8.1 Community Design

8.1.1 Defining Resources

Communities can have a type of ability called a resource that your GM defines. Your PC can try to draw on their community’s resources to use them as abilities. Your GM should focus on no more than five or so broadly-labeled resource types, so that the PCs can care about (and have a chance of successfully managing) all of them.

Most communities have variants of the following resources, perhaps with more colorful names:

  • Wealth — the ability of the community to provide financial help, whether counted primarily in dollars, credits, or cattle
  • Diplomacy — the ability to extract favors from other communities, while minimizing the cost of its reciprocal obligations
  • Morale — the community’s ability to believe in its capacity to achieve its goals, and willingness to follow the directives of its leaders

The following abilities might appear, depending on setting:

  • Military — its ability to defend itself from outside threats, and to aggressively achieve its own aims through force of arms (for settings where communities of the size you’re tracking field their own armed units)
  • Magic — the collective ability of its people to perform supernatural acts (for fantasy worlds)
  • Technology — its access to specialized, rare or secret devices or scientific knowledge not shared by its rivals (for post- apocalyptic or SF worlds)

Similar communities in the genre, should have the same set of resources.

8.1.2 Specify an interval

Your GM chooses a suitable interval to mark changes in resources. For genres bound by the agricultural season, this is usually a season, for a military genre it might be a campaign, for a ship a voyage.

8.1.3 Assigning Ability Ratings

Your GM distributes the following ratings between the five abilities: 12W, 9W, 18, 18, and 12. Note that the size of the group doesn’t affect the ratings.

Your GM may create a questionnaire that asks the players to make choices about the history of their community. They can choose their multiple-choice answers by consensus, majority vote, or take turns. Each question secretly assigns a score to one or more resource types. When you’re done, rank the resources in the order of the scores, assigning the high ratings to the highest questionnaire results and the lowest to the low.

A questionnaire introduces your setting in a punchy, interactive format, and tailors the community to the players’ desires, increasing their investment in it.

8.1.4 Resource Notation

Your GM will keep track of modifiers to community resources with a copy of the following record sheet. They will use a pencil, because the numbers will fluctuate.

Your GM lists the names and ratings of your chosen resources in the first row. Under the total column for each, your GM will list the total current modifier. Under the PC column, your GM lists bonuses resulting from PC activities (as opposed to un-cemented background events.) When PCs cement a background benefit, your GM adds its bonus to the PC column.

When PC activity reduces a penalty but does not eliminate it, your GM will alter the entry under the Total column to reflect the reduction, but leave the PC column blank. RESOURCE NOTATION TABLE

Total PC Total PC Total PC Total PC Total PC


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