Jump to content

Trying out Passion mechanic


Recommended Posts

Here's a Passion mechanic I'm trying out at the moment. The idea is to make a character's Passions a bit more active in play. Does anyone else have house rules for this? 

Let me know what you think.

 

Passions

All characters and important NPCs has 1-3 Passions. They should describe a strong connection the character has with: 

- a person

- a circle* or location

- an idea

Passions range between 1-100%. 

Whenever a character persues a Passion, s/he can receive a +20% skill bonus. A Passion can only be used this way once per gaming session. 

In a scene where a character is likely to act according to a Passion, especially if it’s going to complicate matters, anyone around the table can call for a Passion to be used. This is a “free” use of the Passion and will in addition allow the character one more Passion bonus later during the session. If the player avoids following the Passion s/he will act with -20% penalty for the next action or pay 5 Fate points.

If you want players to focus even more on their long-term driving forces, link the active pursue of them with additional skill check rolls at the end of adventures (1 extra roll for pursuing a Passion, 3 extra for getting into trouble because of a Passion, 5 extra for roleplaying a Passion exceptionally well).

* = Circles is what I call organizations and ideologies in BRP Space...
Edited by clarence
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I've seen them : ) I think they are quite good and wanted to stay pretty close to them. And it's generic enough to work in most settings. But a passion system could be given a bit more weight - affect the game more and reward players that pursue them in an enriching way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't you just tweak how they're implemented in Pendragon? IIRC, and adjusted for BRP....

 

Roll against passion when appropriate and select the skill to be impacted.

Critical Success: +100% to the skill  or skill is doubled, whichever is greater. Passion gains an experience check.

Success: +50% to the skill. Passion gains an experience check.

Failure: -25% to all skill rolls in the encounter that prompted rolling against the passion. Lose 1D6 points from the passion.

Fumble: Maddened. Character runs away or performs some other appropriate action.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't you just tweak how they're implemented in Pendragon? IIRC, and adjusted for BRP....

Roll against passion when appropriate and select the skill to be impacted.

Critical Success: +100% to the skill or skill is doubled, whichever is greater. Passion gains an experience check.

Success: +50% to the skill. Passion gains an experience check.

Failure: -25% to all skill rolls in the encounter that prompted rolling against the passion. Lose 1D6 points from the passion.

Fumble: Maddened. Character runs away or performs some other appropriate action.

This is good but I think the bonuses are a little high. It's your own houserule however so how you want to do it is up to you. I would maybe half the bonuses and give a extra 10% for a special success.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is good but I think the bonuses are a little high. It's your own houserule however so how you want to do it is up to you. I would maybe half the bonuses and give a extra 10% for a special success.

All I did for the bonuses was extrapolate the Pendragon bonuses. You are, of course, free to do whatever you want.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, yes, I like that. You roll below a Passion to "activate" it and get a pretty high bonus (unless you fail). Passions are raised as a skill - the more you act according to a passion the greater chance of having a bonus.

A couple of questions: How high are starting Passions? And how often can you use them?

I'm not sure about rolling for activation though. Lessens player input a bit too much I think. Makes the passion a bit too mechanical (though constructing mechanics for passions is of course quite contradictory already...).

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Pendragon, knights created using the default system start with five passions. Four start at 15, one at 3d6. An additional three points can then be spread across the passions. The more involved chargen can have different passions and starting values that range 1+. Pendragon skills go to 20, so you can multiply by 5 to get percentile scores. 

 

They can be invoked whenever the situation warrants. Bear in mind that passions are a psychological trait. By having a really high passion, a player his saying that his character wholeheartedly believes in whatever is related to the passion and is very inclined to act that way.

 

Mechanically, they're designed to codify how a character feels about certain things and then provide the player with a reward for playing his character that way.

 

Bear in mind that Pendragon is emulating the Arthruian myths as penned by Malory et al. They are very competent knights driven by very powerful emotions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All I did for the bonuses was extrapolate the Pendragon bonuses. You are, of course, free to do whatever you want.

Yeah I understand that, no disrespect was intended. I just tend to play with Min/Maxers so that's why I'd lower the bonuses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, yes, I like that. You roll below a Passion to "activate" it and get a pretty high bonus (unless you fail). Passions are raised as a skill - the more you act according to a passion the greater chance of having a bonus.

A couple of questions: How high are starting Passions? And how often can you use them?

I'm not sure about rolling for activation though. Lessens player input a bit too much I think. Makes the passion a bit too mechanical (though constructing mechanics for passions is of course quite contradictory already...).

