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Author Topic: Threads of Destiny  (Read 5998 times)
MathiasJack
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Posts: 75


« on: April 18, 2003, 09:56:45 PM »

I've been dwelling on this game in my head for a while, and recently returned to reading the posts on Forge for inspiration. What's really ironic is I found many similiar ideas along the same ideas of my own: Destined, Nine Worlds, Oracle - End of Time, and numerous others I probably haven't even read. The similiar meme that seems to be blooming in many of the minds of rpgists is that of Will, Fate, Luck, and their interactions. These might not be the terms used in the above games or other similiar ones, but on the basic concept, they seem to be the ideas being tossed about.

And especially in regards to the stories told in rpgs and the methods in which rpgs facilitate such, it makes sense that this happening. We want the randomness of Luck/Fortune/Chaos to make success sweet, the Will/Determination of our characters to make them heros, and the Fate/Plot/Order to make sense of the stories being told. Or something along those lines - these ideas and memes have been discussed ad nasuem on the Forge, as they are some of the building blocks of role-playing. I am too much of a lurker, and an inconsistent one at that, to have read all the threads that pertain to this subject and to know the terms/definitions that have grown from such discussions.

Yet the exciting part of this is that it has made me want to post my ideas for my game, to get my two cents in the generation of ideas on the Forge, especially to those concepts mentioned above. In the next post, I outline the game I currently am calling Threads of Destiny, though it does not convey the grittyness, occultish, nor post-modern feel I want for the game. Can you guess I need a new title?
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Mathias the Jack
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MathiasJack
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Posts: 75


« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2003, 10:47:44 PM »

You are dieing.
Blackness threatens everything.
Your life flashes before your eyes.

You see the hopeless push against the weight of the world, forcing you down courses not of your dreams. Irony of what you thought were choices turned out to be exactly what you trying to avoid. Fate has a way of making anything you do, what it wants.

You see the randomless of humans eeking their lives on the outside shell of a rock hurtling through vast emptiness. The cosmos is haphazard choas where a child molester can win the lottery, and a saintly old woman mugged. Luck is fickle.

You see the many choices and alternatives that you could have made. The regrets, the hard work, the cherished moments. Your life was your own to Will of it what you would. Your head might be bloody, but it is not bowed.

Then you fade, lose yourself in the darkness.
And breathe!

You've come back from the near brink of death, the shamanistic death experience, and now see the makings of the world. After nearly passing from the existence, this existence has become a plaything for you, a loom where you can weave the very fabric of the universe: Fate, Luck, and Will.

****

Fate is the Order of the universe. It gives meaning to everything, directing everything down the correct path. It understands symbols and meaning, past and future, the path taken and the path one should take. With Fate, one can divine secrets meanings, reinforce the realness of objects, and assume safety in one's destiny. Give oneself over too much and paranoia follows as one learns too much.

Luck is the Chaos of the universe. It drives everything with energy, force and passion in it's abandonment of form. It understands metaphors and emotions, eternity and instances, the space between and being everywhere at once. With Luck, one can confuse natures, change the "being" of objects, and defy destiny with outrageous moments of furtune...or misfortune. Give oneself over too much and madness follows as nothing makes sense any more.

Will is the blending of the two poles that give meaning to the universe. As intelligence and consciousness developed in life, suddenly the universe could look in at it self. Conscious beings became the voices in the head of the Cosmos. Neither Fate or Luck, maybe both at the same time, Will is the quantum physics of meaning. With Will, one can protect oneself from outside forces, evolve one's being to higher or lower forms, and determine other paths than the ones simply handed to you. Give oneself over too much and isolation follows as you separate yourself too much from Fate and Luck.

****

The mechanic I've been thinking about came from before I heard of Wyrd or Aisling (if that's the name you're keeping taalyn), but it consists of pulling three different colored stones, or whatever, from a bag. Each color represents an aspect of Destiny. How many stones you can pull to determine the success of an act depends on one's Luck rating. See below. I am still working out how pulling the three stones variably gives a character successess or failures, replenish character's stats, or helps narrate a game.

****

Essentially, characters have three stats. Guess which ones. A character chooses one as their primary, secondary and neutral. It defines a character either as a Fatalist, an Estatic, or as Free.

