Animal Characters

By | March 11, 2019


Animalistics. Zoo. Animal Endowments.


In this open scene the characters will be endowed with animal traits.


Animal Characters is both a handle and an exercise. This structure is an overlay for open scenes. Here we are discussing the exercise.

The leader quickly endows each player with an animal and the players start an open scene. All elements of narrative are expected in this open scene. The scene is played out like any other open scene, but with character embellishments as assigned.

The animal endowments represent subtle changes to the characters that are in the scene. The leader should encourage the player to keep their animal endowment subtle. For example, a player endowed as a cat may occasionally insert a meow between words, may toy with her meal before eating, or luxuriously lick her forearms. A cat endowment does NOT indicate the player becomes a cat on all fours, only meowing and napping through the scene. Subtle changes allow for better narratives and accidental comedy.

This exercise can be used to concretely work on subtle characterizations. Focusing on animal endowments allows players to explore subtle character changes that influence a narrative, not control it. In the mundane world, angry people rarely yell, sad people don’t bawl their eyes out, aroused people don’t rub themselves against others.

If players are having trouble navigating in this area the leader can start with the simplest task of directly becoming the animal. Increasing complications would be to remove less and less of the animal characteristics from the endowment.

  1. Full Animal Impersonation
  2. Walking animal
  3. Talking animal
  4. Animal traits only
  5. Animal want only


  • Endow a performer as a cross species cat-dog.
  • Endow a performer as a plant type.


  • Fantasy Creatures – unicorns, orcs, elves.
  • Automobile Types – truck, economy, electric.
  • Kitchen Appliances – blender, spatula, microwave.