"Shadow Lord Dilemma" (conflict free will of players)

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

I run WtA since first edition as ST. Love the game, the mood. I am a big fan
of free will and completely free to move around scenarios (I never force
players, I gave hints, tips, traps but I let them be as they can/want to
be).
Here is a question for you all. We are talking about free will in the game,
fair play and smooth game sessions.

Little Prologue:
The Alpha (actually a quite vet Fury 4th rank, full of scars and on the
brink of Harano) stricly forbid or simply don't accept ANY Shadow Lords in
her pack. She was backstabbed, blackmailed, outflanked too many times (my
fault...) by SL tribe, and now she doesn't want any of that "not to trust"
(read BETRAYERS) tribe. She accepts challenges, none of the pack (thu lots
of them didn't agree with her) goes for it. The packmate-wannabe challenges
her. She defeats him, and both loose renown (more than 2 rank between them,
it's against the Litany... I know, they know too).

And here is the prob:
The pack must move quickly, really quickly (Gaia's truly in danger... I will
not go deep into details, trust me). Alpha gave orders to leave with a
moonbridge (not too much safe, thu fast as they need to get). "Loser" (Alpha
challenge) Shadow Lord has no choice to follow as "omega wolf status" the
pack. Alpha already told him, that once arrived he gonna leave the pack
ASAP. Mandatory, since he is not part of the pack. The problem is that
"mission zone" is a deadly place, with almost no way out, at least not for a
single garou Shadow Lord whatsoever. The Shadow Lord player don't want to
change is character (a new garou NOT SL tribe!). There is no easy way out.
Alpha and SL player are both using free will rights. I am in the middle of
this trouble and I don't want to force events to compel Alpha to take SL
with them. I'm stuck by my old rule (let players be free to roleplay as hard
it could be for me).
Hard Roleplay vs Smooth Game Sessions vs Free Will
Suggestions? Ideas?
5 answers Last reply
More about shadow lord dilemma conflict free players
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

    Wow tough dilemma to crack here. But here my two cent worth....

    First of all, Player free will is a great thing for a Storyteller to inspire
    within his players. However, you are basicly writing a story and every story
    need conflict. Without the conflict, you don't have a story as much as a
    bunch of word typed on a page.Think of the characters in any good book you
    have ever read, each having to face a element of conflict. It forces them to
    change, for the better or for the worst, but it all happens AGAINST their
    free will. That is the nature of life isn't? Who knows, maybe the Black Fury
    is being taught a leasson from Gaia. "Respect for Those beneath you-All are
    of Gaia". And yes that does include the Shadow Lords because ALL of Garou
    must work together to save Gaia. And maybe the Shadow Lord is being taught
    that the in order to grow, he must move beyond the political power games
    that the Shadow Lord emboil themselves. If nothing else, pull both players
    into a private meeting and talk it all over with them.

    Ray
    "Dragon Hammer" <dragonhammer@nospam.it> wrote in message
    news:ooELc.29259$OR2.1541220@news3.tin.it...
    > I run WtA since first edition as ST. Love the game, the mood. I am a big
    fan
    > of free will and completely free to move around scenarios (I never force
    > players, I gave hints, tips, traps but I let them be as they can/want to
    > be).
    > Here is a question for you all. We are talking about free will in the
    game,
    > fair play and smooth game sessions.
    >
    > Little Prologue:
    > The Alpha (actually a quite vet Fury 4th rank, full of scars and on the
    > brink of Harano) stricly forbid or simply don't accept ANY Shadow Lords in
    > her pack. She was backstabbed, blackmailed, outflanked too many times (my
    > fault...) by SL tribe, and now she doesn't want any of that "not to trust"
    > (read BETRAYERS) tribe. She accepts challenges, none of the pack (thu lots
    > of them didn't agree with her) goes for it. The packmate-wannabe
    challenges
    > her. She defeats him, and both loose renown (more than 2 rank between
    them,
    > it's against the Litany... I know, they know too).
    >
    > And here is the prob:
    > The pack must move quickly, really quickly (Gaia's truly in danger... I
    will
    > not go deep into details, trust me). Alpha gave orders to leave with a
    > moonbridge (not too much safe, thu fast as they need to get). "Loser"
    (Alpha
    > challenge) Shadow Lord has no choice to follow as "omega wolf status" the
    > pack. Alpha already told him, that once arrived he gonna leave the pack
    > ASAP. Mandatory, since he is not part of the pack. The problem is that
    > "mission zone" is a deadly place, with almost no way out, at least not for
    a
    > single garou Shadow Lord whatsoever. The Shadow Lord player don't want to
    > change is character (a new garou NOT SL tribe!). There is no easy way out.
    > Alpha and SL player are both using free will rights. I am in the middle of
    > this trouble and I don't want to force events to compel Alpha to take SL
    > with them. I'm stuck by my old rule (let players be free to roleplay as
    hard
    > it could be for me).
    > Hard Roleplay vs Smooth Game Sessions vs Free Will
    > Suggestions? Ideas?
    >
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

