Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Which The Warlock Sheds a Tear...

Bat Masterson--
The object of Roxanne's affection
Emotion is a funny thing.  No doubt, we get attached to our own characters in role-playing games, but I'm often shocked at how much emotion gets attached to the NPCs in various campaigns, particularly romantic interests!

Way back when I was running Saltmarsh--almost 5 years ago now!--two NPCs ended up in romantic relationships with PCs.  Jathalain, an elven merchant and ranger, fell for Sarah's archer-bard, Brighid, while Chris 0's monk, Daishar, fell for the NPC Paladin Ashlyn.  It absolutely blew me away that the two players, fully rounded individuals themselves, were so eager to start a ficticious relationship...essentially with me, as I narrated the NPCs' actions, but just as much with a fictional idea of a person!

The Walkin' Dude waits in Denver...
What's more, I just watched it happen once more in this week's Deadlands game.  The PlatinumChick's saloon-girl/huckster, Roxanne, has all but fallen for the notorious Bat Masterson.  They've gone on three 'dates' in game...four, if you count their "liasons" in the Dodge City North Church.  But, with the posse having eliminated the threat of the Tick-Tock Man and driving Randall Flagg out of Dodge--especially after he tried to repossess the mystic weirding stone known as Maerlyn's Grapefruit--they're on their way out of town as well, heading west towards Denver.

 Masterson, as history shows us, joins the notable Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in Tombstone.  And, at the time, we were all under the impression that Masterson did not, in fact, survive. 

The PlatinumChick looked at me with all but tears in her eyes.  "I feel bad," she said, "because I know what's going to happen to him, even though I shouldn't know what's going to happen..."  I replied succinctly that the Weird West is a history that's not our own...maybe there was a chance to save him?

"But, I have to find my dad!  He's heading towards Seattle!"

Therein lies the choice, no doubt.  As The Dark Tower beckons and the Great Rail Wars rage around the posse, in the background is going to lie a terrible choice.  Will Roxanne manage to make her way to meet her father in Seattle, or will she turn south to save Masterson from a horrible fate?  For that matter, will she ever free her arcane powers from Maerlyn's Grapefruit? 

Time will tell, my lovelies...

(Note:  As we found out after getting home, Bat Masterson did not die at the O.K. Corral.  In fact, he later moved to Denver, where he married an actress...sound familiar yet?)

1 comment:

  1. Thunderforge10:26 PM

    Had this happen in my zombie apocalypse campaign last Thursday, although it wasn't a romantic relationship. One of the characters had her brother as a companion character who felt deeply committed to protecting his little sister. The session before he was bitten and had a few days before he turned. Throughout the last session, her character's brother was getting sicker and sicker and saying that he didn't think he would last more than a few days. The player really started to empathize with her character's pain.

    That session, a rogue gang of survivors was threatening to kill them all, but the player came up with the idea to have her character's brother go out in a blaze of glory and buy them enough time to escape. I let the character say her final goodbyes to her brother and I thought the player herself would even start crying. It was really awesome.

    The premade scenario assumed they would have no choice but surrender to the survivors. But after her brother sacrificed himself to let them escape, the players had a whole string of tremendous die rolls and the bad guys had a whole string of horrendous die rolls (including the leader getting a critical failure as he tried to shoot one of the players). They wound up pulling off a huge Hail Mary in that they killed the leader with a lucky headshot, made off with an RV and a motorcycle, and escaped completely unscathed.

    It really threw a monkey wrench into the campaign because their escape meant they skipped a whole session worth of material, but I think that awesome emotional moment of the player really empathizing as her character's brother sacrificed himself to save her was more than worth it!