Roleplayers get to put them into tons of simulated situations and determine outcome, usually, with the roll of the die. Nothing real is ever put at risk, threatened, or challenged…and that is a good thing.
But what kind of things do we have available that can mimic or at least give a taste of the events that your character can go through?
I am not thinking of silly outrageous things, nor anything that could get anybody hurt, but there are many things that one can do in real life that may appropriately simulate our favorit pastime.
1. Go horseback riding. Try and swing a stick at passing trees at a walk or trot and see what kind of skill is really needed. (Scras will have to help with this one some more)
2. Try shooting a bow and arrow. Try hunting with it. Try different types of different lengths.
3. Try to write with a feather, I mean quill.
4. Go flying in a private plane to simulate a flight spell or the soaring of a dragon.
5. Sky diving for the thought of trusting a float spell.
6. Don’t use electricity at night. Use candles. Light these candles without a match or lighter.
7. Use these candles while trying to "pick a lock" or "fight an enemy." How easy would it be to do it while holding a torch?
8. Try and sleep outside with just a blanket.
9. Find some old recipes and give them a shot. Try and find something that is close to trail bread and try and live off of it for a day or two.
10. Go to a renaissance fair and watch with educated interest and attention to detail the joisting, archery, sword fighting.
11. Take a horse drawn carriage tour.
12. Go spelunking. If a tour, think about no railings, no stairs, no electricity, and full armor.
13. Try climbing a rope up the side of your house or a wall.
14. Try to walk silently through the woods. Now do it in the dark.
15. Try and sneak up on family in differenty environments.
Additional Ideas (13)
17. Gather your own water from a creek or river. Don't drink tap or bottled water. Don't use the normal shower either, use a bucket of water from aforementioned creek or river.
18. Quit using the telephone, instant messenger or email for a while. Communicate with hand-written letters only if you can't talk face-to-face.
19. Get together with a friend and take turns on "watch" for a night. Try not to fall asleep.
20. Go for a day long hike. Start at dawn and keep going until sunset. Imagine doing it for weeks at a time.
21. Eat a simple food such as oatmeal or grits for every meal for a week. Wash it down with water only.
22. "Tithe" 10%(or more if affordable) of everything you earn to a church or other charity.
23. Get a friend to take a hike in the woods. Follow after a few hours later and attempt to track him. Now try it during a rainstorm.
24. Go find a corn or hedge maze and find your way through it without the available map.
25. Carve your own staff from a tree with a knife.
27. Seek omens in natural occurrences, and find the correct interpretation.
28. Try and communicate with someone without a common language.
29. Base a "scientific" theory only on what you can predictably experience and sense.
30. Generate your own version of history, creation, &/or the true nature of the world, based only upon your own experiences.
31. Carry water, without a prefabricated container.
32. Chop wood with an axe. Get bonus points if you chip your own axe out of flint.
33. Start a campfire without matches, lighter, or accellerant.
34. Learn the correct way to wield a sword, wear armour, or keep either in good repair.
35. Learn what plants & animals are edible, which are poisonous, and which have medicinal value. Try out this newfound knowledge.
36. get a suit of armour and try to sleep in it!!
38. Learn two of the four Boxing, Wrestling, Savate, and Fencing. If you can, learn Western Halberd or Broadsword styles. This is learning the hard side of an arts.
39. Go watch a non track and field pentathlon, then think about doing all of that. The one that is normally done is the 200-meter and 1,500-meter runs, the long jump, and the discus and javelin throws. The real Pentathlon was RidingPistol Shooting, Fencing, Swimming, Showjumping and Running.
40. Learning tumbling to go with all that dodging and climbing. Now try doing some of that tumbling while wearing normal clothes, then trying doing it with a backpack on.
41. Lace yourself up in a pair of soft boots (which are similar styles to those worn in most fantasy techs). Now go do things in them.
Now for some MU training
42. Learn Latin or some other Dead Language
43. Visualize a cube hanging in the air infront of you superimposed over what you see. Learn to see the cube completely solid. Now make the cube rotate slowly.
44. Learn meditative breathing process (diaphramic breathing, on a four count (four in, hold for four, four out, hold empty for four). The count is based on your heat beat. Now maintain this breathing for thirty minutes.
45. Learn to hold your mind clear: Visualize a 100 on a black background. Every heartbeat, reduce the number by one, untill you reach 0. The catch? If you think of ANYTHING besides the number on the black field, the 100 is reset. If you hold your mind clear, you will discover that random thoughts and sounds and memories and mental comments will just appear.
46. Learn to sit in a loose Indian style for sixty minutes without cramping up when gettin up. Once you manage to stay that relaxed for that position, do it while kneeling. Do not wear tight clothing. Learn why magic is performed in robes or while skyclad.
47. Learn Soft Focus by staring at a candle flame for 60 minutes, while doing meditative breathing and the sitting. The best one is being able to hold the count in your mind and see the candle at the same time.
48. Get a Tarot Deck. Memorize the picture and name of each card, as well as the associated meaning. Memorize the pillar patterns and the connections between the pillars and card.
49. Get a copy of the Magician's Handbook and memorize the associations dealing with the following: Golden Dawn, Four/ Five Elements, Enocian, Zodiac, and all the plants, metals, smells, times, and other relations dealing with the zodiological symbols. That should be about 600 symbols and their relationship to memorize. (There are alternate groups which are completely functional... feel free to utilize those).
(Okay, once you have completed 43-49, you might qualify for a continued apprenticeship. You are not even level 0 yet.)
50. Try meditating on a full stomach. Try meditating while walking. now you know why an MU requires time and effort to cast.
51. Identify 12 or more incenses by smell. Identify 12 or more mineral by sight (or touch), Identify every animal in a local zoo by its elemental association.
