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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Plotting and Paradigm: Resetting Things

Post the First
Post the Second

And there we go...wrapping things up with a third part, because three parts just seems to be a nice pattern for things. Naturally, since we've covered the beginning and the middle, the end is left for...last. It's very important. It's where everything gets wrapped up. But there's something more important that happens in the end, with respect to the "paradigm" perspective.


The Hydra Returns
Remember that hydra we were talking about? The Paradigm Hydra? Well, it's back. It's back to stay. Once the current Paradigm Hydra is taken out, it comes time for a new one to rise back up. It's a sort of cycle...but this time, it's the protagonists who come and shape the new paradigm. They've fought and scraped to fashion a worldview, and sparks have flown.

Here's the interesting bit. Remember how the Paradigm Hydra has faces, NPCs? Well, the new Paradigm Hydra has faces too. It has the faces of the PCs, in some manner or another. That's pretty cool. The PCs should be moving, shaping the Hydra in some way or another. Maybe one PC's heroic sacrifice is the impetus behind the formation of a new order of fighters. Another winds up leading one of the governments. The point is, things have changed because of the protagonist.

Not So Different?
This may seem rather cyclical, like I noted. Haven't you just created a new system to replace the old one? Well, the answer depends on that new system. See, the ability to make a difference rests completely with the players' characters. It's a choice that they need to make. Are they going to run things like the old way, or are they going to make an effort to change things?

That decision to change, to make a difference, now that they're in power, is a compelling theme to explore. You might even want to toy with a follow-up campaign that pits a bunch of upstarts trying to topple the PCs' newly-developed paradigm, or even run a campaign where the main characters are those upstarts!

It bears some thinking-upon.

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