I came up with this optional rule for On Her Majesty's Arcane Service, but this could work in any game - particularly one with political intrigue. I will probably bring this into Glorianna when I get around to finishing it.
Optional Rule: A Currency of Favors
Favors were a major currency in Elizabethan times, and this rule aims to emulate it. Players begin play with 4 favor points, plus 1 per Wealth Rank above Middle Class, and can freely spend them by calling them in, or gain them by doing favors for each other or for NPCs. 1 favor point is worth a favor from a Middle Class or lower person. an UMC favor is worth 2 points, Wealthy 4, Extremely Rich 8, Plutocrat 16, and the Queen’s favor is worth 32.
That's it. Real simple, but I think it could be very effective in a political game.
Here's one I have used for many different games, and it works extremely well.
Optional Rule: Commando-type Actions
Characters may attempt commando‐type actions such as picking off a sentry by clasping a hand over the sentry’s mouth while slicing his neck with a knife. If the character has an appropriate background this should be purely a question of the character’s ability to sneak up on (sneak or stealth skills) or rush (flash skill) the sentry. If the sentry does not detect the approach of the character, or has no time to respond, the sentry should die. If a character without an appropriate background attempts it, roll at sneak, stealth, or flash+0 as appropriate, with modifiers for agility. In any case, the sentry’s constitution should be ignored.
Another simple but effective rule which really supports a particular type of play. again, it can be used in any game - the skills and stats used may vary, of course, but the idea is very transferable.
Finally, here's how I implement Hero/plot points.
Optional Rule: Plot Points
Using this optional rule, the characters and the GM each receive one Plot Point per session. They can be used any time during that session, but cannot be accumulated across sessions. The Plot Point can be used to do one of two things: the player may make any attempt, by anyone, an automatic success, or an automatic failure. These points should be used any time an action cannot fail, or must not succeed. The Plot point need not be used on the player’s character. It can be used at any time on any character.
My players *love* this rule! They can use it for a failed roll, they can prevent a bad guy's success, they can use it on each other, and the GM gets one and can use it however he wants too. Again, systemless rule. You can use it in any game.