Prominent Figures of Luisant
Prominent figures are major NPCs that serve as anchors and catalysts for general and personal plots.
This concept has multiple overlapping purposes:
- Give Staff a better view into individual player characters’ actions, relationships, goals and struggles. By being present during much of the game event and by building direct relationships with PCs, we can better understand the characters and thus deliver better-suited plots.
- Act as standard examples for certain character concepts. While each will certainly have their individual quirks and foibles, they generally act as a good representative of a character type, such as a Benalian Priest, a Knight, and so on. This helps players get an idea of what to expect when pursuing those archetypes.
- Provide access to otherwise restricted character types, such as priesthood, knighthood, etc. They are intended to support the roleplay of entering and advancing within those restricted character paths.
- Reinforce the theme of an insular community where most people know most other people. By being clearly identified and frequently present, the goal is to have these figures feel like a part of the community. Further, by taking on the role of allies and enemies to PCs, they help create the feeling of a long-standing network of relationships.
- Provide plot opportunities, challenges and rewards. Many kinds of plot threads will either start with or involve the prominent figures.
What They Are
The central prominent figures are NPCs present in the Luisant community. They are played by Staff members. Most (but not all) of them will be present in-game for long periods at a time. See the list of currently-known prominent figures below.
These characters will frequently be the source of plot developments, presenting quests, challenges, news, problems, and opportunities to the players. They will organize some aspects of the town, and may nominally be leaders. Note that in practice, the expectation is for PCs to drive and lead action.
PCs are encouraged to create connections – both friendly and unfriendly – with these prominent figures. During character creation, consider what your relationship might be like. If appropriate, take perks and flaws to represent particularly strong relationships. It’s important to discuss these relationships with the character guides helping you during character creation – they need to be consistent with the NPC’s personality, and we need to make sure the NPC is appropriately briefed when a PC enters the game with an existing relationship.
Future events may bring changes to the roster of prominent figures, as the story of Luisant develops.
What They Are Not
Prominent figures are not the heroes of the story. That place is reserved for PCs.
Prominent figures are not designed to solve problems. They may be useful, but more as a tool in the PCs’ problem-solving toolkit.
Prominent figures are not infallible. Their statements should not be taken as “word of god” or “word of staff”. They will hold their own in-character perspectives, which will frequently conflict with the perspectives of other prominent figures.
Prominent figures are not invulnerable. Some of them are stronger/tougher than others, but it is certainly possible for them to be defeated and even killed. Of course, there will inevitably be significant consequences for such an incident.
Certain perks and flaws refer to prominent figures – generally perks and flaws that deal with backgrounds and relationships. For those familiar with Gothic: the Lion Age, these perks and flaws replace concepts like “Allies” and “Enemies”. Streetwise investigation returns special results for prominent figures. They otherwise follow normal rules for characters and NPCs.
Prominent figures universally have some ability to aid PCs. This might be magical power, social power, information, wealth, unique opportunities, or some other assistance. The primary factor in how they distribute this aid is favor – an abstract representation of how much they respect and admire a given PC, and/or how much of an obligation or debt they have to that PC.
PCs generally start the game with neutral favor from each prominent figure by default. This is modified by background elements, perks and flaws, and character traits.
Some actions will increase or reduce favor with a given prominent figure. These can be directly targeted at the figure – e.g. fulfilling their request (increase favor) or stealing from them (decrease favor). They may also be simply something they observe – e.g. acts of piety earning favor with the Priest even if they don’t directly involve the Priest.
With sufficient favor, the prominent figure will offer greater assistance to the character, and may agree to requests or offer boons that are not available to less-favored characters. Many prominent figures will offer special quests and opportunities only to favored characters. Taking such assistance does not affect current favor under normal circumstances. Excessive reliance or demands on the prominent figure may result in favor reductions, but that case will generally be accompanied by an in-character warning.
Favor is tracked internally by Staff. It is not generally referenced in-game – a prominent figure will not say “you have insufficient favor for this” or “this will cost you X favor”. General favor levels can be discovered through a few in-game means, including high-level Streetwise, and will be referred to by the following terms (in increasing order):
There is active animosity between your character and the Prominent Figure.
There is no connection beyond vague familiarity between you and the Prominent Figure.
After a brief positive interaction or two, the Prominent Figure is familiar with your character and views them in a kindly light. Maybe they even remember your name!
The passage of time and continued friendly moments have deepened the relationship. A Prominent Figure may view your character as consistently reliable, funny, or knowledgeable- the kind of person who could be relied upon to complete trivial tasks they don’t have time to do themselves. There might be potential there, but time will tell and hastiness never pays.
Trust has been established and the Prominent Figure likely shares a sense of mutual respect or affection with your character. This is the level most commonly reached by competent or prominent members of the Prominent Figure’s faction. They are likely willing to give you the occasional bit of advice and maybe even do you a favor if it’s not too far out of their way.
There’s a strong and affectionate bond present between you two. The Prominent Figure may have opened up to you and told you things about themselves they’ve never told anyone else- and even asked you for help in solving significant issues that plague them. In return, they’re more than willing to stick their neck out for you in a difficult situation.
You are actively being mentored and groomed to take on some level of responsibility by the Prominent Figure.
Players will not usually need to be concerned about exact favor tracking for their own actions. The roleplay interactions should give you a general idea of how you are doing. Rather than being an exercise in point-tracking, this system is intended to encourage involvement with the plot and setting elements, and reinforce the idea of consequences for character choices.