Don't know if I'd let them be raised as skills. I might rather devise a system where if you act in line with your passion you get a number a points into it depending on how in line with it the character acted. Of course going against your passion could lower it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I also prefer not to make them too similar to skills. The system I'm trying out could actually leave out percentages altogether and would probably be more pedagogic with a "number of uses" value (Revenge my brother's death 1 - can be used once per session). It's a bit more on or off. With a percetage that can be raised a few percetages it can be a bit hard to explain the difference between a passion at 54% and 59%. It is after all a strong feeling or inspiraton, not a skill.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I also prefer not to make them too similar to skills. The system I'm trying out could actually leave out percentages altogether and would probably be more pedagogic with a "number of uses" value (Revenge my brother's death 1 - can be used once per session). It's a bit more on or off. With a percetage that can be raised a few percetages it can be a bit hard to explain the difference between a passion at 54% and 59%. It is after all a strong feeling or inspiraton, not a skill.

True it wouldn't make a huge stat difference but sometimes the culmination of many small changes creates one big one.

Just a thought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you did make Passion a percentile roll, then dumb down the bonus for a standard success. I think a standard success could just allow that Passion to be used as a Complimentary Skill Bonus for a subsequent action, so the bonus itself is more of a helping hand (equal to the Special Success chance for the Passion). However rolling a Special Success may perhaps double the bonus, whereas a Critical could possibly allow for an Easy Chance with the skill. Not sure, but I think the mechanics work just as long as a standard success is more of a helping hand rather than a massive bonus.

It may be interesting to see a non-percentile game mechanic for Passions, although given this is BRP then it's more logical to me that traits are expressed as a % roll.  I will watch this thread to see what you come up with

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

How about....  :D

You may simply take your Passion as a bump to your skill (say Passion /5 or /10). You may choose to roll, results yielding:

  • Critical: add half your passion to your skill. You are Inspired, onto uh... glory!
  • Success: add (Passion /5 or Passion /10) to your skill. Passion drives you on.
  • Failure: subtract (Passion /5 or Passion /10) from your skill. Anxiety/apprehension/worry over the situation is clouding your judgement.
  • Fumble: A psychological break has occurred. You continue to fight (if pertinent) without defending, attack your opponent when the issue was not physical to begin with; flee (opposite direction from opponent, etc.), run around, rave, etc.; or you faint, curl into a fetal position and suck your thumb, etc. Or any other effects that you and the GM come into agreement on that fit the situation.

SDLeary

Link to post
Share on other sites

How about....  :D

You may simply take your Passion as a bump to your skill (say Passion /5 or /10). You may choose to roll, results yielding:

  • Critical: add half your passion to your skill. You are Inspired, onto uh... glory!
  • Success: add (Passion /5 or Passion /10) to your skill. Passion drives you on.
  • Failure: subtract (Passion /5 or Passion /10) from your skill. Anxiety/apprehension/worry over the situation is clouding your judgement.
  • Fumble: A psychological break has occurred. You continue to fight (if pertinent) without defending, attack your opponent when the issue was not physical to begin with; flee (opposite direction from opponent, etc.), run around, rave, etc.; or you faint, curl into a fetal position and suck your thumb, etc. Or any other effects that you and the GM come into agreement on that fit the situation.

SDLeary

For the fumble you could have the player that fumbled roll on the Temporary Insanity table as well on page 321-322 of the BGB. The degree of the break would depend on each situation as to whether it was a short temporary insanity or a long one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the fumble you could have the player that fumbled roll on the Temporary Insanity table as well on page 321-322 of the BGB. The degree of the break would depend on each situation as to whether it was a short temporary insanity or a long one.

I had thought about that, but discarded it. I think that whatever happens it should be linked very closely to the passion and situation, the table is a bit too random.

SDLeary

Link to post
Share on other sites

My original intention was to keep the system very simple and have an invoke/compel close to the one FATE has. The player can invoke a bonus (after explaining why), and everyone can compel a passion (or the character must face a penalty). I also wanted to stick some character development to it, therefor the added skill checkmarks.

In play it's working something like this:

White is swimming across a river (after getting away from some thugs) and after a bad Swim roll the current is dragging him along. The GM decides he's got one more skill roll before he drowns. White's player invokes the passion Revenge my brother's death explaining "I can't die now and never make those bastards pay". The GM accepts the explanation and White rolls with a +20% bonus, pushing himself beyond his limits thanks to the passion, just barely making it to the shore. This passion can't be invoked again during the session. But by pulling out his last reserves, White learned something about himself and his swimming skill - he gets an extra checkmark on Swim (and will get two chances of raising the skill after the adventure).

Next gaming session White's team spots a few soldiers while hanging out in a bar - the soldiers are carrying the same tattoos as the ones who assumedly killed his brother. The team is heavily outnumbered and White's player wants to leave the bar, but the GM compels White to act according to his passion. White can accept the compel (acting with a bonus but starting from a bad position) or walk away and accept the penalty in his next roll (or next scene?).

