Introductions: An Eloquence Game

Anyone can start this game, as long as it takes place in the space of either a Queen’s Court, or a King’s Court.

The one starting this game, often (but not necessarily!) the Host of the Court, signals it by announcing “If it please the Court, Introductions!”. Those present affirm their consent by nodding. The first one to put their hand on their heart performs the first Introduction. In this manner, as the game proceeds, others announce their intentions to perform an Introduction.

The Introduction

The Introducer chooses one other person in the circle, and in as regal a manner as possible, the Introducer asks those present to formally meet this person of their choosing. The Introducer proceeds to satisfy the following points of introduction, not necessarily in this order, in as laudatory a fashion as possible:

Name

The name consists of an relevant nickname first, chosen on the spot by the Introducer, or inherited by past Introductions. They then say their heritage name (if they have one), and explain its origins. Named after who? Why? If the name on their birth certificate belies their true origins (as in the case of slave names, etc.), explain this tragic and curious wrinkle in their ancestry.

Lineage

Continuing the theme of ancestry, begin the long count of (staying to male ancestors if male, and female when female) parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, with the goal of at least seven generations back of naming.

Place

Now speak of the places they have lived, from the point of view of the Land itself. What rivers, what valleys, what strange living beings grew and walked in those spaces? What fruits could one eat?

Personal Heroics

Speak of the most amazing feats this one has accomplished, the things that impress you the most. Make it Epic!

The Wrap-Up

“With that my Introduction ends, but not my gratitude for you as an audience, nor my affection for [insert their nickname, heritage name, lineage name, or tax name here]. The very next person to put their hand on their heart after this, performs the next Introduction.

None of these categories fall in any particular order, except the Wrap-Up of course comes last. You can also mix categories to play them up.

Ending The Game

If you have an odd number players, someone must volunteer to Introduce two people; once begun, the game cannot end until everyone has had someone Introduce them, and the Host of the space declares, “Well Spoken!”. If the Host declares the assembly “Well Spoken!” before all Introductions have occurred, the responsibility lies with the other players to make sure the game finishes honorably by saying “Introductions!” to signal the error and keep the ball rolling.

Options

The design of the game purposely pushes the players to learn more about the other participants, during time outside of playing the game. It also pushes them to learn more about themselves, in order to answer the inevitable questions about their name, lineage, places, and more.

You can make the game easier the first couple times you play by having people Introduce themselves, in a variant of the game called Remedial Introductions. Do your best to move on to the standard version of Introductions as soon as possible.

Host vs. Guest variation: If you have already determined Host and Guest teams, then The Introducers aim their words at the other side, rather than all present. When a team finishes, the Host says “Well Spoken!”, signalling the other team to begin.

The Table has Turned, another variation: The Host can signal the Nobles to Introduce different players than last time, or than they ever have before, by saying “The Table has Turned!”, at any time between Introductions.

Written by Willem