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During your campaigns like gm, it happens that your player characters are High Nobles? King, Duke, Earl or maybe high religious, Cardinal or Bishop?  what kind of story and plot you did, political surely but otherwise, just curious

 

Steph 

 

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I never let players start off that high personally. If they want that type the. They are disowned or something is going on with their family.

 

As for scenarios, what if a cousin or uncle has taken over and ruining the estate? A niece who is about to be married is kidnapped, or even a Romeo/Juliet type deal where two of the kids run off. What is causing the famine that hits? A spell or just plain nature?

Do a henry the 8th where the Lord wants to break from the Church and you as the local religious leaders need to convince him - not just a matter of the coffers but the souls of the ones who live there. A holy man has appeared performing miracles - is he real or is he a servent of the enemy? 

 

 

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I had one campaign which started out that all three players wanted to be a lost princess who was heir to a throne but didn't know it.

 

I told each of them, separately because they didn't know each other's backstory, that I'd allow it but that we were never going to play out the scenario where they discovered their true identity and took the throne.

 

They were each satisfied with that. They just wanted the private satisfaction of knowing they were princesses.

 

I came up with vague plans on eventually running them through a series of kingdoms which each had fables of a lost princesses but we never got that far.

 

I never really had other campaigns where PC's could be considered royalty. Other than maybe some dwarves since most everyone in many of the kingdoms were at least distantly related to the ruling family. But that didn't really have any special privilege. 

 

I guess a character could have said, "You can't execute me! I'm related to the royal family!" and it would have held up under a Truth spell. But I don't recall anything like that coming up.

 

 

As for ideas, if you aren't adventuring at home, you're going to be on the road probably a long distance to someone else's kingdom, duchy, or whatever.

 

1) Escort Mission: You owe them gold or a part of your harvest and have to get the delivery on time. Or delivering a prize stallion or bull to stud.

 

2) Escort Mission: You're delivering a distant relation to their wedding. Or maybe exchanging hostages to ensure a peace.

 

3) Traveling to a tournament. Jousting, sword-fighting, archery, feasting, and lots of beautiful local ladies (or willing peasant boys/girls). Typical road hazards. Getting mugged on the way home if you won a prize.

 

4) If you can't deliver High Justice yourself (death penalty), you'd have to take prisoners in question to the capital. Escape attempts and rescue attempts. Or maybe you're the one both being the escort and needing to arrange the escape unnoticed and unblamed.

 

5) Harvest festivals or high religious holidays where you need to get out of your home and go into the city.

 

6) A sickness or plague forces you to travel to locate a rare medicine or herb. Or to get one particular priest who knows how to heal the malady.

 

7) Hunting season. You could go with individual hunts for meat or organized boar hunts bringing in your rich and fancy peers for feasting.

 

8 ) Showing the flag. If you don't make the rounds regularly to the villages under your care, they'll feel both neglected and frisky. That'll make them unwilling/unready to show up as peasant militia and make them prone to things like poaching and not taking care of the roads/bridges.

 

 

Um, I find political intrigue less than interesting. 

 

Religious people would need to make the rounds to collect local tithes to bring back to the central church. Recruitment of willing volunteers who appear intelligent enough to learn to read/write. Escorting priests to their new assignments. Reassigning priests who appear to have "gone native" and are sympathizing more with the nobles or people under their care than with the church. Assessing aged priests to see if they're still capable or if they've gone senile enough to become an embarrassment. Assessing new religions which sprout up to see if they're becoming a threat and/or whether they can be co-opted. Watching over church businesses (which usually accrue as people have donated properties to the church over the centuries). Watching over new construction projects.

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Done it. It worked pretty well, but it takes a player that can plan, take a long term view, and for people that are comfortable with a hands off approach.  It’s not for everyone, but it does work. A good scenario is sending princes on a diplomatic mission to another country.  

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1 hour ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Done it. It worked pretty well, but it takes a player that can plan, take a long term view, and for people that are comfortable with a hands off approach.  It’s not for everyone, but it does work. A good scenario is sending princes on a diplomatic mission to another country.  

