Monday, 28 February 2011

Triffles (13) - An omen

With the summary of the second six up, we now move on. The last had a possible shocking discovery, but not necessarily a location or item, and not necessarily bad.

an improbable event /
unusual alignment


an omen

/             \

a memory awakened /                  the power        
prophecy recalled                    of suggestion  

In wargaming this might easily appear in background or campaign development, but could be incorporated into gameplay too. Getting consent on the 'improbable' would hopefully be easy, but if not, each player could be allowed to nominate one event per turn as either unusually positive or negative, with each having the power to support and enact this, or with one of the two nominations being randomly selected. The simplest consequence could be a boost to morale or the reverse within a certain distance.

In roleplaying the chance for this already exists through the DM / GM at least, and the players themselves are also capable of suggesting a case, and arguably even should where their character may have an interpretation affecting the game. JB at B/X Blackrazor has just posted a series covering this kind of thing too, the first part here.

In writing as a whole the omen might be a central event in a tale and trigger cascading change in the kind of delicate web of relationships described in Triffle no. 11. In this sense reactions are key, whether caused by emotions like joy, hope, frustration or fear, or based on rational analysis of factors like the possible prophecy or what others do.


Paul´s Bods said...

Are you drinking the same wine as I am???
I was actually thinking about that sort of thing yesterday evening, due to a scene in the film La Haine ( )
The scene in question is when the 3 main characters are walking through thier estate when a cow with a bell on it walks past the end of the alley they have just walked down. It doesnt alter the run of the film but it got me thinking how a wierd event like that could be brought into a wargame...something soooo unpredictable that it would/ could throw a whole game plan, leading to the combatants having to react at high speed.
What that could be I am still thinking about...for example, something like the intervention of a half believed in god (Iliad style) that suddenly turns out to be true.

Paul´s Bods said...

Also...I had another thought about names for create new names for characters etc, use daft phrases, swear words etc, and put them in an annogramm generator like this one

Porky said...

I love the idea of a random event causing the whole to spiral out of the players' control. The idea of myth being found to be real is especially evocative. Putting players under real pressure is an aspect of the 'Getting out of the boat' idea, and a concept like that could easily find a home there.

I think ArmChairGeneral would be interested in that link too, given his recent spreadsheet. Very powerful tool, even beyond gaming.

The Angry Lurker said...

This is to me perfect for wargaming, seen in The Mummy movies or any good satanic movie, it's a race to stop the minions raising the creature or demon, perfect for warhammer fantasy but I see WW2 pulp like Hellboy and the Nazis and Himmlers obsession.

Porky said...

Useful starting points again - you're an essential element of the series..! It does fit the race against time idea well, with the clock ticking down to that alignment. The darker kind of omen is a real staple of fiction and probably has a place in most fictional worlds. You're right about Warhammer too - I often forget just how gloomy the setting can be.