The Wall: Rules Evolution

This post is one of a series describing the design of a prospective RPG called the Wall. You can find more posts here.

Sometimes, changes to rules occur not during their use, but in the contemplation that comes after. This time, I was thinking about the use of Fist and the effect it and the other two Tools have on the city.

As per the last set of rules, when a PC succeeds, the Difficulty resolved against (Distance, Disdain, or Discord) lowers by one. If the PC uses Fist, it increases by one.

“Captain Conversation” by Kostic Dusan

In the last example, Fist was used and because the PC Prevailed, there was no movement in Disdain – it increased by one because Fist was used but decreased by one because the PC Prevailed. But that is unsatisfying to me.

Fist is supposed to be the easiest way to get things done. Force, when you are an occupying military, is an easy option that works to solve problems, but only in the short term. It deals in symptoms, not core issues. Force should never alleviate the difficulty of working with a group.

But what about fear? Shouldn’t fear of what the Occupiers could do make the locals more compliant? This is true. Fear and brutality have been used to maintain order for extended periods of time.

So, how about this. When one succeeds in a resolution, the Difficulty of the faction one is resolving against lowers by 1 – so if one succeeds against the Elite, Disdain drops by 1.
However, none of this is true if one is using Hidden. If one succeeds in using Hidden, no one knows it was the PC or even the Occupiers who did it, so no benefit is accrued.

If one fails when using Eyes or Heart, Difficulty does not shift.

If one fails when using Fist, the Difficulty increases by 1. Further, if one was using Open, Peace decreases by 1 while if one was using Subtle, Harmony decreases by 1.

If one is using Fist, whether the PC fails or Prevails, the Relationship with the faction drops by one, so if the resolution is with the Elite, Influence would drop by 1, even when the PC Prevails. This is in addition to any Relationship the player wagers.

Fist has the greatest chance of success but also carries the greatest risk.

I like this . . . for now. Let’s see what happens with the next test.

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