Welcome to the Oxford University Role-Playing Game Society. We're open to all who have an interest in role-playing, from the experienced to the vaguely curious. No previous role-playing game experience of any kind is necessary. This page provides an introduction to the current Society Game, The Broken World. This game will last for two terms. Players meet weekly, currently at the Morley-Fletcher Room at Worcester College. Sessions are from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Tuesday nights during Oxford University term time.

There's a large amount of information on this website. You are not required to read all of it! Look around the pages below for starting information and then read around anything you find interesting - maybe you're attracted to Storm Magic and think your Stormtouched mage might be a force for good, or maybe you see yourself as a powerful factotum in the Union, the man to go to when strings need to be pulled!

At its core, this website will show you the Broken World, and help you come up with a character and a clan. Character Generation is a good place to start, as is sample_characters.

What is Roleplaying?

Essentially, roleplaying is drama without the rehearsed scripts and where nobody has a clue how it will all end. As secrets about the setting and details of the devious lives of the characters are revealed, the game gets more exciting - and as you, the players, are writing the story yourselves, what happens to your character is largely up to you - and to the other players you interact with. Expect backstabbing, unlikely collaborations, and good clean friendly fun.

To play a freeform Society Game such as The Broken World, you turn up to game sessions and act out your character's role, wandering around the room and interacting with other characters, casually chatting, making deals, finding out their secrets - and, of course, telling them what you want them to hear in return. You don't need to be a great orator or actor - as long as you can stay in character you'll be fine. If you're shy or nervous a good tip is to create a character who is similar to you in personality; then instead of wondering how your character would react to a situation just go with your instincts.

There is a limited supply of role-players in Oxford. To prevent untimely casualties, it is impossible to harm another character in session (there are In-Character rules in place within the game to prevent violence). The Society Game is a non-combat system, and so if something particularly dangerous, hard to represent or quick happens, the GM Team will call “Time Freeze!” Out-Of-Character and then describe what happens. No physical exertion is required to play the Society Game. (Unless you decide to play Princess Zerlina the Beautiful and stand around in 5 inch heels for three hours - not recommended (particularly if your real name is George-Ed.).)

So what's The Broken World all about?

The Broken World is a fantasy setting. Above the world swirl the Storms, which represent disorder and uncontrolled power; beneath the world lie the Mists, orderly and peaceful. In the middle - open space, with small fragments of rock floating through it. These fragments are all different, but some have the right conditions for life forms to settle and flourish. Previously, different clans have settled on some of these fragments, each largely self-governing, some friendly towards their neighbours, others hostile. These days, things are slightly more civilised.

Think Victorian-era technology crossed with Star Trek. Imagine the European Union in an uneasy truce with the USA and the moons of Jupiter, with some attack badgers on the side selling weapons to all parties and every dignity carrying a hamster because the sweat acts like cannabis. What if the candidates for the upcoming Presidential Election in America were dumped into the world of Treasure Island (Stevenson) or Peter and Wendy (Barrie). How would the world have turned out if Drake had brought magic, not tobacco, from the New World?

Each player creates a character (PC) to play in session, and then creates a clan for that character to belong to. For more information on this, see the Character Creation pages including Skills and Traits. A good place to start is to read through the Factions - maybe you've got an idea for how that faction could develop, and you'd like to play a character who was in the inner circle. If you're inexperienced, joining a faction is a great way to start as you automatically acquire allies and rivals with which to create juicy plot.

The time which elapses between sessions is one week, OOC, but IC, it's six months. During those six months your character has time to do whatever you want them to do, whether that's waging war against another player, urging the clan to stick to a peace treaty, travelling to another fragment of the world to visit other players and learn new skills, or throwing the party of the century to boost the influence of your clan. Each week, you'll have the opportunity to send a summary of everything your player gets up to, and the GMs will then report back to you in the next session and inform you how well your plans went - after all, some other player out there may be doing their damndest to stop you from acheiving your goals.

If you turn up to the first session (Tuesday of 1st week) we'll focus purely on character creation and the GM Team will be on hand to answer any questions and help in the process. For those of you who've worked out what we're all about, feel free to create a character and a clan for them to belong to, using the Skills and Traits pages, and email your character concept to .

Annoying Acronyms

For those with little or no roleplaying experience, it's easy to get bogged down in a sea of confusing acronyms and initials. Email the GM team (there's one, to start with) with any questions, but to explain a few key points:

* OOC or OC means Out Of Character. Anything involving The Real World (that place with essay deadlines and 9 am lectures).

* IC - In Character. Anything which is set in the Broken World.

* GM - Game Master or Game Moderator. Your GM Team - the group of people wearing black who start each session off. The people who, collectively, created the game, including the setting, the magic and technology systems, and the alien races. Ask us anything related to the game - if we don't know immediately, we will after the next GM Meeting.

* PC - Player Character. The characters portrayed by the players. Players tend to stick with the same character until the end of the game (or until they die interestingly) but it is perfectly fine to change your character if you get bored.

* NPC - Non-Player Character. A character portrayed by the GM Team, usually to facilitate plot or provide the cannon fodder. NPCs vary from week to week, but if there's a character your PC particularly needs to interact with, feel free to ask the GM Team to play that person. Each GM will have several NPCs.

Who to Contact

The GM Team are very willing to answer any questions you have and help you design a character. To contact us en masse, email . This will get the fastest response, as it'll be sent to the entire team. If you want to contact a GM individually, email:







Note that an email sent to one GM will be automatically copied to all the others.

We look forward to hearing from you and / or seeing you on Tuesday.

game2/freshers.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/09 19:52 by gm_tony