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Engaging Narrative? "NEMESIS" Pool addon rules

Started by Kenway, November 29, 2003, 06:25:38 PM

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For Cassidy:  if it doesn't sound too self-promotional, here's some addons I've worked on you can try for your campaign.
They are designed to help serialized adventures with recurring NPCs that the PCs or Gm can insert any time.

   "NEMESIS" addon rules for The Pool (revised)
   These rules help The Pool have a more serial adventure feel with recurring enemies.
   This was based upon the "Advancement via Notoriety" and "PC-summoned foes" threads on The Forge.
   Thanks to Valamir, Mike and others.

   Forge discussion has suggested:
   -Serials like Hercules the Legendary Journeys.  "In these the "code" of the hero means that the enemy is rarely killed when defeated. After a few season a regular cast of recycled villains and fallen warlords would make reappearances."
   -"To enforce the metagame, you could design a setting in which people cannot kill each other, but can only "vanquish". For example, this would totally make sense in Cyberspace or in a fantasy world where the Bad Guys could be ressurected by their dark magic."

   The PC's keeps track of a new addition to their character sheet:  NEMESES, each of which has an accompanying NEMESIS VALUE.  The value should start at 1.
   eg.   Those Annoying Hill Goblin Raiders, 3
      Mitzsch the angry Black Dragon, 5
      The Vindictive Archbishop Steven, 7
   They can be removed permanently (see below).

   Any time PC's want some more Pool Dice, a PC or GM narrates in one of their Nemeses and the party receives the Nemesis Value in Pool Dice.

   When a nemesis is defeated, they are not killed.  They are typically "foiled again" to seek revenge at a later time.
   Each time a Nemesis is defeated, their Value increases, reflecting their more elaborate revenge schemes, their calling in of extra reinforcements, etc.
   *A GM may allow for two NEMESES to team up in a single encounter, like in various superhero comics or cartoons.  The players should pay extra attention to ensure that the setup and resolution for this special cross-over is suitably elaborate and exciting in order to justify the large amount of Pool Dice won.

   To cross off a Nemesis permanently, which will often but not always mean that the party has killed them once and for all, the party pays the Nemesis Value in Pool Dice.
   To maintain the feel of an action serial, when a Nemesis is defeated, 2 new Nemeses can be written down, and the old Nemesis value divided however wished among these 2 new foes.
   eg.  The Vindictive Archbishop Steven (7) is finally locked away in prison.  The party now has to deal with his partner in crime, The Sadistic Baron Thomas (4).  The destructive battle in the Archbishop's underground lair also earned the wrath of The Lunatic Forest Druid (3).

   Each time a Nemesis increases in value, or a new Nemesis is created, the GM may award one or more Pool Dice for good role-playing.  These Dice are used towards advancement as described in "The Continuing Story" rules.


Hi Kenway,

Thanks for the post; stuff like the Nemesis rules is what makes a game like The Pool so cool. The use of Nemesis and other Antagonists is crucial to the development of conflict in the story.

We've drifted some way from the original core rules of The Pool, so far in fact that the need for Nemesis rules is not really necessary because the players themselves ARE their own Nemesis.

In our games the players adopt the roles of the Nemesis, Antagonists, Protagonists and the numerous other bit-part characters that seem to pop up. Players are encouraged to make up characters on the fly and incorporate them into the story. A couple of players may wander off from the table, have a 5 minute discussion, and then come back play out a scene introducing a couple of new characters.

Players are required to write a brief story for the new character they want to introduce and list 6 traits which are typically used to link the new character to pre-existing characters in the story.

For example a player could have 3 characters in one game....

1. Joseph McPhee (corrupt police lieutenant, baddie)
2. Angel Kincaid (millionaire heiress, bit-part character)
3. Nathan Blake (private investigator, goodie)

Each characters does not have a seperate dice pool; they all share the dice pool of the player that created the character.

It's fun because the players sometimes like playing the "baddies" moreso than the "goodies". The players ability to influence the course of the story is not just linked to one character. They can drive the story along using any one of their characters as and when the need arises. More characters equals more story ideas which equals more involvement for the players.

It's sounds a bit loose because it is. When it works though it can be really cool. With the right bunch of players though it can make for some great scenes and storylines.