Monday, April 24, 2017

Role Playing Tools

An idea for an indirect social mechanic. Instead of your character rolling some extra influence or rolling in place of an interaction, this mechanic provides a path. Beginning with this idea and after some discussion I've landed here: Degrees of Separation and Ability Checks (not new but it goes hand and hand). We're going to give this a whirl this week and see how it goes.

Degrees of Separation
Six degrees are all that separates us. When you meet an NPC you may spend a Luck Die to define how your character is related to them. Once defined, it may provide a path to the NPC, reveal information, or decrease the difficulty of certain ability checks. If the connection is not believable, the GM may require you roll your Luck Die instead. The result on the roll determines how many degrees of separation there are between your character and the NPC. If there are few enough degrees then your story is confirmed. If there are too many, you (or the GM) must define a new relationship or drop the matter. You may roll only once per NPC, the NPC must be one of the playable races, and you cannot use degrees of separation to reinforce an established relationship.
Ability Checks 

Role-playing generally means you act and speak through your character, but because you are acting through your character and the GM is acting through NPCs, it may be difficult to get a sense for nervous tension, subtle mannerisms, and hidden meanings. To incorporate this into the game, players have some tools, namely Intuition and Will checks, that in essence provide context to what is otherwise a purely verbal exchange between you and your GM. While speaking, you may roll Intuition checks to notice things like facial ticks, shiftiness, tremors in a character’s voice, and so on. Likewise, roll Will checks to keep your composure when lying, projecting confidence, or under the influence of a third party. The skills Sense Motive and Composure can aid in these sorts of checks. With the Sense Motive skill, for example, it is one step easier to spot a lie, whereas with the Composure skill it is one step easier to keep your poise (making your deception or confidence more believable). If both these skills come into play (one character has the Sense Motive skill and the other Composure), then roll opposing checks, Will versus Intuition.

Some notes on Luck

Every character has a Luck score. It aids characters in the following three ways:

-First, Luck determines your character’s Spell Resistance or SR, equal to your Luck modifier.

-Second, you have as many Luck Dice as your modifier. A Luck Die can be spent on any roll to add 1d6 to the result. To use a Luck Die, you must declare your intention to add the Luck Die before the result of the roll is determined. If a Luck Die is used as a Spell Die, it counts towards the identical dice effect. Only 1 Luck Die can be used to modify a check at one time. Likewise, if you have negative Luck Dice your GM can use them to lower a roll by 1d6 following the same rules. Recover Luck Dice after a full day.

-Third, you may spend a Luck Die to define your relationship with a character you meet.

Magda Zwierzchowska