Applied Role Play: Making Your Own Fun

Blogger’s Note: After the ICA=ICC post that I wrote a while back I got a blog idea from a person who asked to remain Anonymous. They asked if I wanted blog ideas, and I told them “yes”. It ultimately turned into them writing the story relating to the topic they believed should be talked about: Making your own fun in game.

I’ve decided to take this concept, illustrating an idea through telling an in character story or two, and cover it under a heading called “Applied Role Play”. If you feel like you have an Applied Role Play story that illustrates a concept, I welcome you to write it up and submit it to r.longfang[at]kitsufox[dot]com.

A Guest Post by By Anonymous Super Awesome Guest Blogger Person

There are many players out there who prefer being some stripe of the “Stoic Loner Archtype”, meaning rogues, scouts, assassins, ect, ect. I’m not coming down on that playstyle by any means, as I currently play a character that can be easily described as an outsider, but what I’m saying is that if you don’t roll into a game as a group you have to learn how to make your own fun.

I did this most recently at a Last Hope game in which I rolled in solo, carrying everything my character owned on his back. Yet, I managed to leave with a Case of fine Syndar (read: Elf) wine, a pocket full of silver, and an open invitation to visit far away lands… all on the dime of the people I “may or may not have just robbed”.

How did I do this you ask?

Well, it all started with a rainy day, a mischievous attitude, and knowing when to spot an opportunity.
A lot of folks are disappointed when it starts raining at a LARP, but not I or any other player who knows the value of information. You see, when it rains folks tend to seek cover, and when under said cover they tend to while the time away with gossip and games, or perhaps revealing a secret to a close friend in a secluded corner. To those with long ears and dreams of brimming coin purses, these moments are worth standing in the rain on the other side of a thin wall for, or buying another round to further loosen tongues. The point being, as I was making friends with fellow travelers waiting out the latest sheets of rain, there was an attack, and as a result there were wounded.

A young Syndar and a few others had taken ill shortly after the attack, which presents several opportunities for roleplay for many different players, healers chief among them, opportunistic cutpurses, more so. Now, depending on your roleplay system and comfort levels, when stealing you can do a verbal or physical pat down, coin pouches tend to make everything easier. I let the player know what I was doing, he agreed and I was able to open the pouch at his belt which we agreed was good enough to signify that I had completed the task, later we would meet up and he would hand me a few coins. Not many, but enough where I had to mind how I walked to avoid jingling. All of this was done under the guise of tending to the wounded, but realizing that sadly my “healing skills” were “inadequate for the task”. Had I not been such a smooth criminal, the process of getting caught would have been great fun indeed.

Which leads me to my second point: there is fun in both positive AND negative consequences. Once you accept that fact, nearly everything you do can spin off into roleplay.

By that time in the game I had new coin burning a hole in my pocket and without some kind of proper Fence to launder my loot, I had to get rid of it. This led me to purchase a trap, and buy the locals a few drinks, which in turn led to a few interesting nuggets about members of the Phoenix Clan that were nearby. As it turns out Phoenix Clan Insignia pins are fiddly little bits of jewelry, why if you brush your hand against them the right way, when applying “first aid” perhaps, that fussy little clasp comes undone.

Luckily I was close to that young Syndar whom I had “assisted” earlier, just in case he dropped something of value. To my complete and total shock, that’s exactly what happened. Now, let me just say that returning things to players if they drop them is the cool thing to do, but a lot of roleplay opportunities are missed when this common courtesy is enacted.

That being said, whether I “may or may not” have arranged for that insignia pin to fall off is irrelevant, because I parlayed returning it into a 20 minute scene between the young Syndar, myself, and a highly distinguished/disappointed member of the young Syndar’s clan. What ensued was a great bit of roleplay that concerned a great deal about the value of symbols and ended with my character parting ways with the insignia pin in exchange for a case of Pheonix wine and passage to their clan’s island, where further business could be discussed.
Not a bad deal for a new character, all because I made my own Fun.

Having that skill on your Personal Character Sheet (read: knowledge in your brain) can enhance any LARP and turn what might have been a boring game into a fun social sparring session.

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