Thursday, August 16, 2012

Death of an Archbishop

For fun, I wanted to show something else behind the curtain.

Back in January, when I had conceived of the idea of the party meeting Eberhardt and Serafina, my principle plan was to have Andrej perform the wedding, if he was willing, and then hopefully (if he didn't fuck it up, which seemed unlikely) to win the approval of the Prince-Bishop of Munster.  It would be the Prince-Bishop, then, who would offer to fund a mission out east for Andrej.  With this in mind, I went to look up the Prince-Bishop of Munster to see who he was.

And got a big surprise.

The party was arriving in Munster on September 3, 1650.  The Prince-Bishop, as it turned out, was Ferdinand of Bavaria ... who was also the Bishop in authority over a number of different states, including Hildesheim, Liege, Cologne and Paderborn.  He was described thusly to the party when I introduced the character.

However, Ferdinand DIED September 13, 1650.  Within 10 DAYS of the party arriving in Munster.

Because of this inconvenience and unexpected coincidence, and because I love the idea of being dictated to by a source outside of myself, I decided to completely change the role of Ferdinand in my world.  If at all possible, I would make him evil, I would drum up an assault on his castle, give the party the choice of whether to get involved and carefully arrange it so that Ferdinand would still die on the date of his death.  Which he did.  The party assaulted the castle,  on the afternoon of the 12th ... and Ferdinand the Archbishop died after midnight on the 13th.

I personally don't think this is railroading, as the party repeatedly had the opportunity to change their minds and not get involved.  But I do think that Fate can play a hand in a game, particularly when the death of an NPC can be held far enough from the party's grasp.

4 comments:

Andrej said...

What would have happened if the party's actions somehow made it impossible or at least unlikely that the bishop would die on the 13th? By the way, I love both that you did this and that you shared.

Alexis said...

I'd have given him a heart attack.

J√°nos said...

This doesn't feel like railroading to me; after all, events in this world are much bigger than just the four of us. I quite like that you were able to twist history to suit your needs in such a way. It is, for lack of better words, pretty damn cool.

Alexis said...

Well thank you.