Friday, 15. October 2010
Typically costuming is a live action role play (Who are role playing) or society of creative anachronism thing (Who are attempting to stay in character.) I believe we can use it outside of that however to add flavor and character without going to extremes. This should prevent people from being too put off about it. In addition, some of the items are quite useful outside of gaming as well so its hardly a wasted investment.
The first is simply to add a garment or to in order to set the mood while playing. Simple pieces that have cross purposes for outside gaming are a good place to start. The simplest ones that I can think of are hats and cloaks. In a worst case scenario both are usable on Halloween at the very least, but on a more practical side they can easily be used elsewhere. The key here is to look for something that is stylish without gross modification. Swashbuckler type hats with the feather removed make a fairly handy and good looking fedora depending on how the hat is made. Everyone (guys especially) should have a few fairly interesting hats since it seems the only thing in vogue nowadays is those stupid baseball hats. Cloaks in addition to being very stylish easily double as a coat (their intended purpose) a blanket or a mat for picnics and the like. I would recommend getting one that is closer to full round or 3/4 round for this purpose. Another piece that comes to mind no so much for its versatility but simply because I would like to see the style come back is bracers. They’re usually fairly cheap and are made in a large variety of styles.
The other option is to help enforce role play. I’ve had generally good success with this, and I’ve heard most other people who have tried this have as well. Typically it is done with hats as they’re the easiest to get on and off quickly. The concept is when a player is wearing their hat any words that come out of their mouth are in character. This makes it real easy to find out who is acting and when and generally simplifies the life of the storyteller. Usually after a couple of creative missteps (“I say we rob the guy!” or “Man, this guy is a dick!”) to NPC’s face they’ll be in character fairly stoutly with the hat on. If your players are doing this, I suggest that a storyteller does this as well to maintain solidarity.
With a little investment you can easily have an item that is cross purpose and adds some nice flavor and mood to gaming. I like to attempt to work off a model that investments are make life better outside of our hobbies as well and this is a good angle to work from.