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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Eric Minton on August 25, 2006, 10:04:25 AM

Title: [Degenerate States] Metamorphosis
Post by: Eric Minton on August 25, 2006, 10:04:25 AM
So I’ve been toying with a vampire LARP idea in which vampirism isn’t a metaphor for adolescence, but rather about growing out of adolescence.  Vampires start out beautiful and hungry, but their passions cool and their bodies decay over time.  The player characters are on the cusp of this change; their current party lifestyle of carefree sensuality is becoming more difficult to maintain, and they must either find a place in the society of their elders or actively reject that society.

I want to eschew social conflict rules entirely; the game is about life choices, and I’m not interested in bringing in mechanical tools to affect these choices.  As to other forms of conflict…  the game isn’t really about beating people up or hacking into their email or whatever, but I’m not sure that I want to block all avenues of non-social conflict outright.  But if the rules permit non-social conflict, I’d prefer to have them reinforce the game’s premise.

My current thought: each character’s attributes (probably something as simple as “Physical” and “Non-Physical”) are written on the outside of a small sealed envelope.  A second set of stats are written on a piece of paper inside the envelope.  When entering a conflict, both players set stakes, then compare their stats, possibly adding a small random factor such as drawing from a set of cards with a narrow range of values.  (Pure karma seems like a poor choice for resolving mutually agreed-upon stakes.)  The higher score wins the stakes.

However!  After the scores are tallied, a player may choose to tear open his envelope and add the attributes on the sheet inside to his score.  The player then disposes of the envelope and uses the new set of attributes, which are slightly lower than the original scores.  The price of this boost is accelerated degeneration.  For the remainder of the game, the character must exhibit some marker of advancing age.  This may be physical (a permanent slouch, a gray streak in the player’s hair) or psychological (a disinterest in attractive prey, disdain for the “club scene”).

Does this actually help engage the premise, or does it seem distracting, silly or irrelevant?  And what other issues might I need to consider for the overall conflict resolution mechanic?