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Author Topic: [Harn] A character, a demon, and a question  (Read 1804 times)
Randulf
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Posts: 42


« on: July 31, 2006, 06:15:55 PM »

Baldwin
Stamina 4, Military Training
Will 5, Belief System, Vow (to Argent Order)
Lore 1, Naive
Cover 5, Knight of the Order of the Lady of Paladins
Humanity 4
Telltale: Argent Order talisman tattoo on his shoulder

Baldwin is a poor but very devout knight who worships Larani, the lady of paladins and champion of the reluctant warrior.  While on a pilgrimage to the holy sites of Larani on the mainland, he was recruited into the Argent Order, a secretive order within the church devoted to the struggle against the Dark Gods, Morgath and Naveh, as well as Larani's traditional enemy, the Demon Lord Agrik.  He learned much about the ways of the dark churches, but did not show a willingness to be trained in the higher Lore of the Argent Order.  Instead, upon his official induction into the Order he was given a sword.  His binding ritual for the sword consisted of conducting a ceremonial vigil over the blade, while focussing with all his might on how best to use the sword to serve Larani.

He believes that the powers of the sword come directly from Larani, possibly through intermediary Saints, but has no clue, and would be horrified to learn, that the sword itself is a demon.  He will only call on the sword's powers when he believes it is a holy cause (which does not mean the sword itself will not convey powers at other times...)

Huingol - Object Demon, a shiny broadsword
Stamina 5
Will 7
Lore 6
Power 7
Abilities: Fast, Armor, Boost Stamina, Shadow, Hint, and Special Damage
Need: Love and attention
Desire: Power
Telltale: The runes on the blade change from time to time, conveying cryptic messages to Baldwin

Most of Huingol's abilities are straight-up combat enhancement, with Shadow thrown in for the flashes of holy light, and Hint for those soul-searing Important Questions.  I think at first he will be able to meet the Need pretty easily, as he intends to pray to Larani (as represented by the sword <evil grin>) frequently, but gods help him when he finds someone or something else to love.   (Yes, I was inspired by Ron's discussion of the Elric/Stormbringer/Anyone Else love triangles...)

And now for the question - we're having some trouble with the Kicker.  I'm planning to use the Harn fanon module, The Earl's Progress (unless you're one of my players, look for it at lythia.com, it's a masterful work) as the framework for the campaign, and thus I'm thinking of a Kicker that kicks him into the Earl's service.  Is "a letter arrives from the Argent Order, instructing you to insinuate yourself into the Earl's household" too vanilla?  I've read the "Kickers for Idiots" threads, and am still a little stumped.  Thought I'd kick it out here for feedback.

Cheers,
Scott
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 07:03:42 PM »

Um, wait. The Kicker is written by the player. You can participate in that a little as a fellow participant, but not as the authority. The player writes the Kicker, the GM accepts it. If that throws your previous thoughts about the scenario out the window, then that's how it is.

Best, Ron
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Randulf
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Posts: 42


« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 09:01:18 PM »

The player did write that.  I'm wondering if I should push back for something "kickier".
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Randulf
Member

Posts: 42


« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 10:50:05 PM »

Um, wait. The Kicker is written by the player. You can participate in that a little as a fellow participant, but not as the authority. The player writes the Kicker, the GM accepts it. If that throws your previous thoughts about the scenario out the window, then that's how it is.
Okay, having reread your entire post, I'm with ya.  He wrote it, I can't think of a reason not to accept it, so away we go. Thanks for the feedback...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 10:56:01 PM »

Hi there,

Well, hold on a minute, there is some stuff to discuss. So, the player wrote,

Quote
"a letter arrives from the Argent Order, instructing you to insinuate yourself into the Earl's household"

When you get a Kicker like this, which is pretty much a mission, double-check with the player that he knows the Kicker is defined as changing his character's life forever. Which means that you, as GM, will be forced to make this letter or mission quite tricky ... and that he, as player, is ralso equired to act upon it in such a way that it really matters.

In other words, he is committing to make this Kicker more central to his character's life during play somehow, probably during the first session. It's all right if he wants to let it be vague at present, but it will have to become more specific. You as GM can make it a little more specific, for example coming up with some back-story about who wrote this letter and why, but that is only part of it. He will have to do the bulk of the work, during play, by reacting to the letter in some important way.

Here's what I suggest. Ask him, why is this letter/mission any different from others in the character's past. He may tell you, in which case you now have a more explicit Kicker to work with. Or he may say, "Just wait and see," wanting to make it richer in the context of what you say about it. This is OK too; I think of it as a "Kicker duet."

But if he goes, I dunno, I figured it was just a plot hook for the adventure, then you can say, no, this is Sorcerer, the Kicker is a big deal. The problem is that this kind of discussion tends to flounder, and also to become playing-before-playing. That's why I'd emphasize the constructive versions I outlined above - rather than change the Kicker, which is perceived as onerous by some players, just get it established that this Kicker will be a big deal, and it's not the GM's primary responsibility to establish that, but the player's.

Best, Ron

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Randulf
Member

Posts: 42


« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2006, 06:15:07 AM »

Quote
"a letter arrives from the Argent Order, instructing you to insinuate yourself into the Earl's household"

When you get a Kicker like this, which is pretty much a mission, double-check with the player that he knows the Kicker is defined as changing his character's life forever. Which means that you, as GM, will be forced to make this letter or mission quite tricky ... and that he, as player, is ralso equired to act upon it in such a way that it really matters.

I will discuss it with him, but reading your response I feel better about the approach.  This is supposed to be the first significant mission he's been assigned since being send back to Harn, and it's expected that it will change his life.  You'll note that he's a rather driven individual, and he has taken a vow to the Argent Order, so there's no reason why he wouldn't commit himself fully to such an order.

My discomfort had been that the Kicker was just a mission - thanks for putting your finger on it better than I could - but a major mission that kicks the player along should be fine.

Cheers,
Scott
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2006, 06:35:00 AM »

Right! If it's a Kicker to him, then all is well. Don't forget that you have to live up to as GM, in making the contents of that mission (what he encounters, why he was assigned that mission) worth it.

I suggest not falling back into the stereotype that the guy who assigned him the mission is going to show up and betray him toward the end, or any of that tired bullshit.

Best, Ron
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Randulf
Member

Posts: 42


« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2006, 09:38:44 AM »

I suggest not falling back into the stereotype that the guy who assigned him the mission is going to show up and betray him toward the end, or any of that tired bullshit.

Heh, I hadn't thought of that, and I agree it's done to death.

I'll probably post some combat mechanics questions in a bit, unless I can puzzle out the answers from forum searches and careful rules reading.  Even if I do puzzle it out, I'm guessing noone will mind if I post a combat example and my analysis thereof, just to confirm I'm on the right track...
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