After completing the joining process, you will receive an email from Mado letting you know that your character has been created and you can now log into your character's stat page. To log into your character's stat page, go here. For the name, type in your character's name. For the password, use the password you chose when joining. Logging into your character's stat page not only gives you access to your character's stats, but also allows you to self train your character, meditate, or eat a Sensu Bean (all of these are race dependent, except eating a Sensu Bean). For a detailed overview of how the Auto-Updating System works, go here.
Within 24 hours of receiving the email from Mado about your character being created, you should receive an email from your ref. This email generally gives you a short backstory as to what your character is doing and/or how they got there. Most likely, an NPC will approach you in this first email asking your name. Your ref will also give you a description of your surroundings in this first email. At this point a lot of new players will be confused. Most text-based DBZ RPGs they have played in the past have them creating their own story and describing exactly what happens and what their character does. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT how Planet Mado works. Planet Mado is more like an actual game. You (the player) are responsible for only your character. The ref will control everything else (NPCs, the entire world you're on, etc.). For example, if the first email you get from your ref mentions nothing about a shop, the email you (the player) send as a reply to your ref should not have your character finding a shop and buying items. Your character doesn't know where a shop is located, much less what that particular shop has for sale.
Imagine Planet Mado as a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but a bit simpler and with a Dragonball Z theme. It is very open, you are free to do almost anything. Just don't get carried away and start telling your ref what your character finds and that your chracter defeats all of the bad guys, etc. Treat Planet Mado as a real game where you are only controlling your character.
Your Character's Stats
In Planet Mado, the only stat that your character has is powerlevel. Powerlevel is your character's strength, stamina, ki, endurance, etc. all rolled into one. There are many ways to increase your powerlevel. Keep in mind that all forms of powerlevel gain also come with a cost. You have two different stats for powerlevel; base powerlevel, and current powerlevel. Your base powerlevel is your maximum powerlevel. Your current powerlevel is the powerlevel you are walking around with. All races (except for Absorb Androids) have the most basic option, which is to self-train. The self-training system is automated (details here). You may self-train your character as often as you can, once the timer is up. There are four different options for self training. Check out the Training/Sparring section of the rule book. Self-training is the best way to gain powerlevel when you first start your character, but as you grow stronger, it will become less and less effective.
Sparring is another option to gain powerlevel. To spar, you must find another player to spar with, and they must also agree to spar with you. Every time you spar, you gain 1% of your base powerlevel. Sparring is less effective when you first start your character, but becomes more effective as you become stronger, when self-training no longer gives as high of a gain. You may spar up to three times a day.
Namekians have the option to meditate to gain powerlevel. This is perhaps the best and safest way to gain powerlevel, as it not only adds to your base powerlevel, but also your current. However, the stronger you become, the less powerlevel you gain through meditation. Namekians may meditate up to three times a day, and there is no timer in between. This means you may use all of your meditations one right after the other without having to wait in between, as with self-training.
Training under a master is something all races (except Absorb Androids) have the option to do. While training under a master, you gain 2% of your base powerlevel. However, once you are stronger than that master, you will no longer gain any powerlevel from training under them. You may train under a master up to three times a day.
Lastly, we have fighting as a way to gain powerlevel. Winning a fight is the only way for the Android (Absorb) race to gain powerlevel. There is no limit to how many fights you may complete in one day.
The Planet Mado Universe
The time and events in Planet Mado have nothing to do with any of the Dragonball series television shows. While the characters from the shows do appear in the game (mostly as masters who teach different techniques), they aren't necessarily from any certain period of the show. Also, keep in mind that the character you create is not a character from the show. You can certainly create a character in Goku's likeness, but you are not, in fact, Goku in this game. The stories and events in Planet Mado are completely controlled by the refs, though they will likely use certain events from the show as inspiration.
Exploring the World
When your character first starts out, it will be relatively weak, and your selection of techniques is extremely limited. The first, and best thing to do is to explore the area you start in. Your character will either start in, or near a town or city filled with activites for your character to participate in. Explore the area well, as you will likely find a shop or two, a master, and even some quests for your character to complete. While some houses in the area may simply have town residents living in them, other houses may have someone that needs some work done, and the homeowner is offering a reward for completing the work.
The first email you receive from your ref will describe your surroundings, and you must simply tell your ref which direction you would like to walk in, or what you would like to explore. Feel free to put us much, or as little detail as you like into your updates. Keep in mind that the more detailed you are, the more likely you are to find something of interest.
Once the first attack is made, your character's current status is saved. This means that you may continue to self-train and/or meditate your character through the Auto-Updating System™, but it will not have any effect on your stats for the battle. Fighting is done primarily through email with your ref, but if possible, try to schedule a day and time that both you and your ref can be online so you can do the fight over a chat. Fights take much less time, and are far more interesting this way.
While it is encouraged to role-play while fighting, keep in mind that everything done in Planet Mado is based off of your character's stats, and fights are turn-based. This means that you are not to role-play out the entire fight in one email. You take a turn attacking with your character, your opponent defends against the attack, then your opponent attacks your character, and then your character defends against the attack. You choose which attack you would like to use against your opponent (a list of your attacks can be found under the "Techniques" section of your Character's Stat Page), and also which defense to use when your opponent attacks back.
You may fight anyone you meet in your travels, but keep in mind that starting areas generally have guards, and guards don't take too kindly to fighting.