Prior to customization, a new Student looks like this. But none of this will be shown until several key decisions have been made to customize your Main Character.
The first window of character creation simply records your choice of name (first and last) and gender.
Next (and for the following eight 'pages'), 10 Creation Points are allocated to flesh out the new student.
Every mage needs to start somewhere, and the first question is how many points will be used to raise one or more of the 7 Attributes: Strength, Finesse, Fitness, Charm, Intelligence, Luck and Insight. A maximum of 5 Creation Points may be spent on this page, and no more than 2 points may be added to a single Attribute (on this page).
Note that there are several ways to raise Attributes throughout the course of the game, and also quite a few Background choices that not only increase an Attribute but also improve starting Skills and/or grant a special Ability, Action or Item.
For a more detailed discussion, see our Attribute Distribution Guide.
Once points have been assigned to the Attributes, one is presented with the following questions:
- Where did you come from?
- What was your family life like?
- What sort of things did you do?
- What kind of education did you have?
- What sort of Familiar do you have?
- What have you packed for your journey?
- Did anything noteworthy happen to you along the way?
If you're all done spending points, now come the most far-reaching decisions as to what you will spend your first year doing.
There are currently seven Colleges at the Academagia: Aranaz, Avila, Durand, Godina, Hedi, Morvidus, and Vernin. Each has a blend of influences, reputation and tradition that will manifest in various ways during the game, but at this point the most obvious influence is that each has a different set of mandatory Courses.
For each course, each student is expected to attend class five days a week (even when some weeks are longer than others - see Holidays), for the whole school year - but he/she only gets to pick three or four of those six Courses:
- Aranaz requires its first-years to take Calligraphy and History.
- Aranaz's Regent, Sixt von Rupprecht, teaches Calligraphy.
- Avila requires its first-years to take Astrology and Geometry.
- Avila's Regent, Kate Badcrumble, teaches Astrology.
- Durand requires its first-years to take Botany, Dialectic, and Negation.
- Durand's Regent, Polisena Briardi, teaches Negation.
- Godina requires its first-years to take Athletics, Incantation, and Music.
- Godina's Regent, Leo Massioti, teaches Athletics.
- Hedi requires its first-years to take Glamour, Grammar, and Rhetoric.
- Hedi's Regent, Finus Piaxenza, does not teach first-year courses this year.
- Morvidus requires its first-years to take Revision and Zoology.
- Morvidus's Regent, Oliver Storey, does not teach first-year courses this year.
- Vernin requires its first-years to take Arithmetic and Enchant.
- Vernin's Regent, Giovanni di Lucca Alazzo, does not teach first-year courses this year.
Note that if you are desperately impatient to begin playing, a full 'default' schedule is already selected when you reach this step, as is a College.
- Essentially, regardless of which College you pick, the non-mandatory Courses will start out filled in from the list in alphabetical order.
- i.e. There would be no escaping Arithmetic, Astrology, and Athletics no matter which College you're in; any but Hedi and you'd also be taking Botany; and you'd only end up with anything listed below Calligraphy if it's mandatory for your College.)
A helpful feature for the indecisive incoming student:
- if you select some 'elective' courses, then change your College to examine another potential schedule ... and perhaps further test other schedules with additional Colleges ... for each College where you have altered the default electives, your choices will be saved.
- However, if you then use the Back button to review/change your Creation Point spending, all of the schedules you have customized will be reset to the default alphabetized fill-ins.
The following chart may assist in decisions balancing starting Attributes with your Course-load:
An Observation for the Magical Generalist
It may be noticed that of the 'basic' Magic Parent Skills - Astrology, Enchant, Glamour, Incantation, Negation, and Revision - it isn't possible to enroll in all six at once (and only a student of Avila, Morvidus, or Vernin might enroll in as many as five at once). To those disappointed by this restriction, consider:
- Although enrollment in a course is the most effective way to 'passively' learn any Skill (at least, assuming that you consistently attend your classes!), it is still quite possible to arrange (or even stumble into) the improvement of Skills outside of your academic schedule.
- For details, track through Category:Skills, paying particular attention to Abilities, Actions, Expand, and Locations links for each Parent and Subskill entry of interest.
- And of course, if you aren't so worried about efficiency, the Actions Joie de Vivre and Train are available to everyone year-round.
- For those who want to train their generalists efficiently however I would recommend (carefully) "stumbling" your way into the Godina Park: The Crystal Bridge. But, if any professors catch you there, you didn't hear about it from me.
- There are actually ten Magic Parent Skills available in Year 1, so you'll have trouble getting a broad grounding no matter what you enroll in.
- Enspell and Synchronicity are more in-depth or advanced forms of magic:
- Enspell is basically meta-magic, which can enhance or reinforce all other magic you learn;
- Synchronicity is a very recent addition to the game, the most direct way to unlock it would be through the adventure An Outing.... It's far from easy however, as that adventure requires some rather steep rolls before informing the player of any Synchronicity subskills.
- Alternatively Empathy and Serenity can be unlocked through Welcome to the Club! adventure, instinct can be unlocked after reaching level 4 in Serenity, and with the 3 of them Mental bridging can be unlocked once you've reached level 5 in Synchronicity. While this looks like a roundabout way of doing it, this method is much easier (for an untrained character) than going through An Outing... adventure.
- Gates and Mastery are Forbidden at the Academagia (forbidden "world-wide" actually, not just at the Academagia). Colleges that specialized in them were dissolved centuries ago ... but their study is still preserved and pursued in private and obscure places ...
- Enspell and Synchronicity are more in-depth or advanced forms of magic:
Next, choose your character's portrait. Without modding, there will be two options:
- each College has a different pair of portrait options for each gender; i.e. the Main Character will have one of 28 possible appearances, but [by this point] only a choice of two: either of the Vernin boy portraits, either of the Godina girl portraits, etc.
Lastly, two small windows will pop up for a confirmation of two names: one for your Familiar and one for your Clique. Both of these will have a default name already, and you are not required to change either - it's purely an optional matter of personal preference and roleplaying.
Note that only in recent versions of Academagia has the Player Character automatically been placed in her/his own Clique (even before anyone else can join it!). In older versions you could be recruited (without being given a choice, it's fair to say) into an NPC Clique through the AI action of one of its members; this is no longer a possibility.
The First Steps In-Game
Welcome to the Academagia! (Event)