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Author Topic: Muses rules developments  (Read 3174 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: September 10, 2003, 01:36:11 PM »

I've been giving myself time to "stew" some thoughts regarding Muses and their role in regards to the Nine Worlds setting. I've made headway, but there are, as he poet says, miles to go before I sleep. . . .

According to my most recent posts, including the newly revised character sheet, I think all I had done was pretty much say, "Ok, have the same Muses, just make them be from Word X." This is nearly meaningless, and amounts to a colorful restriction in a too-meager effort to tie in the setting.

So, here are some more thoughts as I chisel away at this crucial element of the game. I do like the "judgment" mechanics I suggested and encoded on the new character sheet. These rules stated very simply that you checked of either Valor (when using Arete) or Pride (when using Hubris). You have nine chances to be judged by fate on which way you will favor as it relates to Muse.

That is, if you use Arete more so, then you're favoring the natural order of the universe as set forth by the gods. By your choices and actions, you're choosing to live in the world created for you. Conversely, should you choose Hubris more so, then you're choosing to live in a world (or, more locally, a life) of your own making.

Therefore, once you've used one of the two virtues 5 times (the majority needed to "sway the vote" for you), you have defined your role as it relates to that Muse. If you use Arete 3 times and Hubris 5 times, you've chosen a path of your own making. You accrue 5 Pride, and 3 Valor. These cancel out once the Muse is judged, so you garner 2 Pride.

So far, so good. We now have a (fairly) simple mechanic that benefits you either way. You have these Pride or Valor "things" to use.

You use them to "trump in" in a given conflict. You spend a point of Valor or Pride, and the suit you play (i.e., the Urge you use) becomes trump, and other suits are screwed if they come up against trump in the conflict. (Hey, Mike, I finally figured out how to work trump into it to my liking! Yay!) In effect, players with other suits can win against the trump suit. Note, however, that player with the same suit are also trump!

There are still lots of details to hammer out. For example, you cannot spend to trump in until your Muse has been judged (that is, as you check off Pride and Valor, you don't actually EARN Pride and Valor until one reaches 5, and the other cancels out). Also, can you just use Pride/Valor earned for a given Muse at any time, regardless of whether the conflict has anything to do with the Muse those points came from? Currently, I'm saying yes, you can spend Pride/Valor as you wish.

While I like the direction, I'm still unable to come full circle and explain the difference between Pride and Valor. That is, what do these rules have to say about the game's premise (which is: "Whose world will you live in -- the one made for your, or the one you make yourself?). While I'm happy with the "equity" between Pride and Valor, I can't yet wrap my arms around the significance of each as they relate to your character and the setting. . . .

Another idea: I'm thinking of having GMs create "star charts" for their campaigns. They either come up via fun card techniques, or simply assign, ratings and trumps for the various worlds. It'd be sort of like setting up a horoscope for the universe. The ratings are Power ratings for each world, maybe even a "permanent" trump suit for the world. They become the default rating for "doing stuff" on that world that challenges the Eternal in charge, or challenges mortals reality on earth, for example. So, if the player characters need to find the nearest aetherport, they might have to enter a conflict against the world's power, for example.

Now, the interesting part that I haven't yet figured out is how to tie each world's rating to a player's Muse for that world. So, if I have a character with a Muse tied to Mars, and Mars' power is 10, what does that mean? Can I use Pride and Valor to do something funky with that rating? Maybe try to challenge the primacy of Ares himself? Still working on that bit, and it seems to be the main missing link thus far.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Pilgrim
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Posts: 76


« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2003, 02:18:32 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
You use them to "trump in" in a given conflict. You spend a point of Valor or Pride, and the suit you play (i.e., the Urge you use) becomes trump, and other suits are screwed if they come up against trump in the conflict. (Hey, Mike, I finally figured out how to work trump into it to my liking! Yay!) In effect, players with other suits can win against the trump suit. Note, however, that player with the same suit are also trump!


Matt,
I know very little about cards, so what does trump do if other players can win against the trump? I'm confused. Do you mean that trumps automatically win against other suits of cards? And that other players that play in the trump suit also win?

Also, what happens when other PCs (or GM NPC's) spend a Pride or Valor point as well? Do they trump the trump? Or is it simply a matter of who goes first? Or can both sides spend another Pride or Valor point and try to re-establish the trump?

