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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:42 pm
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Amtgard Roleplay Philosophy or How Roleplay in Amtgard should be done. (ripped from

We like to think that Amtgard has a well-considered design philosophy. Actually, we make up rules and rationalise them later. But "philosophy" sounds better than "rationalisations."

Play Objectives
The game is all about the playing. It's fun to workshop and socialise, but the success of Amtgard lies in the events. Specifically, it lies in achieving immersion for the players and crew. That's when you really feel like you are your character, and that the environment is real. Note the word "feel". You don't actually believe that you're a hero in a medieval world. That's called psychosis. Don't get the two confused.

So how can we achieve immersion?

Look right
When everyone around you is wearing suitable costume you're more inclined to have a gut reaction that the setting is "real". That's why we ask for everyone to be appropriately costumed. Not because we're aiming for historical authenticity, but because we want it to feel right.

Get the environment right
This is something that players have less control over, but as organisers we should try to get the venue looking as good as possible. We should try to dress up the interior of the court with hangings, tableclothes, and candleabra. We use special effects to enhance scenes. We'd like to do more: let us know if you have affordable suggestions.

Act right
Immersive roleplaying is not about being a good actor, or being dramatic or impressive. It's about acting as if you were your character. It's easier to achieve immersion when other people are trying to achieve it too. When other players want to "get powerful", or "solve quests", or "impress people" they usually screw up immersion for everyone around them. Try to be your character, and you'll make it easier for everyone else to do the same. Your first objective is to help other people immerse in their characters by doing it yourself.

Live Roleplaying as Improvisional Theatre
LARP is like improvisational theatre. You play a character, inventing their actions as you go. Some people argue that LARP isn't theatre because there is no audience, or because the rules restrict your actions. Regardless, LARP involves improvising a persona, so we can learn a lot from improvisational theatre.

What follows are some concepts and techniques that are well known in improvisionational theatre circles. If you want to know more, I recommend finding and reading Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone.

Blind Offers
One of the fundamental concepts in improvisation is that the past and present are unknowns. If you walk into a room and sit down, and another person behind a desk says "what seems to be the problem?" nobody knows what's happening. Maybe they're a doctor and you're their patient, or lawyer and client, or circus ringmaster and lion tamer. The question is a blind offer. You can improvise any response, and that becomes the "reality" of the scene. It's called a blind offer because the person making it doesn't know where you will take it. If you say "I keep hearing voices in my head", suddenly the scene is the first visit of a patient to a psychiatrist.

This technique is seldom used in conventional LARP because players usually have a strong sense of their character, and are worried about inventing ideas that contradict the Game Masters' view of the setting. Because of this players may ignore a blind offer if it doesn't suit their self-concept (see Blocking), or accept it in a way that creates minimum change. But blind offers can still be very useful in a LARP, especially one like Amtgard where many of the details of the setting should be invented by players anyway. The trick is to know where the blank spaces are in the setting, and fill them in.

If another player says to you "When I was a child, I was approached by them," it could be a blind offer. You could then incorporate something from your own background into their story: "You don't mean, the Red Hand approached you? What did you do?" If they play along, you may find yourself creating a sub-story together that expores a whole new area of the Mordavian background. If there's a GM present, or you mention the conversation to one, you will probably find that your moment of improvisation has become part of the setting.

The beauty of a blind offer is that from an observer's viewpoint it appears the whole thing was perfectly planned out in advance. The people involved appear to have common context that they are sharing, when in fact they are cooperating to invent it as they go. You'll never know which things are written into character backgrounds, which are introduced by GMs, and which are invented on the spot. And that's how we envisage Amtgard, in perpetual creation by the combined imagination of all the participants.

We want to be in control of their lives. This can have some unfortunate effects when we are improvising, because we regard our character as an extension of ourselves and try to protect it, even when it would be more fun or interesting to lose control.

Imagine that a stranger approaches you and says "I haven't seen you since that time when we were in jail together in Borsa!" You may be inclined to reply "you've got the wrong person". This is called blocking. While it's a perfectly reasonable response, it's also the response that protects your character from unwanted change. If you go along with the suggestion you open up a lot of fun possibilities. Letting your character be changed is what makes the story.

