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Author Topic: Faith, Soul and Redemption  (Read 510 times)
Tully305
Member

Posts: 14


« on: April 13, 2010, 09:20:07 PM »

OK.  I've been gnawing on this idea for awhile and need some feedback as to possible direction.

Premise is that formerly evil beings (vamps, demons, witches, fallen angels, etc.) are seeking redemption from the Church.  So they are sent out on missions to either convert more supernatural beings or kill them. 
The idea I had was that I need some sort of mechanic to affect the soul, one that measures their faith in the church and themselves (as it's constantly under attack from forces of evil), and how redemption is dangled in front of them like a carrot on a stick. 

I've envisioned the characters being put in no-win situations where they begin to question their actions as it may be what the Church wants done, but it doesn't feel like the right thing to do.

Are there any other games that address the notion of redemption?
Should the mechanics for faith and soul be more inline as attributes or more like skill/resolution checks?
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Luminous
Member

Posts: 43

Master of mayhem...


« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 09:54:06 PM »

Use a damage track that ranges from Corrupted <------- to -------> Redeemed with various benefits and drawbacks at either end of the scale.  Sort of like a morality measuring stick that is based on their actions and inactions. Their decisions and intentions.
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greyorm
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Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 11:46:24 PM »

I'm working on a dark sci-fi game called "eXpendable" that is about heroism and redemption among the scum of the universe. It uses player-authored lists called "Acts of Guilt" and "Acts of Innocence" that the performance of result in a character gaining a point of (permanent) Guilt, or a point of (non-permanent/floating) Redemption. Guilt does actually give a small bonus to the character against some others, but can be used by other players against that character; whereas Redemption allows a player to actually use that character's Guilt against them.

Depending on how one defines Humanity in "Sorcerer" and runs the game, it could also qualify as "addressing Redemption", though that might be a stretch.

As to whether the mechanics should be one or the other, or how they work, that all depends on what you want the game to do and how you want it to play out. There isn't a "right way" or "best way" to do it, beyond what you think works best for your game. And, really, not knowing how faith/soul works in your game, what it is supposed to do, I can't say one would work better than the other. Could you expand on what you have for mechanics right now and how you envision them working?
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Daniel B
Member

Posts: 171

Co-inventor of the Normal Engine


« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 06:01:14 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds to me from your post that you want the players to face these moral decisions through their characters.

In that case, I would recommend not using a "redemption" mechanic directly. Check out a concept called "the Fruitful Void". You can find it .. around .. somewhere. (Google it; I think it's also on the Forge in the Articles somewhere.)  Basically you want to build mechanics around the heart of the concept, like a vortex, thereby bringing it into focus implicitly.
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Arthur: "It's times like these that make me wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was little."
Ford: "Why? What did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know. I didn't listen."
Tully305
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 07:11:19 AM »

Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds to me from your post that you want the players to face these moral decisions through their characters.

In that case, I would recommend not using a "redemption" mechanic directly. Check out a concept called "the Fruitful Void". You can find it .. around .. somewhere. (Google it; I think it's also on the Forge in the Articles somewhere.)  Basically you want to build mechanics around the heart of the concept, like a vortex, thereby bringing it into focus implicitly.

So I've read a few pieces on the concept and let me see if I get this......Redemption is more of the ultimate goal/endgame to the character's journey; it can't be measured as you either are redeemed or not and you'll never know until the character dies.  If I would measure anything it would be characteristics such as Guilt, Shame, Secrets, Soul, Faith, Burdens, etc.

I'm still pretty early in my design phase and haven't really thought of any concrete mechanics yet.  For now I'm thinking of using something that illustrates the character's desire/need to be redeemed (based on their guilt for the consequences of their past deeds) that is continually being affected (both positively and negatively) from outside forces (good and evil) as well as internally (questioning faith, God's plan, being used as a pawn, etc.). 

Just thinking out loud here so I would appreciate any feedback/comments:

The soul is the thing that is being redeemed.  I'm thinking that I would have Soul be something like health points/levels (i.e.  Lost Soul - Tortured Soul - Damaged Soul - Repentant Soul - etc.) and it continually changes based on in-game currency (Blessings/Curses) earned through play.  The level your soul is at adds to/hinders your success in your actions.  For instance, lets say your character has a tortured soul, and in the game you need to exorcise a demon from a young boy, but the demon plays upon your fears, guilt, shame and your "tortured soul" makes you any easier target for defeat. 

Am I making sense?  I feel sometimes as I'm talking about several different concepts at once and confusing things.
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Shimera9
Member

Posts: 26


« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 02:34:07 AM »

Premise is that formerly evil beings (vamps, demons, witches, fallen angels, etc.) are seeking redemption from the Church.  So they are sent out on missions to either convert more supernatural beings or kill them. 
The idea I had was that I need some sort of mechanic to affect the soul, one that measures their faith in the church and themselves (as it's constantly under attack from forces of evil), and how redemption is dangled in front of them like a carrot on a stick.

If you want to emphasize a conflict the character has, I'd suggest setting up the mechanics so the player feels a similar kind of conflict.  For example, you could have a "temptation" mechanic where reverting to their former dark natures gives the a brief but potent burst of ability.  However, doing so would erode their soul.  Now give a high soul rating mechanical benefits and the you can create a point of mechanical tension.

One option you could use is letting other players force a temptation roll on a character.  If the role fails, the character must pursue that temptation or pay a price resisting it.  Then make it so a temptation roll can only be forced if the act wouldn't violate their current soul rating.  That means that with higher soul comes a greater feeling of self-control.  Heck, you could even set it up so the roll is in reverse order of malevolence, so that the more heinous the act the lower the chance of temptation.  Then treat the soul rating like "armor" and subtract it from that roll.

Granted, this plays to the theme of "redemption vs temptation".  Where you looking for a "redemption vs guilt" theme instead?  That can work, though the play up different elements.  "vs temptation" makes it a struggle against one's darker side and makes the fall an ever present attraction.  "vs guilt" makes it more about overcoming one's past and the echoes of that past.

One way you could represent guilt is by giving the character hooks based on their background.  Then whenever the thing they feel guilty for pops up, they should be penalized or manipulated appropriately.  Then add a mechanic were each guilt hook can be worn down with acts of reparation, gaining forgiveness, or increased understanding, as appropriate to the thing they're guilty about.  When all guilt hooks are worn down to nothing, the character is redeemed.

I've envisioned the characters being put in no-win situations where they begin to question their actions as it may be what the Church wants done, but it doesn't feel like the right thing to do.

One trick you could use is having their devotion to the church act as a protection from soul damage, but have that devotion degrade with soul damage.  Thus high faith lets you hold your doubts at bay by assuming the church know what's right better than you do.  However, every time a doubt breaks through it weakens that devotion, making it easier for other doubts to break through.  For an extra kick, make if so faith supresses doubts rather than removing them or keeping them from forming.  That way as faith degrades old doubts may resurface.  Then penalize actions where doubts come into play.
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Tully305
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 05:23:53 AM »

Shimera9 thanks for your feedback, I love these ideas!!

I totally never thought of temptation as a piece of the puzzle, but it makes perfect sense.  I need to sit down a revamp this now thanks!
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