Page 483 - Digging for Gold

21st Aug 2014, 6:00 AM
Digging for Gold
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Aug 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Primary motivations for player characters are weird. Most of the time, the motivation the player has in mind at creation gets sidelined by how they actually play the character once the game gets going. Sometimes the motivation changes through legitimate character development. But even when the player holds onto that initial idea, they're going to end up waiting for a long time, because it's not in the DM's best interest to satisfy that character's driving desires! It's just kind of a mess. Not to say that a player shouldn't have some kind of motivation in mind...

Hmm, I could talk more about this subject, but I don't want to bloat today's Author's Note. Maybe I'll get back to this in the comments below later.

59 Comments:

Derpmind 21st Aug 2014, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Plan C is to steal the Princesses and then marry them.
Gden 21st Aug 2014, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Go away Ice King!
Vegetalss4 21st Aug 2014, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
I think there's a major flaw in Rarity's plan here.
Namely the ruling member of the royal family have already meet her, and as Rarity helped save/redeem her sister she isn't likely to forget her.
Being personally thanked for that would kinda ruin her cover.
Vegetalss4 21st Aug 2014, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
That being said, for clarity this seems like exactly the kind of major flaw a PC would forget about and thus have in their plans.
CCC 21st Aug 2014, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
"Are you saying that I look suspiciously like the Element of Generosity? My, what a surprising coincidence that is!" (rolls Bluff)
Thar 21st Aug 2014, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
That would lead to an interesting problem. Do you jail someone that saved your life AND redeemed your sister, or let someone that is committing identity fraud AND, once that is looked into, possibly found guilty of multiple thefts, go free?
Jennifer 25th Aug 2014, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
Game of Thrones has a good solution to that: Honor AND punish at the same time. Knight the smuggler who broke the siege and saved your life, but at the same time, cut off his fingers as punishment for being a smuggler.
Specter 21st Aug 2014, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Bluff Success (Nat 20!)

Dainty Dove: In fact, I do believe the Element of Generosity is my twin sister.
Mykin 21st Aug 2014, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
Hmm...I can get that your twins, but why haven't I seen you in the same room before?

Dainty Dove: We're not on speaking terms right now...
Joe the Rat 21st Aug 2014, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
Ah, so how exactly is it that she is *not* of noble birth, then?
DanielLC 21st Aug 2014, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Their mother was giving birth while marrying into royalty. Rarity was born before the ceremony completed, and Dainty Dove after.
Tuftears 21st Aug 2014, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Different fathers?
McBehrer 21st Aug 2014, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
McBehrer
Hard to be twins if you have different fathers...
Raxon 21st Aug 2014, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Difficult, but possible. It requires extenuating circumstances.
DanielLC 21st Aug 2014, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
It's possible for twins to have different fathers, but not identical twins.

If they're just fraternal twins, they won't look any more alike than any other half sisters, so they could just claim to be half sisters.
Digo 21st Aug 2014, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
A unicorn wizard did it?
Tatsurou 21st Aug 2014, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
Dainty Dove: She was disowned and wiped from the family records due to...scandal. She was then adopted into a commoner family in Ponyville, and I doctored some records for her sake. Ever since the passing of my parents and I became the head of my noble house, I've been trying to find a way to have her be an official part of the family again...but she doesn't want to be. She tells me she's happy where she is.

Celestia: Then why haven't you two ever been in the same room together?

Dainty Dove: Why, because if anyone ever saw us together, we'd never be able to have the fun game where we swap places for a day or two and laugh at how no one notices.

