Page 1624 - Adventure Lessons, Part 5

11th Dec 2021, 6:00 AM in Intermission 15
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Adventure Lessons, Part 5
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 11th Dec 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo Dragon

Guest Author's Note: "I think players and GMs miss out on a lot of great opportunities when a PC writes off their family. While there are some GMs that might be tempted to use relatives as ransom, they do the character's background and their own campaign a disservice this way. Family can be very useful tools for a GM! They're a readily safehouse for the party to stop at while traveling. Relatives can serve as a means to pass hints and quests to the party so that they follow your crafted story arc instead of wandering off course. Feel that someone in the party missed out on treasure or didn't get anything useful because you used a random loot chart? Send them a late birthday or holiday gift from parents! After all, who doesn't like getting gifts from trusted sources?"

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



TrueZero2 11th Dec 2021, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
For me, I've used parent death slightly differently in FF14 roleplay.

For context, my character is an Au Ra, specifically a Xaela. Xaela Tribes are somewhat nomadic and each tribe has their own customs. For example, the Borlaaq Tribe is all women, and will give male children up within a year of their birth. The Iriq tribe follow the Borlaaq around and take those male children in and raising them as their own. The one my character is connected to is the Dotharl, basically bloodthirsty warriors who believe that their warriors reincarnate within a year of their death, as such, they're taught not to fear death, so long as they go out swinging.

My character, Garach, belonged to that clan as a hand to hand fighter, his mother was a mage who died in the last few years. She's reincarnated, but it'll still be a while before she's back in the fight. She's now more of a little sibling in his life; still family, just not his mother anymore. Garach's father is one of the clan's warriors, but when Garach leaves to pursue personal development and to find a way to increase the clan's survivability (Due to their willingness to jump into attacking others, their mortality rate's fairly high), the two initially come to blows over it. It's not until Garach returns during the events of Stormblood, tames his Yol (Giant bird mount) and becomes the winner of the Nadaam (Ceremonial battle for rulership of the Azim Steppe, where all the tribes live) that the two reconcile. It helps that Garach is now effectively the leader of the Xaela as a whole, at least until the next Nadaam.
Digo 11th Dec 2021, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
Our Fallout Equestria party recently visited the family of the party's unicorn character. We all got decent rad-free snacks and a moment to rest. This is good. :3
Winged Cat 11th Dec 2021, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
The cremated & compressed remains of one of my character's parents, grandparents, and so on are perhaps the most prominent decoration in the large closet (among a cramped hyper-urbanized sci-fi floating palace) she called "home" prior to the campaign.

Family can be a source of quests, or even the reason your character is hanging out with the party: because your parents said to go play with those nice fellows, or to find some group to help. That last one was my latest Ryuutama PC's motivation: in his late teens he had reached journeyman status, having learned the family trade from his parents, and so (more or less like real historical journeymen) was tasked to journey and refine his skills, which in his case meant finding some adventuring group to assist. (In his case: magic, which masters mainly used for farming but also applicable to adventuring.)
Wulfraed 11th Dec 2021, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha has a character generation system that creates over 20 years of "background" for characters.
Years 1582-1605 are for a grandparent (a flaw, IMHO, is that the system just uses "favored" and "other" grandparent, rather than following both maternal and paternal lines)
Years 1608-1621 are for a parent
Years 1622-1625 are for the player character

It is possible to have parents and grandparents die during this generation.

One character I generated -- Akn'Ard -- had his paternal GF killed in 1602, father die in 1610, mother eaten by the Crimson Bat in 1620 (it is player option to either stop history generation when one of the (g)parents are killed, or switch to the other and continue history). The character developed a "Hate Lunar Empire" at 90% (anything over 80% basically means the passion tends to control the character... So, with a blatant purloining, if meeting a Lunar Em[ire citizen:
"My name is Akn'Ard. The Crimson Bat ate my mother. Prepare to die")

Year Event Results Fate
1602 Boldhome Campaign - Died with Great Glory (Honor, Devotion, Hate Lunar Empire, 1D3 Rep - 2%)Boldhome Campaign - Died with Great Glory (Honor, Devotion, Hate Lunar Empire, 1D3 Rep - 2%)
<SNIP> Killed? X

Year Event Results Fate
1610 Died - Battle with neighboring land (Hate Lunar Tarsh)___________________________________________ Killed? X
1620 Heortland Campaign - devoured by Crimson Bat (Hate Lunar Empire +20%)_____________________________ Killed? X

Year Event Results
1624 Battle of Pennel Ford - nearly killed by Lunar Magic (Hate Lunar Empire, +5% Spirit Combat)_________________

Also has two dead uncles, three living aunts, four brothers (one dead), and one sister.

