From desire to obsession

1 11 2007

I’ve been thinking about the mechanics for deciding how Dependencies fail, and how they can turn into obsessions in their own right. This is what I’ve got so far; it’s sort of sketchy, and needs refinement.

You have twelve Dependency points, which you divide between 2-4 Dependencies. When your Dependencies are allotted, choose your Triggers– the things which tempt you to indulge in your Obsession. Some Triggers can (should!) be based on your Dependencies– things which can happen regardless of whether you’re attempting to use them to resist Obsession or not. And keep in mind, the sensitivity of a Trigger should be in proportion to its importance to you– if you have “Best friend 2” and “Girlfriend 10,” you might be Triggered when your best friend stands you up for already established plans.. But you might be Triggered if your Girlfriend didn’t call to say good morning. The more you are invested in something, the more you expect from it.

When you face a Trigger, you have one of three choices:

  • Allow yourself to give in. If, for whatever reason, you feel it’s best for your character’s story to relapse, that’s fine.
  • Spend a point of Resolve. This allows you to automatically resist the Trigger without a roll, although you do lose the point of Resolve when you do this. The next time you complete a step, however, you get all your spent Resolve back.
  • Use a Dependency. Dependencies are a gambling mechanic, as outlined below:

Decide which Dependency you’re going to use, and declare it. Then, roll a d10; if you get between 1-3, your Dependency fails you somehow, and you lose your point of Dependency. If you get between 4-7, your Dependency succeeds, but not well enough; you keep your Dependency Point, but have to continue trying Dependencies until you get a real success or lose all of your points. If your roll is between 8-10, it succeeds; your Dependency gives you exactly what you need, and you gain an additional Dependency Point for that Dependency.

When you hit 12 points in any given Dependency, it becomes an Obsession. Treat the act of getting that 12th point the same way you’d treat losing your points and relapsing! All of your Obsession Points refill to twelve, and go back in the cup, and you have to spend everything in there resisting recovery and damaging relationships until you can finally come back and start recovery.

As you become more invested in your various Dependencies, keep track of the intensity of your Triggers and alter them accordingly.

It’s starting to look like this game is going to need a fancy character sheet, something at which I’m not particularly good. Hmmm..