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What are Heroes?


(UmbraSanctum) #1

Question about CoS and D&D in general for both Adam and all other DM’s to share preferences.

I was wondering, and this may have been brought up before so forgive me, do you think the current CoS cast are heroes? @AdamKoebel, what helped you decide if you wanted the PC’s to be significant in the world or another moving part of it? Do you have a preference in games outside of CoS or even 5e? It was interesting to see the switch the game took from the party being a part of the government to being convicts. What would you say was the primary influence for the change, and do you think it’s turned out how you might have guessed it would?

To all DM’s: what do you like doing in your campaigns? Do you prefer having your characters grow to be/start as important figures in the world or take a smaller role in the setting and why? What would you say are some of the benefits of both?


(AdamKoebel) #2

I think that for me, stories about heroes aren’t really all that interesting. I like games where characters strive and struggle. Maybe they strive to be heroes but that’s a goal, not a given. In Court of Swords, we’ve seen all sorts of characters, some of whom definitely wanted to be heroic.


(Chrisploitation) #4

The scale and tone of heroics is usually dependent on the setting and the group I’m playing with. I used to GM the Swedish predecessor to Mutant: Year Zero and in tone that game can be a slapstick action comedy, it can be a noir crime drama, it can be a grimdark dungeon crawling spookshow, and a combination of all that.
In that, the PC’s weren’t heroic. Protagonists for sure, since it was their story. But they were ultimately a sordid bunch that were thrust together for a quick score which led to a chain of events that resulted in some major sociopolitical shifts in their society. Those characters wouldn’t get more than a passing line in any history book describing those years, they got rich, they got powerful, but they got no real glory because the things they knew and discovered were too dangerous for the world to know.

Contrast that with a Dragon Blooded-Exalted campaign I played years back. That was way more in the vein of Heroic Fantasy and The Last Airbender in tone. Those characters made it (at the very least) into the history books of their families as paragons of their generation.

As for CoS? Well, it isn’t straight up DnD-murderhoboing. It sure isn’t your typical flavor of heroic fantasy. Life ain’t easy in the Courts, you might snatch a victory out of the jaws of defeat (looking at you two-shot), but it’s still didn’t turn the tide of the undead.
This is also why I’m finding so compelling about the world. It’s shades of grey, as a viewer I can’t see what’s supposed to be the right and good path and as a player it must be ten times as hard because they need to stay subjective to their characters.

All in all, I love the amoral nature of the Tower. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local street gang, a great scion of the strongest noble house loved by the people for your kindness, or a near god-magician. One day you’ll be in the shadow of the Tower and everything will change.


(Twitch: eyearcana) #5

I think this is a great question. I do think Berg is a very good person inside and is heroic. He’s just had a string of bad luck, I’m hoping we’re getting to that upswing soon. Ramus I would say I don’t think is a hero, he’s more off to do his own thing. Kali and Sali it’s too early to tell. I think if they were put in a situation with the opportunity to do good and be heroic they would take it. Like I said above I’m hoping that’s the direction it starts to go, people can only take so much depressive story.

I know for me personally both as a DM and a player I like heroic characters. My group of players all work a 9-5 and are married with small children. Playing D&D is our opportunity to stay in touch and also escape the stresses of the real world and be creative. I want to play a character that will be heroic and recognized in the world. This doesn’t mean I always do the right thing but I do want to take down that big bad. In a campaign I also want the same from my players.