Hi everybody, first post here (but definitely not the first time reading…).
So this happened today. We decided to reboot a crashed campaign we started two years ago. Last time, among many mistakes that led to its downfall, we were too interested in gaming the Infection mechanics, and ended up really “hurt” by the Scene-Maneuver Disconnect.
So this time we went back to the world-as-burnt, remade the characters a little, and decided to play from the beginning instead of right in the Usurpation as last time. And more important, letting the Infection choices flow organically, for better or worst, from the fiction up (as, we now realized, the rules intended). So far, so good.
Our planet (World Burning here if you can read spanish… ) is a once-thriving, now dwindling, gas-exporting outworld, ran by an Imperial Steward (Infiltration PC-FoN) carefully balancing the rest of the power players that want to grab the final piece of the cake. Specially, the Merchant League Chief (GM-FoN) who wants to go full free market on the place, selling it all up and covering everyone else with tons of unpayable debt (with the turmoil, unadvertedly helping the vaylen cause). In opposition, our Viceroy (a.k.a Lord Steward) and its allied PCs move forward an industrializing, protectionist agenda: add value to the gas locally, refine it by our own, stop the financial bleed and regulate customs so the planet can grow back economically and unite politically.
(Any parallels with my country’s -Arg- last 25 years of history -or more- are of course, up to the reader…)
So anyway, that’s the fiction. We go ahead and choose phase intents based on that. Aside from enabling/avoiding the Vaylen infiltrate our society, ¿what else? The GM explains he wants the economy to go down yes, but for the real outcome of lowering Quarantine level (if people and trade and everything else is coming and going freely, then the rules will sure become more flexible… specially if the planet is Indifferent to Vaylen). A little far-fetched, maybe, but we abide.
Now our turn. In the game’s terms, we could go with changing the main export (from Raw Materials to Refined Goods) or raising Regulation Levels, and both would be clear expressions of what’s going on in the fiction.
Only both help the Vaylen.
Changing Raw Materials to Refined Goods, gives vaylen 1 point in the next phase, takes 1 from them in Invasion; and takes 1 from us in Usurpation. So it’s a 2 point swing against us in the next phase, or a 1 point total change. Against our side.
Tightening the economic regulation is even worse: going from Loosely to Moderately gives the enemy 3 points in Usurpation and takes 1 from us in the Invasion… and going all the way to Tightly is just plain self-destructive.
It feels quite counter-intuitive that letting the market flow freely be a problem to the vaylen and viceversa: if the humans open up the incoming containers, fight smugglers harder, and scrutinize the flow of goods… ¿how is that better for the worm?
Ok, maybe there are reasons… but anyway ¿what would you suggest us to choose instead? ¿what would you do in our situation?