Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    20 (or so) Roleplaying tips and suggestions

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    cenobyte
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    20 (or so) Roleplaying tips and suggestions

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 2 Sep 2008 - 13:56

    Here are a few tips and suggestions for good roleplaying:

    1. Don't share your character sheet/character stats with anyone who is currently playing a character in the game.
    Basically, there are IC processes that can be used to find out information about other characters. Don't sidestep those processes and just toss over your character sheet (this leads into #2) and take the fun out of discovery for someone else.

    *Exception to the rule: If you're building a new character, or if you need help with character development, and the Storyguide isn't available to help you, find someone who knows the game really well...someone you trust.

    2. Don't assume you know things IC just because you know them OOC.
    If someone *does* show you their character sheet OOC, you cannot use any of the information that you saw on that character sheet against (or in aid of) that character. You must learn things IC in order to be able to use them.

    Using OOC knowledge IC is called "metagaming", and it is a form of cheating. So if you don't know the name of the bank that the Ventrue works at IC, then ask IC. If you leave it until coffee and ask then, when you're OOC, and turn around and use that information in game, you're cheating.

    3. If you don't know something OOC, then you don't know it IC.

    Regardless of whether "my character would know this", if you don't remember or if you don't know, then **ask IC**. That's why you're roleplaying. And, this is where the game gets interesting - you might ask seven characters the same question, and get seven different answers.

    4. Use game mechanics to find out and share information.


    Rather than just asking someone point blank: "who's your best friend?", you should be using your character's skills and abilities to find out what you need to know. F'rinstance, in Vampire, there is a system to find out whether someone is lying - use it!! In Kingdom Come, there is a very easy way to tell what kind of creature someone is, or what their Path is; you get to be subtle.

    5. Stay in character.

    If someone asks you something, and you don't know the answer, you can just say, "I don't know". You don't need to ask the Storyguide every time. Some things, you can make up. Some things, you probably shouldn't. But above all, please, please, PLEASE don't go OOC and use the bullhorns (which is the only OOC symbol used to indicate OOC in this game) to spend the next fifteen minutes explaining your motivation OOC during a scene.

    6. If you must go OOC, use the bullhorns to indicate you're OOC.


    If you must be OOC for an extended period of time, please leave the game play area. Don't just hang out outside the door or over in a corner of the room; please find somewhere away from IC folks so that you don't disrupt them.

    As a corollary, if you need to leave the room for something, your character leaves the room. It's pretty difficult to convince everyone in the room that the dime sitting on the couch is actually Lothar, Barbarian of Utraal for the next ten minutes while you get your fries. Excuse yourself IC if you must leave, and inform the Storyguide of where you are IC.

    7. Make up stuff.


    If someone asks you, "where does the Black King hang out on a regular basis?", you don't have to tell the truth (unless you have a vice that makes you tell the truth all the time, of course); if you don't know, you can make something up. Granted, if you make something up that is blatantly untrue, chances are good you're going to get caught in an IC lie.

    As a corollary to this rule, don't assume that whatever someone tells you IC is the Gods' honest truth. If you go to your Storyguide and say, "Jimmy the Nos told me that I could find the Brujah Primogen in the third dumpster from the right behind the North Gate Safeway, so I throw a molotov cocktail in there just before dawn", chances are really good you've just caused massive aggravated damage to some Nosferatu peon who pissed Jimmy off. Do your homework.

    Corollary 2: Make up stuff OOC about your character if you want to, too. If someone asks you, "hey, where's your haven?", you can tell them *whatever you want*, as long as the Storyguide knows the truth. If there is someone who's into metagaming, this is a great foil, and your Storyguide heartily encourages the ripping of yarns. Er, not in the knitting sense, though; the cat does that and it angers me.

    *Exception: If you don't *want* to be labelled as a liar IC, then don't lie IC. And don't make stuff up IC. Due diligence and all.

    Nota Bene: Don't lie to the Storyguide. That won't end well.

    8. Use the downtime system.

    The downtime system in any game is designed to add flavour to the game, and to allow you to do things that you simply wouldn't have time for at the game. The more creative your downtime actions, the more flavour you add to the system, and to the game as a whole. That usually translates as "more fun".

