Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No More Heroes Anymore

As a DM I’ve obviously hit a potential problem; What motivates the party?
Why are the characters doing the things that they’re doing? Why is each of us adventuring?

Looking at the past adventures, a few things become clear…

The Pirate Wreakers: For Gold and recognition.
The Runaway Gambler: For Gold.
The Darkening Wood: To restore a Church of St Cuthbert.
The Magnificent Seven: Just trying to get back to Seawell.
Munagon: To help the Gnome villagers
The Id, the Ego and the Super Ego: Still just trying to get back to Seawell.
The Baron’s Captive Daughter: Gold, glory and a potentially noble cause.
The Duchess’ Lover: Mendez was ‘enchanted’ by an evil bitch Bard.
Dead Mayor Walking: Gold and Political influence for the Church of St Cuthbert.
The Three Towers: For Gold and then to protect Good and Neutral.
A New Mission: To take over an existing church of Chaos and replace it with a Church of St Cuthbert. (Also as a place to dump Eolar’s dozens of acolytes.)

Eolar’s reasons so far have been the most obvious… Expand the Church of St Cuthbert.

But what about everyone else?

Mendez adventures mostly for the gold and the glory. (Mostly the gold.) This makes him easily set in motion. He is actively good though and wants to forward that goal. “Death to evil!” (As long as the situation isn’t life threatening.)

Wer. I have no idea what motivates Wer, why or what?

Ned. See Wer.

Bodush seems to have a secret agenda. Unfortunately I have no idea what it is. I fear we’ll all find out eventually though.

Durin. It seems battle and adventure are key with the Dwarf.

Thesis. He’s a worry.
‘Trained for war, educated in combat and schooled in fighting. Thesis’ father had imparted his knowledge and love of killing deep into his psyche.’
… I think Thesis just likes hitting things.

Chen’s reasons seem as lost as he himself seems to be. He’s taken on the mantle of ‘Guardian of the Middle’. If there could be an extreme middle, he’d push for it.

So far we have three main motivating forces…

1) Eolar and the Church of St Cuthbert.
2) Gold.
3) Fighting against Evil.

Whoever’s DMing next has got a battle on their hands just to keep the party interested.


Charlie Stilton said...

Interesting post. I agree that we all seem to have different (and sometimes incongruent agendas). The party is a strange hotpot, rather than an obvious alliance.

For Chen's part, he's in it for the adventure - and mostly to learn about the outside world in order that his monastery can update it's teachings. Think that was in my first post, describing him.

The maintenance of the balance isn't his main agenda, more a secondary aim - following his education and beliefs.

He's also become quite interested in shiny things, especially since he's never had posessions before...!

Insanodag said...

Actually, we did help the gnomes out of the goodness of our hearts on both occasions. We could just have told them $£$£!! off and headed off to Seawell the first time.

Bodush? Secret Agenda? Locked in a sealed envelope in the hidden compartment of my desk? Never...

RoboGeek said...

Thesis has always been entirely transparent. He likes to go adventuring for the glory and excitement of battle. Money doesn't excite him especially, but the prospect of an enchanted weapon or armour to make him even more awesome is always a motivating factor.

His deep underlying motive, however, is to be respected by his father and brothers and to put his name down in family history as one of the greats.

On the wider picture: 10th level always causes this kind of problem. Adventures become more about individuals than abou the group.

What we need is a group level reason to adventure, not an individual based one.
And for that we need a sense of a group ...

Joebroesel said...

It is true that Eolar/Elogyn are easy to motivate. Either it's about the church and fighting chaos or even doing good (more Elogyn's agenda). As long as our actions restore order they are acceptable :)

But I agree that it's getting more and more difficult to think of an adventure that includes all the different aims.
Team Eolar can always be motivated to fight forces that work against the agenda of the church, threaten followers in faith or to go on a mission to spread faith.

Moritz Buck said...

Wer is on a kind of initiation thingy... Send out from her little troop of traveling halfling to become a "Wise-women", and stop being a stupid undecided teenager... So traveling the world to get experience and find her path so that she can replace her granny as the person knocking sense into the hard heads of the halfling men of her caravan.

So basically, experience and curiosity, shiny things are a nice side-dish...

TieDye said...

Durin's always been in it for the battles and the money - he doesn't have a home to go back to or a family to prove himself to, what with him being kicked out of a lawful dwarven clan for being prone to rage. He's needed to prove his worth to himself, but he's always needed to know that he's in the right in whatever he's doing - that's why he was so upset by the recently needless carnage. Also, since he was exiled for being chaotic, he believes people should help each other out regardless of their law/chaos alignments.

Hedzor said...

Blimey, a full set!
Hopefully this'll help the next DM plot his course of action.