Badass Dragoons of the Highlands - Player Primer

We’re a few days away from kickoff and I’m excited to see so many new faces up for this outing. For those of you jumping in for the first time: welcome - I’m excited that you’ve chosen to join the story! I had no idea what to expect the first time I jumped into one of these, and it was still a heck of a lot of fun. Thank you for having the gumption to sign up.

First, if you have no idea what to expect - that’s perfectly normal. Every game is completely different from the one that came before it, but a common theme unites them all. A wise observer once noted: “The heart is collaborative storytelling, so the rules of improv are the best rules.” Tina Fey explains this better than I ever could, so I will let her words be your guide.

Tina Fey’s Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat *

The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. When you’re improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we’re improvising and I say, “Freeze, I have a gun,” and you say, “That’s not a gun. It’s your finger. You’re pointing your finger at me,” our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, “Freeze, I have a gun!” and you say, “The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!” then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun.

Now, obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.

As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. “No, we can’t do that.” “No, that’s not in the budget.” “No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar.” What kind of way is that to live?

The second rule of improvisation is not only to say yes, but YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own. If I start a scene with “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you just say, “Yeah…” we’re kind of at a standstill. But if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “What did you expect? We’re in hell.” Or if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “Yes, this can’t be good for the wax figures.” Or if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “I told you we shouldn’t have crawled into this dog’s mouth,” now we’re getting somewhere.

To me YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.

The next rule is MAKE STATEMENTS. This is a positive way of saying “Don’t ask questions all the time.” If we’re in a scene and I say, “Who are you? Where are we? What are we doing here? What’s in that box?” I’m putting pressure on you to come up with all the answers.

In other words: Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We’ve all worked with that person. That person is a drag. It’s usually the same person around the office who says things like “There’s no calories in it if you eat it standing up!” and “I felt menaced when Terry raised her voice.”

MAKE STATEMENTS also applies to us women: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice.

Instead of saying “Where are we?” make a statement like “Here we are in Spain, Dracula.” Okay, “Here we are in Spain, Dracula” may seem like a terrible start to a scene, but this leads us to the best rule:

THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities. If I start a scene as what I think is very clearly a cop riding a bicycle, but you think I am a hamster in a hamster wheel, guess what? Now I’m a hamster in a hamster wheel. I’m not going to stop everything to explain that it was really supposed to be a bike. Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up being a police hamster who’s been put on “hamster wheel” duty because I’m “too much of a loose cannon” in the field. In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.

*Improv will not reduce belly fat

  • From Bossypants

I strongly recommend that you set your forum preferences to automatically watch any forum topic that has a tag of ‘badass’. This will ensure that you’ll be aware of the latest posts on all topics related to the game when you visit the forum. Head to your profile, click the ‘Preferences’ tab on the far right, and select ‘Tags’ from the left sidebar, and add ‘badass’ as a watched tag - like so:

And then click Save Changes, natch.

Once a week, I’ll create a new topic to post the results from the last round, add some plot, and present new options to choose from. Your mission is to stop by at least once a week and make a few decisions based on that. Everything beyond that is magic. Feel free to PM me directly with confidential questions, questions about results, or other subterfuge and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, feel free to express any questions or concerns either via PM or in this topic. The stage hands are still setting things up in the background while we wait for Monday to arrive.


You are good with rules!!! I am excited. I always wanted to do improv and now I can!!! I’m in!!!


Perhaps the first time I’m to be considered perfectly normal, so that’s nice.

This was very helpful, thank you!


For the record, I did not agree to the Christmas gun. I totally got that for you on your birthday, YOU BASTARD!


It might be useful to be able to post more than one image per post. As a newbie to the forum, I’m forbidden from this. Does anyone recall how or when that privilege might be granted?


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But you liked the hanukkah howitzer last year.

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I did, but only because it came in the package that had a festive blue and white confetti cannon. The cat is never going to forgive me.

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TL1 arrives very quickly in these parts for now: 5 topics entered, read 30 posts, spend 10 minutes.