Author Topic: "Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...  (Read 311 times)

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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"Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...
« on: October 26, 2016, 10:28:09 PM »
...or Dark Heresy, or any other form of 40k roleplaying.

I've always thought that Inquisitor should include a lot of politics and double dealing, as, really, that is probably 99% of the Inquisitor's job.  Only a very brief amount of time, by comparison, would actually be spent on the battlefield.  However, since Inquisitor is a wild-west style shoot-em-up game, it seems that political intrigue should probably be generated BY combat scenarios.  This, BTW, tends to be true to the literature, as fiction involving the Inquisition often seems to have odd occurrences and strange items turning up as a result of battlefield encounters.

For this reason, I offer the following rules.  Assume, maybe, a 15% chance, generally speaking, that any opposing warband's (dead or captured) leader might have a token, or a 5% chance that any other character in the warband might.

Random Tokens

Form of Token (1D20)
1   Jewel or helmet
2   Ring or hat
3   Neckerchief
4   Pistol (random type)
5   Dagger or dice
6   Cloak
7   Mirror or vial of fluid
8   Deck of cards
9   Cuddlebug (innocuous pet)
10   Glove or gauntlet
11   Locket or sealed envelope
12   Libram
13   Goblet or scroll
14   Wine bottle
15   Pocket watch
16   Seed pod / egg
17   Visi-phone
18   Electro-mandolin
19   Data Crystal
20   Exotic: proto- or anti- matter, partially in warp space, tesseract, wraithbone, etc.  Roll
   again for general appearance.

Features (1D20: Roll for 1D6-3 features)
1   Covered with blood
2   Holograph
3   Contains a map to a horde of exotic or legendary items
4   Contains blueprints
5   Property of Cardinal/Inquisitor/High Lord of Terra
6   Journal of a lost expedition or important personage.
7   Made of gold/platinum/iridium: worth 1D20 Imperial denarii.
8   Jewel encrusted: worth 2D20 Imperial denarii.
9   Noble family crest
10   Chaos rune
11   Property of a powerful Eldar or other alien
12   Contains map to a secret military or scientific installation
13   Lost technology: not a weapon, may be communications, agricultural, data storage, etc.
14   Either already broken or virtually unbreakable
15   Disguised as something worthless (has at least one other feature)
16   Hand computer
17   Homing device
18   Cunningly devised internal bomb if proper opening sequence is not used
19   Key or clue to something else
20   Roll twice more

The Effects of Tokens: These are meant to be adventure triggers.  The Narrator and players should work together to determine what effects they have.  Note that the effects of a particularly important token could be star-shaking to say the least.  For example, a ring with a noble family crest (say of the local Navigator's Household) that contains lost technology, a chaos rune, or a map to a secret imperial installation, could go a long way toward destroying that house if it found its way to the house's enemies, and they were exposed in some way.  This, in turn, could cause the whole balance of power in the sector to shift.  It could easily start wars or trigger the assassination of lofty personages.  Even an Inquisitor should approach such an item with care...

Unlocking Tokens: Tokens represent puzzles that must be solved, usually leading to increased power, often over those who are themselves powerful.  If a player character manages to solve (unlock) the puzzle of a token that he still possesses in a manner that the players and GM (by majority vote) believe is clever within the context of the ongoing campaign, he gains an Influence Level, which remains a permanent part of his character.

A player character can attempt to influence powerful NPCs (Navigator household patriarchs, inquisitors, planetary governors, cult leaders, ork warbosses, etc.) by rolling 20+ on 2d6, +1/10 Nerve (round mathematically), +total Influence Level, -0 if the effect will be planet-wide or less, -5 if the effect will be system-wide, -10 if the effect will be subsector-wide, -15 if the effect will be sector-wide, -20 if the effect will be segmentum-wide, and -25 if the effect will be galaxy-wide, though a lot of this will rely on the PC getting in to see the right people (this should never be impossible, but may be difficult, and possibly require an adventure).

Success means the PC manages to accomplish something substantial along the lines of what he was seeking.  It will generally not solve all of his problems, but can offer critical aid that just might suffice.  For example, a player character wants aid in stopping a mutant uprising on his home world.  The effect will be planet-wide (-0), and letís say that he possessed three tokens that he managed to unlock, and a Nerve statistic of 84. -0+3+8=11.  Since the minimum score to successfully influence is 20, the character would have to roll 9+ on 2d6 to successfully influence the space marine chapter commander, eldar mercenaries, lord inquisitor, or whoever the GM determines he could reasonably reach for this purpose. 

What level of help he will get or what form it will take will depend upon the GM, but it should always be something that will give him a measurably greater chance of accomplishing his goal.  Perhaps his Inquisitor warband will be augmented by an elder pirate or two veteran Imperial Guardsmen until the quest is completed, or perhaps the enemy will lose some forces from his warband, based on having to fight disguised mercenaries, or maybe the PCs warband will obtain a critical piece of knowledge that will aid them towards their goal.  The PC can request the form actually taken by successful influence, but the GM ultimately has the final say.

Scoring a total of 11-19 indicates failing the influence roll.  The PC gets nothing.  His influence simply was not sufficiently persuasive in this case.

