I've seen a lot of new people interested in Mandalorians recently. Many of them ask questions but are turned off by the seemingly complex nature of Mandalorian lore, Both Canon and Legends, Or they just don't know where to look. And even more get their feet wet but soon find that Chaos' lore is nearly as expansive. With so many Mandalorian factions having popped up and with more on the way, The revived interest through the The Mandalorian series, I figured it's time to put all my notes in one place and help our newer brothers and sisters.
I'll do my best to write this in a comprehensive way and make it as easy and simple for newer Mandalorians as possible. This means that I'll be glossing over some of the history in favor of skipping to relevant information needed to play in the Chaos timeline, which takes place almost a thousand years after the movies.
A beginner's guide to Culture, Roleplay, And Chaos canon
Disclaimer #1: I am in no ways an expert. I have the fortunate position of knowing a number of old timers, Have read some cool lore entries for chaos and have been playing Mandalorians since I joined early last year at the time of writing this. If you find some inaccuracies, feel free to point them out in a constructive manner, And I just might update accordingly.
Disclaimer #2: This guide is based on a mixture of both Legends And Current Disney based Canon, With a dash of Chaos' own lore, All arranged according to relevance. There is a divide among the star wars community when it comes to Mandalorians due to the changes introduced. I myself find interest in Both versions of Mandalorian lore and have written this guide accordingly. If this disturbs you, Thank walk away. Chaos lore operates under the lore of Both and we simply can't have one without the other.
Chapter 1: What is a Mandalorian And What is the Resol'nare?At the core of Mandalorian beliefs, A Mandalorian is simply a follower of the Mandalorian Creed, Known as the Resol'nare(Reh-sole-nah-ray), Or "Six Actions" when translated to basic(Though the name is rarely referred to in basic, Even when speaking primarily basic in a conversation).
"A warrior is more than his armour"
"I adhere to the Resol'nare. The core of what it means to be Mandalorian. A sacred law giving us direction and purpose. Education and armor, self-defense, our tribe, our language, our leader—all help us survive. We must educate our children as Mandalorians, obey the commands of Mandalore, speak Mando'a and defend our clans."
These are the six tenants of the Resol'nare, Which all have their own meaning.
Education: Mandalorians are expected to raise their children to be Mandalorians(simple enough right?) who adhere to the Resol'nare and will continue the legacy of their people by educating the next generation. All Mandalorian children are taught how to fend for themselves with the blaster and often the blade, How to maintain their armour, And usually how to hunt both men and beasts to survive. Each Mandalorian child goes through their Verd'goten at the age of 13, Where they reach adulthood according to Mandalorian culture. The Verd'goten is a rite of passage in which a Mandalorian child(Who has typically been training since the age of 8) has their abilities tested(Typically military and survival), And upon completion, Is accepted as a legal adult in Mandalorian society, And treated as an equal by all Mandalorians. It is possible however for a Mandalorian to take the Verd'goten As an adult. That is because it is possible for Mandalorians to adopt adults into their ranks.
Mando'a bal Mand'alor-
An vencuyan mhi."
Our language, our leader-
All help us survive"
This method of expanding the ranks of Mandalorians isn't as popular as say Foundlings, But it is still a common enough occurrence to be relevant here. Adopting an adult into a Mandalorian family is usually reserved individuals that have earned a great deal of respect from the adopting "Parent", Who considers the adoptee to be a Son or Daughter. They will typically go through a Verd'goten soon after the Parent's intent to adopt the warrior has been made clear and accepted by the "Child", After which they are welcomed into the ranks and will take on the Clan name, Dropping previous family names.
This is different from Foundlings however, Who have it kinda rough. According to the Mandalorian Creed, The Resol'nare, Mandalorian warriors are duty bound to take any abandoned or missing children they come across and either reunite them with their own people, Or raise them themselves. When the foundling comes of age(Likely thirteen in accordance with Verd'goten), They are given the option to Join or Leave the Mandalorian people for good. Should they choose to join and continue living as a Mandalorian, They are likely put through the Verd'goten. After passing, They are treated like any other Mandalorian and are even allowed to form their own clans. There is one difference between a previous foundling and a born Mandalorian however: A Mandalorian who was once a foundling may never remove their helm in front of another living being, Else they may never wear the helm again. This is likely a symbol of sorts, An Oath that they will always be Mandalorian, And always be thankful to the people that took them in. To leave your helm is to leave the Mandalorians.
