Sometimes when we get together for a game and are “struggling” to get into it, it’s just because we are overthinking how simple establishing basic immersion can be…
Immersion Exercise: Buy That Guy a Drink
The premise of this roleplaying moment is applicable to nearly any game group. When games are in limbo, pre or post adventure, have a character ask another character (NPC or PC) for a friendly drink. Here’s what can happen:
- Explore the Refusal: If a character refuses the drink offer there is an opportunity to engage the moral or religious grounds of the character. Maybe the refusal is political (the taxes from that tavern go to fund the armies hunting us) or reveals a preference (they have no sunwines this far North…) that the character had. Even a refusal establishes new engagement points for verisimilitude if explored.
- Explore the Venue: If excepted the characters get to engage the GM about where there drinks can be had. This allows the GM to showcase the current setting and introduce potential dangers (Well the cheap alehouse is in a bad part of town…) or motivate the characters (You guys can’t convince the doorman you are respectable with gear like that…). Even finding the drink can bloom a dozen points of immersion.
- Drink the Drink: The use of sensory language other than visual or auditory terms can be highly immersive. Blossoming sensations of tastes (a peppery finish like a strong radish) or metabolic effects (the heat under the honey-mead slides in like an old friend) can really build vicarious experience.
- Personalities: Once engaged with the scene, the GM can go wild adding local flavors, NPCs, and plot hooks. The natural lead into a game trope can be a refreshing approach to otherwise frequently used element.
So, tip one back this weekend… in your games at least… and get engaged with a stronger story with stronger spirits!