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TOPIC: Help recov­er­ing group from bad PAs

Help recov­er­ing group from bad PAs 2 years 8 months ago #3755

  • Anarak
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Hello felow gms,

So, since my table is under a hia­tus i’ve had time to look back and think about our ses­sions, what went right and wrong, rules and what­not. Basi­cally, due to fac­tors such as: a large num­ber of play­ers, me being sys­tem green on blade, TroS SAs her­i­tance, most of the group ever play­ing d&d and other gm dri­ven plots … i’ve han­dle pas­sion attrib­utes very badly.

I’ll list 5 of the 7 char­ac­ters of the most attend­ing play­ers

Mag­nus — The Nabasti blade­mas­ter leg­gionare
–Avenge his betrayed father
–Glory (ugh)
–For­tune (ugh)
–Fame (ugh)

Its spe­cially bad because he’s sort of the group leader and the most attend­ing player and he has NEVER changed any of his PAs, as well as hav­ing the most generic/​boring PAs.

Katara — The Mazan­ite prophecy witch
–Under­stand the nature of her pre­mo­ni­tions and hal­lu­ci­na­tions
–Prove that she can be a badass (ugh)
–Ful­fill the pro­hecy
–Help Irina from slav­ery

This is sort of the dri­ving focus of the group as they are all involved in a prophecy and she’s the one keep­ing them together. But ful­fill the prophecy seems like a long-​term goal and its kinda hard to keep it in play. Prove that she can be a badass: she had a few oppor­tu­ni­ties, suc­ceed­ing in some and out­right chick­en­ing out in oth­ers, but it seems like its never going to be ful­filled. Should i just decide? “Ok, you’ve proved you can be a bad­dass, choose another one?“


Hugin — The Half-​giant Tharag-​Tule Beast­mas­ter
–Glory in com­bat (ugh)
–Attain favour from the gods (ugh)
–Get rich (ugh)
–Explore new ter­ri­to­ries (ugh)

He’s Bleda’s rival/​buddy and shares his reli­gion fer­vor. But now it feels its the sort of thing that should just be role­played as its hard to keep things inter­est­ing with such a generic PA.
Same with glory in com­bat and get rich. I might have been the one that insisted that there’s no prob­lem in S&S char­ac­ters hav­ing a crave for shiny stuff, but i won­der if it should ever be turned into a PA. Again, do i decide when they have achieved glory in com­bat or got­ten enough riches or its a case of a belly for­ever empty?

Bledá — The Khazis­tani for­mer raider
–Attain favour from the gods (ugh)
–Return to his old life as a raid­ing band mem­ber
–Find his long lost brother
–Find a fine horse

Not much prob­lem here besides favour from gods. Maybe return­ing to his old life as a raider is trou­ble­some, as its com­pletely con­trary to the group.

Rodrik — The Taaramite archer fugi­tive
–return to live in soci­ety
–take down tyrants
–pre­pare ambushes
–Get revenge from dread pirate Reis

As a fugi­tive that lived with his mis­tress in the woods for a long time, he now craves for civ­i­liza­tion. But again, when is it ever going to be ful­filled? And take down tyrants is too generic that he’s always want­ing to take down some­one (as the world is filled with tyrants). Pre­pare ambushes seems just like a generic gim­mick to rack up on com­bat bonuses.



In sum, how do you Gms think I can recover from some of these bad PAs? Should we just sit down and allow a rewrite imme­di­atelly? Should we agree that it needs to change and make it a grad­ual change over sessions?
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Help recov­er­ing group from bad PAs 2 years 8 months ago #3759

  • Michael
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Actu­ally, that’s really all rather bad. I sug­gest allow­ing an imme­di­ate rewrite, espe­cially as the game is about to restart after a hia­tus. In ask­ing for a rewirte you might stress that PAs do first and fore­most reflect what the play­ers, not PCs, are inter­ested in, so a rewrite after a pause is appro­pri­ate.

Then I’d stress that PAs always need to be proac­tive. They need to be about doing some­thing, being proac­tive, ini­ti­at­ing things.

With­out giv­ing a thought about tying the group together PA-​wise I’m going to make some sug­ges­tions:

Anarak wrote:
Mag­nus — The Nabasti blade­mas­ter leg­gionare
–Avenge his betrayed father
–Glory (ugh)
–For­tune (ugh)
–Fame (ugh)

Very, very bad. Glory, For­tune and Fame all need to be changed. I don’t see a way to sal­vage For­tune, but the other two might be if rede­fined as a cer­tain way in which to win fame and for­tune, and proac­tively. Never Back Down from a Chal­lenge, Per­form Deeds Wor­thy of Leg­end, Win the Adu­la­tion of the Masses are pos­si­bilites that come to my mind.

Anarak wrote:
Katara — The Mazan­ite prophecy witch
–Under­stand the nature of her pre­mo­ni­tions and hal­lu­ci­na­tions
–Prove that she can be a badass (ugh)
–Ful­fill the pro­hecy
–Help Irina from slavery

The prophecy ful­fill­ment should be rephrased to be more short-​term, ful­fill­ing the next stage of the prophecy, but that’s not strictly nec­es­sary. The badass-​PA should be rephrased as Seek Out Oppor­tu­ni­ties to Proove Your­self or some­thing like that.

As to hav­ing proven her badass-​ness you might actu­ally tell her it is proven and that this spe­cific PA can­not be acti­vated any­more.

Anarak wrote:
Hugin — The Half-​giant Tharag-​Tule Beast­mas­ter
–Glory in com­bat (ugh)
–Attain favour from the gods (ugh)
–Get rich (ugh)
–Explore new ter­ri­to­ries (ugh)

Also very bad. Get Rich imo absolutely has to go, and I pres­ntly can’t think of a really good way to sal­vage the exploration-​PA. Glory in Com­bat might be rephrased proac­tively, like Seek Out Oppor­tu­nies to Shine in Com­bat, and the favour thing as doing a spe­cific kind of thing to gain favour from the gods or a spe­cific god — but absolutely as doing some­thing to gain the favour.

Hav­ing gained suf­fi­cient glory strikes me as more prob­lem­atic as the badass-​ness above, as the PC would actu­ally have to be famous before it is ful­filled. Con­cern­ing the riches you can well decide that he has at some time suf­fi­cient Loot and that the PA can­not be acti­vated any­more, unless his Loot drops again notice­ably.

Anarak wrote:
Bledá — The Khazis­tani for­mer raider
–Attain favour from the gods (ugh)
–Return to his old life as a raid­ing band mem­ber
–Find his long lost brother
–Find a fine horse

Quite good. As for the favour from the gods, see above. If the return to old life PA con­tra­dicts the drive of the group it has to go. Tell your player that hav­ing this PA actu­ally breaks the social con­tract of mutu­ally sup­port­ing joint enjoy­ment and demand a change.

Anarak wrote:
Rodrik — The Taaramite archer fugi­tive
–return to live in soci­ety
–take down tyrants
–pre­pare ambushes
–Get revenge from dread pirate Reis

Also half-​decent. I don’t see a prob­lem with the tyrant-​shtick, as a PA doesn’t actu­ally need to be ful­fil­l­able — the main thing is that it can be used proac­tively. Pre­pare ambushes is really idi­otic as a drive for any­body and should either go out­right or be rephrased more broadly as Avoid Con­flict Unless Pre­pared or Always get the Upper Hand before Com­mit­ting; its stu­pid, but the best I can think of right now.

Return to live in soci­ety is again some­thing that you can declare as hav­ing been achieved, at least for the time being, and thus not up for acti­va­tion anymore.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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