Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Lover

Lovers are up next, and we're talking about them back to back with the Leaders because they're related - both groups are about interacting with other people and making the world change through them. Lovers are all about making connections, changing perceptions, and whirlpooling events in their direction by being so darn amazing. (And of course, obligatory reminder: no one is only a Lover, and not all Lovers have the exact same Talents!)

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Lover?

Being Noticed: Lovers are noticeable - whether they're dazzlingly beautiful, incredibly charismatic, unbelievably interesting, or just very, very loud. When they want to make a splash or get involved in something, that's a considerable asset, and people are likely to listen to what they have to say and pay attention to what they want (that doesn't always mean they oblige, but at least they're listening!). Lovers can grab attention for distractions or make sure the right people pay attention to their cause, getting their group past doors that otherwise would remain closed to them. Some of their Blessings make them so noticeable that the world warps around them, bringing people into their orbit of their own free will or setting events in motion from the sheer wow factor of the Hero just being near other people.

Manipulating Emotions: Getting noticed is great and being liked is even better - and everybody likes the Lover, at least if the Lover wants them to. Lovers can mess with the emotional landscape of those they interact with, and their range is extensive - they can make enemies too sad to function or too angry to think clearly, friends feel excitement and inspiration that allows them to continue on even when they should despair, or engender feelings of affection and even love to convince other people to help and support them. Their Blessings cover a lot of different emotions, and even without using them they're still experts in recognizing how someone feels and pushing them a little this way or that, which makes them ideal puppetmasters (benevolent or otherwise) who can twist situations in their favor even when they're in a lot of trouble.

Changing Minds: There's no better liar than a Lover - they have the power of persuasion, which means that whether they're trying to convince someone to do something, attempting to change someone's mind on a subject that they feel passionately about, or outright fibbing about something but really need someone to swallow the lie, they can get people on board with them. Social situations where everyone is not being strictly truthful - which is a lot of them when you're, say, sneaking into places you're not supposed to be or bold-facedly talking to an enemy who doesn't recognize you - go sideways very quickly without a Lover there to smooth the path with a few well-placed alterations to truthfulness.

Collecting Allies: As is probably pretty easy to guess for a Hero who is good at being noticed and good at manipulating emotions, Lovers are also really, really, really good at making friends. They're removing thorns from paws, knowing just the right thing to say to comfort someone in a crisis, kicking ass at social maneuvering, and breaking up fights to make peace - and all of that adds up to collecting a lot of people who just plain like or at least respect them, even if it's just because their personalities clicked. Heroes with Lover tend to build up stables of NPCs who are positively inclined toward them, which is a considerable boon when their missions need help from outside, and if they have the Lover Endowment of a Faithful Ally, they have such steadfastly devoted companions that they literally always have extra help and resources when they need it, no matter how scary the situation gets.

What is the Lover Effortless At? Lovers are just awesome to be around, no matter what they're doing or why; other people literally can't help but be glad they're there, even if they're being a pain in the ass in some way. The Lover gets to literally inspire other people to try harder and do better just to impress them; they give out the ability to reroll bad rolls to their allies, who either can't abide the thought of disappointing them or are trying really hard to impress them with their success. Just like the Leader, the Lover just believes that their friends are the best friends, and that everything goes great all the time no matter what they might otherwise think; that's just the way it is in the extra-charmed universe they live in.

What are the Drawbacks of the Lover? Lovers polarize events in their direction, which always makes good stories and exciting events, but isn't always positive - sometimes, the events they put in motion get out of control, and then everyone's yelling and people have called up reserves and suddenly the Trojan War is in full swing. Lovers get noticed, often whether they want to or not, so while this makes for lots of friends and positive benefits, it inevitably also attracts bad elements once in a while. Lovers also, just like Leaders, really need other people to be most effective, so when they are isolated or unable to call for backup, they find a lot of their skills aren't as useful when they have to try to operate in a vacuum.

In recent playtest groups, Lovers have kicked ass for their teams by making friends with NPCs so that they can later call them in as shock troops; charming government officials into letting them sneak into restricted areas and steal important information from them; give them multiple chances to right wrongs after upsetting dangerous enemies, even though they should really have been harshly punished or even killed the first couple of times; and so upset their enemies that many of them withdrew without even carrying on the fight, preferring to go recuperate elsewhere while the Heroes went about their business.

The Talents under the Lover umbrella are Beauty, Empathy, Inspiration, and Persuasion, with Inspiration as the second of the "buff others" stats along with Leader's Purpose. The Lover affects every game differently, depending on what the group's goals are, but they definitely do affect all of them, strongly, with emotional intent!


  1. These aren't really "Mechanics" posts. They're more like "these are our character classes" posts. They don't tell us anything about the game itself, or how any of this stuff works. When are we going to see something that actually shows us the game, and not just vague ideas of "here's how we think this myth should be played"?

    1. Hrm. Im not really sure how to answer this. I think most everything about how the game plays has been posted at one time or another.