    "Dragon Hammer" <dragonhammer@nospam.it> wrote in message
    news:ooELc.29259$OR2.1541220@news3.tin.it...

    <slice>

    Ummm... given the phrasing:

    >>>The Alpha (<snip>) stricly forbid or simply don't accept ANY Shadow Lords
    in her pack.<<<

    >>>The packmate-wannabe challenges her.<<<

    Would lead me to conclude that the SL player was bringing in a new
    character, yes? Otherwise how could she be established as a high Rank Alpha
    of a Pack unless you started them out above average?

    If he's bringing in a new character, then you didn't warn him of the
    conflict why? It's like saying; "My new character is a CE Blackguard." in
    D&D, and the DM doesn't stop to think; 'hang on, there's an Exalted Paladin
    in the party.' and *warn* the guy "hey, you can do this, but unless
    something very weird happens, you won't be with the party very long."

    If you warned him, and he chose to do it anyway, well, there you go; free
    will. He had the FW to make the character & try and make it work. He failed.
    The repercussions are that he's on his own; "no Pack for you. Or at least,
    not ours."

    His choice to bring in something so clashing; he was allowed to anyway even
    after being warned about the conflict, he has to pay the price now. Let him
    live or die on his own efforts, but don't go out of your way to give him any
    breaks; this is *his* problem, not yours.

    If, on the other hand, you *did* have them make much more powerful
    characters without knowing about each other, then you should have caught the
    conflict before it began and told them; "hey, these guy's'll be at each
    other's throats pretty damn quick. Change something before we start*."

    *- One or the other or compromise.

    And if you did bring up the conflict, I restate my previous argument. They
    each *chose* to bring in such conflicting things and you let them. FW
    fulfilled. *Repercussions* state; "one of you is boned now." they gotta live
    with; so sorry. Life's tough all around. Just as easily could have gone the
    other way and been the BF losing the challenge and then having to choose
    between leaving the Pack (new character or not) or grating under the galling
    position of being led by a treacherous SL she despises.

    All said & done; he/they made the choices of character(s) and you let them
    do it; FW fulfilled. That doesn't mean there won't be *repercussions* from
    those choices; he/they can't bitch if they purposefully made something
    conflicting and then (*gasp*) a *conflict* arose. Conflict's resolved. Live
    with it.

    Which seems to be what you want to do, so, do it. No breaks. That's the only
    drawback in an open game; sometimes your own actions screw you, as they
    rightfully should. His call, his choice, his problem. Don't change your
    story, don't do any wiggling to 'let' him live; run it hard & fast just like
    you were planning on doing.


    Oh, and BTW, why did you make the BF lose Honor? He challenged her, and I
    can't see anything in the Litany about "respect those beneath you" as
    translating into; "I have to let you into my Pack even though I don't trust
    you, especially since you *lost* (weakling)." not very *nice*, but unless
    she was bad-mouthing the SLs as a whole (Speaking ill of other Tribes), I
    can't see her losing any Renown over this.

    Hey, at least she didn't "accidentally" rip his throat out/impale him with
    her (Grand) Klave instead of accepting his surrender at the end of it. ;)
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

    On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 01:04:20 GMT, "Dragon Hammer"
    <dragonhammer@nospam.it> wrote:
    >The Alpha (actually a quite vet Fury 4th rank, full of scars and on the
    >brink of Harano) stricly forbid or simply don't accept ANY Shadow Lords in
    >her pack. She was backstabbed, blackmailed, outflanked too many times (my
    >fault...) by SL tribe, and now she doesn't want any of that "not to trust"

    We've got the same attitude, but the whole pack has it :)

    >single garou Shadow Lord whatsoever. The Shadow Lord player don't want to
    >change is character (a new garou NOT SL tribe!).

