Survival Guide

Playing in Walpurgis is probably a far sight more difficult than what you're used to. Here are some tips to help you adjust and learn to enjoy the experience. 

1. Learn to Enjoy Failure

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
    - Samuel Beckett

Every good story thrives on conflict, and in order for conflict to exist a character must experience failure. When I say failure, I'm not talking about dice rolls—I mean decisions that have terrible consequences and plans that go horribly wrong. Think of your favorite story—novel, film, TV, whatever—and consider how many times the hero of that story fails, loses something dear to him or her, or is damaged in some way that cannot be undone. Why, then, are so many player-characters in roleplaying games allergic to this sort of thing?

The answer, of course, is that nobody wants to fail. But try to take a step back from the immediacy of your character and see each failure, each loss, and each scar as an opportunity for your character to grow. Often characters will experience their most memorable stories precisely when they are at their lowest. Sometimes it's only in death—a heroic sacrifice, a stubborn last stand, a tragic mistake—that a character can truly realize her identity and potential. Every story must end. If your choices are to go out in a blaze of glory that you'll remember for years, or to fade away into obscurity because you got bored, why would you ever choose the latter?

This isn't a game that you win in a traditional sense. Stop thinking about winning. Terrible things will happen to your character. It's part of the story. Let it happen, relish it, and it will be a story you won't forget. 

2. Play Your Character, Not the Game

"All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."
    - Chuck Palahinuk

The story revolves around your character, but the world does not.

This is an important distinction. Too often, player-characters behave more like video game avatars than real people. But if you were to run around in real life treating everything like a quest that was designed just for you, you would be institutionalized. NPCs in Walpurgis will react to this type of behavior realistically. 

Challenges in Walpurgis are not so straightforward. They are not puzzles with predetermined solutions, nor prefabricated stories with canned endings. Our challenges are more like real life: messy, complicated, and often without truly correct answers. 

Because of that, when your character gets involved in a storyline, it's pretty common to feel stuck, or like you're missing something. But here's the secret: you're not missing anything. Be confused. Make mistakes. And above all else, forget trying to "solve the puzzle" and just do what your character would do if this were real life. 

3. Treat NPCs Like Real People 

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” 
    ― Albert Einstein

In most video games, and many RPGs, NPCs exist only to deliver information, quest objectives, or assistance to the player. But can you imagine what kind of extreme narcissist you'd have to be in order to look at people that way in real life?

NPCs in Walpurgis are created in the same way PCs are. In every possible way, they are made to resemble real people. They have personal goals which seldom have anything to do with the PCs, and they keep secrets which they will never tell. They have varying levels of knowledge about the world they inhabit, and attitudes ranging from sincerely helpful to outright antagonistic and everything in between. 

Due to this, there are times when NPCs will behave in ways that you don't understand, or that frustrate or even infuriate you. You might hate and want to kill some of them. (Every NPC in Walpurgis is killable, by the way. No one is invulnerable. At the same time, an Elder Vampire doesn't get to be 400 years old if every 22 year old goth kid with a trenchcoat and a sword poses a serious threat…)

NPCs are played by Staff, but just because the Staff know the secrets of the game does not mean that the NPCs do. Even the most well-intentioned NPC can possess imperfect (or totally wrong) knowledge and unintentionally misinform you. Some NPCs do know what's going on and just don't want to tell you for whatever reason. And some of them are liars. 

As much as possible, try to forget that you're in a game. NPCs aren't meant to be treated as hint-givers or quest markers. If you do treat them this way, your behavior will probably be met with ridicule or derision at best, and outright hostility at worst. 

Good luck out there. 

Survival Guide

Walpurgis zuark