Armour: Probably the most iconic symbol of the Mandalorian people; The armour's history goes back almost as far as Mandalore itself. The Traditional Armour worn by Mandalorians is called "Beskar'gam" which means "Iron Skin" or "Iron Carapace" in their native language. There is also a heavy variant known as "Beskar'kandar". The Beskar'gam was traditionally forged from Berskar, A naturally occurring ore found only on the planet Mandalore. On chaos, You may see other planets with Beskar, But canonically speaking they shouldn't. I myself am guilty of making a planet with "Naturally" occuring Beskar ore veins back when I knew a lot less about Mandalorians. Too late now, It's on the map and everything ;-;
Beskar'gam doesn't Have contain Beskar however, It's just such a cultural pride and symbol that all mandalorians have at least one piece of equipment made from beskar, Almost always the helm or "Buy'c" in the mandalorian tongue. The rest is usually made from either Durasteel or Duraplast, Both of which are far more common but less durable.
The helm is the most important part, And all foundlings and all Mandalorian children are given a helmet from an early age, Often handmade as a part of their education. These helmets are filled to the brim with electrical suites that control the rest of the armour through Vocal commands, Eye tracking HUDs, Or neural interfaces.
This almost always includes the following:
-Rangefinder: Typically built into an Antenna that is lowered in front of the visor, Provides a digital readout detailing the range of a target and basic information such as size and any matching identification records recorded within the helm's computer. These rangefinders typically have the added benefit of visually tracking up 30 targets within line of sights.
-Commlink: Typically paired with a broadband antenna, Most mandalorian helmets have a basic communications relay built in that can pick up signals and broadcast them, And usually has multiple encrypted channels for private communication.
-Transparisteel Visor: While never referred to in canon as a visor material, Most Chaos mandos make their visors from Transparisteel or similar materials, Thereby creating Blasterproof visor for convenience. I myself usually coat them in "Flash Coating" which is a fancy way of saying that I made them into Flash goggles, Which has the added benefit of "Shading" rapid light changes, Preventing my mandos from going blind when chit starts exploding.
-Built in Breath mask: Typically just a tube connecting to the helm or just an oxygen system built into the helm, Combine this with a full seal helm, And suddenly you can survive the airless vacuum of space for a few hours!
almost always has the typical T-Visor, Though they come in an "Powertech"(X-Visor), "Executioner"(Skull), "Hunter"(Rako hardeen), And "Cyclops"(Single slit) variants. Personally, If I don't see a similar shape and one of these iconic visors, I don't consider it to be mandalorian. That is an opinion however and there are exceptions. For example: I have seen Rodian helmets with orb-like visors to accommodate their unique eyes, And I once used a similar helm made from an alien's mask, But they all looked reasonably mandalorian.
Next comes the cuirass(Or breastplate, if it only covers the front), The torso armour that keeps your guts where they belong. The cuirass was typically formed from a single "Backplate" and a "Breastplate" made of three separate plates followed a single diamond shape in the center known as the "Ka'rta beskar" or "Ironheart".(See the included pic for other segmental names! It reminds me of samurai armour's various names which is cool). Modern or "Post imperial" breastplates however are made from two or even a single plate that has been warped to fit the body. These plates always contain the Ironheart however, Usually built into center or upper center of the breastplate. A great rule of thumb for armour refs: If it doesn't have the diamond, It isn't mandalorian. These can easily be added via photo edits, especially with a tool like gimp or Photopea if you don't mind a slightly "post imperial" look.
Sidenote: If you're having trouble finding a ref you like, Check out this pinterest board: The Mandalorians.
This board was made specifically for the Mandalorians of chaos, All of it is fairly unique at the time of writing this, I specifically avoided well known canon characters and well known community members so that anyone who takes a ref from the board can be fairly unique to the rest of chaos.
