Motivations and Multitudes
Posted by docryder
One of the first things that ran through my mind was an expansion of last week’s ideas. That is, if we’re irrational creatures, why aren’t my NPCs? That is, why do so many of my NPCs, and most other DM/GM/ST’s, allow themselves to be swayed by reasonable arguments? Why don’t they have extreme emotional commitments to their point of view? And I’m not talking about the major villains. Most folks do a pretty good job keeping the Bad Guys bad, and a little crazy. But the merchants and kings and barkeeps tend to be convinced by simple, logical arguments.
I think many of us think the average person is a reasonable human being who will be swayed this way. But the reality is that the average person is motivated by their emotions and shouldn’t necessarily be swayed by logic.
I think, in the future, I’ll make notes on NPCs that include some note on what the NPC won’t compromise or negotiate on, or how they’re irrational. I think it’s something DM/GM/STs need to think about, even if you’re doing improv gaming.
Something else I’ve been thinking about the past couple of days is whether or not I’ve way overcomplicated the StarSea. Do I really need five races? Do I really need four factions of sapients, not to mention the demons, undead, dragons, and giants, the Ür, civilians and the Corrupted versions of same?
There are also questions raised by the way the factions interact with Corruption. Why do the Powerless become various creatures (like orcs and goblins), but the Empowered become something else, based on their faction? There’s a certain illogic to that, and while the answer could be “Pure Freakin’ Magic”, that’s a dissatisfying answer.
I don’t have answers to these question yet. They’re just things starting to creep into my head as I look at storytelling and listen to book reviews on podcasts. I know that some of the most popular RPGs have had a large number of factions (World of Darkness, I’m looking at you), but do I need them for my setting. It might be I want to have them there, but in the background for the time being, to be developed later. Or it might be I want to completely eliminate them. It’s something I’ll continue to be thinking on for a while, I’m sure.
Yeah, so much for a break from the StarSea. 🙂
Well, it’s nearly bedtime, so I need to go.