Double Edged Influence

Jul 30, 2018 | Writer's Life | 0 comments

Steven Bentsen

Retired Evil Mastermind

My life as a storyteller and author has afforded me the opportunity to explore many strange and complex problems from the safety of hypothetical questions. Anyone can wonder, but when you begin inviting more minds to contribute their perspectives and experiences, you find many new potentials for both problem solving and inherent concerns. Some worry over matters immediately related to the subject of discussion or exploration while others might caution alternative methods to avoid unmitigatable misfortune. Even with a community to help watch for danger, it is impossible to predict and prepare for every possible trouble that might befall its members.

Life can be a simple matter of survival or a tangled web of people and their associated interests. Whether in a fictional work or our real world, there are consequences to actions and even proximity to other people. Some members of society wield greater power or influence by a variety of means. These giants have the strength to make sweeping changes with haste, but their profile also makes them targets. Avoiding notice, whether the puppetmaster above the main stage, or the musicians in the orchestra pit, the audience is far less likely to put a face to a name. The anonymity is a cunning shield, averting many unimagined consequences and allowing the individuals to work in relative peace. The actors, whether garnering fame or infamy, are comparatively more exposed. I for one hope such people have enough influence to protect themselves from the many perils they will face, as most will be delivered by surprise.

At my roleplaying table, my friends have etched this sentiment into their memories: the larger your impact upon the story, or the world, the more eyes that will find you. Each person is connected to others, and those with a vested interest in the area you impacted may desire to influence you in the near future. Paranoia would indicate their interests are personal benefit to your detriment. I wish to be wrong on this account, but I suggest you be wary all the same.

Being on a first name basis with a dragon could mean you’ve secured an invaluable ally, or you might end up as lunch if you don’t play your cards right.

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