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Perosna Issues; Game

Poster: Hank Harwell <cleireac@juno.com>

Below is a message I received from the Arts list that I thought could
help in the discussion of persona development...


From: "J. Kriss White" <jkrissw@earthling.net 
To: hallford@mail.sdsu.edu (J. Dean Hallford),
	 sca-arts@raven.cc.ukans.edu (SCA-Arts mailing list)
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 09:13:57 -0800
Subject: Fwd: The Inquisition Game

This looks like an interesting persona development aid, for those who are

 In reference to developing personae, herewith is a descriptionof a game
to help people develop their's:
 Daniel of Raven's Nest
 The Inquisition
 a true accounting of the
 Rules for an SCA Persona Game
 as compiled for Unchained Doom IV
 by Daniel of Raven's Nest
 October, AS XXVI
 Good Gentles,
 I was introduced to the idea of a persona contest at the Twenty-Five
Year Celebration.  It seemed like it could be quite a lot of fun, so I've
drawn up these rules as an experiment.  We will be play-testing it at
this event.
 A purpose behind the game is to encourage in an enjoyable manner the
research and development of one's persona.  I know after I tried to play
I realized how shamefully underdeveloped mine is. It could be said that I
do not know who I am, for the questions below are deceptively simple. 
Most people can answer almost all of them for their modern lives, but to
develop the answers for a persona takes research.  This is the first time
I have seen this type of game done in Meridies, so comments on playing
style, rules, etc. are most welcome.
 The Scenario
 As players you are being brought before "The Inquisition".  If you
answer their questions correctly, you may be spared.  If you answer
incorrectly, you will be tortured and may die.
 The Inquisitors decide if your answer is right or wrong, but you may be
able to convince them that you do not know the answer. 
  If you can last the longest in the questioning, you will go free. 
Every one else dies.
 Rules of Play
 You will need: one person to act as the "Grand Inquisitor", who keeps
score; several other people to act as "The Inquisition". They should be
knowledgeable about history.  If there are only a few players, everyone
but the victim acts as the Inquisition; a six-sided die, and; some paper
and writing implement to keep score.
 Each person has a turn to be brought before the inquisition and answer
questions.  The player should try to answer in character for his or her
persona.  A player continues to answer questions until he answers wrong,
at which time he is sent to the 'dungeon' for torture, and it is the next
player's turn.  A wrong answer would be knowing too little (like not
knowing who you direct overlord is), or knowing too much (like saying one
is Early Renaissance as that period was not named till later in history).
 We will ignore language differences in names except for your persona's
name (i.e. Moscow vs Moskva)
 Questions have point values from 1 to 5 according to the estimated
difficulty of an SCA person answering the question.  A correct answer
gains the player that many points.  Some questions have a range of
values, and the Inquisitors will have to award points according to the
adequacy and completeness of the answer.  The player may select the
degree of difficulty/point value for the next question.  The Inquisitors
should rotate the category of question in different turns of the same
player.  For each player, the Grand Inquisitor should note the categories
covered, points won, and number of times sent to the dungeon on the score
 After a turn, comments on the answers may be appropriate by the
audience.  This is in the spirit of the game helping us to develop our
personal histories better.  They should not be so extensive as to make it
easier for later players to answer when it is their turn.
 When a player is coming out of the dungeon for further questioning (i.e.
after the first round), the player must roll a die to see if he has
survived the torture.  He must roll a value greater than the number of
times he has been in the dungeon.  If he fails he has died, and is out of
the game.
 The Inquisitors should ask themselves if the answers make sense.  They
may pursue a line of related questions during a turn and try to use
answers from previous questions to trip up the victim/catch him in a
contradiction, which count as a wrong answer.  The Inquisitors may use
questions not on the list, and should give them point values commensurate
to the difficulty of the question.  
 The player may try to bluff an answer if does not know the real answer. 
This may work depending on the knowledge of the Inquisitors.  The player
may also try to convince the Inquisitors that his persona would not know
the answer given the circumstances of that persona's life.  This would
score as a correct answer.
 Question List:
 (Point values in parentheses, upgrade or downgrade points for well
thought out or marginal responses)
 What is your name?(1)
 What does your name mean?(2)
 Who or what were you named after?(2 for plain answer, give 3 for story)
 What is your father's name?(3)
 What is your mother's name?(3)
 What are your brother's/ sister's names?(3)
 What do your people call themselves (correct pronunciation)(4)
