Sunday, October 6, 2019

The good points of Coils of Hate part 2: The NPCs

NOTE: I wrote this post a long time ago and I've only just released it. Since then, Mark Smith generously gave me his permission to release a fan version I made which reboots the original book and (I hope) addresses the problems it had. You can get it from Drive Thru RPG for free!!!!!

Here is part 2 on the good points of Coils of Hate - its NPCs. This book does not try to keep your interest with strange monsters and combats. In fact, there are few monsters in the book (Hate, a giant spider and some constructs). Most of your interactions are with other humans, but Mark Smith and Dave Morris go even further with this idea. In most gamebooks, you seem to have no place in the society you interact with - everyone seems to have no connection to you. However, in The Coils of Hate, since you have lived in Godorno all your life, the authors have come up with a list of people, their relationship to you and their personalities. This adds a lot more dimension to the gamebook and atmosphere to the city. Here is a list of some NPCs and how they interact with you.

The Overlord: I want to see more of him. We all know he has an oppressive rule, mismanages the city and encourages oppression of the Judain to cover for his mistakes, but we never actually hear him speak or see him do anything besides sleep. I want to know his motivations more. I would love to hear him make a speech on his philosophy.

Lucie: Lucie is a very interesting character. She actually helps you once (when breaking you into the prison of Grond), but most of the time she is a hindrance who likes watching you fight over her (against Tyutchev) or steals your amulet or even gets you killed for the price on your head.

Tarkamandir: It's not often people who sell you things get much characterisation, but this one does. You have a few conversations with him which imply that you know each other well.

Tyutchev: Although your character doesn't know him, anyone who's read any other book set on Orb does. He's here. He's causing trouble. And you still can't kill him.

Melmelo: The leader of the Thieves' Guild. A pragmatist who wants hate killed because it's bad for business. The text tells you that his approach grates against your idealistic outlook, and you have the option of killing him, but it's better to put your idealism aside in this case and join forces with him against the common enemy.

Marmeluke: A friend of yours who seems perpetually jolly despite having to eat cats. He does seem to have a lot of lady friends, however, so maybe that's why. He's very helpful and helps you get into Grond, which has a necessary item to kill Hate and survive.

Ruth: Mainly there for the situation of how you treat a pregnant woman when saving her could put your life at risk.

Caiaphas: Puts you in your place very early on. He is one of the few reasonable people in a city full of fanatics and haters.

Tormil: The captain of the guard who has a very minor role, but he demonstrates the greed that some people can exhibit in a crisis as well as the fact that even people who commit evil acts have loved ones (in this case, his daughter).

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