Heart’s Desire is a fairly unique ambition in that it promises a very vague and subjective payout if you succeed (and seeing what you’re up against, you might not succeed). So, assuming success is in fact possible to win the Marvelous, what is your character’s Heart Desire? What hope is driving them to seek out such a high stakes game against such unbelievably challenging opponents? How would you represent it in game mechanics? An item? A residence? A companion? A special story? Something else?
If your character’s Heart’s Desire is simply to play the Marvelous for the sake of playing the Marvelous, then say that. Sometimes the game is its own reward.
[quote=Anne Auclair]Heart’s Desire is a fairly unique ambition in that it promises a very vague and subjective payout if you succeed (and seeing what you’re up against, you might not succeed). So, assuming success is in fact possible to win the Marvelous, what is your character’s Heart Desire? What hope is driving them to seek out such a high stakes game against such unbelievably challenging opponents? How would you represent it in game mechanics? An item? A residence? A companion? A special story? Something else?
If your character’s Heart’s Desire is simply to play the Marvelous for the sake of playing the Marvelous, then say that. Sometimes the game is its own reward.[/quote]
Mine is… true immortality, or it was when i started. now? …mostly just for its own sake, but also for the truest forms of power. Whatever it is, it isn’t omnipotent, but it is potent.
Just realized there’s another possibility. Your Heart Desire might be too great for the game to give it to you. Your Heat’s Desire could be to see your destiny fulfilled. But winning the game could potentially give you something that will help make it possible in the long term. A special reward depending on your destiny would be rather fun.
Mine is being a god, worshiped by all those beneath me. I want my enemies to fear me, my subjects to adore me, and everything to have my name burned in the back of their minds eternally. I will be immortalized both in reality and through the legacy that I create… as for representation a cape would be nice. :) I want a cape with a special quality that unlocks special stories, but since everyone’s heart’s desire is different Failbetter obviously can’t implement specific items/stories.
That sounds hard but at least somewhat dable. It’s a really cool idea! :)
They could also give a few generic choices to choose from at the very end. Things like wealth, power, love, etc. and then give items/qualities based on those. Though who knows just how the ambition will end? Perhaps it is all a trick. edited by Psyche Labyrinth on 1/25/2016
Although my main character is a Vake-hunter, my seldom-used alternate character has the Heart’s Desire ambition. An avid butterfly collector, he is trying to attain a particular specimen he has been attempting to get his hands on for most of his life…and so far has been unsuccessful, sometimes humiliatingly so.
Or at least, that’s what he tells himself.
It may be that his real heart’s desire is the return of his ugly little henchman, who has been his only companion for much of his long and empty life, the only one to show him genuine loyalty, and the closest thing he has to a friend. Said henchman is now working for a rival. If this is indeed his actual heart’s desire, however, he cannot admit it to himself. He believes he is after the butterfly.
The sad thing is that, in the latter case, there is really no need for mystical, soul-staking card games. If he just ASKED the henchman to return, the guy almost certainly would, and the rival (who is not without compassion) would probably allow it. But he can’t even admit to himself that he misses his friend.
If he did win and the game actually does give you what you’re seeking (and doesn’t instead put you on a fat-free diet because that’s your actual HEART’S desire, or some other bait-and-switch technique :P ), then I suppose either outcome would be easy enough to represent in-game. Either an item, to be attractively displayed on the mantelpiece (the butterfly) or a companion (the henchman).
Definitely interested to see what other characters are playing for.
The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart: MEMORY by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is the ambition I picked, and I’m still not sure quite why. And I chose before I read that quotation - which is the crux book of a most excellent series, by the way. I’ve not developed much of a character and I’m beholden to none other except myself in keeping my choices “straight”.
I think, I think, my heart’s desire is to find who I am. And so if I do, I won’t find it at the gaming table because some one else can’t give it to me. I can learn it on the way though, and I think having this goal is helping.
But I’m still curious. And that’s enough to drive me towards the Marvelous. So perhaps it’s fulfilling my curiousity to play, which is my stake then - but should - if - when? - I win, I think I’d like the chance to grant the Topsy King his sanity back. Because of all the others involved he’s come to the most harm and is most in need of mercy. And I’d like to think I myself (as both character and player) could be both generous and willing enough to do that. It’ll be fighting my own desire for wealth and advancement though. So I won’t promise that will happen.
I suppose one of the challenges in providing a consequential variety of winnings would be that it could potentially eclipse the outcomes of the other three Ambitions. So I suppose that any variety would have to be mostly color. Sort of like the tattoos you can get in the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, the various ways you can enter Chimes House, the books you can have written about you in the main Shadowy storyline, and the markings you can earn (or not earn) in the fighting rings.
This could be represented by a special home comfort item representing a treasure your character has long desired and has at last found. What exactly that is being up to your imagination. edited by Anne Auclair on 1/25/2016
@Parelle: Bujold is full of good quotes. Definitely the grand mistress of her sci-fi generation.
From a literary standpoint, or should I say, from the literary standpoint that seems to appeal most to FBG’s writing staff, the Heart’s Desire ambition should have one of two endings (although really the same ending): either the player decides through the quest that his HD has changed, or having attained it, he finds that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. A good story would have provisions for both.
Because life is a journey, not a destination.