What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
The Dread Polack
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What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by The Dread Polack » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:11 am

A bit of a intro: I am having some trouble with a difficult player. He has admitted he's not that into the game, but I can't get him to explain what he wants. He just shrugs and says "I don't know..."

So, I'm trying to throw various aspects of the setting at him. I want to set up some kind of plot involving the Denairastas to see if he finds that interesting. Maybe getting drawn into an epic plot will get him into the game.

My first idea is to have them aide an agent of the Gold Branch of the Holders of Trust, who is a grandchild of Uhl and is undercover negotiating with the Firescale Moot for some reason TBD. Maybe his airship crew was slain, and needs to lay low and uses the PCs as his eyes and ears while he recovers and stays out of sight. What is he up to? What are his plans for the PCs?

I want to reveal right away that something is off with the agent, but throw a red herring their way, deflecting the fact that he's dragon-kin, and instead he'll admit to being a spy of some kind, but try to keep the players away from the Denairasta reveal, if possible.

Once the jig is up, he will try to get them to join him or else try to kill him. Hopefully at this point, the events will get the attention of good dragon, who will contact the party to work against the Denairasta.

Anyway, that's a pretty loose framework of very rough ideas. Any suggestions for filling in the gaps would be appreciated.

Also, what does being "dragon-kin" mean, exactly? They aren't Drakes, because they're actual Namegivers. I Imagine they're namegivers (I might go with elves, since the book doesn't say what race they are), with some added powers- dragon powers, and myabe a mask. I would also want to decide at some point what kind a dragon the Denairasta are descended from- this will show through in how their dragon powers manifest, I would imagine.

Belenus
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Belenus » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:06 am

Hi,

The idea is nice, but I don't think it's the right way to get your player into the game.
What discipline(s) is this particular player? Perhaps this is already the reason?
I had a new player who decided for the beastmaster, but he was quite disappointed because it was too combative and not much on the "I want to interact with animals"-side, so he now plays an elementalist with supportive and useful spells.
Or the adventures don't fit his diszplin? If he's a warrior and likes to be one, perhaps more and longer battles?
As a troubadour more social interactions or even a campaign alla Game of Thrones with a lot of intrigues (fitting your Denairastas campaigne).
etc etc ^^
(You also can ask what movies / sesries he likes and build a campaigne in such a direction)

Tattered Rags
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Tattered Rags » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:16 am

To add to what Belenus wrote, does the player's character have a backstory? If he does, mine that for plot hooks. If not, then see if he'll provide one (offering LP).

Make a part of the adventure about him!

As for what the Denairastas are doing in my campaign, check out my latest post mortem, the spoiler tag with the spoiler tag.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

The Dread Polack
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by The Dread Polack » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:59 am

Well, that's the problem. Like I said, I have asked him repeatedly what he's interested in seeing and his response is always "I don't know, I just... I don't know", which is particularly annoying, because he clearly stated he wasn't finding the campaign to be interesting.

He's playing a thief, and I even asked him "do you want to steal things? Do you want a change to discover valuable things?" and was met with more shrugs. I get a lot of feedback from the other player (we only have 2 PCs right now), but I don't want to cater only to him. I told the uninterested one I wanted to include him, but I needed some feedback and you guessed it... shrug. So, now I have to guess and hope I guess right.

Anyway, I'll check out your campaign notes, thanks!

Belenus
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Belenus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:56 am

Perhaps he should read the 3 novels surrounding J'role the Thief? This might give him some understanding about his discipline and the world itself.

And I recommend each player to read the description of atleast his own discipline in the adepts way book. The one from an older edition is sufficient.

Tattered Rags
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Tattered Rags » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:46 am

Is he new to roleplaying games?

Has he liked anything from your previous sessions?

What are his favorite movies, books, and video games?
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

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Flowswithdrek
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Flowswithdrek » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:40 pm

The Dread Polack wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:11 am
Also, what does being "dragon-kin" mean, exactly? They aren't Drakes, because they're actual Namegivers. I Imagine they're namegivers (I might go with elves, since the book doesn't say what race they are), with some added powers- dragon powers, and myabe a mask. I would also want to decide at some point what kind a dragon the Denairasta are descended from- this will show through in how their dragon powers manifest, I would imagine.
The Denairastas are an clan of humans. Dragon Kin are a result of the breeding between a dragon in Namegiver form and another Namegiver. The Denairastas are Dragon Kin, but not all Dragon Kin are necessarily Denairastas. There are enough dragons that its likely that there are other Dragon Kin out there. The Denairastas are specifically related to the dragon, Outcast aka Denairastas (which is where they take their Name).


The only thing the Denairastas enjoy than turning the nations of Barsaive against one another, is plotting against their own kin in the pursuit for power. Your campaign could focus on Denairastas rivals trying to sabotage the efforts of their kin to destabilise Barsaive as they try to come out on top and gain Uhl's favour.

