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Monsters that Feed on Ego


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#1 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:50 AM

A comic book I was pointed to posited a monster that gained power from the ego of a particular protagonist. The more self-assured and self-important the hero allowed himself to get, the stronger the monster became. And since this particular hero had an enormous ego that he insisted on having everyone constantly stroke and feed, the monster became very powerful indeed. The only way to make the monster beatable was to teach the protagonist some humility.

Now creatures that steal and absorb POW are nothing new to BRP fantasy games. Ego -- the sense of one's own importance -- is another matter. Especially if your self-confidence is largely unjustified (you believe you are better, smarter or more powerful than you really are). POW is something entirely different than that -- humble, self-sacrificing characters frequently have very high POW scores, and the POW of the egomaniac warrior-nobleman could well be average or worse.

The question is how to make an intangible roleplaying element (the ego of the player-character who believes himself to be more important than he really is) into something tangible (the monster buffing itself as the hero "flexes his muscles").

#2 Atgxtg

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:30 PM

Well, what you probably need to do first is come up with "tiers' for the monster. Basically work out what it gets for an improvement for each tier. This could be something as simple as: +4 STR, +4 CON, +2hp, +5% skills, +1D6 db, +1 AP, but ideally it would be custom tailored to the monster. You probably want to start the monster off a bit weaker than normal and then give it 2 or 3 tiers so that is has something to loose if/when the hero displays some humility. If you really want to make a morality play out of this, give the monster a base CON of 0, so that it dies if the hero is humble enough to knock off all the tiers.

Then figure out a "Proud" threshold level that triggers a shift up in tiers.
Then you can come up with a scale of how many "ego points" are awarded per display. Maybe a minor display is worth one, a moderate display 2, and a major display 4. As come up with a scale for how many points a humble action burns off. You might want to have the points burn off naturally over time, just in case a hero builds it up to unbeatable levels.

During play, keep tabs on Ego points the hero racks up, and when it's enough to beat the threshold, the monster "buffs up" to the next tier.
assign a point value to whatever offensive actions the hero takes on the fly.
Smiley when you say that. :P

#3 Vexthug

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:35 PM

You could use the alleigence system to reflect your ego level. Just make a list of things that would lower or raise your score based on how you roleplay your character.

Miles

#4 seneschal

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:09 PM

I love the concept. Darkwing Duck, Die Fledermaus (from The Tick), and Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther) are in real trouble! ;D

#5 Thalaba

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:49 PM

I believe the monster in question is called an 'internet troll'. Posted Image

Edited by Thalaba, 02 April 2014 - 10:53 PM.

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#6 seneschal

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:56 PM

I believe the monster in question is called an 'internet troll'. Posted Image


Dunno. Many Internet trolls I've encountered grow nastier and more abusive no matter how reasonable, humble, and polite their victims are.

#7 Atgxtg

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 04:21 PM

I love the concept. Darkwing Duck, Die Fledermaus (from The Tick), and Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther) are in real trouble! ;D


I don't think Clouseau is in any real trouble. For one thing he does have a sense of caution and respect for his foes, and more importantly, he gets luckier the more powerful his foes become. He'd probably build the thing up until it was unbeatable, and then he'd stop to tie his shoe or something, causing the monster to fumble, where it would hit it self and die. Perfect as it was the only thing strong enough to kill it. Then Clouseau would see the body and suspect that someone had killed it in order to prevent Clouseau from extracting any information out of it.
Smiley when you say that. :P

#8 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 01:45 AM

I don't think Clouseau is in any real trouble. For one thing he does have a sense of caution and respect for his foes, and more importantly, he gets luckier the more powerful his foes become. He'd probably build the thing up until it was unbeatable, and then he'd stop to tie his shoe or something, causing the monster to fumble, where it would hit it self and die. Perfect as it was the only thing strong enough to kill it. Then Clouseau would see the body and suspect that someone had killed it in order to prevent Clouseau from extracting any information out of it.


Information that, were he to receive it, he would completely misinterpret (yet still somehow manage to come up with the right answer, practically by accident).

Which should give him an opportunity to display his other defining trait -- which is, of course, his utter sexual incompetence....

#9 Matt

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

Geez, I thought this thread was gonna be about the Kardashians based on the title...

#10 badbones777

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

Depending on the character in questions personality, it might be possible to feed his APP or material possessions into it in some way - so if he suffers some disfigurement or even has his car/clothes/stuff negatively affected in some way.

I like the idea of using alleigence - may 1 point for noticing he is the best dressed person at a party, 3 points for driving someone to tears and feeling good about it due to pointing out their percieved inferiority etc.

Maybe consider insanities? I imagine there is a lot of potential for fun if the same character also had, for example, Quixotism! (he kills a goblin, but feels like he slew a Balrog!)

I think a lot would also depend on the relationship between the monster and the character - are they aware of each other? Can they communicate? (If so I imagine the monster would drive him to pick on fairly weak targets - I'm guessing it doesn't care how the guys ego is stroked, merely that it is and fairly regularly).

This is a fantastic idea for roleplay though - loving it!

#11 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:56 AM

another character who would have trouble with such a monster is Daffy Duck. yes, Daffy Duck. Daffy really, really believes in himself. Usually with very little cause. And the Universe takes a great deal of sadistic pleasure in batting him down.

#12 Atgxtg

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:25 PM

Pendragon did something similar in the Tournament of Dreams adventure. THe knights faced off against opponents in their dreams (hence the title). The character's equipment was tied to their chivarlric traits. A high trait meant a fine sword, armor or horse (depending on which trait).
Smiley when you say that. :P




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