June 15, 2011

Hari Ragat: Glory as Incentive

Rather than come up with a detailed but rather railroad-y scheme of Passions a la Pendragon, I’m thinking of encouraging the play style I want with Glory as both carrot and stick.  Players are free to act as they please, but with consequences.

Why should a player want Glory? Because Glory is your score.  Your character’s Glory is an indication of how well you’re playing.  I’m planning to encourage GMs to make their players compete for Glory, and find a way to celebrate high Glory scores.  Personally I’d even go so far as to buy the player who gets the most Glory in a game ice cream or something.

Having established the desirability of Glory, let’s go into how you win or lose it. 

  • Acts of courage gain Glory; acts seen as cowardice, even when prudent, lose you Glory.  The worse the odds you are willing to take, the higher the Glory award.

  • Acts of generosity gain Glory; acts seen as miserly, even when wise, lose you Glory.  The more lavish your generosity, the higher the Glory award.

  • Acts of aristocratic pride gain Glory.  In Vijadesan society, if you’re not aggresively asserting your status you must be too weak to do so! And if this is likely to lead to a fight, see the first item above!

  • Acts of courtesy and refinement gain Glory; acts seen as boorish lose you Glory.  When you visit a ruler’s court – something you’ll be doing quite often – you must be on guard against committing offense, deal with deliberate provocation, and perhaps even perform a song, dance or poem for your host. 

    Want to shift the game to a whole different level? Let this happen to the players, and tell them they can sing or dance for real!  Bring out the karaoke! (And that probably marks Hari Ragat as a truly Filipino game!)

  • And finally: acts of magnificent madness gain Glory.  Risk everything for true love? That’s glorious!  Court the raksasa king’s daughter? Yeah! 

    Steer your ship through a storm while laughing at the elements? Glorious! 

    Offer to make a suicidal last stand? Glorious! There’ll be a Glorious Death rule that gives a heap of Glory for deliberately sacrificing your character.

    Give away everything but your breechclout to a beggar? That’s glorious! But hang on to the breechclout though.  The alternative may not be so glorious …   

Ideally, with this setup, players will not only get into the act quickly but also become more proactive, suggesting and going off on adventures on their own bat to gain ever more Glory.  Let the players come up with their own struggles and quests!  Enjoy their creativity!  Played this way, Hari Ragat can become a sandbox style game that can go in so many different directions, but still retain an epic flavor.

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