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Offline tal_1173

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The Bandit leader is really...
« on: May 02, 2005, 02:11:49 PM »
In my campaign I am introducing an idea that to me is new.  It probably isn't to people here, but oh well.  In my setting that is posted here called "The Kingdom of Orentia" the appointed ruler of the town of Thorpe is Griffin Orent.  He was sent to rule this rather small and unimportant area to remove his annoying presence from the royal courts in the larger and more important cities.  The players will have many opportunities to meet him, and he will show just how much of an imbecile he is to them.  I play up being annoying without over doing it because I want to try my best to make him seem more like a background character than anything else.  Griffin is actually the leader of a rather large group of bandits operating all over the kingdom.  These bandits are odd in that they seem to avoid unnecessary violence and often use knock-out toxic darts rather than lethal weapons.  He and his group are gathering enough resources to slowly move everyone to the neighboring Kingdom of Thalas, which is also described in my setting.  At some point the player may discover Griffin is in charge of the bandits, and at this point I really hope the question of freedom and law will be truly discussed IC.  The players will have to decide to join Griffin and his people, turn them in for certain execution, or convince Griffin they will keep quiet.

Help me make this character believable.

How would Griffin be able to run such a group?
Maybe through flunkies posing as guards meet with him weekly?
Maybe those flunkies are actually guards?
Maybe there is a secret tunnel under his mansion leading to the main meeting place of the bandits?
Other ideas?

How do I portray Griffin without making it obvious there is more to him?
Make him absent minded?
Make him give useless orders to people as he walk places?
Give him a stutter?
Play him rather stupid?
Arrogant? Selfish? etc?

How could the bandit hideout be kept safe in such a militaristic society?
The entrance is really a secret entrance to a planar pocket?
The entrance is a hidden cave that leads to a series of labyrinthine natural tunnels?
The main hideout is secretly inside and part of a monastery protected by the law?
Others?

Offline manfred

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2005, 05:03:47 AM »
(Btw, I would really like to know why the bandits want to move into another kingdom... a reason why the players/PCs would be convinced to join them or turn them in. Reminds also of the Swordfish movie.)

Running the group:
 - a good middleman could be a... woman. A consort shouldn't be suspicious, but can be easily laid blame on. But guards are also fine, since they are the ones he can trust most.

Portraying Griffin:
 - I would make him the useless man on the top, that tries to do things well, but most people around find ways to make it better. While Griffin should annoy the players several times, he could also reward them highly for some trivial deed. Contempt should be the key feeling.
 - Also, spread rumours that he can be easily influenced. His chief advisor should have the greatest power in town - which is actually in Griffin's interest.
 - So a well-meaning, but inept man on the top. I would avoid giving him a stutter, though.

Hideout:
 - I like the monastery being run by the group most.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Kinslayer

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2005, 02:16:33 AM »
Kaiser Soze  
 
Griffin Orent could control his bandit army as much through personal myth as direct control.  
 
The public persona of Griffin Orent could easily be modeled off of Verbal Kent (Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects).  The movie can also provide additional inspiration for this campaign.    
 
A few carefully chosen trusted people carry information and orders as part of a chain.  That is, someone who would believably be around Thorpe's ruler (a servant, for example), who in turn carries the information to a go-between (who does nothing else in this scheme for it to work properly).  This person then conveys the information to yet another person, who knows the locations of the leaders of the individual bands of thugs.
 
Utilising this system of control, you don't need a centralised base. The separate bands don't know each other--they know of their existence, but not names, locations, or activities.  Anyone who is discovered to be part of this network--and is captured and interrogated--at most knows only two contacts, and may not know much about them at all beyond "the fat guy in the alley behind the bar."
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Offline Strolen

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2005, 06:10:57 AM »
You could even make Griffin even more clever. Since Thorpe is small he could have been planning his 'banishment' to there for a long time. Most of the city could already be taken over by his bandits with only a small amount of the population not knowing about his true identity. He keeps up the premise of idiocy in case there are spies.

He has the loyalty of all these bandits, so why not a whole town as well. The oppressive rule of the militaristic gov't had probably made many enemies so having this small town on his side could be feasible. Especially if he promises them a better life.

This wouldn't take any of the secrecy needed to run a widespread group, just gives them the safe meeting place that you were looking for.

Making him arrogant is probably enough to make him seem useless. Perhaps he was always arguing with the ruling class in the big cities with stupid or unrealistic ideas. Maybe believing he could make a greater nation than the bubbling fools that were currently ruling could ever do. Through his planned manipulation he got assigned to Thorpe, quite on purpose.

