Sunday, September 6, 2009


The primary goal of a flashback is to define people you have met and formed a deep relationship with: lovers or fiancées, mentors, close family members. This attachment, once established, can be used for a +1 bonus on actions related to that relationship: rescuing, defending or rejoining your loved one. The flashback begins at the moment where your connection with a person changed from being casual or average to something more; as you play out the flashback, you describe what you did:
  • how did you get your first love to notice you?
  • when did you first realize you had to earn your father's respect?
  • when did you first feel the stirrings of deep loyalty for your king?
  • how did you meet the person who became your closest friend and confidant?
Earning someone's love, trust, respect, or admiration will not be easy; they either begin as strangers or as family members or acquaintances with no deep feelings for you. The GM plays the target of your attentions, creates rivals for affection or attention, and throws out obstacles and setbacks that interfere with your intentions. To win over the target, you must earn enough points to overcome the target's luck rating -- in other words, you do damage to the target's hit points. It's exactly like combat, but in a social arena.

Within this context, you make ordinary attempts to persuade, befriend, or change the opinion of your target. For each social interaction, you can decide whether your goal is short term (get a woman to agree to meet you in the garden alone, get a fellow soldier to follow you on a mission) or long term. For short term social interactions, if the request is trivial, the GM doesn't roll, but simply weighs factors like the character's recent behavior, personal benefit, or social taboos, then makes a decision. If the request isn't trivial, because it conflicts with the target's interests, both sides roll 2d6 and pick the best result, again weighing factors and giving a +1 to the side with more advantages, or +2 for a lot more advantages. The side with the higher number gets their way.

Earning loyalty, love, trust or respect, on the other hand, is a long term goal. This works the same as non-trivial short term goals, but with two twists:
  • If the player rolls higher than the target, the points are marked down as "damage"; if total damage is higher than the target's hit points, the player character has earned the loyalty, love, trust or respect they seek.
  • The roll comes with a risk that something unexpected will interrupt the player's interaction: a jealous rival or overprotective father bursts in, a battle breaks out, whatever is appropriate for the situation. If the 2d6 roll comes up doubles, the risk takes effect.
Once the player has met the target's hit point goal and wrapped up any unresolved issues like escaping immediate danger or dealing with the results of a risk, the flashback ends and the player marks down the relationship. There will be more on this to come.

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