Additional note: Certain other major recurring NPCs will also use the Favor system, but are not public enough to be categorized as prominent figures.
Opposition and Disfavor
The world reacts to your character’s actions, which may include negative consequences. It is possible for sufficiently extreme actions to result in retribution from Prominent Figures and other major NPCs – for example, attempted murder or discovery as a Kuarlite might result in the Knight seeking to kill the character, regardless of Favor level. However, in the more typical case, Prominent Figures will not outright hate characters and will not persistently, actively undermine them without some form of player opt-in. This commonly comes in the form of the Enemy flaw, but may also be requested by players if they feel it will enhance their story. Such active hostility is the “Opposition” favor level.
A less extreme form of conflict with prominent figures comes in the form of disfavor. This means a character has done something to reduce the figure’s opinion to the point that they will stop offering aid; the character must reconcile in some way to normalize the relationship. Disfavor is a temporary state, e.g. a character can be simultaneously a “Confidant” and in disfavor.
Ludovic, The Mage (He/Him)
Ludovic is an Earth mage of the second Circle. Originally a Luisant native who left in early childhood, he returned to Luisant at the request of the Noble house several years ago, and assisted in efforts against the plague. He has also significantly assisted in rebuilding the town.
The deeply faithful of both Benalus and Vecatra view him warily, but many in the town have come to use his services on occasion. He has significant academic knowledge, both mundane and magical. He uses Earth magic to assist the town, but it is well-known that he dislikes using excessive magic on any given individual, and turns away those who he thinks have become overly dependent. He often requests unusual tasks, such as retrieving strange things from the forest. He has expressed some interest in accepting apprentices.
Ludovic’s personality is pragmatic. He is polite to most, but becomes gruff when annoyed or when being distracted from his work. Ludovic does not seem to treat people differently based on their background, creed or social status.
Nominally part of the Rocheaux lineage, Ludovic is controversial within the family. Some wish to make him Outcast for his long absence and strange practices; others say that he had no choice in leaving as a child, and that he is now a helpful member of the community. For his part, he seems to care little for such matters.
Ginny and Poppy, The Tavern Keepers (She/Her)
Sorginorratz “Ginny” and Papillon “Poppy” are Chevreuil’s daughters and the Dragonfly Tavern’s keepers.
Ginny loves to house travelers from faraway places and is easily wooed by generosity and by those who go above and beyond to keep the tavern lively, clean, and who keep its inhabitants thoroughly fed and watered.
Poppy works with Ginny in the tavern, keeping the ale and wine flowing and enticing patrons into games. She loves to share gossip, the juicer the better, and enjoys when the tavern gets rowdy.
Ginny and Poppy’s strengths lie in being the eyes and ears of the village; while they have little to no academic learning, their knowledge of local folklore and rumors rival that of even the most gossipy elders. They are known to be the ones to go to if you’re looking to make connections – particularly of the woodland-at-night variety.
Ginny has a strong connection to the apple tree, having played under its blossoms as a child. Though she is grown now many of her views and mannerisms remain childlike – such as the tendency to leap before she looks and to treat serious matters with more levity than perhaps one ought. Unlike her sister, Poppy has long abandoned the orchards of their childhood, instead enjoying her role in the community. They are rarely seen one without the other, and sharing with one is as good as sharing with them both.
Pierre Clement, the Priest (They/Them)
Father Clement is one of the few residents of Luisant who was not originally from the region. They are a devoted pacifist and faithful Lurihim priest, but are unwilling to discuss their life before joining the priesthood.
Clement has a long standing friendship with Jean-Luc, and was invited to live in Luisant by the Knight after coming to ease the suffering caused by the plague.
They seem to be actively oblivious to the residents of the town with suspicious goings on in the forest, preferring to avoid conflict at all costs. They are kind, and will treat the wounds of anyone without question, but favors those who share their peaceful way.
Jean-Luc Delacroix, the Knight (He/Him)
Jean-Luc is a Luisant native that left in his teens to join the knighthood, managing to become a Knight Protector before returning home to serve as the Man-At-Arms for House Beauchene and Captain of the Guard responsible for organizing and mobilizing Luisant’s defenses against threats.
Mindful of his duty to House Beauchene, Jean-Luc is diligent to the core and sometimes comes off as gruff and stand-offish. But there’s not a single citizen of Luisant that he would not put himself in harm’s way to protect.
He speaks rarely of his time away from Luisant and prefers to focus his attention on nurturing and training the next generation of guardians.
The Mervaille are proud of Sir Jean-Luc, claiming him as a hero of their ideals and as an example for youth to aspire to – often to his embarrassment.
Chevreuil, The Florist (He/Him)
Chevreuil Dubois, known to the people of Luisant as an accomplished florist and head of the Dubois family, has been a fixture of the region for as long as anyone can remember. Grandmothers swear he was a young man when they were children and the children swear he is as old as the forest itself.
Like many of the Dubois family, Chevreuil is well-known in town for his fierce defense of the woods from which the logs that fuel the town’s economy are pulled, but larger still is his reputation for adopting wayward children. The most notable of which are Ginny and Poppy, the proprietors of the Dragonfly Tavern. To those who’s connection to the forest runs deeper than most, Chevreuil is known as a Mother figure. Kind and patient, he has guided many through their Spring and well into their Winter.
Chevreuil is kind to those who are kind to the forest. A Cutter at heart, he is deeply inquisitive of the natural world and surefooted enough to navigate it well. While gentle and patient with most, he has also been known to display the Dubois ferocity, and is not hesitant to correct those who would push to take more than the forest offers.