Welcome to Arx!
Getting started with an OC (Original Character) of your own creation or a Roster Character (pre-made character) is slightly different, mostly in so much that a roster character may have been played before. We'll explain how to get setup with both.
Passwords: After you are approved for a character, whether an OC or a Roster Character, you log off as the guest and log back in with the username and password that was emailed out to you. Once you log in, you can use the '@password' command to change it from the default by '@password <oldpassword>=<new password>'. In other words, if the old password was 'foo' and you wished to change it to 'myownpass' then it would look like:
Homes: Once in game, your character starts in the same space where they last logged out. For any character that's never been played before, like an OC, this will default to starting in the City Center of Arx, smack dab in the middle of the city. Some other player characters might be there roleplaying and say hi- feel free to jump in, or if that might trigger a panic attack, then also feel free to run off, or use the 'home' command to get out of there. Using the 'home' command will zip your character off to a pre-assigned private room all of their own, an ideal place to bunker down in while you check out help files or have quiet RP scenes with individuals you invite.
Alternatively, there's an ooc state that will take your character off the grid of the game and make them inaccessible. For that, you just type '@ooc', and to return to the world, type '@ic'. If you picked up a roster character, they might have been left in an @ooc state, so also feel free to type '@ic' to return them to the world.
Items: Characters default to having no coded items, though a 'naked' character wearing nothing is always assumed to just be wearing unremarkable clothing for their station and never nude unless explicitly roleplayed as being so. Arms and armor, however, are not assumed, and coded (automated) combat will explicitly check for it. If you picked up a roster character that's been played before, it's entirely likely they have some clothing/weapons/armor already (or in some cases, rooms full of it that threaten to bury people in an avalanche of questionable fashion). All characters, roster or OC, have the ability to use the 'startgear' command. This is essentially a version of our crafting system that will let a character make starting items one time in the character's life, so a previous played roster character may have already done so.
The startgear command will let someone make up to 6000 silver worth of items, counting the materials. ICly, this is a representation of a character's prior possessions. Recipes are under http://play.arxmush.org/topics/recipes for a long list of potential items. So if Bob, playing an OC knight, wishes to make starting weapons and armor, it might look like this:
startgear standard steel medium wpn
startgear/name Battleworn Long Sword
startgear/desc This wickedly sharp edged long sword of old battle-tested steel has obviously seen numerous battles, with nicks and cuts all along the razor edge.
And then Bob would have a medium weapon called 'Battleworn Long Sword' in his inventory with the sword's description he set, and he could 'wield sword' to ready it for combat or 'sheathe sword' to wear it. All startgear defaults to average quality, where quality level effects the combat effectiveness of weapons or armor.
Alternately, a character could refund the 6000 silver (or any remaining silver) with 'startgear/refundremainder', and use a shop of a crafter (using the +shop commands while in a shop) or speak to a crafter to have items made.
Items generally are not trackable to owners, and theft is ICly possible in game (with restrictions), so generally items aren't left lying around in public rooms. Roster Characters will generally have quite a few items in their home rooms, as their homes can be locked. While at their home, the '+home' commands will let characters manipulate their home, and '+home/lock' or '+home/unlock' will lock/unlock their rooms. Using 'pass' and an exit name will pass through a locked door you have the key to without unlocking the door, as a convenient time saver.
Channels: There are many chat channels to aid ooc communication between players, and most are tied to the organizations your character belongs to. To see a list of all channels you can join or have currently joined, type '@channels'. To mute or unmute all the channels, you can 'allcom off' or 'allcom on'. To join any channel you have access to, the 'addcom' command can join them. You can receive a chat channel history by adding 'last' on to the channel name. Such as typing 'public last' to see the most recent messages in the public channel.
Roster Characters: For any roster character that has been previously played, there will likely be many records of the sort of stories the character was involved in. Do not sweat having to know all this- other players know a new player to a character won't know everything a character was involved in, and even with records, not everything will be documented.
Characters all are encouraged to write IC journals recording their thoughts IC, so a roster character may have quite a few written. Check out http://play.arxmush.org/comms/journals/list/ and search under your character's name in the 'written by' while logged in, and that will show both their public White Journals and their private Black Journals.
A roster character might have a number of old messengers from previous letters sent to and from them. The 'messenger/old' will show old ones they have saved, and 'messenger/oldsent' shows ones the character previously sent. Typically, the last 30 are saved, unless otherwise marked.
On a character's @sheet may have records of their secrets '@sheet/secrets' any special visions sent to them '@sheet/visions' and any answers by staff to requests for GMing '@sheet/storyrequests'. Similarly, '@sheet/social' and '@sheet/relationships' can show recorded relationships with other characters, to help figure out where they stand with some other characters in current RP.
The +firstimpression command is a record of first impressions written about your character from other characters' perspective, or about your character's first impressions of others. New players to a roster character are able to update these, and they can be written once per player per character.
Wiki: The main website of the game play.arxmush.org is not a wiki as such, and it's a misnomer to call it one as the game and website pull from the same database, so changes to a character's sheet in game or on the website are automatically reflected in the other place. Similarly, if a player wishes to make a change to anything on the sheet, it either will have commands to do so (such as the @relationship commands) or be done by +request and edited by staff in game.
To add a picture for your character, just be logged in to the website and click on your character page, then click on the gallery link at the bottom of the character page. You can upload and select images from that. Having the same Played By picture of other characters is fine, we don't restrict or enforce that. Thematically by the game world, almost all races are represented in Arvum commonly except east asian/pacific islander and there's metaplot reasons why they aren't around just yet.
Settings: The '@settings' command has a ton of different optional settings that some players prefer and some hate, so they are all optional, but as a roster character these might have non-default settings. Popular ones would be '@settings/posebreak' to automatically put a line between one character's poses or emits and the next, to add readability. '@settings/quote_color' to change anything inside quotes to a different color, to make it easier to read when a character says something in a pose or emit. '@settings/name_color' To color appearances of your name showing up. '@settings/ic_only' is for someone that wishes to disable all OOC communication entirely for a very immersive experience, '@settings/brief' will disable room descriptions as you run around, and '@settings/lrp' will toss up a Looking for Roleplay tag.
+finger: The 'finger' command will give basic information about a character, as a useful cheat sheet to see if someone is online, who they are, and if they are available. You can update information on your +finger with 'finger/preferences' or 'finger/playtimes' to give other players an OOC heads up of what you might be looking for or when you are available.