Fate acts as the stat for mind and for the attributes one was born with. It is a flat rating that automaticly subtracts from the difficulties of situations, letting you beat something that is lowered to zero or lower, and going down by one everytime it is used. In fighting or dealing with death, Fate is the rating for how close you are to death, lower the closer. Also written for Fate is one's doom, or the way one will die, which gives light to one's fears.

Luck acts as the stat for heart and for anything the character doesn't know. Luck is a pool that represents how many stones you can pull for a hand, giving you success randomly, and going down one everytime you get a pull. In fighting or dealing with death, Luck is what you pull in randomness to see if you can dodge it. Also written for Luck is one's obsession, or the way one places one's life on the line again and again.

Will acts as the stat for body and for anything the character learned in life. Will is what you can pay out to do something to defy Luck or Fate, allowing narration, and going down at the rate of expenditure. In fighting or dealing with death, Will is what you pay to fight back with. Also written for Will is one's dreams, or the reason or goals the character has to live for.

Replenishing pools comes from risking them. Characters can only gain more Fate/Will/Luck (have to come up with a generic term for all three of the basic component of Destiny that becomes one of the three with application) by challenging, interacting, and being around other people like themselves. It is also the only time characters are really vulnerable to death, most other times essentially immortal. This can be done with games of Luck like Russian Roulette or poker, or defeating each other's plans and goals. Or by killing each other. But it is hard to kill one who can warp fate, luck or will about oneself.

I have social aspects and rules called Karma, which also convey some morals with them to the extent that morals are only an aspect of culture in this game, not of the universe. Under construction.

****

Inspirations come varied sources:

Unbreakable is a story of a man who concentrates in Will to the point of becoming superhuman. Mr.Glass is one who is consumed with Fate.

Fearless is the story of a man who dances with Luck after nearly dieing.

Flatliners is a story of a group of people who concentrate in Fate, learning the dark karma they carrying with themselves.

Intacto, a spanish film,  deepens the magic of Fate/Will/Luck, showing the ways one can gamble away one's gifts after surviving Holocausts, plane wrecks, etc.

Nobolis and Unknown Armies were post-inspirations, as were many other ideas here, helping me refine, redefine, and throw away many ideas I had/have.

****

These are all broad storkes. I haven't gone into the depthes of the mechanics nor the color that I've developed. I will post more as time warrants. I really need to just sit down and write this sucker. I think the biggest issue I've been happening is if to make the mechanics with a GM or without one... That's hard.

Look forward to questions and criticisms. Let me know what people would like explained in more detail.
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Mathias the Jack
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 12:37:12 AM »

In the first place, wOOt!

In the second place, bummer. I've had a game of my own bouncing around in my head about just this sort of thing, which is always something that's fascinated me. Now someone's going to do it first. Oh, well, had to happen.

Third, so let me get this straight. Fate is your 'health' stat, what keeps you running and grounded on the mortal coil. It's your foundation. Luck is your opportunity or 'dodge' stat, what determines how much of a 'range of motion' your character has when crises come up. Will is your 'burnable' stat, which you can spend to get redraws and hopefully keep going. How does Will come back? How does a character improve?

Fourth, I'd probably put in someone as a referee/GM, just to solve those deals where you're in conflict with another bender of Fate, or when Fate just has to have things a certain way. Also, I'd be interested to see what happens when you get too paranoid, isolated, or disconnected from the people around you.

Fifth, just had a great idea that probably sucks, but I'll state it anyway. Remember the Final Destination movies? Iffy execution, but interesting concept being what happens when you actually cheat death? What about having people on the planet who cheat death once too often and become 'luck vampires', who end up saddling others with fatal accidents or other disasters meant for them if they hang around one place too long? What if something like that could happen to players if they go too far? How do you stop them? What if 'them' becomes 'you'?

Just some thoughts. Go with this idea, please!
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Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2003, 06:40:27 AM »

Another idea, going to the opposite end of my luck-vampires question:

Can the characters donate their Luck, Will, or Fate to someone else in a crisis? Say spend two points to give one, or something like that? Not only is it something they might do if a loved one is in peril, but it couls be a handy way to reduce those stats that are rocketing the players into the realms of madness.

