The Centre Cannot Hold logo

Character Development

Another thing we tend not to believe in at UKG is a formalism of 'experience points', or any system whereby characters get predictably more capable or skilled as they spend time in the game. It doesn't seem very realistic – as you go through life and accumulate experiences, sometimes you learn from them and they make you a stronger, better and more capable person (or a weaker, worse and less capable one), sometimes they don't, and these effects are very much down to the peculiarities of your character.

So what we prefer to do is to handle character development in a role-playing way. If your character wants to learn how to fence, have them attend some lessons, or watch fencers in action, and if they are sufficiently attentive and apply themselves they will probably be able to pick up some of the skill. If you think your character has had experiences which will drive them nearer to the brink of insanity, role-play it in their thoughts and actions. During the course of the game you'll be establishing a dialogue with the GM, establishing between you an image of the character and the world through which they're moving, and you'll find it increasingly easy to reach mutual agreement about the way they're progressing and developing as the game goes on.

Digression on Insanity

It probably seems a rather odd topic to base a game upon, but the reasons why we've chosen to will become apparent as you play. Most characters will start the game sane, and gradually or suddenly be driven over the brink of madness during its course. If you don't want to play a mad character, this game is probably not for you, because that's very much the point of it. That said, there are of course many forms of madness, and not all characters will be 'raving lunatics' as the Victorians would have put it.

When considering your character's insanity, you'll have to be careful not to be too modern in your thinking. Victorian understanding of what we now recognize as a wide range of diseases and conditions was extremely limited, and the terms in which people of that period would have thought about the behaviour of themselves or others were very restricted compared with those with which we are familiar today. Although the underlying condition may not have changed over the intervening century, the symptoms, social stigma and level of suffering involved certainly have.


To play in The Centre Cannot Hold, just send GBP 15.00 to cover your setup and first two turns.
Further turns are GBP 6.00 each. Please make cheques payable to Undying King Games,
or you can pay by credit card using our secure transactions page.
You will receive a copy of the rules, map, and start form.

Like all our games, The Centre Cannot Hold can be played by post or by email, as you find convenient.

Undying King Games, 57 London Road, IPSWICH, IP1 2HF, United Kingdom


Inferno | Ixion's Wheel | Pieces of Eight! | UNEXPLAINED | Europa