Post narrative reward

DeReel's picture

I try to use verbal material as much as I can in my design, so much that characters are defined by Traits (Fate "Aspects", Risus "Cliches", many games "Skills").
I'd also like to add a "character progression" mechanic to my one-shooter, because why not. Me and my partner were going for XP but I approach reward with Rickard Elimaa's caveat in mind that it better be intrinsic.
So I came up with that incentive : at the end of a session, each player writes a Trait for each character. If two traits match for a character, the character gains it. It's an incentive to roleplay clearly.
Do you think it can work ? Have you experienced it in a game ? maybe in a board game ?

(rambling : Maybe I should change the number of matches to gain the Trait : 3 ? a quorum of 2/3 N ? N-1 ? where N is the number of players. Should I exclude the playing player of each character ? etc.) : all this is unnecessary rambling. Rules redaction dictates that 2 be the number, because natural language leads to this.

Tod's picture

Could be tricky, since the boundaries of definitions are often blurry. Players of course will argue for the broadest possible interpretation of the words, in order to show they've hit that mark, so there might be the occasional semantic quibble. But you can probably surmount that.

To be clear: I assume we are talking about a NEW trait, exhibited for the first time, over the current session. So it's really a question of whether at least one other person viewed your performance as exhibiting that particular trait, am I reading you right?

And if so, it seems likely to yield Qualia (like personality aspects) more than Skills (performative affordances). In order to support new Skills gained via this method, the system would have to allow for unskilled performance of a skill.

DeReel's picture

You're right about Qualia and Skills. Traits could be a relationship or a rank in an institution, even a scar, but it will probably be Qualia foremost. A player can declare all these.facts in game without a Trait but it will cost them. The question I want to ask them with the proposed mechanic is : did they make the other players care ?
If players argue to make their characters win, I just let them win (I play with kids and neophytes). The challenge is a storytelling one.