Oh yeah -- Akn'Ard (A Canard) is a Durulz (Duck), light infantry -- master of short sword and dagger (100% both, without casting Bladesharp2 or Truesword on them), and rather well with a sling (80%), and 95% with a small shield (with a SIZ of 8 [115lbs, 5ft], he can't use larger weapons or shields). {NOTE: RQ is a D100 system, success is rolling /under/ the skill %age [though 96-99 is always a fail, and 100 is always a fumble])
Anonymous 11th Dec 2021, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
I have to disagree with this. I personally dislike having my D&D characters having family as my irl family are not good people, so I genuinely prefer writing characters whose family will never come up, either via saying that they are dead or just not including them in the backstory.
Anvildude 11th Dec 2021, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
I can definitely understand that, but then, you could also take it as an opportunity to have a _nice_ family. Roleplaying is about experiencing things you can't experience in real life, sometimes.
Borg 11th Dec 2021, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
The character for whom I worked out the most detailed backstory had the death of his mother as one of the big events in that backstory. On the other hand, he never knew his father, so the possibilities there were endless.
Vanshira 13th Dec 2021, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
I have one character whose unknown father is almost certainly either the Big Good or the Big Bad. The Big Bad is the obvious choice, not least because the character is Good, but sometimes I think about the drama that would ensue if it turned out his (unknown, un-cared about, deeply resented) old man was the Big Good...
The Old One 11th Dec 2021, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
In a current D&D game, my Dragonborn Fighter is the 6th in line as heir to the house, and so was basically just an idle noble. He's basically an extreme-sports athlete turned man at arms because mortal combat feeds his danger lust.
Truthkeeper 11th Dec 2021, 5:04 PM edit delete reply
I disagree. A PC writing off their family by being an orphan is basically handing the DM a blank check for "Whatever the fuck you want to do with my history is fine, I look forward to it". It requires a willing DM and a certain level of trust, but things like this can work out very well. If you're an orphan, that sets you up for your parents' old mater to find you so he can teach you, for your father's murderer to be looking for you to complete the set, any number of interesting events.
aylatrigger 11th Dec 2021, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
I think just 'don't skip over your backstory' is the rule.

One Orphan I had I wrote out the 'joined the circus' background and a whole tragic history of being hoodwinked into following random people...including the party.

I also had a plot that was almost-Orphan... NE? torture-enthusiast. Parents told her to get employed at age 8 because they were terrified of her. I made her based on Weird Al's 'Good Old Days' and a few other songs that include torture, but as a creepy little girl.
aylatrigger 13th Dec 2021, 9:48 PM edit delete reply
Oh, and I have been warned that I am never allowed to run an orphanage again. I realized my extremely LG Luchador-based Monk/Witch would not need much in equipment and could devout most of his assets to orphans. Gold normally needed for even a low level adventurer is quite a hefty sum for peasants, so I could afford 'the greatest orphanage in all the land' at like 3rd level iirc. And I had a random generator for orphans so made like 100 of them. I had a backstory former party that was running the place, as well as training orphans who wanted to be adventurers. The GM was not happy I added 100+ NPCs, some with apprentice class levels.
Prairie Son 13th Dec 2021, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
On the rare occasions that I've used an orphan background, it was usually tied to something in the campaign background. Massive plague went through? Only survivor of the family, took up adventuring due to lack of anything else. Major war? Family homestead was collateral damage, got absorbed into somebody's detachment. And so on.
Chakat Firepaw 16th Dec 2021, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
An advantage of Hero is that you get to not only tell your GM if they can use your family to mess with you, but you even get to say how often. Of course, the bribe to have your family members be Dependent NPCs is that it's worth points as a disadvantage.

(OTOH: If you want your family to be useful, you do have to pay for them as contacts.)