Okay, first off, I need a better title for the game than Pandora Excess. Just doesn’t do it for me.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about (the game that will soon not be called) Pandora Excess.
In most of my published games, I’ve used Pivots or something similar as a way to provide advancement, to improve characters. Borderlands has an experience point system not unlike the most famous role-playing game in the world (which is now in its fifth or so incarnation). There’s no need for two improvement mechanics, and plenty of reasons not to complicate an already complex system, so advancement will be based on experience points.
However, I think there is still a place for something similar to Pivots. Let’s call it Quirk. I’ll go through the thesaurus and find something better later. This is a part of Borderlands as well, with the characters uttering certain catchphrases when scoring critical hits, for example.
I’m not sure exactly if Quirks should have a mechanical benefit, but my initial thinking is that if worked into the game seamlessly, a Quirk can earn a character experience. This way, something like a character regularly wondering about coffee, spouting one-liners, or always eating could add dimension to a character, as well as levity to the game.
It’s also a nice way to provide personality to a character that might otherwise become a bunch of numbers.
You can find out more about Borderlands here.
You can find out more about Pandora Excess here.