SolomonKANEposterSo, I just finally started to watch the movie Solomon Kane (only made it through the intro before it struck me that I needed to write this) and in the intro, there is a very important monologue from a “bad guy”. It is important because it sets the tone for what Solomon Kane is up against. Now, of course, I haven’t watched the whole movie, as I said. But it obviously lays important ground work for what we are about to see.

So, this naturally put me into the RPG mind when I saw this. As story tellers, these types of moments are very important to help set the plot and put the characters frames of mind in the right space. But, how many players ever let this happen? It really drives me crazy. There’s too many “screw this guy, I’m gonna take his head off”. That kind of thing really bothers me. First, it tells me that the players aren’t engaged enough to WANT to help tell a good story. But it also tells me that they want their characters to be a roaming band of badasses.

I think the monologue is really important. It can make the “final scene” with the bad guy all the more memorable as he’s telling you “Remember when <X> happened? Oh yes, that was me too”. Awesome! Dig into the heads of the characters and the players even more! That’s how good storytelling is done! A little thing called foreshadowing. I know this is a new concept to some, but learn it. And all that foreshadowing is for shit when the bad guy says “Remember when…” and the dice are already hitting the table.

Now, I know this comes down to “type of group, type of play, blah blah blah blah blah”. But it’s not the type of group I like to play in. As a GM, there have been so many times where I’m back there going “Ok, finally the reveal” just to have someone say “No, I’m just gonna stab him in the back” or whatever. GAAAAHHHHHH. That drives me nuts. Now, as a GM, we have to go back through so much work put into a game and figure out who now was behind everything. Or, “Hey look, he had a book on him that says all of his plans….. Yay”. Instant limp.

Players, if your GM wants to have a NPC monologue, LET HIM. If you think it’s a situation that the GM will use that time to speak so the NPC can cast “kill party” on your group, get a new GM! Cause if a GM does that, he’s a dick!

Just a quick random thought that popped into my head folks. What do you think and what do you prefer?

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7 thoughts on “The Important Monologue

  1. Ok, so my take away here is you are trying to deliver a monologue from a character that is too exposed, which also makes me wonder if you are over exposing all of your NPCs. So back up and think about the scene you are describing from the movie and Solomon isn’t “letting” the bad guy ramble through the monologue, he’s already been affected by the cold, likely shaken. When he does act his weapons are destroyed upon coming into contact with the bad guys defenses (easily handled by the invulnerability monstrous ability from the bestiary in core). Broaden that to any true monologue and 9 times out of 10 the bad guy has the good guy at a disadvantage such as being tied down, in a death trap, or sitting at a public event having a civil discussion which the good guy can’t interrupt without consequences, a press conference etc. Think about the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where members of the cult sit and talk about it openly with him over dinner in an environment where he can’t challenge them or James Bond when the villian extols his master plan while Bond is strapped to a table with a laser slowly cutting toward his crotch.

    The trick when you want a big epic monologue is to set the scene so it can happen. You are the GM after all and it’s your job to keep the NPCs believable. If the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) puts himself in harms way he’s being stupid and better have a hindrance that causes him to do so, otherwise you are just being a bad GM. If the BBEG instead is behind bulletproof glass, talking to them over a radio or PA, or in a scene like I described above the players are certainly still able to take actions but it is far more likely that you get to deliver the monologue or the players face some consequence for their unprovoked actions. At the very least have them start the monologue by taking a full defense action to increase their parry.

    Yes, style can help if your players are willing to sit and listen to a monologue but just thinking about the BBEG as a character who is not going to sacrifice themselves for the glory of the party. Instead they are a BBEG who was sinister and smart enough to get where they are now!

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    1. Oh, I agree David. But my point is the players should cool their jets for a moment without wanting to get right into murder hobo mode. It’s a part of the story and they should embrace it as much as the GM. Should the GM have EVERY possible outcome on how to make this happen pre-planned? Hell no, that’s impossible!

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      1. As I said on G+, I think it is the GMs job to think like the villain and not have the villain put themselves out there to be murderhobo’d. Yes, you can ask your players to “play differently” but you can also take responsibility for your half of the problem. If you keep having your big reveal ruined because your BBEG is susceptible to Murderhoboitis then you need to take responsibility for not making your BBEG so Murderhoboable. It’s work, but no more work that you are asking your players to take to change their playstyle.

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      2. And like I said over there- that’s a cop out. In the Solomon Kane movie, there’s a part where the BBEG has Solomon on his knees and a sword to the back of his neck with the monologue getting fired up. I ask you- would the “typical” player go with this to have good story being told or would they just simply say “fuck that. Is it my turn yet?” You can’t deny what I’m saying Dave, no matter how hard to try to work blame towards the GM. Yes, there are rules that say “on your turn you can do ” and I get that. The point I’m trying to make is to the players- let those moments happen. Have some trust in your GM that they are trying to create a memorable scene.

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  2. I have to agree with David. Have the BBEG monologue in a position of power. I’ve tried it a few times when the evil guy was just stand there and everytime the PCs want to throw down then and there. So no more. If my BBEG starts talking, he’ll be in a position of power and advantage.

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