I’m working on a forged in the dark game - updating my existing Starguild setting and bringing it into the FitD system. My existing setting is space opera noir, and I think FitD is a nice fit for some of the things I want to be important in the game.
My working title is Starforged noir.
Players can start as individuals meeting in the room behind a bar and gradually build their own organisation into an interstellar powerhouse.
They might be building a diplomatic, trading or mercenary guild. They might be members of a noble family who want to improve their political standing. They could even be attempting to set up a criminal syndicate that spans worlds. Whether they are forging their organisation like hot metal on an anvil, or like a careful art forger pulling the wool over the eyes of the rich and famous… well, they can forge their guild whichever way they want.
I’ve put together playbooks for the Explorer, Grifter, Mastermind, Mercenary, Spy and Boffin. My first two Playtests with those playbooks was fun, and I’m focussing on the diplomat guilds because I want to see how well we can handle games of negotiation and diplomacy.
I’m currently working on how to have Tier scale more dramatically when working on a larger canvas, and how to build secrets and betrayal more organically into the game.
I’ve tweaked some of the actions to suit the style of my game a little
Target is a new action - taking your time to focus on a single target, whether to apply social pressure or preparing to use a weapon on them as an assassin or sniper.
Infiltrate is an action that includes both sneaking in the shadows and obtaining a job as a waiter or somebody nondescript in an organisation. It’s like when you watch Leverage, and two of the team are already in the place where the action is happening as waiters or bouncers. They are using Infiltrate.
Manoeuvre is an action that covers running, jumping, riding, flying, driving, ballooning, skiing… it’s like James Bond can use every kind of transport as well as running and jumping really well.
Sense is the new action in this set - it is about reading the emotions of those around you well. Understanding what someone is going to do next, reading the room, understanding someones motivations or intentions.
For this setting Tier is more expansive than tiers in a city - an organisation with a higher Tier is much bigger and broader.
This means that factions (and the characters own guild) are not so much concerned with money (creds) as they are with Assets.
There are six tiers of assets, and they can take the form of sites, staff, vehicles, trade rights and secrets.
In order to qualify for a particular Tier, you have to have at least one asset of that Tier and more assets of each lower Tier than a current Tier. So to become a Tier III organisation you need to have one Tier III asset, at least two Tier II assets and at least three Tier I assets.
In my current playtest, the diplomatic guild have just reached the point where they are Tier III with weak hold, having
Tier III - a small starship
Tier II - Frontier World trade agreement (crystalmine), Central office site
Tier I - Trained scholar, Secret (house domino), Remote warehouse site
I decided to remove money “creds” and “investments” from the game - I love the concept, but it didn’t really fit in with my high tech world. I toyed with the creds being cryptocurrency, which had the advantage of being like money in that it can’t be readily tracked, it can be lost etc… but even then, the difference between 1 cred and 4 cred was difficult for the players to get hold of.
So I stepped back and thought about what I wanted in Starforged Noir.
It is a game about fragile trust and easy betrayal - so I’ve decided that the functional elements of cred and investment are now favours and support network.
You earn favours from people, you can spend favours to get extra downtime activities or to improve the results of rolls… all the things that coin does in the normal game.
You can invest favours into your long term Support Network. This is an investment in a wider circle of friends whom you support and who support you in turn, and this contributes to your lifestyle as investments normally do.
You can even burn your support network if you need to in order to obtain usable favours again, on a 2 for 1 basis. Lose 2 from your support network for each favour you want to have available.
One last twist - you can overspend your favours, down to a minimum of -4. negative favours are considered obligations – make a note of who you obtained the favour from and they can call upon you to make good your obligations at any future time.
so there it is - a currency composed of favours, obligations and support network.