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Author Topic: Some Dodgy Strife Aspects.  (Read 5283 times)
phredd
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Posts: 19


« on: May 10, 2006, 07:40:42 AM »

My GGG players should not read this.

I'm gearing up for a WGP come this Friday night at the last session of the current Gotham Gaming Guild run.  I took my group through character creation at the last session a week and a half ago and I've been mulling over my villanous plan since.

I'm currently choking a bit on a couple of troublesome strife aspects.

First some background.  It was decided that all the player characters are former members of a superhero team that broke up after the death of its leader and founder, Dr. Ohm.  Ohm had gone mad, destroying several cities before he was himself killed by some of the PCs.  Not everyone agreed that such a step was necessary.

I've decided that my main villain is going to a Jimmy Olenesque friend of Ohm's who's been overwhelmed by what ultimately drove Ohm mad.  Ohm, unbeknownst even to himself, was a collective intelligence made up of biological nanites that acted unanimously to form the persona and form of Dr. Ohm.  Then this entity developed cancer...

The cancerous faction of Ohm's cells decided that it would be best if all life were converted into more cancerous nanites, and proceeded to work stealthily to this effect.  It had already infected a significant portion of several cities before Ohm's immune systems caught on.  The resulting civil war within Ohm ultimately resulted in the ascendency of the most ruthless portions of his immune system who decided that the only way to end this threat was to eradicate it utterly, and so Ohm's rampage began.

Ohm's pal is currently infected with the cancer faction, which is working secretly to spread itself and ultimately make the entire biomass of Earth one with it.  The themes of the game are Revenge vs. Reconciliation.  The villain is actually desirous of a very radical reconciliation.

Of my current four players, two have strife aspects that I can deal with easily.  The other two have chosen more challenging strife aspects.  Both of them have done something similar, which is to create an aspect that is already under my control in some ways, leaving me no good way to attack it. 

The Motivator has chosen as his strife aspect his friendship with Dr. Ohm.  As a regular aspect, I could work this, but I'm having a hard time figuring out a really solid way to make that a critical portion of my plan.  Ohm's already gone!  That was part of what the players came up with themselves.  I could do a Search for Spock kind of thing and have some portion of Ohm's personality stuck up in the Motivator's head or pancreas or what have you, but even that doesn't seem quite right, especially since one of the other characters is already begging for this with his [origin] strife aspect.

Velvet has her relationship with her sister, Sable, as her strife aspect.  However, she's stipulated that she hasn't seen Sable in years, doesn't know where she is and simply has a feeling that she's somehow nearby.  So, before I can attack this, I need to establish the relationship first.

In hindsight, I think I should have asked the players to change their aspects a bit during creation, but I didn't really see the problems inherent in them until I really sat down and started trying to come up with a plan.  I may still ask them to make some changes.  I'm going to chew on it some more today to see if I come up with anything, and I'm open to any suggestions. 

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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2006, 08:17:52 AM »

Hey phredd,

Seems like you've got a fine setup.

My instinct is that Sable should be a villain. Maybe she was the one responsible for Dr. Ohm's cancer. Give Velvet's player a reason to have to choose between Revenge and Reconciliation. Every piece of your plan should be focused on highlighting this premise.

I feel like I still don't really know enough about your villain. Is it the cancerous incarnation of Dr. Ohm? If so, then it's still Dr. Ohm. In fact, if a cure can be found, maybe Dr. Ohm could be reconstituted. But maybe complete destruction of the nanites is necessary? Somehow this needs to attack the Revenge vs. Reconciliation premise.

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phredd
Member

Posts: 19


« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2006, 08:26:11 AM »

I've considered making Sable a villain, and vengeful lover of Ohm.  It was the first thing I thought of.  What's given me pause with that is that it seems like I'm usurping Velvet's aspect.  And it'd also be hard to then attack Velvet's relationship with her from there.  Mission Accomplished before I even start.

But if Sable is responsible somehow...  Velvet looked up to Ohm like a father. 

Still need to find a way to make attacking that (nascent) relationship part of the Plan, though.  Ohm could use Sable as a liutenant.  Sable herself attacking that aspect seems like a fait accompli and not fair to Velvet's player.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2006, 08:42:35 AM »

Hi, Phredd. Thanks for running With Great Power... The whole set-up looks pretty cool.

The Motivator has chosen as his strife aspect his friendship with Dr. Ohm.  As a regular aspect, I could work this, but I'm having a hard time figuring out a really solid way to make that a critical portion of my plan.  Ohm's already gone!  That was part of what the players came up with themselves.  I could do a Search for Spock kind of thing and have some portion of Ohm's personality stuck up in the Motivator's head or pancreas or what have you, but even that doesn't seem quite right, especially since one of the other characters is already begging for this with his [origin] strife aspect.