    I tend to believe that's the problem. A new player should create a
    character which does not clash too much with the existing ones.

    >Hard Roleplay vs Smooth Game Sessions vs Free Will
    >Suggestions? Ideas?

    If you really want to keep the SL, try to use the pack totem. Try to
    make the SL do something good for the pack/the alpha, and let the
    totem spirit insist that all WW must be together against the wyrm.
    I mean, maybe the SL could follow at a distance the pack, in the
    "mission zone", and do something good, which will be a first step.

    BUT, if you so try to insert the SL in game, and manipulate the game
    for that, make sure that the SL player will NOT betray the pack.
    Because then, the alpha player (who will have to step back a little)
    should be very angry with you.

    Guillaume
  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

    First of all I've got to thank you for the feed-back. Much appreciated, keen
    and ST-wise.

    @Ray
    Well that's sound like plan B. I thought about weaving (tailoring) the
    adventure around the conflict. I was simply worried about the risks. I am
    quite "severe/bloody" ST (even if I mourn with the pack with sad and grief
    full heart, each time a pack member dies!). But I truly fear the pressure on
    the pack (plus Omega Wolf Shadow Lord) would be too much. The Chronicle
    ahead is truly hell hard. Still what you suggested is plan B (a truly viable
    choice for me). Gaia can definitely teach them all a lesson.

    @Kellendros
    Actually the player (an old one) already knew of "Shadow Lord Dilemma", but
    underestimated the stubborness of Alpha about that (or Shadow Lord-ly
    overestimated his own roleplaying CON skill to make her change her mind...
    prolly both). Yep Free Will choice 100%. I pratically agree all you told me
    in your reply. They wanted, he wanted, they got it: "the conflict". Actually
    an elder (almost elder, she is truly close to rank 5, after long years of
    regular gamining sessions) must not accept challenges of really lower ranks
    (more than 2) except about RANK or ALPHA status(still they are in time
    shortage, then I apply litany rule about not challenging an Alpha in time of
    war... considering time is ticking too fast and each second lost is truly a
    crime!). I think (my guess) that an "elder" must take control 100% of Garou
    forces below him/her quick and neat, with no time lost, accepting pointless
    challenges (not as Alpha but as Rank 4 older Garou) is not wise (renown wise
    speaking). My two cents of course, not written litany rules. The Higher the
    rank is Harsher I get.

    @Guillaume
    I still find amazing how the rest of the pack is so open minded about a SL
    new packmate. I guess, having a riot girl (translating in macho talk...
    sigh... a Black Fury) vet as leader is hurting their pride and maybe just
    maybe some of them would like to see old BF Alpha biting the dust (never
    happened).
    I can't or well I don't want to enforce the Shadow Lord new entry guy. I
    preach free will, and even if you are right 100% about not letting him
    betraying her or the whole pack, I can't prevent it from happening. One last
    thing, BF Alpha will gut him lightspeed at the very first sign of treason!
    You can bet your grand Klaive on that.

    P.S.
    Sorry for my mistakes. I try to express as clear as I can and you were
    really kind to reply.
    One last thing. I have a chat (in private) with BF Alpha. She told me that
    if SL guy still is not willing to enter the moonbridge, she will
    incapacitate him and bring him along. Then she will let live as Omega wolf.
    He will not die, or be left alone but his life will be twice as hard as each
    packmember. She said:"He will be in the pack, not part of it. I won't leave
    him, but I will slay him at the first sign of rioting or
    treason/cospiracy/etc.". Plan B and free will seems possible. There will be
    a truly roleplayed hack&slash chronicle after all (I bet the fomori won't be
    their worst problem!).
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

    On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 01:04:20 GMT, Dragon Hammer wrote:

    > I run WtA since first edition as ST. Love the game, the mood. I am a big fan
    > of free will and completely free to move around scenarios (I never force
    > players, I gave hints, tips, traps but I let them be as they can/want to
    > be).
    > Here is a question for you all. We are talking about free will in the game,
    > fair play and smooth game sessions.

    I think you might want to review your free will a little bit. Too much
    free will tends to make games very difficult. Sometimes, you need to
    exercise a little control to keep the story. Otherwise, the story ends
    up losing the edge. At least, that's my experience. Depends very much on
    the players.
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