I thought of that as I fell asleep after making my earlier post. This game has seriously caught my attention. ;-)
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Thomas Tamblyn
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Posts: 105


« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2003, 03:06:15 PM »

I second Spooky's Donating idea.  I'm not even sure if its necessary to have an exchange rate of 2:1, after all, players are usually loathe to give up their charcters abilities to help anothers (most people hate being the cleric), so the unfavourable exchange rate might be unnecessary.  Simple player possessiveness should prevent the group just effetively pooling all their points.

Also, having a rule that covers helping other characters encourages characters to cooperate.  Probably an obvious point, but just in case.
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MathiasJack
Member

Posts: 75


« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2003, 05:22:22 PM »

Spooky, Thomas,

1) Thanks Spooky! And I am stealing your term of Bender for those who can manipulate Fate/Will/Luck. I've been using Weaver, but don't like it, and have resulted to the three separate terms of Fatalist, Estatic or Willed. I not sold on Bender, I need something more colorful than that, and don't liked Willed either. I do like Fatalist and Estatic a lot.

2) Always looking for collaborators(sp?), Spooky...

3) The stats roughly work as such when in a fight:
3A) Fate is how close you are to your doom/death, so yeah, a "health" rate. A Body Attribute in a way.
3B) Luck is how you can dodge situations, either actual physical dodges or strange coincedences. Of course, with Luck, you might wind up in a worse situation. A Dexterity Attribute in a way.
3C) Will is how you fight back, how you cause damage back to the world around you. A Strength Attribute in a way.
3D) Stats come back most commonly with interaction with other Benders. It is the easiest way to collect more F/W/L than without other Benders around, and the is a double edge sword because it is also one of the most vulnerable times for a Bender to die. You can gamble at games of chance and risk to gain them back. You can kill another Bender. A Fatalist can find out when someone's death will occur, to be there at the moment of death to "reap" (death and Fate are closely interrated). A Estatic can drain someone of their F/W/L like an psychic vampire, or dare to do some life threatening deed. A Willed can set out to accomplish something, the more Will used to do so, the bigger the chance of gaining something back. When you have a chance to gain F/W/L back, you simply pull out the number of stones you have a right to, and the random draw of stones raise your stats accordingly. I'm thinking that if a character is a Fatalist, Estatic or Willed, the one aligned with your perspective is doubled at the draw.

4A) That's the thing with a GM. Fate becomes what he/she wants. I've been playing around with the idea of divination and prophecy. Ideas that what a Fatalist, or when another Bender, divines becomes Fate. I'm not explaining this in full detail, but in essence, the game works to map out the future using Fate, with Luck and Will the only ways one can change it. And I am not certain a GM is needed for that, not when all the players can contribute with divining to write the future.

4B) The ideas of paranoia, isolation or obsession are the extremes of Fate, Will, and Luck respectively. I see them as triggers that cause the character to go through some type of trauma.
4B1) Fate causes paranoia as characters begin seeing the patterns of the world around too precisely, begin to learn and know too much. Almost info over load. Specifically, the paranoia deals with the characters doom and fears, ie, Willis's character in Unbreakable had water as his. A character's paranoia is of the method they will die by, which is usually commonplace, such as drowning to use the above example.
4B2) Isolation starts eating away at one's ability to deal with the world. In short, the higher one's Will goes, the harder it becomes to gain more Will, Fate or Luck. Having a lot of Will is harsh on one's social interactions as well (though I am thinking that having a lot of Fate or Luck would harm social interations as well...).
4B3) Obsession is something you are just draw towards. Maybe you have to always play russian roulette when offered, or poker, or chicken in cars. It is something that is usually life threatening that you simply can't seem to avoid.

5) Yes, I've had some other people suggest Final Destination. And to honest, I haven't seen them. Sounds like I should. Instead of death, the characters would be avoiding Fate. The idea of "Luck Vampires" is already there, but I like the new idea for me of possibly saddling others with Fates avoided. Have to think of that.

