Monday, 30 July 2012

Saga Destiny System Alternative

Destiny Awaits by William Silvers

Concept:
Treat the Destiny system in the Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG more like the invoking/compelling mechanics of the FATE system, i.e. grant more narrative control by treating each Destiny type like an Aspect in FATE.

Overview:
Unfortunately the benefits that 'destiny points' currently grant are general mechanical effects that can be used in any situation, regardless of whether or not the usage directly helped the character take action toward fulfilling their destiny.

I propose, in leu of choosing one of the listed mechanical benefits from spending a Destiny Point; the player may invoke his character's destiny to gain a small degree of narrative control, if the GM agrees that it's in line with their particular destiny.
E.g. A character with the Rescue Destiny may spend a Destiny Point to grant his character narrative control for a short time. The player may then claim that dispite the detention centre computer terminals having become locked-down and hostile after an earlier failed attempt to improve access, the careless warden had left his code cylinder on his desk as he fled. With access granted from the misplaced cylinder the character is able cease the lock-down and release the prisoner his group has been searching for.

Any mechanical effects replicated by narrative control should not exceed anything that could be granted by any of the other listed benefits, but could perhaps create a similar effects.
E.g. Automatically suceeding on a skill check, though not on the list of benefits, roughly equals automatically scoring a critical hit.
There is a game mechanic that is already in place when a character accomplishes a goal or performs a task that clearly moves him or her closer to fulfilling their destiny (GM's determination); they gain a short-term benefit for 24 in-game hours. Perhaps include the option of in place of gaining the short-term benefit, they may gain a Destiny Point instead. This would allow the players the chance to earn more Destiny Points outside of the usual single point gained each new level.

In addition to the narrative control benefit granted to the players, the GM can use the character's destinies narratively as well. Anytime a player wishes their character to preform something or make a choice that the GM would consider to be a step away from his/her destiny, the GM may 'impel' (or have the character 'confront') their destiny, enticing the player to reconsider their action and perhaps embrace their destiny. Each time a character's Destiny creates a complication or disadvantage for the character and the player chooses for their character to act in accordance with their Destiny, the GM should reward them with a Destiny Point.
E.g. A player with a character with the Discovery Destiny wishes to refrain from opening a mysterious piece of cargo he is transporting on behalf of a powerful Hutt, who explicitly warned him not to open it. The GM believes the knowledge the character may gain from opening the cargo will help him take one step closer to fulfilling his destiny. GM then may say to the player that their character is impelled by his Destiny to open the cargo. The player then must reconsider: does he follow the GM's suggestion, open the crate, dispite the consquinces and earn a Destiny Point? Or does he stick to his original, and possibly safer, choice?

Sample Narrative Destiny Uses:
  • Champion - Impress a smuggling cartel to joining your cause by a winning game of sabacc.
  • Corruption - Uncover a sector governor's weakness to manipulate for your own gains.
  • Creation - Unlock a hidden vault to acquire a rare schematic for a new starfighter.
  • Destruction - Slice a terminal to analyse the plans for the weakness in a new hypermatter core.
  • Discovery - An old navicomp turns out to contain astrogation data for a unknown planet.
  • Education - Find a clue to the location of a lost Jedi Holocron containing forgotten teachings.
  • Legacy - Calling upon a life debt a character's ancestor shared with your own family.
  • Liberation - Become elected a representative of an oppressed planet by discrediting your opponent.  
  • Redemption - Locate and unlock a secret entrance to the Sith Academy your brother joined.
  • Rescue - Accidentally get in the way of the assassin's attack on a senator's life.
  • We've Been Through A Lot - Initiate a risky hyperspace jump to safety with a damaged navicomp.