HeroQuest -- funerary orations

From: Loren Miller (loren@wharton.upenn.edu)
Date: Mon 27 May 1996 - 02:52:29 EEST

Just finished reading over John Hughes' questlines article in TotRM 12
again, and came up with an idea for heroquesting procedure. Mostly
unfinished thoughts, but it might turn into something good.

John says that Greg sees the process of heroquesting as something that
will transform the character, the gameworld society, and even the
players. This sparked some ideas from my recent innoculation with the
7 Habits mind virus, and here's the result.

To become a hero, you need to transform yourself from an ordinary
person into a great person with a goal to free society from a tyrant.

But exactly what do you want to become? That's the first important
question to ask. When the nascent hero goes into the otherworld to
find the elixir to overthrow the evil tyrant, what will he be at the
end so that he can accomplish his goals?

7 Habits has the reader undergo an exercise where he visualizes a
funeral, with himself in the casket, and people describing what he did
during his life. Then he takes the things the people say and decides
what kind of person he would need to be to have people say these
things. And finally he decides on some goals he can set in order to
become the person he wants to be.

I think you can do this in the game too. Have the players write
several funeral orations for their characters, then describe in game
terms what the character needs to be to accomplish their ultimate
goals. Now they have a direction. Some of their directions may point
at heroic status. Players also realize their character will die, one
day. And players also realize that their character needs friends,
family, culture to support them in their greater goals.

Further, when you become a hero the final test is whether you will
become the next tyrant, the one who starts the cycle again and
prompts the universe to create the next hero. I believe it is
necessary to describe the anti-hero you don't want to become with as
much love and care as you describe the hero you want to be. Have the
players write several funeral orations for their characters who did
well, but failed dramatically, catastrophically, at the last minute,
the final test of hubris. The higher their goals were in the first
place, the worse the catastrophe should be. The more alone they
stand, the easier it will be to fail. Make these funeral orations
full of bile and hatred, for that is what these characters would
deserve if they had failed so badly.

So far the players will have written two sets of funeral orations, and
two character descriptions in game terms. Now they hand copies of
these over to the GM, who will design adventures so that characters
have the chance to develop themselves as necessary, and to fail in the
same way that the anti-hero in them fails. We may even want to give
the anti-hero-conscience in each character to another player, so that
some of the PCs extreme single-mindedness and virtue goes away, so the
PCs become more human in their failings.


Loren Miller <loren@wharton.upenn.edu>
Computer Guy <http://hops.wharton.upenn.edu/~loren>


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #598

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