"The Disillusionist" as a NPC


This post is prompted by listening to one song - Black Wings, on Tom Waits's Bone Machine - and being reminded of another - the Disillusionist, on The Church's Priest=Aura.

Although the protagonist of each song is a bit different, there are similarities - a sinister but charismatic persona, someone who escapes capture both literally and figuratively, but whom others cannot escape. Even if, as in Black Wings, "one look in his eye, And everyone denies, Ever having met him" nevertheless it's the case that "He rides through your dreams on a coach and horses".

How might one make such a character work as a NPC?

Of course it would be different in different systems. But I'm thinking the system probably has to do (at least) two things:

*Permit a non-arbitrary narration of the character's escape from a conflict;

*Permit a narration of a PC attitude or experience as a consequence of a conflict.​

I'm thinking Agon could do this - the character would be encountered at a surface level most likely in a contest of Arts & Oration, but at a deeper level in a contest of Resolve & Spirit.

Maybe Torchbearer too - it's easy to imagine one or more PCs engaging in a Convince Crowd conflict against this NPC, and then finding themselves in a Trickery conflict. I think there would be a risk in Torchbearer of the way it plays out being a little more cynical than the tone of the songs.

Any other thoughts?

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Small God of the Dozens
So before I actually read your post, the idea that popped into my head was that of a character that uses truth, especially uncomfortable, unwelcome, and just-revealed truth to get things done. More specifically perhaps the use of unwelcome truth as a very pointed weapon to convince, break, or otherwise influence foes to do as you wish. The general narrative bit that accompanies this is the demon or truth speaker that whispers a hard truth into someone's ear and shatters their carefully woven ego-saving half truths and self-lies.

Mechanically? I have no idea, although I think both your suggestions above have legs.

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