Self-Defense: The most outwardly well known tenant of the Resol'nare, All Mandalorians must be able to defend themselves and their families or Other Mandalorians at any given moment. They are expected to hold their own in battle regardless of their gender, Age(post-Verd'goten) or profession. It's easy to assume because of this tenant that all Mandalorians are soldiers and mercenaries, But that's not entirely true. While they all can be, There is more to Mandalorian life than fighting. There are Armourers, Who forge the Beskar'gam and pass down the techniques, Often seen almost like a spiritual leader in some cases. There are also farmers, miners, factory workers, pilots, etc etc. But let's be honest here; If you're playing a mando on Chaos, You're either playing a Warrior, Armourer, Or both
Just remember: While anyone can follow the other tenants, But following the third is what separates Mando'ad(Mandalorians) from Hut'uun(Cowards.)
Clan: Objectively one of the most important and personal aspects of the creed, Family is and always has been the heart of their society, And their government is centered around these clans. Beneath the beskar are Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons, Brothers and Sisters. It is the this tenant that breathes life into the third, And Mandalorians are expected to live and die for their families. The Clans are not bound just by birth however, But my the simple concept of family itself, Creating bonds that transcend even blood.
Children and even adults, Both human and alien, Can be adopted into a clan and receive the same familial care as those born onto the path of the mandalore. Those adopted into a Mandalorian clan, Be they a foundling or born into a different clan, Receive a "Cin'vhetin" meaning "Virgin snow" or "Clean slate" upon their induction into the clan, And are treated as a new person, A new mandalorian, Who's past mistakes and grudges are erased, Pathing the way for the warrior and the family member to come.
Each clan has their own "Signet" that represents their clan visually. These signets are earned by individuals through kills and conquests, Usually involving some legendary beast they've hunted or battle they've fought. When a new clan has been founded, The clan will take on a name provided by the founder and their signet individual signet will become the symbol of their clan as a whole.
Note: I'm not entirely sure how signets are earned if the individual already belongs to a clan, But I think "Claimed" individuals can probably earn signets still, And just use it to show off while still belonging to a pre-existing clan until they decide to strike out on their own and make a new clan.
Sometimes clans will band together in a long term alliance and form a "House", Presumably through marriages and\or Oaths. These houses usually last for quite some time, And have several clans within their conglomerate. These alliances are usually pretty solid and long term, As they are essentially alliances of families that have known and respected one another for years, Usually intermarrying a number of times in the process.
Language: The Mandalorian language, "Mando'a", Serves to bind Mandalorians together as a people just as much as their Clans and Customs. The language has evolved over time to be as easily spoken as possibly by as many species as possible. The accents are light, Though there are dialects spoken on specific worlds. The language is underdeveloped OOC, But the Mandalorians of chaos have taken to using specific Translator that fills the gaps, Having been developed according to Canon Mando'a to cover what the authors could not. This should not be used to substitute canon mando'a however, Those looking to learn what little mando'a exists OOC should check Mandoa.org.
Common words for roleplay:
Vod =Brother\Sister(Mando'a is a genderless language)
Vod an=Brothers all(Basically "This is the way" before it was cool)
Hut'uun=Cowards(A grave offense, Don't use it lightly)
Beskar'gam=Mandalorian Armour(Iron skin)
Su Cuy'gar=Hello(lit: You're still alive!)
Oya!=(Basically an enthusiastic cheer like "Hell Yeah!")
Dar'manda(A serious insult that should be reserved for the most serious of crimes. A dar'manda is someone that has broken from the creed and is no longer mandalorian.)
The Mand'alor is the Sole Ruler of the planet Mandalore and The Mandalorians. He\She is both a spiritual and military leader, Who's sole task is too serve his\her people and guide Mandalorians through the times while preserving their culture and customs. The Mand'alor is typically the strongest warrior among his\her people, Be he\she Strong on in body or mind, As a master strategist is just as important to the Mando'ad as a paragon of might.
Outside of wartime, The Mand'alor's role is largely political, Handling disputes between clans, Managing resources when needed or overseeing the construction of new defenses and weaponry. Otherwise, The clans are left to their own devices until the Mand'alor has need of them.
In wartime however, All true Mandalorians answer the call of their Mand'alor, Presenting arms and able bodies wherever and whenever possible to stand united under his\her banner and attack other sectors or defend the mandalore sector as the Mand'alor sees fit.
When a The Mand'alor falls, A warrior of strength and vision steps up and makes his\her claim to the title, But it is the clans that must make the decision of who to follow. Should they disagree, Their duty is to remove the unworthy claimant, By force if necessary, And institute a more favorable leader. This means that in theory, Only the strong and the popular will rule, As the claimant must be recognized by the majority of clans. These clans are of course represented by their Clan Alors, Who will vote for whoever they believe to be the most favorable leader.
