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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Role-Playing Object Demons  (Read 9562 times)
Tor Erickson
Member

Posts: 134


« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2001, 03:05:00 PM »

Hello,

Well, we finished our game yesterday and I thought I'd comment on the "locket" object demon.  I have to admit, I was pretty much stumped by it.  Remember, its desire was for "justice" in an Old Testament, eye for an eye kind of way.  And I never once brought this into play because I just couldn't isolate incidents of "oh, this wrong was done, and it hasn't been punished."

A thought I had before this last session was to force the issue.  (you know, something really obviously wrong and unjust like a random guy beating his wife)  Then if the character doesn't take action at that moment to inflict justice, have the locket quit working until he somehow rights the wrong.  Maybe it wouldn't even have to be the same abusive husband, maybe it would be enough to beat the crud out of anybody who's hit a woman... you know, something like that.

But the other problem I had with role-playing the locket was a bit more complex.  Morality was far too ambiguous and complex in the game to make easy value judgements.  I mean, people were doing all sorts of horrible things all over the place, but for the most part they were doing them because the people had had horrible things done to them in the past.  In the end it turned out that the "villain" who was trying to murder his own grand daughter was acting under the control of one of the most sympathetic character in the game.  Or another example of the black groundskeeper beating up his boss who had been mistreating him for years.  Who's right?  Who's wrong?  These kinds of questions paralyzed me, and kind of highlight the trope of introducing "just plain bad" characters into the game (the wifebeater, for instance).  It's too easy, too convenient, and tends to hide so much moral ambiguity.

Sigh.  I'm sure there was some way around this conundrum, I just couldn't come up with it.

-Tor
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2001, 07:26:00 PM »

Hi Tor,

I think the answer is simply to look over the character as played and enjoyed during the game, and to say, "Did the way we used the locket detract from what we created?"

If the answer is no, then you're cool. All is well. That means you can consider the questions you've raised in this thread as a creative challenge for the next Sorcerer game, perhaps in a context better suited to deal with them, and not worry so much about what you did or didn't "do right" in this one.

From what you've written about the Southern-Fried game, that seems to be the case.

Best,
Ron
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Tor Erickson
Member

Posts: 134


« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2001, 12:20:00 PM »

Hi Ron,

You're right, it's really a question of what to do in the future.  The locket as played certainly didn't detract from the game.

Tor
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2001, 06:38:00 AM »

Tor,

It occurs to me that if the locket had an Old Testament sense of justice, why not have given it an Old Testament sort of morality...

Ten Commandments, Judaic patriarchal, strict, authoritarian, old-world conservative sense of what is right and wrong.

At the VERY least, this will introduce a very intense conflict into the game between the sorcerer and the locket -- as the sorcerer is undoubtedly going to have a more modern, open view of morality (one where women aren't property and slavery isn't acceptable, frex).
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2001, 07:17:00 AM »

In addition to Ron's point about ignoring the locket not being a problem and being addressable later, might I add that it might have been a sort of positive thing to leave it out?

While the locket is certinaly a source of potential plot and interest, there is a danger in any scenario or storyline of introducing too many elements. I think that this is particularly true in a RPG where you are going to be telling the story of so many important characters already. In Southern-Fried you mentioned that there were a large number of interesting plot threads that never got resolved. Did you really need another? Probably not. Sounds like the game was full up with stuff as it was. If anything, stuff like the locket is good to keep in reserve and unaddressed until such time as you find that you are short on material.

In fact, if you do continue with these characters into a new storyline, I think that you'll find that your preparation task will be to add only a couple of new elements (the locket for example), and mostly to decide what to de-emphasize to ensure that you can get through a reasonable proportion of the threads. Especially if your players all come up with new kickers.

Mike
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Tor Erickson
Member

Posts: 134


« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2001, 02:11:00 PM »

Good points, Mike.  It's nice to play in a game where you have so many interesting elements that you have to start picking what you leave out.  Unfortunately, this is it for this group (wahhhh) as I am about to graduate from college and move far away in approx., [checks watch] 24 hours.

Also, good idea to Raven.  If I'd spent some more time thinking about the locket I probably would have incorporated something like this.  I'm still not sure how I would have communicated it, though.  Hm.
Tor
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