Biblyon the Great

This zine is dedicated to articles about the fantasy role-playing game Gods & Monsters, and other random musings.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

Encourage fiction-like risk-taking?

Jerry Stratton, April 6, 2006

Here’s a completely off-the-wall idea, inspired by Jonathan Tweet’s There Is No Try. He calls it the Star Trek model. I’m extending it a step further and calling it Kirkian Futures.

At any point, a player can choose to start paying one mojo point per round and have their character embark on a possible choice of action, one that may or may not be the real action the character takes. The future only becomes real when the player stops paying mojo and chooses to accept or reject it.

While all characters will be swept along into this potential course of events, only one player will pay mojo and it is that player’s decision to accept or reject the Kirkian Future. That character must be engaged in archetypal activities for the course of the Kirkian Future. Once that character stops engaging in archetypal activities, the Kirkian Future stops, and the player must choose whether or not to accept it. The player may also choose to make this choice at any point in the Kirkian Future, and must make the choice if they run out of mojo points.

If the player accepts the Kirkian Future, then it has happened. If the player rejects the Kirkian Future, then it has not happened: play returns to the round where the Future was invoked and character statistics, such as survival points, also return to what they were at the beginning of that round.

The player pays the same mojo regardless of whether they accept or reject the Kirkian Future. Because mojo used in this manner is archetypal, the character gains experience points as normal for using these mojo.

Knowledge gained during a rejected Kirkian Future by the players may be used by the characters if it could reasonably be deduced. Otherwise, the players may act knowing what they’ve learned by having their characters make choices that avoid that future.

This should encourage risk-taking on the character’s part or, as Jonathan calls it, Kirk-like behavior. It will only be useful for actions that can be attempted over several rounds. Whether or not it ends up being fun for players, I don’t know. It’s sort of a rule for take-backs of failures.

If you choose to use it, let me know how it works for you!

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