Tracking the Flood

2010 Oct 20

This seed an idea grew more developed after talking with John yesterday.

To map out the game you draw a highly abstracted diagram of your setting. You draw a small circle for each family in your village and draw a ring around that to show that they are one village. You draw other circles for neighboring villages and the major spirits that constitute the land and waters. Then you draw a circle around all of that to represent your region and the lord who rules over it. And you spread out to make neighboring regions and so forth, but only diagramming (initially) the areas that your characters have actually been to.

When someone breaks the Great Chain, the GM places a token on the circle within which the violation occurred — family level, village level, with local spirits, etc. — and can spend those tokens 1-for-1 to make GM or Threat moves in that area OR the GM can let the violation fester, producing additional tokens in subsequent sessions. The game begins, like Dogs in the Vineyard, with some ancient and recent violations and their tokens already in play for the GM to spend or fester.

If there are 3 or more tokens in a single circle, the GM can cause the violation to flood over into neighboring circles, going up or down levels of scale as needed, pushing at least one of the original tokens into a different area. So enough violations at the family level can reach the village or the spirits or what have you. Cause enough trouble and one of the Ten Suns will plummet from the sky.

Players can attempt to have tokens removed from the board by resolving or making restitution for past violations — either by themselves or others. Sometimes you have to kill a wicked lord or appease the angry spirits. But they also violate the Great Chain by intervening in matters that are outside or beyond them.

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