5. Gaming


What ideas from the story might you use at the gaming table? How would you use them?


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    Certainly in a campaign-type setting, the quest for why magic is declining seems a useful plot device. One could use it as both the object of the quest (find out why magic is disappearing and how to bring it back) and as a time counter (the PCs notice their own magic gradually disappearing, which pressures them to keep going).

  • 0

    Nothing much to say here: adding a comment so I see what others contribute.

  • 1

    I liked that the loss of magic affected people's personalities, rather than their power necessarily. It reminded me a of a CJ Cherryh novella where the hero traded with the fae and gave away his morals as a price for rescuing his son (at the end of the story, the "hero" was no longer a hero, but was instead doing whatever was necessary to win). Could personality mechanics in games represent changes like these?

  • 3

    @NeilNjae said:
    Could personality mechanics in games represent changes like these?

    Oh, yes, absolutely. I'm a big proponent of immersive roleplaying (by this I mean the ability to think and act like your character - most terms immersive' or 'simulationist' have become too muddied to use effectively these days) and have seen this kind of thing done to good effect. My most effective use of it was in a Trail of Cthulhu one-shot set in 1890's Bombay, in which players could 'absorb' a psychological shock by modifying one of their core beliefs, and their core beliefs are guideline to how the character is played. For example, in one scene, a cart full of plague victim bodies upended in a busy street at the entrance to a bridge, and the English soldiers in who happened to be nearby took charge and started ordering the Hindus-on-the-street to pick up the bodies quickly and pile them back on the cart. This was very traumatic for the Indian character, who changed his core belief from 'There's a man for every job' to 'There are some jobs no human should have to perform' and it quite changed how his character saw the world, and how he played the character.

    So definitely, if losing your magic, or your mojo, as most of the sad characters in The Farthest Shore seem to have done, is something you want to capture in both the mechanics and the narrative, it's easily done.

  • 2
    edited December 2019

    Yes, @Apocryphal is right, any game with personality mechanics or beliefs could reflect the way the changed nature of the world pulls at the hearts and souls of people in it.

    A Powered by the Apocalypse-style game would likely use a custom move. Something like:

    When you exert your will on the names of the world, roll + Weird. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1.

    • The names conform themselves to your will.
    • You don’t suffer harm of the spirit.
    • You don’t suffer harm of the body.
    • You don’t forget your own true name.

    On a miss, choose 1 anyway, but prepare for the worst.

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