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Old 09-16-2017, 10:41 AM   #1
Ransom
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Default [DF] Secrets in Dungeon Fantasy?

By popular demand, I am about to start a DF campaign with my game group. One of my players really likes playing characters with split loyalties and generally wants Secret (foo) on every character sheet she makes. Does anyone have any advice for integrating that kind of thing into the DF context? The general flavor of our campaign will be similar to Mirror of the Fire Demon - not pure hack and slash, but still pretty simple plotwise.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [DF] Secrets in Dungeon Fantasy?

Secrets come in two main varieties: (1) secrets about divided loyalties or the like that would affect the party mission; (2) secrets that would affect a person's reputation in the larger society and the way people respond to them, and perhaps to their companions.

Does it make sense to you to have one of the adventurers be secretly on the side of the orcs, or evil cultists, or monsters, or whatever adversaries the party is dealing with, and hindering the party's efforts by stealth? (If they're not actually doing anything it wouldn't matter. But if, for example, they lead bands of slayers in pursuit of monsters, betray the slayers, and split the loot with the monsters, that would be important!) Or would you rather avoid that kind of intraparty conflict?

Do the party spend enough time outside the dungeon, in the community that's their base of operations, that it matters what the people there think of the party members? If the party is going to get hostile looks and poor cooperation from armourers and innkeepers once the secret is out (worse than they get from just being dungeon crawlers!), or if the one member is going to have to leave town and not come back for fear of prison, torture, or death (and that matters to how well the party functions), then there's a reason for the Secret to be kept.

Otherwise, the rule is that a disadvantage that causes no problems is worth no points. So if you and the player can't come up with a storytelling reason for exposure to cause problems (such as those I just mentioned), I'd disallow the Secret. Or maybe look for a quirk-level version—do you have Power-Ups 6: Quirks? (Because, you know, players are always allowed to have their characters keep a secret, as part of their characterization; it just has different point values depending on its impact on play.)
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Last edited by whswhs; 09-16-2017 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:02 PM   #3
Ransom
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Default Re: [DF] Secrets in Dungeon Fantasy?

This player really likes to play characters with the first type of secret, the split loyalties kind. In the past they haven't played characters whose goals were actively opposed to the party, but rather whose priorities were orthagonal to the party's. The dynamic this player likes is the character who is trying to balance two sides whose goals aren't directly opposed to each other, but who both would consider any deviation from their interests on account of the other side's influence to be a betrayal.
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-Recently: raised Mathematics (Pure) from IQ-2 to IQ-1
-Current Goals: raise Linguistics from IQ-2 to IQ-1
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:26 PM   #4
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [DF] Secrets in Dungeon Fantasy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
This player really likes to play characters with the first type of secret, the split loyalties kind. In the past they haven't played characters whose goals were actively opposed to the party, but rather whose priorities were orthagonal to the party's. The dynamic this player likes is the character who is trying to balance two sides whose goals aren't directly opposed to each other, but who both would consider any deviation from their interests on account of the other side's influence to be a betrayal.
Well, then, the question is, if the secret got revealed, would you want to deal with that in play? One way to deal with it would be to have the PC expelled from the group, or even killed for betrayal. Another would be to have them asked to make a choice and to commit to it in a way the other PCs could trust, which would involve some on camera drama.

Or would you want to take up time with their doing things to prevent their secret from being revealed?

If that's not a problem for you to run, and if it's not going to feel like a waste of time to the other players (or an excuse for the one player to monopolize camera time), I don't think there's anything that prevents you from including it.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:17 PM   #5
transmetahuman
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Default Re: [DF] Secrets in Dungeon Fantasy?

Assuming the player wants to continue with the group even if (or should I say when) the secret gets out, you may want to suggest that the orthogonal goal/behavior/secret was implanted in her by some vampire, wizard, or other hypnotic/mind controlling critter. Assuming *that* comes out, too, somehow, it makes it much easier for the other characters (and some players) to forgive her.
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