Well, hopefully you people aren't quite tired of hearing about the Journey System. This time through, I'm going into something which should end up as one of the core concepts of the game, and that's Wyrd. Coming from the Old English "weohrtan", "to become", wyrd sometimes gets tossed around a lot in fantasy settings, because it deals with the concept of fate, of destiny. This RPG aims to make it a central focus, but not a required part of the game. If your character doesn't feel like following destiny, they'll not be able to become as powerful, but they'll also be freer to pursue their own ends. Characters who take on a Wyrd become more powerful, but they end up sacrificing their own freedom in exchange. If they defy their Wyrd too much, they can end up losing that power.
The Basic Idea
The concept of Wyrd is going to be a hybrid of sorts between traditional RPG levels and a dash of the Morality system of World of Darkness fame. You gain features as your Wyrd increases, but as your Wyrd increases, the things you must do to maintain it become more and more difficult. To stay true to Wyrd, a character must make a lot of sacrifices, and undergo many hardships. Fortunately, Wyrd is custom-made for each character. Depending on how you want the story to run, either the player or the GM can be in charge of how the Wyrd evolves...in fact, both of them can collaborate if they wish, to craft a destiny for the character.
Each time your Wyrd increases in level (something accomplished by spending Experience Points), you add a piece to your character's Wyrd. This is the destiny that they have been chosen to accomplish, and the abilities gained by following this Wyrd (called "Boons") are gifted specifically for the purpose of fulfilling the Wyrd. The more specific a piece of the Wyrd it is, the greater the Boon granted. These bits of wyrd stay with your character, and cannot be erased unless the character deliberately rebels against them. Even if the character rejects them at some time, pushing them aside and ignoring them, they still remain, nagging away at the character here and there.
Your Wyrd level also acts as a cap. Each ability that your character can purchase has a cost in experience points. Your Wyrd level serves as a cap on the amount of abilities that your character can have. If purchasing an ability would take your power level beyond your Wyrd cap, you are not allowed to purchase that ability. If your Wyrd lowers, however, beneath your current cap, you may still use the abilities you've acquired; you may not acquire any more, though, without sacrificing some of your existing abilities (which requires a good story explanation).
Some Examples...(probably to be balanced later)
Leader-- You have been chosen to lead in some way, either by leading a party of adventurers, a nation, or even an entire race.
Boon: When leading, you may reroll one 12 per Dilemma.
Obligation: If an opportunity to lead arises, you must take it. (Belief, Affinity 4)
Against the Great Foe-- You have been called to fight against the dark evil which threatens to conquer these lands.
Boon: When taking action against this dark evil or its servants/minions, the Affinity of all your tasks is +2.
Obligation: If you can inflict harm upon the Foe, you must take action to do so. (Passion-1, Affinity 3)
You'll notice that each entry has a Boon and Obligation. The Boon is the benefit you gain from the bit of Wyrd. The Obligation is what you must do to avoid ignoring/rejecting this bit of Wyrd, and decreasing your Wyrd. If you disobey the Obligation, you must make an attribute roll, indicated by the entry at the end of the Obligation. If you fail the roll, this means that your character's action reflects a change of heart about the Wyrd, and you decrease in Wyrd. You may not use that piece's Boon, and your Wyrd Cap is likewise decreased. If you succeed the roll, your action is considered to not reflect your true faith in your Wyrd, but rather an action that, because of necessity or inculpability, wasn't truly a rejection of the Wyrd.
Roleplaying will be important here, because the GM is at liberty to give bonuses or penalties to the Affinity of a Wyrd Roll, based on your explanation of your character's actions. Would following one bit of your Wyrd lead to the death of innocents, for instance, and your character values life heavily, this can provide a substantial Affinity bonus, making it far easier to succeed. Not only that, but if you can show that following this bit of Wyrd in this one case would contradict another bit of the Wyrd, you don't need to make a Wyrd Roll; the Wyrd remains, because it does not contradict.
Sound interesting? I hope it does! Stay tuned, for what I think will be a post on Beliefs in the Journey System...
- Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!
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