The Triple Threat of Social Interactions

In the wake of every major heroic endeavor in Slothjemia there are three possible social interactions for the players to suffer through: a royal reception, a royal dinner, or a royal ball. If the heroic deed is truly worthy then there might be two of these things. If the deed is the stuff of legends then expect all three. Big fan of social distancing? Buckle up, cupcake. Any one of these three is going to be excruciating and to have all three drop on you is like hell on earth.

A royal reception is where the monarch (in this case Queen Reichsha) summons you to her court for a public acknowledgement of your awesomeness. There might be a short speech from the ruler followed by some sort of title bestowment and/or a notable gift. All of this is done in a packed throne room filled with curious nobles and powerful folks from all over the realm and perhaps from other nations as well. The rules of decorum are quite well established and must be followed at all times. Naturally those that aren’t paying close attention to what they are doing can quickly create a scandal or even a minor crisis by saying or doing the wrong thing. Having the Lord Executioner standing right there doesn’t help matters at all, either.

A royal dinner is a posh occasion during which the honored person shares a luxurious evening meal with the ruler of Slothjemia (still Queen Reichsha) and their immediate family. There will also be some dignitaries pertinent to the deeds accomplished by the honored guest(s). There will be light conversation and while no awards are handed out this is a time for informal requests for favors from those present. It is also a time to impress upon those present that you are a person of relative refinement and know how to hold in your flatulence. More room for potential chaos and chances to screw up at the uppermost levels of society, this time with three different forks and a gravy boat.

A royal ball is the most treacherous of the three social interactions because it combines the horror of fine dancing with the awkwardness of chit-chat and decorum. The big hurdle here is the receiving line. Sometimes the ruler (once again, Queen Reichsha) is at the head of this line with other formidable people of note in descending rank as the line proceeds. Guests are expected to pass through this line and pay their respects to those present. Invariably one or more of the notable folks in the line will engage the honored guest with some observation or personalized thank-you for whatever deed the honored guest accomplished. Now the guest must think up some reply to this. Another awesome chance to screw up. And then the dancing and socializing kicks into high gear. Trapped with a dancing companion you can’t get rid of? Good luck! There are rules for these situations too, and the hapless among the honored guests will discover quickly that they are in way over their heads.

So this is basically how this week’s game is going to go. All three of the worst imaginable social interactions at the topmost level of Slothjemian society unleashed in a single session. I’ve never been happier to be the GM instead of a player.