Gaining a noble title

jpariury

Duke
Jevedor said:
Actually dont think i miss read you at all. I think I perhaps didnt explain myself well... I do agree that having to split NPCs would be unfortunate, and I think it could be even detrimental to the weekend story arch... but i think the difference is (or at least what i am reading) I feel in regards to your question "which is more important?" that responding to player actions is almost always more important
This seems to assume that one is a result of player actions, and the other isn't. Let's look at the question from a different perspective: five events ago, some PCs interacted with some goblins trying to set up a treaty and open trade relations. Another group of PCs spent two events planting evidence that the goblins were using this as a situation to take over the elven kingdoms. Yet a third group of PCs think the goblins are in the right and are secretly feeding them information to bring about the downfall of the elven nobility. All of this culminates into the Big Epic Event®. Friday night of the event pops in, and Count FriedHamNSwiss from Dinerville comes in with grand "I'm a Count, you will refer to me as such!" proclamations. He's even got the pocketscholarship to take on half the town, and enough friends to back his play.

From a plot perspective, I would rather such an event happened in a situation that didn't require that plot have a specific antagonistic response. Personally, I'd rather let the playership deal with it in the immediate and let the effects of this visiting noble have more plot impact down the road. Looking at 25 players that have been building towards a specific story, and 5 players that decided they wanted to ruffle feathers, I'm going to spend more of my resources fulfilling my end of the bargain to the 25.

it is more than justifiable to send in 2 or 3 of the "elite gaurd" having quite ridiculous stating... its not that unbelievable that there are exceptional soldiers that the crown uses only in extreme circumstances.
That makes a number of assumptions about the in-game environment and plot style that I don't believe are necessarily warranted.

At the end of the weekend I feel what matters more is that players felt there actions had impact.
I don't know that I ever disagreed that players should feel that their participation made a difference on both a personal and world level. I do believe that subverting the efforts of twenty to entertain a couple is the wrong way to go about it, though. I think that creating a game world where a visiting character happening to use their title in a sociable manner is treated antagonistically is the wrong way to go about it.
 
I'm not really worried about pcs doing anything IG. You can't derail what isn't on rails, so they can do whatever the hell they want.

But they have finite resources.

Ours are infinite.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
I have to agree...at that point, it's time to employ the supah-ninjha-assasson [sup]TM[/sup] method.
2-3 NPCs with outrageous stat cards and a 'seal of the King/Queen' to avoid the other PCs just jumping in to help the offending PC.
 

Avaran

Baron
Deadlands said:
Ours are infinite.
SkollWolfrun said:
2-3 NPCs with outrageous stat cards and a 'seal of the King/Queen' to avoid the other PCs just jumping in to help the offending PC.
I'd be hesitant to do that if it didn't fit with the story being told in the world being built.

Besides, that seems like the "easy" way out, which has its merits no doubt, but I think using that tool right off the bat is probably a bad idea. Seems to me it should be used only as a 'last resort' type thing.
 

Wraith

Newbie
SkollWolfrun said:
I have to agree...at that point, it's time to employ the supah-ninjha-assasson [sup]TM[/sup] method.
2-3 NPCs with outrageous stat cards and a 'seal of the King/Queen' to avoid the other PCs just jumping in to help the offending PC.
Everything they own had better be spirit linked, is all I'm saying.

Our PCs kill things with absurd stat blocks pretty consistently. Unless they are outright immune to certain effects, there are ways to quickly kill anything.
 

Mobius

Squire
Any Chapter has to decide very early where they want to place the PCs. Either Adventurers are the "cream of the crop" and are necessary for a Kingdom's survival; in which case, if the PCs get a bug up their nose about knocking over aristocracy, the game just has to roll with the punches and hope the Queen has some heirs. Or, the PCs are better than average, but below the Praetorian Guards and the DragonMage Emperor, in which case snooty PCs can be quashed, but in that case, there's really very little reason to have an adventuring class anyway.

Personally, I dig the former situation since it really does demand the Kingdom work with these aspiring Nobles and define a balance between protecting the land and promoting the individual; but I can understand why many games are the later as it's a helluva rewrite when the Royal Family is permed because the town didn't like a tax on Healing.

Which is also a reason why cross-Chapter nobility is a sticky situation: in some Kingdoms, 10th level is Knight quality; in others that line is at 30; ¿how do you compare the titles?
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Avaran said:
Deadlands said:
Ours are infinite.
SkollWolfrun said:
2-3 NPCs with outrageous stat cards and a 'seal of the King/Queen' to avoid the other PCs just jumping in to help the offending PC.
I'd be hesitant to do that if it didn't fit with the story being told in the world being built.

Besides, that seems like the "easy" way out, which has its merits no doubt, but I think using that tool right off the bat is probably a bad idea. Seems to me it should be used only as a 'last resort' type thing.
I would not lead with something like that. Personally, that would be something to pull out 2-3 events down the line and only if you have other nobles that support taking out a bad seed.

