Monday, September 26, 2022

Other Crews

Rival adventuring parties are a classic device. But if I expect one to appear more than once, I'd like to make it an explicit foil to the party, differing most in only one aspect. This is not a complete taxonomy, only a brainstorm of common narrative roles.


Anything you can do, these guys do better. In the best case, they're friendly and distant, fighting far-off battles. Maybe they like you and occasionally check in. Maybe they really like you and they'd go so far as to sacrifice for you.


These guys are Gary: they look down on you and just by chance know all your weaknesses. It's not that they're better, they're just accidentally your worst matchup. And they'll take your girl/guy/job/reputation.


Anything these guys do, anyone else could do better. These guys are you, half a campaign ago. Maybe they're fans! Maybe they're impostors!


After you have everything you want and settle down, you might become these guys. Of course, anything that risks the status quo might stir them from their comfortable retirement.


If you were to give up or turn back, you might become these guys. They'll fight to stop anyone trying where they've failed before: after all, they know it's no use.


These guys will cross every line you've ever drawn. They'll betray allies, fight dirty, lie, cheat, steal, kill, all of it.


This crew didn't earn their strength like you. They bought themselves tools and influence. They took shortcuts and their power is consequently brittle. Tools fail, followers defect.


These doppelgangers just did small things different. Maybe they're aligned with an opposing faction, maybe they're from a different homeland. But they want the same things as you and operate similarly.

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