Wednesday, April 6, 2011

D is for Duos

Sorry this one's coming out a little late. I was laid up sick for most of last night with a couple of assignments for school due, so I've been trying to make some time for blogging.

As chronicled in my B is for Buddies post, my potential gaming group has whittled down to two players at the moment: my friends Marcos and CJ. Generally when people think of a gaming group, it's five people or more including the GM: the iconic Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Thief party and a game master to set everything up. It seems to be a lot harder to run games for a duo, so I thought I'd take a look at some classic duos and see how their interactions and adventures can inspire a two-person party.

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser

The iconic sword and sorcery duo, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser feel like the first real team or 'party' in early fantasy literature. Their strengths compliment each other and even though they do have their arguments and falling-outs, they always return to the Silver Eel, often a little worse for wear or out a couple thousand gold pieces. They constantly try and one-up the other, a continuing friendly rivalry that often gets them into much more trouble than they would if they were solely cold professional acquaintances.

Spike Spiegel and Jet Black

Though the crew of the Bebop is eventually rounded out by two more members, they seem much more auxiliary than the show's two initial main characters, Spike and Jet. One's hotheaded, the other is stoic, but their personalities really seem to compliment each other. There's a lot of tension between the two that occasionally explodes into arguments but at their core, they both respect each other's abilities and personalities, even if it doesn't always show in their banter. This unspoken bond really shines in the longer episodes like Jupiter Jazz and the series finale The Real Folk Blues.

Duos live and die on their interaction between each other. If a pair of PCs have great chemistry and bounce ideas and plans off of each other, it makes your job as GM that much easier. While a larger party that is more reluctant to converse with each other can technically function, a silent duo makes things awkward at the table and especially taxing on the GM's NPC stable. You can only do so many different accents. :)

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