Plot Points and Relatives

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How many DMs out there use a character's family as a source of reasons to adventure.

DM (As clan chieftan): Son, the MacArthurs have been raiding the cattle again. I want you to visit the old wicce and ask him what he requires for a curse on the bastich. Take your friends along.
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
Assuming you know which Player you can use to "Anchor" your campaign, the main star of the show who is almost always going to show up, that's good. But if it is a new group, it is hard to decide who to use.

I typically use NPC relatives and family to move the story along, and also to create motivations like vengeance, greed, corruption. One of my Players has turned out to be consistent, so I've also let some of his Character's Background be brought out in the story, eg. meeting old friends of the Character's Master, so on so forth.

But at the start of the campaign? Difficult, unless you know who are the Players you can bank on.
This is apart from issues if that Character were to die. Other Players may even feel that you are reluctant to kill that Character, showing favoritism to preserve your story.

I am Blue/White

Assuming you know which Player you can use to "Anchor" your campaign, the main star of the show who is almost always going to show up, that's good. But if it is a new group, it is hard to decide who to use.

I typically use NPC relatives and family to move the story along, and also to create motivations like vengeance, greed, corruption. One of my Players has turned out to be consistent, so I've also let some of his Character's Background be brought out in the story, eg. meeting old friends of the Character's Master, so on so forth.

But at the start of the campaign? Difficult, unless you know who are the Players you can bank on.
This is apart from issues if that Character were to die. Other Players may even feel that you are reluctant to kill that Character, showing favoritism to preserve your story.



Then don't tell a story, let the players let their characters live their own lives. If an important character dies, another will rise to take his place. And remember that everything you do in your story also happens in real life. Venal clerics are venal clerics even in reality.
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
And remember that everything you do in your story also happens in real life. Venal clerics are venal clerics even in reality.

And in a world where clerics have real power, non-venal clerics can be executed on false accusations by venal rivals.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
And remember that everything you do in your story also happens in real life. Venal clerics are venal clerics even in reality.

And in a world where clerics have real power, non-venal clerics can be executed on false accusations by venal rivals.




In a world where clerics have real power wouldn't they have reliable measures to counter false testimony?
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
And remember that everything you do in your story also happens in real life. Venal clerics are venal clerics even in reality.

And in a world where clerics have real power, non-venal clerics can be executed on false accusations by venal rivals.




In a world where clerics have real power wouldn't they have reliable measures to counter false testimony?



It's one of the things that was removed from 4E. It is now possible for people in power to lie, cheat and steal. It is possible to have a Cleric of Lloth infiltrate the Church of Pelor, and all of the intrigues that surround that event.

On the other hand, there is nothing preventing you from having a faction of a church come forward with a "surefire method of uncovering heresy," and conducting an inquisition based on that method....

[

It's one of the things that was removed from 4E. It is now possible for people in power to lie, cheat and steal. It is possible to have a Cleric of Lloth infiltrate the Church of Pelor, and all of the intrigues that surround that event.



So it was decided to nerf Good. I suspect one of the staff kobolds.
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
[

It's one of the things that was removed from 4E. It is now possible for people in power to lie, cheat and steal. It is possible to have a Cleric of Lloth infiltrate the Church of Pelor, and all of the intrigues that surround that event.



So it was decided to nerf Good. I suspect one of the staff kobolds.



It was decided to nerf everything that prevents intrigue from working in a fantasy world with magic. No more instant lie, magic or alignment detectors. The magic detectors that exist only offer vague information.

By the same token, it is also possible to lie to a Cleric of Lloth, or infiltrate an evil enclave to gather intelligence. While we no longer have Detect Evil, the enemy no longer has Detect Good. While we no longer have Detect Lie, neither does the enemy.

As a result, plot and roleplaying trumps the Wizards or Clerics magical toolbox, as it should.



As a result, plot and roleplaying trumps the Wizards or Clerics magical toolbox, as it should.




The villains couldn't come up with counter-measures, instead of meta gaming the problem away?
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.


As a result, plot and roleplaying trumps the Wizards or Clerics magical toolbox, as it should.




The villains couldn't come up with counter-measures, instead of meta gaming the problem away?



So every important NPC has Nondetection or Undetectable Lie up on them all the time, rendering your PCs spell choices obsolete when they matter most? Villains and NPCs should have abilities appropriate to their characters and the plot of the story. When you give them abilities specifically to counter your characters, you should really rethink your design (unless the NPCs in question were hired by the main villain to hunt down and kill the PCs, but that is a different kind of plot).

"Gotcha!" gaming is so 80's. I'm glad to be living in the 21st century.

Granted, in previous editions of the game, I houseruled the plotbusting spells out of my game, and compensated characters who had those abilities as class features (i.e.; Paladins). When they were making 4E, it seems like the designers were of like mind with me when plotbusting powers and abilities were considered.

Since Next will be taking steps backwards, it is a pretty safe bet that Detect Evil, Good and Lie will be back as well.

Edit: Just to be clear, isn't arbitrarily giving the enemies powers to counter your PCs countermeasures also "metagaming the problem away," except that you are also wasting PC resources in the process?



As a result, plot and roleplaying trumps the Wizards or Clerics magical toolbox, as it should.




The villains couldn't come up with counter-measures, instead of meta gaming the problem away?



So every important NPC has Nondetection or Undetectable Lie up on them all the time, rendering your PCs spell choices obsolete when they matter most? Villains and NPCs should have abilities appropriate to their characters and the plot of the story. When you give them abilities specifically to counter your characters, you should really rethink your design (unless the NPCs in question were hired by the main villain to hunt down and kill the PCs, but that is a different kind of plot).

"Gotcha!" gaming is so 80's. I'm glad to be living in the 21st century.

Granted, in previous editions of the game, I houseruled the plotbusting spells out of my game, and compensated characters who had those abilities as class features (i.e.; Paladins). When they were making 4E, it seems like the designers were of like mind with me when plotbusting powers and abilities were considered.

Since Next will be taking steps backwards, it is a pretty safe bet that Detect Evil, Good and Lie will be back as well.

Edit: Just to be clear, isn't arbitrarily giving the enemies powers to counter your PCs countermeasures also "metagaming the problem away," except that you are also wasting PC resources in the process?




I think you're overestimating certain types of people, bad guys and crooks are not known for their foresight and discretion.

Besides, it happens not outside the game, but in the game, and is the sort of solution you'd expect in the real world. To put it another way, it is not exactly an arbitrary response by by something outside the world, it's more a solution to a problem by somebody in the world.
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
I think you're overestimating certain types of people, bad guys and crooks are not known for their foresight and discretion.

Not the random street gang, no. But that ancient red dragon? Yes. The cult ruled by the sinister confidence man? Yep. The evil mayor who's planning to sacrifice the town by performing a complex ritual over a long period right under the town's very nose? I think he's got some foresight and discretion.

Any mad overlord worth his salt is going to use those detection spells to their full advantage. It does kind of put a damper on the kind of intrigue you can do- usually- but I think it's going to depend a lot on the party and the enemy. There may be ways around it but the detection spells are pretty foolproof as far as I remember.