Next post) The idea of being able to exchange F/W/L is an Estatic ability, in other words, you use Luck to do it, and so it is not an always dependable way of transfer. The Antagonist in "Intacto" hugs his protege, stealing his Luck. The protege protagonist, as he gains Luck back, hands it off to others to help them. Luck almost becomes this unpredictable currency. Again, it is the "Luck Vampire" idea needing to be enlarged.

There is a bunch of "color" ideas these posts have touched on, that would take me a lot longer to type out, but they're hinted in the above. I'll add some tonight as I get a chance here at work, maybe one on each of the three...
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Mathias the Jack
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taalyn
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Aidan Grey


« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2003, 06:45:26 PM »

I agree with the other guys - wOOt!

First, do you mean Ecstatic instead of Estatic?

Second, instead of Bender (I keep seeing an annoying robot who drnks a lot), how about: Avatar, Shifter, Perm (from Permutation), Muter, Warper, Everter, Caster (as in 'casting about in a Sea of' F/W/L), Fluxer, or Protean? Thesauri rock - I use this one

I see so many similarities with Aisling. Fatalists are Breed, E(c)statics are Fae, and Willed are Humans. Luck is a name for Yliaster, the universal energy, and is what keeps people alive (Fae and Breed need it more than Humans). It can be used to improve Draws, among other things. I use Passions (basically Spiritual Attributes from TRoS) in a way that correlates them with Will. And of course, the Caern itself is Fate. But the way's I've just described them could really apply to any game, with thought.

I think the coolest thing I see is the unification of in-game setting/story and the mechanic, my fave. The mechanic in Aisling came about the same way. I look forward to seeing more!

Aidan

Edit: fixed the url link.
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Aidan Grey

Crux Live the Abnatural
MathiasJack
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Posts: 75


« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2003, 06:51:13 PM »

Right now, one of my biggest questions on the feeling of the game is how strongly to put the magic out there. Of course there are three components of magic, the mixing of the three or the level of points one uses for a "spell", builds the spell, a la Mage the Ascension.

Fate can be used to divine specifics on things. Depending on what, who, where and when, difficulty increases. With a true name of something, someone, they can always be located. Fate can be used to strengthen the reality of objects and things, making them more resistant to damage. On roads, laylines, or doors, a Bender can create wards of safety, making safe travel ways along pathways naturally used by nature or made by humans. Fate can also be used to hide things, making them harder to divine. Fate is Order, Mind, Matter, Endings, and Nothing.

Example: a Bender could use Fate to divine secrets of the universe, a kin to analyzing the individual threads in a carpet, using tarot or tea leaves or any other way the Bender chooses. Since the spell uses Fate, the Bender can pull up to a number of stones equal to their current Fate stat. If enough Fate stones are pulled to equal what the Bender is attempting to divine, they learn about it. The number of Fate stones beyond the required deepen the level of detail revealed.

Luck can be used to increase the chances of something happening, ie, finding a crow bar to break open a lock, difficultyLuck can increase the chance of someone being able to do something normally they wouldn't have a chance to do. Pull a number of stones, every Luck stone increases the pertaining stat temporarily for that specific task. Luck can be used to actually "conjure" new objects. Luck could be used to change an object into something else, or change an aspect of something slightly, difficulty on what you are attempting to change. Luck can be used to confused  At edges of well defined locations, ie, seashore where land and sea meet, forestedges where trees meet prairie, or storm edge where the end of the rain meets air, a Bender could use Luck to open a door to somewhere else. Luck represents Chaos, Emotions, Energy, Beginnings, and Anything.

Example: A Bender attempting to find something to burn some files with incriminating information within, can use Luck to increase the probablity of finding something. The Bender pulls a number of stones equal to their Luck stat, and depending on the difficulty (ie, the likelihood of finding a light somewhere in a office for a corporation promoting non-smoking), the Bender needs to pull enough Luck stones to make it happen.

What does that leave for Will you ask? Where as Fate and Luck effect things and act as Cosmic forces, Will effects living creatures on individual basis. Without Will in the mix of a spell, a Bender can not effect other living creatures. As far as the Bender themself, Will alone is sufficent to increase a stat at one point expenditures for a scene, to make onself tougher or more damaging or more "dodging". To effect another living creature, one must at least spend one Will to effect the creature with Fate or Luck. Will also is what one uses to make it harder to effect the Bender with Fate or Luck. Will represents the ability to effect Life, your own or others.