Rarity (in aside to Pinkie Pie): Now...where was that Mirror Pool again?
j-eagle12212012 21st Aug 2014, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
(Throws Wrench) what if Celestia is the head of the thieves guild? (Can't remember the name)
Summoned Singer 21st Aug 2014, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
Of course, if you could remember them, they wouldn't be elusive
Digo 22nd Aug 2014, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
Haha! Nice one. :D
MWS 21st Aug 2014, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
I've recently started rereading from the beginning in the voices from Ultra Fast Pony. The effect is hilarious.
CmndrHurricane 22nd Aug 2014, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
dammit, now you made me start
you know that guy 23rd Aug 2014, 4:24 AM edit delete reply
Dangit, I shouldn't have googled that when I needed to NOT spend hours staring at my phone.
Turretbot 16th Sep 2014, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
must ... resist ... temptation ..
Crazy Tom 21st Aug 2014, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
I have a player in one of my pathfinder games, a rogue who has had two legitimate alignment shifts (from evil to neutral, then back to evil :p ). His primary motivation throughout the four years our game has been running has been to start a legitimate business and take over the world through corporate/money power. Over the course of the game he's made gradual steps, laying the foundation, and just recently he finally got it started and now has a steady stream of income which he is generously sharing with the party... Definitely not to buy their loyalty, of course.

Funnily enough, I've been considering making him the final boss for the campaign... Or maybe for a sequel campaign. Hmm.
Mykin 21st Aug 2014, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
"Most of the time, the motivation the player has in mind at creation gets sidelined by how they actually play the character once the game gets going."

I guess how one views their character in their head doesn't always stay there once the chaos of play happens. It's also why I don't like writing up a personality for a character when I'm signing up to do online rp. You make up plans on playing a dark and mysterious assassin with supernatural power and once the tires hit the pavement, you end up playing him like a run of the mill mercenary. It's why I tend to play characters that are close to how I would act in a situation in my attempt to keep this from happening...unless I'm rping in a forum, then I don't have this problem. Especially if I have enough time to properly think things through.

As for motivations, I guess I have a few questions on that. For the DM, how big or ambitious can a character's motivation be before said DM has to put his foot down? I'm not talking about 'Take over the world' or 'Steal the castle' kind of things but more like 'My character barely escaped having his mind taken over by an evil entity and now he's trying to find a way to get rid of the small part that managed to get in' kind of thing. If you have to put your foot down, what's the best way to go about it? And if it is ok, how does one go about incorporating it into the campaign without the campaign or the player motivation overshadowing one another?

Having never been a DM (and failed the extremely few times that I have), it's the kind of things I wonder about from time to time.
Digo 21st Aug 2014, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
I take character creation and backgrounds seriously, so "when I put my foot down" is going to depend on the campaign I'm starting. A lot of times I work with the players so that their motivations can be part of my main campaign.

PC once mind-controlled and is trying to get rid of that old spot? sure, and now I have the BBEG's right-hand wizard who was the one that did that. :)
Randomperson 21st Aug 2014, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
Can't help to much. I only recently got behind the DM screen. Not sure if it will work, but could always lead the PC down the opposite road. If the make it through, ambition justified.
FanOfMostEverything 21st Aug 2014, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Most of my players never seem to think about any kind of higher motivation. Most of them just make characters with goals of "kill stuff," "get loot," or if they're feeling ambitious, "kill stuff and get loot."

No wonder that game of Exalted fell through. (Well, that, and I had an imperfect understanding of the mechanics...)
Mykin 21st Aug 2014, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
Yes, I know about the whole "kill stuff and get loot" motivation. That was the main motivation for most of my old group when I played those many years ago. Probably why I refuse to use it anymore, it's just so boring and bland. And I'm with you there about not understanding mechanics of a game. I tried running a session of Maids RPG once...That didn't go so well.

Anyway, I guess that's why I ask, though. I look at the world I'm going to be in and come up with all these fantastical ideas for why my character is this class and why he would do this and that. But then I just remember my experiences with my old group and I just toss them to the side and try to tone it down or just give up (though my social anxiety is probably involved in me giving up as well. But that's neither here nor there.)

I guess I'm wondering where the ceiling is for such thoughts. Being a player who is used to having his characters die (most of the time randomly) before such motivations actually become relevant and also now making a new character for my new dnd group (now that I finally stepped out of my shell and found one), I'm finding myself actually worried about this. Digo's post did help me a little, though. As long as it's ok with the DM it doesn't really matter, right?

Now if only I can get rid of my nagging fear that every DM I play with is out to get me, I think I might actually be able to relax and enjoy myself. :P
Digo 21st Aug 2014, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Motivations are a funny concept with characters and they do change a lot. Though sometimes because of the other players and not the GM.

