Hope Island MUCK has a certain theme to it and players are encouraged to fit within that theme. It’s not an extremely rigid theme though, in an effort to appeal to as many players as possible. There is always some level of flexibility. However, knowledge of the theme and goal of the MUCK is important. The following is a copy of the Theme document that is required reading for new players during the character generation process:
This theme guide is intended to help you understand the intended atmosphere of the MUCK before you launch into character generation. It should provide some out-of-character context and background to assist with the character creation process. Specifically, it should help with what sorts of characters fit within the theme of Hope Island and which ones maybe don’t, although most character concepts can be made to work. Some are just easier than others. But we’ll start with some world history and scene setting.
The general theme is that this is Earth in the distant future after humans have become extinct, or at least driven to the verge of extinction. It’s deliberately left vague what exactly caused the ‘end of the world’. There are multiple possibilities. It could have been human-caused, like a slow process of climate change, or a very quick end in a global nuclear war. It could have been something more natural like the eruption of several super-volcanoes, or an impact from a comet or asteroid. The point is, modern-day human civilization ended and has been gone for some time, long enough that many of the traces of it no longer exist. Maybe there are still pockets of humans or human-descendants still out there, who knows.
So where did the walking talking animals come from? Again, that’s left vague. It’s generally accepted that they descended from the non-walking and non-talking versions of themselves that we know today in the real world. Maybe they evolved that way by natural processes. Maybe they were the results of some kind of genetic experimentation. Maybe radiation from the aforementioned potential nuclear war played a role. Either way, they inherited the Earth, Planet of the Apes style.
In general the society on Hope Island has reasonably advanced technology in terms of computerization and communication, but lacks in areas like manufacturing, energy and heavy machinery. A lot of the technology is derivative of stuff we know in the real world today, and it’s likely that a lot of the tech they have is salvage from the previous civilization. In this respect, it draws some influence from the Fallout universe. In general, magic is not a thing here, as it takes place in a real-world setting governed by the usual laws of physics. There’s always a case to be made that a sufficiently advanced tech can appear like magic, of course. This will also play a role in what species make sense here. Most people are going to want to pick a species that has a real life counterpart, or some hybrid of those. Humans would be okay, as there may still be pockets of them around. Elves are fantasy creatures and likely don’t make much sense here. Some other mythical species like dragons may or may not work. You could always argue that dragons are just some future-evolved species of reptile for instance.
In terms of the types of characters to choose from? Well, that’s endless, and hopefully that’s where people can get creative. Your character is about to step off the boat and onto the island. Where did they come from? What did they do before? What do they want to do now that they’re here? Why did they come here? There are a million different iterations of that. There might be ‘good’ characters, people coming to lend a hand, do work, contribute. There might be ‘bad’ characters, thieves and pirates, or darker themes like drugs or prostitution. The best characters in my experience are a mixture of both. In the end, that’s up to you. I hope this guide helps you get started. You don’t have to nail down every last detail right away – the best characters grow over time.
Most importantly, have fun!