 

To me this works very well in play. No extra rolls for passions, no extra crits or fumbles, just a straight bonus (or bonus/penalty choice) and a chance of getting more experience points (or the closest we get to XP in BRP). One short-term bonus and some long-term development.

And I realize now it takes the values out of passions altogether. They are one use per session, and always at +/-20%, thus easy to keep track of.

 

You may simply take your Passion as a bump to your skill (say Passion /5 or /10). You may choose to roll, results yielding:

  • Critical: add half your passion to your skill. You are Inspired, onto uh... glory!
  • Success: add (Passion /5 or Passion /10) to your skill. Passion drives you on.
  • Failure: subtract (Passion /5 or Passion /10) from your skill. Anxiety/apprehension/worry over the situation is clouding your judgement.
  • Fumble: A psychological break has occurred. You continue to fight (if pertinent) without defending, attack your opponent when the issue was not physical to begin with; flee (opposite direction from opponent, etc.), run around, rave, etc.; or you faint, curl into a fetal position and suck your thumb, etc. Or any other effects that you and the GM come into agreement on that fit the situation.

Using it as a complimentary skill is a nice touch. I will have to try this...

 

Edited by clarence
Link to post
Share on other sites

RQ6 PASSIONS FOR BRP PERSONALITY TRAITS

As you originally suggested, you could express Personality Traits as a percentile, just like RQ6 Passions. RQ6 Passions pretty much cover most things I can think of offhand. I guess you could also add them as emotions or behaviours, and not have any specific Object of Passion defined, such as Curious 56% or Impulsive 82% etc. I think in this case you would start them with a % score equal to POW + CHA.+30% (that is if you are doing this in accordance with RQ6 Passions).

I think I would allow Passions to be used two ways in BRP. The first way would be as a Complimentary Skill Bonus, and I would limit this to once a scene. Its not a huge bonus, but it does imply that emotional intention can affect outcome to a degree.

The second way I would use Passions would be to allow the Passion roll to be used instead of a Skill Roll, just like in RQ6. I would probably give this a 1 Power Point cost, although allow it to be used multiple times a scene if the character is willing to expend a Power Point each time (perhaps they can only expend a number of PP equal to CHA/5 within a scene). Obviously this will only be beneficial if the Passion is intense or otherwise greater than usual skill roll. 

I would tend to allow both uses above only to reinforce good roleplaying, rather than a player simply adding the bonus or replacing their roll just by spending a Power Point, The benefits of having this approach to Passions is that it has some mechanic consistencies with the BRP and RQ6 rules.

FATE ASPECTS FOR BRP PERSONALITY TRAITS

If you don't want the Passion trait expressed with a percentile score, then yes you could go down the FATE Aspect path. If invoking it once a session then a + 25% is probably the way to go for impact.

However I would not limit to invoking it once a session, as that will feel more like a Luck Mechanic thing rather than a personality feature. Invoking once a scene may be more appropriate, and will also encourage more roleplaying in keeping with the character's personality trait. If allowing it's use once a scene, then a +25% may be a bit too big, in which case I would make it a +10% (or possibly a +CHA%), which is a nice helping hand. I guess it depends on how much impact you want it to have in your setting. FATE is usually for very cinematic settings, so Aspects tend to have a big role here. For BRP you have to work out whether to keep them as a minor bonus for a gritty setting (standard BRP setting), or if you want a more pulpy setting, in which case they can have a much larger role.

If going with the 'no percentile score' approach, then I would also steer clear of the term 'Passion' for clarity, as it is already in use in RQ6 as a percentile trait. Perhaps the FATE term 'Aspect' is spot on, and is broad enough to cover what you are after.

In any case, I agree that there should be a greater emphasis on Personality Traits in BRP, and your Aspect system works fine if you don't want to directly port RQ6 Passions into BRP .

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My original intention was to keep the system very simple and have an invoke/compel close to the one FATE has. The player can invoke a bonus (after explaining why), and everyone can compel a passion (or the character must face a penalty). I also wanted to stick some character development to it, therefor the added skill checkmarks

In play it's working something like this:

White is swimming across a river (after getting away from some thugs) and after a bad Swim roll the current is dragging him along. The GM decides he's got one more skill roll before he drowns. White's player invokes the passion Revenge my brother's death explaining "I can't die now and never make those bastards pay". The GM accepts the explanation and White rolls with a +20% bonus, pushing himself beyond his limits thanks to the passion, just barely making it to the shore. This passion can't be invoked again during the session. But by pulling out his last reserves, White learned something about himself and his swimming skill - he gets an extra checkmark on Swim (and will get two chances of raising the skill after the adventure).

