Narrative Control – Episode 58 – Social Antagonists

Welcome back to Narrative Control in 2011.  After a break for the holidays we’re back and talking about Social Antagonits.  How to make them work and why the are so awesome.

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Eric Fattig

Length: 54:07

Inspired by Ryan Macklin’s article on Making Sypathetic Antagonists

Show Notes

[00:22] Intro to the show.  Happy New Year!
[00:38] Topic: Social Antagonists

News of the Episode

[00:59] What just happened?  Dead of Winter
[02:35] EndGame Minicon
[03:19] Pimping Duneville.  Check out Smallville
[05:17] Big Bad Con  Book Rooms here: Hilton Oakland Airport
[05:59] Gazebo Deathmatch
[06:56] RPG Crosstalk – A shared Podcasting Forum
[09:04] Finding Ryan Macklin’s post on sympathetic antagonists via twitter.
[11:14] A reading from Macklin’ post.  His three reasons for sympathetic antagonists!
[12:39] Our discussion drifted to Social Antagonists.  People you can’t punch in the face.
[13:20] The recurring villain you don’t have to sell.  Conflicts bind the characters together rather than splitting them apart. 

Examples of social antagonists

[14:57] Uther Lightbringer: The moral authority.
[15:79] Tsuruchi Nadu. Our lord and commander in L5R.  A terrible leader.

Characteristics of good social antagonists

[24:25] The social antagonist is part of the same rigid organization that the players are (your boss, your lord, your co-worker, your schoolmate, your business partner, your family, etc).
[27:07] The social antagonist is not secretly EVIL.
[33:31] The social antagonists needs a sympathetic drive.  A reason to exist that is legitimate.
[35:13] Social antagonists can do more interesting damage.  Turning you friend against you, steal your money, demote you, attacking your other relationships, etc.
[38:09] Social healing is also more interesting.  Repairing from a cut is pretty boring.  Repairing a relationship is fun and makes for more exciting interactions.   One persons’ gain is the others’ loss.
[39:44] The conflicts with social antagonists are ones we can relate to.   We’ve all been in conflicts like these.
[42:59] Sometimes you work together.  Social antagonist that are “on the same side” or have the same goal that is really important.
[49:56] Social antagonist can escalate conflicts and then de-escalate.
[52:24] PCs can fill these roles.  The players can be each others’ social antagonists.
[53:26] Go discuss it… on RPG Crosstalk

Continue the conversation… Here

Direct Download: NC_Episode_058.mp3


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