NOTE: Thar be spoilers ahead (in case the title didn't clue you in already).
Looking for some suggestions and input here as my brain is hurting and the imagination portion has apparantly moved out and checked into detox. Last session, my players arrived at Brinewall Castle and Ameiko did her "passing out" bit. One of my players (as I expected) is already beginning to view Ameiko as a drama queen who wants to be the center of attention... for this player, that can lead to ill-tidings for the object of his scorn. In other threads, some GMs have also expressed concern about Ameiko repeatedly playing the role of the damsel in distress. None of my players selected Ameiko as their campaign trait-linked NPC.
So, I think I'm going to need a way to start building a stronger bond between the PCs and Ameiko, possibly a small side-adventure or something, with a bit of RP so my players get a sense of who Ameiko is as a person (not just as a MacGuffin). I would dearly appreciate any thoughts and suggestions on this point. As I said, my brain is just not working very well and I could use a muse or some inspiration here.
Help me Paizo-forums, you're my only hope.
There are three aspects of her personality that I focused on when I ran Rise of the Runelords.
1) She is friendly. Have her talk to the PCs, strike up conversation. This "passing out" bit has no doubt disturbed her. Have her ask what happened, likely make jokes to cover up the fact that she might be scared. Do not forget to have her express her gratitude.
2) She is an ex-adventurer, so she should be competent. Let her be seen as such, whether she is inspiring courage in the PCs or maneuvering to aid another. Let her attitude and experience reflect in conversation.
3) She is a bard and a progressive one at that. Use that as excuse to play more upbeat music, Yoshida Brothers or even contemporary music... I think that could appeal to the players. (Or not, though that is something you need to decide based on your players.)
Yeah, she's not coming off too well with my players either. We did part of Burnt Offering right before JR was announced and then decided to wait for it. So that plus what's going on now has made her a bit of a downer for the group.
In the words of one player, she's "surrounded by death." Her father, mother, and brother (in a very visual way in which the PCs were core), among others, before Jade Regent. Then they discover about her grandfather, Tsutamu, and three ships full of people. And now they just found out about Alder.
I'm working on having her come out of her slump the further north they get. I'm going to try to get some good role-playing in with her at a side adventure they're about to have so that she doesn't become the pariah. I'm sort of anxious to get them attached a bit more to her before the coma. If they get the notoriety points in Kalsgard for the kidnapping, it will not be her, that's for sure. They won't do anything overt, it'll become more of "we're doing X because the AP calls for it" rather than to escort and support a friend.