Characters in this game rely on their Emotions, instead of typical RPG attributes like Strength, Intelligence and Constitution. Now it is more important whether a Michtim warrior has a high Anger rating, or if Fear drives a hero to cowardly spy at his enemies from a patch of high grass.
I decided to eschew typical stats, because I consider them to be simply a matter of style for the game setting. However having a strong guideline for the character’s personality has probably been never this central to the core of a system. I challenge you to prove me wrong! I’d love to hear the contrary. On the other hand I want to show that emotions have value for survival. Anger, fear and grief have a bad connotation in civilized cultures; but given the right balance, they all have important functions in life.
The five Emotions (using a capital E to indicate I am talking about the game element) provide basic actions to every character.
- Anger: Doing harm to others. Pretty straight-forward eh?
- Joy: Bouncing up and down, running really fast, and perceiving hidden things.
- Love: Caring for others, helping them recover from injury.
- Fear: Dodging out of harms way. Can also be used to hide, while cover is available.
- Grief: Recovering when knocked out, calling for help, distracting enemies.
In case you think these are too few options for a character, rest assured: Michtim characters can learn Callings to add or modify actions. These will be used to create distinct play styles in characters — even if they might have similar Emotion ratings. Every Calling introduces a unique mechanic to the game. Characters can learn any number of Callings, but they can only be attuned to a small number of talents at any one time. This leads to diversity without having players feel that they have uncovered everything there is.
Some sample Callings I am working on that will be included:
- Tactics: Using basic actions on multiple targets. Better resource management.
- Sorcery: Using basic actions on distant targets. Gain power for taking extra turns.
- Influence: Cursing enemy targets with the power of Emotions.
- Performance: Empowering allies through song and dance.
- Catering: Providing food and beverages. Your dishes boost the abilities of others.
- Summoning: Conjuring a spirit to act as your proxy and provide services.
A lot of the flavor of an action depends on character Style though, like Arcane, Martial or Social. You can be an angry warrior, but you could also be an angry witch. Even if a character uses the Sorcery Calling, she need not be played as an Arcane heroine. What if she is a masterful Archer instead? This can easily be accomplished by sticking to the Martial Style. This is but a small change. The mechanics stay completely unchanged, but the way you design and portray your character can be vastly different.
The Sorcery Calling introduces the ability to affect targets at range. Also it provides the ability to take extra turns to increase an actions power. Sounds like an Archer to me; taking time to aim and then fire a painful Lightning Dart (Anger) at targets. Or help out friends by launching a Restoration Injection (Love) at them. The Style does not influence the effectivity of the character.
Remember! It’s about you and what you can do with your game. Play like a boss!