Persona Guidelines 7.5
Taken directly from the 7.5 rulebook
The previous section is "Getting Started"
A persona should be based on people who could have lived before 1650 AD. The name, weapons, clothing, etc. are encouraged to be historically correct. Do not impersonate a famous historical figure.
The persona should be based on a book, movie, historical mythology, or a unique creation of your own. Again, do not impersonate a character from the medium you choose.
Remember: Every persona must be either of an ancient, medieval, or swords and sorcery related background.
Create a device or insignia to display on your flags, banners, and coat of arms. The device should be unique or at least in keeping with your persona or company. You may register the device with the Guildmaster of Heraldry and the Prime Minister.
People may wish to band together as a fighting group. This group is called a company. The company should choose a name, captain, second in command and device. A person may be in no more than one company.
People who wish to form a non-fighting group within the club can create a household. The household should choose a name, a Master and Mistress of the House and a device. A person may be in any number of households.
There are many types of games and events held regularly. These include:
1.) Tournaments- competitions between individuals or groups for awards, honor, or challenges.
2.) Battles- involves two or more armies attacking each other for various reasons.
The next section is "Combat, Weapons and Equipment"
Choosing a Persona
by Lord Sionnach o’ Ros Sidhe
Everyone would like to live in a fantasy world, and that is exactly what Amtgard seeks to simulate. Amtgard is a world of medieval fantasy- a place where knights, lords,elves and sorcerers mingle on magical landscapes. And, in order to become a part of this world, you must create a new identity for yourself, an alter-ego who exists side-by-side with the other denizens of this fantastical place. Whenever the society meets, you BE-COME this new persona, in dress and in speech, in attitude and in combat. As you play your character, you interact with the personae of other club members, in effect creating among yourselves the wondrous, imaginary society that is Amtgard. What follows are hints and guidelines that will help you in choosing the persona you will become to enter into this magical place.
The inspiration for your persona may come from any source- legends, history,fantasy fiction or your own wildest daydreams. For instance, if you like the idea of playing an elf, you may choose to be a traditional Germanic elf, a lighter, littler Tolkienesque elf, or even a sprightly Elizabethan spirit. Or perhaps an historical era appeals to you- a druidic sorcerer from ancient Ireland. When you draw your ideas, with a little research you can learn how to dress, fight and most importantly, act in character. Remember that Amtgard is a world of MEDIEVAL fantasy, which roughly translates into any time period from prehistory to the Renaissance. While this may not mean much in fantasy fiction set on alternate worlds, at least the medieval spirit must be maintained (in other words, no laser toting space pirates, although a low tech warrior from a post-holocaust Earth might work). Also, while you may be inspired by actual fictional or historical characters, the persona you create must be original, so that while it is great to play a Cimmerian barbarian or an Arthurian knight, you cannot choose Conan or Sir Lancelot as an alter-ego. Beyond these considerations however, the only limit to your persona is your own vivid imagination.
Something to keep in mind when picking a persona is the Amtgard system of combat. In combat, there are several classes of character, such as warriors, barbarians,wizards, scouts, assassins, and so on. When you are on the battlefield you must elect to be one of these classes of character for that particular melee. However, in a different combat session (and there are usually no more than three at a weekly meeting) you may play a different character class- in other words, one week you might be in the mood to walk onto the battlefield as a heavily armored juggernaut, while the next week your fancy may be the elegance of a monk or the tenuous power of a thaumaturge. It is encouraged that you try each of the classes for yourself and experiment. For this reason, you may wish to choose a persona that can justify switching roles. For instance, elves are ideal for alternating between warrior, scout, and wizard. Likewise, an outdoorsman could equally be seen as a healer, archer, monk, scout or warrior. One crafty fellow could interchange as scout and assassin. But some combinations are harder (though naturally not impossible) to justify, such as a 10th century Danish Viking (a classic barbarian/warrior) becoming a sly, unarmed magician (which would probably roll the eyes of fellow Amtgardians).Later, of course, to counterbalance your first character, (a small and slippery thief, let’s say) you may create a second persona altogether, perhaps a knight who dabbles in the mystical arts. Initially,however, it is advisable that you develop one persona fully before spreading yourself (and your character’s experience) out. Also, it is simpler at first to play a more physical (read: non-magic casting) character class in order to become accustomed with the rules of combat. Then, you may begin playing wizards and healers. Most importantly, keep in mind that these character classes are simply designed persona, but by no means a limiting or deciding one. The final factor in what your character is and does is your own, unique imagination.
