This post is the first in a series of them I will be posting here over the course of the next few weeks that will detail the fall out of the events that happened at PaizoCon.
When I first sat down to put my ideas together for what was to become A5 - Battle of Trovaska, I never could've foreseen what was going to happen at PaizoCon. The playtest and the "official run" could not have been any more different. And that is what I really like of NeoExodus and its players. I, as a designed, want to give players some power to change and alter the world. Throwing me a curve ball and see what I do with it.
Doing something like this is not easy, and requires a lot of thinking on my part. It's something I did with Living Greyhawk and something I see PCI and Arcanis do all time. The trick is not to set and pre-determine the result. It is to give the players as much rope as possible and see how they can hang themselves with it. Then we take the piece and rebuild the puzzle.
Many, including LPJ, when I first started talking to him about this feel like "if you allow the players to change the world, it'll explode in 15 minutes." Which is not quite wrong.
If while designing your adventure, you give your players a chance to change certain aspect of the world/story, let them. I for one love influencing - if only in a minor way - the world I play in. So I extend the same to players who play "my" campaign. I also want players to experience what we're building instead of simply being told what they should see/ think about the events.
Without spoiling the story:
Hans Skeffard, priest of the Kaga, got angry when the audience of the Senatorial committee would not listen to him or agree to his train of thought. The room was full, rafters and all, filled with high-ranking dignitaries from every nation of the Imperial Alliance, including nobles, senators, diplomats and a large crowd of their entourage and as many onlookers as the room would fit. Hans's words had worked the assembled crowd into a frenzy. He was heckled, booed, hissed at and repeatedly insulted as he tried to make his point that all of the nations would suffer if they refused to come together with the common good in mind.
His voice was drowned by the crowd he threatened with some half-revealed threats. To command the attention of the crowd who no longer paid attention to his words, he cast a damage-dealing spell to get them "to shut up" so they would pay attention to him.
That they did.
Immediately, the guards and the bodyguards acted and seized him. They dragged him out of the room with Akarma and Nose-Cutter who tried to defend him. The latter two got whipped repeatedly (esp Nose-Cutter) for their involvement.
But Hans refused to recant his words or his actions. He remained unapologetic. He continued to promise doom and gloom to all of the nations of Exodus if they continued their current actions. This forced Grofka Polina Vlaklova to demand his head as a mean of reparation for the insults canted against the Protectorate. In a shocking move, Senator Arem Kal’erandra of the Dominion, seconded the motion. Although Senator Elsa van Wispluy tried to stop what was to come, both Dominion and Protectorate agents executed Hans and quartered his body.
His head was sent to the Tsarina in Mureath.
His torso sent to the Khagan in Qijom.
And the rest of the body was turned over to the church of the Kaga for interment.
The important thing to take out of this is that from here on out, Hans Skeffard will NO LONGER be available for play. Who will we create in his place? Only I know for now. I haven't told LPJ about it (much).