Friday, March 18, 2011

Raison d'être

At the end of our last campaign the DM’s (myself included) struggled sometimes to capture the interest of all the adventurers.
Gold, glory and prestige being the main focuses.
Sven introduced the Dragon and the Demon towards the end of that campaign as possible adventure hooks for the party.
With the introduction of a new party, I/Vogir took that end mission on board.
‘Death to tyranny and death to the dragon!’
After six levels I’m still wondering what’s motivating the others.
We, as a party, need something to tie us together.
A unifying mission.
A common purpose.


  1. Unifying mission? Common purpose?
    Niema starts thinking but doesn't need long? Money? :) She likes to see the group as a set of tools she can use for her contracts! :D

    She actually doesn't care much about the dragon. She actually likes a strict hierarchy, since in such a structure, with people trying to advance, the sudden demise of a higher ranking person is worth lots of money. So business is well. In a more chaotic or, Belial beware, a democratic state, it would be more difficult to find her kind of jobs. And she doesn't feel like getting a desk job.....

  2. Ridding the land of the Dragon and Demon was always too high a purpose for me. Way too big picture political. Doesn't motivate me in the slightest. In fact it puts me off completely.

    I like simple quests for riches and magic that end in killing a boss-monster.

    So, this sort of Machiavellian plot really is lost on me I'm afraid.

  3. I like the word 'Machiavellian' but can rarely spell it.

    The problem is that without a common goal, we're not really a Party but rather a group of unrelated adventurers with no reason for loyalty to each other.

    Sven and I (Niema and Vogir) have already had to make a metagaming decision not to kill each other for the sake of the game.

    This has already cropped up in regard to the division of treasure but, unless we find some common denominator, it's sure to end in bloodshed.

  4. This is not surprising as we are a group of players who have seen one-another every fortnight for some years, but our characters hardly know each other.

    In the old days we all played one character and stuck to it through thick and thin gaining levels when we earned XP and reincarnating when it died.

    Then we had reason to be a party.

    Now we are just a bunch of mercenary monsters with no loyalty to anyone or anything. 4th edition sucks as a role-playing game - it is a paper version of WoW and nothing more. Booo.

  5. The truth is, we're not even a group of 'good' characters.
    I'll be guessing but I bet almost everyone chose 'unaligned' this time.
    Even I did!
    That literally means that none of us give a damn about anything.

  6. Which makes politicking plot lines even more of a waste of good game time.


    Give us more monsters to vanquish, treasure to unfairly divide, and magical items to squabble over!

  7. Ok, I have to say that Niema would have never killed Vogir unless he'd have tried to kill her first :) But I guess that's what you've meant ;-)

    Niema would just travel with you guys for reasons you just don't know. She would kill people that attack us and help on quests to keep her cover up. So i have no problem to justify doing all kinds of stuff :) I created Niema especially for that.

    So although that's not a especially reassuring reason for you, Niema has no problem with the whole party idea....

  8. I think Vogir's going to take a turn toward good.
    His motives are pure but his cynicism gets in the way of them.
    The problem he has with 'certain' members of the 'party' is this.

    A person is judged by the company they keep.

    Vogir's very uncomfortable to be traveling with an Assassin.

    Yes 'I' know that 'Vogir' doesn't.

    If he did though, he'd be forced to (try to) kill her...

    And any that stood in his way.

  9. But that's what I've always said. Vogir would have to judge Niema by her actions that are visible, not by what Kirk knows. Most members of the group would want to kill Niema if they would know what she does for a living.....
    That's the whole point of being an assassin!

  10. While I have played with parties before were characters had different goals and enjoyed it, I can see were you are coming from. You want to minimize group in-fighting, or maybe you want a "roleplaying" reason for why the group sticks together, rather than all characters are played by people at the table, and we are stronger as a group.

    But there are several things to consider. First, even if you have a bunch of guys who are mercenaries, adventurers, or the like, that are in it for the fame, the money, or the fun of killing things, all those motives are compatible with the idea of having a group so getting fame, money and targets is easier. This, of course, is somewhat misaligned with the idea of being "heroes".

    But to be a hero, or at least to be part of a bigger story on somehow has to take interest in that story. But I dont think that the idea of being "unaglined" generally means "I dont give a crap about the world". Without going into to much detail about the whole alignment system, fearing that this might wake the sleeping norwegian, I would, in short, say that this can be interpreted as a basic moral stance, rather than what faction you are aligned with. So, being unaligned might just mean that you are follwing your own ideas that are not fully good or evil, such as taking revenge on the dragon ruler. Of course, this still does not provide a shared motivation for the whole party. But I personally enjoy the idea of having a bigger plot move along in the background. Especially, because it adds texture the the world.

    Well, just my two cents.

  11. The sleeping Norwegian is very much awake, but his life is to busy with other things to start a debate about the relationship between D&D alignments and real-world ethical systems.

    Briefly, I think the issue we are missing is that of disjointed storyline and the lack of a persistent world for the characters. This is just the occupational hazard of round-robin DMing, and most certainly has nothing to do with system.

    What happened is as follows: Brief adventure set in one place, followed by another brief adventure set somewhere else unrelated to the first place, followed by yet another adventure set somewhere else unrelated to the either of the first two.

    Our actions in any of these three adventures had no impact whatsoever on anything else so far.

    This is why I like Sven's adventure.
    1) It is situated in the setting, and as such affords the character a much greater sense of embodiment. Vogir has strong opinions about what is going on and these are clashing with the opinions of other characters. This is good as it defines our characters. I like it.
    2)The situated nature of the adventure also allows ample opportunity for future DMs to build on the consequences of our actions.

  12. Oh, while I am awake, Orestes and Ghanash are both Lawful Good.

  13. Just to add to that, I recall that both Argent and Velorien were Good.

  14. 'Sleeping Norwegian'.