Endowment

by EvanJPalmer

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A new tool that we learnt at improv last night was the “game” of endowments.

I did cool little air quotes around “game” because I guess it’s more of a technique than a game.

Anyway, you start a scene and to give it more… substance (?) you start endowing the other player with personality traits. As you’re endowing them, you watch them carefully for reactions. Are they accepting your offer? Are they enjoying it?

The idea is to give out heaps of stuff that the other player might like to use, so basically forget about yourself, and really focus to make sure the other player is having fun.

Marko says, that if you know the player well, and you know they like doing something, then start throwing offers in that direction. For example, if you know someone likes playing deformed, decrepit characters you could come in to a scene with an offer like:

“You monster. I’ve seen you sneaking around out the back of the valley. The bloodstains on your clothes…”

Hopefully you’d see the other player take on these traits.

Another example would be if you didn’t know the other player so well, so you could look at them and throw out some subtle offer for them. The example Marko gave was if a guys looks like he might consider himself a ladies man, perhaps try something like:

“Oh well, I bet you get all the ladies”

and look at his reaction. If he smiles, back it up with something like:

“I mean, you’re a great looking guy, and rich.”

I don’t know, something like that.

I suppose you should be equally aware that someone might not like your offer, and not push traits on other people too hard. But that’s my own thought – I could be wrong there, but I wouldn’t like it if someone pushed say, a young child character on me because I particularly hate playing characters like that.

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