Friday 24 October 2014

I get way too emotionally involved with my favourite characters...

It's not often I need to skip to the end of a book for reassurance that it'll be ok, but when I do it usually means the characters and plot are well-written and intense enough to draw me in completely, with sufficient threat to make me concerned - basically, that I'm very emotionally engaged.
Svetlana - as drawn by my lovely friend Abi

We've ended the main Pathfinder campaign on a huge cliffhanger, with the party discovering 5 years has passed on Golarion whilst they were off trying to deal with a threat in The Abyss.

5 years is a particularly long time in the relationship of Svetlana and Noleski, bearing in mind they had a rather hurried wedding because he needed to strengthen his position as king. I can see all sorts of things that could have happened in the 5 years she was away, and I'm pretty sure the three most obvious scenarios I'm going to list here will already have crossed my GM's mind:

1) She's been away long enough to be declared dead, so he's remarried someone politically convenient - who has had time to produce heirs.

2) He's remarried for love.

3) He's been replaced with a doppleganger or shapeshifter and is actually trapped somewhere else whilst the country is brought to ruin by his enemies.

Of these, 2) is the worst case scenario from Svetlana's point of view, and I really hope it isn't the route the GM goes down because I massively 'ship Svetleski (Nolana?) (if you'll excuse the silly slang phrasing).

1) could be interesting: that Svetlana started to feel increasingly sick during the last session has me wondering whether she might have managed to fall pregnant during her shore-leave before entering the Abyss, which could lead to some interesting scenarios (her child would be younger but would have been conceived first, which could lead to all sorts of confusions in law). Also, Svetlana may not have been worried about marrying Noleski in the first instance, but as soon as their relationship went that way it became hugely important to her and her position as his wife is something she would be prepared to fight for - even if that fight is actually a long political game that she would otherwise find tedious and unimportant.

If the other wife is nice and actually seems to care for him and Brevoy, she may have pause but if she has any evidence Noleski still loves her the way she loves him, nothing will stop her finding a way to be with him.

3) could also be a lot of fun although I think may be more traditional fare for a game of this sort. I'm pretty sure Svetlana could work it out - they kept their relationship secret for awhile so had ways of carrying out private conversations under mundane seeming normal conversations that I think someone pretending to be him wouldn't be able to mimic. Also that they'd have removed staff Svetlana knew and trusted (would they have dismissed or duplicated Malliard?) So then it'd be a game of tracking down and reinstating.

I'm not sure where they are with their rings giving a telepathic link at the moment...

To be honest, probably what will come up will be something I've not considered but I'm really concerned that the 5 years will mean the end of Svetlana and Noleski and I really don't want that - I'm pretty emotionally invested in Svetlana and her marriage to Noleski is a large part of what got her through being killed and all sorts of other things. So I feel like I need to peek at the end and just confirm that the intention (barring Svetlana doing something stupid like getting herself killed again) is for her and Noleski to be together. I'm just not entirely sure how to ask for that reassurance without sounding like a complete wet blanket!

Anyone else ever or often become that involved with their characters? I've wept for characters (in game and in character most usually) in the past and it'd be nice to know I'm not alone!


  1. Lol, I just spent half an hour writing a cool reply to only have it disappear, so in short I'll say. Emotional investment in one's characters is fundamental and the essence or role-playing. You are playing the best way. The only way. Keep investing.

    1. =D I really love this character! The characters I've been this involved with in the past stay with me an probably always will, and I think that's great. I just worry about her cos (despite being fictional) on an emotional level she's one of my closest, dearest friends and I want to be able to make sure things work out for her (especially as we can't always achieve that for our physical friends).

  2. That sounds like an awesome game - I am a little jealous I am:
    a: Not running it; or
    b: Not playing in it!

    1. It's been a lot of fun. We're currently playing investigators from the Pathfinder's Guild, seeking information on our main characters. This way, the GM is unveiling what happens whilst our characters are lost in the Abyss, and we have a degree of control, although (our secondary characters having their own agendas) most of what we've done so far hasn't been helpful...

  3. Sadly if he was King and it was a political marriage (from what it sounds like this may be the case), there will be massive pressure for the King to remarry and bring forth an heir to preserve the dynasty. It might actually be more fun if this wasn't a love match, but simply something the King was actually forced into. Especially if duty was his kick.

    On the other hand don't underestimate the idea that things might be fine after all and he refused to succumb to these pressures. Especially if she is suspicious that (3) might be the case. People change. And not just him. You've been to the Abyss (and not just gazed into it). That changes people.

    But whatever happens people are going to be extremely upset by your reappearance. After all, you've drastically changed the existing political calculus. Court politics is soooo fun.

    And fun bits are if marriage is religious can it be annulled? Is polygamy legal? Other cultures have different gradation of marriage. [The important determinant generally being who gets to claim the kids.] The legal status of dead people - especially in a world where people can be brought back to life - can be vitally important, especially if you are part of the nobility. Have titles transferred? If has remarried you will become the senior wife? Or does that mean her marriage is automatically invalid, even if they do love each other, and both will hate you. <grin>

    Best of luck! And welcome back.

    1. As I've commented to Mark above, we're currently playing through the 5 years with secondary characters - just reached the stage where our main characters have been declared missing, presumed dead.

      Svetlana and Noleski's wedding was politcal, but the relationship is very real. I'm still not sure how the GM is going to play this one out - the wedding was very spectacular, with verious deities showing up (as a result of a few unexpected performance rolls from Alexei, and a note in the rulebook that such high success may attract the attention of a god or gods). When our secondary characters investigated, no one mentioned the gods. I think that could make an interesting argument should there be a new wife: Svetlana would use the presence of the deities at her wedding (Shelyn, goddess of love, officiated) to support the strength of her marriage, but if it isn't a known event that may just make her look crazy. And it's fair to say the Abyss has affected her - even before the Abyss, she was fighting demoons and it was getting to her. She's much less carefree than she started the adventure.

      I don't think Noleski would ever end up hating Svetlana - they've been through enough together. But he could fall in love again... he is only human, after all!