Both Duty & Honour and Beat to Quarters (as well as Martin Lloyd’s upcoming Inferno rpg) use the Card of Fate system. These videos show you how to complete a simple and opposed test, explaining a standard, critical and perfect success.
I really am a big fan of Herzberg’s Two Factor theory. There, I’ve said it. The idea that there are things (called Hygiene Factors (HFs)) that cause you dissatisfaction and stop you from being motivated, and others (Motivating Factors (MFs)) that cause you to be motivated seems obvious. Add in that simply eliminating the HFs doesn’t lead to motivation, and having lots of MFs doesn’t over-ride the HFs and well, it just makes a lot of workplace activity seem obvious. The colleague who cannot seem to go beyond the fact that someone gets paid more than him? The worker who is obsessed with how complicated changing a password is? Both are struggling with HFs that need to be dealt with.
But what does it have to do with gaming?
In my last article, I talked about the various types of power and how you could use them to accentuate a PC’s presence in a game or abuse them to undermine the role of the same PC. This time around I’m going to go down the more controversial path and talk about power amongst the players at the table. I’m pretty sure this is going to push a few people’s buttons, but we have to be honest and admit that gaming tables are not a balanced nirvana where all things are equal. There are always imbalances, and I would argue that we can model some of them on different levels of power at the table. So take a deep breath, read charitably, and here we go…
Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. Perhaps the fear of a loss of power. —John Steinbeck
Following on from the surprising popularity of my article on Player Character Commanding Officers, an article that dipped its toe into the murky waters where management theory and gaming intermingle, I thought it might be fun to do a couple of follow-up articles. Let’s examine ways that the things you learned in GCSE Business Studies might be helpful as a framework to think about gaming activities!
This first piece looks at power – what it is, where it comes from, and how we can examine it around the gaming table, both in-character and out-of-character. It’s inspired by some comments from @NarrativeEscapes, one of my wonderful gaming group. I would recommend checking out his website and youtube channel.
The issue of one PC having authority over another has been something that has perpetuated through RPGs for decades. When I first created Duty & Honour, over a decade ago, it was something that was cited as a facet of the genre that would make it a bad game; something that could only end in disaster. With the recent success of Star Trek Adventures, there are once again GMs wondering whether a table can handle those fateful words “That’s an order!”