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Imperator RAD-X

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New Player’s Role-Playing Guide
Formed by Imperator RAD-X, veteran Half Life 2 Roleplayer, TeslaCloud Community Manager.
Assisted by Sectus, Civil Protection CopComm and TeslaCloud Game Manager.

Hello, my name is Rad and I would like to welcome you to TeslaCloud. I have established this document for you to ensure you are able to produce the maximum amount of potential into the first steps of your journey in TeslaCloud’s Half Life 2: Roleplay server. Before we begin, take note that after reading this guide and you begin to play on the server, Serious Roleplay in Half Life 2 is best performed by the individual actions of not only yourself, but of those around you. I hope this guide assists you as this is currently WORK IN PROGRESS, and is not 100% completed yet. It's also eligible for edits to improve the visual perspective. ~RAD-X

Introduction - Half Life 2: Roleplay & You

The definition of roleplay is to facilitate a means of entertainment into a simulated environment that can provide an accurate representation of the world you and your character has been placed in. For many it involves a cycle of building, creating and manipulating environments around you. It’s to produce a wide array of outcomes that culminate from choices that any player will usually be able to make. However within serious roleplay mechanics, this is taken to the next level where all of this is applied to the point that even one decision can have a profound impact on others.

For Half Life 2: Roleplay, it is imperative to remember that everyone’s first steps will be involving that of inquisitive thoughts - you’ll want to understand what is, what isn’t and how things work. Roleplayers in Half Life 2 RP usually want to explore the world they have been placed in and manifest in its deep and dark influences, involving a flat-crossroads story arc in the latter case of character development.
To explain basic Half Life 2: Roleplay, it primarily involves the infinite cycle of sci-fi dystopia. Aliens have conquered the Earth and these aliens are known as “The Combine”. They’re an interdimensional empire that seems to have their power stretch across membranes of multiple universes. With humanity enslaved after a very costly event where the Earth was literally conquered in Seven Hours (dubbed the Seven Hours War), this is where your character begins his or he ultimate journey. It also involves characters keeping track of their history and how they will pursue their objectives. Perhaps even for talented story writers and media editors, serious roleplay is able to broaden the interests of a person’s talent through visualising it in ways that enhance the atmosphere of the game.
By reading the rest of this guide, you will surely help yourself by beginning to understand how serious roleplay in Half Life 2 is facilitated.

You will also begin to understand how TeslaCloud facilitates this environment for you along with its new in development schema called FLUX. What will also be explained further is how our specific build will not be seen on other Half Life 2: Roleplay servers. Since we are not the stereotypical server, we will have our own set of mechanics that will influence the way you play the game from character creation, all the way to completely updating how combat works in the game.

More of this will be explained later in the guide.

Where And How To Begin?
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Characters
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Upon reading this, you'll be able to recognise that the picture becomes a lot clearer when we want to actually start from something fresh and new. Nobody wants to start a character with everything unlocked at the start and nothing will be able to be accomplished. Even the most senior of roleplayers have to go through this process. But do note that when more factions become available over time through experienced play on the server and successfully gaining entry, you are able to widen that further inward to work in your favour. There will be a lot of changes each and every time because each faction is different from the others as well as how their behaviour works. But in general we see that all of this can be applied universally.

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Notice where it says send your answers to the DM? It's saying you should check with people to make sure it is suitable and correct. This is usually best done on the forums.
Creating a character is very easy whereas planning an arc isn't always simple as one might think though. It often involves a lot of planning for establishing a backstory that is faithful to the location and person it manifests in. In every book, game or TV show we know of, every character has a meaning. This also applies here. In Half Life 2: Roleplay, there is a rich environment to fabricate a new beginning an infinite amount of times. Our own custom created lore and story will help many people with a beautiful imagination to start with something interesting.

To mention, the beginning is always the best part where as the middle and end should be the defining factors that cause you, the player, to remember a thoughtful experience and apply it somewhere that's relevant again. Even the tiniest of details from a person's hair and eye colours, to their persona and demeanour and how they act with others is what makes a roleplaying scenario great. It's the small things that matters because the bigger things in HL2 RP very much affect the entire server, not just you.

Characters should have meaning. Therefore, you should have meaning and in TeslaCloud, we are willing to give you just that without moderating your roleplay. A lot of us are willing to create a world where people aren't feeling totally restricted but stay within the boundaries of the Half Life universe.