As with all things on this board however, It's more complicated on Chaos.
Since we operate with a focus on Major Factions, It's not uncommon to have two a single Major faction of Mandalorians and one or more subfactions of non-mandalorian major factions that disagree with that faction IC or OOC, Who claim their leader to be false and blah blah. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they aren't, It's usually fairly subjective.
Speaking purely from an in character view, It makes sense that an independant mandalorian major faction's leader would be seen by most as the Mand'alor, while the others would be considered rebels or splinter factions. This is assuming of course that the Mand'alor in question is upholding Mandalorian believes and the Resol'nare.
If not, Than it makes sense that he\she would be considered a false Mand'alor.
General rule of thumb: Whoever holds Mandalore And holds the loyalty of the most Clan Alors(who follow the resol'nare), Is the Mand'alor.
So you've read my ramblings above, what's next? Now you get to sit through my tips and tricks for starting out and actually playing you Mandalorian long term!
Chapter 2: Getting started and playing your Mandalorian
I'm not going to go into factions and stuff, That's a path that you have to decide for yourself. What I am going to talk about is you and your character as an individual and how playing a Mandalorian according to canon\legends will affect you on chaos and some tips and tricks for getting the feel down.
Let's start with some basics that you should look into during character creation:
You'll want your character to have some desires and goals right out the gate other than "Shoot ppl" and "Hunt Bounties". Trust me, You need to have character goals and wants to play them long term, Otherwise you'll start to give yourself NPC energy, Then you'll get bored and drop either the character or the site altogether. Trust me, We've all been there. Don't fret, Just avoid it if you can.
These desires and goals should be somewhat long term. Even if they'll change over time, They'll drive both you and the character. They can be as simple as hunting for a long lost artifact created by your clan, Rebuilding said clan, Finding your clan maybe? Maybe you're a young mando trying to prove him\herself to the other mandos you know, Or maybe you're not even a mandalorian yet! Maybe you're a warrior that's trying to earn the respect of a clan and join the mandalorians. There's a lot of story opportunities for warrior archetypes. Just make sure that you leave yourself some wiggle room and that things can happen organically and include both yourself and other players. In my experience, That leads to the best stories long term.
Tip: Agency. Make sure that while other players can influence your character's story, That this character ultimately makes their own decisions. Mandalorians are proud warriors, Not soldiers. If you need to leave your clan for awhile and pursue your own life for awhile, Do it! A mandalorian should always follow their heart.
Personality: Once you've gotten these goals figured out, It's time to flesh out the personality. The "Strong silent brooding warrior" trope is overdone and so hard to rp with. You can easily be the quiet one in your party and still add to the story if you play your cards right, But playing an entirely anti-social or mute character will only make your experience harder for you in the end when people start dropping out of threads. Trust me, I know from personal experience, Having dealt with and been that person myself years ago! Aha! ahaha! hah....
Can you tell that I haven't slept?)
Now on to some typical mando mannerisms: If standing in the doorway leaned up against the frame with your arms crossed wasn't "Tough merc vibes" enough for you, Consider "The boba nod", A simple gesture that usually goes something like "He gives __ a low nod" . It's basically how we all say "Sup my fellow mando" without actually saying anything, And it's usually a sign of basic respect among warriors. Trust me, Yes you look cool when you nod in that helmet. Just don't overdo it though, Save it for greeting people as they enter.
There's also the "Keldabe Kiss", Which is essentially when you touch foreheads while wearing a helmet. This can be done slowly and gently with a love interest and is always a touching moment, Or a bit harder to great your friend and battle buddy, Or super fricking hard when you want to hurt your opponent.
Another good one for my fellow edgelords is a form of the "Cathartic chores" trope. Basically, When you're mando is bored or stressed, Start cleaning your weapons like a prepper hearing about covid for the first time. Sharpen a blade, Wipe down a blaster, It gives you something to add to your post during passive dialogue and a chance to show off some gear. Bonus points if you time it right to make some aruetiise uncomfortable when you've had enough of 'em.
(Edit): Another thing to remember, Most mandalorians are calm and collected individuals. You don't have to play a pent up ball of rage just because you shoot people for a living.
