Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Letting the Lyrics Work For You Via Alice in Chains: Last of My Kind

I listen to a lot of music. I don't have the longest commute in the world and I listen to a lot of public radio. However, I have no interest in sports and often public radio repeats itself so it's a flick of the dial to power on the old CD player.

I've been listening to Alice in Chain's newest release, Black Gives Way to Blue, and the first three tracks, All Secrets Known, Check My Brian, and Last of My Kind are very solid tunes. The lyrics in that last one especially seem appropriate for a fantasy or science fiction based game.

A Wolf Alone Upon the Hillside
I live on what they throw away
I go to sleep behind the eight ball
I live to fight one more day

One of the most overused origin stories for heroes is that of the loner but perhaps just as used is the humble origin. In this case, we get both. Sounds like the background for many an assassin who dwells in the lower reaches of society.

Take What I Wanted, and
Break all the lies and
Defeat the f****ing liars...
Smash all the temples, and
Crawl through the rubble, and
Cry to the Fallen

Adventurers are notorious for doing things their own way. They are willing to cut through the lies that civilized men tell one another in order to keep the peace. I recall a Conan bit where Conan doesn't turn in one of his friends and just goes wild in the court room. Something about keeping a civil mouth of well, let swords handle it.

Players are quite adept at taking their own abilities and driving those who stand against them to the wall.

The name of the song itself though, also brings to mind something a lot of players want for their characters. To be the last of their kind. No, not necessarily the last elf or the last of a particular race, although as Superman has proven, that does have it's own affinity. Rather, they want to be the masters of something that no one else is. This could involve having a powerful magic item, a set of abilities that no one else has access to, special background or titles. Something that makes them stand out from the other characters including characters the player has run in the past.

Keep the players in the spotlight and let them be the last of their kind.