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January 2, 2013, 1:27 am

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The Kingmakers: Holiday Season Planning

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With about three weeks off from the campaign, I have some time to think about the best laid plans.


I'm going to start with Character specific plans (some of which are being shared with my players, some of which are not being shared due to plot twists/information):

Sylvie Blackburn: As the Heir of the yet-to-be-named Kingdom (I really need to get around to naming it), I've decided that the Royal lineage is exceptional, in a few ways:

  • The Kingdom and its King (or queen) are linked magically by a bond that ties their fate and well-being together. This tie means that should the royal lineage be fully extinguished, the land will suffer and die. The lineage dilutes rapidly from the current ruler- only their siblings, royal parent and children may be the new recipient of the magical link. The link is proof of one's mandate to rule, and I intend to work this into the plot in multiple ways. Since I intend to hold off revealing this to the players just yet, I still have time to work it out.
  • Sylvie will be allowed access to appropriate advantages and skills within GURPS that I've limited to other characters. In particular, this should reinforce that she will not be as proficient in skills used by the other players, allowing them to remain experienced specialists even as Sylvie's player explores the heir's growth.

Valen Aventura: Valen's player has worked hard to ensure that Valen's true loyalty remains masked. In truth, if this player decides to have Valen betray the group, I will allow him his attempt. Otherwise, Valen's player is likely going to be capable of driving himself within the plot without much outside interference from myself. I don't foresee the need to specifically prepare for him like with some of the other characters.

Bretia Faulkner: As of now, Bretia's personality as a gruff and slightly callous individual has caused Bretia to interact with the other characters at a very low level- especially given the fact that her phobia of magic has caused friction with Rowena. Balancing this has been the player's willingness to interact with GM-Run NPCs in an effective manner. Beatrice, Bretia's falcon, will likely be a valuable tool with any future plans.

Ruz: Ruz's player often has issues getting fully engaged into the game, and tends to swing wildly from being capable of doing great things (like getting hired on Frond's estate to learn more about the situation) to getting hit with something like extreme writer's block. To try and give this player some more connections to the world at large, I will be creating a crafty secret society of craftspeople who attempt to better the world covertly by applying their trades.

Albert Nash: Since Zarek has now collected the mercenary leader from before, I think that man will be contacting Albert's brother, the current Captain of the Royal Guard. Since Albert falsely believes he is the disgraced Captain of the Guard and that his brother betrayed him and caused his disgrace, this should add up to a hilariously fun situation (for me). Just moving this plot into motion is more than enough to run with for quite some time. Otherwise, Albert's player is very good at pushing the plot forward. Although he sometimes struggles with coming up with ideas that are effective, he more than any other player gives a great deal of thought to how to actually tackle the problems the group faces.

Rowena Foxglove: Rowena's player has similar issues to those faced by Ruz's. She frequently has nights where gaming, the extended length of sessions, and other contributing factors means that she is unable to contribute to the game at full capacity. Engaging Rowena's player can be an epic struggle or very easy, depending on how each specific session is going. Addressing this issue is likely outside of my direct control, speaking honestly. That said, Rowena's player does a very good job interacting with a few of the other players, and on good nights Rowena is a good addition to the group. I'll probably wait until after checking in personally with the player before I decide on a direction to start planning on. Also, I do need to address that using Sex Appeal and one's high Appearance for -every- social interaction wears just a little thin. 

Althalos Yerrel: Althalos' player has been unable to attend a large number of sessions and lives in Kuwait. This time zone difference, along with college classes, makes it extremely hard for Althalos to be present for sessions. Otherwise, his player is the most genre savvy out of all of my players, and nine times out of ten has a better understanding of the plot than the other players combined. Tricking him with my plot twists has become something I've hoped to accomplish as a baseline for a lot of my ideas. That said, unless he becomes more active, I won't be dedicating the time to planning for him specifically.

NPCs:
Lenny: Since Beatrice's player took points to add Lenny as a contact for her character, Lenny will remain a somewhat frequent presence in the campaign. He will likely not be present during the next section of the overall quest where they travel to a new location, mostly to give other NPCs the limelight.

Zarek: Zarek will likely be making an appearance very soon. As a neutral party that isn't aligned with the Players or the Conspiracy, I hope to make Zarek a dubious source of information for the group, as well as another figure whose intentions they can question.

Antagonist Player: I've asked a friend of mine to be an antagonist player (AP). She will be creating two antagonistic NPCs that the PCs will have to outsmart on their way towards placing Sylvie on the throne. This AP has settled on playing a married couple, likely nobility, who have placed a corrupt captain in place to subjugate the local populace to their whims through extortion and taxes. I've been keeping the AP in the dark to major plot details, the identities of the PCs, and other information to ensure that the AP is working with limited information- just like the regular PCs.

Corrupt Captain: The Corrupt Captain will be played and controlled by myself. I intend to flesh him out with connections to the Conspiracy in addition to those of the NPCs created by the AP. He's going to need to be suitably malicious so that my players universally despise him.

