The Shield & Torch: character creation and tavern rules

Making a character

Characters are created by choosing a guild, a status, a name and a drive.

Guilds define (very loosely) the kind of work a character does:

The Artisans’ Guild (people with an eye for detail, craft or construction, who take pride in what they make. They might be blacksmiths, builders, painters, weavers or more.)
The Reapers’ Guild (people who are welcome the harshness and dangers of nature in order to harvest, gather or grow. They might be farmers, hunters, miners, foragers or more.)
The Traders’ Guild (people who deal in the exchange of resources of every kind. They might be merchants, brokers, teachers, historians or more.)
The Healers’ Guild (people who help and restore, whether it be constructs, people or peace. They might be healers, diplomats, repairers, caretakers or more.)

Statuses define (very loosely) how well-known a character is for what they do:

Of the hearth means they’re someone who has barely begun to make a name for themselves; only those close to them know anything of their skills and actions
Of the town means they have a mild reputation and their name carries some weight locally; those who live nearby have heard of what they can do
Of the land means they’re quite well-known and have a recognisable name and reputation; those across the land will be aware of their abilities and deeds
Of the realm means they’re amongst the most famous (or infamous) that anyone could think of; their name rarely fails to provoke recognition

Statuses have no bearing on how positive or negatively a character is thought of; that can be decided by the person making the character. They also have no bearing on the level of skill of a character; a maker of the hearth might be incredibly talented, but they’ve only just joined that guild, or they’ve been content not to promote their skills.

A name is just that – someone’s name. There’ll be sample ones you can choose from on the night, or use as inspiration to then make up your own.

Drives are something a character is trying to do during their evening at the tavern, and can range from small things that they might be able to achieve within the evening, or aims that are more wide-reaching, of which this evening will make up a small part. There are enough sample drives available that each person can have a unique one even if everyone just uses pre-written drives; however there’s the option to devise your own too.

Tavern Rules

Tavern rules are principles that tell everyone present how to treat each other and how to access help if they need it on the evening; below are overviews (there’ll be copies around the space, printed on beer mats).

Be in character when you want, out of character when you need. Dropping out of character to check in with someone, ask a question or simply take a break is welcome.

Ask for help if you need it.
We know this can be easier said than done – but there’ll be performers there ready to give help, and both in- and out-of-character ways to ask for it.

To step back, look down.
If you want to step back from something that’s happening (but not role-play you walking away), shade your eyes with your hand, look down, and walk away.

Take a breather at the tables.
If you ever want to take a moment where you’re out-of-character, and no one will approach you in-character, there are two designated tables.

No physical fights; get consent for physical contact.
If you want to settle a score in-character – use battles of wit, skill or chance! (You can also agree out-of-character what is the most interesting or fun result.) Also make sure to check that others are comfortable with physical contact before initiating that with them.

The tavern is a place for adventurers and rogues, not villains and assholes. Rivalries, grudges, flaws, skeletons in closets – those are all welcome; but this is not a place for anyone engaging in bigotry and discrimination of any kind. This applies in-character and out-of-character.

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