How to Play Midgaard

The Midgaard Players' Guide


Role-playing is exactly what you did as a kid playing "make believe". You pretended to be someone else, and the more consistent and believable you were, the more fun you were to play with. That's exactly what you do when you play Midgaard, too.

Actually there are lots of different forms which role-playing games can take. A very interesting one is played live, that is, with the players gathered physically together, perhaps in costume, inventing their personal roles within an agreed-on structure. This is something like improvisational participatory theater. You do something pretty similar when you play Midgaard, except that instead of physically gathering together with the other players, you play via the mediation of your computer screen, through the medium of the words you type and read, collaborating with players who might be separated from you by oceans and continents. Welcome to the Internet.

How does one role-play? Well, we don't really know of step-by-step how-to kinds of rules. Our basic advice is, believe in your character, and do what your character would do. Just like make-believe in childhood.

We know that's not super helpful, so here are some suggestions. But please take these as simple starting points. Really good role-playing is something you invent for yourself, in part through your own creative imagination, in part by absorbing the techniques you learn from other players. Good luck and have fun!

  • Stay in character. Don't be yourself. Be somebody else. Be consistent about it. Consistency and believability are probably the most important attributes of a really good character.
  • Learn from the experts. Found an experienced character who's interesting and convincing to you? Do what that character does.
  • Borrow attributes from people you know well, or have observed. Literature is one possible source. Think of writers you know whose characters are exceptionally lifelike and believable; and be like those characters. Here's an example from Dickens. In David Copperfield, Mrs. Micowber runs around saying "I never will desert Mr. Micowber". That's about all she ever says, and it's about all you need to believe in her as a personality.
  • It's amazing how something as simple as a verbal tic can seem to realistically define someone's place in the universe. There's a very effective character on TC named Marvin. First thing out of his mouth is nearly always "I'm so depressed"; or "biggest brain in the universe and no-one to talk to." He creates a very strong impression from these simple interactions.
  • Round out your verbalisms by becoming adept at Midgaard's social commands. If your character is obsequious toward those in authority, bow to every cop you pass. Over time the other characters will notice it, and perceive it as part of your character's personality.
  • Exaggerate. Be theatrical.

This isn't definitive, of course. It's just an eclectic collection of suggestions. But that's the point: start with other peoples' suggestions, and evolve your own approaches based on them. The more personal your techniques, the more believable your character. We hope this makes sense!

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