How Destiny Inspires Me

This is my Destiny character. I don’t know her name, but then no one does. She’s a Guardian, sometimes The Guardian depending on the moment. She has a designation, but that’s not her identity.

She was resurrected around three weeks ago. At least, that’s what people tell her. She’s taking it at face value, but the seeming simpleness of this “truth” gnaws at her. She’s starting to poke at it around the edges, but it’s clear she’s the only one who thinks something’s off about the world.

Still, she has a rifle and a mission, and the need for battle burns inside of her. She questions what it really means to be a “warrior of the Light,” but there’s no question about the word “warrior.”

Also, fuck the Taken.

She’s one of the Awoken, but what does that mean? The Awoken aren’t any stronger or weaker than humans and Exo. They aren’t smarter or duller. They aren’t quicker or slower. They aren’t special, aside from being pretty damn sexy—I mean, you could get lost in those eyes. And her outfit is on point.

She desperately wishes she had a name. She doesn’t even remember her own name. She’s in a necropolis, surrounded by people who only remember their designations. What are they really fighting for, anyway?

The Queen of the Awoken is her goddess. The first moment she set eyes on the Queen, there was an electric feeling. You might call it “love” if you were to trivialize it. She’s been told since her rebirth of the power of the Light and the Traveler and everything, but it’s when she met Queen Mara that she understood what power was. She’s utterly devoted to the Queen—her Queen—even if she’s looked at with scorn by the Queen’s brother.

The Queen is alive. She knows in her heart that her Queen lives. Plus, it’s not like anyone really stays dead in this universe, so whatevs.

Destiny is odd, in that it’s rich in lore but that lore’s clearly under-communicated. It’s a science fantasy world that doesn’t bother to overly explain itself. And that makes me wonder about taking that approach to pre-built scenarios like Lady Blackbird.

In tabletop games, we pick options based on their relationship to the world, even the base “this sword is more awesome than that sword.” In Destiny, you pick your race purely based on the aesthetics, as they’re otherwise equal. So merge the idea of the choice menus you get with Apocalypse World: how you look, what you carry, etc. Then project that outside:

  • You’re playing an Awoken? Pick one: (1) My kind are misunderstood and feared, so are always on the move; (2) My kind are worshipped as being closer to perfection, and head temples; (3) My kind are still hated for what we did generations ago.
  • Playing a Hunter? Pick one: (1) We’re a noble tradition that young Guardians are awed by; (2) We’re a brutal tradition that kills more recruits than it keeps; (3) There aren’t many of us, and we keep ourselves to the shadows.

It’s only mildly different than the void that’s already in such games, only in this case I’m highlighting a specific bit of void to fill in at game setup and suggestion that those answers provide some direction for the GM and players.

The more I think about it, the more I really want to play the Lady Blackbird meets Destiny game.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I keep having more and more thoughts about tabletop games as I play Destiny, so I’m sure something will eventually burst forth.



4 Responses to How Destiny Inspires Me

  1. Laura Bee says:

    Your fiction piece leading in speaks so much to me. It’s not so dissimilar to my own rich internal monologue while running around as my own Awoken Hunter. Plus, yes. Queen Mara. OMG.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Awoken Hunters FTW!

      I think I mentioned to my wife once something like “My character is totally in love with the Queen, but it’s not a sex thing. It’s a… totally be consumed and enveloped by her power and aura thing. But sure, there’s probably some sexytime thoughts there because I’ve been dead for who knows how long.”

  2. Krzysztof says:

    Knowing absolutely *nothing* about Destiny, your take alone makes me think of so many possibilities to use in future one-shots and micro-campagins :) Thank you for that. Tha vagueness that suggests something more, something that’s a fact about a setting makes me think of the role of exploration in RPG games, and the players’ role in sotrycrafting – where players respond to the stimulus of being inspired by a suggestion and create a world by their actions and aren’t just on the receiving end of the GM’s vision.

    This is what pulled me towards Numenera – the promises and vagues suggestions that the initial information about the setting gave. Honestly? The feeling of adventure faded the deeper I got into the preestablished setting when it was published, but the feeling of a potential story, and the hope that together with my players I could make more out of an exploration-focused game than just the sum of its’ parts remained. And your post makes me wonder about that some more :)

    Thank you.

  3. You showed me unexpected way of putting things. Not intentionally, most probably, but anyway.

    Next time I’d want to say: “/Something/ wasn’t made not good enough because of /x, y and z/” I will say “/Something/ inspires me to do /l, m and n/”.

    Critisizing for doing things isn’t most constructive and useful habits.