Sunday, July 25, 2010

Those Silly Nobles...

Below is a quote taken from The Blade Itself from the Science Fiction Club edition.

"I don't need men with good blood. I need men who can plan, and organise, give orders and follow them. There will be no room in my army for those who cannot do as they are told, I don't care how noble they are."

"This war was a bad thing, a terrible thing, no doubt. He felt himself grinning. A terrible thing. But it just might be the making of him." (p. 255-256)

Many of the most famous fantasy settings for gaming, like Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms, are psuedo Middle Ages with various factions that have somewhere on them, a structure where the laws and money are held by the nobles and those of noble blood and where the merchant class is either just starting to appear or is kind of just ignored on the side.

In the Berserk series, Griffith's ambition is to have his own kingdom despite coming from nothing. It causes trouble with those of the kingdom and leads to some interesting scenarios.

I mention the plight of West from the Blade Itself and Griffith from Berserk because this is a reptition of theme. That change against an established government is not an easy thing and that despite the outside threats and enemies, that those who are seen as being responsible or part of the change, become enemies of the established heirarchy no matter how much that current government may need them.

Game Masters can use corruption, incompetence, intolerance and other themes to showcase how different the members of an up and coming group of adventurers are different even among their own people. Sure, there may be those who want their alliance and those who have missions for them, but what do those people actually think of the characters. Have the characters almost enter a chamber room where their patron is having a meeting with another noble house and is talking about how useful it is to have such wonderful lap dogs. Have the players have to battle a group of inquisitors who are after their cleric for supposed heresy. The potential for inner conflict with one's king, country, and religion, are not just limited to fighting the obvious evil ones.