By Order of General Ludd and His Luddites

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2 thoughts on "By Order of General Ludd and His Luddites"

  1. Chris says:

    To me a scenario like this is roleplaying at its best. It lets everyone at the table explore a complex issue, understand the reasons and build empathy with each side that can help better understand the real problems in our world. Thank you for the excellent writeup.

    Regarding the ending, if you’re playing a traditional party-based RPG where the players expect to work together against some antagonist, I agree you’ll need something that feels like a win. I would prefer to look a little closer to the problem though.
    The PCs are unique in that both sides have some amount of trust in them, so you can let them identify a mutual problem that both sides could solve together if someone could help them bridge their differences. Maybe the fantasy lord has been looking for labor in some higher-paying venture that was impossible until now, or the sci-fi technology grants access to a new material that could processed locally rather than exported. I think this will feel more like an organic win rather than just a sweet dessert after the brussels sprouts.

    If you’re playing a game where characters are expected to have different goals and allegiances, like VtM or Urban Shadows, I think you don’t need to worry about the ending at all. Those games are designed for players to find and negotiate their own answers, each according to whatever values their character holds.

    1. Tristan Zimmerman says:

      I agree – it definitely depends on the game type, and there’s absolutely games where this sort of ending would be totally appropriate. And if the players can find a way to mediate a seemingly un-mediate-able situation, that would be an ending everyone can enjoy.

      I will say, though, that I’ve gamed with players who *say* that they want an organic game where they find and negotiate their own answers, but where that player isn’t being entirely truthful. When they’re able to pull a win out of a no-win situation, they’re over the moon about it, but when they’re not able to do so, they feel stupid and they hate it. Little empty wins are a cheap trick, but in those circumstances they really helped said player feel like they actually had a good time tonight.

      In the end, it’s all about knowing your players and reading the table, right?

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