This post is one of a series describing the design of a prospective RPG called the Wall. You can find more posts here.
Okay, time for test number three. We didn’t actually provide an outcome for Test II. Let’s say that the rumours of Elite food hording has proved false, so the PCs decide it’s time to track down the Preacher who spouted these lies. Aelfgifu, the PC spy within the Occupiers, is eminently suited to that.
Our breakdown again is:
Episode: Food riots have begun in the Fifth Quarter, one of the middle class sections near the river. Order is threatened and the Company’s influence among the Elites is at stake.
Scene Goal: Find the Preacher
The players decide that Aelfgifu is going to use her contacts among the Dispossessed’s underworld to get information on this Preacher. This is a difficult way to go around it, but success will help to lower the Distance and make further interaction with the Dispossessed easier. Unfortunately, that means it needs to be at least Subtle if not Open, which does not play to Aelfgifu’s strengths. A success with Hidden would not shift the Distance, as no one would know that the Occupiers were involved.
Further, because Harmony is at 0, Aelgifu can’t wager Sympathy. There’s almost no way she can succeed without shifting a die. The players decide they will need another plan. Aelgifu has best relations with the Occupiers, so it’s time to see if any of her comrades at arms knows anything of this Preacher.
Aelfgifu is using Eyes, because this is going to involve careful planning and consideration. It’s going to be Subtle – Open is kind of the antithesis of spying and Hidden wouldn’t effect Discord should the PCs succeed. She is going to do this in uniform to get the die for Authority. Unseen really doesn’t work for this, so how about Careful? The PCs don’t want any warning to reach whomever is involved in this, so Aelgifu is going to be very careful with how she fashions her questions and inquiries. There’s no need to wager Respect, given that she only needs 1 Success to Prevail.
With her Eyes d4, Aelfgifu rolls a 2. That’s not a good start. Her Subtle d6 rolls a 4. That’s a Success. Her Authority d8 gets a 3, which doesn’t help, and her Careful d6 gets a 2. Only 1 Success. That’s all they need. Discord can’t drop any further. The Scene is a success, but there’s no mechanical changes.
The mechanics are working, but there’s something that’s got me thinking. We can talk about that next.