The Gang's All Here: The Dictator
This is a PC page for the game The Gang's All Here.
CLASS DIE: D4
You read a sad story. You cry. Do you think that’s sinister, as if someone has taken over your emotions? Of course not. That’s just what art is. Anyone who’s ever met a Dictator would disagree.
By performing, they alter other people’s emotional states. Dictators play people like a musician plays a harp. They can pluck the strings. They can snap them.
In D&D terms, they are like Bards, if everyone was fucking petrified of bards.
- STRENGTH: 2
- DEXTERITY: 4
- CONSTITUTION: 2
- WISDOM: 3
- INTELLIGENCE: 3
- CHARISMA: 4
You start with the following:
- The Dictator’s Clothes (Defense 1)
- A Rapier (Use Dexterity instead of Strength for its dice pool. Special: recover one Guard.)
- Ouji Lolita, straight from the Harajuku street scene. If you don't know it, it's basically the visual kei take on milgoth. Google it.
Fiona is recognizably Avril, but Avril if she were half-Irish half-Japanese instead of all-Polish Ashkenazim, and slim and toned instead of built like a linebacker gone to seed.
- GUARD (=Dex): 4
- HEALTH (=Con): 2
- DEFENSE: 1
- WILLPOWER (=Wis x 2): 6
Building Your Emotional Palette
This is a character class that has questions of consent buried right in the heart of it. You’re the character class who is most likely to prompt an X card, especially if you start to use your emotional control abilities on an unwilling character. Read the room.
Every artist has their favourite themes. Look at the Emotion Wheel below. Choose four of the spokes.
Write your four choices below (the emotion at the wheel's center):
- whatever the Emotion Knight is taking, if it's not one of those
When you control emotions, you merely speak commands aloud. But something gives you away and people know exactly what you are. What is it? (Delete other options.)
- Scents of myrrh and honey emerge from your mouth (not visible, scent lingers)
Performing With Your D4
If you want to try and influence another character, you roll a dice pool including your D4 (see next section). Note the results solemnly, and ceremonially pass the D4 to the affected player. Their character is now being influenced by your abilities.
If you want to use your powers on someone else, you must first reclaim the D4. You can do this instantly, and doing so ends that previous compulsion.
The Dictator is left to think of clever uses of all these emotions – the useful formula is choosing an emotion and a target.
For example, “Fear” and “me” could lead to someone running away from you. Or it could lead to their heart exploding in sheer terror. Go read the Emotion Scale section opposite and see what you’re getting into.
To create a compound emotion – as in, an emotion that lies between two of the spokes – you must possess and use the two emotions beside them. So, to actually make someone fall in love, you must have Joy and Trust emotions.
These emotions, while magically created, are real. While the target is likely aware that you have done this to them, it doesn’t make the emotion any less real.
The Emotion Control Dice Pool
The Dictator is incredibly powerful. That’s the problem. While other characters struggle to gain enough successes, the Dictator’s problem is ensuring their powers actually do what they want them to do.
While your Emotional Control is a Charisma dice pool, it is NOT calculated like normal. The number on the D4 is the number of successes. Each other success you roll in the dice pool allows you to modify that, with each success allowing you to increase or decrease by one. You don’t need to use all your successes.
Someone’s emotional resistance is measured by their Willpower. Willpower is double a character’s Wisdom, so an average character has 4. In a combat situation, you’ll need to match their Willpower to permanently remove them from the combat, one way or another.
A character with high Willpower will not be entirely overcome unless you match or exceed their Willpower in successes, but they will certainly be influenced by the emotion. The stronger the emotion, the bigger the effect.
The final number of successes is intensity. It’s rated on this scale. You may note the Emotion Knight player also uses this scale.
1 – You feel it enough to influence you.
2 – You feel it intensely. It’s hard to do anything not related to it.
3 – Feeling it as intensely as most people ever feel it, except in extremis. Active compulsions.
4 – If we’re talking love, more than you love your partner.
5 – All consuming obsession. Often the further reaches of madness.
6+ – Supernaturally intense emotions beyond anything in reality.
If it matches or exceeds a target’s Willpower, in terms of effect, anything beyond 6 is very much in the GM’s control. Expect fireworks. Like all creators, while you can aim to have a certain effect on an audience, the audience will respond in their own way.
If you roll a critical failure, you are unable to to remove this emotional state. It’s permanent. You’ve broken someone. Oh dear
A Little Emotional Nudge
If a Dictator has possession of their D4, and is in a situation where any subtle emotional manipulation may give them an edge, they may roll the D4 as part of their dice pool. The D4, rather than counting as a dice, can be used to increase any one dice in the dice pool by the amount the D4 rolls. It’s cute to imagine the D4 on top of the Dice you’re boosting, like a little hat.
There’s not much cute about your character, so enjoy it while it lasts.