52. Learn Chi Training in an Eastern martial art. Tai-Chi is the most accessible that way. It should only take you a year or two, after you are accepted by a teacher (which might take a year or two on its own).
53. Learn Reiki to Level 2. That takes a weekend if you push it.
54. Learn three tricks of Stage Magic, they must be of the slight of hand/ street magic variety. This will teach you the tricks to do proper magical florish, make things appear and disappear, and other things that people expect a magical person to do. It also teaches manual dexterity and concentration.
55. If you get good at that, go rent a copy of Labrynth with David Bowie and get some balls to practice with. DO NOT START WITH GLASS. (I have yet to master this one)
56. Learn the monarchial succession for a country with a history longer than 200 years. You also need to learn who was heir (or a potenial heir) at any one point in history. Now make sure to learn all their heraldic emblems.
57. Learn to Sing. You have to entertain yourself somehow on those cold dark nights.
59. Trying re-nibbing a quill. Then work on the caligraphy. Oh heck, just try the caligraphy.
60. Try the hike process with a large pack. A few hours of that might explain why most people stayed put in earlier times.
61. Memorize the formula for gun powder (just in case you ever get transported in time and space). Of course, you will need to learn what the components look like in their raw forms.
62. Memorize the formula for concrete (just in case you ever get transported in time and space). Learn the raw forms. This formula will be more useful in the long run anywhere you go in history.
63. Learn the plans for a ballista, catapult, and treboche. You never know when you will need a primitive weapon of much destruction when lost in time.
64. Learn how to set up a still. Besides the recreational benefits, the process of distillation is useful in a variety of processes.
65) Go down to gun range and rent out some weapons. Discover the noise, the kick, and the heft of your average weapon. This is best if you hook up with your friend, the gun nut.
66) Discover the nerve grinding work and speed of typing required to perform your average hack.
67) Go down to your local Nascar track and try to drive really fast. For best effect, take a class in superior driving or race driving. Discover how tough some of those moves you see on the screen are.
68) Ditto for a motorbike.
69) Try learning a "realistic" flight simulator without any of the aids. Then think about the fact that this is a sim, not the real thing.
How many vehicles can your character drive/ fly? Sure it is only six character points.... but...
See the effects of M16 + Squad LMG's on cinderblock walls.
Hear how loud Carl Gustav recoilless rifles are.
See engineers blow the top off a hill.
Hear how much noise a modern armored company can make.
See a ground attack by a F-18 (CF-18 in Canada)
Now, think about being on the recieving end of all that.
If this is too hard, try doing it with butcher paper.
This technique sounds easy, but is not. However, once mastered, your footwork improves and you learn how to walk (nearly) silently.
73) Go to the country hall of records and see, even with their computer system, how long it takes to trace the trail of ownership for a parcel of land going back for 150 years.
In my city, all of this is actually computerized (or on a city website), it took me three hours. Imagine what your investigators have to go through, especially if they are pre-information age.
74) Learn a proper computer language or three.
75) Learn various "methods" for entering and manipulating a computer.
76) Learn computer hardware and other electronics
77) Learn phone wiring
78) Learn how to hotwire a car
79) Learn how to climb a building, which is very different from climbing a mountain or tree.
80) Learn Pankour or how to efficiently move through an urban landscape. it is a combination of gymnastics, military training, and extreme sports.
82)Now go sailing in gentle seas (waves 50cm-1m) in a dinghy. (~beaufort 4, 13-18mph)
83)Now, try it in beaufort 6-7. (considered 'strong breeze', waves 3-4m, 25-38mph)
84)Now, try to be on a boat (any boat really) in beaufort 10 winds, which is now considered a 'storm', with waves ~9m.
Imagine doing this on a boat build with medieval technology. Try fighting. Forget fighting, just try standing up.
86) Go take a first aid course of some sort (epic bonus points for paramedic training). See exactly how badly people can screw themselves up with simple little things. Imagine trying to treat horrifying wounds with limited supplies, in an non-sterile environment, at night, by the light of a campfire (or candles).
88) Set up some home alone type traps. Have a friend do the same. Dont tell each other where you set them up, and try to find and disable them before you get hit. (try using soft or light items so you dont get hurt.)
89) Have someone put handcuffs on you. Get out of them.
90)Have someone who knows what they are doing tie you up. Get out of the ropes without cutting them.
91) Write your mother a letter from your father. Bonus points if *he* thinks he signed it.
92) Play hide and seek without counting. If thats too hard, try counting to 10 instead of 50 or 100. Now do it in a well-lit school or office building, with classrooms/offices off limits. Bonus points if people are there and they don't notice your hiding spot.
93) Go to a town youve never been to, and try to get someone to tell you where an authority figure lives. Dont use their name. Try not to get the police called on you. Then try to score some drugs (or other hard-to-find, supposed to be discreet items)
94) Hang a rope 5 feet above your head, and jump to grab onto it. Then try at 10 feet above, and 15. Bonus points for not getting a running start.
95) Ride a horse bareback. Then get some friends to shout and run at it.
96)Memorize the current prices of 100 household items. Keep this mental list updated daily/weekly.
97)Walk across a balance beam. Then run across. Then try the same thing with someone throwing bean bags at you. If you can, get several set up in a line and go across all of them.
98)disguise yourself as a friend without using boxed hair dye, pre-fab facial hair, or expensive makeup. try charcoal and shoe polish, and various natural coloring agents. bonus points for fooling their family.
99) If you are under 25, persuade someone to sell you alcohol or tobacco without checking your ID. doesn't count if they're lazy and wouldn't anyway. Please be of legal age to buy the stuff to begin with.
100) ladies: try having your period without tampons or pads, or ibuprofen. in the woods. (not one I'm interested in trying out.)