So here I am again, with a note I thieved out of zydake’s pocket.
He talks about the Karma mechanic. Something that will make you scream, well, at least it made me scream. It’s all about how you encourage players to play out their hooks, to stick to whatever challenges they pick for themselves. Sometimes, if they fail (on their own volition, without you telling them) you as the Referee/GameMaster should give them something in return.
A reward for being the underdog. For being challenged.
I present thee:
You gain 1 Karma Die whenever you do something that will be to your character’s detriment. Like you have a challenge about not liking peppermint. Nobody should care about it, right? And as long as you don’t get into situations, where it’s relevant, you gain nothing from this challenge. If you are required to taste the Queen’s Most Favourite Peppermint Stew, it shows, this challenge can be quite a pain in the A… - and worth a Karma reward!
The more of a problem a challenge is, the more Karma you’ll receive. Sounds good? It is. Up to 3 dice can be harvested from a single challenge, but it should be quite devastating for a whooping 3 Karma Dice to be gained. You can store a maximum of 5 Karma Dice.
Anyway: What can you do with them? You can add them similarly to the Boost type-clichés. Meaning: on every roll, you can choose to take a few Karma Dice away from your pool, roll them, and add the result to a regular cliché die roll. Great! And you know: As long as the Boost dice show 1s, you get to keep em. So they aren’t wasted if they are no good.
Tell me how you like it!
PS: You should come up with good challenges at the beginning of the game. They will help define your character. Also you don’t gain anything in advance for picking a challenge (unlike the Hook/Tale-Rule!). This way you can ensure that a nice combination of challenges is picked, and no min-maxing occurs; since the players are rewarded after playing out the challenge. And as long it’s no challenge, they get nothing! Personally, I don’t use Hook/Tale anyway.
Screaming? I hope so!
PPS: My master is a game designer and came up with this idea for his diceless roleplaying game system called Karmic Storytelling System (~Legends of Umar). You can find the page on facebook, but there’s still no good document out there.