Treasure Island (Simple Immersion Exercise: Trophies and Keepsakes)


Often after a long week of obligations, stresses and real-world distractions, game nights and events can be challenges to engage and slough off reality. Simple focuses can help increase the reality of our fantasy and help us slip into character and setting faster…

Immersion Exercise: Trophies and Keepsakes?

Everyone has stuff. While weapons are important to characters often the it is the less obvious things that tell us even more about people. Lucky coins, prized mementos, or a scarf from a mother worried she won’t see them again. As tangents bloom into web search arguments or text messages distract consider having a character pull out one of their favorite things. Bringing up a memento can work a lot of ways:

  • Where is it kept? – Does the character wear the keepsake? Does it have a container? Is it there because its fragile? Is it always visible or perhaps always protected? Why does the character carry it the way they do?
  • What is the trophy made of? – What  material is the trophy composed of? Is it the remains of a dangerous creature? A lucky foot? Is it worn or damaged? What other descriptive language comes to mind when the character holds it?
  • How does the character handle it? – Do they nervously flip or rub a lucky coin? Did they steal a cup from the tavern where they met the first adventuring party? A stone they always place under their bed roll?
  • What is the memento’s story? – Who gave you the keepsake? Why did they do it? Did you take it yourself? Does anyone else in the party have connection to it? Would they recognized what it is or where it came from?
  • Explore the Absence: You don’t have a weapon. (You are an adventurer right?) Why not? Is your magic all that you need? Is there an oath or promise against using a particular material, weapon or committing violence?

Finding immersion can be difficult sometimes, particularly with a new group or at an organized play event. Bringing up a character’s stories through the trophies and keepsakes he carries can be a quick way to establish a sense of your character or investigate new presence of someone new or unknown.

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