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Setting up webs of NPCs for political intrigue

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  • Setting up webs of NPCs for political intrigue

    The next chapter for my chronicle is likely going to involve a fair bit of political intrigue and I'm looking for suggests on how to set up a web of political relationships, agenda, and rivalries. Any suggestions? The players are new to the area, we are metaplot agnostic, and the players are of moderate but not exceptional power. I'm not entirely sure where to start or if I should just lift something wholesale from a book and rename everyone.

    What advice do people have?

  • #2
    I would just start by drawing a map with 2 or 3 npcs. Draw links between them and write in descriptions. Then branch it out and just keep adding npcs until you get bored.

    alternativly, let the players build their coterie sheet than build the npcs around them based on who they want for sires etc.


    • #3
      Also add motivations and agendas. Like one primogen is selling his vote for boons. Another just wants some npc to suffer.
      Secret bloodbonds, dominations, or entrancement could play a factor.
      Known allegiances and secret allegiances are a factor.
      Grab a coterie sheet from mr gone’s website as a starting template.
      I use Visio and have relationship charts between my politicians. It’s a work in progress the more I flesh out their roles and it’s always gonna be mutable because the players may change things up on you.


      • #4
        I started by defining the clans. Not the members, but the general mood and perception of the clan. Clan affiliation is important to politics, even if it isn't the only factor.

        Then I made a whole mess of NPCs. I gave them names, titles, and a 5-10 word description. I kept it to 5-7 per clan in the beginning. Just having something to attach a thread to is important for me to visualize it with.

        Then, go nuts. Using your clan descriptions as guidelines, you can now start definig relationships between npcs with wild abandon. As long as it makes some amount of sense, you can assign relationships essentially at random. Fun stuff will evolve pretty much regardless, and soon your own creative juices will begin to flow.

        Some ideas for relationships:
        Sire/childe relationship (is it benign? Toxic?)
        Boons/money/other stuff owed (what happened?)
        Political allies (secret or public?)
        Political rivals (secret or public? In-clan or inter-clan?)
        Lovers (mutual? Exploitative?)
        Blood bonds (forced or wished for?)
        Personal hatred (what about the opponent do they hate?)
        Old friends (since mortal days?)
        Coterie (purpose? Who leads?)

        Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.