marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

interesting curses

The DM vs. the writer again -- a DM and his players want curses that have easy to work mechanics. 

What the writer wants is a curse that will intrigue the reader, affect the plot, have symbolic resonance and determine the character arc.  (The last of which is probably the one the player will hate most -- because it shoves the character around.)  A -1 on all throws is not dramatic. 

AND the game curse can be an incidental thing, picked up in play,  endured until morning and the remove curse spell.  A novel curse should be a major plot point.  If it does not drive the plot.

Then, this affects other things, too.  A sorcerer who is optimized for play is less intriguing that one of the more esoteric bloodlines, especially if the spell set is chosen to play up the bloodline, not to fight well.  Also, the bloodline should be central to the story.  Either the vividness would distract, or the character would be deliberately neutral to avoid drawing attention from the main plot -- either way, it's a waste.

OTOH, a character optimized for one environment works better in a novel than in a game.  A ranger of the forest -- well, "unity of place" may not actually be an Aristotelian unity, and it's looser for novels than for plays, but a hopscotch around the world is as hard to pull off for a unified plot as a random mix of monster.
Tags: character arc, metaphor, role-playing games, the dm vs the writer, unity of theme, world-building: magic (effects)

  • Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2

    Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2 by Kozue Amano Further life on the wet Mars, now known as Aqua. Akari helps a lost visitor, learns about the…

  • Aria: The Masterpiece Volume 1

    Aria: The Masterpiece Volume 1 by Kozue Amano In the future, when Earth is Manhome, and Mars is a terraformed world called Aqua because the melting…

  • A Bride's Story, Vol. 10

    A Bride's Story, Vol. 10 by Kaoru Mori This is really two tales, half and half. Spoilers for earlier books ahead. Karluk stays with Amir's…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded