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Breathing life into the Orders

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  • Breathing life into the Orders

    I've noticed that when I GM my Orders become pretty anemic, existing more as philosophies than organizations. And my Consillium isn't that much better. Does anybody have some advice on how to portray a world beyond balkanized territories carved out by various cabals?

  • #2
    In order for the Orders to mean something they have to be doing something. The Arrow needs an actual threat to defend and patrol against, the Silver Ladder needs a cause or movement that advances people to support, the Mysterium needs Mysteries to explore and catalog along with a library to protect and the Guardians need a Labyrinth to maintain. As for the Free Council, give them some mundane world culture or development that they are trying to explore for signs of the Supernal, proving that mortals can shape the Supernal.
    Create these elements of your story and setting then have the Order Caucus give your player characters assignments and responsibilities that involve them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lareath View Post
      I've noticed that when I GM my Orders become pretty anemic, existing more as philosophies than organizations. And my Consillium isn't that much better. Does anybody have some advice on how to portray a world beyond balkanized territories carved out by various cabals?
      It's the people that make these organizations. How they act, how they interact with each other, and with those from other Orders, if they're a monolithic block or if there's divisiveness, what they believe is left-handed or heretical and how they deal with it (for the Adamantine Arrow, 'Refusing to employ violence on absolute principle (not because the mage has a better strategy) is a crime against the order, and so they have a faction of pacifists they consider heretics, and the penalty for insistent promotion of these ideas is death). Fleshing out some characters representative of the core aspects of the Orders (or at least aspects you want to play up) can go a long way. The individual Order books haven't completely been brought over to second edition but for the most part they should be a very good inspiration.

      Just basing a character from each Order around one of their core tenets can go a long way to giving them some life, and having other characters who follow other tenets, or the same but in different ways, can add depth. The Orders are pretty insular, maybe there's a big Mystery in the area that's relevant to their Order in particular, and the higher ups have worked to keep it secret among themselves, creating some tribalism in an otherwise united group. Maybe one group decides to police itself in private, rather than publicly, so there's sudden changes in their mood and they don't really talk about it outside of a few subtle words of warning. A player character can be brought into any of these things, and 'PC came back from a meeting with their Order and can't talk about what happened there to the cabal' can put a spotlight on them and their Order.
      Last edited by nofather; 11-21-2018, 11:23 PM. Reason: Changed mentioning of Order insularity, it's not exactly an exception to the setting

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      • #4
        I sort of feel like you just have to remember that the Orders do things, and players to the extent that they care and interact with them should be able to have their finger on the pulse of what their Order is up to on at least a broad strokes level.

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