Losing vs Facing Adversity

There are some players who always like their characters to "win." They want to overcome all obstacles in their way without a hint of delay, and they want to be known as an unstoppable juggernaut. STAFF on THE FIFTH WORLD tends toward another route. We will often torment our own characters just to see how they react to adversity, and that outlook spreads to our staffing roles as well.

Competitive scenes (combat, contests, etc) will be difficult on THE FIFTH WORLD. If the majority of the PCs don't come out of a combat scene with at least a wound or two, where's the danger? Why even play a scene on-screen if there's no chance of failure? There will always be a chance of failure, and sometimes… there might even be a surety of it. Sometimes your characters may have to retreat, may have to surrender, may have to find another way. Why? It all comes down to adversity.

How a character reacts to adversity tells you far more about the character than how they react to constant success. Do they get discouraged and have to be helped back into confidence by others? Do they shake it off and vow to do better the next time? Do they appear to shake it off, are actually tormented by the consequences of their failure? Much more interesting than polishing up another trophy and sticking it on the shelf, isn't it?

There might even be a time when it appears that Haven as a whole is losing… but there are victories even in the midst of defeat. STAFF asks you to trust us that we're not here to defeat the PCs, we're here to help them tell an interesting story. And that story may well include setbacks, defeats, and the appearance or actuality of loss.

Now, does this mean that THE FIFTH WORLD will be a never-ending drudgery of failure? Oh heck no. Adversity is only fun if it's not the only thing you face. Every character needs their moments of triumph, whether it's in the lab, in the King's Court, in a back alley, or on the battlefield, and STAFF is here to help you find those victories — just as we're here to challenge you when you attempt to accomplish them.

Because it's the mixture of victory and defeat, of triumph and adversity, that makes for a well-rounded story, and that helps shape and drive well-rounded characters.

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