Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Few Rules For The Other NPCs

One of the characters in our playtest is a former lawman who's given up the badge and moved out west in order to start a new, more pedestrian life with his wife and child. His ideal is Champion, which he defines as standing up for other people when they're in trouble, while his Dreams include his wife, child, and a new, quiter life.

In the train ride out to Redemption, AZ, our family of east coast transplants ran into no small amount of trouble when something possessed a passenger and turned him into a near unkillable creature that was doing awful things to the rest of the people. You can read all about it in the prior playtest reports to Heroes of Destiny.

As you might imagine, our lawman found himself called into action again, and the player found he really hit a groove with the character taking control of situations on the verge of panic and enforcing order while wrangling posses to hunt down the supernatural terror. He found a joy and a sense of purpose in it that he imagined his character had as well, and said that's clearly why he became a lawman.

This put him in conflict with his wife, who he described as nervous and clingy. She was always asking him not to get involved, to stay with her and protect her, just her. In the process of saving the train, he endangered his relationship with her quite a bit and heeded destiny's call just as much. Every time he lost Hope, he dropped his Dream rating for his wife. By the time they rolled into Redemption, she'd gone from a 3 to a 1, and that 1 was damaged down to a temproary 0.

So when he arrived home at one point, she greeted him by throwing crockery at his head. He was confused at first, until I explained to him that their relationship had been damaged both in the long term and short term, at which point he perked up and made the following suggestion:
In addition to providing some personality notes about each NPC that's a Dream, all Dreams should have a health status of sorts. This has nothing to do with combat and everything to do with their relationship to the character. At each rating in Dream, make a note of some change in the relationship. So if your wife is one of your Dreams at rating 3, define a telling point of the relationship at ratings 3, 2, 1, and 0. If your dream is a business, define what your relationship to the business is at each point rating.

Another fantastic idea. I think I'll have a hard time getting the guys to make those charts up mid-play, but for future tests, it's totally on.

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