domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

Loss of loved ones

This is the Situation 36th of Polti. Elements

  • a Kinsman Slain
  • a Kinsman Spectator
  • an Executioner

Plot: The killing of the Kinsman Slain by the Executioner is witnessed by the Kinsman Spectator.
For the story to be something more that the start of something, there’s the need of anticipation, inability to save the Slain and spare of the Spectator.
Anticipation builds when the Spectator and/or the Slain fears the bring about the death and take steps to try to avoid it. This can be build as an Enigma, with death being the consequence if the Enigma is not solved.
The inability to save the Slain can be due to

  • the Spectator not being powerful enough to stop the Executioner: both because of rule-wise power, because of status differences, because the Executioner has law in its side...
  • the Spectator unable to intervene: it could be hiding in a closet, imprisoned - a werewolf chained for the full moon night that is unable to stop the Executioner of killing his wife, the one with the keys to the manacles.
  • the Spectator not actually present, seeing the killing through clairvoyance, dreams, cameras or something.
It doesn't really need to be death: a curse or madness works just the same, as long as there is loss by the hand/will of the Executioner Element.


The Loss of Loved Ones has strength only for the Spectator, so the PCs shouldn’t be the Executioner.
Had the Executioner legal rights to kill the Slain? Maybe it wasn’t only rights but duty.


The strength of the story is that, for what matters the Spectator, it doesn’t matter the rights the Executioner may have.

PCs as Spectator

The inability should never be due to literal cheating.
If the PCs were not powerful enough they could become so in the campaign, or they could conspire, look for allies or other methods to finally be able to take revenge.
If the PCs were not present or were present but unable to intervene there should be something for them to feel they failed instead of that they were robbed of their kin.
They don’t need to see the killing “live”, so to speak. Maybe they discover the corpse, assume it was an accident, or suicide or something and some days later they received a recording, showing it was a murder.
Probably the best way is it the result of bad luck. Let’s say the PCs are investigating a serial killer. In the course of the investigation the killer learns of them, spies one of them and discovers it is married. By failing in the detention - or in the trial, for lack of hard evidence - the killer has the chance to kill the Slain and does so. If it is one of those games the PCs are better than everyone else - like D6 Star Wars or Savage Worlds - a bomb set by the villain may kill the wife but not the PC, or the combat may leave the PC gravely wounded, the Executioner kills the Slain and, when it is going to kill the PC, it hears the police sirens and flees. The doctors have a hard time bringing the PC back, but manage to do so, and now he lives the feeling of loss.


The Spectator may feel like Falling Prey to Cruelty/Misfortune, but since they'd be the PCs is most probable they want to punish the Executioner (Ambition). That punishment may need something to be reached: Conspiracies, Supplication, Obtaining (the means), solving an Enigma if they need to prove who was it or that it didn't had the right. Everything to get their Vengeance.
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