This page features a list of frequently asked questions about cameo characters in Moonless Age. Though other Drowtales comics may offer cameo roles, this guide pertains specifically to Moonless Age and its associated side stories.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Sponsoring a Cameo
- 3 Creating a Cameo
- 4 After the Chapter Begins
What is a cameo?
A cameo is a form of commission in which a character that is designed and paid for by a community member is featured in the main comic. They are drawn into the Moonless Age story in a given support role, replacing the otherwise nameless background characters that would only appear for a scene or two.
What is included in a cameo order?
A cameo is guaranteed all of the following:
- An appearance on at least one page.
- A speaking line (assuming the character is capable of speech).
- One close-up.
- A chance to speak and interact with the main cast.
Cameo characters frequently receive more attention than this baseline, but how much they do is dependent on how well the character fits into the story as a whole, how strong a need there is for a particular role they might fill, and how many other cameos are appearing in the same faction.
For an additional price, sponsors can choose to order a full concept art of their character. If they choose this option, they will have the chance to approve the character's overall design before he or she appears in the story.
How much do cameos cost?
As of 2019, a single cameo costs US$160. A concept art is US$70. Commissioning both together provides a US$10 discount to the combined price, for a total of US$220.
How much control do sponsors have?
When ordering a cameo, sponsors provide the following:
- Name and clan/faction.
- Preferred weapon/gear.
- Magical affinity, if any. High sorcery is not accepted, and empathy rarely so.
- A few personality traits.
- Physical description and reference picture, as through a concept art purchased with the cameo or provided independently.
Any additional information is not guaranteed to influence the character's appearance in the story. The author ultimately reserves the right modify characters as needed to fit into the Drowtales world setting. This is far less likely if the character blends into the setting and their faction effectively. See Cameo Creation Tips.
Sponsors do not get to choose what happens to their character in the story, under most circumstances. Instances where a sponsor is offered a chance to provide input as to what their cameo will do in the story are infrequent and the choices available are usually non-specific like which faction is a character more likely to be loyal to.
Can a cameo die?
Cameos may be injured or killed during their appearance in a given chapter, though it is relatively uncommon for their death to be explicitly shown.
Sponsoring a Cameo
How do I order a cameo?
Announcements of upcoming cameo roll calls are usually made well in advance so interested sponsors have time to consider whether they would like to participate. Generally, these announcements are made at the end of a chapter.
What roles can cameos take?
Specific submission requirements and limitations are dependent on the needs of the story. At the start of production for each chapter, the featured clans and required roles will be posted when cameo orders are opened. These roles are described generally when a cameo roll call is made. What role a cameo may specifically play will depend on the both story needs and how well the cameo fits those needs.
Can I sponsor a non-drow character?
Yes. But the story is primarily about the drow and their society. If you submit a cameo of a different race that doesn't fit well into a given role, it may have a greatly reduced appearance in the comic. A feral cameo, for example, is limited in what roles it can fill in the story and would essentially be a pet.
Can I sponsor an existing character?
Yes. Several times throughout the comic's run, a sponsor has chosen to bring back a non-cameo character. This is a relatively uncommon request, and is approved by the author on a case-by-case basis. As these characters are not cameos but instead a part of the story's main cast, sponsors do not provide input on the character design.
Can I order multiple cameos?
Yes. There is presently no limit to how many cameos may be ordered by the same person.
In prior chapters, sponsors were limited to one cameo per chapter or had any further additional cameos given more limited appearances, such as the "Extra" option provided for Chapter 41.
What is an "Extra"?
For Chapter 41, sponsors also had the option of ordering a cheaper "Extra" role. This role did not esnure speaking lines or interaction with the main cast, but it did include a flat-colored shoulder-up portrait. A similar arrangement was possible for Chapter 50, where a single sponsor could have multiple cameos, where they elected to have one as their main cameo and other cameos as having minor roles. This option is not currently available.
Creating a Cameo
How do I make certain that my cameo is a good one?
What makes a cameo a good cameo is subjective, though nevertheless, there are general guidelines one can follow to ensure a cameo can effectively fit into the story. See Cameo Creation Tips. Additionally, many members of the comic's Discord community are quite willing to discuss cameo ideas, especially after a cameo roll call is announced. The community Discord can be found here.
I may want to change my cameo's details later. Can I?
Yes, to a point. There is a window of time between a cameo call occurring and when the author begins work on the next chapter and any given cameos. Until then, a sponsor may send a submit revisions to their cameo. This is also why the author heavily encourages a concept art for new cameos, so a simple concept sketch can be created for the sponsor's approval. Once the concept has been drawn, the cameo's design is finalized.
Do note that while you can change a cameo's details after initially submitting them, it results in much more work on the part of the studio and can create confusion. It is better to submit a cameo design you are happy with, rather than hurriedly submit a rough draft you then wish to adjust.
Can I just give you my <insert MMO of choice here>’s character screenshot?
Only if you take a concept art and can provide your chosen role.
After the Chapter Begins
How can I tell if a character is a cameo?
The author has started to tag pages featuring cameo characters with their name and a link to their wiki page. For pages that do not feature these tags or for more information on existing cameo characters, see the List of Cameo Characters. Additionally, the author typically posts a link on a given chapter's title page to a google document containing a loosely organized list of cameos and their sponsors.
How long before my character appears?
How long it takes before a cameo appears can vary greatly, depending on the current update schedule, length of a chapter, and pace of the story. They could appear on the first page of a chapter, or on the hundredth.
This article reflects events up to Chapter 56.