Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Goodbye to all that

As a child growing up in the North of England in the 80s, it was hard not to have an opinion about Margaret Thatcher aka The Iron Lady.

Her funeral today marks the end of an era and demonstrates her ability to divide the nation as much in death as she did in life. 

Many words have been printed and broadcast about the issues surrounding protests (both physically and via iTunes) at her funeral in the last few days.  This had me thinking about using it as a situational plot in RPGs.

The Funeral of a Divisive Figure

The PCs are in a large town or city (doesn't have to be the Capital) in the day(s) preceding the funeral of a divisive figure.  The city officials (or family) have decided to mark the funeral with great pomp and circumstance and at significant cost during harsh times which has resulted in unrest amongst certain population groups.
  • Protestors Plans - The inn in which the PCs are staying is also being used by a group of protestors planning their direct action.  The PCs overhear significant amounts of information which would be of use to local law enforcers tasked with keeping the peace.  PCs might also wish to give the protestors the benefit of their experience during the planning process, act as messengers to feed information to the public, or disinformation to law enforcers.

  • Taking Sides - Depending on the role the divisive leader has played in the PCs lives, they may choose to abandon their party loyalties temporarily and join the ranks of the protestors and/or the law enforcers.  Warning, this may result in PCs being pitted against each other.

  • Caught in the Crossfire - The inn in which the PCs are staying becomes the target of rioters attention and the inn keeper asks the patrons to defend his establishment.  For added peril, make one of the inn's guests relevant in some way to the deceased.

  • Patron Escort - A chance encounter leads to the PCs being hired by a patron who needs escorting through one of the cities protesting hotspots.  The patron's identity may be unknown to the PCs but of relevence to the divisive leader and the protestors (ie: the deceased's heir or close relative, their right hand man, their biggest critic or opponent, their lawyer, the priest officiating at the funeral).  The patron's final destination could also be of relevance to the days events, feel free to have the PCs charge headlong into a state funeral pursued by a mob of angry protestors.

  • Exit Stage Left - The PCs could stumble upon the truth that the divisive figure is in the process of attempting to stage their own public funeral to avoid past consequences.  The divisive figure turns patron, offering the PCs hansom reward if they can facilitate their safe egress from the city.  Equally useable if you prefer the figure to be loved by the people who form a lynch mob on learning about their idols deception.  Do the PCs handover the individual to the mob or aid their escape?

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