    9. Use costuming & makeup to help yourself get into character.

    Maybe putting on that special pair of stripey socks is what really gets you into the mind of Half-noon, your Bone Gnawer Theurge. Or spending two hours covering your face in latex and horns for Ux, the Infernal Avarice you've been playing, really gets you into his mind. It could be as simple as a necklace or some hair gel; it could be a lot more involved (I've known people who carry hockey bags with several different costume changes, and a wheeled makeup case to LARPs. I may or may not be one of them).

    It's not all about Devoted Zeal and 'getting stuff' for your costume; it's about finding something, whether small or extravagant, that helps *you* get in to character, or which indicates that you *are* in character. The nature of the beast is that when the Storyguide sees a lot of effort put in to costuming, the Storyguide is wont to reward you - for folks whose costumes are less extravagant, it might not be as obvious that you're wearing a costume, but as long as it helps you get in character and stay in character, it's a good thing, right?

    10. Write a backstory.


    It doesn't have to be a treatise or manifesto. It doesn't even have to be a story. It might just be a few point-form ideas that answer...where does your character come from? What motivates her? Why does he get out of bed in the morning? Where does her income come from? What's that thing on his nose? Who are his closest friends? Does she have pets? Does she eat pets? Etc.

    When you write a backstory and give it to your Storyguide, it opens up dozens of new avenues for you to navigate in terms of plot...the Storyguide will be able to bring plot hooks and twists into the game, and that helps make you the star of the show.

    11. Be Nice, be respectful OOC.

    You can be the world's biggest dink IC, but the minute you fly off the handle and threaten someone or insult someone or generally make a poop of yourself OOC, nobody's going to want to play with you. That sounds very sandbox-ish, but it's true. There were so many people asking for the Storyguides to remove a fellow from the game in Saskatoon that the Storyguide team didn't even bother waiting for that person to screw up; there was a sit-down meeting and that person was asked not to play anymore. It made the game a lot better for everyone. So please, be nice, and be respectful OOC.

    12. Remember the rule of 'YES'.

    Often, if someone asks you a question IC that can be answered with a 'yes' or 'no', it's better to go with "Yes", simply because 'no' often shuts doors. Obser-ave:

    "Oh, hello Kilial. It's been a long time, hasn't it, my old adversary?"
    "Yes, it certainly has, if you consider two days a long time."

    Versus

    "Oh, hello Kilial. It's been a long time, hasn't it, my old adversary?"
    "No, not really."

    Rule of yes. Use it. Use it wisely. Use it often.

    13. Don't be afraid to shout, storm about, and generally make a fool of yourself IC.

    This is LARP. If you don't get to scream "What the hell is the MATTER with you people!?" at the tops of your lungs here, you might never get another chance...

    14. You make your own stories.


    Your intrepid storyguide likes character-driven plot. While she is providing you with the game and some stories of her own, it is your responsibility as a LARPer to make your own stories, and to make sure you have fun. If you don't like sitting in a corner all night staring at people's ankles, then don't make a character who's completely antisocial. Or, you know, a cat.

    15. The Storyguide also makes the stories.

    Before you talk about what gang is plaguing the city with machetes, or the Great Noodle Factory Explosion of nineteen-aught-two, realise there are some things you might want to check with the Storyguide. Unless you don't mind the Storyguide telling someone else who's asking, "uh...sure, you can investigate that. No-one's ever heard of it.", essentially making you look like a big, fat, pants-on-fire liar. Don't kerb your creativity, but do please remember that there is more than one story being told at any game.

    16. Remember that IC alliegances and enemies are part of the game.


    Just because Baxter bursts out in steady streams of curses and screams at you to get the hell away from him every time he sees you, doesn't mean that Baxter's player has a problem with you.

    17. OOC allegiances and enemies should *not* be part of the game.

    Please try to play outside your normal social group...it's fine to bring in a congregation of your seven closest friends, but you're going to have waaaay more fun (and so are other people) if you play with everyone in the room, not just your BFFs. I can't believe I used the term "BFF". Someone shoot me. Also, if you've just had a big snit with Luke, the guy who plays the Tremere Prince, try to put that aside for the sake of the game. I don't want you not to have fun, but it's no good to hobble yourself game-wise.

    18. Share your stories!

    Your favourite scenes, your favourite characters, your favourite games...after the game is over, and the socialising has begun, tell your stories and share your favourites (and your not-so-favourites (*cough* three-point-invisible-storm-trooper-armour and wrist-mounted crossbows loaded by trained ferrets who live in your backpack *cough*), if there are any). Above all, LARP is a social activity.

    Corollary: know when to stop.

