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[The Heartbreaker War] Its Glory is all Moonshine

Started by Simon C, August 03, 2009, 03:33:21 AM

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Simon C

Based on the proceedings of the last thread on this game, I substantially changed the rules of the game, with excellent effects.  Playtesting the game some more, it's reliably producing more interesting narration, more colour, and more interesting characters as a result.

This thread is more tightly focused, on one of the cards "Glory".  There's only one Glory card in the deck, and it's discarded after use, so it's a pretty rare ocurrence.  Right now, the rules are not working very well.  Here's how it's currently stated:

The character has achieved recognition, fame, or promotion.  Describe the scene of your character's recognition, and the other players (or GM) will choose from a list of Glory for the character.

The list (which in the text carries greater explanation and exposition) is: Rank, Legend, Esteem, and Supernatural.

The problem is, it's boring and also counterintuitive.  People want to describe what their character did to earn the glory.  That's ok, but it runs into another card, Heroism:

The character has performed a heroic act, which gains them recognition and renown.  Describe the act the character performs.  Every player rolls a die for their character.  On a 1, they die. On a two or three, they are injured.  The other players (or GM) choose a suitable form of recognition from the list: Rank, Legend, Esteem, and Supernatural.

Heroism is working great at the moment.  It's reliably creating cool moments, where heroes get everyone killed, where they are esteemed and promoted for horrible failures, and where sometimes, genuine moments of heroism arise. 

I guess the effect I'm trying to get is that heroes are people who get other people killed, and that glory is random and fleeting.  I'm not happy with how Glory is working at the moment, and I'd be interested in ways to improve it.  I'm also open to scrapping it and bringing in something else entirely, if someone has a good idea.


You could reverse the order of operations. (I've added a roll too):

The character has achieved recognition, fame, or promotion. The other players (or GM) chooses: Rank, Legend, Esteem, or Supernatural.

Roll a die. On a 1, your character deserves shame, not glory. On a 2-3, your character deserves only a share of the glory, but is getting it all. On a 4-6, your character deserves the glory.

You can decide what your character really did, but describe the scene of your character's recognition.

(I have no idea whether this decide/describe distinction makes any sense in your game.)


Simon C

Hi Vincent,

That's pretty good.  I like the roll you introduced, it fits with the feel I want.  I get what you mean about the decide/describe distinction, and that is meaningful in the game.

My one concern is that the description at the end of the process doesn't have any teeth.  What I like about the "Heroism" rules is that the other players are relying on the player to describe something cogent and significant, so they can make the decision about which category to choose.  With Glory, by your phrasing of the rule, the description comes after all the decisions have been made.

That's not a dealbreaker, though.  I'd have to see how it worked in play.