Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tagging "Phoenician" Aspects

In Spirit of the Century, you can tag aspects, or important descriptors, in order to further role-playing. For example, an aspect of a castle is that it has a portcullis in the entry way. If you saw a castle and needed for there to be a portcullis, possibly because you're good at metal work or bending bars, you would "tag" that portcullis aspect of the castle. If the GM agrees, there is a portcullis. That would probably be a free tag, because it's so common. Perhaps you're more ambitious and you decide that there's a portcullis and that there's a lever nearby that opens the portcullis, attempting to snag it with your grapnel. That would be ambitious, but if the GM agreed, and you paid a resource to make the tag, you're allowed to do it. This same concept can be applied to our D&D games.

For our campaign, Phoenician culture will play an important role in how people behave. You can tag Phoenician principles as aspects for free to do basic things. Perhaps in role-playing conversation an NPC is being religiously intolerant. You can "tag" religious tolerance to shame them or point out their poor behavior in hopes of getting them to do what you want. Likewise, you might tag an aspect of Phoenician principles to justify something, such as a Diplomacy role to create a partnership. In any case, having these principles in mind can be important for role-playing and may provide a concrete advantage if you keep them handy. They are:

  1. Peaceful resolution of differences
  2. International trade
  3. Religious tolerance
  4. Creating partnerships
  5. Respect for women
  6. Equality
  7. Privacy
You can also expect NPC's to use these "aspects" against you, if you seem not be following them. For example: You already know that the people of Zor are a little annoyed with your town for its confrontational ways. You're like their guard dog on a short leash. They believe in peaceful resolution of differences. They are religiously tolerant of you Baalites, despite your militarism, because they want to maintain a partnership with you, a coming together of equals, but your war mongering is diverting their resources from their goal of international trade. Worse, trading partners are getting word of this unrest, as the Baalite priestesses have been indiscreet, rather than discussing these problems privately.

So how would you approach the Zorians about a problem, perhaps ogres invading from the hills? The conversation may go like this:

"My dear magistrate, thank you for meeting with us in your private chambers. As much as we've tried to assuage the ogres and appease their insatiable appetites, our attempts at negotiation and hiring them as bodyguards has been unsuccessful. Our head abbot met with their venerable shaman, "the butcher" they call him, and was unable to find common ground. She was subsequently eaten, unfortunately. I hate to bring this difficult problem to your attention, but the ogres are not allowing trade from the southern valley to enter Baalgad. As I know you plan a large shipment of figs and honey from the region to the Badari, I thought you might help us in dispersing this threat with your superior negotiating position."

I'm not saying you should be spineless, or that diplomacy is always the way, but if you're trying to get people to do things, this might be a good way to start.

The Seven Principles of Phoenician Society come from Stanford Holst's book, Phoenicians.

1 comment:

Fulminata said...

Better be careful, if you start borrowing rules from Fate you just might be tempted to switch completely over to it ;-)