Intrigue Skull with blue fire Skull with blue fire


ntrigue is a vital ingredient of your chronicle. For people to play out intrigue, they need to be drawn into it. Power is often a lure. This power needs to be immediate and real. It needs to be visible and obtainable. It needs to be given out only occasionally to inspire characters to pursue it, but not so often that opportunities are passed on.

Ambition

Many characters eventually want to assume positions of power in the city. In some games, this is just another aspect of the self-generating plots players contrive on their own. In other games, you may plan the charactersí search for power from the beginning. In either case, you need to learn what long-term goals your players want to accomplish in the chronicle. You can then tailor an occasional session to these goals, but donít give the players everything they want. Some may covet powerful positions in the Hierarchy, or to advance the political agendas of outsider groups they belong to. Others may seek Transcendence or knowledge of the missing Charon. Both goals are power in one form or another, both over others and over oneís self.

More than a few players donít know or admit what they want in the long-term, or may not desire power. Donít worry, theyíll set their sights on something in time, especially if tempted by their Shadows or other players. Practice stringing players along. Keep a carrot dangling before them. After all, youíve got the whole world to play with as Storyteller; you can certainly offer something to keep them coming back for more.

The Price of Power

In most chronicles, itís likely that one or more characters are in a position of power. If this is the case, the players need to know exactly what their responsibilities and advantages are. In general, any players in the role of Anacreon or high-ranking Hierarchy members (Deathlord, Chancellor), should be experienced enough to assist you as a Narrator. As powerful characters can have tremendous impact on lesser characters and the story as a whole, players should know what the ramifications of their actions are and must take them into consideration. Only experience in play develops this insight, but it is vital that players with characters in positions of power understand both their responsibilities and their limits. Powerful characters, if abused, can serve to discourage players with weaker characters. This drives off new players, and eventually the power-gamers may find themselves with no one to lord it over except one another.