Be aware of when you are blocking, and why. Doing it occasionally is fine, but if it's your default behaviour then you might want to re-consider your approach. There are a couple of games you can try with a friend to get a feel for blocking. In the "No But" game, you block any suggestion that your partner has made, then make one of your own. Your partner does the same. Such a game might go like this:

No, but
"Don't I know you from somewhere?"
"That's not possible. But I knew your mother, Gert"
"My mother was called Fran. Perhaps your memory is faulty?"
"I've got a mind like a steel trap. I'm a scholar from the Carpathian University of Magic, you know"
"You're clearly deluded, I'm a graduate of the University and I've never seen you before"
And so on.

Clearly, any interaction in this game is going to be stagnant. No plot will develop, the characters will not progress, and both the participants and any audience will be left with a sense of pointlessness. This is a rather extreme example of the undesirable consequences of blocking.

By comparison, in the "Yes And" game you never block at all. Rather, you accept your partner's suggestion, then make one of your own:

Yes, and
"Don't I know you from somewhere?"
"Sure, didn't we meet at the Carpathian University of Magic? I was a student there."
"That's right, I was working as a librarian. Wasn't the library scary?"
"Did you ever get to see the forbidden collection? I hear those books could drive men mad!"
"They say that's what happened to the Kastler of the Black College, and he's never been seen since."
And so on.

With the blocking removed, every line can introduce more material to work with, and it's likely that the characters will progress and a story develop. It's even better when "Yes And" is applied to action. "Let's go into the forest to hunt." "Yes, it's time we brought those bandits we saw earlier to justice." etc. Of course, it's not always practical at a LARP to agree with every suggestion made because it may conflict with existing information that the suggester isn't aware of. Regardless, these games demonstrate the value of avoiding blocking where possible.

In the Impro book mentioned above, Keith Johnstone expores the concept of status in terms of how personal interactions usually involve underlying dynamics of power and respect. Like most concepts in improvisation, status is not only useful in theatrical environments, but applies equally to your real life. Be aware that thinking about status transactions may change your perceptions of people and social interaction in the real world.

I'll expand more on status later, but for the moment consider these questions: does your character want to dominate others, or do they prefer to follow? If your character has high status, are you aware that them losing status is inherently amusing to bystanders? In fact, any change of status makes for entertaining, even riveting watching. What are the mannerisms of someone who wishes to appear socially dominant, compared to someone who wants to appear socially submissive? The most egotistical of people can learn "play low status", and the most weak-kneed can learn the mannerisms of a dominant character. What type of person are you in life? Would you like to experiment with being the other sort? Understanding status and status exchanges is one of the keys to characterisation, and will frequently answer the question "what would my character do now?" when roleplaying social situations. Anyhow, more detail on how status applies to LARP later.

The Golden Rule
Try to make everyone else look good. If everybody follows this guideline, rather than trying to make themselves shine as a roleplayer, the overall event will be lifted immensely.

 Post Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 1772
Wanted to bump this thread and see if we can sticky note it?


The general who advances without seeking fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do service for his sovereign, is the jewel of his kingdom. -Sun Wu

 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Eagleshire
Stickied at your request.

[align=center]Sirrakhis Larethian of the Emerald Hills
House Larethian-Got Newbs?

 Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:03 am
Posts: 5
Ug hello Gug'ye goodbye
Yub yes Nub no
Me me, myself, I Lat you
Hoowah! hoorah! Skah! *exclamation of contempt*
Har! ha ha Rulg thanks
Blah talk Gruk understand

Traditional Words
These are words and phrases commonly used by the Orcs of Warcraft

Throm'ka hello (formal, respectful)
Dabu yes, with pleasure (obedient, respectful)
Zugzug yes, if I have to (obedient, respectful)
Lok'tar get ready, pay attention (and stop talking!)
Lok'tar Ogar! get ready for glorious battle

Good and Bad
Orcs enjoy teasing one another, as well as taunting the lesser races, but would never use human language to deliver an insult!

Bubhosh great, big Snaga slave
Nubhosh bad, small Buub pig
Pushdug stinky Glob fool

Sleeping and Waking
Even when you are apologizing for going linkdead in the middle of a fight, you can express it in an Orcish way rather than using human language. Surri, me blak'd owt agh nub kuld wayk ub!

