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Old 03-01-2017, 06:25 AM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I think that undermines one of the main reasons why people want Destiny. They want a promise that something will happen, and they want events to take steps towards this event with some regularity. E.g. if playing with a Temujinian Destiny, I'd want my character to get visibly one step closer to ruling my own empire every few sessions.
On the other hand, I think a lot of people avoid Destiny because they're pretty sure that they're not going to eventually get the Destined Thing.

There's a few reasons that happens. First, you can just tell the GM "I'd like to become the Whatever. That's my goal!" Then you can move in that direction when you can, and you should able to trust that the GM is more-or-less on board with it (depending on the game conceits of course, but in my games it usually works that way: if you're playing the game where you want to eventually become king, then I should be giving you the opportunity to become king). Second, what if you change your mind later? What if you get this other cooler idea ("No, not king. I mean, I lost my eye and I'm fighting all these demons! I think this is way better than running a kingdom!")? Destiny locks you in. Finally, what if you don't know what you want and you sort of what to feel things out, and it you become a king or a famed demon hunter or whatever, it's cool with you?

This is the same logic behind why Terminal Illness is a bad idea. Either the campaign ends before it triggers, or the player just makes a new character that solves the problem. If you want to be a king, why not... be a king? If you want to be a king eventually, why not take heir? And what do you do with the Destiny once it triggers? Just get those points back and spend them on your new traits? And if you don't have the points, does Destiny give you those points for free? Or do you have to pay the rest out of your pocket? If the former, how is that not point crock, and if the latter, what's the difference between just building your character as a king in the first place?

This sort of Destiny becomes a "I want to have a bit of a say in where the campaign is going," but in my opinion, the players should always have a bit of a say in where the campaign is going. The only way to make Destiny worthwhile, then, is either to be cut throat ("You have no control over this story unless you pay points for it") or to add some sort of supernatural power gained via your Destiny ("Of course you can become King, but Destiny makes it a sure thing!")

But if Destiny is already going to offer you a sure thing, why offer it to someone as a tantalizing "Maybe, eventually, you can have the cool thing" when you can offer it now? I believe you should, as much as possible, let players pay for what they have now, not for what they might eventually benefit from, eventually. That's one reason I don't like Unaging (it deals largely with a non-problem, because your character isn't in his 80s now). Don't give them the Destiny "Will get the magic sword" when they can have the magic sword. Don't give them the destiny "Can get a cool power" when you can either give them the cool power, or Latent Power [1], which means they can freely buy the power in the future if they want.
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