Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A fun look at Aspects: Leader

We made it! Final article! This is the Aspect that I was actually thinking about when I was inspired to write these articles. I hope you've enjoyed and that you'll get to play with them soon.

Preamble
You guys have all heard this before. A Leader probably also does something else (another Aspect, maybe more than one). Leaders seem to come in the most shapes and sizes: leaders who lead with friendship, those who lead by also being excellent warriors, and the occasional trickster leader.

Definition
So many books about leadership have drilled so many cliches into our heads about that leadership has become difficult to define. Anyone with higher status or physical power can boss you around and tell you what to do. But a Leader is different. A Leader is a pillar of responsibility and ...jeez, this has seriously taken me not only longer than the definition part of other Aspects, but this definition of leadership alone has taken me longer then writing up any other Aspect. There are so many ways to define good leadership. Good leadership can't easily be summed up I suppose. If Anne wasn't swamped I'd ask her for a hand. A great Leader is able to get the best results out of everyone they lead, and they realize that they have to work hard and use different tactics on different people to accomplish this.

Problems
Leaders can be very difficult to play, but are oh, so necessary. How can we ease the burden on the Leader, especially for those who don't have the best leadership skills as players?

A defining characteristic of a mythologically heroic Leader is... she needs people to lead. Not just her close companions, but others as well. Every player isn't going to want to play a king as their Leader though, and every character shouldn't be a king. How do we work around that?

Solutions
We've hopefully given the Leader enough powers to do her job in a variety of ways. And since a Leader will probably have some of each of the leader talents, they can flex their leadership skills in different ways. The Leader has Diplomacy for those who need a gentle touch and convincing to be effective. Some people respond best to a strong alpha leader, and Sovereignty powers help with those people. And of course there are people who enjoy a more militaristic style of leadership, and Tactics powers let the Leader pull rank on the battlefield for those who respond to that.

This problem sent us down a five-week rabbit hole that was a doozy to work on and isn't quite done yet. This problem made us realize that in order to truly embrace their Aspects, some players would need a gentle push in the direction that powers and roleplaying suggestions weren't cutting it for. A Leader always has followers from the first time she buys his dot of the Aspect (or before). As long as she is a good Leader, she can call on these followers for things by spending Purpose during the story. There is a gigantic range of who these followers could be. They could be the subjects of a Leader character who was running a small kingdom. Or they could be the Leader's employees at the Pizza Hunt she manages. As the character gets more dots in Leader, she may choose to accrue more followers, or grow the power of the ones she has.

Powers

Spur to Greatness (Tactics Blessing)
Labor: Chapter
Roll: None
Speed: Dedicated
The best of warriors are normally constrained by the limits of their speed and reaction time, but the Hero with this Blessing spurs them on to unheard-of feats. By using this Labor and spending a point of Purpose, the Hero may grant one other ally the ability to take two simultaneous actions this round instead of one; both actions must roll a different Talent, and they may not both be physical attacks.

This is the Moment (Diplomacy Blessing)
Labor: Saga
Roll: None
Speed: Dedicated
In times of great stress and exhaustion, a strong leader can provide energy and strength to his companions. By using this Labor and spending a point of purpose while giving a powerful speech or brief words of wisdom, the leader returns all their targets spent Chapter Labors to them.

Lay Down the Law (Sovereignty Blessing
Labor: Chapter
Roll: Sovereignty
Speed: Dedicated
Sometimes, even a group of like-minded heroes aren't able to come to an agreement about how to handle a situation. It is the leader's difficult task to carefully weigh all the options and come up with a solid plan. After hearing opposing viewpoints on a plan of action for the group, the sovereign makes a declaration about which they will attempt/follow/act upon. Anyone he defeats on his roll finds themselves completely agreeable to the plan for this Episode and the following one. In addition, all involved find themselves drawn to work together and find their [insert interaction table information].

Characters

Aragorn: Lord of the Rings
Captain Janeway: Star Trek: Voyager
Darth Vader: Star Wars
Daenerys Targaryen: Song of Ice and Fire series
Cyclops: X-Men
Bill: Kill Bill

Moments

Tyler Durdan starting Project Mayhem in Fight Club.


Captain goes down with the ship (Janeway).


Cercei flexing her Sovereignty muscles (embedding disabled...)
Link here!

One king to another (Thorin and Thranduil waving Sovereignty at each other).


Skalds tell tales about the deeds of Leaders to inspire (The tale of Thorin).


BEST Aragorn scene.


Daenerys taking a city (Long, sorry. Also, no embedding).
Link here!

Sorry this was late and hope everyone enjoyed the series. Anne will be back next week (schedule allowing) talking about Devotional spheres/domain.