Quick question about NPCs vs Enemies.

Quick question about NPCs vs Enemies.

Quick question about NPCs vs Enemies. Are all the enemies in your sessions also NPCs? I’m asking because of moves that specify NPCs in them such as the Paladin: I am the Law.

My Paladin believes this gives him carte blanche to tell everyone and everything he encounters that he is a Paladin and they should listen to him. This move is easy enough to not let it get out of control, since it’s based on his “divine authority” which isn’t recognized by all denizens of the world, and also the target get’s the option for how they react, but there are other moves which are much more open to interpretation.


11 thoughts on “Quick question about NPCs vs Enemies.”

  1. I’ve always read it as the Paladin being able to give commands to just about everyone; but, he doesn’t choose which of the three reactions they have. the GM does.

    Is he doing anything you consider weirdly abusive?

  2. No, it’s more of a general theme I see with moves like this. Another is the immolaters Firebrand move, which is far more open to interpretation. As written the Immolater can give any idea, such as “kill yourself” and with a good enough role it works, aparently for days at a time. Last night I had a room full of guys and the Immolater poked his head in and said “attack the leader”, which I allowed after he defied danger from a hail of arrows.

  3. The Paladin is arguably the most broken (not overpowered; that’s the druid) class. Its Quest can completely take over the entire party’s adventure, its I Am the Law can target any NPC; including enemies. Most importantly, while it is technically CHA based, it is also unwise to give it low STR and CON as it deals a lot of damage and can defend due to its armor. Also, it multiclasses into the Cleric so it also should have a high WIS.

    TL;DR: Paladin takes the place of just about every other class (even the caster). I do not like GMing Paladins.

    Rant Aside, yes it can target everything with its I Am the Law.

  4. Normally I would argue of being a fan of the characters, and while I applaud the use of such a powerful move in interesting ways, it also makes it impossible for the gm to be a fan of the other characters when they don’t have to do anything. Last night worked out fine, I kind of held the move back on my own terms and allowed others to come in and get the drop on the distracted enemies. Just wondering if others have experienced similar situations.

  5. “So … you’re stopping in the middle of combat, with arrows flying and monsters crawling, to have a conversation about his life to convince him to turn against dear leader? Interesting … “

  6. See I read the move as being a cultural thing not a magical thing. It’s like flashing an FBI badge and saying “I have jurisdiction” vs casting Charm Person and saying “now make me some soup”

  7. Its all about fiction, if your NPC doesn’t believe in the divine then he is not going to believe in the paladins divine authority. I think just giving it to the paladin is one of the reasons people feel the class is overpowered. I do feel it is written in a specific way so the gm can curb its power a little bit.

  8. See, the paladin move I feel isn’t the problem, it’s that it allows the paladin player to think it can use it for everything. Firebrand as well, since as written it doesn’t have any of the GM controls of I Am The Law, and also doesn’t define “idea”.

  9. Make a clock counting down the arrival of a cohort of anti-paladins who CANNOT be commanded. Their quest is in direct counterpoint to the Paladin’s. They have heard of this heretic abusing the word of God. The new Scion will show them purity through death. They will eat the flesh from your bones and devour your soul in sweet sacrificial ecstasy. They are coming. You cannot run, you cannot fight, you will be cleansed…..

    Every time someone rolls a miss, tick down that clock.

  10. Remember that this is about the fiction.  I agree with Aaron Griffin that this is a cultural thing.  Not a magical effect.  Now this authority is given from the divine so it holds a bit more sway, but in a superstitious way.  A direct counter to this would be a cleric or a paladin or even someone that believes strongly in the opposing god of the Paladin. 

    On another note, “Being a fan of the characters.” means that the audience is disappointed by a character that uses the same trick over and over.  The character becomes pompous and one sided.  So as the “Director and Audience” you need to spur him to do other things.  Not just order people around.  Also, the Paladin should be doing paladin-y things like protecting the innocent, fighting for good causes, and being for the people.  The Paladin can get the attention of the Adversary of his god and can be put on the spot when his god’s one tried and true power abandons him in a time of need to “test his faith”.  This is all a part of the fiction.  See if the Paladin is measuring up in his god’s eyes, or is he abusing the power?

    Allow yourself to force them to bring more imagination into the game.  allow yourself the freedom to bring some actual complications to the game that would make it very uncomfortable for the Paladin.  Remember, fiction first.  Bring that fiction out and polish those ideas til they shine.

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