What with it being October, Halloween and all, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
In my real life, business has gone from 'Crappy Summer' to 'Awesomely Busy Fall' and that's good news for me. I may be tired but at least I don't have to worry as much about bills, food, etc.
Posts were light this month, views were up, comments down and the focus a bit unfocused as far as I'm concerned. I did get the chance to talk about my two mainstay campaigns, Traveller and Pendragon, but not enough. A host of other ideas I've shared have gone unfinished, while others were not shared at all.
'Scuse me whilst I reflect upon this.
Next month is November and with that comes Thanksgiving, the National Game Design Month event (NaGaDeMon), a continually busy work schedule and very possibly the end of one or both of my campaigns.
My player Marcus, in addition to being a consummate pain in the tail region, has managed to get himself and several of the other players into serious trouble. IN BOTH GAMES! Now that's some mad Player Skill at work, don't you think?
In Traveller, he and a few others who have decided to go with him, are heading to an uncharted star system in order to claim it and the right to own it. There are numerous obstacles and problems with his plan, not the least of which is time and competition. And the fact that he really has no plan.
And that's just the problems he knows about.
In Pendragon, he pissed off a Knight who had come to the court of the dukedom the PCs are in to ask if the Duke knew of a young girl who had been taken from a village under said Knight's country's care. The NPCs sought to stall the Knight and make him lose his cool. That way, they and the PCs would be in the right to do something about him. If he didn't lose his cool, they would feign ignorance of the matter and he would simply leave. The young woman in question is one of the PCs actually and she left voluntarily when King Arthur himself sent her a letter and asked to meet with her.
During the exchanges between the Knight, the good Duke, his Chancellor (all NPCs) and one or two of the PCs, the Knight made an inquiry of Ray's character Sir Henry. Marcus indicated that he would like to say something to defend Sir Henry or divert the conversation. Ray said sure, and Marcus proceeded to accuse and embarrass the Knight in front of everyone, taking on an antagonistic approach that may now plunge us into war.
Ray managed to interject just after Marcus finished talking at court and did so with flying colors. As the Knight readied a retaliatory volley of words, Ray took complete control of the conversation and told the Knight in no uncertain terms that this audience was over. You lose. Good day to you sir. I said Good Day!
Wait now, Marcus wasn't done...
Marcus decided to accompany the group of soldiers, mostly Irish mercenaries, who were told to escort the Knight and his entourage out of the kingdom. The escort also included Hans' character and an NPC mercenary he (She. Shhhh.) had befriended. Just as they reached the gates of the city, Marcus pulled the Knight aside and apologized to him in a whispered exchange. In that exchange he also set in motion a situation which could easily destroy the entire troupe of PCs and the goal of why they were in the region in the first place.
Yes. In the span of an hour or two of the second session of Pendragon we have had, Marcus managed to create an almost no win scenario.
Why? How? Screw how, WHY?
Because Marcus isn't having fun unless it's about Marcus. He has to be the one with the clever plan, be the smooth talker, the guy who gets the right people on his side while he pulls the wool over the eyes of the people who he doesn't like or who are against him.
The problems with this?
- He doesn't take the motivations and personalities of his enemies into account.
- He doesn't consult or consider any other member of the team when pulling these stunts.
- He wants to be the consummate con man but his words and actions make everyone distrust him.
- He doesn't consider that there could be factors at work he doesn't know about yet.
In the Traveller campaign, if death is in the team's future, it will only be for those who go with Marcus and Marcus himself. I know Will's and Ray's characters will not be joining his mission. This campaign can easily live on with other characters.
In Pendragon, only one player has any idea of the real threat potential. The threat Marcus has created could, very likely, result in a TPK. My first ever I believe. If that occurs, I think I will lay off fantasy again for a good long while.
I am at the edge of my seat.