Sunday, 10 December 2017

Land of the God-Kings: Flaws and History

Land of the God-Kings is going strong. Slow, but strong.

I just wanted to give a rundown of the two most unusual of the game's stats: Flawed, and History.

 Flaws

Flaws are an essential (I believe) part of any super-powerful character. Otherwise, they're just a Power-fantasy mary sue.

Flaws are a character stat. Technically. They are ranked from +1 to +3. The exception to this is the Ancient (who's flaws go down to =0), and anyone who gains a new flaw (which starts at =0). There is a list of 9 flaws characters can choose from, and room to create more, if the GM allows it.

Flaws include: Ambition, Greed, Honour, Isolation, Kindness, Pride, Rage, Revenge, and Sacrifice. A character can have multiple flaws, and flaws can be at different levels.

Flaws are used for 4 moves: the most any stat governs. Harm, Final Fate, Flawed, and Break the World.

Harm, Final Fate: Harm and Final Fate are two moves that determine what happens to a character when their Stress is filled up. Harm triggers when Stress (the games psuedo-HP) is filled up. Final Fate triggers when stress is filled up and a character is acting on their Fatal Flaw.
Unlike most moves, with Harm and Final Fate, you want to roll low. A high roll of Harm results in your character being out of action and in some sort of danger (unconscious, threatened by an enemy, trapped). Note that even the worst result on a Harm move cannot kill a character. A low result results in your character being out of action, but they accomplish something off-screen. Maybe they plan while licking their wounds, maybe they infiltrate somewhere: you can work with your GM on that.

Final Fate is nastier. A high roll of Final Fate results in 2 things: your character becoming an NPC, or Death. A low roll results in permanent stat reduction, a playbook switch, or crossing off moves.

As you may have noticed, this means that a character can only die if they are acting on their Fatal Flaw.

Flawed: Flawed trigger when a character acts on their Fatal Flaw, and serves as a means of advancing experience, as well as gaining power boosts. If a character rolls low, they gain experience with no side effects. If a character rolls high, they gain the tag (power ups/power downs) acting on my fatal flaw, giving them a bonus to any rolls related to their Fatal Flaw, and a penalty on all rolls opposed to it. In addition, rolling high increases your flaw. If a flaw is increased to +4, it instead resets to +1 and you mark experience. This incentivizes characters to seek out their flaw, despite the risks.

Break the World: Break the World is the last move that runs off of the Flaw stat, and does pretty much what it says in the title: You break the world, doing something so dangerous, so immense, or so outside of the games scope that it makes people go 'what.' With this move, you want to roll high.

Really, really high.

A roll of a 10+ gives you a choice between the following options:
• cross off a move.
• gain a permanent severity 1 tag.
• reduce one of your stats by stat-1.
• change your playbook.
• the collateral damage is devastating and irreversible.

As you can probably tell, this isn't a move to be used lightly. On a 7-9, the GM chooses on of the options. On a 6-, the GM chooses one of the options, and you must roll Final Fate. But, if done correctly, this move can do pretty much anything. Create a new race. Kill death. Raise a continent from the ocean. Put out the sun.

History

History (credit to apocalypse world) is an important stat for the group. Each character has history with each other character.

History ranges from -2 to +3, and is determined at the beginning of the game by each character asking questions. An example:

A Dragon, an Ancient, and a Monarch are playing a game together. It's the first session, and they ask their questions.

The Monarch goes first: She asks: 'Who among you has been my ally in the past?' The Ancient decides that he was a foreign dignitary when the Monarch was a child, and says it was him. The Monarch writes +2 for his history, and moves on to the next question. 'Who among you has been my enemy in the past?'

The Dragon shakes his head. 'I've never been in this continent before.' He says. 'I couldn't have been.' Since the Ancient already answered a question, he can't be the enemy. Therefore, instead of marking the -2 History beside the Dragon's name, the Monarch marks a +1, which is the standard for Monarch's. She finishes, and they move on.

This would continue, with each character asking their questions until each character has history with every other character. History is used for two moves: Help/Hinder, and Remember

Help/Hinder: Held/Hinder is a very basic move: a character rolls+history with another character (this is the only move in the game that can only be used on PCs), and they adjust the other PCs roll depending. On a 10+, they may adjust the roll by 2 in any direction. On a 7-9, they may adjust the roll by 1 in any direction.

This moves lends a distinct PVP system to the game, but it is optional (not the move, the PVP). The game works if two PCs decide to have a go at each other, and it sounds like a wonderful idea for a game. However, if you decide you want to play a team of allies, talk about it with your group like adults, and agree not to inflict penalties on each other. 

Remember: Remember is the move that players can use to have agency in the history of the Land of the God-Kings. The player rolls+history (their highest history score, or, if they are remembering something pertaining to another PC, their history score with that PC), and then they tell the GM something they remember from the past that is relevant to the situation. On a 7-9, the GM will tell them how it has changed, if they wish.

This lets players determine little parts of the world as they wish. If they find an indestructible ring, they can Remember that there happens to be a convenient active volcano nearby that they can throw it in. On a 7-9, the GM could say that it is now inactive, but if one were to dig deep and set the ashes alight with dragonfire...
 

2 comments:

  1. why would a player let his character act on their Fatal Flaw when stress is filled up? I mean, it's a cool concept, but if I want my character to die, can't I kill it anyway? why would I choose to play my fatal flaw if I still what to play it? to break the world?

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    1. Hmmm... well, I never saw the situation as 'act on your fatal flaw when your stress is filled up.' If your stress is filled up, you have to roll the harm move, which takes you out of the scene.

      Instead, a character who is already acting on their fatal flaw will then have their stress filled up, which results in them rolling final fate.

      A good example, I suppose, would be Kratos, from God of War (a note that I've never played these games personally). He would probably have the flaw of Revenge, or possibly Rage, but let's say it's Revenge.

      If his stress gets filled up, that would represent him being fought off because of his wounds, or getting thrown off a mountain, or something similar. He isn't dead. Just out of the action.

      However, if he was actively going after Revenge (in this case, I would say when he is trying to kill a god), then he would take the tag 'after revenge=1,' giving him +1 to all rolls concerned with taking down the gods, but making him roll on the Final Fate move if his stress is filled up while trying to kill a god.

      TL,DR: you would never act on your fatal flaw while your stress is filled up, because at that point you are out of the scene anyway.

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