Also, given the current set up, I'd add a Judged Pride and Judged Valor (Or perhaps Pride Trumps? Valor Trumps?) rating that's separate from any muse. That way, its easier to keep things clear and easier to use.

And last but not least, what happens if the PC resolves the muse while he or she still has Pride or Valor Trumps when its resolved?
Thanks,
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Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.
Pilgrim
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2003, 02:44:40 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
While I like the direction, I'm still unable to come full circle and explain the difference between Pride and Valor. That is, what do these rules have to say about the game's premise (which is: "Whose world will you live in -- the one made for your, or the one you make yourself?). While I'm happy with the "equity" between Pride and Valor, I can't yet wrap my arms around the significance of each as they relate to your character and the setting. . . .


Hmm. Perhaps you need to change the words you're using?

Valor: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=valor
Pride: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=pride

Instead of Valor, how about excellence? Or heroism?
And instead of Pride, what about ego?
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Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.
Pilgrim
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2003, 02:49:50 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
Another idea: I'm thinking of having GMs create "star charts" for their campaigns. They either come up via fun card techniques, or simply assign, ratings and trumps for the various worlds. It'd be sort of like setting up a horoscope for the universe. The ratings are Power ratings for each world, maybe even a "permanent" trump suit for the world. They become the default rating for "doing stuff" on that world that challenges the Eternal in charge, or challenges mortals reality on earth, for example. So, if the player characters need to find the nearest aetherport, they might have to enter a conflict against the world's power, for example.


Hmm. I'd been wondering about things like this myself. But the question is, what rating to use? You need something challenging, so perhaps a range of ratings? Or suggested ratings?
And adding trumps into this can get complicated and ugly. I'd suggest against that, holding them in place for beings with muse ratings and Eternals.

Quote from: Matt Snyder
Now, the interesting part that I haven't yet figured out is how to tie each world's rating to a player's Muse for that world. So, if I have a character with a Muse tied to Mars, and Mars' power is 10, what does that mean? Can I use Pride and Valor to do something funky with that rating? Maybe try to challenge the primacy of Ares himself? Still working on that bit, and it seems to be the main missing link thus far.


I'm not sure its a missing link. I honestly don't see a problem there, but perhaps suggesting typical Muses for each world might be a better method.

Thoughts? Comments? Spare change?
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Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2003, 08:34:56 PM »

I gave this issue some more thought, and I’ve come up with some solutions I’m excited about. Here’s how it will work:

When a player has accrued Pride and/or Valor, they become “trump in” tokens. Given enough of these, the player can challenge the nature of a given world. He can take two paths, based on whether he’s using Pride or Valor.

With Pride, an Archon can challenge the primarch of a given world (normally, an Eternal). Should he win this massive conflict, he may assume primacy of the realm. Epic stuff, this. Basically, he rules the world, and defines the way it works. The world becomes a Talisman under his control. He can now use the world (say, Mars) as a weapon/aid/whatever. Wow! He also, therefore, defines the “rules” of that world, but he also has to keep in mind the responsibility of his power. And, without a doubt, he will be challenged.

With Valor, an Archon can take a different approach. Instead of challenging the world and its primarch, he champions the world. (I struggled with this a bit, but decided he has to win a conflict just as the Pride-using Archon would. However, here the Archon isn’t usurping, but rather being tested.) Should the archon win the cosmic contest, he becomes a champion of the world. His prize? Immortality. So long as he remains within the influence of that world (generally meaning he’s physically ON the world), the archon ignores the rules of death and oblivion. He may even become wiped out, having 0 in all characteristics. But, he can still operate (if feebly) using his Fate deck.

With these two ultimate struggles, I think I’ve finally tied the player characters to the setting. Now to make it all work -- there will be some details to address. For example, how does the conflict to usurp/champion work, and what are the Power ratings and Trumps like for the world (and its Eternal lord).

Pilgrim, to answer you question about trump. Yes, trumps automatically win against DIFFERENT suits. Against the same suit, you use the usual rules to compare Fate values. Players who use that suit are also considered to be using Trump.

