Design Scratchpad: Mezzo Challenges

The rising action game has seen a lot of fleshing out on the forge ( Check that out for an advanced peek at what’s going on with this project. I’ll be referring to the project as “Mezzo” for now, as suggested by Lance.

Today I’m going to take a first look at the challenge system and how it’s set up.

What are challenges?

Challenges handle how characters work to overcome anything that conflicts with their goals and interests. They also provide characters with opportunities to advance those goals and come that much closer to dealing with their biggest obstacle or threat.

How do challenges start?

A challenge can start whenever a character comes into conflict with another element of the scene. That element can be another character, an obstacle, or a threat. The important thing is that the character and the other element have opposing goals or purposes. The character and their opponent make up the first two sides in the challenge.

Once those first two sides are set up, players may place additional characters or scene elements on either side, so long as the goals or purpose of the addition match those of their potential allies. If an element opposed all existing sides, it can be brought in as another side to the conflict. All such additions are optional. A conflict can easily be run with just one agent on each side.

Once sides are set, any player can ask to skip the challenge if they don’t find it interesting. To do this, the player simply states which side they want to win. If all players agree on this, that side wins but gets no special awards for doing so. If anyone votes for the opposing side or decides to hold out the challenge isn’t skipped and proceeds normally.

Who goes first?

The character whose action initiated the challenge normally goes first. However, any character who wants to act before that initial action resolves can try to interrupt it. To do this, roll the speed of the interrupting action vs that of the triggering action. The winning action is resolved first.

What’s Next?

Next Time I’ll look at how individual actions are resolved within a challenge.

Published in: on April 4, 2010 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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