And last but not least: The majority of mandalorians dislike or are at least wary of jedi\sith\force users, whom they tend to refer to as "Sorcerers".
Clan Name: Once you've got the personality and stuff figured out, It's time to pick a clan! You can make your own homebrew, Join an existing homebrew clan or just yoink a canon clan name. If you pick a Canon clan, You'll probably run into a number of other clan members, Which means you'll either make friends real fast or find yourself amidst a civil war between clan members within rival factions. Whatever you do, Don't make yourself the "Last true descendant" of any canon clans, You'll just make a mess when you inevitably run into members of that clan that according to your backstory are suddenly "False".
If you make a homebrew clan, Make sure that you don't fiddle with the canon too much. If your clan's history shows up in say, The old republic, the clone wars, the imperial era etc etc than be sure that part of their history is delegated to the background a bit so you don't mess with the canon or look too showoff-ish.
You'll also want to get yourself a signet! don't steal existing signets and while your at it, Don't use the standard mythosaur skull like boba fett has. It's not a signet, it's a symbol to represent mandalorians a whole. Try to at least use a variation of the skull, or some other symbol. There's really no rules for what you can create, So go nuts! If you need inspiration though, Most mandalorian signets have a somewhat tribal feel to them, And if you go by the signets from the show, Usually take after some alien monster but simplified in their artstyle. It's good to include some history regarding how your clan got it's signet or what it means to them too.
And remember, If you're writing up a clan in the codex or trying to join an existing clan, Don't be afraid to throw out and LFG looking for new mandalorians or existing mandos to join! We mandos love recruiting people into our clans and showing them how cool we are haha!(I jest of course, Not all of us are showoffs) And of course, Showing new folks how cool they can become! And as someone who's been the lone mando newbie with no friends or clan, I can tell you right now that an LFG for an upcoming clan would have had me signing up on day one.
Equipment: Now that you have the character's personality and goals fleshed out, You've picked a clan and you're wondering what comes next, It's time for one of my favorite parts: The gear! First off, Before I get into any details, Don't be like me... I'm trying to limit the amount of crap my character carries, Because as funny as This Scene is(Which I have recreated here btw), It gets a little old from the other person's POV. I'm not saying you can't carry three different guns, A grenade, a melee weapon, and maybe boot knife for good measure, But don't be "That Mando" with a gadget for every situation, Leaving people to wonder how you realistically carry all your luggage as you hat pull a new gun, bullet type, electric net, whipcord, specialized knife for specific armour piercing capabilities, poison dart, disruptor, shotgun, etc etc for each and every type of weapon, opponent, or armour you encounter and while somehow lugging it all around at once... Please, I'm begging you, Do not...
Your armour! Sure you can just link a canon item in your bio and call it a day, But it's not terribly original and Chaos' factory system is heaven for a mandalorian. Make your custom Beskar'gam with all your fancy scanners included, The specific materials, The custom gauntlet weaponry hand picked to suit your combat style! The factory is a place to let your evil little mind create the bounty hunter of your dreams, So go for it!
Here's my recommendations for a starting mandalorian kit based on fighting styles:
-Basic carbine or scatter blaster, Include a stun setting.
-Pair of heavy blaster pistols
-Helmet with thermal vision\lifeform scanner
-Light\Medium Beskar'gam made from Duraplast(offers protection from energy, lightsaber or ion damage)
-"Rising phoenix"(jetpack) or rocket-boots(mine jingle like spurs!)
-Armorweave poncho or cape(for that western look)
-Grappling line launcher(can't be cut by lightsabers)
-plasma\fusion cutter for making entries but more quietly than det packs.
-Scattergun\Scatter blaster(Sorcerers can't block everywhere at once)
-Slugthrower pistol(cutting a bullet in half with a lightsaber just means they'll get hit with two smaller shots)
-Heavy Beskar'gam made from Beskar\Duraplast(both offer good lightsaber resistance, Just make it thicc and cover the gaps)
-"Rising phoenix"(Jetpack) to stay out of reach
-Beskad(traditional mandalorian sword) made from beskar\duraplast(so you can duel them in melee too!)
