Friday, March 03, 2006

Team Work

Why are the PCs part of a team?
They almost inevitably a team, but why?
1. They are collected by a leader (who is a PC)
2. They are collected by an organization (Gov't, Private foundation)
3. They are brought together by circumstances.
(a) They are on the run, hunted, illegal, etc..
(b) They are fighting a common enemy
(c) They are just together when needed
(d) They got their powers together
4. They found the group themselves from a perceived advantage.

Is one reason preferrable to another?
I am not sure. They each have their advantages. Some lend themselves to plot devices better (2 in particular).
I think 4 often makes the most sense, but it is usually 'forced' on the PCs since they are 'THE' PCs and don't really have a choice with whom they will play.
3. Can be good, but it makes it difficult to add players who have the same connection, and it may force the game into a mold where there are limited adventures. 1. Can be good, but when there is a team leader, it is essential that the Player too be a leader. And that can be cause problems.


Anonymous Pinger said...

Random cafe thoughts: As long as there's a clear reason why the team is together, then the players can make it work. 3c and 4 are a little shakier for inexperienced players because there's too much room to just say, "my character is tired of you all and would rather go home to his Fortress of Solitude." 4 works for D&D, for instance, because running around in packs is part of the genre. It's not that way for superhero genre so you need something more concrete than just that people happen to be there, but at the same time, i can see heroes meeting and just hitting it off and deciding to fight crime together a la Superfriends.

If your intention is to have a team, be wary of loner-type heroes. Either don't allow them or be sure the player knows why this loner has decided to come out of the shadows and be part of the team because the last thing you want to is to spend an hour every game rejustifying why the character is there.

Side note: 1 is fine, but make sure it's a PC as you said. While reporting to an M or a Chief is fine, a directly involved NPC team leader is about as disenfranchising at it comes. (For folks in Seattle: Sidney Coldweather had better watch his back.)

4:42 PM  
Blogger Scholz said...

So the current plan is for the pcs to be contacted by a benevolent stranger who seems to know more than he should.
He will offer them sanctuary.
Option A: they take him up on it, he is their Prof. Xavier.
Option B: They don't, but for a while he sends them precognitive warnings of things going on that need dealing with. Oh and he is Blackbeard the pirate.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Benvolio said...

Ya gotta hate the wise stranger, particularly who seems to know more than he should.

How about the stranger who believes he is wise, but the players can see right off the bat that information he thinks is correct is clearly wrong? A would-be wise man who can still provide resources and apparent unity but the players are never really under his shadow because they really know more than he does.

Imagine a manipulative CEO who brings some young heroes together to make a marketable superteam he thinks will be a pop hit. He thinks he's exploiting them, but he doesn't understand that the heroes all have their powers because of a mysterious mystic force, but the heroes do. He is out of his depth but doesn't know it (and may never).

I think there's some interesting territory there.

6:29 AM  
Blogger lex said...

i propose a method for creating a narrative around any of the above motives (or others) that is perhaps more integrated with respect to millieu coherency and palyer desires (including the GM's).

in the spirit of collaborative storytelling (if yer gamers are te story telling types, rather than the i just wanna level up! types), perhaps the genesis of te team could be structured in so:

1. start with one player, and run a solo adventure, maybe more than one solo adventures.

2. at some point player number two will want to join; the player could be urged to hold back on committing to a character concept, including background, until she or he has sat in on one of these sessions (either watching, or running an NPC).

3. the second player talks with the first about the firsts desires for additional player characters.

4. the second player constructs a character and, with GM and first player integrates into the "team."

repeat steps 2-4 as new players join in, substituting "new player(s)" for "second player" and "existing players" for "first player."

steps 2-4 could ostensibly all happen in a short session the first time around, and during a short, solo (or otherwise less tan full team), or normal gaming session thereafter.


7:57 PM  

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