Coming this Friday from Legendary Games are a pair of products that will be part of a new product line we are debuting: ULTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS! True, PC and NPC relationships have always been handled by roleplay, but there is also ample room for structure and rules to guide how to approach building a relationship with a character in the campaign. The underlying concept draws from the relationship rules introduced in the Jade Regent Adventure Path from Paizo Publishing, but refined by extensive play experience and expert rules analysis and development by one of the sharpest young minds in the game today, Mark Seifter! Check out what he has to say about this new venture!
A good RPG campaign, like any good story, needs conflict and antagonists to lend it immediacy and drama. But a campaign with pure conflicts, without allies, family, romances, and other connections to friendly characters, quickly grows stale. Much like Shakespeare’s comedic drunken porter scene in Macbeth released tension intentionally to strengthen the impact of the revelation of Duncan’s murder just after, so too can points of lower intensity spent with friendly NPCs increase the impact of the game’s dramatic high points. And sometimes, the relationships themselves can provide their own high points, their own drama, and powerful transformations that make a character more than just a set of statistics or an unrealistically uncaring avatar.
Ultimate Relationships contains a system for relationships that provides a meaningful progression and story for the significant NPCs your PCs might encounter in the course of a campaign, including secrets to uncover as the relationship progresses, and hurdles for the PC and the NPC to overcome together. Unlike other relationship systems that bottleneck on certain skills, often Diplomacy, Ultimate Relationships allows everyone to progress and reveal the NPC’s story at their own rate; it just might take some characters longer than others.
This product contains a set of core relationship rules for making these kinds of interactions between PCs and NPCs a rich and vibrant part of your campaign. They are suitable for use in any campaign, but for groups playing in the official published Adventure Paths we will also be releasing a series of modules featuring the core NPCs from those Adventure Paths, as well as new NPCs introduced in the respective Adventure Path Plug-Ins from Legendary Games. The first such product, Imperial Relationships, describes how to use these rules in the Far Eastern Adventure Path, including four relationship links, one each for the Caravan Master, Destined Empress, Elven Protector, and Mystic Seer, with further modules to come to further expand the available NPC relationships in that Adventure Path as well as others.
This product line begins in two parts but will be expanding further as we go along, but we are very excited about this new line and hope you enjoy all the possibilities it offers for your game. We’ll be previewing excerpts from Imperial Relationships tomorrow, so raise your glass and stay tuned!