August 22, 2012

Some Similar Villainy

Sitting in my car listening to whatever comes up on my iPod, I realized something:

One of my favorite villains from my childhood is extremely similar to one of my favorite villains of today.

Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas has a lot in common with Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time

Let me list my thoughts:

-Both work toward selfish gains
-Both rarely ever take pity
-Both are obsessed with making deals, bargins and gambles
-Both prefer to hide away from normal society, and selectively interact with it to pursue their own goals (Oogie Boogie with his trick-or-treat crew, Rumpelstiltskin with magic)
-Both seem to take a darker, goldish/brown hue
-Both try their best to make sure the odds are entirely in their favor

If you know Rumpelstiltskin's back story from the show, you may know this wasn't always true, but a good chunk of it is when you first met him.

Now that I type it out it doesn't seem that significant, but it shows in my life I've always had a favor toward certain bad guys.  I never could get the whole "I want all the power" or "I'm just merely evil" motives.  It just made more sense you would have bad guys who just do stuff for their own gain, and be clever enough to get away with it.  I think maybe it was easier to relate to--we've all known someone who likes to make sure they're dealt the best hand in life.  And to be honest, who could blame them?

Will have to confirm my hypothesis by watching The Nightmare Before Christmas sometime soon.  Halloween is almost around the corner...

August 17, 2012

"Fake Empire"--when LARP imitates art. P.S. don't f%@k with Chicago.

My character Ellen Peters was in kind of a slump for a while.  She was serving a prince to Chicago who was kind of a dick and with the Invictus, who by definition in her head are all dicks.

Before one game, a friend of mine sent out music videos to friends that reminded her of their LARP characters.  This one was mine:  Fake Empire by The National.

It definitely hit Ellen's heart strings. She was the only member of the Carthian Movement who could keep any respect in the city, and even though she still aligned with them, she had to play nice with the big boys of the Invictus.  Ellen made her own friends with even more monstrous people that she felt she could trust more, and laid low.

And then came the Prima Invicta from the East, trying to convince everyone to join their empire that continued to grow.  They had met some resistance but nothing too serious.  They came to the Prince of Chicago and offered him Vicerory of several states.  He took it.

Chicago proceeded to say "What the hell?!"  I won't go into the long story, but that character is no longer Prince.  And Chicago has continued to tell the Prima Invicta that they can go choke.

Meanwhile, I think back to when my friend chose this song, and think about all those out East...

"We're wide awake in a fake empire" is what some of them must be thinking to themselves.

August 8, 2012

Planning Enough

I am so afraid for DnD I do not plan enough.

Part of it is because I like to run my games with a plot line encased in a very open world.  It's like Skyrim (which I've been playing a lot of these days), but I'm hoping a better received main plot line.

The problem with this is that you never know what your players will latch on to and want to pursue.  It's not only the little tidbits you thought would be easy to have your players forget, it's also the players interpretation of the big things.

For example, the last two times I ran a game in my setting, I definitely had players who took the role of working for the King seriously.  They had experience and honor and lineages that they wants to make sure came into play.  They knew that they were the best of the best for a reason, and it was an honor to be serving the King.

These players feel they are not the best of the best.  They have bad habits and not the most impressive histories.  Two of them are from a friendly kingdom, and aren't entirely 100% sworn to the king (they already have one).  One was busy trying to sell potent potables to the public as a druid.  One is busy trying to impregnate every lady he can.  And one is merely amazed that he has a warm bed and food provided to him as a courtesy.  They know they are not the best of the best, and if anything it makes this same setting feel more desperate.  This isn't a position of honor.  This is proof that the Kingdom needs to be pitied.

With the same introduction and the same world, the feelings are entirely different.  Imagine then the difference between the person who knows everything in the world as "God" so the speak, and the difference between the players who only know what I tell them.

Therefore, considering all the unknowns with the decisions made, you cannot plan enough.