Campaign in 12 words

I’ve yet to hear a line uttered by any character that can beat this one:

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

It’s perfection in 12 words. It tells you everything about the character you would ever need to know. It even gives you one of the themes of the film (you do know the film yeah?). First, you get the name. You get all of it, and its a name to savour. This character has to have a sword, it couldn’t be anything else. They’ll have a high dex and cha, clearly.

Second. There’s a story coming. The father was killed, and crucially, the character believes its the person in front of him that did it. Drama? Yes, but it could go anywhere at this point. The character could be pleased with the fact, or filled with anger. He could have carried this knowledge all his life, or just learned it.

Third, we find out the truth. Prepare to die. Note, he doesn’t simply launch an attack, or scream a challenge. It’s almost polite, and its full of confidence. Whatever happens next, it will be interesting.

These 12 words paint a portrait of a character you’re desperate to know more about (though by now you know a lot). It also manages to define a campaign, and even sets a tone to the setting. Brilliant.

Next character I build, I’m setting myself the challenge; 12 words to make the groups hearts beat a bit faster.


Filed under RPG

6 responses to “Campaign in 12 words

  1. Dude, you do know its a book right? 😉 Seriously though, the novel is freaking awesome, whereas the overrated film is fairly pants.

    That said, I like what you did there. Its almost like the hippy “tell me three things about your character”, essentially, you want something interesting in a short info-burst. Winner.

    • Whisper it, but I’ve never seen the film. I mean its been on, as I’ve done other things, but I’ve never sat down and properly watched it. It came out in 87, and i would have been 19 and more interested in girls than a fantasy parody. Still am actually.

  2. Noumenon

    My name is Baz Stevens. You pooped in my treehouse. Prepare to fly.

  3. Like it.

    I watched the film a few years back with my kids and found it fairly underwhelming. I don’t know why it gets the high praise and love that it does. Its OK, but it suffers from being very 1980s (and that is clearly a bad thing).

    What if instead of Inigo Montoya he’d said “My name is Luke Skywalker. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” or “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”?

    • I reckon you’d get value out of reading the novel, maybe to your kide, depending on how old they are now (all children look the same to me). Its got all the fairytale adventure bits that (presumably) make the film good (for other people), but as with most things in our hobby, the imaginiation is better than a filmic representation.


  4. Stepsie

    No no no no no. The film is good, apart from Cary Elwes having a pervert-moustache, which is gacky and wrong. But then I was a 10 year old when I saw it, so I guess I was the target audience.

    Now shush, I’m trying to study for an exam.

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