ZEITGEIST [Spoilers] Sometimes the players go all in for their backstory


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Tormyr

Adventurer
I mentioned to the player of the cleric that his backstory sets him up as someone who knows every tenet and catechism and could be a clergy hardliner, but he wants to be play someone who is questioning the institution of the clergy (but not the gods) and sees his mother's view of the stars as another facet of the greater gifts bestowed on people by the gods and Triegenes in particular. I asked him him for what could have set that shift in motion. I got this:
"Momento, Fratello Niccolo..."

Nico paused, turning slowly in the colonnade of the Great Temple. His ordination was finished, his commission issued, his orders given. He was to set sail to Risur that afternoon (a journey he was decidedly not looking forward to), but it would finally be the beginning of his TRUE mission in life. Finally ready to bring the word of the Clergy to a world desperate for salvation, the young man was ready to take on the world... but for his teacher, he would gladly wait.

The older man smiled at Nico. More than a teacher or mentor, this man was a friend and guide to the proper studies of the Clergy. A master of the formal texts, he had helped explain every nuance of the text to his young disciple, preparing him for this day, his great commission.

"It is an important day for you, Niccolo," he intoned with a soft smile, setting a hand on the younger man's shoulder. "You have learned well, from the great texts, the old scholars, and even this humble vessel. And now, you set out to undertake a new mission, in the name of Triegenes."

"Si, Padre," Nico nodded. "I have committed to my heart the lessons of the Clergy, and the proper duties of a Justicar of the Faith. I shall endeavor to extend the word of the Holy to an unholy world, and..."

"Momento," the old man interrupted, bowing his head slightly. "I am confident you know every word of every proper tenet and code of the Church. You have always excelled at such. And now, as you have been given your mission, to minister to the southern lands, I give you one last task. One final code to live by, as you leave these sheltered walls." Nico's mentor smiled. "You must forget everything you have been taught."

"I... I don't... Padre?" Nico asked, tipping his head to the side in confusion. "I must forget?"

The teacher stepped away from Nico, facing a detailed fresco depicting the Fisher God himself, Triegenes, returning from the ocean after his apotheosis. "You have mastered the skills of knowledge, but you must also master the skill of understanding. You know how to respond, but you must learn how to listen. Everything you have learned in these walls is..." The old man paused, then sighed. "It is good. It is proper. And as you step forth into the world, it is useless."

"I do not understand, Padre," Nico mumbled. "If it is useless, then why did I..."

The teacher turned to face Nico straight in the eye. "Fratellino. You know the texts. The stories. The history. You have been told the meanings of these. But I tell you now, what you have been taught means nothing, until you understand it for yourself.

Nico bowed his head. "I'm sorry," he mumbled. "I do not understand."

The teacher smiled. "Admitting such is the first step. Then, I give you your final charge; these are truths you must take into your heart. Do not do what is correct, do what is right. Do not say what is proper, say what is true. Do not seek divinity in others, seek it in yourself." He stepped back, his hands cupped before him as if he were cradling the Humble Hook itself in his palm. "Now go, Fratello Niccolo, and change the world."

Nico nodded, haltingly, then offered a simple, "grazie," as he turned to leave, mulling over this new order...

Also funny here is that the player rolled a few times for a phobia to add to his character flaws and got fear of open water. His first roll was fear of institutional religion, but that wasn't going to work. ;)
 
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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The player of Nico really does remind me of someone, prone to lots of details.
For Lutoris I would try to tie him into the exploration of Kasavarina's life and the Arc of Reida, Maybe his Grandfather or Father were dating Dala and she is on his list of names and has heard of Kasavarina as a potential in law. I would be tempted to either not link him to an enclave isntead to the exiles in Risur or make up my own enclave bordering on one of the Risuri colonies in Elfaivar,

For Carlotta no backstory but a spirit medium, I would pick some dead spirit to guide her who is tied to the plot , maybe a previous king of Risur or one of the Ancients.

Him. If I remember correctly the Orc coastal warlord they deal with in book 6 has a Goliath or half giant advisor a Tie in to them may be useful. Maybe he also knows famous Bear Breeders of Ber and can end up as a Bear back Bear riding Bearbarian. Add a spirit realm of Bears to the Gyre

Draken , If the eldritch Knight class has links to sorcery perhaps the bloodline he has is that of Pemberton , or perhaps Pemberton is interesting in him and wants to guide him because Pemberton knows his actual bloodline links to Harkover and wants to score points off his rival. A rivalry with Lya also sounds interesting
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
For Carlotta no backstory but a spirit medium, I would pick some dead spirit to guide her who is tied to the plot , maybe a previous king of Risur or one of the Ancients.
I hadn't thought of a guide. What about Amielle Latimer? It would explain her pushing the boundaries with firearms and set up some interesting interactions in book 7.
 




Tormyr

Adventurer
Well then they will know who she is
Carlotta's player was not part of the online group at the time 4 years ago, but I have filled in the two players who joined after that of the events which transpired. The players of Carlotta and Him joined a few months later and played all of War of the Burning Sky with the group.

The most interesting detail of using Amielle is how she died in Bonds of Forced Faith. The party was fighting Pernicity, and Amielle had grabbed the flying cauldron. My brother, a newcomer to RPGs, was playing the godhand and found an interesting moment to accomplish the godhand's extra goal of making sure Danor and Risur did not improve ties. He jumped on the cauldron and pushed Pernicity out. Pernicity grabbed on to Amielle's legs. The godhand flew the cauldron over the edge of the cliff and gestured to help Amielle up. When she reached for the godhand, he let go, and Amielle and Pernicity plunged to their deaths. We use an alternate falling house rule that meant the 1000-foot fall was over double the max hit points of the characters, and Amielle made sure that Pernicity did not fly to safety as a raven.

Normally I would nix that PvP violence and explained at the table that I was going to let it through this time because it fulfilled Tomas's goal, the adventure was short, and Amielle's player could pick up and play Stanfield. Real life soon kicked in, and neither player was able to continue playing with us after the end of the year.

Amielle's probably a bit bitter toward the clergy after this incident, and that might influence Carlotta's interactions with Nico.
 


Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Perhaps some of her fathers research developed guns particularly effective against the creatures of the Bleak gate and they needed them to secure the facility they are building Bourne in. Or for a twist perhaps Kell and the Ob are innocent in this and for some reason it was the family behind it, perhaps on behalf of the Clergy improving their out dated weapons , and is then pirated by the Ob through their infiltration of the clergy. I would like the family to be considered villains in someones game!
 

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