What We Promise and What We Ask
What We Promise
* There is no wrong way to play your character.
The moment your character sheet is in your hands, it's all your responsibility. You can't do it wrong. Just embrace the roleplay and see where it leads you. We're as curious to see how it all turns out as you are.
* What You Need To Know To Play Will Fit On A Few Sides Of Paper
This one's really hard and we may not manage this for everyone, although we will try. The game has a rich background and we love exploring it, but there's a difference between background and the things you need to enable you to play in this world. The latter, we will mark clearly and keep succinct. You may be provided with copious additional briefing materials but it will be opt-in – if you only read the pages m,arked as core, on the way to the game in the car, you will still have the bare minimum you need to know in order to enter play.
* We will tell you what your characters know, but try not to tell you what they feel.
Your characters will receive data based on situations they have witnessed or been present at, or inferences they have made based on background knowledge they have which the player may not have. We will try very hard never to tell you what a character feels; that is yours to decide. Where we do so, it will be because it's integral to the characters journey to that point.
* We will often try to fool the character, but never the player
The briefing materials and game actuation documents are written to a hierarchy of lies – what you see will always be what your character believes to be true. Objective truth is harder to come by but we will never try and make a fool of the player through the briefing we give the character. Sometimes we may even break the fourth wall to point out to the player that something the character believes is objectively untrue, to give the player more options in how they deal with that.
* There are no prizes for coming home with arrows in your quiver.
We will not give you levers to pull on the expectation you will not pull them - but the choice to do so, or not do so, is yours and yours alone. It's worth bearing in mind this is a one-off game, run over one weekend. If you don't use that superweapon now, when are you going to use it? Or maybe the threat alone of using it is enough. Either way, the game doesn't have an expectation of you in this regard. Do what seems right for the character.
* This is about power, but maybe not the way you think.
In a game about magicians and the bizarre laws they live by one might expect the relative power of their skill in magic to play a significant part. In fact, it's almost irrelevant save in the way it provides access to the more fluid power of political strength and the ability to effect change. Every character will have, somewhere in their setup, the ability to make a difference to the game world – and that ability will almost never be anything to do with how big their wand is.
What We Ask For From You
* Try To Be True to the Experience You Want In The Answers You Give To The Questionnaire
We will try to build a character for you that matches up with the answers you give to the pre-event questionnaire. Where you can do so, please be as up-front as possible about what you want to play and what you enjoy, because these will be the tools we use to tailor your character experience. We have deliberately made the choices binary for the first ten questions - the hard decisions begin here.
* Embrace the character journey and don't fear change
Your character will have a worldview and goals within that world. But no character is a monolith, or an intractable rock. Be prepared to be swayed by argument, appeals to reason, appeals to passion. Embrace causes and be swept along by them. Your briefing is a starting point and your game experience a journey – we don't expect you to end where you started.
*...But don't fear taking (and defending) extreme positions either.
Many of the characters at the game, because of the way they have lived their lives, will be at the extreme ends of certain arguments. They will have good reason to be where they are, and those good reasons may be opaque. One of the tensions of the game is the comfort of tradition versus the risk of change, and the Greater Alps can be a very comfortable place.
* Embrace the culture of the game background
Most character in this game will be part of a magical tradition – a House – which has shaped their thinking and beliefs for decades if not centuries. Play to your house stereotypes – they are there for a reason – and explore the nooks and crannies of your differences with the other Houses. Equally, most if not all characters will have been part of the Order all their lives and as such will be as naturally law-abiding as most people in any culture are. Don't break the Code for no good reason.
* This Dial Goes To Eleven...
Many of the characters in the Greater Alps are very old and, as such, very weird. It is home to one House generally regarded as the weirdest in the Order. Many of the luminaries are well on their way into one form or another of magical extremity. This is an opportunity to go big. No, bigger than that. Imagine a room full of loud, over-the-top wizards wearing what they imagine to be their sunday best to their biggest social occasion, and someone has put LSD in the punch. Now transpose that to the House of Lords.
* ...And Also All The Way Down To Zero
However, not everyone is like that. The Greater Alps are also home to the House most concerned with blending in and being a part of the world of the mundane; whose concerns may seem like small potatoes to the Order but whose work keeps it alive and intact. Not everyone is old and raddled with Twilight and magical addicition; and the young may feel disempowered and disenfranchised by the structures of power. This is also an opportunity to go earnest – to argue the plight of those without magic, to remind the great and the powerful that someone still has to farm the fields and pray for souls. Imagine a room full of New England puritans, and a small glass of fruit cordial. Now film it in black and white.
Rules and Techniques