Against the Inevitable: Revelations

Last time, I looked into how to set up characters quickly and easily. This time I want to look at some possible mechanics for building up those characters during play.

Character Reveals

Once per scene each character can reveal something about some part of the game world. The target of the reveal can gain a background, goal, or schtick that’s appropriate to what’s being revealed. A revelation can also be used to swap an active trait for a dormant one.

Both the truth of a revelation and its effects can be opposed by other players if it doesn’t fit with what’s already been established. In that case, the group must find a compromise (possibly assisted by chance) for results that do fit.


Goals determine what a character is striving to achieve. Characters start with no goals, but can attain them through revelations. When a character gains a goal they can choose to make it one of their active goals.

A character can normally only have 3 active goals at a time. If they activate a new goal while at this limit, they must make one of their currently active goals dormant.

Once per scene, an active goal can be tapped to either allow a reroll or to keep the character from being forced out of a challenge.


Schticks cover what the character excels at and how they do so. This can include a wide range of things, such as special training, talent, items, or allies.

In mechanical terms, Schticks function much like backgrounds, with the following exceptions.

  • Schticks are more narrowly defined than backgrounds and generally focus on a single feature, ability, or object.
  • Schticks can raise strongly related ability checks to “good” instead of “fair”.
  • A character can have no more than 5 schticks active at a time.

Wrapping Up

Looking over this, I may combine schticks and backgrounds into a single trait, while capping the number that can be “active” at a time (as with Goals).

One thing I do like is that the mechanical advantages of adding traits will cap out after a few scenes. At that point, revelations become more attractive as a tool for inserting ideas into the narrative.

Next up will probably be some actual number crunching, though I might not post that part up. I’ll also need to decide if cards or dice better serve the feel I’m going for with this game.

Published in: on December 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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