Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Social Conflict: Rules for Demonic Possession

One things I like about game design is that if you can create a solid underlying structure, new and brilliant uses for mechanics will emerge.

One of these things is building upon the social conflict rules (though streamlined a bit with some 1e improvements). Dealing with your standard creepy monster situation including demons, but demons aren't just beefed up orcs, demons possess people..that is what makes them most dangerous.

The party was about to be ambushed as they camped via a possession and standard old gaming mentality was about to go with "roll a saving throw", but then I thought I might be missing a golden opportunity.

So I went with a social conflict in the character's dream as the demon tried to convince him to just give up and cede control to the demon. The difficulty and mechanics were a bit out of whack (a new implementation of the rule, bound to be a few quirks), but over-all it went amazingly well and far truer to trope. Later the priest use the same mechanics in an exorcism (convincing the demon to leave the body). This made what would have been a few quick saving throws far more involved and tense situation (and the victory sweeter).

I find it infinintely interesting how new mechanics create new methods of solving issues and shift the focus of gameplay.

Best lines:

From Possession (Demon to Fighter): "All you are to them is a grunt, an expendable soldier. You suffer the slings and arrows in the pursuit of their fortune, but when they no longer need you they will abandon you ,all alone; I never will". Type: Heated Counterpoint that swayed the Fighter.

From Exorcism (Priest to Demon) "ENOUGH! THE POWER OF ROZARIUS COMPELS YOU!". Type: Heated Statement on an epic success that turned the whole thing around from the brink of loss and banished the Demon.

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