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Old 03-01-2017, 08:28 AM   #11
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
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.
This is why I'm very saddened by discussion veering into IB/MH. Because I want more insight into ensuring that Destiny-characters get their Destined Thing.

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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?
I suppose it should be okay for a player to opt out of a positive Destiny (except the die-at-X one), much in the same way as a player can opt out of any other concept into which points have been sunk (e.g. get Gunslinger and then give up on guns).

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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?
In many ways, Heir is similar to a low-key Destiny game-mechanically, so I don't see much of a contradiction with 'take Heir'. These are two ways of game mechanizing the same outcome based on whether being a hidden prince is important to the concept.

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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!")
I prefer the interpretation that Destiny should be an investment that offers more say in where the campaign is going (relative to whatever the base level of control is). Whether it does so through metagame means or supernatural in-game means is a matter of specific character concepts.

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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.
Uh, the whole point is that Destiny is meant to be a promise that you will get Destiny Thing. You probably can't afford to buy Destiny Thing now, and since you don't start with it, you normally have no guarantee that you will be able to achieve the Thing. E.g. you can't become the World's Best Runner in a Cold War (1970) campaign if your character loses legs after being shot by a Soviet Spy . . . but wait, the character has Destiny, so there's some random inventor who develops suitable running prostheses in 1971 (like the ones Oscar Pistorius used in more recent years), and then when your use of a 'technological device' is challenged as cheating, Destiny says that the committees and courts rule in your favour, and by 1974 you break the world's 400m record.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

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I think you forgot that Monster Hunters includes a variation on Destiny, instead creating a pool of points that you or your enemies can use to buy success.
How can I forget what I don't own and haven't read? ;)

There are a lot of things I am vaguely aware of from general board discussion and this is one of them, but there is so much more I don't know about it that I figured someone else should bring it up. Thank you though; this is why I made sure to ask for others to mention these things. :)
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

Destiny either feels like a special kind of unusual background, or it feels like it violates the "pay what for what you get, get what you pay for" design philosophy.

The impulse Buy/ Monster Hunters version is a completely different advantage, and I wouldn't mind it being discussed in a different place and time.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

One idea is to let the PC know he has destiny but don't tell him what it is. Instead give hints from crazy women, an old wizard with a spear, what not. Destiny can be kind of like a mystery story and some ideas can even be gotten from the Mysteries volume. The main rule is that it be dramatic when it comes, unless you are pulling a one time prank.

Also don't choose a destiny the GM can't bring about. The PC cannot have a destiny to kill his father and marry his mother because he can kill your plan with mere celibacy. Unless of course you have an allegorical meaning("The PC's mother was his nation and by becoming king he married it"). In fact you can have lots of fun with those and that is in the tradition. After all Crossous was never told which empire he would destroy.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

I made use of Destiny as a complement to Precognition: If you succeed in a Precognition roll toward another character, whatever you foresee becomes a Destiny for them. I favor doing a reaction roll, with Good being a minor favorable Destiny, Very Good an in-between one, Excellent a major one, and likewise for low numbers; if the roll comes up 10-12 you spot something really trivial that isn't worth points.

The protection against other people's Precognition is having your own. If they foresee what you're going to be doing, and *take any action* based on that, you can foresee that action, and modify your own actions, which will disrupt the future they foresaw. This could be a contest, either Quick or regular. (It's kind of like having broken the other side's codes, but knowing that if you do things that reveal you have inside information, they'll change their codes. . . .)

I used Destiny once in a campaign: Every one of the five PCs who strayed into Faerie had an advantage unknown to them. One of them was a favorable Destiny.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

There is only one character I've seen in a game I was in that took Destiny. The Destiny: "Must one day kill his sister." In his case it was taken as a Disadvantage.

The same character showed up in three games actually, with the same Destiny, though the flavor was different. In the first game, the sister had been rendered Brainwashed, Brain-Rinsed, and Brain-Dry-Cleaned by the setting's BBEG to be the BBEG's ninja assassin, with no memory of anything besides being the BBEG's adopted daughter and assassin. The second and third time, in two different Monster Hunting games, she'd been turned into a vampire as a young teen.

I was the GM for the first one, and didn't actually spring the full details on the player until much later. I was a player in the second game, and GM for the third; in both cases I worked to explain the Destiny to the others in the game, including the second game's GM.

Although, I don't think the Destiny was ever fulfilled due to the games folding due someone's work schedule getting in the way of the game.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I made use of Destiny as a complement to Precognition: If you succeed in a Precognition roll toward another character, whatever you foresee becomes a Destiny for them. I favor doing a reaction roll, with Good being a minor favorable Destiny, Very Good an in-between one, Excellent a major one, and likewise for low numbers; if the roll comes up 10-12 you spot something really trivial that isn't worth points.

The protection against other people's Precognition is having your own. If they foresee what you're going to be doing, and *take any action* based on that, you can foresee that action, and modify your own actions, which will disrupt the future they foresaw. This could be a contest, either Quick or regular. (It's kind of like having broken the other side's codes, but knowing that if you do things that reveal you have inside information, they'll change their codes. . . .)

I used Destiny once in a campaign: Every one of the five PCs who strayed into Faerie had an advantage unknown to them. One of them was a favorable Destiny.
I found your rule a very good way of giving Precognition some very concrete effects. I also allow it to act as a sort of "Detect Destiny" (that is, if someone HAS a destiny, if you have precognition of some form, you'll probably pick up on what that destiny is), and this works fairly well with the Impulse Buy version (that is, someone who uses precognition can directly contribute impulse buy points to the party), though this isn't strictly necessary by the rules in Supers.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

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I found your rule a very good way of giving Precognition some very concrete effects. I also allow it to act as a sort of "Detect Destiny" (that is, if someone HAS a destiny, if you have precognition of some form, you'll probably pick up on what that destiny is), and this works fairly well with the Impulse Buy version (that is, someone who uses precognition can directly contribute impulse buy points to the party), though this isn't strictly necessary by the rules in Supers.
Could you explain about the Impulse Buy version, or give a page reference? Obviously that wasn't in Supers; Impulse Buys hadn't come out when I wrote Supers, and in fact I suspect that Kromm's advice on Supers helped shape the ideas that went into IB.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

See PU5:5 under the heading Wild, Wild Destiny, in the box, Paying Fate's Price. Basically, instead of getting the destiny advantage as written, you get a stipend of points earmarked for Impulse Buys, on the grounds that this helps you accomplish your destiny.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#34): Destiny

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This is why I'm very saddened by discussion veering into IB/MH. Because I want more insight into ensuring that Destiny-characters get their Destined Thing.
I've never had a problem running games with Destinies, but I'm pretty manipulative and fast on my feet when I'm the GM. And my players and I are willing to metagame in support of a Destiny. We cut our teeth in very narrative style story-focused games, in the "collaborative storytelling" mindset.

IMO that's the only way you can do this, because otherwise your players will be wriggling on the fishing hook trying to either get our of their Destiny or to use the fact that they're Destined to bail them out of trouble that comes before their doom is full-wrought. The perverse incentives and vagueness are to me the major problem.

And of course, the IB/MH approaches appeared because this really is very hard to run at the gaming table, especially in gamier styles of play. Even for my style of play I appreciate having some of the storytelling plot contrivances that get the PCs back on track being in the hands of the players. With original Destiny, the whole problem is dropped into the GM's lap.
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