[Solar System] Claiming Territory Mechanics for WtF - Part Two

Started by Courage75, March 19, 2010, 03:25:34 AM

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Hi All,

It's been a while since I posted about my attempts to convert my Werewolf: the Forsaken game to Solar System. This is because it is going quite well. However, I have come up with some new mechanics for claiming territory in the Shadow, which is the spiritual reflection of the world that werewolves operate in, and I wanted to share it all with you. This is actually a continuation of an earlier topic, but I thought it was better to start a new topic than to resurrect an old one.

So here is what I have come up with so far. Apologies to Eero from ripping off his Secret of Knot from the excellent World of Near. Anyway, tell me what you think:

  • Points: Create a map of all the POINTS in the territory. Points are areas of interest in the Shadow of the territory.

  • Hostility: Each point has a HOSTILITY (E) Ability and an ESSENCE Pool. Hostility (E) represents the spiritual resistance of a particular point. Points use Hostility (E) to resist attempts to DOMINATE them.

  • Domination: When a pack wants to assert its dominance over the Shadow of its territory, it must make an attempt at DOMINATION, which can only be attempted once per session. This is a supported check using PRIMAL URGE (V). The result of the check creates a free Effect that must be spent as bonus dice. The pack then selects which points to dominate by place at least one bonus dice on them. Those points are then CONTESTED.

  • Claiming: For each contested point, the pack leader must make a BRAWL (V), INTIMIDATE (I), or other appropriate Ability check opposed by the point's Hostility (E) and any bonus dice purchased with the point's Essence. Packmates can support their leader's check in an appropriate manner, and the check gets the number of bonus dice placed there from the domination attempt. Success indicates that the pack has CLAIMED the point, and gets a free Claimed Effect equal to the result. Failure means the pack was repelled and takes the result as Vigour Harm, spread out amongst the pack.

  • Claimed: Once a point is Claimed, the pack may purchase the SECRET OF CLAIMED to consolidate their dominance over that particular point.

    • SECRET OF CLAIMED: The pack has subjugated all the spirits in this point and claimed it as their own. The pack has no Pool spend cap for Ability checks when utilising the terrain of the point for its advantage. When using the features of the point (spirits, terrain, other phenomena) against opponents, the pack may spend Pool to give penalty dice to their opponents as well. This does not work against spirits with a higher Rank than the Claimed Effect of the point. Requirements: The point must have been Claimed. It has an upkeep cost of any Pool equal to the Claimed Effect, which must be paid per session. Failure to pay the upkeep cost results in the point reverting to hostility, buying-off the Secret.

  • Claimed Duration: If the Secret of Claimed is not purchased for any Claimed points, the Claimed Effect will last for the number of sessions equal to the Rating. After that, the point reverts to hostility and must be Claimed again. Other circumstances may reduce the Claimed Effect, such as if the pack decides to spend the Effect as bonus dice for a different check. Also, NPCs able to affect the Shadow might attack a point in an attempt to reduce the Claimed Effect.

  • Developing Points: Once a point is Clamed, or the Secret of Claimed is purchased for the point, the pack may attempt to transform the RESONANCE of the point using the RITE OF CHOSEN GROUND. See that rite for more details on this process.

Eero Tuovinen

Nice, using the knot geography really makes sense for this purpose. A few questions:

  • What do you gain by making the points have both an Ability and Pool? My own first instinct would be to define them as Effects, with the rating depending on the point's hostility (usually 0-3, I'd guess, with higher values only for exceptional spots). It's not a big difference, Effect would just make more sense to me in the nuances of using the thing. For instance, can the point use all of its Pool as bonus dice? Why would it not do this? Where does the Essence go once the point is captured? Another point is that I see that once the PCs have subjugated a point, others can try to take it away by attacking the Effect value of the subjugation; if you represented the point originally as an Effect as well, then you'd have the same system for conquering a point every time, which would be nicer, it seems to me.
  • The upkeep cost for keeping control of a point seems pretty heavy to me. If I understand this correctly, having an Amazing (4) control of a point would cost 4 Pool per session. That's practically one whole Pool from a single character. Without knowing your crunch landscape in detail (for all I know you might have a lot of Pool flying around), it seems that just paying the normal Effect upkeep (one point from the associated Pool at refresh) would be more in line here.
  • What does the claimed point do if you do not cement it with the Secret purchase? Can you use the point like you would with the Secret? Do you pay normal Effect upkeep for the point Effect? Can NPCs attack a cemented point as an Effect, or is it just points that the group hasn't paid an Advance for? Also, that decline of the Effect seems pretty slow to me, I'd be more inclined to make it like the declining Effects in the World of Near - -1 to the value whenever it's used.
  • Can you reroll a point's Effect value normally? That is, if I have a point that's declined to Marginal (1) value, can I go beat the spirits back to shape with an Ability check (spending the current value as bonus dice), which then becomes the new Effect value? That's almost so common an interaction at my table that it goes without saying, but I'm not sure here, as that decline seems to be a big deal for non-cemented points.
  • Could you appoint your domination dice to points you already control to shore up their value somehow?
Anyway, I like the idea - reminds me of how I deal with the Green World of Near. The idea that a point only affects spirits of a lower rank than the point is a really cool twist. I also like the dominance Pool that the players need to apportion to the different points, although I do wonder a bit whether limiting the players to just one cycle of domination per session would feel artificial; perhaps not if taking control of a point requires a lot of work that's not directly narrated into the story.

Seems like a system that'll inspire all sorts of situations once you populate the territory with interesting inhabitants and terrain.
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Thanks for all that Eero, and apologies for taking so long to reply. I've incorporated most of your changes into my crunch for claiming territory, but it has yet to come up in play. I will let you know how it goes if it ever does come up!