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Inquisitn-Gme-art - 5/24/99


"The Inquisition Game" by Daniel of RavenÕs Nest. An SCA game to help folks develop their personas.


NOTE: See also the files: games-SCA-msg, persona-msg, persona-art, personas-msg, Persona-Build-art, names-msg, Easy-Persona-art, Som-Per-Ideas-art, Barbrn-Persona-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 09:13:57 -0800

From: "J. Kriss White" <jkrissw at earthling.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu (SCA-Arts mailing list),

Subject: Fwd: The Inquisition Game


This looks like an interesting persona development aid.


Lord Daveed of Granada, mka J. Kriss White,

Barony of Calafia, Kingdom of Caid




In reference to developing personae, herewith is a description

of a game to help people develop their's:


Daniel of Raven's Nest



The Inquisition


a true accounting of the

Rules for an SCA Persona Game


as compiled for Unchained Doom IV

by Daniel of RavenÕs Nest

October, AS XXVI


Good Gentles,


I was introduced to the idea of a persona contest at the Twenty-Five

Year Celebration.  It seemed like it could be quite a lot of fun,

so IÕve drawn up these rules as an experiment.  We will be play-testing

it at this event.


A purpose behind the game is to encourage in an enjoyable manner

the research and development of oneÕs persona.  I know after I

tried to play I realized how shamefully underdeveloped mine is.

It could be said that I do not know who I am, for the questions

below are deceptively simple.  Most people can answer almost all

of them for their modern lives, but to develop the answers for a

persona takes research.  This is the first time I have seen this

type of game done in Meridies, so comments on playing style, rules,

etc. are most welcome.


The Scenario


As players you are being brought before ŌThe InquisitionĶ. If

you answer their questions correctly, you may be spared. If

you answer incorrectly, you will be tortured and may die.

The Inquisitors decide if your answer is right or wrong, but

you may be able to convince them that you do not know the answer.

If you can last the longest in the questioning, you will go free.

Every one else dies.


Rules of Play


You will need: one person to act as the ŌGrand InquisitorĶ, who

keeps score; several other people to act as ÔThe InquisitionÕ

They should be knowledgeable about history.  If there are only

a few players, everyone but the victim acts as the Inquisition;

a six-sided die, and; some paper and writing implement to keep score.


Each person has a turn to be brought before the inquisition and

answer questions.  The player should try to answer in character

for his or her persona.  A player continues to answer questions

until he answers wrong, at which time he is sent to the ÔdungeonÕ

for torture, and it is the next playerÕs turn.  A wrong answer

would be knowing too little (like not knowing who you direct

overlord is), or knowing too much (like saying one is Early

Renaissance as that period was not named till later in history).

We will ignore language differences in names except for your

personaÕs name (i.e. Moscow vs Moskva)

Questions have point values from 1 to 5 according to the estimated

difficulty of an SCA person answering the question.  A correct

answer gains the player that many points.  Some questions have a

range of values, and the Inquisitors will have to award points

according to the adequacy and completeness of the answer. The

player may select the degree of difficulty/point value for the

next question.  The Inquisitors should rotate the category of

question in different turns of the same player.  For each player,

the Grand Inquisitor should note the categories covered, points

won, and number of times sent to the dungeon on the score sheet.


After a turn, comments on the answers may be appropriate by the

audience.  This is in the spirit of the game helping us to develop

our personal histories better.  They should not be so extensive

as to make it easier for later players to answer when it is their turn.


When a player is coming out of the dungeon for further questioning

(i.e. after the first round), the player must roll a die to see

if he has survived the torture.  He must roll a value greater

than the number of times he has been in the dungeon.  If he fails

he has died, and is out of the game.


The Inquisitors should ask themselves if the answers make sense.

They may purue a line of related questions during a turn and try

to use answers from previous questions to trip up the victim/

catch him in a contradiction, which count as a wrong answer.

The Inquisitors may use questions not on the list, and should

give them point values commensurate to the difficulty of the question.


The player may try to bluff an answer if does not know the real

answer.  This may work depending on the knowledge of the

Inquisitors.  The player may also try to convince the Inquisitors

that his persona would not know the answer given the circumstances

of that personaÕs life.  This would score as a correct answer.