 

 

Ditto, and on all counts.

 

We've done it more than once over the years, and it's been something of a non-issue, save that I freakin' _hate_ politics, and as the GM, having to come up with appropriate intrigue, etc-- well, I was having less fun than they were.

 

The third time-- and every subsequent time-- that one or more of the players wanted to be a "somebody," I put the onus on them:

 

"I have absolutely _no_ problem with that.  Here is a rough sketch of the game I have prepared.  I need you to explain to me what good reason your noble has for participating, and why he's willing to endure the sorts of situations that are going to come up."

 

 

I got to run games I enjoyed; they got to play characters they enjoyed--   just worked out all around.  To be fair, it worked out in the early games, too.  The only problems there where when they wanted to get involved in some politicking.  _They_ still had fun, but good God, Man!  Politics is one of the reasons I need some escapism!   :lol:

 

 

 

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I've never run or played in a game where the PCs started out as members of the nobility or other elites, aside from a backstory of being outcast or disowned like HeroGM suggested above. But I have been part of campaigns where the PCs ascended to that rank through their deeds and accomplishments. IME that campaign worked best when everyone in the group was comfortable with raising the stakes and making the plots more epic. It strains credulity for these increasingly important people to keep dungeon-delving or trekking through wilderness, instead of tending to duties at their own manors or at court. Particularly as a group.

 

Duke, I sympathize with your attitude toward political plots in fantasy games. They hold little appeal for me as well. However, partly as a creative exercise and partly to assist GMs who do like that dimension in their games, some time back I posted a series of political plot seeds: Besruhan Intrigues . As the default it's set in Hero Games' Turakian Age world, but I did offer a few suggestions on adjusting them for other settings (although in most cases that should be obvious). I believe they would mostly fit with the subject of this thread, too.

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I have had players who played characters with noble lineage.  Two of the cases involved female characters being disowned.  In one case for not fulfilling her family duty to marry a nasty older nobleman.  In the other case because her brother caused her to lose face.  The third character was not disowned but found out that his 'dear sweet' grandmother is the high priestess for a very evil cult.  The player had no idea that sweet grandma was evil priestess and his character didn't find it out until much later.  Everyone loved that. 

 

BTW:  The campaign in which this is unfolding is about to move from the middle part of the epic to the final stage.  Confrontation with grandma and her hoard of minions should be fun.

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12 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I've never run or played in a game where the PCs started out as members of the nobility or other elites, aside from a backstory of being outcast or disowned like HeroGM suggested above. But I have been part of campaigns where the PCs ascended to that rank through their deeds and accomplishments. IME that campaign worked best when everyone in the group was comfortable with raising the stakes and making the plots more epic. It strains credulity for these increasingly important people to keep dungeon-delving or trekking through wilderness, instead of tending to duties at their own manors or at court. Particularly as a group.

I id neglect to mention that. that yes, when the Noble Characters achieve their goal, at that point they have duties to the land, the realm, what have you and at that point they become an NPC< who can do cameos, but their adventuring days are done. I had a Paladin in D&D 5e, who was a member of the Royal Family, and due to war, was next in line to the throne.  IT was a thrilling campaign, and the stakes got higher and higher as he overcame obstacles, Delved dungeons for loot to pay his armies, engaged in mass warfare, and won the throne. The Character was retired at 7th level as the Current King of Glimvale.  The Rest of the party were then tasked by him to ferret out the clues to a much older and larger problem that needed to be dealth with, and the party got a perk of Royal Support. I then had to play the Ambassador from the Elven city, who also had an interest in resolving that ancient problem.   So yes, once the Noble is seated, his role becomes more abstracted to the background of the campaign, but it sure makes for some good first hand history in the campaign.

As for the politics, depending on it, I can love it or hate it, but that's a result of detail and background. 

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I did this a lot way back when (before 1e Champions, let alone any other Hero system game!)

 

Obviously conventional adventuring doesn't happen, or only does so as a change of pace.

 

If something like that is necessary, delegation is often possible, but naturally your character has to delegate to people they can trust. And sometimes your character has to be there in person... that's when their faces get melted.

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