Example: A Bender using Will to do the things Willis does in Unbreakable would be the highest levels of using Will to increase one's stats and abilities. This is a bit more reliable than simply using Luck to increase the chances of something being able to be done, yet not always as powerful.

There is a part of me that wants Benders to be able to do amazing things, but I also want the game to be gritty. Normally Benders are people who could be immortal if they could remove themselves from the Game being played, but flaunting death is extremely addicting. They risk their immortality to gain more power, the easiest way is competing with other Benders in games of Life & Death, defeating goals/dreams of other Benders, doing things to the loved ones of other Benders, or even going so far as killing those loved ones or the other Bender him or her self. They gain the most power constantly by making themselves the most vulnerable. It is a constant gamble to become a more powerful Bender, and that has to have a certain grit there to make it adrenaline pumping. I don't want magic to over power that. Right now I am right on that edge if the magic I am thinking would do that or not.
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Mathias the Jack
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taalyn
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Aidan Grey


« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2003, 06:57:24 PM »

Geez,MJ - this is too excellent!!!!

Wanna work on Aisling with me? Please? Your ideas are soooo GROOVY!!

Again, we're mirroring each other. Aisling magic is similar, depending on colors to build up the spell.

I gotta go now, before I obsess...and I have damage to figure out!

Aidan
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Aidan Grey

Crux Live the Abnatural
MathiasJack
Member

Posts: 75


« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2003, 06:57:45 PM »

Thanks Taalyn!

Yes, I agree, Taalyn, on the term Bender, just keeping it generic for right now. I'll have to mull over some of those suggestions you made. Or like what I suggested to you, make up a term on my own. Up til now, I've used Weaver.

Oh, and I usually correlate it along these lines in my mind:

Fatalist, those paranoid about Fate, = Gods, Ghosts, Concepts

Ecstatic (you got it right, I just type too fast to include that "c"), those obsessed with Luck = Beast, Fae, Spirit

Willed (still need a better name), those independent with Will = Human

More to come...
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Mathias the Jack
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MathiasJack
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2003, 06:58:58 PM »

Now you know how excited I became when reading your stuff Taalyn. Definitely up to exchanging ideas, let's talk.
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Mathias the Jack
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2003, 12:59:19 AM »

Quote
1) Thanks Spooky! And I am stealing your term of Bender for those who can manipulate Fate/Will/Luck. I've been using Weaver, but don't like it, and have resulted to the three separate terms of Fatalist, Estatic or Willed. I not sold on Bender, I need something more colorful than that, and don't liked Willed either. I do like Fatalist and Estatic a lot.


As for Bender, you're welcome to it.

As for those who focus on Will, you used a term in your previous post, The Free, which has a lot going for it. Since they fixate on Will, there's a lot of baggage that comes with bending your destiny by force of Will, baggage of the "I am the Master of My Fate, I am the Captain of My Soul" variety. Hence, they believe they are "free" from Fate's machinations or the idiot chance of Luck. The extreme of this is the isolation you mentioned, the sense that they are the only ones capable of making anything happen, and that others just can't or won't focus themselves long enough to make a difference. They simply stop relating to (and empathizing with) others who don't have their rigid focus.

Quote
2) Always looking for collaborators(sp?), Spooky...


You got me. I'd be more than happy to help out. This is a game with a lot of merit to it, especially with the influences you listed.

Quote
4A) That's the thing with a GM. Fate becomes what he/she wants. I've been playing around with the idea of divination and prophecy. Ideas that what a Fatalist, or when another Bender, divines becomes Fate. I'm not explaining this in full detail, but in essence, the game works to map out the future using Fate, with Luck and Will the only ways one can change it. And I am not certain a GM is needed for that, not when all the players can contribute with divining to write the future.


True to a point, but while the game by it's nature contributes a lot to (using a Forge term here) Director Stance, where a player has a lot more control over the surroundings than a traditional game, I think with this game it's important to emphasize that Benders only bend; there's a lot more to the world than just the players and their machinations. I don't see a problem with Fate being what the GM wants to a degree, because there are things going on without the player being involved, like the lives of people around the Bender, as well as other Benders beyond the player-characters.
 
