A stab at building threats

  • 5 Replies
A stab at building threats
« on: September 20, 2014, 12:58:43 AM »
(I dunno if anyone in the Crown of Towers game wants everything to be a mystery, but I'm going to lay out most of my thinking as a Co-MC here, so...)

So, as Josh was laying out in his posts, our last session was a dual attempt to reconcile moral philosophy and to figure out how we as a table were going to proceed next session. One of the big takeaways was that we needed there to be some kind of techniques on the MC side of things, and that addressing the rights of the PCs was kind of important (at least to us.) So, I collected a list of the rights everyone had actually chosen, as well as trying to get a quick gist of where their character was coming at (i.e. asking some provocative questions, with the intention of acting on the results.)

So, here's what we've got:

Idus, the surrogate father of orphans and outcasts, himself something of an outcast, nonetheless War Champion of the Crown of Towers
He has the rights to
  • be known by reputation
  • confront you betters for justice
  • own an enchanted weapon
  • single combat

Tatbirt, the effective Castellan, fulfilled in her role but unrecognized. She is also a new mother, though no one knows who sired the babe. (Josh is also clearly interested in the questions about a female Castellan and her unclaimed offspring - maybe not their answers, but certainly the questions.)
She has the rights to
  • Commit or withhold the stronghold's resources
  • Feel the pulse of the stronghold's walls and stones
  • muster laborers
  • offer sacrifice for luck, harvest or victory

Tinitran, the ne'erdowell, wastrel, above-it-all Outranger. Tablesaw was clear that the hook for her will be opportunities. She's sort of a pre-medieval backpacker.
She has the rights to
  • find your way by road and trail
  • keep acquaintance with the people you've met
  • of noble blood, but a lesser descendant
  • step out of your earthly life

Lastly, Agerzam, my character, is the War-Captain, already beset by duties and demands. He wishes mostly for a quiet life, even if he has to decimate all hereabouts to accomplish that.
He has the rights to
  • at the beginning of a session, roll War
  • own a trained warhorse
  • supplicate the gods of war
  • wage war as you see fit

Likewise, the peoples hereabout:
The Abrika, of which stock all the PCs descend, are the descendants of governors and the owners of the stronghold by inheritance. Irat is a notable of this people and the Keep Liege.
The Magdolna, remnants of a former crown, descendants of Queen Magda, for whom much nearby is named.
Including the local trade town (Magdavros) and its inhabitants the Magdavronites.
Clan Ixones, one of many clans hostile to the Abrika and the stronghold.
The Walhaz, a populous group of rebelious landowners, farmers of the pastures and fields near the stronghold.

Re: A stab at building threats
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 01:02:50 AM »
So, in principle I want to produce some small number of threats that address as many rights as possible.

I'd like to attach them to the peoples already defined, but will create new ones as I need. I want very much to angle things to appeal to the characters as described - e.g. Tinitran isn't Strider; some lost travellers aren't likely to be interesting.

I specifically am thinking of some MC moves and principles: those related to notables, what's coming and happening elsewhere, making the characters' lives eventful, my sense of magic, mystery and danger, and presenting tenuous or untenable positions.

Re: A stab at building threats
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 01:12:31 AM »
Now I'm cheating: Josh has already built some threats, of which we know not everything, but something.

First, old friends of Tinitran - the White Caps, a mystery cult who take their name from the mushrooms they consume to spur visions - have come to beg hospitality. As it turns out, in hard times they fell to banditry and were Agerzam's late adversaries over the season. So: I count Tarbirt's commit or withhold right, Tinitran's keep acquaintance and step out of earthly life, and Agerzam's wage war all at least weakly addressed.

Second, a ward of Idus's household offended the gods of the Abrika by denying hospitality to Agerzam's dam. Irat has demanded that she be banished. Idus's confront your betters seems addressed there, and indeed he has already begun the process of having his ward beg forgiveness.

Third, the Magdolna are up to no good. Irat's aspiration to generosity works against us here, perhaps, as he's welcomed Magdolna luminaries into the stronghold, where some of them have snuck into the the subterranean vaults and crypts. My guess is that we'll work up to outright warfare. So Agerzam's wage war, likely trained warhorse, Tatbirt's feel the pulse, commit or withhold and maybe Idus's single combat all seem like they're in play.

Re: A stab at building threats
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 01:38:36 AM »
Next, the other thing is that I want to see a troll. I'm going to be the trouble I want to see in the world. We've got crypts in our stronghold, by the iron triune! How can that go right?

Without detailing the monster at all, I think I can hit Idus's enchanted weapon (especially if I make the right picks), single combat, Tatbirts fell the pulse and maybe offer sacrifice or muster laborers. Can I pull in Tinitrin's step out of earthly life here, maybe? Reviewing Idus's weapon: "A boar-spear of holy ash. 3 Harm. Might pierce the flesh of creatures otherwise immaterial" Okay, I need to rethink a little bit, but I think we've something to work with.

That leaves: Idus's reputation, Tinitran's finding-of-way and of-noble-blood completely unaddressed, and only weakly addressed Tatbirt's muster laborers, offer sacrifice, and Idus's confront your betters.

Clan Ixones hasn't been involved yet at all, nor the Walhaz. The clans seem promising with wayfinding and reputations, so let's look at that.

So what if the insular remote Ixones have taken a captive? Someone important, as they travel along the trade route to Falcon's Haven, our sister stronghold. Important to Idus, at least. Say, a gifted but orphaned carpenter, and one of Idus's family? There we have Idus's reputation and Tinitran's wayfinding to get there, Idus's confront-for-justice on arrival (and maybe before leaving) and a little touch on Tatbirt's muster laborers to boot.

So: there's two front-y things for me as a CoMC: the Thing in the Basement and the Ixone Gambit.

Re: A stab at building threats
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 01:44:56 AM »
Lastly, and here I'm less sure about this wholesale lift from AW Classic, but I feel like front-y things need countdowns, but akin to the Meeting Death lists, and with the explicit, up-front decision to rejigger them as events unfold. So something like:

The Ixone Gambit:
  • Young Kwella goes missing
  • Ransom demanded
  • Cruel displays of brutal intent.
  • The Ixone march with Kwella as a shield
  • Sabotage!
  • Attack on the stronghold

I think I'll keep my Thing in the Basement list to myself for the moment. It is my sense of magic, mystery and danger, after all.



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Re: A stab at building threats
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 11:47:22 AM »
Thanks for sharing all this! It's cool.