    19. The more involved you are, the more fun you'll have.

    There's usually something for everyone to do. If you're finding yourself at a loss time and time again, ask the Storyguide to bring in an element of your backstory, or stab the Knight in the foot when no one's looking. Then blame that guy.

    20. Let yourself go.

    Just...play!


    Last edited by cenobyte on Tue 9 Sep 2008 - 6:49; edited 2 times in total
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    cenobyte
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    And...

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 2 Sep 2008 - 18:44

    21. Please be respectful of your Storyguide's and your fellow players' time.

    It takes a lot of work to pull off a game, particularly when you're trying to balance the wants and desires of many people. This is something that bothers me personally, so please try to respect my wishes here. If you are going to come to the game to play a character, I will give you every opportunity I can to make the game an awesome place to be (whether I'm a Storyguide or a player). But if you're showing up and then farting around OOC, or buggering off to do something else like play your game boy all night, I get a little peevish.

    I think it has something to do with saying you're going to do something (either implicitly or explicitly) and then not doing it. And I find it insulting....and I'm not easily insulted, as you may already know. What a Face

    So if you don't want to game, please leave. If something has happened to your character and you've fallen unconscious or you're kidnapped and holed away somewhere, that's a different story. People who are OOC in a game area, though, or near a game area, tend to draw other people away from the game, and I find that a little disturbing.

    Please, be respectful of the time that your Storyguide and fellow players have put in to the game.
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    Corral

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    Re: 20 (or so) Roleplaying tips and suggestions

    Post by Corral on Wed 3 Sep 2008 - 9:08

    I just wanted to add my own observations about points 3, 5 and the corollary to 6 (basically "stay in character", "stay in character even if you've forgotten something your character should know", and "stay in character even if you need to leave the room").

    As a recent newb, I understand the temptation to go OOC often. Every time you turn around there's something you don't know how to do or say IC, and it would be so easy to go OOC. It will take time and experience before these urges weaken, and I tend to agree that sometimes you have to do it, but make sure you have a very good reason every time. Every time, try to do it IC first - you might just be surprised at how often IC methods work.

    As an example, last game I had Oliver's letter and I wanted to try a technique on it. The storyguide was out of the room. I could set down the letter and leave, but then if I found something, it would seem awfully odd when I announced it ten minutes after putting it down, and why did I leave the room and come back? Or I could pretend to read until the SG came back. Or I could go into the hallway with the letter and risk getting accused of trying to steal it - but the hallway was much lighter and there's always the answer that I wanted to read in the light. Or I *could* steal it, and read it in downtime. Or, of course, I could go OOC, announce to everyone that I'm in the corner of the room here still reading, and leave, doing the bull-horns all the way out in case I run into someone who's IC.

    Every one of those choices has its own risk, and the new players especially will probably be tempted to go for the OOC solution, but the longer you play, the more you realize that the OOC disruption makes it less fun for everyone, and one of the other actions is probably best.

    On the other hand, I think sometimes it's necessary to go OOC. Take when Shapurnippal announced he was from Winnipeg and, when asked if he knew me, said no. His character had been made just prior to the game and I had not known he was from the same city as me, never mind had time to discuss it with him. But I was the Black Rook in Winnipeg, I had cleared that with the SG, and letting him say that he didn't know me would tie his character down to a nasty situation - either being completely unaware about his own city, having lied, or some such. I guess I could have said, "What, you don't recognize your Black Rook?" but then why didn't he?

    Actually, the more I think of it, I probably should have said that. (I am still learning, and I know that.) It conveys exactly the same information IC as I did OOC, with less disruption - if the other players are good, they will smooth down the wrinkle without trying to exploit it. If someone was really focussing on that, "What, Shapurnippal, were you lying just now? Why?" we could have gone OOC then in order to explain the misunderstanding. Or, and Jill might condone this, we could have just gone with it.

    I do think there are times when it's worth it, but as you play, you'll find those times occurring less and less often, because you'll get better at doing it IC. (snicker, doing it IC) But have heart, and don't feel useless or stupid just because you're not good at it yet. As long as you're *trying* I think we can all put up with a few mistakes while you're learning.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: 20 (or so) Roleplaying tips and suggestions

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 3 Sep 2008 - 9:12

    Very good points, and very good examples.

    That's basically my point about IC stuff, in a far more succinct nutshell.

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    Re: 20 (or so) Roleplaying tips and suggestions

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