Sunday, November 22, 2009

Characters And the Court

Berserk 8 finishes off one long arc of Guts background and starts a new travel.
First off, we continue to see long term elements cropping up. For example, Guts and Griffith fight again to determine if Guts will stay with the Hawks or go on his own.
In previous posts, I've mentioned that Guts focus has been improving his sword play while Griffith has had to change gears and work on many different elements at the same time.
Sufficie it to say Guts wins in a single strike without actually hurting Griffith.
This is an opposing parrallel of the initial encounter and can act as a nice bookend to showcase how players can grow out of a GMNPC's shadow and do their own thing. How they may no longer need patrons of a certain rank and file anymore.
In addition, Zodd makes another apperance, but it's almost an offstage one that helps further Griffith's story arc along, althought at this time it's at Guts benefit.
But there is more than merely the advancement of long standing plots, of using parallism to showcase advancement. With the off stage Zodd's help, Guts makes short work of an enemy commander, giving another victory to Griffith. This leads to more members of the court, including the Queen herself, to seek his death.
In a role playing game, it may take more than a single effort at poisoning someone to deserve the type of retalitation Griffith plays on the nobles with Guts help, but it gets back to the idea that the game setting is not a safe one. That the players are agents of change and that they can expect push back from all of those venues where their own abilities push them in. If they are well known warriors and knights, then those who are well established in those fields, indeed, who may be noble because of those fields, may feel threatened.
If they are powerful masters or arcane magic, their own promienence may cause others to seek the players out instead of the NPCs. The patrons of the magical arts may donate to the players. Those with specific problems may come to the players.
Those with master divine energies may find that the voice of their deity sounds clear to all, but jealousy drives out the call in those NPCs who see the players rise to prominence as a damning factor in their own faith.
Those players which are good at providing a public face to the world as an actual group, a true mercenary band, may find that those others who make their living as mercenaries take them as a real threat because now those NPCs are no longer getting jobs from others. All patrons are flocking to the PCs who've showcased their strength time and time again.
As the players continue to improve in ability, the GM doesn't have to have the world curse and snarl at them. They can easily slide into spot and take their place without any difficulties. After all, Superman is most often seen as standing for Truth, Justice, and the American Way and is often well thought of by everyone. But others, say Spiderman, are also putting their life out there on the line and they are often hated, sometimes hunted, and rarely give nthe open trust by the public that someone like Superman is. Think of how you want the players to be thought of in the campaign and which provides the most seeds for future conflict in the game and move on from there.