Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cups (like for drinking)

There are numerous ways to try and get your players to get into the idea of role-playing. Sometimes it’s something small like forcing them to determine what kind of cup they want to use. After all in the fantasy world, there are no drinking fountains (that’s bubblers for you Wisconsin folks) and no Dixie cups. (for you Southerns, there are Dixie cups in the North and no one considers them racist.) So what do they use? In my fantasy towns, the fastest way to find yourself in the bottom of a well is to drink straight out of the bucket. So anyone who wants to drink something between meals needs to carry his own cup. The really Viking-like will want drinking horns, though they are kind of difficult to stand on a table. You might think that a wooden cup would be the cheapo version, but think about how tough it is to carve out a wooden cup without power tools. It’s actually a lot quicker to solder up a tin cup. Then again, ceramics are going to be the really cheap version. After all, they’re just mud that was properly fired after being molded in a matter of seconds by a skilled potter. But you have all sorts of ceramics: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain, plus they can be glazed or not, and then can be in the shape of a cup or perhaps a stein, etc. Was it painted or decorated in another way? Don’t forget leather, whether it’s waterskins or hardened flasks. So what is each player going to pick for their character? What does it say about them? Further, it’s not just the players. What does the tavern keeper choose for his bar room? What does it say about his bar? Are glasses fancier then ceramic? Do steins show that this is a place for real beer drinkers? Were the leather jacks coated in water proofing that makes the beer taste different? And if you figure out what type of vessels you’re using but want to figure out what they are drinking out of those cups, take a look at 100 Bar Drinks for some ideas. It's got 5 stars, so we must have done something right.

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