See, I like the idea that these Benders have always existed among us, but haven't had that much of an impact in our world. Why? Because they are just one person, living one life, and while one person can make a pretty big splash, in the end the pond regains its stillness. It's like the Goo Goo Dolls song, "Name": "Don't it make you sad to know that life is more than who we are?" Hence the need, thematically, for someone who can keep the rest of the world running: a GM, or as I keep wanting to call them for this game, an "Arbiter."  

Quote
4B) The ideas of paranoia, isolation or obsession are the extremes of Fate, Will, and Luck respectively. I see them as triggers that cause the character to go through some type of trauma.


These are cool; I like these. I was wondering, in the beginning, if you weren't taking a page from Unknown Armies and the Madness Meter, using paranoia, isolation, and obsession as gauges to see how far along the character is from disconnecting from the people around them. Instead, you seem to be using them as Spiritual Attributes from The Riddle of Steel. Theoretically, you could use them as both: a gauge to show how disconnected the character is when not dealing with his fixations (as a penalty to his draw) and as a bonus when dealing with his fixations. This could also explain why Benders don't set the world on fire as a rule: they tend to get too caught up in themselves. Two good film examples of this would be David Cronenberg's Crash and Akira Kurosawa's Irizuma(sp?), in which the protagonist goes quietly nuts when he finds out he's dying, and reconnects to the people around him only when he finds a way to help others, in this case (I think) building a center for children.

Quote
5) Yes, I've had some other people suggest Final Destination. And to honest, I haven't seen them. Sounds like I should. Instead of death, the characters would be avoiding Fate. The idea of "Luck Vampires" is already there, but I like the new idea for me of possibly saddling others with Fates avoided. Have to think of that.


My idea of "Fate-resistant" types comes from either Luck-junkies or overly-paranoid Fatalists with an ability pool that's too high to allow them to successfully interact with the world around them; consequently, Fate dysfunctionally overcompensates in trying to get them, and ends up taking out those around them. Thus, "luck vampires" in my original post are Benders who are, ironically, victims of their own success.

This stems from my conception, as I outlined above, of Benders in the end being ordinary people with extraordinary insight, but just people. If they go too far in Bending, it begins to feed back on them, causing a lot of unnecessary carnage along the way and wreaking hell on the Bender's personal life.

This would then be a motivation for the Bender to start giving away their Fate, Luck or Will, so as to get back to an even keel. The most obvious would be a "good luck" "donation" to those who would otherwise die, donating some much-needed Fate (to help them weather the crisis), Luck (to dodge the worst of the crisis), or Will (to help them fight back, and thus neutralize the crisis.)

Another way would be to "slag" someone with "bad luck." Say someone caused a significant other of the Bender to end up in a hospital due to carelessness or criminal behavior.  The Bender could then donate some "bad luck" (or, in my parlance, "slag" him), with some Fate (making it easier for him to buy the farm horribly when his Luck runs out), Luck (by cutting off his options so that his Fate is open to a lot more assult), or Will (by demoralizing him or otherwise blunting his ability to fight off his impending crises, thus making it more likely that his Luck and Fate will both run out.)

Both of these require the Bender to interact with the people and the world around them in more than abstract terms, which I believe is a crucial theme for this game. Yes, these people have undergone a profound life-changing shamanic experience. But like the shaman,  it's equally important that they reconnect to the people around them, or the relationship they have to the world becomes dysfunctional and poisonous.
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MathiasJack
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Posts: 75


« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2003, 02:10:53 AM »

Questions on replenishing answered:

Guess I've been a little loose in explaining replenishing.
Essentially any of the Weavers/Benders are immortal. They could stave off death indefinitely, except two things: the ways of replenishing their powers is either by interacting with other Weavers, usually in destructive manners, or the by placing thier lives on the line. Immortality is gained only by placing their lives on the line.

One way a Fatalist can gain F/W/L back on their own is to divine a moment of death, and be there to "reap" the energies released as someone meets their fate. During medieval times, Fatalists, wearing robes and masks as not to be recognised, gave birth to the image of the hooded Death coming at a person's last breath. Another way is to guarantee someone else's Fate; a Fatalist divines someone's Fate, then works to ensure it.