Not knowing anything else about the Motivator, I'd say that the cancerous-Ohm needs The Motivator on his side in order to "unify the biomass." If he can do this by convincing The Motivator that the good Dr. Ohm is back from the dead, so much the better!

If you don't go with that, you should talk to The Motivator's player about using flashbacks to illustrate Suffering. It will help build up to a surprise "I'm back! Will you join me, old friend?"

Or, the remnant of Ohm's personality that's hanging on doesn't have to be within The Motivator. Maybe as the cancerous-Ohm spreads, some small percentage of his new nanites display "good Ohm" personality traits. If the cancer spreads far enough, the "good Ohm" will be brought back, but does The Motivator dare let the mockery of his friend go so far?

As for stepping on Velvet's player, my advice is this: Usually when a player says "I have this aspect that's important to me, but I don't know what it is," like the sister that's been missing for years, what they're actually saying is "Come up with something good and I'll run with it." WGP... and a lot of newer games give a lot of power to the players to set up the dramatic parameters of the story. Not everybody wants to exercise that power (and its responsibility) all the time. This is one way of passing the power back to the GM.

Of course, I could be wrong, as I don't know Velvet's player at all.

If you post about this over on NerdNYC, please send me the link.

Velvet has her relationship with her sister, Sable, as her strife aspect.  However, she's stipulated that she hasn't seen Sable in years, doesn't know where she is and simply has a feeling that she's somehow nearby.  So, before I can attack this, I need to establish the relationship first.

In hindsight, I think I should have asked the players to change their aspects a bit during creation, but I didn't really see the problems inherent in them until I really sat down and started trying to come up with a plan.  I may still ask them to make some changes.  I'm going to chew on it some more today to see if I come up with anything, and I'm open to any suggestions. 


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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2006, 08:43:34 AM »

I've considered making Sable a villain, and vengeful lover of Ohm.  It was the first thing I thought of.  What's given me pause with that is that it seems like I'm usurping Velvet's aspect.  And it'd also be hard to then attack Velvet's relationship with her from there.  Mission Accomplished before I even start.

But if Sable is responsible somehow...  Velvet looked up to Ohm like a father. 

Still need to find a way to make attacking that (nascent) relationship part of the Plan, though.  Ohm could use Sable as a liutenant.  Sable herself attacking that aspect seems like a fait accompli and not fair to Velvet's player.

Not at all. Velvet has a relationship with Sable. The question is: what does Velvet's player decide that relationship means to her when she finds out Sable has done something horrible? Does she seek vengeance on Sable or does she find a way to reconcile? Every step you take with regard to Sable, whether she's a villain or she just stole Velvet's boyfriend, has to be about making Velvet's player decide whether to seek vengeance or reconciliation.

So, without knowing all the other details, my instinct is to make Sable somehow responsible, and maybe even that she used Velvet to do it somehow, though Velvet was an unwitting dupe. Then I'd play hardball and give Sable a hardcore ideological reason for having done what she did (and megabonus points for tying that reasoning back into the Vengeance vs. Reconciliation premise).

Obviously, something has gone wrong. Now Sable needs Velvet to finish what she started. But in order to ensure that it works, Velvet has to be aware of what she's doing.
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phredd
Member

Posts: 19


« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 12:05:13 PM »

Thanks much!  Some good ideas and, more important, I feel a bit better going with my general GMing inclinations now. 

Now I just need to cogitate a little more, and get our truant player integrated somehow.  It's late enough that I may just make up a character for him.

NerdNYC thread on the incipient game
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phredd
Member

Posts: 19


« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2006, 07:22:18 AM »

Velvet's player may not be able to make it tonight!  That'd be a real bummer.

I just wrote up a character for the player who missed our session and didn't get back to me in a timely way with his own character concept.  So, he gets to play Auric Barnaby, The Anodized Man.

I'm good to go with The Motivator and with Velvet now. 

Cancer Ohm does need Motivator's help, but it actually considers The Motivator to be a friend.  So, he'll be courted throughout.  The help that's needed is that Cancer Ohm is concerned about techological nanites and wants the Motivator to use his power over machines to help convert Auric's living metal cells into biotechnological cells under Ohm's control.  Then he'll be able to incorporate EVERYTHING.

And Velvet's sister, Sable, did cause the cancer.  Sable was Ohm's lover, but she's also a superspy and was ordered by her organization to infect Ohm with some nanoscale mind control technology that could be activated if Ohm ever opposed their interests.  That provided the seed that grew into Ohm's cancer.  Sable is sure that she caused Ohm's rampage and is grief stricken, but she also blames Velvet and her allies for killing Ohm.  AND she secretly feels so guilty about it that she wants to goad Velvet into killing her.

And Cross gained his new invulnerability when he was confronting the rampaging Ohm.  He's carrying the last vestige of the original Ohm cell base, including a great deal of biological data that cancer Ohm needs.  And to get that, he needs to get Lance Pierce and his ambitions for Cross out of the way.

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