Started by Eero Tuovinen, July 20, 2009, 11:49:14 AM
Quote from: Eero himselfMy experience playing with ratkin was for the longest time that they are a problem, not a solution: it always seems that when you start playing TSoY with a new group, there is inevitably one player who gravitates towards a ratkin (or goblin for that matter) player character over any other option – this always seems to be because that player wants to avoid protagonism: his ratkin character is a hanger-on with no discernible issues of his own and seemingly no other function in the campaign than to attack squeling vigorously against whoever happens to threaten the real main characters. The ratkin with its humorous appearance and inhuman immunity to human issues is the perfect hanger-on character for the player who couldn't care less about making a real effort in the game.This all changed when I figured out that I should not be moaning the fact that some of my friends wanted to play sidekicks; I should embrace it. When you have something like four players in the game, where's the problem in allowing one or even two to play unabashed sidekicks? Removing ratkin wouldn't remove this need, and why would we need more than a couple of heroic leads, anyway? Looking at it this way, ratkin are perfect: they're comedic and sympathetic, and suitably compact to fit in the hero's backpack. The Key of Cheese is an example of this shift in my strategy: I can support the comedic role actively, and I should.This is not to say that ratkin can't be used seriously; they do certainly have many fascinating and serious aspects. I am personally especially fond of their nature as genuinely non-human people in Near, outside the Human Equation and one of the beastkin. I consider it a fully valid thematic challenge to ask a ratkin character to prove that he is actually people and not just an animal, in whatever manner a given campaign would consider such an issue. Ratkin can also be used for their social dynamics and position as a marginalized, gypsy-like underclass in Maldor.