Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I like to watch smaller numbers turn into bigger numbers as a hobby.

So, in most D&D campaigns, you are watching numbers go up...

Primarily, your XP and your Gold, but also your Saves, your AC, your stats, your to-hit, your damage, your save DC's.

For My Dark Sun campaign, there won't be the usual suspects of Gold and XP. I'm fairly certain I'll be giving levels to players via fiat and not standard XP awards, because there will only be one-two fights per session. I'm not certain how I'm going to handle XP yet, but it is very doubtful that it will be a numeric award.

Gold (or more accurately, Ceramic) won't even be up for debate. The players are slaves, any wealth they earn will be enjoyed by their owners.

So, what numbers will the players be watching go up?

FANS: This is how many people in the crowd love *you* more than anyone else fighting. They have your poster on the wall, they want to catch your helmet when you throw it into the crowd, etc. While everyone in the crowd will have an opinion on you, these are the people that you've earned, and you'd have to betray them to lose them.

FAME/INFAMY: This is how well known you are. How many people know you, regardless of how they feel about you. You earn fame points every time you do something impressive/shocking/etc. All fame/infamy awards are added together to get a total fame, but the difference between them is what the crowd thinks of you... high fame and you're a 'good guy', high infamy and you're a 'bad guy'. If you get a lot of fame and infamy, the crowd doesn't know exactly what to think of you though, and you'll be less famous because of it. In general, you want to either play the 'face' or the 'heel', and not try to take a middle ground.

WIN/LOSS RECORD: this is your number of fights won vs your number of fights lost. Like any good boxer or martial artist, your professional record is important. A long string of losses can have you put out for retirement. An unbroken string of victories can push you up into title matches. While all wins and losses will be tracked, the real factor is in 1-v-1 or 2-v-2 duels. Those are the ones that 'really' count.

VALUE: This is how much money you've earned your patron. Every fight has betting odds, and each fighter will be a favorite or an underdog. Factors will determine  how much money is bet on you, with the more being bet, the more you're worth win or lose. In some cases, agents of your owner will bet directly on you, allowing certain fights to greatly increase (or decrease) your value.

All fighters are working to increase their fans, their fame (or infamy), their win streak, and their value. At some point, you'll be worth enough money, or be famous enough, that you could engineer your release/freedom, and the way to do that is through continued success.

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