01 March, 2009

Game Mechani(sm) of the Week #9.5: Addendum to Matrixed Experience

After posting concepts last week about a theory where a character advances two steps in one direction but sacrifices a step in another part of their development to do so, some new ideas have arisen.

Some of these have been prompted by some helpful posters over at the Forge, others have developed in those sleepless hours between 1am and 4am, or when I've been taking my customary meandering strolls through various parts of the city seeking inspiration.

The following concepts are very "stream of consciousness" stuff; they may not make a whole lot of sense, but they are a starting point for the concepts I'm currently trying to develop.

Hopefully some revisions will develop shortly. Revisions that help to clarify what I'm trying to get at.

For the purposes of these notes, a machination is a series of events happening in the background. Not so much a story, but a sequence of events that someone is trying to put into motion. A machination becomes a story (or becomes a part of the story) when the characters actually interact with it at some level.




GM calls for a machination from everyone. Machinations could be linked to specific characters, specific factions or they could be independent. All machinations have someone behind them (called the controller), this could be an individual or a faction.

Characters can be asked to work for or against a machination.

Engaging in an action against a machination instantly earns a point of enmity with the machination’s controller. If the character manages to damage the machination, they earn a second point of enmity (and any characters with them earn a point); on the positive side, if the active character has engaged the machination as a favour to someone else, they gain a favour point to that person.

Engaging in an action to assist a machination instantly earns a point of favour with the machination’s controller. If the character manages to improve the machination, they earn a second point of favour (and any characters with them earn a point); on the negative side, if the active character has assisted the machination in spite of someone else, they gain a point of enmity to that person.

Characters may bank points of favour or enmity to gain permanent effects. Permanent favour banked to an individual earns an ally, while permanent favour banked to a faction earns prestige within that faction. Permanent enmity banked to an individual earns an enemy, while permanent favour banked to a faction gains an adversary.

Temporary favour may be spent to recall favours, or to cancel out temporary enmity. The GM may spend temporary enmity to increase the difficulty on actions (typically during a climax scene).

Any expenditure of favour requires a scene.




It needs work, but the basic idea is that every time someone starts gaining decent levels of positive influence with someone, they'll gain negative influence with someone else. The aim here is to keep the character's development with the world around them functioning in the same manner as their development within themselves.
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