13 Princes

This just jumped into my head, so I’m frantically writing it down in gaps between feeding twins. Excuse unseemly brevity and enthusiasm.

A setting where the PCs are the Icons. Each PC is the ruler/champion/symbol/figurehead/chosen one of a particular race/culture/faction. Instead of Icons, you take TWO qualities of your faction that might or might not show up in a given session. So, if you’re the Werewolf Prince, you might take Savage Nature  (positive) and the Moon (conflicted). Each game session, you roll for Icon benefits as normal; on a 5, you OR your faction can do something awesome with that “quality”, but at a cost. 6 means it comes without strings.

The twist – you then take a third quality from one of the other players, but you have to have a different relationship with it (or stay conflicted). So, if you’re the Shepherd of Worlds, you might take my Savage Nature quality as a negative – you want to tame nature, I want it to remain red in tooth and claw. (Maybe each player should only define one icon, and take two more from other players, to bind everything together.)

This concept would probably work best starting at 5th level, where the PCs have some real power under their belts, and I’m not quite sure what sort of adventures the PCs actually go on. Presumably, battling against shared external threats to their cultures would be a big part of it.

Now that I write it down, I realise that I’m channelling bits of the primordial setup of D&D (back when it was closer to Fantasy Diplomacy in Blackmoor) and Callisto. Good antecedents to have.

  1. Thinking about it, the optimum way to do Icons (or Qualities, or Epic Fantasy Fulcrums of Destiny, or whatever) might be to go round-robin. You come up with the core concept for your faction, and declare that as a Positive Relationship.

    “We’re the Holy guys! Gods of Good, +1!”
    “My guy’s the lord of a race of machines. The Cogs of Order, represent!”
    “I wanna play a Dragon. Can I take, um, Dragon Stuff as my positive?”

    Then, you go around again and take conflicted relationships. They can be with other players’ qualities, or you can keep branching out.

    “Good and Law go together, most of the time. Conflicted with the Cogs.”
    “Conflicted with Dwarves.”
    “Oh, me too! Conflicted with Dwarves!”

    Thinking about it, you’d have to have GM-spawned factions too, probably created in reaction to the PCs. So, by saying “I’ve got a conflicted relationship with Dwarves”, you cause the Dwarf King to pop into existence in the campaign setup.

    • Good Sunday morning Beth!your dagehtur will enjoy about France and manage well, believe me!My youngest went to Paris for one year at seventeen. I was terrified, but it all went nicely, even my worrying :) and she spoke fluently French after that.Now my 12 years old granddagehtur is going next April to Berlin with her German teacher and about ten pupils for an excursion there.Let them go – but how hard it can be.

    • Jan18Margo Thank you for this. Sometimes I feel like things just fall into place or that I was lucky but in reaitly God was taking care of me. I often fail to give him credit in places that aren’t obviously’ (to me) him.

    • business veiled on a coroled link. from that day on, i stopped subscribing to that blog.again, there is nothing wrong with incorporating timely news in your business strategies. we can actually use these controversies to color a dead blog but not to the extent of using it for

  2. I may have inadvertently recreated Smallville, of course.

  3. - Love these Sally! Please share the chocolate shake recpie. How cute and yummy. I’m also so sad to hear about your dog. And, I love those first day plants with the chalk paint and chalk messages. What a sweet family you have. Good luck editing your images and getting lots accomplished tomorrow.

  4. I’m late to the party on this, but keep in mind that detail and sufacre area are the banes of plausibility. Generally, too much detail (backstory, in particular) sucks the evocativeness from a setting: what seems exciting and fresh quickly becomes stale and quotidian as more details are told. Furthermore, it breaks the show, don’t tell rule of writing, and drowns players in ninety-nine irrelevant details for every one gem. So go easy on the backstory even if you have a richly detailed world in mind, break it into big thematic elements and carefully dole out information.Second, be careful with the but then school of plotting, because you can easily write yourself into a corner (see: JJ Abrams, BSG, etc.). Don’t just add new elements: go deeper with the ones you have. Always keep in mind Chekhov’s commutative rule of plotting: if you have a gun in the first act it must go off in the third but, often overlooked, if a gun goes off in the third act it must be introduced in the first.For example, if you have a dwarven home that is also a demon prison, connect the two: first you have dwarves (with a few throwaway hints: Our ancestors abandoned this city over a thousand years ago, and we only reclaimed it recently. Here, fedex this package to an archaeologist team in the lower levels. ), then, much later, you have encounters with low-level demons ( What did those archaeologists from two years ago find? ), then you have a demon lord encounter, then you find out that the dwarves had a civil war two thousand years ago in which the winning side turned to demons for aid, then betrayed and imprisoned them, and now the demon lord is out for (understandable) revenge.This style dovetails nicely with not overplotting your backstory, because it’s easier to add new depth without running afoul of canon lawyers.

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