As such, the history of a character can have its starting point initiated before, during and after the Seven Hour War. What did that character do during this time and what was it that drove them? Was the individual well educated or entirely practical? Were they well renowned in their local community or were they stern on minding their own business. Think of Mount & Blade, where you initially select your pre-determined history that will ofcourse set the scene of your character for you. Whilst there is a mixture of this here, its foundations are built upon your imaginations and not what you select on the screen.

As for relationships, Half Life initially saw human kind suffer genocide by The Combine. Children are all but non-existent and a suppression energy field has been activated in order to halt human birth rates. As such, do you have any family? Are they split up around the world or are they no longer alive? Are they with you in the same geographical location as you? Have a look at the locations of our cities for additional information on where you plan to have this set out.

Ambitions cooperate sternly with your characters history. Most of everyone's dreams will never come true so what is the driving factor now? Does the statement "if you can't beat them, join them" rule your mindset? Are you looking to undermine the Union's rule? There are many choices, and are there for you to choose but often enough, everyone's just looking to get through the next day and the next day after that.

Lastly, but the most important is your identity. Who, or what is your character? Realistically who do you set them out to be and how do you want others to look at them? How do they interact, are there any defining factors or undefining points that make them a unique standpoint? Bare in mind, everyone's characters in Half Life 2: Roleplay are as undefining as one-another, and that's what makes it a great melting pot.
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Physical Description
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Very straight forward. What a character can contain for people to perceive (if chosen to be seen) is the following:
  • Person's Accent: Language, geographical voice (if recognisable).
  • Colour: Skin, eyes, hair, clothing.
  • Size / Weight: Tall, small, #'#ft, #lbs.
  • Scarring: Burns, markings, wounds, all of that stuff.
  • Abnormalities: Tattoos, freckles or spots, missing limbs.
  • Personal Belongings: Player's choice.
  • Clothing: Shoes, shirts, coats, masks, helmets, armour, etc...
  • Weaponry: Guns, blades, batons, etc...
  • Bagging: Objects for carrying.
  • Miscellaneous: Player's choice, attached items for other use.
Not everything on the list needs to be documented on a physical description for others to read. It is up to the player to formulate how this will be seen. However, if there is differentiation or abnormality to how a character would properly be portrayed, administrators of the server will politely ask you to change it so that it meets standard criteria.

They are doing this to help you and shouldn't be taken as an offense. A physical description helps set the scene for your character and how other people are going to view you, which is why they are looking for it to be undisruptive.

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Simple Things First
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We have to remember that every single person who joins a serious roleplay server didn’t involve believing it was a walk in the park. It did involve a lot of learning experiences in order to understand everything involved to a greater standpoint. To pinpoint the start of one’s journey, most individuals begin in the same boat where they arrive from other non-serious roleplaying game modes or environments. Maybe you, or they, have came forth believing that people can utilise a wider use of their microphones as an example. Perhaps pressing the F4 button and opening the job menu "doesn't work"… or similar questions which used to be often heard:

"Where can I get guns?"

"How can I get a job?"

"How do I become CP?"

"Can you hear my mic?"


To answer these questions in the most appropriate manner, we need to work hard for them and Half Life 2: Roleplay doesn’t involve the use of microphones. It is strictly text based, with a few spicy voice lines added onto it. Serious roleplay is all about developing characters from the brink of nothing; giving them a name and a physical description and setting up what their skills and attributes will be. Afterwards we just set them loose out on their journey to see what their ultimate fate will be.

Some parts of serious roleplay actually involves just accepting what is and what is not. Not everything will be available for people at the beginning and will often require people to be fully understanding of the game first of all, before taking their next steps. But to ease the sense of "wow, this sounds like a total grind", believe me it is not. Once a person becomes aware of what's happening then they may take (with some additional support if need be) their journey to the next stage.

But let's cut to the chase. What should really be done or observed at first glance of spawning in the train station on our server:

Explore and Interact

Half Life 2: RP can become a bit stale if there is absolutely no form of interaction occurring between you and other players. We need to remember that nearly everyone we will see is actually another player and are mostly looking for the same thing as you are. Usually players become mesmerised by the map, or maybe they are simply interested in talking with other people from their character's perspectives.​

Often enough, not everything will go according to plan. The best thing to do first of all is to go out there and start interacting with people, places and various items as soon as possible. Exploration and interacting is what sets the limits to where you “can” and “cannot” go until specific times are right. Maybe it involves finding out who you “can” and “cannot” speak to and what you “can” or “cannot” do. Of course there will be the question on asking why the can and cannots are in quotations: simple. There are boundaries in place that can be broken if you truly wish them to be penetrated.​

Serious roleplay is all about giving yourself the freedom to set out what you’d like to do, but there will be obstacles in your path and they must be overcome. Usually when interacting or exploring, there will be dangers that can be encountered, player wise or environmental...​

A solution can not be made for every problem, however a problem can have a solution, bare this in mind.

