[Under Construction]

News and Events
The Setting
Social Orders
The Intent Clause
The Authenticity Clause
The Reality Clause

Members of the American Medievalist's Association are strongly encouraged to invent and portray a 'character' for themselves. We define a character as an authentic person who could have existed in the 13th Century setting. The American Medievalist's Association does not allow a member to impersonate an actual, historical person. Literary persons are also discouraged because they may still be copyrighted and thus could result in legal infringements. This means that you cannot be King John of England, or Louis VI of France, etc. This does not mean that you cannot be "James Smith of Northumberland" because there actually was a "James the Smith" from a town in Northumberland, who was sued in court in 1222 A.D., according to some obscure compendium of civil suits in Northumberland. You could be another "James (the) Smith" from Northumberland, so long as you did not claim to be that one, who was hauled into court. By the same token, a person should not claim to be an actual ancestor of his, but you could claim to be a family member (cousin?) who was closely related to the ancestor. We feel that it is bad form and highly unimaginative to impersonate someone else.


The best way to develop a character is to first choose a "nationality" of the time. You then research names common to that nationality and time and simply pick one that you like. Some of our members are working on a "Guide to Names", but why wait? Say, you chose "Germany". Take a map of Germany and select a region that your character was born in. Now develop a short biography: who were your parents? Do you have siblings? Are you a Noble? Or are you in a trade, guild or profession? What education would you have appropriate to your position in life? How did you wander into this re-enactment setting? Although it's not hard, it does require a bit of "looking things up" and that is something the American Medievalist's Association wishes to encourage. Try to keep the character reasonable and not an excuse to come up with ornate and overly creative explanations to explain away something fantastic, or an absurd quality of your character. If your character is 4x stronger than everyone else and immortal besides, maybe you should be somewhere else playing D & D instead? What your character is should determine what it does in a live action role- play (LARP), or in other words, how it interacts with the other characters.


At the present time, characters are not mortal, i.e., they cannot be "killed" by another character, although there have been times when it was fervently wished otherwise. From time to time, (usually new) members make this proposal. Instead of going through the bother of new blazons, having to inherit your goods from your former (now dead) self, etc. We in the American Medievalist's Association encourage our members to act as though they were mortal, and that there were consequences to their actions. This should encourage politeness and mercy in combat, both desirable traits in civilized societies. Due to both the reality clause and the authenticity clause, it should be obvious that your character cannot be an elf, orc, dryad, dwarf (a la tolkein), Klingon, Federation Observer, etc… There are separate organizations for all this stuff. Please go there if you are so inclined. If you have trouble developing a character, you could attend a workshop on it or consult an advisor.


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Last modified: April 01, 2002