Next gaming session White's team spots a few soldiers while hanging out in a bar - the soldiers are carrying the same tattoos as the ones who assumedly killed his brother. The team is heavily outnumbered and White's player wants to leave the bar, but the GM compels White to act according to his passion. White can accept the compel (acting with a bonus but starting from a bad position) or walk away and accept the penalty in his next roll (or next scene?).

 

To me this works very well in play. No extra rolls for passions, no extra crits or fumbles, just a straight bonus (or bonus/penalty choice) and a chance of getting more experience points (or the closest we get to XP in BRP). One short-term bonus and some long-term development.

And I realize now it takes the values out of passions altogether. They are one use per session, and always at +/-20%, thus easy to keep track of.

 

Using it as a complimentary skill is a nice touch. I will have to try this...

 

 Sorry, haven't figured out how to break up a code block yet, but here goes...

You can use such mechanisms as a requirement for the bonus or the option to roll. They must convince you that the passion is relevant within the context of the scene, or they don't get the bonus or the option to roll for effect.

As a GM, I would not use a Passion to compel the character to act in a particular fashion unless the value was over 80%. At values lower than this I would strongly encourage the player to think about how the character would act, but would leave the decision in their hands (this is similar to how it works in Pendragon), or if the way they react is extremely important to the story might ask them to roll. 

I would also suggest that you might not want to restrict to a single use. If you have woven a Passion into a story, how often its used will depend greatly on the situation, and the nature/genre of the game. In a somewhat realistic setting, if Mr. Evil Supervillan kidnaps the family of one of the characters, then their Love (Family) passion should be front and center, influencing just about everything that they do until the situation is resolved. 

SDLeary

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mankcam for clarifying that we are talking about two different mechanics here. And yes, calling a non-percentile system something else than Passions is a good idea. How about Inspirations? (My English is really not good enough to give me a feeling for all the nuances of the different synonyms - otherwise zeal and estrum are two lovely words not heard often enough…)

I would also suggest that you might not want to restrict to a single use. If you have woven a Passion into a story, how often its used will depend greatly on the situation, and the nature/genre of the game. In a somewhat realistic setting, if Mr. Evil Supervillan kidnaps the family of one of the characters, then their Love (Family) passion should be front and center, influencing just about everything that they do until the situation is resolved.

Yes, a single use is probably too limiting. Some kind of Inspiration economy would be good though, to keep players thinking about their actions in a larger perspective. I came up with something like this: All Inspirations share 100% as a total bonus per gaming session, called the Inspiration stack. Every time an Inspiration is called into action the player decides how much of the stack s/he wants to use. +20% is standard, and the higher the player wants it, the more heated the situation must be. Compels do not lower the stack, but instead adds +20% to it. This way a single Inspiration can come into play several times during a session, at the expense of the other two. 

For BRP you have to work out whether to keep them as a minor bonus for a gritty setting (standard BRP setting), or if you want a more pulpy setting, in which case they can have a much larger role.

Good thinking. The Inspiration stack size could be varied to suit the setting. 50% for default BRP, 100% for heroic settings, 200% for super heroes. Now, I wonder what would happen if skill points were reduced by the same amount at character creation? Would Inspirations become even more important, but with a more gritty style intact? Gritty passion - that sounds like a fine contradiction to build a game upon...

As a GM, I would not use a Passion to compel the character to act in a particular fashion unless the value was over 80%.

That's reasonable and one of the strong points of rating Passions.

 

I think I would allow Passions to be used two ways in BRP. The first way would be as a Complimentary Skill Bonus, and I would limit this to once a scene. Its not a huge bonus, but it does imply that emotion can affect outcome to a degree.

The second way I would use Passions would be to allow the Passion roll to be used instead of a Skill Roll, just like in RQ6. I would probably give this a 1 Power Point cost, although allow it to be used multiple times a scene if the character is willing to expend a Power Point each time (perhaps they can only expend a number of PP equal to CHA/5 within a scene). Obviously this will only be beneficial if the Passion is intense or otherwise greater than usual skill roll. 

I like this. And I think you are right about RQ6 doing a really good job with Passions (and Pendragon too, but more closely tied to the setting).

Edited by clarence
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paolo, I had forgotten about it. I just browsed it now - in essence you "trade" Motivation use for Fate points (and then Fate points can do all the usual good stuff), right?

So, we have Pendragon's system aimed at medieval knights. BRP Mecha's with a distinct anime/manga flavor. RQ6 has a quite generic system, easy to adapt to most genres. The "complimentary skill" version outlined in this thread also seems easy to use in a wide spectrum of gaming styles. And finally the FATEesque concept I have been toying with.

Good work!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I have bought the Mecha book, but didn't give it a good squizz due to time factors and also because we're not using that setting yet. I'll have to have a good look at the new rules contained in it - this Motivations rule sounds pretty good actually

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...