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Sandbox / The Pawn

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The most important piece in the toolkit of The Chessmaster is their Pawn. Pawns range from people completely devoid of free will to their enemies, tricked into doing their dirty work. To recall the Chess analogy; every piece is a Pawn of the Players. The most powerful piece you can control is your opponent.

This becomes an extremely broad supertrope, as people playing the game at one level may seem to be a Manipulative Bastard, but at another, they are lackeys to a Player of a larger Game. Four components are required for any example, including subtropes;

  1. Who took the actions? <- this is the Pawn
  2. What were they trying? <- this is their choice
  3. What agenda was advanced? <- they lose control here
  4. Who created the agenda? <- this is the Player
The Pawn must sacrifice their agency to the Player; willingly or through trickery. Organizational members make a willing choice to advance the agenda of their corporation. Military personnel make a willing choice to serve as Pawns in the greater machine of war. The puppet can see their strings, but they remain a Pawn until the strings are cut. Awareness of the manipulation does not always end the control, but it does avert a trope. Beware most of all the manipulations of Fate; the agenda tends to be unclear until it's over.

For your viewing pleasure, there are a number of different control methods indexed at Gambit Index and Mind Manipulation. A thorough listing is also available at I Control My Minions Through.... Remember that the trope does not judge moral worth; Pawns of Black, White, and Grey Morality Players are all possible.

Subtropes include: [index]


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