Got some wonderful feedback on the Swoosh move, and I think Jesse really cracked it open with a much better trigger. Will have an updated version of that later.
For today, I was thinking about Patrons. Originally, my thinking had been that you would choose from a list and the bonus moves would be part of the choice (so, if you picked an arcane order, you’d get cantrips and +1 to spouting lore about arcane secrets) but as I started writing them I realized I like the Paladin model a lot more, where the player can mix and match their benefits according to whatever logic they like. That freed me up a bit, so the Patron move looks like:
Patron – You work for a secret organization. First, choose one of the following, and select the name of your contact.
- A Mystical Order (The Lady of Shadows, Myrminster, The Whisperer, Irstingler the Ever Magnificent)
- A Political Boss (Robin Spacey, Boss Thneed, Colonel Abersmythe, Longshadow)
- Secret council of priests (Domina Antonia, Cardinal Francis, Sister Talia, Bother Silence)
- Intelligence Service (B,O,C,Y)
- Law Enforcement (Captain Vanes, Officer Talbot, Inspector Tukulsky, Auditor Vor)
- A Military Cabal (General Grieves, Admiral Stetson, Sir Lyanis, Lady Whawai)
- The Underground (The Crimson, Rattlebone Annie, Tall Zeke, Laces)
Second, select their agenda
- To Sustain (The current order, the throne, the church, the flow of money)
- To Usurp (The current order, the throne, the church, the flow of money)
- To Destroy (The current order, the throne, the church, the flow of money)
- To Discover (Ancient secrets, mystical secrets, technological secrets, dark secrets)
- To Advance (An ideology, an ideal, a faith, a technology, a people, themselves)
- To Resist (An ideology, an ideal, a faith, a technology, a people, a rival organization)
Third, choose what type of secrets you know:
- Arcane Secrets
- Religious Secrets
- Political Secrets
- Military Secrets
- Criminal Secrets
You gain a +1 when you spout lore about this type of secret.
Last, pick two things you have gained from the training or resources provided by the organization:
- Arcane Training – Cast Cantrips
- Divine Initiation – Cast Rotes
- Reinforcements – When you make a Recruit move, you may takes a +2 bonus to the roll to call on assets of the organization. Any recruits hired in this way are ultimately loyal to your patron.
- Connections – +1 to Carouse and Outstanding Warrant Rolls
- Gadgets – Once per session, you can produce some strange widget provided by your patron which can grant a +1 to any single roll that it might help with
- Deep Insight – “Who’s really in control here” does not count against your allowed questions when you Discern Realities
Finally, name your patron, and write them in the appropriate Bond entry.
Ok, that’s long, but it’s a good start. And looking at the agent bullet list, that accounts for most of the stuff. The only thing I want now is a resources move.
Structurally this is pretty simple, more or less like a Supply roll – 10+ get what you need, 7–9 get it with strings. I think the catch is that there should always be SOME strings, since it comes from the organization, so we go with another choice. Something like:
Tap Resources When you approach your patron for help, roll +bond with the patron.
- On a 10+, Pick 1
- They give you what they think you need
- But you need to do something first
- It has unexpected complications
- On a 7–9, Pick 2
I think that covers the basic moves decently well. Need to come back to races and bonds next time, then on to advanced moves.
- Yeah, that’s going to be a bond to an NPC, which doesn’t make sense in its own right, but I had a weird idea of letting the Agent use the bond rating to her patron for some moves. I just realized that it effectively mirrors +faction from Urban Shadows, which is not a bad thing, but funny. ↩
Dammit, this is significantly better than my ideas for Two Guys With Swords, In A Dungeon.