Once the player is familiar with what's going on, it will be easier to keep track and become much more involved. This is where the next step could be taken in terms of writing extracts for your character(s) or even trying to get your character(s) playing an important role in the server.​

Living In The Present

Within Half Life 2: Roleplay, your character is expected to eat, drink and be merry, but it's not just limited to that. There are people out there along with vendors that will be able to sell you (or give you if kind enough) goods that will be able to feed the needs of the character. Whilst this isn't something to be taken note of 100% of the time, it's guaranteed to be needing to at some point. From various fruit and vegetable items, canned food and drink along with ration supplements, you should be able to survive with no problem.​

Oh, and your character might need to sleep... might.

Ration distribution is a usual common mini-event where people can get additional food sources for free, as long as they aren't an enemy of the state or wanted for questioning (we'll get to that later). Different sets of rations hold different goods, see if you can find them or purchase them at your pleasure.​

You will also benefit from taking part in events the server will hold and even attain rewards for it. TeslaCloud has an active set of Game Masters willing to enhance the roleplay experience for everyone involved. This is a step ahead and in the right direction to ensure players can take part in a thriving community.​

It is recommended to take part. You will gain benefits from it rather than consequence (which the only one is usually missing it, anyway.)​

Death & Reconciliation

Death in Half Life 2: Roleplay is something not to be unexpected. It's common. It happens all the time and just like a snap of a finger, your character's life could end. But is it possible for that to be applied permanently? Absolutely. Characters in roleplays are like cherished belongings - you don't want them to leave you and you don't want to lose them. And to be quite frank that is completely understandable. However, all need to face our biggest fears in terms of that if we are not prepared.​

When a person is killed in Half Life 2: Roleplay, there is often a differentiation between whether or not it's going to be applied with a "New Life Rule", or a "Permanent Kill" where the person doesn't come back. HOWEVER. Just because a person is Permanently Killed does not mean it's the end of that character. There is a chance of resurrection in the right circumstances if it's properly admitted as either:​

An accident.​

A breaking of server regulations.​

Simple misunderstandings.​

Reconciliation after death is simply moving onto another character, or having your character temporarily disabled because of a specific scenario that played out. Player vs Player combat is the number one instance of this type of ordeal. NPCs can play a part but is usually unlikely unless they are very active in an area.​


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Locations of Interest
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In your time involving exploration, there are numerous areas around the map that are available to enter without hindrance, and other areas that are restricted (depending on your character) or show to be a hazardous environment despite giving free access. Many locations of interest are usually hot-zones for player interaction regardless of any dilemmas. This is the point where they should be memorised, especially within the depths of the inner and outer city limits. A small amount of these zones may hold key ingredients that can be found to assist the player in their journey if they are the wandering traveller type or those that wish to try and stay off the grid. Speaking of having your character live "off grid", it's not an easy task and it is not recommended for arriving new players for difficulties will surely plague them along with the feeling of being isolated. However, if this is the choice that is wished to be made, a way to overcome the perils must be found as a top priority.

In the most part, most areas of any chosen map to play on do all contain their ups and downs. Suffice to say, nearly every map has its central point which draws the attention of a playerbase to its maximum; lots of people in one place at any given time. Within the depths of Half Life 2: Roleplay, multiple different factions will be running in more than one area at a time - some of them with hostile intentions. While the tone for a given environment can be set a certain way by its design, this shouldn't limit the capacity for different situations that can happen within it. Most of if not all factions will remain in a neutral state towards other players if they aren't entirely antagonised or if their area of influence isn't tread upon with malicious intent:

Central Plaza & Combine NEXUS - Inner City

The main hub and source of interaction between the mainstream population of any server, including our own. The highest count of population will be active in this spot because it houses the necessities required for mostly any citizen. The plaza is also seen as a critical location to be secured at all times by Civil Protection and its scary counterpart, Overwatch. The plaza is located in the city centre and houses the main entryway to the sector headquarters of the Combine: The NEXUS. All troop movements are usually spotted first in this zone before they manoeuvre their way into different sections of the map.​

