Synthesized Oracle + Star Chart = Situation

Continuing with my sythesized oracle and star chart mechanics, I realized that I can easily extract two numerical values from the star chart: the number of line crossings and the number of points on the star. Right now, I think the situation will be defined by saying that the pseudo-oracle with the most line crossings defines the protagonist and the status quo of the world, and the pseudo-oracle with the second most will define the antagonist. I ran through this three times simulating four players, and I think it’s working.

The first one:

StarChart 001

Responsibility / Inherit / Throne / Ambition / Rich (2 crossings ~ 5 points)
“The prince of a poor kingdom seeks run away to find adventure and riches”

Winter Hate Large Gold Fire Mountain (6 crossings ~ 6 points)
“A volcano of molten gold keeps the sorrounding lands warm, even in the harshest winters”

Poor Summer Sea Ice (1 ~ 4)
“Even in the heat of summer, icebergs bedevil the shipping lanes”

Responsibility Inherit Sea Ice Blood Ambition (6 ~ 6) (Antagonist)
“A man’s cold-blooded ambition pulls him away from his duty to replace his father as lighthouse keeper”

Male Return Learning Rich Division Crown (7 ~ 6) (Protagonist)
“The long lost prince has returned after making a fortune as a pirate, throwing the question of royal succession into turmoil”

Underground Hate Star Responsibility Fire (1 ~ 5)
“A secret society is setting fires to kill those they believe are ‘children of the stars'”

Obviously there’s lots of seafaring going on, with pirates and lighthouses and such. There’s some sort of heat/cold thing going on in the environment, so presumably the cold-bloodedly ambitious man will try to turn that to his advantage to sieze control of the kingdom, and that represents the potential change in the world.

The second one:

StarChart 002

Greed Ice Throne Large Winter Mountain (3 ~ 6) (Antagonist)
“A greedy king holds the Ice Throne in a fortress at the top of a large, snow-capped mountain”

Male Ring Truth (0 ~ 3 )
“In order to use magic, men must fashion a metal ring incribed with their True Name”

Farm Ambition Crown (0 ~ 3)
“A farmer dreams of becoming king”

Ambition Small Forest (0 ~ 3)
“A wealthy man wants to chop down the Old Forest to expand his farms”

Throne Male Corruption Ring Responsibility Fire (5 ~ 6) (Protagonist)
“The king is at the center of a cabal responsible for burning their rivals”

The “cabal responsible for burning their rivals” seems pretty sinister at first and an odd choice for the protagonist, but maybe the rivals are demons or vampires or something. We’ve got an ice-themed antagonist who seems to be sitting quite comfortably in the Evil Overlord seat. I think the situation works.

The third one:

StarChart 003

Large Family Return Star Inherit Throne (2 ~ 6)
“A large family has returned from the stars to reclaim the throne”

Responsibility Greed Sword Duty Summer Love (3 ~ 5)
“A mercenary is involved in a passionate affair which puts him at odds with his troop”

Ambition Rich Forest (0 ~ 3)
“A merchant seeks to build ships from the millenia old Forever Trees”

Belief Duty Farm Love Winter Sea (5 ~ 6) (Antagonist)
“A man believes he must care for his family by running a farm, but longs to return to a life of raiding on the northern sea”

Noble Duty Lies Learning Power Division Mountain (6 ~ 7) (Protagonist)
“A nobleman is obligated to learn the power that can split mountains asunder”

Return Star Female Ambition Rich (2 ~ 5)
“The return of the star is the opportunity a woman has been waiting for to gain wealth and power”

This one seemed odd at first, since the Antagonist seems so mellow. But… if his family is killed, and he starts raiding again, maybe he’ll start sinking those ships made out of the Forever Trees, which will drown the souls of the nature spirits trapped inside them, thus dooming the world. Only by destroying the Barrier Mountains that protect the raider’s homeland can the protagonist save the world. All of this occurs against the backdrop of the clan “returning from the stars”, which will presumably cause problems for the nobleman, since the star clan is seeking to rob him of the position and power he needs to fight the raider.

Three tries isn’t very many, but I didn’t get anything completely unworkable, so I’m planning on moving ahead with this for now.

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2 Responses to “Synthesized Oracle + Star Chart = Situation”

  1. Hans Otterson Says:

    I really like how players generate lists of word to create their own oracles. I’d think the game text would really need to address what is and isn’t a good oracle for purposes of gameplay.

  2. Yeah, that’s definitely something I’ll need to put in the game eventually. For the first draft I’ll probably just have my list of 40 words since I’m hoping to hit the one week completion mark, but guidance for how to create the list is definitely something that will be needed for a final version game. I’ll also probably want to include a few variant pre-created lists once I’m done with the basic design since the story structure of a Star Wars-style space opera is essentially the same as epic fantasy.

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