So here's three groups of three to flesh out characters and tie them to the world. Let me know if you have other ideas for outlining the characters.
Three Goals (and why):
Morgram - Gain membership in the Order of Rekkenmark (To further a quest for power? To better serve the King? To honor the memory of your father, who died in the war?)
Tripp - Gain power and influence within House Gallandra to escape your father's shadow.
Three Friends/Patrons/Allies (and relationship):
Tripp's father - Powerful leader in House Gallandra, Aundair. Tripp desires to get out from under his father's control and make his own way.
Lady Aloria - Sovereign Hoste Cleric and senior faculty of Rekkenmark Academy. Morgram's trusted mentor.
Three Enemies/Rivals/Opponents (and relationship):
Rekkenmark Captain of the Guard. Wants Tripp for murder. Tripp would prefer not to hang.
Zandra - Emerald Claw agent. Brought down airship and stole dragonshards. Morgram is a sworn enemy of the Claw.
Found this relationship list on a blog and thought it would be useful to spur thought in creating your NPC relationships. For instance, Tripp's Dad would fit in the Keeper role.
ANATHEMA:Your Anathema is someone you want to destroy. An anathema is an enemy that your character wants to see reduced to nothing. While this relationship is merely implied, minor jabs and snarky witticisms, or just boiling glares, are sufficient for you. Once it has become overt, you will need to actually work to undermine them socially. At the abusive level, you begin looking for opportunities to hurt them physically (and get away with it), to mess up anything they care about deeply, to turn others against them. When this relationship becomes murderous, you’ll begin looking for a way to end their life. These acts need not be direct, immediate violence; sabotage, ‘accidents’, and even serious challenges to honorable fights all express this level of relationship.
EXEMPLAR:Someone you want to follow. Your exemplar is someone that your character believes is somehow better, wiser, or simply greater, and that their greatness should be acknowledged by everyone else. At the ‘implied’ level, you may content yourself with small acts of admiration, possibly carrying a picture of them or trying to find opportunities to be near them. Once this relationship becomes overt, you should defend them against slanders in your presence, and will be plainly ready to do what they say when they’re present. At the abusive level, you’ll be ready to heap scorn and calumny on those that disagree with your Exemplar, and their enemies become yours. When this relationship becomes murderous, you’ll be ready to kill to get them into a position of strength. (Note: Your Exemplar need not actually desire power. At all.)
KEEPER:Someone you want to escape, without leaving your own life. A keeper has some hold on your character - whether or not they know it; a man you are jealously obsessed with can be your Keeper just as surely as the serial-killing sister that your guilt won’t let you stop taking care of. At the implied level, this may simply mean trying to interest others in them (in hopes of foisting them off). As this becomes overt, you’ll begin making small attempts to eject them from your life, while still remaining in the realm of the socially acceptable. At the abusive level, you will likely begin to actively live in a way that you hope will repel them. And, finally, at the murderous level, you’ll be ready to kill them - or to kill someone and frame them.
PARAMOUR:Someone you want to obtain. Your paramour is someone that doesn’t fill the role that your character wishes them to in their life (a role which should, eventually, turn out to be one that the other will object to, even if it seems wonderful at first). At the implied level, this involves no more than significant and thoughtful looks and attempts to attract their attention. As it becomes overt, the first signs of how you want them to relate to you should be expressed, often with small attempts on your part to entice the other to take on that role. By the abusive stage, you will be entirely willing to harm or browbeat the person to act the way you wish towards you. And finally, by the time the relationship turns murderous, you’ll do anything, however vile.
RIVAL:Someone you want to defeat. Your rival is a character that your own character sees themselves as competing with in some way, trying to gain something (or someone). Implied, you just view any competition (of any kind) that both of you are in as more intense, and may give small signs of just who you feel you’re competing with. At the overt stage, you’re obviously ready to take them on, anytime. Once the relationship becomes abusive, it’s not enough to just contest with them and try to beat them; you want to rub it in, for them to grovel at your feet - and it’s plain that you want this. In the end, once the relationship becomes murderous, the desire becomes such that you want them dead, and want everyone to know that you’re the one who did it. A rival differs from an Anathema in that the desire isn’t about annihilating them so much as it is about ‘counting coup’.
PROTEGE:Someone you want to mold. Your protégé is someone that you think has great potential to be someone (preferably, someone that they don’t really want to be), and that you are the one that can make them into that person. Like a Paramour, you want them to fill a role; unlike a Paramour, this role doesn’t need to relate to you. At the implied level, you may simply be offering occasional advice or introducing them to ‘the right people’. As the relationship becomes overt, you should be mentioning the role you want them to fill to them, and explaining why this is perfect. At the abusive level, you’ll happily resort to blatant manipulation of the target, to teaching them ‘hard lessons’ through dirty tactics, and the like. Finally, by the time this relationship becomes murderous, you’ll be ready to excise from their life the people that don’t fit who you want them to become, by whatever means are necessary.
WARD: Someone you want to protect. Your ward is someone that you believe is endangered in some fashion by something (typically, by one or more of their relationships, or by the whole world), and whom you wish to keep safe. Of course, your ward should not want to be protected in the specific ways that your character will eventually choose to employ. At the implied level, this is the most innocuous kind of social presence and interference. Once it becomes overt, stern warnings to both the target and simple actions against whatever you think may harm them are the order of the day. At the abusive level, you’ll act to drive off the malign influence - or even shove extra work on your ward, get them briefly detained, for their own good. By the time this becomes murderous, you’ll shoot that boy if he comes around one more time.
I'm still trying to work out how to best deal with Tripp, should he turn up on the train.
Tripp on the train, this does present a problem. Had a conversation with our DM yesterday about this. The short version is, Tripp may turn NPC at the start of the next session. It seems I have made a mess of things...
Well, at least you weren't the one to say, "Oh, and we'll need a barrell too."
Prepped an elf magic user mini for your sorcerer today.
@ Llaslo; no I'm the one who said, "Let's ship him in a barrell!"
@ Gault; Excellent! I say we celebrate this with the adding of chocolate to milk!