Episode 464 - Politics

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Re: Episode 464 - Politics

Postby Hal » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:53 pm

In the middle of the episode, Chad asked a question about how you introduce all of this to the players, since you don't want to just dump a novel on them and expect them to keep up. It's rough jumping in to an established setting you don't know, but even a homebrew setting can be pretty convoluted when you're introducing it for the first time.

The last D&D game I ran focused on politics pretty heavily. I had a story which would be running in the background, which would eventually make its way to the foreground as the players moved through the world. I didn't want to betray my hand, though. So as part of the setting, I had about ten factions that I introduced to the players, gave them each about a paragraph of description, including how they related to one another, the government, or the society, depending on what was most relevant. Then I asked them to throw their hats in with one of the groups, which would determine the backbone of the game. Not that the players couldn't be individually connected to other groups (such as a wizard being part of the mages' guild) but the group had to share primary affiliation with one specific faction.

The players ended up deciding to join up with a faction whose primary goal was to otherthrow the government, so the game became largely about starting a civil war, and the pursuit of support from the other factions and local governments in overthrowing the Queen. This ended up being a good vehicle, though the player reasoning for going that route did amuse me, as they said that this seemed like the only group that actually would give premises for a game. That is, none of the other groups seemed to have any sort of conflict or purpose evident in their descriptions, so there was no obvious game to be had if they had been parts of those groups. Not to say that that isn't an understandable reaction, but it surprises me as the GM, because it's not as if I didn't have ideas available for the other groups. As always, the players don't know what they don't ask and what you don't tell them.
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