Sunday, August 31, 2014

Steampunk Paladins

Game Concept based on a LibertyCon 2014 workshop with Bill Fawcett

Players represent paladins who must gain reputation by defeating the Looming Menace. Players can strengthen themselves by completing quests, which will allow them to gain equipment, learn powers, and recruit retainers; the Menace will be strengthened when the paladin declines or fails a quest--or sometimes when he succeeds!  

Paladins have a few chatacteristics, such as Valor, Honor, Charm and Wit. Quests may be a test of one or more qualities. Deal three cards face down for each Quest (one Test, one Twist, and one Treasure)  and four Quests per year.
Once the Quests are dealt, a player may Investigate the quests to gather intelligence. The number of Investigation successes is the number of cards he may examine, but there will never be enough investigation to uncover all the details of the quests.  Once you've gathered information, commit your resources to each quest and see if you succeed.
Twists cards may be Villain Reinforcements, Volcano Base Explodes (which will reduce retainers for hero and villain), Victorian Super Science (which the hero may not have enough Wit to use), Traps, and so forth. A Friendly Villain might give you a bonus to this quest but act as negative to future quests--for instance, Femme Fatale might give you +3 Wit for this quest but count as a -1 Honor for as long as you keep her.

You may be able to poach other players' retainers. But the more powerful you personally are, or the more retainers you have, the harder it will be for you to recruit more retainers. (Doc Savage has several men working for him; Superman does not).

Villains always have a Five Year Plan, so after five Quest Years (20 quests), you must face the Looming Menace in a climactic battle, and not only defeat him, but win honor and glory in the process.

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