'QUEST'ION OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2020

Jynx001
Jynx001

What was the best or most unique Character Goal that you or a Player ever came up with?

The goals of NPC's and PC's are the real driving force behind the actions that characters take, and ultimately, the plot. What surprising or intriguing goals really enhanced your games the most?

Post edited by Jynx001 on

Comments

  • gastoff
    gastoff
    Posts: 92

    I grew two characters from level 1 through level 24 over the course of a decade before they were both retired when our long standing gaming group dissolved. These two characters were polar opposites and pushed my role playing capabilities to the max.

    My sorcerer, born a human, was infused with draconic blood as part of a ritual early on in the campaign. He was a supremely vain character, obsessed with him image, reputation...power hungry that could never be fulfilled. Deep down, he seeked approval from everyone but could never admit this. His desperation for acceptance manifested in the unquenchable thirst for knowledge and power. He desired to be "the" name that comes to mind when anyone thinks of a powerful mage, rivaling the likes of the Circle of Eight.

    He interpreted his need for acceptance as a hunger for power, the internal misunderstanding causing him to be extremely shallow. Overly charismatic, he was loved by strangers because of the superficial mask he portrayed, but those closest to him viewed him with a mixture of fear, loathing, pity, and distrust. His bond with "friends" was spurious and he manipulated his comrades often to achieve his desired goals. To him, this behavior is what everyone else does, so he saw no problem with it.

    Angry at human kind for not fully embracing his maniacal ways, my sorcerer decided that it was time that the dragons returned to rule the world. He began actively working to destroy the Rule of Man and to usher in the second Age of Dragons. At the time of his retirement, he had climbed the ranks of the Shan, a nation of exiled humans, and was aiding them in infiltrating and overthrowing all ruling nations of the Flanaess.

    While he was aiding the Shan Imperium, he was cataloging their weaknesses...learning their tactics, so that when they had finally brought all of the Flanaess under their rule, he could pass the information on to the dragonkin so they could squash these new rulers while they were still weakened.

    Over the course of the decade, everyone in the party had begun to hate my character, including the other character I was playing. When our gaming group disbanded due to people moving out of state, the few that continued to game began working at dismantling what my sorcerer had been building up for years. It is still an ongoing effort by them and he is now a major BBEG in their campaign.

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  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,719

    Such great detail, @gastoff!

    smiley

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 875

    My campaigns are far mroe fluid than that, sorry. While there is an overall goal for the group as a whole, the BBEG, The MacGuffin the group needs, what have you, no one really comes into a campaign with a goal for their character to achieve (well, our Rules Lawyer dusually does, and its usually to get to a certain level or such, but even he is one HELL of a role player).

    For my groups, things happen organically, and the characters grow based on whats happened to them in the campaign, and how the story flows.

    For example, in the current Shadows Campaign, we have a Lillim, a Daughter of Lillith, seducer of men (and women), a hell-spawned demon. The character came into the game as she is, but working for The Dragon, the lone Dragon for good in our Dresdenverse. She didnt know why Smauverovax took the favors she owed Lillith, Demon Princess of Freedom (and the mother of every Lillim), nor why Lillith traded them to him, but there she was, forced to help people.

    As the campaign proceeded, the Lillim found herself more and more helping those who eneded it, without seeking recompense. The Dragon's way began to rub off on her, and at the current point of the game, an Archangel has taken her under his 'wing' and she is redeemed.

    Another time was in the first Shadows game. We had a wizard, who his Trouble was he was a coward. He ran from several combats because of it. During that campaign, they ran into a female Terminator, literally, she was based on the one Summer Glau played in the Sarah Conner Chronicles, except evil.

    The group actually captured her, and on a joke, one of the characters, with the help of an A.I. she knew, reprogrammed the terminator and she became a part of the group. As time went on, the coward found himself attracted to the 'murder bot' as he sometimes called her. She had originally tried 'pitifully' flirting wiht him as a joke, just as her singing showtunes and cooking breakfast for everyone the morning after her reprogramming was, but the gorup came to value her, and the coward not only ended up dating her, but falling for her, to the point that, (because he was a wielder of Soulfire) she actually developed a soul. (If anyone wants a really good read, check out the journals of V.S, Ramachandran on the Shadows site. He covered all of it there in character)

    I could go on about how the Daughter of Venus sacrificed ehr life to save the group, or how just the last session the Wizard sacrificed his life to save relaity, or so many other memorable characters and incidents from the campaigns my groups had over the years, but all of them grew out of the game itself rather than a goal set any time during the campaign or before it

     

  • gastoff
    gastoff
    Posts: 92

    Like @Keryth987, all my character goals were birthed from the campaign itself and were organic. I've never successfully set a goal independent from the campaign plot and had it come to fruition. In the example I gave earlier, from level 1-10ish, the sorcerer was just your run of the mill narcissist. I played him as a snarky, vane character that was endearing and charming, but extremely shallow. As the campaign developed, I expanded on his backstory and gave details to his main character flaw. It was right around level 10 or so when he voluntarily underwent a transformation from human into a dragon blood as a way of accessing more arcane power. His thirst for power continued to grow from that point and with a few events that took place shortly thereafter, I adjusted his "end goal" accordingly. Ultimately, he has been twisted and perverted by the draw of power, addicted to it.

    It was not until he entered epic level territory that he had amassed the global influence necessary to actually pursue his "goal" seriously. It was around this time that I began to leak out his true intentions during sessions, slowly role playing him as more and more insidious, narcissistic, and self-serving. Slowly, the rest of the players began to loathe him. Everything came to a head in one session when our rogue/fighter had discovered how they had all been being used by the sorcerer and decided to assassinate him for the better of the party. The attempt failed and the act caused a fracture in the party (all in good fun...we still talk about this session to this day) that developed into two other campaign arcs that are still active today.

    I knew that when I had to move out of state and stop gaming with my regular group, that my last session with my friends had to be an epic one. That final session where the other epic characters turned on my sorcerer to try and stop him from sacrificing the entire Flanaess was the thing of legends.

    Long story short, as @Keryth987 mentioned, character development, including their long-term goals, should have a symbiotic relationship with the campaign. They should both be fluid enough to be influenced by the other. If either becomes too rigid, the campaign can end up feeling stale or too scripted.

    image

  • Jynx001
    Jynx001
    Posts: 59

    I played in an old 2nd Ed. D&D game a long time ago and our cleric was trying to rebuild his religion from scratch after an apocalyptic age where almost no civilization was left. Went from level 1 to level 20, so he eventually had access to all the great, high-level spells from that edition. He had this idea very early on for a temple set into the side of a mountain with all kinds of magical protections. The stairs to go up were infused with alignment-based magic as a kind of "Test of Faith." I think he was the only one of the party who could actually walk up the stairs without exploding in holy fire. The rest of us had flying mounts and just met him at the top. It was a fun campaign and all of our long-term characters ended up setting big, world-building goals like that.

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,719

    Nice one, @Jynx001

    smiley

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

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