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    Motivations

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    lordrahvin
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    Motivations

    Post  lordrahvin on Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:48 pm

    I have a theory that I'm working on that the best character motivations are actually written as two mutually exclusive terms. The first part is the more obvious part and the second, hopefully comes from some event that happens within the game.

    Krug the barbarian wants to save his people but is in love with the elven princess.
    Allondra the princess wants to exterminate the barbarian horde but is in love with Yoren the ranger.
    Yoren the ranger is in love with Krug the barbarian but doesn't want anyone to know.

    Okay, so that was a little days-of-our-lives-ish. But hopefully you see the point. This becomes especially true with the really boring (to me, anyway) and common motivation (I'm in it for the money!). You really need something else there to make it interesting.

    In addition to coming up with the contradictory motivations ask yourself WHY your character is doing these things or interested in these things and sometimes you get some really interesting answers. Cinematic characters are full of this stuff.

    Mal wants money because money equates to freedom. Mal will do anything for his freedom but will make any sacrifice for his crew, who he feels personally responsible for.

    Giles loves Buffy and will do anything for her, but is ultimately willing to sacrifice her life, his own life, and anything else for the greater good.

    It really only works if you play up each part of the motivation as equally important, and go through the effort of defending both motivations. One is (usually) not more important than the other, unless they are in direct conflict.

    It's a theory. I haven't put this into practice since I've been separated from my gaming group.
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    psychoticbarber
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    Re: Motivations

    Post  psychoticbarber on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:07 am

    That's a really great trick, lordrahvin. You get an "is", and a "but", and I'd say you get extra credit for adding an "and" to the mix.

    Oliver is a prominent member of the Commonwealth and loves it there, but school and work are conspiring to make it difficult to stay active and Amalric Richardson is driving him insane with requests.

    ...that example might be a tad specific.

    It's essentially adding a third leg to a triangle. Yoehnn the Ranger is in love with Krug the Barbarian, but she doesn't want anyone to find out, and he's eyeing Elmira the Rogue every time she bends over to disable a trap.

    Edit: So basically you get a fact, something to oppose it, and something to complicate the opposition.


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