Author Topic: XP as a Commodity?  (Read 2833 times)

Weaverchilde

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XP as a Commodity?
« on: March 19, 2012, 04:20:01 AM »
So I have been working on a hack (slowly) and this thought crossed my mind; maybe XP could be used as a meta-level commodity. It already sees some use in the mechanics as the carrot and stick analogy for the fiction, but why not turn it into a physical aspect of a game, something tangible between the players? If I have 3xp floating around, what reason is there against me using it as a bribe on a Seduce or Manipulate? Maybe make way for a special moves that allow xp to be dumped for dice tricks or somesuch. For me what is making this sing is that it might be an interesting way to handle Weird shit as well, buying off the Fates as it were.

Now, I can see some abuse, but my thinking is that the xp still has to be earned through the normal means otherwise.

Thoughts?

NickDoyle

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Re: XP as a Commodity?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 07:19:03 PM »
A solid in-fiction explanation of what this mechanic represents would go a fair way towards selling the concept.  If the XP is being bartered between two players, what are their characters talking about?  What would it look like?

"I spent three days beneath the Monolith, hiding from the cannibals that killed my friends.  Three days of fear and loss.  They can be yours, for the right price.  I know I don't want them anymore..."

Maybe a Weird move that allows the transfer?  If it carries some risk of the MC making a hard move, the players might think twice before engaging in casual use of the mechanic.

Also, if it's established that the PCs can trade this sort of thing like a commodity, what about NPCs?  If they can as well, is there a concern that a relatively rich PC can start to buy XP by bartering their oddments in the marketplace?  Fiction-side, the NPCs are out there learning, surviving, getting by.  Rules-side, NPCs don't accumulate XP.  You might need guidelines for how many "loose" XP any given NPC might have lying around.

I think it's a neat idea.  It would really affect the fiction of the game, I'd imagine.

Weaverchilde

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Re: XP as a Commodity?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 01:50:48 AM »
This is one example that I was keying on as well. Some Fae-ish ability to distil memories, maybe the ability to weave a Gaesa that would dangle xp as a reward to doing a thing, or the power to twist Fate by expending XP to boost dice rolls.

I am thinking of something like an Usurer  Playbook, he can't use the XP he gathers from others to improve himself, but maybe can doll it out to others and bind people into contracts.

I am not sure about NPCs though... I mean I guess I see them in the same light as I seem NPCs for Sex Moves. They don't matter. At least they don't matter like the PCs, I have them in my crosshairs. They have no fate worth speaking of beyond what is needed to make the lives of the PCs interesting.

Alternatively, as a background to the game world I could see opening you Brain to the Maelstrom as method of using XP to influence another roll. Like giving up a part of your soul to twist the world to your will.

Arvid

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Re: XP as a Commodity?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 10:12:16 PM »
First off, if you want to talk about usurers, drop me a line! We use a debt-mechanic replacing Hx and Barter in our Nobilis hack, and I've been reading up on Debt - The first 5000 years (David Graeber) and I'm positively engrossed in the psychology and sociology of debt and loans!

Secondly, we need not stick to the word experience in XP. XP as a commodity could be small units of power (dragon tears, pieces of a soul, body and mind-enhancing substances...) leading to development and growth, just as well as it could be actual experiences.

Weaverchilde

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Re: XP as a Commodity?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:30:38 PM »
Consider that line dropped once I am out of work! My hack of Desperately Seeking Quiddity is based on a society of gift giving and obligation so I see some sync up there.

The use of Xp is done soley to give it a baseline with all of the others playbooks instead of a more fiction-centric term (and yet another term). In a more dramatic hack I would call it something else, but if it's just a Playbook, sticking with Xp feels right. As you said Arvid, Xp can be so many things, but to keep the mechanics straight one name has to rule them all... So to speak


Honestly, my main concern about this topic was that I would see people thinking it was too easy to abuse / not an interesting line of though