Hello Folks, Ultima Online (UO) is a Virtual world with a player driven world of characters. Folks come to UO for many reasons. One reason is to "roleplay" characters. My purpose in writing this, is to provide information and to encourage discussion pertaining to roleplay within UO. Prior to creating your first character I recommend you visit 4 web sites pertaining to Ultima Online; http://www.uoherald.com/news/ http://www.uoguide.com/Main_Page http://uo.stratics.com/ http://www.uoforums.com/ If one obtains a new account your first task will be to select a shard (or server) upon which to play. Your real life proximity to any given server may affect your "ping" speed and connection. Once you choose your shard, your second task will be to create a character by which to interact with the world and its inhabitants. Starting characters may choose from several pre-existing templates distributing 130 skill points usually among 3 skills and also using pre-existing starting stat points in strength (STR), dexterity (DEX), and intelligence (INT). Or they may choose "a la carte" a total of 100 skill points distributed themselves among 3 of 55 total skills. The player must also choose between male or female and human or elf race. Finally the player must choose a name for their new character, one they must live with unless they one day buy a name change token to repent of their first choice. All new characters arrive or are "born," in the Town of New Haven. They begin with a few items deemed useful to them by the game developers or "Dev's," along with 1,000 pieces of gold, the coin of the realm. Before taking your first step, you may be well served to open your paperdoll (if it does not open by default) and press your skills button on the paperdoll. Click on each group of skills, opening each, and click the up arrow beside each skill till a lock icon appears, this locks the skill to prevent unwanted gains (for now). This completes the basics for the topic of shard selection and character creation. In general, players of Ultima Online fall into one of two broad categories; in character roleplayers (IC), or out of character roleplayers (OOC). All characters in Ultima Online are either portraying themselves as someone in an online game world and behaving "in character," by use of their speech, actions, and worldview; or portraying themselves "out of character" as simply a human acting within an online game world. OOC folks use any speech and behavior they please, while IC folks try their best to simulate their chosen character in use of appropriate speech and behavior to the character they have designed. Since each player may choose to create one or more characters, one may play some characters IC, and others, OOC. At anytime, each player may choose when to behave IC and when to behave OOC. Having chosen a shard, and having created a character, one logs onto their account and into their character. Beginning your in game life with only 1,000 gold coins, you will learn rather soon that many items available in game may be had for a cost. Many methods and means exist in UO to generate gold for your character. Items may be gathered (such as reagents) laying about on the ground, wool sheared from sheep, meat gathered from birds or animals, feathers harvested from dead birds and some creatures, hides gathered similarly, wood chopped from trees, etc. These may all be sold to NPC's (non-player characters) in Towns and shops for gold. Some of these may be sold to PC's (player characters) willing to pay others to provide them with either raw materials or finished goods (wood & feathers, or finished arrows or bolts). Some NPC's will offer you gold to escort them to a location. Some animals, creatures, or "evil" npc's carry gold and other "loot" on them which may be taken once they are killed. With any economic system, if you generate more gold than you spend each day (or game period) your wealth will increase. Spend more than you generate, and soon you will be broke. When you first log onto your character, have an In Character role to play already in mind. Will you be a simple shepherd, herding animals for sale or for their resources (meats, hides, feathers, wool, etc.), a miner digging ore for ingots, or granite for sale, a Mage learning your craft, or a warrior mastering combat tactics and skills? Your choice of characters to "roleplay" is limited only by your creativity and will. Arriving in New Haven, you may set about to raise skills, earn gold, gather items, or you may engage other players in conversation, or set out into the wilderness to discover your new world on your own. Two things you will surely encounter, and likely quite soon, are public Moongates (blue or red hued magical travel gates) linking Towns and other established locations...and death! The death of your character need never be permanent, your ghost may be resurrected by wandering Healers, at certain Shrines with Ankh's designed to resurrect ghosts, or by other player characters who possess powers of resurrection. When all else fails, look to your paperdoll and its "Help" button located at its top right area. Click this and choose the "your character is physically stuck" and you will be given choice of a Town where you will be transported to be resurrected. Hopefully, this article, and the 4 web sites included, along with former and current players will provide you with answers to every question you may think needs answering. Give some thought to creating one or more characters, and come join the thousands & thousands of folks worldwide who are constantly enjoying Ultima Online.