Spotlight Tokens and Adversity Tokens

I had some thoughts about a scene framing and game pacing economy. The idea is that each player will have a certain number of Spotlight Tokens and a certain number of Adversity Tokens. Each round, everyone secretly bids a number of Spotlight Tokens. Whoever bids the most gets the spotlight and gets to frame the scene. Then everyone else secretly bids a number of Adversity Tokens. Whoever bids the most wins the responsibility for providing adversity for the spotlight character (like the traditional GM role) by spending the adversity tokens to create challenges. In addition, the adversary player gets to convert all of the adversity tokens that everyone else bid into spotlight tokens for himself.

A different mix of Spotlight and Adversity tokens will produce different story roles. A protagonist would have lots of Spotlight but little Adversity. An Antagonist would have an even mix. A “helper” type character would start out with no Spotlight but lots of Adversity. The thought here is that this would encourage situations where the mentor forces the protagonist to prove that he’s worthy, etc. A player who’s sympathetic to the protagonist wouldn’t push too hard when he’s the adversary, but when the Antagonist wins the adversity bid he’ll go balls to the wall. There’s also some gamesmanship involved. If Sauron’s player uses up all his Adversity tokens early in the game, he’ll have to rely on the kinds of problems that Gandalf’s player is willing to throw at Frodo when he gets to Mt. Doom…

Obviously it’s not fully baked yet, but those are my thoughts so far.

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2 Responses to “Spotlight Tokens and Adversity Tokens”

  1. Neat idea about shifting spotlight. The adversary getting to make use of the others’ spent tokens gives them the mechanical advantage they’ll need to push the others. Would players take protagonist/antagonist/helper roles at the start, would that determine the kind of tokens they get? Or is this determined each round on the fly?

    What kinds of setting are you thinking of? What would the bidding and changing dynamics of this kind of play suit?

    Good luck!

  2. Ha! Missed the earlier posts. Epic fantasy would be a great fit.

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