In one Roleplaying is Magic game I'm in, my earth pony filly started out with wanting to grow up and become a royal guard and protect others. So her motivation in the party dynamic was to keep her friends safe from harm when we had our adventures. 'Course there was just one wee little problem:

The other PCs.

They not only would run head-long into danger, but they'd get into trouble when my character couldn't reach them! Worse is that besides physical harm, they were doing some crazy-shady things. The team Element of Kindness was chewing out the BBEG and refused to forgive his actions, Loyalty kept breaking away from the party to do some lone-wolf shenanigans, and Element of Magic refuses to use her special talents because she feels that no justification could make it right to use her abilities of subterfuge.

It's no wonder my filly is 11 years old and Still a Blank-Flank! So my motivation had to change. My character is now the Team Heart-- she keeps the party from splitting up, she keeps the party honest when they do things, and she keeps the party confident to use their abilities for the greater good.

...still no cutie mark though.
DanielLC 21st Aug 2014, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
What's the normal age for getting a cutie mark?
Digo 21st Aug 2014, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
Specter has a pretty good idea for cutie-mark acquisition ages in our game. Mechanically, a pony should have it by "5th level". We're almost 7th level and I'm the last classmate without one.

Extra hilarious moment last night was that there was a perfect moment for my character to earn her mark, but the engineer of the group stole the scene. I wasn't too upset about it, but I think the GM lately has been TRYING to get my character a cutie mark and that kinda blew the plan XD
Adens 22nd Aug 2014, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, Digo, but I have to ask: Where did you manage to find a Roleplaying is Magic Group?
Toric 22nd Aug 2014, 5:01 PM edit delete reply
After all your teeth come in, but before you get your Hogwarts acceptance letter.
Specter 21st Aug 2014, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Some time as a kid, or early teen years.

As for your earth pony, I would suggest to get a cutie mark as a cop, or a shady character (undercover cop?), and have your team as the first bust. Then, have your GM ret-con it so you (and your GM) can teach the ret of your team a lesson of A) Being a team, and B) following your element.

... But, that's just me (and most of my ideas tends to get me killed, so take with warning/caution).
Joe the Rat 21st Aug 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
That can easily still fall under "Protect Others". You may not be the tank, or the *heeded* voice of wisdom, but as the glue that holds it all together, you are helping them to learn that they are stronger as a team - each with their own strengths to lend, and weaknesses that others will cover for you.

Or you are protecting the Friendship, which is pretty much half of what Heart is about (the other being the moral compass or center that keeps you from splitting up or going all Justice Lords on things). Heart-and-Shield.


On Changing Motives: I think I've talked about Kobold Hamlet before. Primary motivation was all about revenge - deposing and disposing of the evil uncle and whatnot. By the time we got to that plot point in the game, KH moved from "reclaim the throne" to "kill the uncle," as he found he'd rather pal around with the big fuzzy folk and have wacky adventures rather than be stuck giving orders...

Plus he needed to kill the party's drow for strongarming him out of the shiny ruby/evil soul jar they picked up early in the game. Hmm, I guess it wasn't changing motives really, just changing targets.
Specter 21st Aug 2014, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Video!

Sort of a group dynamic for a motivation. But, then again, I am a group enthusiast, not a individualist.
Curb 21st Aug 2014, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
I try to get my players and my own characters to have proper backstories and motivations for what they do...but all to often it's either vague or they don't really care much to put any work into it.

An Example from a test of my new Tales of Equestria is the motivation of my PC/NPC (I run or play, so he serves as both and happens to be my ponysona as well) Silvered Gears. A unicorn invintor, his primary motivation is to master his art, to push Pony MageTech to it's limits and beyond, which doesn't always sit well with some groups(Primarily the Anti-MageTech Purists that Celestia and Luna are trying to keep under control) and the Equestrian Bureau of Defense (Which is run by Luna, she keeps an eye on him). This colors what he does, as he often stops in journeys to seek out new or old MageTech to study or use and is always tinkering with the gear the group use.
Guest 21st Aug 2014, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Aww our little Rarity should have been a dwarf. 'Cuz she's digging for gold!
Raxon 21st Aug 2014, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Heh. I made a wizard who planned to be the most intelligent person in the world. To that end, he invented a box that steals bits of your mind, and developed a learning system throughout the lands. This learning system's core focus was goal finding. If you don't know, say, the date of the battle of five drakes, that's okay, because all you really need is to write down some dates. As long as you're trying, and you show your work, you won't fail.

