Introduction - Freshers, Read This First!

Hello, and welcome to the website for Albion, the '07-'08 Roleplaying Games Society freeform game. If you've never played any sort of roleplaying game before, never fear! Here's a quick introduction. If you're a seasoned roleplayer, feel free to skip to the sections below!

One important thing to be aware of first:

You don't need to read this entire website!

There's a lot of material here, and you certainly don't need to know all of it to start playing. Read only what interests you and what's relevant to a character you might like to play! Good places to start are:

  • This Page - contains a quick-start guide to what you need to know about roleplaying!
  • The Setting page - gives you a general idea of what the world of Albion is like.
  • The Religion page - talks in general terms about Religion in the Albion gameworld, and how it might impact on your game.
  • The Organisations page - an overview of some of the groups your character might belong to.
  • The Game Start page - gives quick logistical details of how to get to the first game.
  • The Character Generation page - once you have an idea for a character, gives you information on how to bring them to life in the game!

What Does It All Mean?

There are a few acronyms used throughout the website which might be a little confusing if you've never played before. Never fear - help is at hand! And if you're confused by anything, feel free to email us to ask questions!

  • OOC or OC - Out of Character. Events and circumstances in the real world. For example, Albion sessions take place OOC at Worcester College every Tuesday in term.
  • IC - In Character. Events and people in the Albion gameworld. For example, Albion sessions take place IC at the King's Court every six months.
  • GM - Game Master or Game Moderator. Us! The team of people who write, run and maintain the game for your playing pleasure. The first place to turn if you have a question.
  • PC - Player Character. You! The characters that Albion players create and represent in the fictional world. You will usually play the same PC every week through the course of the game, though you may switch or retire a character if you get bored.
  • NPC - Non-Player Character. Us again! Important characters (such as the King and important Ambassadors) who are present at Court but played by a GM. NPCs will usually vary week-to-week, and GMs will often play several NPCs during a game session.

What's a Roleplaying Game?

A Roleplaying game is somewhere between amateur dramatics and collaborative storytelling. You turn up, create a character to play, and play them! There are no scripts or lines, no set outcomes to what will happen - just a setting, a bunch of other characters to interact with, and some GMs to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Albion is specifically a freeform roleplaying game, which means that instead of narrating your character's actions during game sessions, you actually perform them; you turn up each week, walk around and talk to other characters, make deals, trade news, gossip, diplome, eavesdrop and orate. This doesn't mean you need to be a great public speaker - just be able to speak as your character would!

For various reasons, combat and other harmful activities aren't possible during Court sessions - if anything unusual has to happen which can't be acted out, the GMs will freeze the scene and describe what occurs.

Most importantly - Roleplaying is about having fun and creating stories with other players. Absolutely no experience is required to play the Society Game (indeed, it's designed to offer an easy route in for new roleplayers!), and there will be plenty of supportive people on-hand to help you out if you're confused about any aspect of the game. Turn up and enjoy yourself!

What's Albion?

Every Tuesday, players meet in a room at Worcester college. These meetings represent the six-monthly Courts of King Matthew, the ruler of the Archipelago of Albion; players represent the attendees at his Court, the cream of the Kingdom (or at least the bits which have risen to the top). The Albion setting has a Renaissance-Fantasy feel; it's definitely not quite the real, historical world, but it's close enough to feel similar.

During these Court meetings, players exchange news, meet with other important representatives from around the Archipelago and Europe, discuss the latest affairs and arrange the running of the country. The GMs will be on hand, usually playing NPCs, to offer help, advice, information and to keep the game running smoothly.

Each week between games represents six months of IC time - and that's the period during which your character has the most freedom to act; you can travel the world, take action against other PCs, fight, trade and politick! Each week, we ask that players send in a summary of what they want their character to be doing in that six-month period; the GMs will then judge the results of your actions and report back to you on how everything went.

There is a system for these Downtime actions, detailed here - but don't feel you need to memorise it all; we won't be accepting downtime actions for the first week (which is purely devoted to Character Generation!), and we're more than happy to help you out if you're having trouble working out what you want to do in the early weeks!

What Should I Play?

Having a good concept for your character - including some character goals - is the most important part of the Albion game. There is a system of skills, quirks and rank to help get an idea of what your character is good at and where they stand in the world - but this is merely a way of representing your ideas; the numbers are by no means the most important part of the game!

If you're stuck for ideas, try checking out the Organisations page, or seeing if any of the Magics take your fancy. You can even build a character around a series of unlikely Quirks - why is your Scots Viscount Blessed, a Virgin and In Debt? Are these facts connected? The answer could be the inspiration you need to bring your character to life.

Alternatively, turning to fiction is often a good idea. If you’re trying to think of ideas you might like to play with, it often helps to check out books and movies based on the same historical period – though factual knowledge is by no means a necessity; we’re playing in a fantasy world which happens to have some similarities to Renaissance England, not a history lecture! Films and books with good ideas for costume and characters include “Plunkett & Macleane”, “Elizabeth”, “Shakespeare in Love”, anything set in Venice, Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” and Frances Hardinge’s “Fly by Night”.

If you’re still having trouble, please do ask the GM team or other players for help or inspiration – we almost always have ideas for groups which need extra players, and there’s almost always a veteran gamer or two looking for an in-game cousin, student, spouse or deadly nemesis to play alongside!

introduction.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/06 00:08 by helen