Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Strength Of Concept

I'm thinking about this in context of using it for Imp.

So, when people make up a character, they naturally have cental things that are important to their concept for that character. Like, last time I played D&D, I wanted my fighter to have a terrible, mysterious curse. Now, I talked to the DM about it, and we pulled something together mechanically, but it's totally something that I can see being entirely in my head, and pulling it out at some point during the game, with no system support whatever. In a more pernicous form, this is the old my-guy-is-a-complete-badass problem with starting characters, where their chances for success are often low enough that the character that you envision as a complete badass fails at lots of things. Your image of the character is dissonant from how he actually plays.

I've been thinking about this solution: on your character sheet, you have a couple of different areas, Central; Important; and Interesting. As you may imagine, these mean "Central to my concept of this character," "Important to my concept of this character," and "Interesting but unnecessary part of my concept of this character." The first step of conflict resolution is Karma - compare whatever trait/s you are using. If one person is using a Central trait and the other isn't, the first wins without resorting to Fortune. If one is using Important and the other is using Interesting, the Important one gets a significant advantage to the Fortune resolution. If they are both using the same level, it goes to unmodified Fortune resolution.

I think there would also be a currency expenditure in there so that you can temporarily bump up to match the other person, if they have a higher trait then you. So there is room for underdogs.

Advantages: Flagging. It's all there on the character sheet, for everyone to see. Reduces handling time, as I envision people will tend to want to use their Central traits as often as possible.

Disadvantages: Easy to "game," I suppose. Flat-feeling resolution if you consistently face lower-trait opposition.

An interesting thing to add onto it, I think, would be something where only other people can decide if your play demonstrates a change form whats on your sheet. Like, Bob could look at Charlies sheet and be all "Dude, you haven't used "Hard Drinker" at all, and its in Central. I'm moving it to Interesting." In the context of Imp, this may very well be a power reserved for each characters Imp. Mmmm, I like that idea.

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