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Author Topic: Creating a new stat: Loyalty  (Read 814 times)
Leviathan
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« on: August 21, 2012, 08:38:35 AM »

Hey all.
So, I'm slowly building up to running a campaign, but one of my ideas is going to be.. screwing with the players somewhat.

The idea is the players will all be nobles, but after they've made their character I'll then be giving them an extra piece of their character, like "You are actually a member of the Skaa resistance" or "You're a spy for a rival house" or "The head of house saved your life, you're fiercely loyal to them" (don't worry, the players will be aware that I'll be pulling this before they agree to play).

To represent this somewhat, I think a "Loyalty" stat would be a good, just as a mechanical guide for resolving "Do I go with what my backstory says, or with the relationships I've built once the game started?" kind of arguments.

What I'm thinking so far is:
1) Everyone gets a loyalty stat just like the other stats
2) When there could be a clash of Loyalties (eg "I know I'm a spy for the other house, but I kinda like this guy, so I'm not going to send them this information") they roll their Loyalty stat vs a DC I set. If they pass, they can take their 'unloyal' action, if they fail, they have to remain loyal.
3) The player may spend two nudges to lower their Loyalty score by one point
4) If the player fails spectacularly at being disloyal, their Loyalty stat increases.

Does this sound like a workable idea?
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JMobius
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 09:24:17 AM »

Game mechanics for stifling what characters are allowed to do are often poorly received. At the very least, I'd look in to exploring making it function on a carrot paradigm rather than a stick; give them a reason to be loyal.

That said, I think you'd be better served just giving them actual reasons they'd want to be loyal, and let them make up their own minds which side matters more to them.
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Dreamstreamer
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 09:50:34 AM »

I think this could be handled rather well already through the use of Traits. If they have a loyalty-defining Trait, it will modify the number of dice used in contests involving that loyalty. Conflicting loyalties don't give the bonus, effectively reducing the number of potential dice the character would have had if his/her loyalty wasn't being tested.

If you do go forward with your presented idea, how would players pay for the Loyalty stat? Would they get extra attribute points to distribute or would they have to take a hit in some other attribute to stay within the already established point totals? Does it start at 0 or some arbitrary number?

If the player spends two nudges, is the Loyalty score lowered for the current action (modifying the Result) or only for future actions? Is it permanent?

As written, if a character consistently fails Loyalty rolls, he/she will become more loyal, unless Nudges are spent to decrease Loyalty. So, is loyalty considered a bad thing? (For your game, it very well might be!)
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Leviathan
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 07:39:29 PM »

I'm not sure that I'd say it'd be a *bad* thing, but it'd certainly be a constraint.

The idea is that a bunch of people are going to be thrown together and be working "For the good of the house", but each would be working for other motives as well.
It's hard for even good roleplayers to put the good of their *other* Loyalty above that which they are currently working for, so the "Loyalty" stat plan was intended as a check that must be overcome in order to go against the years/decades of loyalty to your other cause.
Sort of a "So.. you've decided you want to throw in your lot with these people you've known for three weeks and abandon your mission from your real House? Right, Loyalty check needed".

Loyalty would be assigned by me, not paid for by the players, and the 'two nudges to lower the score' thing would be permanent, a way of slowly changing loyalties should the player decide to do so.

The issue with Traits is that it'd modify existing actions, but not modify things that weren't an action (eg, deciding whether or not to send a report back to your house that could incriminate your new 'friends').
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Aminar
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 10:18:13 PM »

I would say try it out but don't be afraid to tweak or abandon it should things not work.  Everything needs balance tests.  I'd be careful though. 
As for the trait idea.  If they start breaking their old ties have it become an attack on their standings.  People start to not trust them, eventually they get the trait disloyal and a new enemy. It should work.  The first rule of homebrew is only homebrew when what you want cannot be done within the RAW. 
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Dreamstreamer
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 02:18:30 PM »

Ahhh, so instead of a "Loyalty" stat in the generic sense of loyalty, it is more like a "Loyalty to House Venture" or something similar? It is a measure of loyalty to one specific house. The players are then given a secret goal/agenda that tests their loyalty to their house. If they want to regularly succeed at their secret goal, they will need to work away at their resolve to be loyal to their house. Is that about it? Kind of reminds me of Paranoia...good times!
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Aminar
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 10:22:46 PM »

By the way, I absolutely love the idea of giving each player a secret goal.  A bit like werewolf.  I'm totally doing this next time I run a campaign.  We should start listing cool ones.
1:  You are secretly a serial killer.  By the end of every 7th day you must manage a kill without letting the other players know and communicate this information to me.(I had a player do this once.  We had a FB convo running on our tablets about his secret doings.)(He was a Kandra that had fled from his people.  It was awesome.)
2:  Your end goal is to see X house's influence reach Y.(Can be up or down.)
3:  Syphon X funds from gains in resources the house has made.-Doesn't work so well as I can see it but there are a few people cleverer than myself. 
4:  Kill character X.  (NPC most likely)
5:  Keep Character X alive.
6: Woo Character X(again NPC most likely)
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