-Sniper rifle or scoped carbine(or smg if that's more your style)
-pair of semi-auto pistols, either blaster or suppressed slug thrower
-helmet with night vision\thermal vision
-Beskar'gam with cloaking device, possibly sound dampeners
-Light Beskar'gam coated in reflec(hides you from scanners)
-plenty of gadgets like smoke grenades, slicer's tools, magnogrip boots etc.
-Repulsor boots for quick getaways or acquiring The High Ground from which to snipe.
Relevant history:The Taung:
(Both legends\canon and Chaos Canon)
The first Mandalorians were the Taung, A race of aliens that kinda looked like predator and wore funky samurai armour and stuff. They lived on Coruscant in a time before the old republic back when the planet still had forests!(basically; they old).
They fought a war against native humans and sort of lost despite holding their own for ages, And then they fled to a planet called Roon. Sometime later, A taung by who is now known as "Mandalore the First" led them to a new world, Which they conquered and renamed "Mandalore", Calling themselves "Mandalorians" from then on. Their worship of war itself led them to take over neighboring worlds and absorb other species into their culture, Transforming what it meant to be Mandalorian forever. The acceptance and constant absorption of others into their creed caused their numbers to spike and their culture to grow and maintain itself to this very day.
This constant expansion had drawn the attention of many, And the bloodshed earned them no shortage of enemies. A Jedi knight known as Reven led a bloody war against them, Pushing him to the darkside even, And driving the Taung to extinction. Through the myriad of species they had brought their culture to however, The Taung legacy still lives through Mandalorians to this day.
Disclaimer: Chaos has existed for many years now, And I cannot possibly recount the entirety of mandalorian history on the board. What follows is a summary of from the chaos timeline updates and\or my own experiences and what I've been told by older mandalorians.
The four hundred year darkness:
A virus known as "The Gulag Plague" spreads throughout the galaxy from roughly 428 ABY into the 800s ABY, Killing untold billions and bringing galactic society as a whole to it's knees. During this time, The Mandalorian religion dies out, And gods are separated from the creed. With the virus dying out as species slowly adapt, Mandalorians return to their ways as wandering warriors.
The Clans unite:
For the first time since the plague, A new Mand'alor by the name of Ra Vizsla had arisen and united the Mando'ad in 848 ABY, And dealt the deathblow to the core world's central power: The Galactic Alliance.
The Red Coronation:
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of Mandalorian Chaos lore next to the fall of mandalore, The Red coronation shaped the current political climate between the clans, Dividing them for as long as I can remember. In 856 ABY, Yasha Cadera(Now "Mand'alor the Infernal") ascended to the throne of Sundarai after the death of Ra Vizsla, Observed by the present Sith Emperor.
Her claim had been challenged by Ronan Vizsla, Alor of House Vizsla. Tensions rose as both parties argued until Vilaz Munin fired a wrist rocket into the crowd, Turning words to violence and pitting the clans against one another in the bloodbath that earned the event its name. Standing alone in front of a shattered throne, Yasha Cadera would go on to become Mand'alor and rule the a divided mandalorian empire for years. Many fled alongside house vizsla or clan munin, And just as many stayed to maintain the shattered empire.
The Fall of Mandalore:
The Sith Empire had fought beside their Mandalorian allies for years, Coming to respect Mand'alor the Infernal and her Mandalorian empire for some time, But as the Mandalorian Empire began to crumble under the strain of invasion, So to did that respect. In an event commonly known as the First Battle of Mandalore, Or "The Fall" to many Mandalorians, The sith empire carved a new hyperspace route and launched a surprise attack against Mandalore, Devastating the planet and the remnants of the Mandalorian Empire in their Betrayal. Mand'alor the Infernal perished and Mandalorians were put to the sword. The people were resettled and exterminated, Their entire culture nearly wiped out.
Now the Sith have turned Mandalore into a polluted hellscape and populated it with "Graug", Renaming the planet "Moridinae" and "New Gratos" in the graug tongue.
Having manipulated Ra Vizsla through resurrection, They had also turned Death Watch against their people since long before the fall, Creating a Sith Aligned Death Watch that now wages war against their people. The survivors of The Fall have scattered across the galaxy, Some with intentions to return and liberate their homeland, Others to first rebuild their culture, and some to capitalize on the chaos and suffering.
Whichever You are, You are now ready to make your way through this universe.The Liberation of Mandalore: