I don't suppose I'd ever put the things below into practice, but in some cases I do think it would create some absurd and funny situations. Decide for yourselves if you'd ever implement these gimmicks.
My first thought was to suggest that if the actual players wanted to drink anything at the table ~ and of course half the experience of table-top is junk food and the like ~ then their characters would have to pay the cost in gold or silver. The character, of course, would be buying ale and mead in the game world, but one game beer would allow the player to drink a comparable substitute: coke or mountain dew or what have you. Specific comparisons could be imposed and prices arranged, so that if the player was fine with pop, then a purchase of ale would be sufficient. But if the player wanted to drink something more posh, like an energy drink, oh, well, then obviously they're have to be a charge for brandy or some comparable addictive beverage.
Likewise, chips and cookies and whatever else at the game table would have to rely upon the character's purchase of staples, meats, vegetables, whatever seems a fair comparison. And if the player doesn't want to spend character in-world money on their real world cheezies, they can do without, can't they? We can fairly stipulate that players who won't have their characters pay for their drinks can have as much water as they like, for free ~ in both the game world and out of it.
Now, once I started thinking about this, a few other thoughts came to mind. Obviously, the character would have to buy these vittles and drink in advance ... if it's not on the character's sheet to be marked off, well obviously the player can't drink it now, right? This would certainly make the next trip to the town market a little more interesting.
Another matter that is bound to come up, for some tables, is the subject of tobacco. I have players who regularly step out for a quick smoke whenever there's a break, so naturally it's only fair that the characters have also thought to buy some tobacco for this moment. Of course, it would be a bit tense around the table if Jean and Jimmy weren't able to have a puff at all that night, because they had forgotten to pick up tobacco at the last village. It might be a good time to have a wandering stranger passing by, calmly smoking, so the players can anxiously ask if the NPC can lend a bit from their pouch. This, I think, would play out hilariously.
And, point in fact, we can carry this a little farther. If you'll excuse the connection ~ and perhaps the lack of taste in mentioning the subject ~ it seems only fair that if the player goes to the bathroom during the session, we should assume the character does too. Which brings up another point. What if the character can't go to the bathroom, or smoke, or drink or eat, because there is a combat going on? Wouldn't it be perfectly logical to demand that these things be put aside for the duration of the combat, to be happily imbibed afterwards, in the glow of a well-earned victory? Wouldn't that put just a bit more inconvenience on Steve or Shiela, if they were uncomfortably shifting in their seats waiting for the battle to finally be done?
Though they could, reasonably enough, simply exit the battle for a few rounds (timed, of course), to deal with the situation. That would be fair.
This does put me in mind of something, however. If we're limiting the players actions by virtue of what the characters have the freedom to do, they why not insist that all players, for the course of every combat, remain standing? Obviously, no one is performing a combat sitting down, are they? Of course not. Still, there's only so much that a party will stand for, isn't there? Perhaps we can forego this little suggestion.
It did occur to me that rolling to hit could be made a bit more, erm, legitimate, if the player had to roll the die with something in their hand ... a weapon substitute, so to speak. It doesn't have to be anything excessive. A pencil, for instance, or any longish object that isn't going to put out a fellow player's eye. I can see imposing this and then, unfortunately for the player, my having to remind them that they don't use their left hand to swing their sword (unless the character happens to be left-handed) ... which would necessitate throwing their attack die with their left hand, while their right gripped their pencil. Hm. That might be a bit cruel as well.
I do think there must be other parallels between character and player that could be imposed. Many tables already use a simple premise that if the player's character isn't present for a given parley, that the player should keep silent. This is essentially the same line of thought. Whatever binds the character's actions could, in some manner, bind the player as well.
Which is not to say that we expect the players to settle into sleep, while one keeps watch. We have to be reasonable on some points.
|When we say "immersion," we don't mean we have to flood the apartment or anything.