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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Ain't nothing but a family thing...  (Read 957 times)

Posts: 132

« on: April 17, 2008, 10:24:40 AM »

So, I was contemplating running an old-fashioned Amber Diceless RPG Throne War, and I wound up thinking about an extensive character generation discussion session prior to all the succession war, to establish a lot of the characters' relationships with their siblings and their father, setting up resonances that would pay off in the conflict that the king's death kicks off.

That's when I realized that this part could be a cool game all by itself.  I haven't done the Power 19 yet, but here's all my preliminary thoughts.

The game is about family relationships and power.  A bad parent in a powerful position has a series of children, raises them questionably; and when that parent dies, all the siblings try to inherit the parent's position, expressing their history with one another as they do.

There are two stages to the game: the Setup, and the Payoff.  In the Setup stage, players interactively build their character's competences in various fields and establish Hooks (unfinished relationship business) in short scenes.  In the Payoff, the characters use those competences to try and wind up on top, and resolve the Hooks.  If a character is killed (or otherwise removed from play) the player can still influence play through Hooks.  In fact, it's possible death greatly empowers a character's Hooks.

I think the parent is also a PC, whose only influence in the Payoff is through Hooks, since they begin the Payoff 'out-of-play.'

PCs enter Setup sequentially, as they're born in order.  I'm not sure if there's any mechanical trade-off between being born early or late, or if that only sets up particular first-born, middle child and baby-of-the-family relationship issues. 

General thoughts and criticisms are welcome, but I have a few specific questions:
1) Right now, I think the Hooks are a mechanism players can use for mechanical advantage to win the succession struggle, which is the object of the game.  However, I also think that there could be a victory in resolving as many past issues as possible.  Opinions?
2) Right now, I think a Hook is basically a one-shot debt; once it's cashed in for mechanical effect, it's gone, the outstanding issue is basically resolved.   Is that right, or should there be a lingering relationship effect?

-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Marshall Burns

Posts: 485

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 12:32:24 PM »

Regarding #2, what if it depended on the mechanical outcome?  What if sometimes it's spent, sometimes it comes back, sometimes it's transferred to someone else, sometimes it's transformed?  I haven't a clue how to implement something like that, but it sounds neat.

I also want to say that this is way cool and sounds like a total Shakespearience.

And that I've always wanted a legitimate opportunity to say "Shakespearience."


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