Shining Dodecahedron

One geek's views on role-playing and games in general.

This place is all about discussing paper-and-pencil roleplaying games. I'm Jay, and I run this joint, but that doesn't make me smarter than you. This will all work best if I say things, and you say what you think about them, lather, rinse, repeat. With luck we can all understand the hobby a little better. If you have a topic that you would like me to start a thread about, post a comment here. If you've got something to say about characters (my ongoing topic du jour), post a comment here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

[Plotlines] Currency Schmurrency

I don't yet have a name for my plotline-driven game that I started talking about yesterday--so I'll continue to call it Plotlines until a better name rises to the surface.

So you need currency for these things:

  • Investing in your own plotlines (though maybe this just happens when you need it to--more on this later)
  • Investing in situations. So this means you are saying that not only will there be a situation in the future but that it matters to you as a player enough that you want control over it. So if we were playing Star Wars (original trilogy, thanks very much) and I was playing Luke, pretty early on I would write on a 3x5 card (confront Vader) and then I'd start investing in that situation like nobody's business. Then, when I actually get to the duel at the end of episode 5, I have extra resources to help out during that scene.
  • Giving to other players when they do something cool
  • Getting from the GM as a reward for playing along on his plotlines
And maybe more stuff as well.

So I'm not sure that all of these things are the same currency (though I tend to think that it is). And I have no resolution mechanic, so I can't start figuring out how it all works quite yet.

Much to think on.


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Wednesday, September 07, 2005 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bankuei said...

Hi Jay,

Is this something you need for this game in particular, or something you think is needed in general for this game to happen?

Because if it is the latter, there's quite a few games that get emotional investment without direct currency connections (Trollbabe, Sorcerer, Dogs in the Vineyard, etc.).

If it's the former, I can easily see some form of gift/bonus dice wrapping up the latter two concerns in one go. Also, a quick look at Universalis or Capes might give you a good feeling for literally "investing" into story, if you haven't already looked :)


Thursday, September 08, 2005 8:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jay Loomis said...


I wasn't clear--I did mean needed just for this game.

I have played Capes, but haven't gotten around to buying a copy of Universalis. I should check it out.

Anyway, I'm not saying that the solution will be hard. I'm just posting my design process as it happens. :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:01:00 AM  
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Thursday, November 10, 2005 5:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa - comment spam!

Sorry about the late comment (only just found this blog): what about players giving each other currency for their plotlines? What about supporting tying the plotlines together?

E.g. player 1 creates a cool plotline about the Death Star, player 2 lends them some currency to help them out? Or even creates their own, linked plotline?

Thursday, December 08, 2005 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jay Loomis said...

Hey, Luke! Thanks for commenting on this old post. What you're talking about is exactly the sort of thing I'm trying to promote. I want the game to reward players for investing in shared plotlines.

I'm not active on this game's design right now, but I am starting to talk about gaming stuff again at my new LiveJournal blog (

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