Rational Thinking (Simple Immersion Exercise: Trail Mix)

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Whether its at a Organized Play Event or the precious four hours at a friend’s house sometimes in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game we want to get into character fast. Rapid immersion helps get a game moving, improves verisimilitude, and helps character (and their players) get to know one another… But it can be really easy to do with a quick exercise. Today we present – Trail Mix….

Immersion Exercise: Trail Mix!

Almost every character needs to keep trail rations on their adventure (Yes Frank we know your plant man doesn’t eat). Digressions threaten to steal precious game time (regardless of who Rey’s father is) and this simple exercise can help draw you back to game. Much like kids at the school lunch table, checking out what your neighbor’s got for lunch is a realistic and immersive moment:

  • Where are your rations stored? The act of even removing stored food from your character’s packs can be a few seconds that speak a lot. Does she have a side bag that she only keeps food in? Does he have to rummage through a large single space bag to find the bread crushed under his spare boots?
  • What type of food does everyone have? Adventuring parties often break from travel together and it makes sense that everyone in your group is likely eating near one another. If the group is recently met the sundry foodstuffs people have might become more interesting especially after six days eating just your own honeyed hardtack. Trades, sharing and even sales of food are probably likely, particularly if someone has Survival skills.
  • How was it preserved? Exploring various preservation techniques can be interesting. It might put your GM on the spot but a few google searches on hiking and food preservation can give you a great starting point for the sorts if things you might have. Of course there are fantasy elements of magical or alchemical techniques to consider as well.
  • What does it taste like? Sensory words involved in taste and smell are remarkably powerful and can draw attention and focus very effectively. A quick round of tastes and smells can have nearly every player engaged in seconds. Other behaviors like accompany the action of eating and it can very quickly help define your character to others.
  • Is someone supplying the group with food magically? Spells like create food and water often remove the need for food for a gaming group. Work with the GM to get an idea of what food is created by such effects. “Simple fare” and “rather bland” are not exactly powerful sales pitches for the spell and its possible that a character might pass IN FAVOR of his honey hardtack.
  • Why did a character decline? From vegetarianism to religious prohibition, it is possible a character will not want a particular food. Maybe superstitious dwarf doesn’t believe conjured food is healthy for him or the aesthetic wizard declines divine aid as a general rule. For whatever reason, the roleplaying moments around an aversion to a food are equally defining.

Whether during a snack break or when you first sit down at the table, a quick bite of character immersion can keep the game focused and the roleplaying solid. Just don’t execute this exercise EVERY time you eat or you might end up buried under some lamprey pie….

You can check out our Pathfinder content at these fine vendors: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.

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