Question List:

(Point values in parentheses, upgrade or downgrade points for

well thought out or marginal responses)




What is your name?(1)

What does your name mean?(2)

Who or what were you named after?(2 for plain answer, give 3 for story)

What is your fatherÕs name?(3)

What is your motherÕs name?(3)

What are your brotherÕs/ sisterÕs names?(3)

What do your people call themselves (correct pronounciation)(4)

What does the name for your people mean?(5)




Is your father/mother alive?(1)

If alive, when were they born?(2)

If dead, when did they die?(2)

If dead, what did they die of?(3)


How many brothers and sisters have you have?(1)

What rank are you in siblings (1st, 3rd, etc.) ?(1)

How many lived?(2)

What did they die of?(3)

What will/did you inherit(items/share)?(3)


Are you married?(1)

What is your spouseÕs name?(2)


Do you have children?(1)

What are their names?(3)


Vital Statistics


How old are you?(1)

Who was king when you were born?(2)

What year were you born?(CE)(3)

What year were you born?(proper calendar for period, nth year of


What day were you born?(3)

What SaintÕs day were you born on?(5)


Where were you born (modern country)?(1)

Where were you born (period country)?(2)

Where were you born (city or other small area)?(2)


What country do you live in? (modern)(1)

What country do you live in? (period)(2)

What locality or region do you live in (county, shire, department, or


Where do you live specifically (road, street, castle, manor)?(4)

How many people live there? (city, castle, manor)(4)


Home Life


What kind of place do you live in?(1)

Of what is it constructed generally?(stone, wood)(2)

What rooms does it have?(3)

Where do you sleep?(3)

Where do you relieve yourself? (garderobe, chamber pot)(3)

How old is it?(3)

Of what is it constructed specifically (type of rock, wood, type of roof,

give details)(3-4)

Who owned it before you/your family?(4)


What do you typically eat?(2)

What is your food prepared on? (in fireplace, on spit)(2)

Where does the food come from(3)

When does your place of residence have a market? (frequency, date)(4)


What is your social standing? (serf...noble)(1)

Of the three estates, to which do you belong?(2)

How many servants do you have? (if servant, how many does your master


What are their jobs?(4)


What do you normally wear?(1)

What do you sleep in?(3)

What are your clothes made of?(2)

How many sets of clothing do you have?(3)


What do you wear on a special day (church, holiday, market day)?(4)

What would you wear for your wedding?(4)




What do you do?(1)

What does your father/mother do?(2)

What do your siblings do?(3)

How long have you plied this craft?(2)

How long did you train/apprentice for this craft?(3)

From who did you learn your craft?(name)(4)

What is the most important tool of your craft?(2)

Name several other tools of your craft(3)

Who was the greatest master of your craft?(4)




How long must you serve if your overlord calls?(3)

What wars/battles have you been in?(3)

What did you do in the battle?(3)

What equipment must you bring with you?(4)

How many vassals/footmen must you bring?(4)

What unit were you in (by regiment, leaderÕs name, vanguard, etc.)(4)

Who led you in battle?(4)

What was his standard/arms?(5)




Who makes your product?(2)

Where does it come from?(3)

What is the measure of your product? (ells for cloth, hands for


How is it made?(4)

What do you pay them with?(4)

How does it get to you?(4)




What are your principal duties?(3)


Current Events


What century is it?(1)

What year is it?(2)

Who is your ruler?(2)

How long has he been on the throne?(3)

What day is it?(period calenday)(3)

How do you tell time?(3)

How do you know what day it is?(4)

What SaintÕs day is it?(5)


Who is your overlord or master?(title or personal name)(2)

Where is the cathedral/church?(3)

Who is Pope?(4)

Who is your bishop?(5)


Personal Life


Where is the furthest you have travelled?(2)

Why did you travel there?(3)

How long did it take to get there?(4)


What is the worst injury you have had?(3)

What is the worst illness you have had?(3)


What language(s) do you speak?(1)

What language(s) do you read?(2)

How many books do you own?(3)

What books have you read?(names)(3)

In what language?(3)

Quote something or give plot summary from a book you have read(4)


What skills do you have other than your profession?(3)

What are your hobbies/pastimes?(3)

What games do you know?(4)


What is your religion?(2)

How do you practice it?(3)




How much are you worth? (in income, or value in local currency)(2)

What taxes do you pay or what service do you owe?(3)

What is the local currency?(3)

What is the standard unit?(wt & fineness)(4)

How much land do you own? (period units)(4)

What is your ransom value?(5)


Torture List

(For fun, you can draw cards identifying tortures from a deck at random,

and players may act out the tortures)


    The Rack

    The Thumbscrews

    The Machine (from the Princess Bride)


    Chained to a Wall

    Thrown in a Pit with Rats

    Iron Maiden

    The Cat-o-nine-tails

    Chinese Water Torture

    Hot Poker

    The deepest, darkest dungeon

    Thrown in a cell with Lepers

    Laden with heavy chains

    Dragged behind a horse

    The stocks

    The Catherine Wheel


    The Press


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org