Perhaps Griffin simply loves his people and wants to take care of them. You could maybe treat him as a type of freedom fighter with an 'underground railroad' of sorts. He smuggles people out of his kingdom into Thales where a better life awaits him. Perhaps the country is just itching for a civil war as the people are getting fed up with the militaristic rule. Those that escape to Thales would gladly help return their homeland to its former glory and if it takes an uprising to do it, many are prepared to take that step. Griffin may slowly break out of his arrogant and downplayed role to become the rebel leader of an army fighting for a better life.

I often go off on tangents though, but just some thoughts.

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Offline Dragon Lord

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Griffin Orent the crook
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2005, 08:32:13 AM »
I don’t often disagree with Strolen, but in this case I feel I must put my four-penny-worth in.

I do not think turning Griffin Orent into a popular rebel leader really works, not that it’s necessarily a bad plot line but it is something of a cliché. On the whole I think it’s a lot more interesting to leave him as the head of an organised crime ring.

Having said that I do like the idea hat he is actually very clever but acts stupid as a cover. In fact this may well be a requirement, after all a stupid man would never have survived as a bandit leader (the law would almost certainly have caught him by now).

I think Kinslayer’s idea is probably more on the right lines. As h suggests, run the organisation as network of interlocking cells with any individual knowing only the members of his own (maybe half a dozen of so) and only the cell leader knowing the external contacts.

If you like the rebel angle (and I have to admit that it does have some potential) you could some of the cells working for this cause rather than their own enrichment. Griffin may or may not know of this, and may or may not agree with it (either option makes for some interesting plotlines).

The important thing is that some bandit gangs are stealing for their on enrichment, some are robbing the rich to give to the poor (the old Robin Hood plot), and some are interested only in disrupting the government. However all of them are, technically at least, under the control of Griffin Orent.

As for role-playing Griffin – make a decision on his views about these various factions and then have him make rational decisions based on that opinion. From the outside (i.e. from the PCs viewpoint) these decisions could look decidedly irrational (ruthless hunting down some bandit gangs while simply ignore others).
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Offline Strolen

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2005, 03:27:42 PM »
Quote from: "Strolen"

This wouldn't take any of the secrecy needed to run a widespread group, just gives them the safe meeting place that you were looking for.


To clarify this mistype. I meant that it wouldn't take away the necessity of having secrecy just having this town as a 'den.' You would still need all that Kinslayer suggests to run a widespread group.

Overthrowing the kingdom might be a little far fetched, but I do like the underground railroad type thing. Perhaps they do the burglary but another large business for them is the smuggling of people out of the country. That would go inline with his goal to move everyone (who is everyone?) out of the country.

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Offline tal_1173

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thanks... lots to think about
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2005, 09:08:09 PM »
Wow, these are great ideas.  I think I should be able to have a truly 3-D NPC in my campaign.  I hope to have others, but I really like this guy.  I've also been thinking about the motivation for his becoming a traitor to his kingdom and his family (his uncle is the king.)  

Many years ago, his wife testified in court.  In her testimony she committed a crime that is punished by death.  She told a lie.  This lie had almost nothing to do with the court case at hand, but it was proven later that she did lie.  (If you read the description of the Kingdom of Orent it will explain some of the legal aspects of the kingdom.) With her death, Griffin began to think clearly for the first time in his life.  The brainwashing he went through in school and military training was washed away, and he saw his government for what it was.  Since that time he began to search very carefully for other people who felt the same way.  He also began at that point to manouver his 'exile' to Thorpe to be away from where his wife was murdered and to a place he would be more free to act.

Comments?

Offline Chaosmark

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2005, 11:31:44 PM »
I hate giving one-liner comments, but the only thing I can really think of to say is that perhaps you should make up a bio sheet for this Bandit and post it under NPCs?
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Offline tal_1173

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NPC's?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2005, 01:48:43 PM »
Forgive my ignorance...

How does the NPC posting area work?  What type of NPC's are generally posted there?  I've read some postings of NPC's but I am still unclear of how it works.

Offline MoonHunter

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The Bandit leader is really...
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2005, 01:56:49 PM »
Tal...

0) Think about your NPC for a while. Maybe you can even do a write up in TXT or DOC format before hand.

1) Log in

2) Goto http://www.strolen.com/npc/index.php

3) Click [ Add a NPC ] It is in the center of the second main box, not a side menu.

4) Fill in the various boxes with the appropriate information.

5) Press Add on the very bottom

6) If you didn't finish it or are not 100% happy with it, make sure to include a In Process line.   Then, when you can, go back to your post, then click the "Edit character" link. Then you can finish it, the press ADD again to completely update it.  You can edit it as much as you feel you need to.
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