Thursday, 5 August 2021




Who sits on the throne in your setting? A Dark Lord? A wise leader? A young untested heir? A questgiver? A squabbling parliament full of corruption and, oh, sorry, got a bit off topic there.

And how much does this matter on the PCs’ level? Would they ever get to barge into the throne room to tell them “Gondor calls for aid”?

If the rulers are too distant, who is in charge locally that they would get scenes with? A petty tyrant representing a distant overlord can be a more personal enemy, especially when they hide behind their employers’ authority. Sauron is too distant so Tolkien gives us the still grand Saruman and other witting and unwitting obstacles like Wormtongue, Denethor and especially Gollum.

There are games where the answer might be one or more of the PCs. The balance of power becomes an issue if you have one PC on the throne, or in the captain’s chair of a starship or whatever, but it’s possible to have a main character and even one who can order the others around as long as the players get and feel they get a good share of the spotlight.

Bonus round:

Gamble - Depending on the stakes, swinginess of the system and the like, a lot of actions can be a gamble, though often with no big stakes on losing. It’s fun to have an occasional I Win button. I really felt like a superhero playing the brick in a Marvel SAGA game where I didn’t need to make a damage check for anything smaller than a bazooka and would only check to get in the way of gunfire.

Include - The discussion of inclusion and tools like safety mechanics has done a lot of good for the hobby.

Community - I’ve had great times with gaming, made lifelong friends, travelled, been part of doing a lot for charity and more.

Designers & Dragons on warfare and rulership

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