The Dread Polack
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by The Dread Polack » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:05 am

Belenus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:56 am
Perhaps he should read the 3 novels surrounding J'role the Thief? This might give him some understanding about his discipline and the world itself.

And I recommend each player to read the description of atleast his own discipline in the adepts way book. The one from an older edition is sufficient.
This group isn't huge on reading, but I'll suggest that. I think he's at least read his own discipline and skimmed other parts of the core rules.

Honestly, we're all guilty, as "veteran gamers" of believing we know all the tropes and can get by without reading all the rules. I'm just familiar with the rules and setting since I've been a fan for 20+ years.
Tattered Rags wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:46 am
Is he new to roleplaying games?

Has he liked anything from your previous sessions?

What are his favorite movies, books, and video games?
He's been playing for a long time. Of all the games I've GMed for him, he seems to have enjoyed Savage Rifts the most.

His tastes are eclectic, but are your standard geek fare. I know he's read some of the 40K books. I barely play video games myself, so I don't know what he plays and it wouldn't be very helpful for me to know.
Flowswithdrek wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:40 pm
The Denairastas are an clan of humans. Dragon Kin are a result of the breeding between a dragon in Namegiver form and another Namegiver. The Denairastas are Dragon Kin, but not all Dragon Kin are necessarily Denairastas. There are enough dragons that its likely that there are other Dragon Kin out there. The Denairastas are specifically related to the dragon, Outcast aka Denairastas (which is where they take their Name).


The only thing the Denairastas enjoy than turning the nations of Barsaive against one another, is plotting against their own kin in the pursuit for power. Your campaign could focus on Denairastas rivals trying to sabotage the efforts of their kin to destabilise Barsaive as they try to come out on top and gain Uhl's favour.
Where does it say they are humans? I'm looking for more info in general. Do you know where they are written about the most?

I know what dragon-kin *are*, as your description is basically taken from the 4E rulebook, but I was wondering *what does it mean*, as in- how a bloodline of dragons manifest in a dragon-kin physically, magically, and psychologically?
The Denairastas are specifically related to the dragon, Outcast aka Denairastas (which is where they take their Name).
A little confused by this sentence. You capitalized the word "Outcast". Is the dragon named "Outcast". Does "Denairastas" translate to "outcast"? Is the dragon named "Denairastas"? I thought that it was supposed to be a secret that they are dragon-kin. If so, it doesn't make much sense to name your family after one.

Anyway, thanks for the historical information. I like the idea that they are plotting to weaken the alliance of free-people in Barsaive, thus giving themselves and/or Thera a chance to grab up more power (or reclaim, in the case of Thera). I will start small with this plot thread and try to avoid planning too much in case the players aren't interested in that.

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Flowswithdrek
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Flowswithdrek » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:57 pm

The Dread Polack wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:05 am
Where does it say they are humans? I'm looking for more info in general. Do you know where they are written about the most?
It says it in Secret Societies of Barsaive (1st Edition Source Book).

The Dread Polack wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:05 am
I know what dragon-kin *are*, as your description is basically taken from the 4E rulebook, but I was wondering *what does it mean*, as in- how a bloodline of dragons manifest in a dragon-kin physically, magically, and psychologically?
So the Denairastas are naturally predisposed to casting spells, so a lot of Wizards, longer lived, a craving for power and natural born urge to meddle in the affairs of others, belief in their superiority, manifestation of physical dragon like traits etc.
The Dread Polack wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:05 am
A little confused by this sentence. You capitalized the word "Outcast". Is the dragon named "Outcast". Does "Denairastas" translate to "outcast"? Is the dragon named "Denairastas"? I thought that it was supposed to be a secret that they are dragon-kin. If so, it doesn't make much sense to name your family after one.
The dragon is Denairastas, however, because Denairastas created the dragon kin, it was shunned from dragon society and is known only as Outcast. This truth is probably something only the Dragons and few of the Denairastas know.

Hope that helps.

Boneguard
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Re: What are the Denairastas up to in your campaign?

Post by Boneguard » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:30 pm

The Dread Polack wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:11 am
Also, what does being "dragon-kin" mean, exactly? They aren't Drakes, because they're actual Namegivers. I Imagine they're namegivers (I might go with elves, since the book doesn't say what race they are), with some added powers- dragon powers, and myabe a mask. I would also want to decide at some point what kind a dragon the Denairasta are descended from- this will show through in how their dragon powers manifest, I would imagine.
The game mechanic for Dragon-kin were in the Dragon sourcebook (both the unpublished 1st edition whose PDF can still be found online and the published 2nd edition softcover).

Basically, they have a boost of +1 to a couple stats, the natural ability to see in the Astral like Windlings and some form of deformity IIRC. I don't have my books handy ATM, but that's what I recall from memory.

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