First, log into the MUSH. At present, all character generation takes place on-game. Make sure to use 'create <name> <password>' at the login screen - Guest characters can't go through the generation system.
You'll begin in the Exploration Nexus. Feel free to poke around in here - there's some good information (and at present, some outdated information...), but it'll help you get situated, especially if you've never played on a MUSH or similar style of text-based game before. You're granted immediate access to the Newbie channel, which you can speak on by typing =new <message>, such as =new Hi, I'm new here! Anyone currently online and listening to that channel will be able to respond, and most folks are friendly and eager to help new arrivals. You may also want to review +help (which can be a lot to swallow - don't feel you need to read all of it right away, it's just a full list of the tools the MUSH provides to you).
When you feel comfortable enough, you can use the command DM (which is an 'exit' in the room description) to move out to the crossroads of the Out-of-Character section of the 'grid' (the connected series of rooms which form Dark Metal's world). The Crossroads has a few other exits you can explore, including 2, the Character Generation area.
Through exit 2, you'll find other exits, such as the XP exit you'll be using later when you have experience points to spend on your character. For now, though, use CG to head into CharGen!
Here (in Chargen: The Beginning), you must make your first major decision: Which species your character will be. Anything we currently support will have links for you to follow - at present, that includes Humans (including those with cyber, ghouls, and kinfolk), Garou, Mages, Sorcerers (both psychic and hedge wizard style), Vampires, Bastet, Corax, and Ratkin. Pick one by going through its exit.
From this point on, you can follow the specific CharGen room's directions as to what you need to set. You'll be routed through what (for those familiar with the World of Darkness system) is a fairly standard process of setting attributes, abilities, backgrounds, merits and flaws, power-related specifics, and freebies. We've tried to make it as user-friendly as possible, but improvements are ongoing. Generally speaking, if the CharGen system doesn't permit you to take a given stat, it's because you don't meet its prerequisites; check +info <stat name> for more information. If the restriction seems in error, please feel free to put in a +request to report it as a possible bug, and staff coders will have a look.
Once you complete Character Generation, you'll be delivered back to the Crossroads, ready to go. A +request is automatically opened for you so that staff is aware that you exist - if you have any remaining Character Generation questions, you may use the +request/comment command (see +help request) to ask about them.
This includes asking for additional XP points. We freely hand out chunks of XP on request to characters not presently in a troupe. (Troupes do their own XP grants, so if you plan to join one, you'll need to check on their prerequisites and talk to the troupe leaders for specifics.) Individuals may ask for as much as they wish - we've given out grants of up to 2000xp. We do advise care with the amount you request; other players may not choose to play with characters at truly monstrous levels of power. (It can be done well, though!) You may also +request stats we don't currently support (please provide book references), rank, gear, or other such things.
You'll find the Gear Vendor in the Crossroads as well. While prices are listed for your information, characters are no longer charged; if you feel your character has a valid reason to have an item, you're welcome to take it.
Your character is now ready to enter the In-Character grid. You may wish to consult the +hangouts command to see if anyone is online in a popular location, use the +rp command to indicate that you're in search of roleplay from anyone interested in playing, or join the RPS (Roleplay Search) channel with rps +me and =rps Hi, I'm looking for roleplay! to talk to the playerbase at large. Don't hesitate to ask questions on =pub or =new if you need to. Everybody likes hearing from other active players, especially new ones!