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NeoTanuki's picture
Help with Player Stories vs. Campaign Goals?

Hi folks. I've been running some games of 7th Sea 2e over the past couple of months, and overall things are going well.

However, there's an area as a GM I'd like to ask for some help on: Stories for Player Characters

Now, I'm good with the basic idea that the player should pick a personal story, determine a general ending and the number of steps to complete it, and when it's finished, the player can claim a reward equal to the number of steps in the story.

But...here's where I'm a bit confused. Let's say the player has an important goal that's part of their character background, and wants to make that goal a campaign-length quest they want to achieve. Should that goal be represented by a single 4 or 5 step story, or broken up into "mini-stories" that overall show how the player eventually reaches their ultimate goal?

For example: Let's say one of my players creates Rinaldo the ex-Musketeer. Rinaldo is no longer a Musketeer because he was framed for a crime he didn't commit by his corrupt superior officer, who is part of an evil conspiracy. Rinaldo is now a fugitive who's long-term goal is to reveal the conspiracy and clear his name so he can return to the Musketeers. How would this translate into creating a Player Story (or Stories) for Rinaldo?

Option A: Would Rinaldo have only a single 5-part story, "Expose the conspiracy and clear my name" that takes many months of campaigning to achieve, with each step being a scenario element that brings him closer to his goal? This seems like the simplest option, but at the same time to me seems to limit Rinaldo's opportunities for XP/advancement, forcing him to rely on GM stories for character stat increases/new advantages/etc.

Option B: Or, is it better for me to break up Rinaldo's campaign goal into several smaller Stories, with each Story's conclusion a step toward his overall aims? For example, the first story is a 2-step "Find the mysterious swordsman with matching scars on his cheeks." The next could be a 3-step, "Travel to Patlow and use the Scarred Swordsman's knowledge to infiltrate the Conspiracy" and then a final 4-step story, "While inside the conspircay, discover their true plans and expose them, clearing Rinaldo's name."

Can anyone provide me with some guidance or examples how they are handling this in their own campaigns, please? Thanks.


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Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

I think per RAW it'd be a single Story.

That being said, I'd suggest that the player break up that one Story into smaller chunks so that they're not slogging through a single Story that may not resolve until the campaign is almost over.  Think of Inigo Montoya's Vendetta against the Six-Fingered Man in The Princess Bride; yes the ultimate goal was to avenge his father's murder, but a Hero with a smiliar objective could break that down into a series of smaller stories, focused upon smaller steps towards the eventual endgame of killing the Villain, with those Player Stories being the steps taken to be ready for the confrontation, learning more about the Villain, and then finally tracking the Villain down as the campaign begins to draw to a close.

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Heng benjamin
Heng benjamin's picture
It depends on the power level you want your player to have. Keep in mind that the more raises the players will have (and skills 4 and 5 are game changers ) the harder it will be for you to keep things interesting and fun. The other thing necessary is being fair. If you go with A), make sure every players have long winded stories. I'm running both a A and B campaign and I think everything is smoother in the A one (they've gotten only a 2 point story in 14 shorts sessions and they're loving it).
Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

I think your interpretation of the rules misses their spirit by far. The idea of the rules is to give stories for character advancement. For that purpose, the story your player suggests, is not player story, as player story should always have goal of character advancement. It is theme of his stories, not his story. For my House Rule, that would be suitable story, as I changed character stories to Hero Point sources, which give player options they can spent Game Master story advancmeents to advance their character.

Thus, the solution would be splitting it into multiple stories, which advance his player goal.

Yours, Kautsu


Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I believe your player's overall goal is fine for multiple Player Stories. He can certainly tailor his 'advancements' to each story. Each story can be different number of steps reflecting the reward he or she gains along the way.

For instance: Stories could have broad endings and rewards, but the player needs to determine the types of rewards he wants to get along the way. 

Story 1: Discover there's a conspiracy (Maybe this is a 3-step story for an advantage he'll get)

Story 2: Track down evidence of the conspiracies work in the past (Maybe this is a 5-step story for Wits 4)

Story 3: Make contact with another victim of the conspiracy (Maybe this is a 4-step story for Companion)

Story 4: Plot the downfall of the enemies (Maybe this is a 3-step story for another advantage or skill)

Story 5: Get reinstated into the musketeers (Maybe this is a 3-step story for changing his background to musketeer)


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