (+reset). This initializes your sheet and starting points and clears out anything that shouldn't have already been set on you. Read the description of this room carefully as it lists all of the commands you will need to use to set/add/remove stats to/from your sheet.

Type (+sheet) to see your character sheet. You now have 60 points to spend to raise your stats. All stats are 1 point = 1 dot, regardless what stat it is or how many dots you've already bought for it (So if you have Firearms 4 and want to add one more dot to it, its still only 1 point to do so).

Abilities are broken down into three sections: Attributes, Skills, and Quirks. Skills are further broken down into: Action Skills, Background Skills, and Language Skills. Skill levels are divided into the following four areas: Novice (Green), Proficient (Yellow), Veteran (Red), and Master (Blue). Because Battlestar Orion is a dice-light game outside of combat, these skillsets are generally determined as your character's ability in regular combat while under that life or death pressure. Additionally, the application should reflect background only to standardized levels. Players build to higher levels after cgen through experience earned and gained while on grid. We go into more detail for each below:


Attributes are governed on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest), represented on your character sheet (+sheet) by dots (@). The ability scale is as follows:

Dots Description
1 Below average.
2 Average.
3 Above average.
4 Very high above average.

Importance: Attributes are added to a Skill to form a dice pool. Skills have a 'ruling attribute' that is always added to them when you request the skill be rolled. For example, when you type (+roll piloting), FS3 adds your Reaction Attribute to your Piloting Skill and rolls that combined dice pool to determine your level of success.


Action Skills and Background Skills are governed on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 12 (highest). The skill scale is as follows:

Dots Description Examples
1-2 Rookie A pilot in flight school; a Marine in Basic Training; a first- to second-year med student; high school education
3-4 Skilled A pilot who has passed flight school; a Marine who has completing Advanced Infantry Training; a recent graduate of medical school; associate's to bachelor's degree
5 Proficient A pilot or Marine with two to four years of experience in the field; a doctor pursuing a residency; master's degree
6 Experienced A pilot or Marine with five to seven years of experience in the field; a doctor who has practiced for several years; PhD
7-9 Veteran A highly experienced soldier (9+ years); a well-respected doctor; a leading professor
10-11 Exceptional One of the best soldiers in the Navy; the Colonies' top neurosurgeon; the lead scholar in a field
12 Legendary A master of historical, legendary, or mythical proportions.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SKILL TOTALS: Your final stat spread must back up the background you submit, using the examples above as a guideline. As in, a background describing a pilot a year out of flight school that is asking for Piloting 9 will be rejected, we don't care how gifted you are claiming he/she is (this goes back to the idea of Savant applications, covered under Policies). If you aren't sure, after reading this chart, what an appropriate level would be, please do not hesitate to ask a staffer on the game.

The important distinction between the two is that ACTION skills cover general subjects characters are expected to get into contested actions over, and come from a specific list (While in this room, type +abilities to get a list of Action Skills). Background skills mostly cover non-combat or social angles that help flesh out your character's background - they are not typically rolled, and provide more of a judgement call on how good or knowledgeable your character is in that particular subject. Background Skills do not come from a specific list and can be anything you want them to be, within justifiable reason - if you want your character to have three dots in Underwater Basketweaving, and that makes sense for your background, then go for it! (While in this room, type +abilities2 to get some suggested categories for Background Skills)

Note for Pilots: Piloting is a universal skill across all platforms for the sake of +combat performance. Without specifics, we long ago implemented the policy that this skill only applies to the frame that your squadron flies and the Predators and Rhinos (which all pilots can fly). Raptor pilots do not fly Vipers, Viper pilots do not fly Raptors.


Language Skills Do not have a dot rating. You add or remove them by their name and do not indicate how many points you wish to spend on them.
The dominant language in the Twelve Colonies is called Colonial Standard, and with strikingly few exceptions, everybody living in the Cyrannus Systems knows how to speak it fluently. However, humans have by no means forgotten their languages of origin: on Virgon, for instance, those who grow up learning Standard might have picked up a few words of the local dialect here and there, while on Sagittaron one might well pass through several small villages without hearing a word of Standard. However, we are going to assume that everyone who has any sort of education can speak Colonial Standard. As such, this language is added by defaul.

