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Started by Bellman, September 12, 2003, 09:05:25 AM

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From page 11 of MLWM:
QuoteNeeds are understood to be what the Master
would have from the Townspeople. And Needs are
something that necessarily threaten the Townspeople in
some way...even if only by representing new ideas.

I'm guessing that one of those 'Needs' should be a 'Wants', but I'm not 100% certain which one...

Am I completely wrong here, and if not, what should it read?

Paul Czege


It's actually not a typo. What it's saying is that Needs are defined relative to the Townspeople, and that they must also be threatening to them. So, for instance, a group can't determine their Master is obsessive about collecting the toenail clippings of Townspeople...unless they also define how that's a threat. Was it the "if only by representing new ideas" text that was confusing? It just means that a Master who scries collected toenail clippings for information about the sins, indiscretions, and afterlife destinations of Townspeople is just as valid as one who makes flesh-eating homunculi from them.

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans


I guess what was confusing was that under the Wnats & Needs heading, I was expecting a little 'summary' of what each of them where, so when I read it, I was expecting a "Wants are [such and such].  And Needs are [and so on]" passage.

And when I saw the two Wants, I panicked...!  :)

There does seem to be a lot more info on Needs than Wants, however.  Is there anything further you can say on Wants?

(PS I bought the game based on the RPG.Net review and I love it!  I've convinced my group to let me run a Halloween Special withit...  I'll let you know how it goes!)

Mike Holmes

Wants answer the "Why" about the Master's motivation. Needs are what the Master has to have to go on with his plans. But the Wants are why he has those plans in the first place. So if the Master has a need to suck blood, that still doesn't tell us anything about what he's up to. If he wants to have the beautiful girl from the village to love him, then we know what he'll be driving for.

Needs make a Master creepy in the obvious up-front way, but Wants make the master long-term creepy, usually in a very human way. Wants make the game go, beacuse they form the Master's contribution to the ongoing plot (needs only provide for immediate action when neccessary). So make a want that gives the Master a human side, and give him a solid goal. The more driven the Master is to get his Want, the more manic he'll seem, and the more the plot gets propelled forward around those issues.

So give him a Want that requires him to put his minions into action to accomplish. They're not just there to get his need for him, they're also his means to help attain his other goals as well. And remember that his failures are always their fault in his mind. This is important. The Master should never get his Want fulfilled. If the beautiful girl is brought to him, she rejects him. If the scientists see his work, they are horrified. Despite the Master's megalomaniacal belief that he will succeed, he's sorely mistaken.

And then, when he's failed, the Master looks around and blames whatever Minion is near for not having set the table correctly, or for not presenting the information in a clear manner. Whatever the real reason, the Master will act as though it couldn't be he who is the problem, he'll find some way in which it was a minion who caused the Outsiders to reject him. This should happen until the Master is dead. He'll keep trying, failing, and blaming the minions, until they do something about it.

The more obsessed with the Want you make the Master, the better the pace and feel of the game. IMO. If the players understand why he hates their characters, why he blames them for their inadequacies despite his reliance on them, that makes him all the more vile and the minions more pathetic. Pathetic in the sense of engendering sympathy, which makes them better protagonists.

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