Introduction - New Players, Read This First!

Hello, and welcome to the website for Maleficarum, the Trinity term 2014 Oxford University Roleplaying Games Society freeform game. If you've never played any sort of roleplaying game before, never fear! Here's a quick introduction. If you're a seasoned roleplayer, feel free to check out the quick guide to sections of the site at the bottom of this page.

One important thing to be aware of first: You don't need to read this entire website!

There's a lot of material here, and you certainly don't need to know all of it to start playing (although if you do want to that's great!). Read only what interests you and what's relevant to a character you might like to play! You will find a guide to sections of the website and what they tell you below.

Any questions, concerns and character concepts should be e-mailed to the The GM Team.

What Does It All Mean?

There are a few acronyms used throughout the website which might be a little confusing if you've never played before. Don't worry - help is at hand! And if you're confused by anything, feel free to email us to ask questions!

  • OOC or OC - Out of Character. Events and circumstances in the real world. For example, Maleficarum sessions take place OOC at Magdalen College every Tuesday in term.
  • IC - In Character. Events and people in the World of Maleficarum. For example, the first Maleficarum session will take place IC in Bedivere Hall.
  • GM - Game Master or Game Moderator. Us! The team of people who write, run and maintain the game for your playing pleasure. The first place to turn if you have a question.
  • PC - Player Character. You! The characters that Maleficarum players create and represent in the fictional world. You will usually play the same PC every week through the course of the game, though you may switch or retire a character if you get bored.
  • NPC - Non-Player Character. Us again! Important characters (such as faction leaders, Hammer officials and important wytches) who may be present at meetings but will be played by a GM. NPCs will usually vary week-to-week, and GMs will often play several NPCs during a game session.

What's a Roleplaying Game?

A Roleplaying game is somewhere between amateur dramatics and collaborative storytelling. You turn up, create a character to play, and play them! There are no scripts or lines, no set outcomes to what will happen - just a setting, a bunch of other characters to interact with, and some GMs to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Maleficarum is specifically a freeform roleplaying game, which means that instead of narrating your character's actions during game sessions, you actually perform them; you turn up each week, walk around and talk to other characters, make deals, trade news, gossip, diplome, eavesdrop and orate. This doesn't mean you need to be a great public speaker, or even a particularly good actor - just be able to speak as your character would!

For various reasons, combat and other harmful activities aren't possible during the meetings - if anything unusual has to happen which can't be acted out, the GMs will freeze the scene and describe what occurs.

Most importantly - Roleplaying is about having fun and creating stories with other players. Absolutely no experience is required to play the Society Game (indeed, it's designed to offer an easy route in for new roleplayers!), and there will be plenty of supportive people on-hand to help you out if you're confused about any aspect of the game. Turn up and enjoy yourself!

What's Maleficarum?

Every Tuesday, during termtime players meet in the Daubeny Laboratory opposite Magdalen College. These meetings represent meetings, known as Covens, of Wytches from different schools and all over the United Kingdom; players represent the attendees at these meetings, deciding the fate of magic in the UK through their words and actions. The world of Maleficarum is a modern-day fantasy setting.

During these meetings, players exchange news, meet with other important representatives to discuss the latest affairs and prepare for the challenges ahead. The GMs will be on hand to offer help, advice, information and to keep the game running smoothly, as well as playing various NPCs every week.

Each week between games represents six weeks of IC time. That's the period during which your character has the most freedom to act; you can travel the country, take action against other PCs, fight, trade and politick! Each week, we ask that players send in a summary of what they want their character to be doing in that six week period, known as a 'Turnsheet'; the GMs will then judge the results of your actions and report back to you on how everything went.

There is a system for these Turnsheet actions, detailed here - but don't feel you need to memorise it all; we're more than happy to help you out if you're having trouble working out what you want to do in the early weeks!

What Should I Play?

Quick Guide

We'd suggest starting in the following places:

  • The Setting pages - Your character can be aware of everything in this section - you'll especially want to be aware of the content of this page covering recent events.
  • Intro to the Wiki System: If you are new to Society games, and want to be brought up to speed on how the wiki works.
  • Character Creation and Character Advancement: When you want to start putting together your character for the game.
  • Style Guide: To get some initial idea about the feel of the game, without reading through every page on the wiki.
  • Turnsheets: This will get you up to speed on how Turnsheets work, if you don't yet know.
new_to_roleplaying.txt · Last modified: Tue 6 May 2014, 12:23:14 UTC by gm_susannah
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