However, on Friday we enter a different phase of the battle. Everyone has arrived. Introductions have been made. Gifts have been given. A few ties to PCs backgrounds (one of the PCs has a sister who is Lion's Pride, and she showed up) have even been estabished. All the "busy" work has been done, and now the members of the party can relax, enjoy the entertainment, enjoy the refreshments, and get to knifing each other in the back.
One of the things that keeps coming up in my planning sessions is how some form of negative politics will begin, and one way that comes up every time is to attack the PCs with their most recent victory. It was a good victory, even a great victory. The kind that will put their names in the Ikoma histories for generations to come. However, it was also a bloody victory and over 70% of the "lead" PCs command died in achieving it.
This is where I get nervous. I like the idea. It has the potential for a lot of drama. The PC who would be attacked with it is a bushi and has brash and beyond that is very emotional (Matsu...) so it could be great. On the other hand, it seems wrong to use a moment of victory to begin an attack.
On the meta level I worry that my players (not the characters, the players) would feel that I am criticizing their play. This is a stupid notion as they're all very strong players and we have a good separation of IC and OOC. In fact, I bet the ones that read this blog will see this, then message me to do my worst. Still, it is a worry there. It always will be when it comes to political play because everything you do can always be twisted to look bad (or to look good) but it's the people attacking you that you're likely going to hear the loudest.
I am going to do it. I kind of have to, if for no other reason than to help show the good and the bad of the Court and the people in the city. I have to challenge the PCs on their disadvantages, and L5R is a system rife with social flaws that aren't often exploited in the more military side of things.
Beyond this though, I am keeping my goals simple and to the point:
- One political "exchange" per PC that is focused on them
- One assassination attempt - to introduce the next big villain of course
- Closure to the night
With luck it will go off without a hitch. The important thing is that first bullet point. I need to go in with a plan in place for at least one 'political' exchange for each PC to drag them into the courts. How they react will determine the outcome, but people are here as much to test them as to meet them and that has to happen.