Monday, January 4, 2010

Thoughts on Traits and Edges

Some new stuff I have been thinking about for In Harm's Way: StarCluster:

First, the comments coming back to me have been exceedingly positive! Thanks all for participating! We haven't found a lot of problems, but we'll keep hacking at it.

Second, I've decided to change the concept of giving a world Traits to giving the world Conditions. Conditions trigger bonuses which are always in play - they are part of the environment, a condition - so long as you have an appropriate Edge. For example, if the condition is Snowy, and your Edge is Extreme Weather, that would match well. Traits are resources which are depleted during play and refresh every session. I think Conditions & Edges are a much better way to hard-code what a world is like mechanically.

Third, I'm adding a small mechanical change to make Traits into more of a currency. Up 'til now, when you use your traits up, they are gone until next session. What I am introducing is that when player characters uses traits to their detriment, they can gain one point back in that trait per point of trait used. For example, your character has a trait of "Hot-Tempered 2". During a bit of roleplaying, if you decide to give yourself a penalty of 2 Small, however that is expressed in the task resolution sub-system, you can add back 2 points into your Hot-Tempered trait. You can only use this method to refresh spent points - you can't gain points over your normal totals, which are the amounts you have at the start of the session. It's still not a full-blown currency like Fate points - I don't like Compels, and prefer that the players initiate anything - but now you can reward yourself for good roleplaying.

Fourth, I'm teaming up with Albert Bailey again for Outremer! I worked with Albert on StarCluster, Cold Space, Sweet Chariot, Book of Jalan, and FTL Now, and we work together really well! His depth of knowledge concerning both history and religion is astonishing, and will be vital to succeeding with Outremer.


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