One way a Ecstatic can gain F/W/L back on their own is to play games of life and death. While any of the Weavers gain F/W/L when doing this, Ecstatics gain the most. And as "Luck" vampires, they enjoy letting someone else win, or being around those who gain lucky winnings, then feeding off of the winner.

One way one of the Free gain F/W/L back on their own is to determine a goal or aspiriation for themselves, then accomplish it. The Free can do this on their own, unfortunately they become targets for other Weavers. That is because a Free One bets Will on if they can accomplish the goal: if they accomplish the goal, they gain the betted amount; if not, they lose that amount of Will. Weavers who are directly responsible for stopping the Free One from accomplishing the goal, gain the allotted amount of Will.

Any Weaver can gain F/W/L when defeating the goals and plans of other Weavers. They can gain F/W/L in games of life & death, like chicken fighting in cars, running blind-folded through the woods, or russian roulette. They can gain F/W/L when effecting the friends and loved ones of another Weaver. They can gain F/W/L when killing another Weaver.

When ever a Weaver gains the chance of replenishing their stock of F/W/L at a determined amount, they get to draw that many stones from the pot.  The specific stones add to their specific stats accordingly, up to the character's individual limits on their stats. Fatalists, of course, view their draw as pre-ordained, a divining of their future needs. Ecstatics view it all as random Luck, and that they just need to clever of enough to know how to use what was dealt to them. The Free see it almost as the universe confirming to their desires, willing innate energies outward as the character becomes conscious of them.
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Mathias the Jack
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Spooky Fanboy
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2003, 02:32:33 AM »

Quote
Right now, one of my biggest questions on the feeling of the game is how strongly to put the magic out there. Of course there are three components of magic, the mixing of the three or the level of points one uses for a "spell", builds the spell, a la Mage the Ascension.


I have reservations about this. It seems to me that it would be cleaner if Fate, Luck, and Will weren't things that a Bender could invoke so much as they were things that a Bender simply did, that they were part of who the Bender was. Innate abilities instead of a system of magic. It could even be conceivable that (especially in the case of a Will-centered character) the character could have no idea what she was doing.

Allow me to clarify my position by way of example.

Say a Bender's lover was put in the hospital by the careless driving of some asshole who, as it turns out, is a made guy in the local branch of the Mob. Anyone else would go unavenged, as this particular part of the Syndicate has it's tendrils stuck deep in the local law enforcement and the surrounding community. But now they went and pissed off the wrong lady! Now it's time for justice, but how best to go about it?

If the Bender in question is a Fatalist, she could, after divining who it was that was responsible, walk right up to him and his bodyguards in their favorite dining establishment and tell them 1) exactly what she thinks of them 2) that they need to pay her lover's hospital bills and get out of their current line of work; it's not healthy.

At this point, the asshole in question would probably not take her seriously and react rather rudely. Knowing this would probably be the case, our Fatalist would have (prior to the conversation) neatly trimmed the possibilities of this event so that she could look this asshole in the eye with complete confidence and say, "Yes, you could blow me off completely. You could have me hurt or killed in this place, and not many people would be the wiser. You could have me followed and killed somewhere else. You could make my life a living hell, but you're not going to. You're either going to make restitution voluntarily, or you're going to end up horribly dead. Those are the only options left open to you."

If the asshole persists in his arrogant way, he ends up near dead a few days later, the victim of an unsuccessful assassination attempt. And who should walk right up to him, when he's least able to do anything about it, but our Bender. She takes the opportunity to tell him one more time to either pay off his debt to her and her boyfriend, or suffer certain death. Being superstitious, he agrees, and soon her boyfriend leaves the hospital, with the asshole taking his place in the room. (Odd, that.)

The Bender could be an Ecstatic, who "happens" to overhear who ran her lover over. The same conversation can ensue, and if he or his bodyguards try anything, the cops show up, they choke on their food, their guns misfire, etc. It ends up looking like a bad action-comedy, with the Mob asshole taking the worst of it. His luck just gets weirder and worse, until, when she calls back and asks him to pay the hospital bills and retire, he gives up. (Anything to get this strega b---h off his back!)