Morano: Morano has escaped from his captors and is now trying to return to safety and then locate his niece, Sylvie. I may pair him with Zarek as a way of launching the next plot arc after they finish with Cranson and the AP's machinations.

Dalzell: The Corrupt Captain recently had a large portion of his tax earnings stripped from him by the AP's married couple to finance Dalzell's expansion of his tavern into a hidden brothel.

Joanne Frond: Lady Frond is going to be entering a relationship to Magistrate Sand of Pyrim. Magistrate Sand is not currently affiliated with the Conspirators, but making him a target to convertor kill may lead to future possibilities, something to consider for the future.

Commander John Cairo, High Baron Fruit, and other people of importance: I need the Kingdom to begin degenerating in response to the lack of a king on the throne. Due to this, some characters will be too buy for the players to see or communicate with meaningfully.

Briar Dredge: Considering Sylvie's player having quite the soft spot for the dashing young noble, it's likely that Briar will be a returning NPC. My current later thoughts are that he will likely end up maimed or terribly injured while supporting her cause- likely after his family suffers greatly for it.

Reginald: I worry that as an NPC that has been with the group this entire time that I will come to rely on Reginald's presence to prod the group in the proper direction when they begin to spin wheels too much. That said, I'm hesitant to plan heavily around Reginald to keep his role minor until after I've distanced him from the action for a time.

Clara: A servant that has a deep crush on Ruz, I intend for Clara to be making a reappearance in Cranson where she might prove valuable to the players.

Honest John: If players return to Pyrim, Honest John will be the same as ever.
Lomar Stronghoof: Lomar's fortune will continue to grow after his deal with Baron Stuart to begin a mine on the land just outside Pyrim.

Baron Stuart: Baron Stuart will likely become a good ally to the players. He will likely again be their 'quest giver' should Joanne Frond, Dalzell, and Magistrate Sand begin to move Pyrim under the conspiracy's sway.

The Dragons:

Each High Baron has a Dragon (a play on the trope), who acts as their chief enforcer. There will likely only be 3-4 of them, one for each High Baron. Zarek will also be slightly connected to this group, except his Baron has died.

History and Backstory:
The Five:

Sylvie's Grandfather was replaced on the throne after an attempted regicide and ascension of a false King. The small band of heroes who championed his cause were:

  • Morano the Historian: lead the group and who ultimately worked to ensure that their story would become only whispers, not a legend propagated by bards. Morano's sister was married to Sylvie's Father (then the Crown Prince) due to actions.
  • Veracit the True: The group's mage. Veracit is currently deceased as of the time of the campaign.
  • Roderick the Warrior: The group's most athletic member who was Veracit's best friend. Roderick is still alive, living in relative seclusion in an attempt to live the rest of his life peacefully.
  • Matthew of Mathom. Matthew was their priest who was instrumental in delaying the enemy's plans. Matthew has passed on Veracit's sword, The Blade of Intuition, to Sylvie, and is about to enter a permanent stasis brought on by Mathom so that Matthew's life may be delayed until a point in the future when his presence is needed.
  • Corran the Creator: Although not a mage in the classical sense, Corran was the strongest magical presence in the group. Corran came to possess his Flame after the Regency Crisis and has now gone into hiding now that he is the most magically powerful individual alive in his era.

The Five are intended mostly to provide backstory for the current Regency Crisis, to let me use some of my Strolen creations (Corran, Roderick, Veracit), and to parallel the current group also trying to place a ruler on the throne. It should be noted that a great deal of my Strolen submissions regarding Veracit and Corran will never be used in the campaign by my players, and that they do exist separately. After all, I do not intend for the Five to become major participants in the story except for Morano.


Final Thoughts:

As of now, I need to begin fleshing out the next location they will be visiting, something I will likely do in another submission. I've mostly gone through what I intend to do with the tools I've already given myself- but now I need to fire up some tools and generate Cranson, the next location.

And I still need to name the damn Kingdom this is happening in.



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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Ted
January 6, 2013, 21:18
0xp
My brother came up with a kingdom name during a GURPS One-off set in the same setting as KM:
Discarthia.
Voted valadaar
June 3, 2013, 10:17
0xp
An interesting look into how you are running your campaign. How do you prevent your players from using this information? :)
Voted Gossamer
June 3, 2013, 11:12
0xp
I am 95% sure that I've heard the name Discarthia before, in some JPRG no doubt. But now I can't seem to find it...
Ted
June 11, 2013, 12:32
0xp
Honestly I was sitting around at home playing a side-mission type deal with my highschool gaming group when my brother seemed to pull the name out of thin air.
Gossamer
June 11, 2013, 13:13
0xp
Memory is a fickle thing. I've named quite a few countries and what not, only to have opened a book I haven't read in ages and learn that I had unknowingly swiped the name. But like I said, I'm not sure on this.

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