September 30th, 2008

"Whuffie"-based role playing games?

Forgive me if none of this makes sense. I've been kicking this idea around in my head since last night, and I'm still not entirely sure about it. I thought I'd post it here and see what some of the game theorists around here think about it.

Last night I had an idea for a game based almost entirely on social standing. All currency in game is based on how popular your character is. I got the idea from the novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, where the currency is "Whuffie", money based on reputation. Basically, if you do something that people like, they give you whuffie. If you do something people don't like, they take whuffie from you. This whuffie can be exchanged for goods and services, and your balance is used as a meter for social success (so not too much is different). I immediately thought that this would be a great idea for a Paranoia game. Your whuffie balance could be the key to your promotions within the ranks of Alpha Complex. Promotions would require that you have a whuffie balance of a level apropriate for your clearance.

Also, If we're going for a Paranoia feel, why even stop at just currency? Whuffie could also be used the same way Perversity is in Paranoia XP, with players writing down notes and adding or revoking whuffie to aid or hinder other players. Certain limits would have to be proposed, though, to keep players from giving or revoking infinite amounts of whuffie. My best idea was that you only get to spend or revoke one whuffie per transaction, and you can only make transactions once per action. This means that one whuffie can be spent to modify rolls by one point per person. If you are liked, you will probably succeed. If you aren't liked, you will probably fail.

This essentially turns the game into Digg: The Role Playing Game. I shudder to think of a world where MrBabyMan rules over us all.

What do you think of this idea? Could it work? Will it fail? Is there anything that I'm missing here?

Calligraphic seal

nWOD question

I've been thinking of picking up some nWOD books for the first time—namely Changeling: the Lost and the Winter supplement—but I'm somewhat confused.  Do I need to buy the World of Darkness hardcover as well?

Perhaps more importantly, is this another game that will break my heart, i.e., be wonderfully atmospheric, have creative mechanics, and bugger-all people I can actually find to play with?  I look with sadness at Everway, Nobilis, Shab al-Hiriri Roach, and a couple of others on my bookshelves.  They don't need another inmate to join their somber repose.

Bonus question: Is Burning Jihad any good?  I've been itching to run a Dune game for ages....
  • Current Mood
    Guardedly Optimistic

fantasy intrigue?

I'd like to hear about your fantasy setting, "intrigue-focused" game. Okay, "intrigue-focused" is probably not the best term; In some way I'm being intentionally vague. Basically any game that has a focus on story, character development, political intrigue, mysteries, plots within plots, enigmas, or whatever else you might think is along these lines.
Tell me about it, I want to read it. Be as brief or as elaborate as you like, provide whatever details you want, kthx.