The Bender could be one of The Free. She finds out who did this, doesn't matter how, and goes after him. If he hits, she hits back, harder. If she digs for information, she hits the motherlode. B the time she's done, they gladly give in, not out of superstitious dread, but because she's just too much trouble.

So how she goes about it is flavored (but not necessarly limited) by which stat she uses. Fate allows her to prune away the asshole's options, to where he can't do anything but what she wants him to do. Luck allows her to open up options: good ones for her, bad ones for the asshole. For him, anything that can go wrong, really does. Will opens up her good options and prunes away her bad options, but only affects her directly; she can't directly affect the asshole with it. He can still hit, but she hits harder. His gun might misfire; hers never does, and always hits for maximum impact. His terror campaign against her might succeed or fail; hers will succeed, and succeed brilliantly. She could do all this and, in character, never know she was doing anything particularly supernatural. I borrowed (well, stole) this idea from Nine Worlds: you can do anything with the stat, you just have to explain how you did it within the context of that stat.

Will ends up being the least overtly magical, but this might be tempered by the fact that a high Will score has the least noticeable repercussions. (No overt assaults caused by Fate thrashing against the character re: "Luck Vampirism.")    

Quote
There is a part of me that wants Benders to be able to do amazing things, but I also want the game to be gritty. Normally Benders are people who could be immortal if they could remove themselves from the Game being played, but flaunting death is extremely addicting. They risk their immortality to gain more power, the easiest way is competing with other Benders in games of Life & Death, defeating goals/dreams of other Benders, doing things to the loved ones of other Benders, or even going so far as killing those loved ones or the other Bender him or her self. They gain the most power constantly by making themselves the most vulnerable. It is a constant gamble to become a more powerful Bender, and that has to have a certain grit there to make it adrenaline pumping. I don't want magic to over power that. Right now I am right on that edge if the magic I am thinking would do that or not.


Understandable, and I agree. I think that the best way to do that is to limit what the character can do to things that can be described as "extreme coincidence." When they go beyond that certain level, growing too powerful, we get the "Final Destination" effect of Fate literally going after them, more likely hurting or killing the people around them.

That's my opinion.
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MathiasJack
Member

Posts: 75


« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2003, 02:36:31 AM »

Love your post before last, Spooky, you state some points I've been attempting to make more succinctly than I've managed to do so far. (Just reading your last post now)

Paranoia, Isolation and Obsession are indeed, as I see them, to be used both as penalty when not dealing with their fixations and as bonuses to draws when they are. Becoming paranoid makes a Fatalist awesome at divining and gaining more knowledge, but ultimately makes them feel as if there are no such things as options and choices - the Cosmos is out to get them, hunting down with their Fate. Becoming obsessed makes an Ecstatic damn brilliant at death defying stunts and improbable feats, but it also makes them want to do it more and more, like a junkie, and it just takes one bad draw to get hurt or dead. Becoming isolated makes a Free One truly independent, but ultimately cuts them off from Fate or Luck, essentially cutting themselves off from interacting with the world and other people.

I especially like what you state about the pros of having a GM, or "Arbiter". It helps the game feel gritty rather than godlike. That is definitely moving in the direction I want. Though I do want the idea of weilding that type of power to be out there, /just/ beyond the grasp of Weavers. They can taste the flows of the Cosmos, surf them at times, but ultimately they fall to Earth if flying too close to the Sun.

Also the emphasis of having to interact with people around them on human level is really good. Weavers are forced to interact with other people to "vent" their stats constructively, handing off the Threads of Destiny to those around them. A chance to possibly heal rather than simply "bleed" excess off in negative ways. That's really good.

You mention giving someone bad Luck. The thing is, I don't envision their being anything as good or bad Luck in the game. You can gamble a chance to increase probabilities in your favor, but even that has a chance to fail in drawing stones. The most you can hope to do, as you mention later in the same paragraph, is lower the Luck stat so that the other Weaver or person has less options to excercise when attempting to avoid Fate or another's Will.
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Mathias the Jack
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Sage Scholar
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