But as JP has pointed out, what do you do about the 'noble' that is tossing his weight around & offing general town folk, the mayor, and anyone else 'because he can?'
Fines are not going to do much and personally, at a certain point I would think other PCs would step in to protect innocent people.
 
Guys, one has to be running a pretty rough game if the vast majority (or even enough to actually do it) of your players want to overthrow the government, assuming that wasn't what you were pushing for as a plot team.

And honestly, if it is the case that they want to take on the kingdom, I'm cool with it. In fact, considering getting all the adventurers to agree on any one thing is akin to hearding cats who were just set on fire, I'd be pretty impressed.

I've had all the pc nobles arguing for months over a simple matter that is clearly laid out in the IG laws, and they simply haven't made the effort to actually read the friggin laws. We're certainly not stepping in to settle it for them. Why? Because we'd rather not run a game where the pcs have the game played for them by the npc nobles. Let them argue. The sun will still rise in the east.

The only time we would step in heavy handed is if it became a customer service issue, that is, if the game devolved into total anarchy and a sizeable chunk of players weren't having fun because of it. However, if the game devolved into Lord of the Flies and the pcs were loving it (and no one was stuck playing Piggy), then by all means, carry on you Mad Maxian nutbags.

It would be tempting and easy to stop them and restore oppressive order, too easy, in fact, because, when compared to the pcs, for all intent and purpose, npc camp will never really run out of any IG resources, unless we want to. That is precisely why I believe we should resist the temptation to step in every time someone has the sniffles.

I know that this super relevant to the game we play, because every chapter in the Alliance has had their IG government overthrown by the misanthropic, power-gaming pcs of the Alliance at least, what, four or five times a year...Right?

...
 

Jevedor

Fighter
Asheville Staff
Gary, my argument wasnt really for government to run the game... I was more playing with the idea of what would happen if you made using an outsiders title as a publishable crime... and that sort of escalated.

JP you offer very valid arguments. And you are right, I was posing my argument in a very black and white manner. Mentally i wasnt viewing it in such extreme lights, as I have hardly ever seen such a circumstance be taken to such a level where such extreme actions would be required.

In the scenario of your goblin conspiracy plot vs Count FriedHamNSwiss and the dinnerville compatria-tots I would side with you. The need to entertain many PCs out weighs the dealing with the count and his foodlings.. unless of course it suddenly becomes of great interest to those 25 PCs to see that justice be delivered to HamNSwiss.

But I was thinking about this in less extreme circumstances. Like say someone reports HamNSwiss to the nobles, then a NPC noble comes into town (just 1 npc) and goes up to HamNSwiss to find out what its all about... perhaps he fines him and HamNswiss pays... end of story..... OR HamNSwiss refuse and has his traitor-tot minions cut down the noble... who knows.

Now if the NPC noble was cut down by HamNSwiss it would be prudent for plot to respond. But again they dont have to send the army.. they just send a couple of there best elite men to take him out. If HamNSwiss gets the best of those NPCs.. awesome! Now you are creating a story about HamNSwiss and his defiance of authority, but you are also showing that plot is responding to his choice to illegally defy the law and use his title as count of another land.

Now perhaps if the assassins are foiled it is time to call in the army, but that doesnt have to happen at that event. Enough has been tried to let HamNSwiss get away, but plot can go back and have a back up plan if he shows up at the next event. Perhaps they put out wanted adds and let other pcs decide what all the hub bub is all about.. I feel there is a large area of room to do things with out it derailing the weekend plot for 25 people. All the same, i do feel that such efforts by plot to do these sorts of things is important because it encourages player interaction as opposed to just following the story for the weekend.

PS. Count HamNSwiss is an excellent name for a sandwich.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Jevedor said:
PS. Count HamNSwiss is an excellent name for a sandwich.
Where I am from, dip the bread in egg batter & you got a poor man Monte Cristo.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Deadlands said:
Guys, one has to be running a pretty rough game if the vast majority (or even enough to actually do it) of your players want to overthrow the government, assuming that wasn't what you were pushing for as a plot team.

And honestly, if it is the case that they want to take on the kingdom, I'm cool with it. In fact, considering getting all the adventurers to agree on any one thing is akin to hearding cats who were just set on fire, I'd be pretty impressed.

I've had all the pc nobles arguing for months over a simple matter that is clearly laid out in the IG laws, and they simply haven't made the effort to actually read the friggin laws. We're certainly not stepping in to settle it for them. Why? Because we'd rather not run a game where the pcs have the game played for them by the npc nobles. Let them argue. The sun will still rise in the east.

The only time we would step in heavy handed is if it became a customer service issue, that is, if the game devolved into total anarchy and a sizeable chunk of players weren't having fun because of it. However, if the game devolved into Lord of the Flies and the pcs were loving it (and no one was stuck playing Piggy), then by all means, carry on you Mad Maxian nutbags.

