- Object sacrificed
- (Optional) Creditor: the Element to which the Object is sacrificed
In Polti's 20th Situation the reason of sacrifice is an Ideal, a Kinsman in 21th and a Passion in 22th. The Object sacrificed is a Loved one in 23th, unspecified in the rest.
Despite the name, it doesn't need to be good, just the person who makes the sacrifice. A man in love with a vampire that demands him to leave his family forever is the Hero Element, without being "good". A father who sacrifices a son because his god told him so isn't good either, but it is the Hero Element in this story.
PCs as Hero
Sacrifice is usually something the PCs are going to decide by themselves. If a sacrifice is forced upon them, you need to provide them with somebody to blame (besides you), just like other stories in which they are suffering because of the story. For instance, a villain can force them to sacrifice a town (by leaving it unprotected) to get the Horn of Fate.
For the story to be a sacrifice, the PCs need to know their actions can have dire consequences. The destruction of that town shouldn't come as a surprise.
Object of sacrifice
As always, the Object can be a person, an actual object, a feeling or whatever. A Hero can sacrifice the trust of its lover because it has to keep an oath.
PCs as Object
If the PCs are an Object they have been sacrificed by somebody who didn't wanted to, and it's important that the PCs have enough information to know that. That doesn't mean they should be forgiving or understanding, but they need to know why they were sacrificed, either before they take revenge or after. A story that starts with them in prison, betrayed by an old ally, only for them to escape, prepare revenge, kill the traitor and only then, with his traitor's last breath, learn it did that because the real villain threatened with the town's destruction can be a good story.
If that villain then destroys the town, making the PCs feel responsible and angry about having been used as currency and planning a new revenge, it's more satisfying.
The Creditor is an optional Element in this stories: when Peter sacrifices Betty's trust to keep his oath, the trust is not sacrificed to anyone or anything; if Abraham had sacrificed Isaac to god, god would have been the creditor.
PCs as Creditor
For the story to feel as Sacrifice the PCs needs to care about the Object sacrificed but somehow about the Hero too, even if it a complicated relationship, it should not be purely of hate or enmity. It can happen, but won't feel like they are receiving a sacrifice.
If the Sacrifice is dire enough, it can develop for the Hero in Falling Prey of Cruelty/Misfortune.
If whatever was sacrificed may be taken back it develop into Ambition or be mixed with it, developing into Daring Enterprise.
The Sacrifice may be the price paid for a Supplication, Deliverance or Conspiracy to be successful. Actually, other Dramatic Situations like Obtaining or Daring Enterprise may require Sacrifices.