Since contact has been made with the Arpay, characters are assumed to have had access to learn their language either through lessons or download should they so desire.


Quirks are one- or two-word descriptions of your character's personality traits or significant features. Be as creative as you like! A list of sample quirks is provided on +Abilities2. These are NOT 'merits' or 'flaws' that will provide penalties or bonuses to dice +rolls. If you need good suggestions for Quirks, take a look at the +sheets of other characters logged into the game.

Restrictions and Suggestions

  • A Military character must have at least Body 2, Firearms 2, First Aid 2, and Melee 2. These minimum requirements represent basic training and schools taken as part of your military induction.
  • You do not have to spend all of your points to continue on in character creation.
  • You can't spend more than 12 points on Attributes.
  • All Attributes must have at least one dot.
  • You can spend a maximum of 32 points on Action Skills. (Simple math therefore means that, out of your 60 points, at least 16 of them must be spent on Background Skills or not at all.)
  • You must have at least 2 Quirks.
  • You must have at least one language (Colonial_Standard is added by default).
  • You can't have more than 3 abilities above 7 dots, fresh out of chargen.
  • Medicine is a Corpsman and Doctor skill, and represents formal medical training - college courses put towards a medical degree, and will need to be justified as such. Unless you are one of these professions, you're probably thinking of First Aid.
  • Keep the skill level descriptions in mind when choosing the number of dots for your skills. Starting out with a 7+ in one skill indicates a subject that has been a primary focus of the character's life up to this point in their background, so it might be a little unreasonable to take First Aid 7… for a Pilot.
  • Some skills are restricted, some skills are vocationally restricted, and so on and so forth. For more vital information and guidelines about skilles, go here.

Sample Templates

Need a good suggestion to start with? Just not sure how to break your points down into a good, useful spread? Expand the links below to see a suggested character build. Feel free to take that build and tweak the numbers a little to customize it for yourself, to give you a good base to start from. These stat spreads are built on the idea of a military character that has been in his/her career path for 3-5 years. A Private or Ensign. If you want to go with a more senior, experienced character, feel free to shift the points around and give their primary career stat a raise up to 6, 7, or 8.

Finally have your points where you like them? Time to move on! (And don't worry, if you change your mind, you can return to this room any time before you submit for approval, and re-adjust your totals)

Room 4: Background

Backgrounds do not have to be elaborate works of literary art. We do not need to see pages and pages of information about your character - most characters can be summarized in 2-3 paragraphs. However, we will not read a background longer than seven sections. Backgrounds longer than that will be rejected automatically without reading. Staff on Orion generally uses backgrounds to look for justification of stats, noting connections, understanding of theme, etc. Players who wish to showcase their literary abilities should plan to do-so ICly.

Try to answer the following questions when writing your background:

  • Where is the character from? What colony (or in some cases, outpost) did he/she grow up on?
  • What did he/she grow up focusing on? Was their childhood during the Second cylong war, how did this affect them? Were they lucky enough to grow up in the inter-war period? Have they suffered under Skath rule?
  • How did your character enter the service? Enlistment? Academy? Where? What was their first assignment? How did they end up on Orion?
  • Are they old enough to remember the nuks falling on War Day and how did they handle it? Did they grow up in the devistation and rebuilding after the Second Cylon war? Have they lived un Skath rule, how did they cope? Do they have family missing?

Read the room description for help on how to set and submit your background. Also, if you have not done so yet by this time, take the time now to familiarize yourself with the Descer and the uniform descs available. Staff should respond to your application within 72 hours of submission.

Approval requires the okay of any two members of staff. When they respond, the first will post to your +request that you either have 'Primary Approval', or they will list the things that need to be altered/corrected before that approval can be given. Once Primary Approval is given, the second staffer to look you over will approve you for RP.

And you are done! We do not have personal build spaces or inventory systems, so there is no further setup you need to take care of. Once you are approved for RP, you can venture IC (or work out an introduction scene with folks, if your character is coming from somewhere other than having been on Orion all along).

If you have any questions at all about this process, please do not hesitate to ask on the Newbie or Public channels!

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