Monday, August 31, 2009


This is going to be a game with monetary rewards. 'cause I want to write a board game and and RPG, and one needs win conditions and the other just feedback/rewards, and win conditions interfere mightily with roleplaying. Real money is well known to force some calibration on others' utility functions... I'm guessing I can do something like "25% of the pot for the board game, turn in tokens for a % apiece, etc." and have it work well.

So! A game for 5 people. Sitting around a circular table. Rock paper scissors lizard spock. That makes a star. The secret bets make intrigue. Seabird? Fleur-de-lis? Dividers? The Fleur-de-lis I may be able to get in with 5 noble families vying for power. So a Song of Ice and Fire game? Ha, dividers even makes redrawing boundaries... okay, let's have the game be threefold. One: roleplaying 5 noble houses. Specifically (why not) a lowly family with a member in each house... no, the rulers. Who are of course through intermarrying all related. Each year the Winter Court is the scene! The Lion in Winter. During the year boundaries are redrawn, and during the court boundaries are redrawn. Each place of power you control for the entirety of a year is worth a $. Any that change hands provide a pot of $ to be won by ???. The resolution mechanic is of course the star rpsls with modifications to utilities. And what then provides the reason for roleplaying? Who decides who gets the $?

If I were Vincent Baker I'd have something where you must listen to the fiction to determine which moves are allowed and desirable, and then listen to the board game to determine which moves are allowed and desirable, and only then be able to pick your move. Or something. Instead I'll do what I see as an AP right now.

During the non-winter: turn resources into boundary redraws. Something like a chit gives you a swing of the dividers. During the winter: start a scene with N major players and a house cap. Everyone else chooses a minor player or players from allowed houses. The scene is Public, Private, or Secret, plus say where it is specifically, like King Henry's bedchambers. Stealing from Microscope? Ask a question. No implicit border redrawing. No, I don't like it. Write a secret agenda. No, choose a secret agenda from a pile. Everyone. Intrigue! Start off the scene. If you fulfill your agenda, announce it immediately. That you've fulfilled it, not the agenda itself. Now all the other players guess what your agenda was. You get two chits for each of them that were right, and each of them that were right get a chit. Continue the scene until everyone with a secret agenda has announced its completion? No, you'll just wait and turn it into something completely different. Continue until the scene starter has announced. Afterwards no one gets theirs and the scene starter epilogues briefly. Each player gets one chance to start a scene in Winter and there will be 5 years for different order. Dunno exactly what scenes look like yet. Maybe you even have a little stack of secret agendas. Yes. And you may use each once. Ah ha! And each secret agenda has on it some kind of resource buff for achieving it! On paper at least this achieves baker-nature I think. They each have a table, 0-1-2-3-4 of rewards you get for that many votes. Every differential must have value smaller than 3 chits or else other players have incentive to vote for random things. It should be standard to get 3-4 votes. Eh, maybe not. Okay so many agendas need to be subtle and not worth a lot because otherwise there's just no way they'll be accomplished in someone else's scene. Each differential needs to be worth more than 1 chit though.

If everyone announces their agenda is complete before the scene starter then the scene is over. If there's *any* ambiguity then all involved get their chance at votes. There should be a penalty for getting 0-1 votes? Maybe. Dunno. There must be to avoid spamming. Okay so agendas are gambles. But not big gambles unless you're trying to game something. Hm, scene starter specifies one player to be GM, and by that I mean someone who makes the resolution system come into play. Why would it happen? As usual, someone tries to do something which isn't immediately possible. Okay you get chits for including at least one other Head but don't have to and anything anyone does against a non-Head is successful. So Heads can talk, and if they try to do something that another Head actively opposes resolution occurs. This is where the star comes in with rpsls but I don't know how yet. If your point is chosen you get a chit, and chits accumulate on points. Ah, any time you call for resolution the GM gets to decide whether it's something we'd be fine winning or losing within about 20-80%? If not the caller gets a chit and a random point is wiped? But who watches the GM..... no, anytime is fine. The GM needs to only affect chit or $ flow between the parties involved. So a difficulty level. The harder the block the more chit flow from blocker to attacker.

Five levels. If it's trivial, ... wait. Okay you get at most one resolution per scene. Attacker or blocker. If you've had yours then you can no longer do something requiring resolution, GM decides. Okay, five levels. If it's trivial then the blocking player stands to win 2 chits from the attacker if she (the blocker) wins. So... anytime someone calls for resolution the attacker can instead say yes. If it's really hard the blocking player stands to give 2 chits to the attacker if she loses. & in between of course. No make it 4 levels so there's no "nothing happens" result.

What about multi-way? The blocker determines which player is the resolver. Multi-way blocks? If only one is possible, fine. Otherwise... if they can decide, fine. Otherwise... GM chooses which is most appropriate and choice is final. Okay then. And of course whoever's point is chosen gets a chit$resource and you get whatever resources are on the point you choose. What about ties? On a tie whoever's point it is chooses who wins? Harsh. Instead, takes 1 of each type of resource that's there, chooses who wins, splits the rest evenly, takes any leftover. So stack those resources by you. Whatever that'll mean.

All right! Make up some setting, each house, agenda list, specify which resources go where, make a map, maybe a way to add or subtract places of power? on agendas likely, how to put resources on the resolution star. Try & playtest once, revise once, & boom, done.

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