Impractical Applications (On the Job)

I’d been going to carry on with my work on subtext, but then I realized just how many spoilers that was going to involve. But since I’ve got several PCs with nominal means of employment, I have plenty of experience running the job in the background, so let’s look at that.

For one of my PCs, who decided to take a teacher’s role, I focused mostly on the students: I needed to introduce these characters anyway, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. So for him, it was most a description of the regulars he had to deal with, and a bit about where they were from and what they were like, like the “petite woman who was completely ladylike during work hours but afterward swore like a sailor and could drink most of her colleagues under the table”, or the “young girl who’d come to class and focus on the material like it was the answer to everything she’d ever wondered about.” Occasionally, who these people were would be extended to what kinds of things they did in class.

Another ended up serving as a translator for the riddle-speech of the god of prophecy. For him, I had two foci: events, and his ever-enigmatic boss. The events were mostly amusing little details, with occasional things that could serve as setting detail or might spawn plot arcs later thrown in—I talked about his mediation between Lysha and the god of the fortune cookies, and had a throwaway line about “nine different people asking for signs that the Overlord of Brazen Trickery was up to something, not the least of which being that the Overlord of Brazen Trickery is always up to something”. When not doing that, I gave him a sense of the god itself, including its weakness for palmier and a little of its emotional vocabulary—enough so that, the one time he came to the boss for help with a question, he understood exactly what it meant when Lysha asked him to do something, then gave him the last palmier when he agreed.

Then there was the last, who sort of followed his mentor into her job making sure the world did what it was supposed to. His was a more alien job than the others’, so I focused instead on what kinds of things happened during it, and the oddities that came out of coworker talk; this was a guy who at one point was sent off to polish glass in a certain place, and another time had to make sure a puppy ran down one alley and not another. I tried to use his job as a way to seed hints to him about which way to go, which sometimes worked , sometimes didn’t. Sometimes it even did both: one time, he went chasing after someone he was just supposed to decide was worth investigating with the rest of the group and got himself and his mentor captured for his troubles. And then there was the time he came back to hear about a crisis that had befallen one of his coworkers….

In short, the jobs are part of the background, and occasionally part of the story. They’ve worked out well.

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