Friday, May 19, 2017

Setting Rule: One Big Happy Family

Fairy Tail, obviously.

The interpersonal dynamics between player characters serve as the primary point of tension in some genres and settings. Anime- and manga-derived settings in particular embrace the notion of “nakama” – friends who are closer than your family – while settings based on American Saturday morning and syndicated cartoons may actually define friendship as magic.


Just as the Blood & Guts rule dispenses of the need for the No Mercy Edge, so One Big Happy Family dispenses with Common Bond, allowing players to freely share Bennies with their fellow players and designated Game Master Wild Cards (the Natural Leader and Beast Bond Edges are still needed for Extra allies and animals, respectively).


Game Masters may choose to allow players to complicate the relationships between heroes by assigning bonuses and penalties to the rerolls granted by sharing Bennies. In an average-sized group of four to six players, this combination of bonuses and penalties has a sum total of +4; larger groups may wish to increase the total to +6 or even +8.


The maximum bonus that can be assigned to any one teammate is +2. By assigning penalties to other teammates, a player may gain additional bonus points to assign elsewhere. If there are five characters in a team, for example, a player might choose to assign one teammate a -2 penalty, increasing the player's total that can be assigned to +6 and allowing him to give a +2 bonus to his three other teammates. The maximum penalty that can be assigned to any one teammate is -2.


Example: Gray Fullbuster is a member of Fairy Tail, a guild of wizards for hire, and frequently goes on adventures with four of his guild mates: Natsu Dragneel (with whom he has a serious, but not deadly, rivalry), Erza Scarlet (whom he looks upon as an older sister), Lucy Heartfilia (who he thinks is attractive but has no particular romantic feelings for), and Happy the Exceed (about whom he has no strong feelings). Gray’s player assigns his Benny bonuses this way:

  • Natsu suffers a -2 penalty on the reroll when he spends a Benny that Gray gave him
  • Erza gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Lucy gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Happy gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when he spends a Benny that Gray gave him

Players may reassign their bonus/penalty total at the beginning or end of any session – simulating arcs of character growth as they become closer friends and allies or start to grow apart – but the numbers must stay constant during the session.


Example: Later, the sprightly Wendy Marvell, Charle the Exceed, and Juvia Lockser join the team on a permanent basis. The Game Master allows the group to expand their bonus/penalty total to +6. As Gray’s attraction to Lucy has cooled while Juvia’s player has declared she has an unwavering crush on Gray, Gray’s player reassigns his total as:
  • That jerk Natsu still suffers a -2 penalty on the reroll when he spends a Benny that Gray gave him
  • Erza gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Lucy gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Happy's been taunting Gray too much recently, so he gets no bonus on the reroll when he spends a Benny that Gray gave him
  • Wendy gets a +1 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Charle gets a +1 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her
  • Juvia gets a +2 bonus on the reroll when she spends a Benny that Gray gave her

New Hindrance
Selfish Jerk [Major or Minor]: You take advantage of your friends and give little back. As a Minor Hindrance, you have 2 less points available in your Benny-sharing pool; as a Major Hindrance, you have 4 less.

New Edge
Open-hearted
Requirements: Novice
Your empathy and generosity are legendary. Every time you take this Edge, you gain an additional +2 to your Benny-sharing pool, up to a maximum of 5 times for a bonus of +10 to your pool.  

2 comments:

  1. I love this rule. I'll try to use it in my games!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this idea and probably will be stealing it. I do have a question though.
    Isn't the math off on the first example? It totals +6 but I thought it was supposed to total +4.

    ReplyDelete

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