 What does the name for your people mean?(5)
 Is your father/mother alive?(1)
 If alive, when were they born?(2)
 If dead, when did they die?(2)
 If dead, what did they die of?(3)
 How many brothers and sisters have you have?(1)
 What rank are you in siblings (1st, 3rd, etc.) ?(1)
 How many lived?(2)
 What did they die of?(3)
 What will/did you inherit(items/share)?(3)
 Are you married?(1)
 What is your spouse's name?(2)
 Do you have children?(1)
 What are their names?(3)
 Vital Statistics 
 How old are you?(1)
 Who was king when you were born?(2)
 What year were you born?(CE)(3)
 What year were you born?(proper calendar for period, nth year of
 What day were you born?(3)
 What Saint's day were you born on?(5)
 Where were you born (modern country)?(1)
 Where were you born (period country)?(2)
 Where were you born (city or other small area)?(2)
 What country do you live in? (modern)(1) 
 What country do you live in? (period)(2)
 What locality or region do you live in (county, shire, department, or
 Where do you live specifically (road, street, castle, manor)?(4)
 How many people live there? (city, castle, manor)(4)
 Home Life
 What kind of place do you live in?(1)
 Of what is it constructed generally?(stone, wood)(2)
 What rooms does it have?(3)
 Where do you sleep?(3)
 Where do you relieve yourself? (garderobe, chamber pot)(3)
 How old is it?(3)
 Of what is it constructed specifically (type of rock, wood, type of
roof, give details)(3-4)
 Who owned it before you/your family?(4)
 What do you typically eat?(2)
 What is your food prepared on? (in fireplace, on spit)(2)
 Where does the food come from(3)
 When does your place of residence have a market? (frequency, date)(4)
 What is your social standing? (serf...noble)(1)
 Of the three estates, to which do you belong?(2)
 How many servants do you have? (if servant, how many does your master
 What are their jobs?(4)
 What do you normally wear?(1)
 What do you sleep in?(3)
 What are your clothes made of?(2)
 How many sets of clothing do you have?(3)
 What do you wear on a special day (church, holiday, market day)?(4)
 What would you wear for your wedding?(4)
 What do you do?(1)
 What does your father/mother do?(2)
 What do your siblings do?(3)
 How long have you plied this craft?(2)
 How long did you train/apprentice for this craft?(3)
  From who did you learn your craft?(name)(4)
 What is the most important tool of your craft?(2)
 Name several other tools of your craft(3)
 Who was the greatest master of your craft?(4)
 How long must you serve if your overlord calls?(3)
 What wars/battles have you been in?(3)
 What did you do in the battle?(3)
 What equipment must you bring with you?(4)
 How many vassals/footmen must you bring?(4)
 What unit were you in (by regiment, leader's name, vanguard, etc.)(4)
 Who led you in battle?(4)
 What was his standard/arms?(5)
 Who makes your product?(2)
 Where does it come from?(3)
 What is the measure of your product? (ells for cloth, hands for
 How is it made?(4)
 What do you pay them with?(4)
 How does it get to you?(4)
 What are your principal duties?(3)
 Current Events
 What century is it?(1)
 What year is it?(2)
 Who is your ruler?(2)
 How long has he been on the throne?(3)
 What day is it?(period calenday)(3)
 How do you tell time?(3)
 How do you know what day it is?(4)
 What Saint's day is it?(5)
 Who is your overlord or master?(title or personal name)(2)
 Where is the cathedral/church?(3)
 Who is Pope?(4)
 Who is your bishop?(5)
 Personal Life
 Where is the furthest you have travelled?(2)
 Why did you travel there?(3)
 How long did it take to get there?(4)
 What is the worst injury you have had?(3)
 What is the worst illness you have had?(3)
 What language(s) do you speak?(1)
 What language(s) do you read?(2)
 How many books do you own?(3)
 What books have you read?(names)(3)
 In what language?(3)
 Quote something or give plot summary from a book you have read(4)
 What skills do you have other than your profession?(3)
 What are your hobbies/pastimes?(3)
 What games do you know?(4)
 What is your religion?(2)
 How do you practice it?(3)
 How much are you worth? ( in income, or value in local currency)(2)
 What taxes do you pay or what service do you owe?(3)
 What is the local currency?(3)
 What is the standard unit?(wt & fineness)(4)
 How much land do you own? (period units)(4)
 What is your ransom value?(5)
 Torture List
 (For fun, you can draw cards identifying tortures from a deck at random,
and players may act out the tortures)
   The Rack
   The Thumbscrews
   The Machine (from the Princess Bride)
   Chained to a Wall
   Thrown in a Pit with Rats
   Iron Maiden
   The Cat-o-nine-tails
   Chinese Water Torture
   Hot Poker
   The deepest, darkest dungeon
   Thrown in a cell with Lepers
   Laden with heavy chains
   Dragged behind a horse
   The stocks
   The Catherine Wheel
   The Press


Brother Cleireac of Inisliath

The Welsh pray on their knees, and on their neighbors. The Scots keep the
Sabbath, and anything else they can get their hands on. The Irish don't
know what they want but are willing to fight to the death for it. 
Whereas the English consider themselves a race of self made men, thus
relieving the almighty of an awesome responsibility. (_As Others See Us_,

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