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Author Topic: Setting up the drama...  (Read 3057 times)
Bankuei
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« on: June 12, 2002, 03:01:47 PM »

As our RoS mini-run has come to a close, Clinton let us in on the NPC's various Spiritual attributes.  Some included, "Destined to become King", while others had,"Lead a revolt", etc.  So this got me thinking....

Instead of choosing a locale, and setting up the politics to start, then trying to fit in the characters, has anyone started with the PC's Spiritual attributes, then designed several NPC's as rivals, antagonists, allies, etc, with opposing, similar, or cocurrent SA's to serve as the "relationship map" of drama?

Chris
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2002, 03:14:27 PM »

Quote
Instead of choosing a locale, and setting up the politics to start, then trying to fit in the characters, has anyone started with the PC's Spiritual attributes, then designed several NPC's as rivals, antagonists, allies, etc, with opposing, similar, or cocurrent SA's to serve as the "relationship map" of drama?


I'm in the process of attempting to do something like that. I've got some vague ideas based on my first two characters, which I hope to solidify once the other two make their characters. I refuse to try to make an "adventure" without knowing the characters who will be involved.

As for the rest... When it comes to NPCs, except for my majors, I'm really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort. I don't want to put too much planning into a given NPC, because it might just turn out that the PCs will choose a path which will never bring them into contact with that NPC, or totally kill him/her on their first encounter. (Experience has brought me to this point...) I don't even define who my major NPCs are until I get an idea of where the PCs want to go.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2002, 07:13:26 AM »

Hi there,

What you describe is exactly what I did, following mainly the model I set out in Sorcerer & Sword, and used to great effect in Hero Wars.

1) Pick a spot/locale and discuss the culture there, briefly.

2) Make up characters, letting the players know that their SAs or equivalents are going to be my GM engine.

3) Now build whatever scenario or specifics seem to tweak those SAs the most, perhaps using a Relationship Map or whatever other technique seems reasonable.

I'll be discussing this in Actual Play later, but here are the SAs for the two players in my group:

Viktor, a Zaporozhyan warchief: Destined to become the new Voivode, Passion (loves current Voivode's wife), Faith (3-in-1, with local modifications), Luck, Driven (to drive out Zhibaran influence)

Maciej, a Sarmat mercenary: Destined to become a religious icon, Conscience, Luck, Passion (loyal to merc band), Driven (to raise his social status)

I responded with
- an ailing Voivode and his rather cool wife (not a scheming bitch or an airhead), as well as family members for her and a council for the Voivode that includes Viktor
- a Zhibaran politico/creep with lots of gold [philosophy = "eat the weak"]
- a mercenary leader who understands "gold" very, very well
- an Imjian sorcerer who is co-opting the religion of the area into his sorcerous rite to resurrect (and dominate) the local saint [the sorcerer also has a Destiny to become a religious icon!]
- as well as a few other things, scattered around to connect, support, or punctuate these major influences.

Viktor has to trade off political unity, ie, supporting the Voivode, with his passion for the wife. That's why I took care, as a GM, to make the wife an attractive and interesting character - the player now feels really guilty about the whole thing. Maciej has to deal with the split in the mercenary band regarding their loyalties, as well as becoming the focus for the sorcerer's efforts.

Hope this helps. Frankly, I can't see any other functional way of running TROS.

Best,
Ron
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