Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Diceless GM

I'm going to play FU this weekend for the first time and I'm baffled about what I'm going to do with my hands. As a GM, I won't roll dice. No dice at all.

Maybe I can wave a pencil around.

Either way, it's time to use those extra brain cycles to throw good challenges back to the players.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Adding a reward cycle to FU

I'm about to start a new campaign that will use the FU RPG system. It's a great system that helps to make story move along. I am, of course, going to hack it to add something that I like to see in my games. In my experience, players respond well to rewards which are specific to their characters; keys, if you will.

FU already has space for character Drives but they aren't connected to other things on the character sheet. At the moment I'm thinking about connecting them to either FU points or Gear or Descriptors. Here's an example of what I'm thinking about.
A Drive has a series of smaller Steps in the journey. Define only one Step at a time. Each time a Step is accomplished, gain a FU point and write the next Step you will accomplish.
Nothing remarkable there. The vanilla system encourages FU rewards for doing cool things. I'm also thinking about a longer reward cycle such as this.
Each time five Steps are accomplished, gain a new Descriptor. The new Descriptor must relate to how the character has changed because of taking those five Steps.
I'm influenced here by Burning Wheel. When I played that game I saw the cycle between rewards and personal goals, and I felt that it drove the players along meaningful paths. In a way, it's also like the Ambitions from Poison'd.

The Steps will need to be appropriately scaled on the FU dial. Steps shouldnt be, "I'm going to pick up a pen" unless the game is in a very low literacy setting. Instead, they should be something like, "I will get evidence that Sir Escabar is spying on Lady Felicia." The larger goal could be to rid the court of corruption and this is a great Step that could be achieved in a single game session.

There's more to think about for this. I don't know if five is the right number and I don't know if there should be a cap on the number of Descriptors. For very long term play, a character could have too many. I'm going to think about an incremental scale as well, for example, choose a new Descriptor when you achieve five Steps, then six more Steps, then seven more...

If you've played FU, what rewards do you use for character development?