Before you get started, we think there’s a few things you should know. If you are super savvy, you might be able to get by with just the quick ref. If you’re new to role playing, Twitter, or Austin, you might want to read the entire guide below.

How does this work?

#SXSWrpg is played completely on Twitter, using your smartphone and the official Twitter app (or a number of supporting apps like Foursquare, Flickr, etc). The goal is simple. Share you experiences from SXSW in RPG format. Craft little stories. Assign points. Take damage. Have fun with it!

As you tweet, our site will save all your adventures and your character will start to level up. You get 1 XP from each tweet and 1 HP each time someone responds to you.

A lot of #SXSWrpg depends on location. To make the most of our game, you’ll first need to turn location on in your Twitter settings. Then, when tweeting, make sure you enable location. The absolute best way we’ve found is to use the official Twitter app to include the lat/long coordinates. More on apps and tweeting below…

Does the scoring listed in a tweet count?

Lots of times, in a tweet, you’ll see a user say something silly like, “You forgot your deodorant, all members of your party suffer -10 HP.” In reality, no party members lose HP- this is just a joke from a clever tweeter.

Crafting a silly or clever tweet is all part of the fun, just remember that the only official scoring is shown on our site. While “-100 Charm” may sound just perfect when you spill a beer on that girl you’ve been talking to all night, you’ll only get 1 XP from each tweet and 1 HP each time someone responds to you.

For more info, check out “How do I craft my tweets?” down below.

How does a battle take place?

When another character tweets near a location you’ve tweeted from within a certain window of time, a battle takes place. Our system will measure the two accounts, add a healty dose of random game logic, then spit out the results via @SXSWrpg.

Losing a battle will actually deal your character damage- not to mention the shame of the tweet being publicly available for all to see.

How do I create a party?

For the time being, you cannot create a party. If we get the functionality done, we’ll update this section.

Just like a classic RPG, during #SXSWrpg you’ll probably want to roll with a party. To join into a party, both Twitter accounts will need to tweet at each other with the hashtag #party (in addition to #SXSWrpg). The hashtag #party is one of our many subhashes, discussed below.

Characters in a party won’t be made to battle one another when tweeting from close proximity and might even come in handy when a real battle breaks out.

Where do I find an item and what does it do?

Items are scattered throughout the Austin area and are unlocked with a simple tweet from the correct area. All items are tied to a lat/long coordinate, and if your tweet is within a few blocks you’ll receive a tweet alerting you of your loot.

Some items give a bonus in battle, some items replinish HP, some are just for fun. Some items might even turn into real life prizes.

How do I craft my tweets? What apps can I use?

The basic goal here is to tweet your experiences with an RPG feel. Be it table or video, most nerds grew up with a healty dose of role playing. #SXSWrpg is a silly throwback to a land of epic decisions and over-exagerrated outcomes. The only rule is to use #SXSWrpg in your tweets.

To get the most out of this site, you should make sure your tweets include a latitude and longitude. Before you can do that, though, you should make sure you have location enabled in your Twitter settings (best viewed on the desktop- don’t worry, just gotta do it once).

When tweeting, we had the best results with the official Twitter app. I’m sure there are some dandy 3rd party options, but the official Twitter app most consistently placed us on the map.

You can also use apps that post to Twitter, as long as the resulting tweet includes #SXSWrpg. Checking in with Foursquare? Add the hash and we’ll catch your checkin data, even your photos. Posting Flickr or Instagram photos? Just hash the tweet and we’ll get ’em.

What is beast mode?

When a character is on a roll or has been dominating in battle, his or her avatar will transform into a dynamically generated beast. The character’s action on the map will be highlighted. The character’s stats in battle will be boosted.

You do not want to run into a beast during #SXSWrpg.