Mechanika Inwazja Note 160302 Counters Dark Future

The counters.

The new iteration of counters is different than the last one. Conceptually, in the past counters took place of hit points in different areas. The current version of counters represent the influence of a player (not character) on the game world in the current escalation or current complex conflict.

There are three counters, each ranging [-5, 5] and during every complex conflict a counter is set at 0:

  • personal counter
  • story counter
  • resource counter

Personal counter represents all types of health, be it magical or mental or physical or social of a character belonging to the player. This counter represents the ways in which a player is able to influence the game world using the character itself. This one can safely get to (-2) without major repercussions between scenes / complex conflicts.

Story counter represents the gains or losses of the player in terms of this story thread the player is interested in. Player might want to save five people from the erupting volcano, but because of losses and story counter the play was able to save only two. In the same way, a player can request gaining the story counter to secure particular things that player is interested in.

Resource counter represents the things, the resources being available to the player either in the gamey nature or being accessible to the character. Losses here will be permanent and gains here will either be tactical or permanent.

The counter is resolved after a complex conflict/escalation. What is very important, whatever change resulted from the conflicts will be applied to the character both prescriptive and descriptive and at next complex conflict we return to the zero level.


New take on dark future.

In the past, dark future was split into five phases. This had a major advantage; we knew the levels of things; we know what happens in the same time. We know what would happen when will it happen and how will happen divided by phases. The problem with phase approach was that players usually invalidated the second or third phase. Furthermore, there was no mechanism of phase changes; players usually did not change those phases and they fought tooth and nail when the game master wanted to change the phase because the time has passed.

Therefore the phases go to extinction. Dark future shall be composed from the story shards; singular statements about the game world which used to be elements of a phase. To combat the missions’ sluggishness and overabundance of planning, every 45 minutes of real world time one story shard shall be given to the game master to be bought. Story shards shall be bought by player lost conflicts and by characters doing things which take time. Descriptive and prescriptive.

Sometimes the players will make such moves that several story shards will not be possible to be bought under current conditions. This might mean that some new story shards shall be created as prerequisites to those story shards which game master wants to buy. Also, players can buy story shards as facts; story shards once bought cannot be altered.

Every actor on a mission should have between two and six story shards connected to them. In case of conflicted storylines where the player is not a party, story shards shall progress simultaneously (buy one, get both conflicted) and players actions shall add prerequisite story shards to determine what has actually happened and how did the story progress.

With those time limits and with those goals a typical mission should have about 15 story shards. This should be enough to let a game master make a progress and not enough for either party to buy it all. Some shards will be deleted by players actions, some new shards shall be added.

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