2014-02-03 : Some Basic Rules (vii)



A commitment is a belief, ideal, reputation, or slogan that your character holds, and shares with others. Here are some examples: "I'm like a modern-day Robin Hood." "Gondor needs no king." "We have it in our power to begin the world over again." "We don't want your racist war." "I'm the best pokemon trainer in the Jewel Islands!"*

The game world is rated for each commitment:
-2 Utterly marginal, strongly opposed.
-1 Minority, disdained, contested.
0 Widespread but controversial.
+1 Majority, safe.
+2 Assumed wisdom, held incontrovertible.

Check your modules to find out which commitments are in play and how they're rated.

Experience Points
There are 4 kinds of experience points:
- Ordeals
- Triumphs
- Time
- Witnesses

As you play, whenever you're in the midst of an ordeal, count it as an ordeal experience point. Whenever you triumph, count it as a triumph experience point. Whenever significant time has passed, count it as a time experience point. And whenever you have witnesses, count them as a witness experience point.

Changing your own Commitments
If you have 1 ordeal experience point and 1 time experience point, you can spend them to change one of your own commitments. Rewrite or replace it.

Changing the world
If you have 1 triumph experience point, 1 time experience point, and 1 witness experience point, you can spend them to add 1 to the world's rating of a commitment you hold.

If you have 1 triumph experience point, 1 time experience point, and 1 witness experience point, you can spend them to subtract 1 from the world's rating of a commitment you oppose.

Your modules, equipment and tags might change the kinds of experience points you collect and/or how you can spend them, so be sure to check them.

More to come. All subject to change.

Some Basic Rules (i)
Some Basic Rules (ii)
Some Basic Rules (iii)
Some Basic Rules (iv)
Some Basic Rules (v)
Some Basic Rules (vi)

1. On 2014-02-03, Vincent said:

* These look like Beliefs from Burning Wheel, as you can clearly see. Mechanically they're maybe more like Underground's Parameters, but I never played that game so I'm just guessing.


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This makes...
CB go "Underground?"
GcL go ""
CB go "Thanks!"

2. On 2014-02-03, Robert said:

I did immediately think of Underground, and that's awesome. Please proceed. :)

Underground had a neat feature for parameters that were...well, not exactly in conflict...but related. So that changing one parameter would raise or lower others. Raising public safety might also raise public happiness but lower personal freedom (or something). Went well with the theme.


3. On 2014-02-03, Gordon said:

I'm seeing two variables* in the world rating of the the commitment, that don't need to be linked. The linkage may be a design-choice, of course, which I guess I'm pointing at and asking "what about a rare but uncontroversial Commitment?"

*(Commonality and, hmm, esteem?)


4. On 2014-02-04, Vincent said:

Gordon: A rare but uncontroversial commitment like what?


5. On 2014-02-04, Gordon said:

Let's see - really rare and totally uncontroversial might be either a) unlikely (in that nothing immediately springs to mind - maybe things like low-impact religious strictures?) , and/or b) not really significant enough to bother giving a character ("Certain very particular shades of blue are ugly on a car.")

But, like, "You shouldn't eat meat." I'd say (maybe incorrectly!) for most of my lifetime that's consistently a (slightly increasing) minority, but depending when I checked, I could put it at strongly opposed, contested or only slightly controversial. Not to mention where/who I asked - a "the game world" of Bay Area California vs. the whole US vs. ranch-country Wyoming might open up the range even more.

None of which might matter for this game, of course - there often is linkage, and if that's where the design focuses, maybe that's fine.


6. On 2014-02-06, Gordon said:

Or (thought I posted this right after the last, but obviously not) using "I'm like a modern-day Robin Hood": a drug dealer and a shady finance guy might both have that, with about the same overall support-rarity, but I think the drug dealer is gonna be more controversial.

hmmm - looking at it, I may be adding an endorse-with-joy->apathy->passionately-object scale to "controversy" that also doesn't need to be there, so - if I take that out, I can see controversy as pretty fully equivalent to commonality. I guess the details of the design vision would determine what's appropriate.

i.e., let's say the drug dealer and the shady finance guy both get a majority opposition. That one is mostly "no way dude, but whatever" and the other more like "helzNO, you foul corrupting influence!" may not be where the design really wants my attention.

(Note: I also find it interesting that which character gets more of which reaction may vary by individual/community details, but again - may not matter for the game design)


7. On 2014-02-07, Vincent said:

Yep. This game doesn't gain anything by caring why or how vehemently any given person happens to not share your commitments.


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This makes...
GcL go "Could be aggregate rather than individual"*

*click in for more

8. On 2014-02-08, Josh W said:

A rare but uncontrovertial commitment could be anything with a low scope in terms of affecting people outside of you, but will not be shared with many others. So "I should spend my life creating tiny sculptures of cars".

It's rarity makes it suprising, but once you live next to it and realise it actually changes little, it doesn't matter.

I love that you run it off set collection!

It occurs to me that when someone rewrites their commitments, they would also have to change the rating. I imagine the procedure could be something like this:

When you rewrite one of your commitments to something that doesn't match the existing commitments on the module, find the closest existing commitment. If it seems like it matches one of them but is slightly different, use it's rating reduced by 1, to a minimum of -2. If you as a group decide that it's actually the same after all, choose that commitment instead and write a note next to it on the module about the extra things it means.
If it doesn't match any of them at all, choose -1.

Or the lazy generic version:

When you create a commitment that does not already exist in your modules, they will say who decides the new rating and how.


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This makes...
JMW go "There's a little gap of thinking between paras 2 and 3"

9. On 2014-02-10, Vincent said:

Josh W: Re: Rewriting commitments: something like that, yes.

Re: Set collection: yes! I'm excited about that. I see lots of potential.


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