A few notes for good practice…
Welcome to Treasure Trap! You’ve probably seen enough by now to know what Live Roleplay is – if you haven’t, look at this page – but it’s not always obvious how to make the difference between TT being dressing up in silly costumes and hitting each other, and being an involving and interesting roleplay event in which you can really get into the motivations and actions of your character.
TT has been described as being a bit like freeform acting, and that’s not a bad description. It’s probably more helpful to think of it like this than like a game. So, like acting, you should be thinking of your character’s motivations, and trying to give as convincing an impression of your character as possible. You should be thinking of the effect events will have on your actions, not just on your hit points; and of how you can make the event more convincing and in-character for the other players. Because if we’re not going to do that, then really we might as well just sit at home and throw dice.
Here are a few tips that might help you to get on the right track. These aren’t getting at anyone particular. If any of them reads like it refers to you personally, then it probably just means that you’ve fallen into a common trap.
- Assume ignorance. Think about it – you’re, say, a fighter. Durholme’s a complicated world. Magic is fairly secret – you can only learn spells at the authorised guilds. Why would you know anything much about spells? You’d know that there are people called mages, who do things which are… well, magic. Maybe you’ll have seen a few spells. If you’re from outside Durholme you might not even know this much. The same goes for detailed knowledge of most churches; knowledge of what martial skills there are – whatever you have no good reason to have learned. If in doubt, assume you don’t know something. Don’t use out-of-character knowledge in-character.
- Don’t use out-of-character words in-character. The Skill Based System – the rules – exist out-of-character (OOC), as an approximation to the in-character (IC) world. Try not to use words from the system in-character. Don’t say, “it’s OK, I used subdual damage” – say, “I think I just knocked him out” (remember, just because a skill has a definite effect in the skills system doesn’t mean that things like that are any more certain in-character than they are in real life). Don’t say, “do rec magic on it” – say, “can you tell if it’s magic or anything?” (and bear in mind the previous point – while you might know OOC that mages can do rec magic, you might not know it IC). If you refer to features of the system which exist in-character too, try to use different words – “fire magic of the fourth arcana” not “level four red spell”.
- Don’t make out-of-character remarks. Yes, we’ve all noticed that there’s a Tesco bag floating in the Pool of Wisdom, or that the person playing the evil witch is the same person who played the dying maiden 5 minutes ago; but if you remark on it, you might completely spoil the feel of an encounter for someone else, and probably for yourself. Just because your hand’s in the air doesn’t mean that it doesn’t distract other players just as much as if you’d made the remark in-character. Try to build up atmosphere, not destroy it. Try to always act as in-character as you can, and communicate things in-character. Don’t say, “I think I can hear what they’re saying (OOC, I’m using Acute Hearing)”; or “the mage is the one at the back (*hand in the air* the one played by Marios)”. If you can’t get something across in-character, then your character probably can’t either, so don’t say it. If you need to talk to a ref, do it in the least distracting way possible. Don’t tell all your friends how your new character is a dodgy assassin who’s trying to kill them all. True, they don’t know it in-character, but it’ll make it a lot harder for them to roleplay well with your character.
- Roleplay when you fight. You’ve been hit with a sword five or six times. Yes, your character sheet may tell you that you still have at least one point on every location, but you’re hardly going to feel it top physical condition. When you are hit with a sword, the blade slices into your skin, or crushes your flesh. You’re not going to be thinking about your next hit for a moment – you’re going to be thinking “OW that hurts”. Roleplay your injuries, perhaps be a bit less effective when you’re back in the fight; because, however many points you may have left, you’re hurt. You might be angry about this, you might be upset, scared, or gritting your teeth; but you’re going to have noticed.
There’s a lot more to roleplaying than this, but if you keep these things in mind, a lot more will fall into place. It’s a lot easier to play your character convincingly if people aren’t making out-of-character comments at you, and your character will develop personality in the way that they react to things like injury, rather than just going “5 hits… 2 hits… 1 hit… unconscious”. Keep thinking of Treasure Trap as playing a role, not trying to win a game; and you won’t go far wrong.