If you think that five times seven is forty eight, and you show your work, you can still pass! If you work extra hard, you can get an A, even if the answer is wrong. It's all about effort!

Needless to say, it did not go over well with the DM. He did not cotton to this gimped educational system, and the hippy feel good about yourself bullcrap behind it.

Kinda glad I didn't tell him that it's based on an actual thing called common core. My wizard would have died from falling rocks. All of this happened in backstory though. My DM was principle of a school. I was not allowed to play this wizard.
Malexia 21st Aug 2014, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
And that is why I, being a student, despise the public school system. There's no point to it.
Raxon 21st Aug 2014, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Heh. I left out the actual socialist indoctrination, where it basically tells you that the government says what is good or bad, and the people must obey.

Or that the government needs to tell us what we should do.

Honestly, even setting aside all the politics, it is poorly structured, assuming that small children understand testing concepts that high schoolers use.

Oh, and the magic box has an oddly familiar hypnotic pattern, complete with white noise.

The wizard was true neutral, but I had planned to play him as a golden age comic book villain.
Malroth 21st Aug 2014, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
Ummm Socalism is pretty much the opposite of the government telling you what to do, Its the government having to listen to every single idiot and ineffectuially trying to what the people want. All our Propaganda and indoctronation is Facist.
Raxon 22nd Aug 2014, 2:17 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Guh. Brain fart. Thanks for the correction.

Sorry about that. Too much vodfee/sleep loss/strip chess with Margaret Thatcher/violent arguments with the toaster about the rude words on my bagels. Any more of this and I'll take it down to the temple and put it down via open pool of water while Rabbi Goldman officiates it... again.

I'm not jewish, and I suspect that's why he won't sell me those wonderful scrolls that would let me raise my golem army. That and the smell of ozone left when I need him to help me to make sure it's not an appliance from Amityville.

You can't be too careful. I watched Amityville 4. I know how these thinks work. I can't prove it, but I think the french toilet might be. It always makes this gurgling sound, and when I go to flush it, it pees back!
waffle911 22nd Aug 2014, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
I got a haunted toaster from Amityville. You put in regular old white bread and four minutes later you get wheat toast. When you put in wheat bread, you get pumpernickel toast. But when you put in pumpernickel bread, you get a blueberry muffin!
you know that guy 23rd Aug 2014, 4:29 AM edit delete reply
Is that the one where you put in a bagel and it gives you a severed hand?
waffle911 23rd Aug 2014, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
No, that's waffles. Bagel gets you porkchops.
Disloyal Subject 21st Aug 2014, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
It's good to have a backup plan...
As for motivations, I like to establish a rough framework of my character's background and then fill it in with a more in-depth backstory after a session or two once I have a better idea of how my character thinks. My Assassin mostly wants to A) protect her team, B) commit murder, preferably for profit and justice, and C) acquire bigger & better sniper rifles for B. Her original (semi-randomly generated) background was 'abandoned baby in the lowest levels of the Underhive,' so she doesn't blink at killing people - in fact, she disturbed me last night by casually shooting a beggar that got too close - but is VERY protective of any perceived family.
Pen Brush 21st Aug 2014, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm...I wonder how twilight in this story will feel when the DM makes her a princess...and how Rarity will feel about that.
Mykin 21st Aug 2014, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
I think it'll be a paragon path that Twilight will pick once the campaign has progressed enough to the point where they get to pick those rather than the DM thrusting this on her. Kinda like how the Scion of Arkhosia path gives Dragonborn characters wings and what not. Though it will be interesting to see how that all turns out when we get there.
Pen Brush 22nd Aug 2014, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
I guess that's true, but I still think the reactions to her sudden alicornness will be hilarious from the other players.
Malroth 23rd Aug 2014, 3:07 AM edit delete reply
Probably Epic Destiny instead of Paragon, Becoming pony God is a little harder than just hitting lv 10.
kriss1989 21st Aug 2014, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
So my witch in our groups Pathfinder campaign (nice to take a break fom being DM every now and again) is a rat folk and the background of the region is that until recently rat folk were considered vermin and were hunted and exterminated. Recent events have resulted in them becoming (second class...at best) citizens f a newborn nation. Basically war meant that they needed al the help they could get, and the rat folk were easy to bribe with the promise of citizenship (it means we won't shoot you anymore and you get to have houses). Now, we're using the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign, and one of the things you can do is run and organization and/or business. So my witch, Rikkan, has a plan. He's going to create a magic academy, run by rat folk, as proof that his people are not a joke. He already has a magical library, clerks, and an apprentice wizard on staff. It'll be a while until he has a full academy, but right now he has one of the most impressive libraries in the city and is starting to hit his stride for getting things built.

