Saturday, August 28, 2010


So I’m thinking - What motivates people? Why was I thinking that? Well, to explain why people take certain actions. I may or may not be setting up Fletnern for another war or series of wars and I wanted to pretty firmly establish goals and desires, so I could better determine actions once the war started to blow out of control.
Greed! Greed motivates. Greed is good! OK, maybe not, but it is abundant. But believe it or not, there are other things that motivate people.
Ego. Tons of people will make stupid choices, just to preserve their ego or reputations. Bruise someone’s ego, and he’s more likely to be an enemy forever than if you’d simply stolen from him. Then again, stealing from him probably bruised his ego as well.
The need to be accepted. In intense situations, this is love, but people will still act simply to belong to a group. Think all the protesters at a rally believe the nonsense their chanting? Not all! Some are there just to be part of the group.
Well, if love, then hatred. Hatred isn’t a logical thing. It’s usually based on fear of some sort. It brushes up against ego too. Fear of being second best can often be enough to cause hatred, so it also goes along with jealousy, but so does greed. Darn! It’s all interconnected!
Religion. Let’s open this one wider and say “culture”. To some people, they will take certain actions simply because they are conditioned to, or because their moral system says they are the right thing to do. For better or worse, these people are the least likely to change their minds, because they are convinced they are “right”. Ain’t no stoppin’ that!
Looking back at these, any of the seven deadly sins would make a good motivational force. We already have avarice, pride, wrath. Hey even sloth can be a motivation - this guy just does not want to have to expend any energy. (“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”)
Mental defect. Let’s not leave out the idea that some people are simply not capable of making choices that are good for them. Whether this is some idiot who get’s in a bar fight because he’s drunk or a mass murderer who starts a war just to see the carnage, some times the motivation is simply that the guy ain’t playing with a full deck.
So who cares? So what? Here’s why it matters - A war is coming. The war is likely to be fought because the wealthy guys want their wealth secured against the up and comers. Meanwhile, there will be armies in the fields. Why are they there? To make the wealthy wealthier? No way. They are there because they are convinced that their cause is just and the other guy’s cause is unjust, and if they don’t fight today, their rights and their possessions will be stripped from them tomorrow. They’re probably right by the way. What will others do? Will the allies come? If so, will they have a different agenda, and will it affect the course of the war? This is the kind of war where allies will likely be working both sides. It is only by understanding the motivations of each group beforehand that I as the GM will stand a chance of producing a campaign that is both interesting and makes sense!

1 comment:

  1. A couple of others came to mind, but for the most part they are already included above:
    Patriotism - This is more like “love” or wanting to belong than like culture, but could be either (or both).
    Tradition - Tons of decisions are made on the basis of “This is the way it has always been done!” That’s fine for when you celebrate Thanksgiving, but when it comes to a real decision, tradition falls under the sloth category.
    Fear - I think “fear” is just the general category for most of what we’ve already said.
    Feel free to offer up more or to disagree with me.