Part of the fun of being a new player in Achaea is completeing the Orientation Tasks. The first task is to take three exits from the Ring of Portals. That's easy enough! But the second, setting a personal description, may prove a bit more challenging especially for those extra-expressive characters. For this tutorial, I have picked one of the more difficult races to describe, the siren.
The command TASK 2 DETAILS in Achaea gives this information:
ACHAEA ORIENTATION TASKS
Task #2: Set a personal description.
To complete this task, read the scroll HELP DESCRIPTION, then use that information to set an appropriate description for yourself.
Reading HELP DESCRPITION begins like this:
A good rule of thumb is, describe only what people can see when they LOOK at your character. Perhaps your character has an awesome tattoo of a dragon fighting a tiger on his back. Unless your character plans to go around topless, it would be really bad form to put that in his personal description. Brand new novices fresh from the Trial of Rebirth look really boring. Let's take a moment and compare LOOK JULIET with LOOK ME.
As you can see, Juliet is a lot easier on the eyes even though my character is a siren! For those of you unfamiliar with that race, let's see what Achaea has to say about them.
Sirens are a race of beautiful females who are not only easy on the eyes, but possess the magical ability to seduce men, so that the men will not hurt them. Like satyrs, children born of a siren may be either a siren or the race of the father.
Similar in most ways to humans, sirens' unblemished skin, luxurious hair, and captivating eyes can range in hue from very dark to very pale, and anything in between. Most often they possess a voluptuous body, heavy-lidded eyes, and full or pouty lips, but as the idea of beauty varies from place to place, so does the range of features become more varied than any of the other mortal races.
From the above information we can infer that the siren is a very sexy female. Therefore, there is no need for your description to say "she is a very sexy female" or anything that obvious. Anyone who LOOKs at your character assume this information from her visible features, and not because her description blatantly states it.
Speaking of visible features, even if your character decides to explore Achaean life romping from town to town as a full-blown nudist, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First off, if your character joins a house be expected to obtain a full set of clothes. Not all houses have this requirement, but a lot do, so you may have to wear a little something even if it's just for a brief amount of time.
Next, because Achaea allows players who are as young as 13 years old in real life to play, it should be considered a PG-13 environment. Nobody wants to see your character's boobies or hoo-hah. All sirens are voluptuous. That's all people really need to know, and all that a lot of people want to know. Part of the fun of a text game is using your imagination and giving too many details in a description ruins that aspect of the game.
And finally, you don't want to do this because the head of the Siren clan will most likely sit your character down for a discussion about respecting her virtues. Don't make her frown. She really hates to frown, especially at her racial kin.
Here's an example of a terrible siren description, taken right from the game:
She is a graceful siren and is about 5'8. Soft sun-kissed skin graced the eyes of any on-lookers in the shape of that exaggerated hourglass figure. Her face smooth and beautiful, well taken care of and attended to, deep beckoning violet pools gazed from under thick lashes while a warm smile was almost constantly curled over her brow. She was one close with nature, although her clothing usually seemed quite bare, if any at all! She made up for it with leafy vines curled along her shoulders and neck draped and curled over her front and backside, roses randomly sprouted from it that looked ever so healthy, the sight much of a tease to the eyes as they didn't leave much to the imagination! Full milky globes on display, those vines brushing away from the peaks from occasion giving plenty of glimpses. Her belly was smooth and flat, lean musclar physique and her navel exposed to the cool air, which often had her more "perky" then not. That flat tummy followed down curved between her thighs, where a single flower was bloomed over, keeping her sensitive area covered while her full svelt backside swayed enticingly of their own accord when she'd walk. Built yet lean thighs were held coiled in those vines as well, tapering calves down to her bare dainty feet, her nails painted a deep crimson. She is wearing a delicate iris.
Plenty is wrong with this description, enough things to use bullet points.
Do not double-space after a period ending a sentence. (Or a question mark, or an exclamation point.) It's just ugly and makes things look awkward.
When describing height, numbers are distracting. This is a text game. Spell it out!
"She was one close with nature, although her clothing usually seemed bare, if any at all!" could just be taken out entirely. Because the end of the description tells us she is only wearing a delicate iris, there's no need to say she is barely clothed or that she is close with nature. There are more subtle, creative ways to show it.
The leafy vines and roses covering her body are a nice attempt at showing how close with nature she is, but they miss the mark. First, she is not actually wearing these items, and secondly they leave her milky globes exposed.
Use correct grammar, as much as you can. If you aren't sure if it's correct, read it out loud and if it sounds wrong, rephrase it. A good rule of thumb is, if something in the description is not something you can read out loud in a room full of people, then maybe it's not something you want in your description.
Saying her backside sways when she walks is irrelevant since ninety percent of the time that people look at her she'll be standing still. (At least, I hope she will be.)
The mani-pedi is actually a cute touch. We can keep that.
Now we're going to rewrite this description so that it's both more acceptable and more interesting for other players when they LOOK at this character.
She is a graceful siren and is about five feet, eight inches tall. Soft, sun-kissed skin is free of blemish, the light tan evident of time spent outdoors. Her face is equally smooth with beautiful features, high cheekbones and a pert, pixie-like nose. Deep violet pools gaze from beneath thick, dark eyelashes while a warm smile plays upon her full, pouty lips. Her lean, muscular physique is voluptuous as any of her sireni kin. Her finger and toenails are well manicured, and painted a bright shade of crimson that matches her lips. She is wearing a delicate iris.
Do you see the difference? It retains the bare basic information without revealing the bare facts about her body, even though she's still just as nude as she was the first time around.
No matter what race you choose when starting a character in Achaea, remember that it's entirely possible to be fun and creative with your character's personal description without violating general rules of etiquette and common decency.