in the Shadow of Greatness


December 10, 2004

Social Conflict fm the comments

I started to answer this in comments, but realized that it would take up far too much space. This refers to my earlier post:

What benefit do you see offsetting the greater numbers of characters who will have swathes of the world poisoned against them?

So far as I can tell you're saying, "Characters won't do so many horrible nasty things to each other if there's a Culture stat by which the other characters can punish them." Am I reading that right?

In a word, yes. But no. I think I would have pictured the glass as half full.

Characters will seldom be defenseless in the face of horrible nasty public abuse by Warfare, Psyche, or Strength since there is now a Culture stat by which the NPCs and PCs can reward, further, and progress the PC drama with approval of peers and a cast of thousands.

Call me a simple soul, but I don't comprehend the focus on pain, punishment, and poison rule-space in rpgs or why it is the preferred reading. My bewildered idea of why you have rules about Bad Things is so that you can have choices about them.

I believe in characters that 'stick' in your mind and heart; characters that relate to other characters. Any guidelines for further relationships, for complimenting them and initiating them are what I was thinking as overall benefit.

More than a few folks apparently —and this could be just the intolerance of today's world— see the dark power of rules and how those rules might be leveraged to push other folks around.

I suspect that's because they've personally been burned, bruised, and baffled by harsh competitive rpg play. I'm really sorry about that. I don't think that is fun. It's not what I'm thinking about.

Will a Culture Attribute help you play a throne war? I suppose it will since it hands out a new niche to spotlight. Will it help you win a throne war? I imagine a Social Character would say, 'yes' because the cultural battleground might be preserving the realm. Will it put you on the throne? I don't know. I doubt it. My version of Oberon wasn't a particularly social genius. You might get to be the power behind a stable throne.

pure fancy:

Flora, as a middle child so to speak, may just have the best ideas about getting along in a dysfunctional and intimate circle. Random, as the youngest, probably understands getting pushed around, but his social bias might baffle and frustrate him. Benedict, as the oldest survivor, is just tired of the lack of Grace in those below him.

Who wants Culture rank in their concept niche?

Trend-setters, Priests, entertainers, politicians, diplomats, saints, spies, ministers, older PCs who are well-versed in dozens of cultures, gurus, wise women, and policy makers of noble lines.

From the above list you can draw your imagined benefits.

Who wants low culture rank in their concept niche?

Lunatics, young PCs who are shocked or baffled by reactions, innocents, strangers in a strange land, loners, thugs, PCs without empathy, PCs raised by wolves and/or artificial intelligences.

Filed under : Amber at 10.12.2004