TL;DR Rat folk witch Wants to be civil rights Dumbledor.
Crazy Tom 22nd Aug 2014, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
This... You should keep us posted on your progress with this, it's awesome.
Pen Brush 22nd Aug 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
I agree, do continue this, it sounds interesting.
Mykin 22nd Aug 2014, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
Sounds sorta like the backstory of a kobold I ran into with my cleric last month. Our DM had brought him over from one of his other campaigns and his story was an interesting one. He was picked on for being the smallest out of all the group and had a reputation of jumping into pots when scared. This, ironically, was how he met that campaign's group of adventurers who promptly decided to take him along for the ride and have him be their mascot. Heck, they even cast an enlarge spell on him and made it perminent in order to boost his moral and get him to stop being afraid all the time (It failed, of course, and he still has his habit of jumping into pots he can no longer fit in.) Along the way, he discovered the secrets of spicy barbeque fried chicken and immediately decided that he would open a tavern and that his fried chicken would be world famous!

I met said giant kobold in said tavern that he built using the money he got with the adventurers. Said tavern has accommodations for merfolk, ifrits, and anyone else who wanted to come and try out his world famous spicy barbeque fried chicken. We then used said fried chicken in our attempt to infiltrate a nobleman's mansion. It's kinda funny to think that the motivations and success of one of the most cowardly and odd mannered npcs I have ever met lead to our success(?) in our attempts to complete our job and get rewarded.
Dragonflight 22nd Aug 2014, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
In an old 3D&D game I ran based on the Calandia setting, one of the players was a dark elven thief. Now, in my game world, dark elves weren't ubermensch with angsty inferiority issues. They were a jungle-based race who lived on a nearby continent. Their historical antipathy toward day elves was due to an ancient curse which split a pair of elven deity sisters apart, making them incapable of trusting each other, and thus by extension, the race of elves based on them. The PC's in the game were responsible for ending that ancient curse and reuniting the two elven races (although they still had a few issues, now and then.)

Anyway, the PC dark elf was deliberately rolled with a high intelligence, but a low wisdom. So she was smart as a tack, but would sometimes do really stupid things without thinking of the consequences. She also inherited the mantle of the "Devil Slayer", which I built on the "Devil Hunter Yohko" anime. Demons were alternating between trying to kill her and trying to seduce her to their way of thinking for the entire campaign. And while she was intelligent enough to string them along, she was never wise enough to just slam the door in their faces. So they kept trying. Eventually they stopped, simply because she developed a reputation as a giant tease who never committed.

One of her traits was extreme greed. But she was also generous with it. She never stole from the party, and never hoarded. She just felt that money was of no use if it wasn't in circulation. So she spent it about as fast as she stole it. Which is why when the PC's were allowed at one point in the story to visit the treasury of the Emperor of Calandia, to retrieve an ancient suit of mystical powered armor, she decided at that point that her personal goal was to find a way to defeat the considerable defenses on the treasury and steal the whole thing.

She never found a way, but she never stopped trying to figure it out. :)
Dusk Raven 22nd Aug 2014, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Good primary motivations, I think, are like the CMC's cutie marks - they won't be achieved anytime soon.