Only 1 trump suit (Urge) can be set in a phase. If multiple players bid for trump, a bidding war begins. Whoever bids the most Pride/Valor wins the right to name trump. It should be pretty easy to manage the “actual” or “judged” trump with a separate area on the character sheet.

Quote
And last but not least, what happens if the PC resolves the muse while he or she still has Pride or Valor Trumps when its resolved?


The player keeps Pride/Valor in a single, “common” pool. Once “judged,” valor/pride is NOT tied to the Muse from which it came. The player merely has Pride and/or Valor. He does not have “Mars Muse Valor.” Just “Valor.”
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Pilgrim
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2003, 10:27:48 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
I gave this issue some more thought, and I’ve come up with some solutions I’m excited about. Here’s how it will work:

When a player has accrued Pride and/or Valor, they become “trump in” tokens. Given enough of these, the player can challenge the nature of a given world. He can take two paths, based on whether he’s using Pride or Valor.

With Pride, an Archon can challenge the primarch of a given world (normally, an Eternal). Should he win this massive conflict, he may assume primacy of the realm. Epic stuff, this. Basically, he rules the world, and defines the way it works. The world becomes a Talisman under his control. He can now use the world (say, Mars) as a weapon/aid/whatever. Wow! He also, therefore, defines the “rules” of that world, but he also has to keep in mind the responsibility of his power. And, without a doubt, he will be challenged.

With Valor, an Archon can take a different approach. Instead of challenging the world and its primarch, he champions the world. (I struggled with this a bit, but decided he has to win a conflict just as the Pride-using Archon would. However, here the Archon isn’t usurping, but rather being tested.) Should the archon win the cosmic contest, he becomes a champion of the world. His prize? Immortality. So long as he remains within the influence of that world (generally meaning he’s physically ON the world), the archon ignores the rules of death and oblivion. He may even become wiped out, having 0 in all characteristics. But, he can still operate (if feebly) using his Fate deck.

With these two ultimate struggles, I think I’ve finally tied the player characters to the setting. Now to make it all work -- there will be some details to address. For example, how does the conflict to usurp/champion work, and what are the Power ratings and Trumps like for the world (and its Eternal lord).


Matt - that is pretty darn neat. It works with the source material of myths, ties the PCs to the setting and sets up a struggle between virtue and hubris. And it answers whether or not a world can have more than one champion. In short, I like what you've come up with.

As to the contests - wouldn't this be just another form of conflict with different stakes and prizes?

As to Power for the worlds - I like it. Though may I again suggest offering a range of values for the world so GMs can pick something suitable to their campaign/situation?

On trumps - again I'm wary of allowing them to things without muse ratings, but if a world (or a Talisman) has a muse rating then, I'll let it go and say they could be used in conflicts involving the Talisman by the controlling entity.

Quote
Pilgrim, to answer you question about trump. Yes, trumps automatically win against DIFFERENT suits. Against the same suit, you use the usual rules to compare Fate values. Players who use that suit are also considered to be using Trump.

Only 1 trump suit (Urge) can be set in a phase. If multiple players bid for trump, a bidding war begins. Whoever bids the most Pride/Valor wins the right to name trump. It should be pretty easy to manage the “actual” or “judged” trump with a separate area on the character sheet.

Quote
And last but not least, what happens if the PC resolves the muse while he or she still has Pride or Valor Trumps when its resolved?


The player keeps Pride/Valor in a single, “common” pool. Once “judged,” valor/pride is NOT tied to the Muse from which it came. The player merely has Pride and/or Valor. He does not have “Mars Muse Valor.” Just “Valor.”


Ah. OK, I was unclear on that. Thank you.

All in all Matt, that looks good and adds neatly to the setting.
Thanks
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Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.
Pilgrim
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2003, 10:26:35 AM »

Matt,
Can an Archon rule and hold the role of champion for a world or planetoid?
Thanks,
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Bowden "Trey" Palmer | trey DOT palmer AT Golf Mike Alpha India Lima DOT Charlie Oscar Mike
Exos integro, sugiliato curatio, y femellas amo cicatrix.
Matt Snyder
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Posts: 1380


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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2003, 11:52:17 AM »

No, this is impossible. However, an Archon could, conceivably, be champion of one world and rule another (holding the world as "talisman").
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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