November 11, 2010

Proper Motivation For Turning On The Party

In the DungeonDragons, a slogan they used for awhile was “Never Split the Party.” You have to have a party with a unified front, or else you’re just not going to get anything done. People will die, combats will be failures, everything will break down into bickering.

But that’s, you know, Dungeons and Dragons. Cthulhu-stuff… well, in a way, that’s different. Tension between your party is part of the horror. Not knowing who is going to turn, not knowing if you’re all really on the same side, even as you’re facing a supernatural threat…

That’s what I think, at least. I’ve been playing a pre-made Trail of Cthulhu campaign on Talking Time for awhile (It’s here if you want to read) with a bunch of cool cats. It’s been progressing really slowly, but it hasn’t been, you know, stressful because everyone is willing to be patient for people to act. I’ve found it very refreshing in that regard, and we’ve been getting some solid Roleplaying done. I love being silly, but too rarely do I have an opportunity to do roleplaying of the serious variety. As such, I’ve been really enjoying it.

However, the character I’ve pieced together, using a premade character and extrapolating from the information I was given, is really at odds with the party. Everyone else seems to be playing their characters in a very Lawful Good-esque kind of manner. Very goodie-two-shoes and whatnot. There’s nothing wrong with that. I often enjoy playing characters like that. But that just doesn’t fit Jan’s back story. She’s out for herself, and she only believes in herself. She believes she knows what she’s doing, and she wants to be in control. She’s somewhere in the Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Evil sort of range. She’s working with everyone because their goals coincide with hers.

And now, we’re at the point where they no longer do, and Jan is going to make sure she’s protected. That means bringing no monsters back to her world, and that means stopping Roger, who is infected, from coming back. Clearly, nobody else thinks that’s a good idea, since he still has his mind, and they’re good people. But Jan has wanted to be in charge this entire time, and now she has a bargaining chip. She’s going to push this and establish control.

I can’t imagine a way this would work out well for Jan. Everyone’s made it pretty clear they’re not going to bow down, and Jan probably isn’t going to back off on this. But that’s part of what makes this situation awesome. It’s a true character moment. It’s deep roleplaying. It’s amazing. My character might end up getting beaten up or killed because of this, but it’s totally worth it. It’s a realistic, tense moment in an awesome game. It works. I hope everyone else sees it as being as awesome as I do, even as they knock me out and steal my gun. Heh.

Leave a comment