Raymond's Quiet Press

First of all, what is a Persona?


A Persona is the Mediaeval name, character, and role you want to play in the SCA.


Second, why do you need one? Well, shen you first join, it keeps you from being a tourist, standing to one side, watching the wierdos in strange costumes. With a persona, you are one of us wierdos in a strange costume. Then it encourages you to study a particular culture, so you know how to dress, how to act, and what your background is.


These can also be more personal reasons. Perhaps you enjoy pretending to be the kind of person you’ve always admired. If you spend a weekend as the persona you want to have, you may find yourself on a Monday morning, considering your mundane name to be an alias.


There’s also another reason for choosing you own name and character. If you don’t, someone else will, and may be stick you with something more accurate than you’d prefer. How would you like to be known as “the Gross” or “ the Crocked”? But you can pick any name and role you like, with only two restrictions. It has to be pre-1600, of course, and can’t dulicate any previously used historical or Society name. We are now acting you the line from Macbeth or pretending to be Merlin the Magician. To experience Mediaeval socity, we create appropriate character and personalitites for ourselves, and then react spontaneously within the atmosphere.


Now that I’ve convinced you to choose a persona, how do you find one? First, you should decide the culture and era you’d like to be a part of. If you’ve always been interested in a certain culture, say the Italian Renaissance or Gaelic, but never had much time to study it, you might use this as a good opportunity. If you’ve already studies one nation’s history or language you’ll probably put yourself in that culture. If your famild actually emigrated from a particular province, you might want to emphasize your real heritage. Or perhaps you’ve always felt that you’d have made a good Teutonic warrior, a loyal follower of King Arthur, or a fanatic Crusader.


Once your’ve chosen the country, the ear isn’t hard. Most people enter the century when their local kings ruled half of Europe, rather than after they were defeated and their people were being pillaged, plundered and raped by everyone else. We can also assume that you’re part of the local nobility, unless you’re particularly proud of you merchant of freeholder background. Then you might be the illegitimate child of the local Baron and some peasant girl. That’s quite historical, and gives you the strength of character of one, and the social privileges of the other. If you have Mediaeval talents, you may choose a profession, such as minstrel, court jester, wizard, alchemist, etc. You are limited in the titles you claim, as Baron, Duke, Prince and Knighthood must be earned in the historic fashion, and granted by the King. But you can be the chief of your own clan, or household and use titles like overlord, tarkhan within that group.

Written by Brandon Herman — June 30, 2016


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