A high magnitude of civilians will be living here along in separately owned apartments (or shared) depending on their circumstances. The Combine regularly proclaims their right to double-down on any civilian infrastructure as it is directly both within their grasp and the centre of their rule. It is to be understood that this is where the Combine's grasp is at its strongest. Other sections of infrastructure are shops, medical facilities and factories.​

The plaza connects to the rest of the map so it is imperative to try and learn which way to go if you need to get back. Lest you be cut off from civilisation in a direct time of need. Sometimes this will be mandatory, otherwise the Combine might come and search for you if your presence isn't registered.​

It contains the highest number of patrol routes and checkpoints that the Combine enforce along with strategic surveillance systems.​

The train station is connected to here and that is the main spawn point for the citizen faction.​

Neighbouring Districts / Outskirts - Inner City

Linked to the Central Plaza, we have the neighbouring districts and outskirts of the main point of the city. Any district that is tightly interlinked with the plaza is usually on the next place on the "to-do-list" for Civil Protection patrols. It is also the common place for citizens to earn their gradual rewards for work and labour if there is ever a call for it. Nearly a hundred percent of the time these zones will always be open without hassle unless there's an emergency.​

Neighbouring Districts also contain a multitude of active surveillance systems the Combine use to keep an eye on the populace if there isn't an active patrol in the region. Scanners might be more notable within the streets. It is also an area where convoys may be spotted because of the Combine's global rule of the planet sectioning resources from one area to another.​

Districts are connected towards other regions of a map where it might be underground or to various slum housing elements which house brewing crime rates. Expect the Combine to divert attention to these locations if trouble starts to show itself in very quick fashion.​

The Slums / Sewers - Outer City

The slums and sewers are regions within the city that have a particularly high crime rate and often portray the most dangerous threats towards a civilised city. Usually this can either be met with the Combine restricting access to particular areas or to send in a strike force capable of suppressing local unrest. The latter has the potential to cause a scene or even a firefight and that can practically escalate. Slums or even sewer systems in general have potential to house enemies of the state.​

The layout of the slums are mostly rundown, housing the starved, the ill, the forgotten and the resistance. Individual discontent with the Combine can lead to hidden societies being formed that reminiscent pre-war civilisation to a degree within these regions.​

Sewer systems house alien creatures that dwell on xenoforming the rotten landscape, becoming a hybrid region of Earth-Xenian infestation. It is not a safe place to visit.​

Quarantine Zone / Infested Zone

This can be applied to any particular zone on the map. A quarantine or infested zone is a region where the landscape has been overrun with alien fauna and wildlife that is a threat towards humans. The Combine are usually sent to enact sterilisation techniques in order to eradicate said infestations. Failure to contain them results in the spreading of alien pathogens, festering parasites or reanimated corpses devouring all in their wake.​

If a quarantine zone has been placed onto the limits of a city sector, it is well and truly advised to avoid it less you risk exposing yourself to the unknown and deadly. Headcrabs, zombies and barnacles are to be expected and shouldn't be taken lightly. They dwell on acts of Predator versus Prey instincts and whilst they can be easily escaped, being cornered should be avoided at all times.​


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Housing Estate
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One of the first and simple goals upon entering the server and setting foot into the city should generally be finding a place to live. Depending on the circumstances during your arrival, housing can be anywhere from entirely free to quite expensive estates, though typically the Combine provide free-access housing where you can store your possessions and sleep. There are two categories of housing:

General Housing

This is the only category for housing that will matter to you for now, until you seek better accommodation. It should be clearly labelled on one of the residential buildings or districts once you get further into the city. Entering the apartment bloc, you’ll have a large assortment of rooms to choose from (if you get a choice that is). Depending on the time and place, some may be occupied and locked. Pick one that isn’t and get comfy.
  • Rather insecure.
  • Small to moderate sized rooms.
  • Good community source.
  • Can fall under disrepair.
  • Usually rent-free.
Loyalist Housing

You won’t have to worry about this area until you get firmly established with the Combine, and doing so may take both some consideration and dedication. These areas are separate apartment blocks specifically for trusted loyalists to the Combine’s aim. They are usually locked with a Combine device and can’t be accessed unless you have a proper ID card. Inside the apartments, they have far higher quality than those of the general population. Sometimes they contain better food and amenities for citizen characters to enjoy.
  • Loyalist districts are one of Civil Protection's first priority to defend.
  • Rent could be expensive.
  • Well maintained.
  • Secure in terms of entry.
  • Moderate to large sized rooms with plenty of space.
  • Bares civil prestige.
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Financial Needs & Rations
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Whilst housing in itself is able to manage most of your worries on its own, its other counterpart that is mostly included is going to be a most sought commodity: tokens and sterilised credits. Within the depths of the Combine's society, commerce is one of the driving factors for handling or even controlling the citizen population. In this case, a person's wealth does not equal to a person's level of prestige unless the income is far more than sufficient enough.

