Vow of Chastity
The Player's Vow of Chastity, Turku 1999
As a role-player I hereby vow to submit to the following rules, included in the Manifest of the Turku School.
1. When playing a character and immersing myself in it, my foremost goal shall be to simulate what happens inside the character's head, and how it affects his behaviour. Hollow pretence I leave for the actors.
2.I shall use no non-diegetic (out-of-game world) methods (such as background music or unrelated off-game comments) while playing, if there is any other way to play the situation. (E.g. unless the game material specifically says otherwise, when the character hits, I hit.) If I think I see something like this in a game, I will assume them to be diegetic methods, and that my character experiences them exactly the same way I do, unless the game master has instructed me otherwise. (It remains the game master's duty, however, to make sure I know what level of physical and mental safety and suspension of disbelief is in use in the game.)
3. I shall learn and understand the character's person building the self image, personality, world view and other things that make it an individual from the subconscious outwards (i.e. not via maners or such). I expect others to do the same.
4. When attempting to look and act like the character, I shall avoid stage acting. I am aware that myself and my character might have different ways of speech, maners or other outward features, without them forcing the player to mess around or make noise.
5. I shall immerse myself in the game with the assumption, that if a character or other game element seems out of place in the world or in the game - such as comical, over-acted or badly played - it is still a part of the world, not a stupid idea the player had.
6. If forced to improvise or add to my character during the game, my first and foremost goal shall be to do this thinking about the big picture I have of the character and the game world, not trying to add surface dramatics or theatre methods. While playing, I will focus on immersing myself in my own character, not trying to improve the gaming experience of other players. I will try to be true to my character without thinking I can see a story-line which I should act out. I accept the fact, that as a player my part is to see only a small part of the whole.
7. I shall assume that the game master has told me everything I need to know about the game world, and what he wants his players to know about larping. I shall not attempt to use any general larping conventions in any one game, but the exact conditions given to me by the game master: if for example the off-game sign has been defined to be something, I will not use anything else to substitute for it.
8. When attending a game, I shall not consider it to be a member of any particular genre or see its events as larp-plots that have a certain solution. Unless the game master tells me otherwise, I shall see each game as a unique work of art, which should be treated accordingly.
9. I shall not let any non-critical factors from outside the game (such as entertaining the other players, forwarding the plot, guiding the newbies, off-gaming etc.) affect my playing in any way. During the game those things do not excist for me.
10. As a player I shall not strive to gain fame or glory, but to act out the character as well as possible according to the guidance given to me by the game master. Even if this will mean I will have to spend the entire game alone in a closet without anyone ever finding out.
Furthermore, as a role-player I vow to refrain from any personal style of gaming! I do not try to play, but to mold myself after the game master's wishes. I do not try to create myself a perfect gaming session or give others short-lived pleasure, because I consider the game as a whole to be much more important than any single player's experience of the game. My greatest goal shall be to fulfill the game master's vision forcing myself to immerse in the character as truthfully and realistically as possible. I swear to do this in all ways possible to myself, regardless of any concepts of good taste and convenience of other players.