Lastly, something to consider in choosing a persona is your personal, physical attributes. This is not to say that if you do not consider yourself particularly quick or large, you should not be an elf or a Zulu warrior.But let’s face it, a six foot four inch, two hundred pound hobbit just does not work. While such a character might be amusing, it is better in the long run to choose a persona that (roughly) fits your body type. Not only will this paint a stronger picture visually, but I think it will give you a more positive attitude about the character and about yourself. Many people are unaware of their own, physical potential and what better way to explore this than in the fun and harmless throne rooms and battlefields of imaginary Amtgard? The closer your persona matches your own physique, the less you will rely upon abstract rules to equalize yourself with other Amtgardians and consequently, the more of your own potential you will be able to utilize. Of course, we all know that the object of fantasy is to allow you to be something you cannot be in the mundane world, and this idea is reinforced here by insuring that you are actually BECOMING your persona at every meeting of the society. One of the useful attributes of fantasy is its power to allow you to explore yourself. This very act in itself becomes an adventure. Remember that not everything in fantasy is combat and the same is true in Amtgard. Pick an alter-ego with which you feel comfortable, both mentally and physically, and that much more of your energy can be channeled into having fun.
By now, you should have an idea of what type of persona you would like to create . From here you might want to perform a little research to come up with a background for your new self. As an example, let us say that you have chosen an Elizabethan elf as a race. This means that you will be much more magical in nature than say, a Tolkien elf, and you will be of the Oberon/Titania cycle. Minimal reading will tell you that these spirits were derived both from elements of classical mythology and elements of Celtic/Germanic legends. Now choose which (if not both) side appeals more to you, and explore it. For instance, your elf might be more Celtic in nature, a fairy tale rogue with a fleet foot and a flashing sword. Elizabethan elves as often as not had magical origins rather than biological ones: the birth of our example elf, might have come say, at the dawn when the sun opened the petals of a rose in a fairy ring, a rose on which the mightiest warrior of Ulster in Ireland bled his final drop after falling to the superior numbers of his foes: the rose bloomed at sunrise and an elfin infant awoke at its center. A brief life story will come with a little daydreaming; our elf was raised by fairies and leprechauns but, alas, the influence of the warrior’s blood (perhaps his “father”, making him a half-elf?) drove him to explore the world of men, and he became a magical, capricious wanderer; until finally he came to a Grand Duchy and established himself as the Duke’s Champion. The name should catch the spirit of the character: our elf has the name Sionnach o’ Ros Sidh, which is Gaelic for Fox of the Fairy Rose. From his origin, it is easy to decide a personal motif, which will be the rose: his clothing will tend to be scarlet in color,often he will bear a flower for his lady friends, etc. With a little effort and much delight, a persona is created and fledged; in this case, the elf is the character played by the author of this article.
Not all origins have to be as colorful as this. You may choose to be a dwarf from a mountain army, or the grandson of a Roman Centurion left behind in Saxon England. You may even simply explain yourself as a Norse Viking or a wizard in a tower. The more research and imagination you put into your persona, the more believable, interesting and downright fun it will be, both for you and for your fellow Amtgardians. After you have chosen and named your persona, you will have to form a mental image of what sort of clothing you will wear, what sort of weapons you will use, what speech patterns would be appropriate, and so on. In short,think of what you will do to transform yourself into your new identity at a meeting of the society. At first your costume need only be basic. There is a Garber’s Guild in the society with garbers who can help to make an outfit for you. Some weapons will be provided by the club, but eventually you will want to make your own and personalize them for your character. The most important thing that you must provide at a meeting is a good understanding of who your persona is and a healthy desire to have fun being that character. I guess above all other pointers I have given in this article, this last one is by far the highest priority. If in creating a persona you use good sense, a dash of effort, and a heaping helping of your own unmatchable imagination, there is no reason that you cannot, through your persona, live out that life that everyone wants, on the wide and magic all and scape of Amtgard.