Scoring a total of 10 or less indicates critically failing the influence roll.  The PC not only gets nothing, he has managed to irritate the powers that be (or a significant faction among them) in the process.  When this happens, roll on the table below:

Critical Influence Failure Table (1d6):

1.   The PC is subject to minor, vindictive interference during his next scenario, as the VIP he has annoyed lets him know that he doesnít appreciate being bothered over trivialities.  This could take many forms, such as all ammunition of a single type used by his warband being faulty, spies granting some bonus to the opposing warband, such as helping them to set up an ambush, a random item being stolen by thieves from each member of the warband prior to the battle, etc.
2.   The PC permanently loses 1 Influence Level.
3.   The PC is targeted for assassination by a random warband.  These will attack him once, attempting to destroy him and his followers.  Regardless of the effects of the attack, it will not be repeated once the encounter is complete.  The attempt has a 1-2 on 1d6 chance of taking place during each scenario following the critically failed influence attempt, until it finally takes place.
4.   The PC permanently loses 1d3 Influence Levels.
5.   The PC is targeted for total annihilation by a random warband.  These will relentlessly keep attacking him, attempting to destroy him and his followers.  If the warband is destroyed, another one will take its place.  Each attempt has a 1-2 on 1d6 chance of taking place during each scenario following that critically failed influence attempt.  This can only be permanently stopped by a successful planet-wide influence attempt made for this purpose.
6.   The PC is killed in a very permanent manner, such as by being poisoned and then his body thrown into deep space, and vortex torpedoed just for good measure.  Thus, be really careful who you attempt to influence and when, and make sure it is worth the risk.

Influence rolls can be made at any time the GM determines is reasonable, but each Influence Level can only be used once per game session.  Thus, if a PC with 5 Influence Levels wants aid in both stopping the mutant uprising AND locating an destroying the smugglers who are arming the mutants, he would have to make two rolls and divide up his Influence Points as he sees fit between them.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:26:11 AM by Inquisitor Thaken »

Offline jediknight129

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Re: "Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 02:06:28 PM »
Allot of that seems like it's stuff the gm for a campaign should rither be eriting and communicating with olayers about throughout the campaign rather than leaving it to the dice who as is often said on here know most about the characters.

The IP dynamic I could see being interesting but that's something that personally I'd want handled in background discussion with the GM if I wasnplaying in/running the campaign and anything with a risk of death based on a role is a bit.... Idk im fairly attached to Tallulah and take the view if anyine is going to kill her off that should be ny decision im happy to retire or shelve characters based on in game events but outright do not pass terra do not collect your immortal soul or a corpse not so much.

If I wish ti bring her back after a campaign where she was injured badly or her organisation brought to its knees with a new model or some modifications that's something I should have control over in a collaborative storytelling game tbh.


As for the solutions validity being based off a discussion with the players that is based on 'clever' again that's not a mechanic id use personally. That's more a player-gm conversation in my mind.

I like some of the concepts and I could see something like that being used with some groups iv gamed with but personally I dont really think that a random token would be how id do it because that's not how id build the story.

It's a great resource as a start point andnsomenideas that I could sre borrowing in terms of the type of things that can influence games and I'm not knocking the work involved just... Dunni if that makes sejse.

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: "Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 02:49:15 PM »
It's a great resource as a start point andnsomenideas that I could sre borrowing in terms of the type of things that can influence games and I'm not knocking the work involved just... Dunni if that makes sejse.

In the end, as you seem to be saying, its an idea generator, and one that gives rewards for adding to the story.  Any roleplaying mechanic like that will always be tweaked by the individual GM, which, of course, is fine.

Offline jediknight129

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Re: "Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 10:46:41 AM »
I get what your trying to do but for me it's something that doesn't really work because of the random table aspect and well it almost being like am xo system of sorts. Still there's a few interesting concepts that have been added to my list of useful ideas for running campaigns.

I do like the influence token aspect of it allot and it's something I can see rewarding players with based on in play events certainly and as a mechanism for generating plot items when I'm drawing a blank writing a mission will be useful.

If it works for the group your with that's cool and it seems that your playstyle is a lot more hands on with the players in terms of shaping the plot based on the voting on whether a solution is 'clever'  etc and that's a way of playing that iv not tried for a while so will be interested to hear your experiences with it.

Offline Inquisitor Thaken

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Re: "Token" Politics and Adventure Triggers in Inquisitor...
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 01:46:49 PM »
I get what your trying to do but for me it's something that doesn't really work because of the random table aspect and well it almost being like am xo system of sorts.

Don't know what an xo system is.  Please explain.


If it works for the group your with that's cool and it seems that your playstyle is a lot more hands on with the players in terms of shaping the plot based on the voting on whether a solution is 'clever'  etc and that's a way of playing that iv not tried for a while so will be interested to hear your experiences with it.

Though Inquisitor has its plusses and minuses, I really think that it improved my GMing more than any other game I ever played.  I absolutely love Gav's "round robin GMing" (to coin a phrases; I don't have the rulebook handy and can't think what he called it) where each session had a new GM who built on what happened before.  This cooperative system really led to fun situations in which nobody really knew where things were heading, and the fun was in the discovery.

Of course, this also had its drawbacks.  If one of the players was a little too immature, and heaped all kinds of rewards upon the players for a minor victory (think Monty Haul D&D) it could wreck things pretty quickly.

So what I developed was something where the players would vote on what elements got added to the story, and, as most Inquisitor players were more on the mature side, this tended to improve things.

The Token-Political system was a kind of a natural add-on from there, as it actually stimulated the less mature players into making better contributions to the ongoing campaign, since, if they added in too much, their creation wouldn't become 'campaign canon', and they'd get nothing, while if, OTOH, they contributed something balanced that added to the storyline, they'd get a McGuffin (token) that would give their characters a little extra oomph.

In all, it worked out pretty well, and I have exported this system to many other rpgs.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:13:44 AM by Inquisitor Thaken »