Tokens are handheld coinage or "bonds" that are distributed amongst the Citizen population within ration packages or other goodies. Sterilised credits on the other hand are the Union's top-grade currency that is only shared amongst those who serve the Combine's cause to a much greater effect and are often used by Civil Protection to include purchasable rewards through continuous service.

Ration packages are often where a citizen would find their main source of food, as grotesque as it sounds. Here, a ration package is more user friendly in providing more than just food and water for a character. Since rations are obtained through distribution centres only, a citizen must ensure they have their details in order to facilitate a peaceful collection.

Tokens

Tokens are earned through hard work and labour or are simply awarded for collecting packages. They provide citizens with the ability to purchase different styles of clothes, various commodities, consumer goods and potentially illegal acquisitions spread throughout the society of the Combine. It is best to not store a large amount of them on your character at any given time unless you are truly satisfied (or ballsy) in carrying that sum around. If your character is killed, there a potential chance of losing a staggering large amount of funds or even potentially having it taken from you by another player.

Sterilised Credits

While different from handheld tokens for simplistic consumer use, sterilised credits are only available to Civil Protection. They ensure that successful requisitioning of different types of equipment and weapons are successfully traded between Metrocops and an effective supply line. For more information, refer to any active Civil Protection guides that explain this in further detail.
 
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Imperator RAD-X

Scotsman
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Community Manager
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Labouring & Scavenging

Each and every player that joins any typical Half Life 2: RP server would wish to partake in some form of work / labour cycle. They often include interactive teamwork scenarios in order to fabricate certain products that can be utilised by characters, even after their creation. In most particular cases, work cycles often involve manufacturing consumer goods in a factory or working technical on various pieces of technology. The same can go for actually heading out under an escort of Civil Protection officers into the depths of a resource-rich territory to scavenge for much needed supplies. Labourers can be both an official member of a specific group, to being nothing but the person they are individually.

It often results in good pay in the end of the workshift depending on how good your character performs as Civil Protection is keeping an eye on your ability to make the roleplay not only a worthwhile experience, but to see who will be granted the greatest rewards. Sometimes this can result in a competitive trio of citizens working together to even an entire street's worth of population in one area. Often they are divided into different groups and are called at different times - it's organised that way most of the time. As such, let's get to the brief:

Working Labour / Factory Cycle

Often just labelled as "work cycles", they're nothing entirely special but can prove very beneficial as there is always a reward in the end to get. Here you can be given a wide array of tasks that the Civil Workers (a legitimised faction of working to middle class citizens) or even Civil Protection give you if they are present. The following can be commenced in a work cycle:

  • Disposing of trash or unwanted necessities.
  • Manufacturing of smelted ammunition for projectile weapons.
  • Electronic devices or equipment.
  • Weaving clothes.
  • Construction work and / or maintenance.
  • Creating tools and utilities.
There may be much more depending on the scale of the cycle.
Be careful what you do here as the area is very closely monitored by those devious Metrocops.

Scavenging

Different from a work cycle, this is deemed to be more costly depending on the distance of the expedition and what the objectives of the scavenging team is set out to do. Often enough, you'll find individuals throughout your experience attempting to do this very action on a more local standpoint. Scavenging teams are often comprised of volunteers that are sent forth to try and recover lost goods, working technology or even valuable resources that can be utilised effectively by the regime. However, there are complications.

Scavenging may not be the most safe method of labour work, but it can bring some interesting outcomes and rewards and may even allow temporary leeway into restricted areas (under close watch, mind you) until the situation changes. Scavenging teams are known to be placed as targets for alien wildlife, bandits and potential resistance crews and there have been known clashes to occur. But, whilst confrontation isn't the aim - scavengers if successful can bring themselves a favourable fortune if their finds are worthwhile. Scavenger teams can discover or excavate:
  • Old world technology.
  • Resource deposits from quarrying, refining or harvesting.
  • Building materials.
  • Medical supplies.
  • Miscellaneous items.
  • Unfound / Untapped dangers.

==== WORK IN PROGRESS, MORE TO COME AFTER. ====
 
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