Exalted Hack: Circles 2

2007 Feb 5

Before I wrote the previous post on Circles, I had a pretty decent chat with Ben Lehman about Polaris‘ approach to the distribution of NPCs and player responsibilities. I think the hack should be somewhat similar, but I didn’t quite nail it yet in the last post. Inter-player antagonism is what’s going to make the game really work, so here’s what I was thinking about today…

Each orientation is associated with a particular virtue:

Center: Compassion
East: Conviction
South: Valor
West: Temperance
North: Willpower

It is the duty of a player, in framing and taking the lead in the scenes for which they are responsible, to challenge the other characters when it comes to their associated virtue. For example, a Center gives others the opportunity to demonstrate their compassion or heartlessness. And, like in a Dogs in the Vineyard game, doesn’t let them get away with an easy answer. “So in situation X you did Y? Well, what about situation Z?”

This is made more interesting because each Exalt will have a Virtue Flaw, a virtue with which they are obsessed and, occasionally, over-zealous to the point of losing it and hitting Limit Break. Each player should DEFINITELY be aware of which characters have Flaws in the virtue for which they are responsible. If I’m playing a Center, I take particular interest in the characters which have Compassion Flaws and make sure to push them especially hard.

Still, I like this, but I’m slightly dubious about the language I’m using to describe it. “Push them especially hard” makes it sound like crazy Yang face-stabbing and that’s not quite what I mean. I mean, “set up scenes for which the choices other players have made for their character are important,” which is really much more cooperative and collaborative as the description above makes it sound. After all, if a player chose a particular Virtue for their Flaw, they are likely to want to demonstrate that Flaw.

Anyway, this is still developing, but I like where it’s heading.

2 Responses to “Exalted Hack: Circles 2”

  1. Shreyas Says:

    “set up scenes for which the choices other players have made for their character are important,”

    I’m not sure, Jon. This still sounds face-injurious to me. It might be face-punchy instead of face-stabby, but it’s still violence to the face.

    What about recognising and deferring when other players have something they want to say?

  2. Jonathan Walton Says:

    Um, how would they say it, without someone else creating the space for it to happen in? I guess I’m not sure what you mean. Are you thinking of, say, players framing their own scenes in PTA or something?

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