Weddings are at least partly the reason for this post being delayed and weddings are what I want to talk about today. Weddings are an awesome opportunity in table top games. With a wedding you can make a PC royalty, or otherwise catapault them into the politics of an area. With a wedding you can end a war. With a ruined wedding you can start a war. I don't need to tell anyone who has seen or read the Game of Thrones series to know other things that can be done in weddings. So, today, let's examine some of these things a bit more in depth.
Wedding #1: The PC Reward
Putting aside the gender politics implicit with a title like "the PC reward" a wedding can be a wonderful way to have a kingdom, land, or family thank a PC for the help the PC has rendered through their adventuring. This works especially well in games with a political component like L5R or Birthright, but can really be worked into any game where there are kingdoms, heroic deeds, and/or war.
The trick to this is that with the wedding you are elevating the PC's social status. Perhaps they are becoming a prince in line for the throne. Perhaps they are just becoming a somebody in the local courts. It doesn't matter because a wedding is a wonderful multi-pronged asset to have in a game. Not only can you do the big day as a reward and session where you get to relax and recant the heroics of your group, but a wedding can also bring in new aspects to a game (particularly politics if they're not there.) It also opens new dynamics for the character as now they have a husband/wife, presumably a home, and potentially a lord or country that they need to do things for.
Obviously this isn't for everyone - not all players want their PC to get hitched and thus tied down - but when you can work it in it works wonders.
Wedding #2: The War Ender
Nothing stops this from also being the first one, but it is more about what you do with this wedding. War in game coming to a stalemate? Perhaps both sides decide to figure it out with words. Words and peacemaking in medieval settings often involve weddings to seal the deal, and your game doesn't have to be an exception. In this case the wedding can be a fun way to let the players see a different side of the NPCs that have been the opposition until now. It can also be fun to see if they'll give in to brawling or try to be nice when the NPC who has been tormenting them all arc is suddenly sitting across from them, out of armor, with a goblet of wine in hand.
Wedding #3: The War Starter
This is pretty much the opposite of #2 but it can also be used to make sure a war goes on beyond when it could have ended. For this one to work there needs to be betrayal. Everyone turns out for the big day but one side brings swords and treachery. Fighting happens with defenders not ready and key figures - read: the PCs - likely out of armor and not ready for the fight. Tensions mount, and in the aftermath someone important (the groom or bride) is slain. Now vengeance is wanted, not only for the death of the important NPC but for the treachery in how it was done.
This is a good one to use when you want the PCs to be aware that the bad guys aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Just don't expect the PCs to give much quarter once they get the message.
Like I said, there are numerous ways to use weddings. The fun thing about them is that they're big events full of grandeur and wonder where both sides try to out do the other and show what is going on. Play it up, make it a spectacle, and give the PCs chances to rub elbows with NPCs that might otherwise be out of reach. Weddings in real life and stories are big deals. Give them the treatment they deserve and let it work its magic for you.
It's also not a bad way to write out a character that a player doesn't want to play anymore. Have them get hitched and settle down.ReplyDelete
Then, when the player inevitably changes her mind, you have a hook for motivating the character's return to the action.