Wayk ub log in Gu nap log out or afk
Mud lag Muddi experiencing lag
Blak owt go linkdead

Fighting Words
Klomp attack, kill Flat dead
Mojo magic, buffs Flesh resurrect
Krimp stun, root, snare, daze, etc. Lurnin experience
/em bleeds need healing Uzg land, world
Bait pull Blezd gain a level

Clomp'r warrior Shaman shaman
Sneek'r rogue Hunt'r Hunter
Warlok warlock Magi mage
Xoo druid Kwak priest
Tincan Paladin

Orc orc Olog troll
Kow tauren Nubded undead
Shara human Gazat dwarf
Snaak gnome Buurzalbai night elf
Gobo goblin

Weapons and Weapon Users
Lusk axe Womp hammer/club
K'igg spear Zult sword
O'lig bow Boomstik gun
Ligz arrows Boomrokz bullets
Blok shield Stik staff
Dub paw two-handed Boom bomb
Lusk'r axe-user Womp'r mace-user
Ligz'r bow-user Boomstik'r gun-user

Simply extrapolate the pattern for other types of weapon users.

An Orc may count to different degrees depending on why and how often the Orc needs to count. Those involved in trade may understand that ash'zuth is "ten", while others may count their hands HH, and others simply may not be able to count that high H!. Zuth zero Hash or Blug six
Ash one Hdub or Udu seven
Dub two Hgakh or Tukh eight
Gakh three Hfuth or Krith nine
Futh four HH or Ash'Zuth ten
H or Krak five H or HHH, etc. many

Old Orc
Long ago, the ancient orcs of Draenor spoke a language that we now call Old Orcish. Although Old Orcish is no longer spoken, a few words remain in use today.

The following is all that is known about Old Orcish, and it is based entirely upon Tolkien's Black Speech.

agh and albai elf (or) elves (n)
amal where (relative) ash one
bagronk dung-pit (n) búbhosh great (adj)
bugd- call (v) burguul shadow ('burz + guul') (n)
burzum darkness (n) buub pig (n)
buurz dark (adj) dug filth (n)
durb- rule (v) durub ruler (n)
dush sorcery, magic (n) duump doom (v)
fauth- lie hidden (v) gaakh let it be that
gakh three gazat dwarf (n)
ghaash (ghâsh) fire (n) ghaashum heat (n)
gimb- find (v) glob fool (n)
goi city (n) golug elves (n)
goth lord, master (n) gund stone (n)
guul (gûl) wraith (n) hai folk (n)
hosh guts (n) ilid elf or elves (n)
krak five krimp- bind (v)
krith nine lat you
lata- under (prep) lug tower (n)
m- root of interogatives mal where? (interrog)
mat- die (v) matuurz mortal (adj)
mog voice (n) narkuu never
nazg ring (n) nuut sky (n)
olog Troll (n) prakh- lure (v)
pushdug stinking (adj or participle) ronk pool (n)
sha together with (prep) shakh lord (n)
shara man (n) sharkuu (sharkû) old man (n)
skai or skah exclamation of contempt snaga slave (also used by Uruk-hai as 'orc ofsmaller breed'
srinkh- gather (v) (transitive) ta him
tab his tak them
tala above thrak- bring (v)
throqu- devour (v) tug only (adv)
u to (prep) udu seven
uliima throne (n) uruk larger breed of orcs (n)
uzg land (n) za this
zagh mountain pass (n)

-at verb infinitive -hai people (collective plural)
-i or -u noun plural after consonant -ishi in (a suffixed postposition: burzum-ishi,"in the darkness")
-ob of (case suffix) -ub- verb future tense suffix
-ug verb present active participle -uga verb past passive participle
-uuk (-ûk) all -ul them
-um -ness, -yness (n) -uur for (case suffix)
-uurz a common adjective-forming suffix -z noun plural after vowel
a- prefixed to an interrogative makes itinto a relative

Extrapolated words
gunduurz stony, rocky, rough (adj) duguurz filthy, dirty (adj)
shara-hai mankind (n) globuurz foolish, silly (adj)
bagronk-ishi ill, dying (literally 'in the dung-pit') snaguurz fawning, groveling (adj)

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:03 am
Posts: 5
I thought it was a good idea to post this for any one who wishes to play a tribal based barbar

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