I’m a big fan of poetic irony and a curious combination of running some faction turns with Stars Without Number and watching the Blacklist has me thinking about how people who are really in power fall from grace only to rise from the ashes again. I’m mulling over what it must be like for the nemesis of a party to leverage their characters. A lot of times, player call the GM’s “bluff” and start shooting whenever it looks like someone’s manipulating them. I suppose that’s the genuine risk when you’ve got power and feel like you’re being cornered.
Is there a way for a nemesis to convincingly “leverage” power over player characters without stripping away player agency using the mechanics of the game as is, could this mechanism be hacked into a game, or should is the answer that you (the GM) can get away with anything if the players buy into it?