It would be tempting and easy to stop them and restore oppressive order, too easy, in fact, because, when compared to the pcs, for all intent and purpose, npc camp will never really run out of any IG resources, unless we want to. That is precisely why I believe we should resist the temptation to step in every time someone has the sniffles.

I know that this super relevant to the game we play, because every chapter in the Alliance has had their IG government overthrown by the misanthropic, power-gaming pcs of the Alliance at least, what, four or five times a year...Right?

...
Gary,

One of the things I love about you is that 98% of the time we are totally n sync (Bye, Bye, BYE), but here is where you and I meet the 2%. I'd step in heavy handed BEFORE the CS issue popped up. CS complaints generally happen after the event and if one of my nobles, be they PC or NPC, sees something go down that is against the law during the event and they are acting within the bounds of their office to respond then I EXPECT them to respond as the law and the game world dictate. You can't earn a noble title in HQ that gives you any lawgiver powers without proving that you know the law and will (in a public setting anyhow) defend and uphold it. If a noble knows of illegal conversations and doesn't act on it for CS reasons then they are metagaming. The noble in question should take the appropriate action based on the laws of the land. This doesn't mean leveling a fine or executing anyone in all cases, but what seems to be forgotten a lot is that Fortannis is not Earth and most definitely not the Earth in the modern era. Legal protections we take for granted and rules of law we live by do not exist and would not even enter the minds of adventurers who grew up in a feudal system. This is something that needs to be taught to new players (and a quick OOG discussion will usually fix the problem) and made consistent.
This does not have to interfere with the main arc of the weekend unless all the PCs try to rise up in revolt, and honestly if you are introducing a conflict to your game (where you supposedly know your playerbase's likes and dislikes) that can result in revolution I would expect that a PC revolution is something you contemplated happening and planned for with some kicka$$ encounters.

-toddo
 
Toddo

Let me explain a little better.

I'm not suggesting that npc camp should not respond to IG law breaking. What I'm saying is that the response should not go beyond what make sense in the IG world, just because plot is afraid of the outcome, unless it looks like it is becoming a customer service issue. In other words, the staff should not get pissy or frightened just because the IG world is being challenged by the pcs.

That does not mean that plot should not react appropriately to such a challenge.

Let us say that the Justicar got attacked by a pc group who is now held up in the Tavern. Well okay, so a reasonable response might be a force of ten knights from the capital portaling in to support the nobles. A ridiculous response would be five dragons showing up five minutes later to restore order, just because Gary, Dan and Sean are mad or urinating in their boxers because the weekend plot has to be reprocessed. Now we could totally do the dragon thing, but it would be, in my opinion, very heavy handed.
 

jpariury

Duke
Fearless Leader said:
Is this another one of those "what if" discussions that pop up every now and then? Has this ever been a big problem anywhere?
"What if", in direct response to a proposed methodology, with a certain amount of background experience on all three sides of the fence (that's some fence!).

Jevedor said:
JP you offer very valid arguments. And you are right, I was posing my argument in a very black and white manner. Mentally i wasnt viewing it in such extreme lights, as I have hardly ever seen such a circumstance be taken to such a level where such extreme actions would be required.
I think we're more or less on the same page. :) I don't know that it requires "extreme lights", I just think it's worth considering the many layers that go into an event and redirecting your resources to deal with what is, in my mind, a small upset, given the proposal that if a visiting noble came into town and used their title, they should "smacked down" (paraphrasing).

Deadlands said:
The only time we would step in heavy handed is if it became a customer service issue, that is, if the game devolved into total anarchy and a sizeable chunk of players weren't having fun because of it.
If it's a serious customer service issue, personally, I'd rather drop out-of-game and pull the offending player(s) aside and have a discussion about it, than respond with overboard statting (based on your description of "heavy handed" being five dragons in five minutes) and make a bad situation into a terrible game.

Deadlands said:
Let us say that the Justicar got attacked by a pc group who is now held up in the Tavern. Well okay, so a reasonable response might be a force of ten knights from the capital portaling in to support the nobles.
If I only have 15 NPCs to begin with, ten knights represents 2/3rds of my oog resources to rep the world. While it might "make sense", I'd rather take a step back and deal with it when I have more room and time to plan out something that involves more players, and move on with the plan of the day (whatever that might be) for the time being.

To Jeremy's point, I'd say that player actions should have consequences that are simultaneously challenge the character and reward the player for participating in the world we've created. However, I don't think that a world in which visiting nobles are "smacked down" for using their titles necessarily allows the plot team to make best use of their NPCs, even if it fosters an environment in which titles are given greater consideration.
 
JP...

It was just an example, not arithmetic. I'm sure we'll be fine.

Thanks
 
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