I recently sat down with some friends and we came up with a new campaign to run that we are calling “Angels and Demons”. And after a little work we have decided to use the MG rules as the system. I have come up with a way to hack Nature but wanted to get some help on it so I thought I would post here. But first, a very short background on the game:
The concept is that almost 1000 years ago, God sent all the angels out of heaven and then closed the gates. The angels don’t know why they have been ousted but have scattered across the globe using their new found “freedom” in a myriad of ways. Some continue to revere god, some set themselves up as lords, others turn to the devil and the fallen angels for guidance. Essentially, they become free beings with their own desires and machinations. Now when the gates of heaven were closed, a prophet spoke words about the gates closing, about a coming war that would end the world in the devil’s favor, and how the gates of heaven might be opened again.
The game takes place in 1910 Europe and human investigators stumble across a piece of this prophecy and in so doing are brought into the secret machinations of angels and demons. The coming war is WWI and the characters must learn more about the prophecy and what can be done to counter the devil’s hand in the upcoming war (or not depending on their allegiance). Game on….
Now, for Nature I have defined it as being the push and pull between Divinity (a 7, go onto the mountain top and pray) and Corruption (a 0, live only for your own pleasures and desires, perhaps even criminally insane). Human nature has three descriptors. The first is Escaping as all humans have an inherent desire for self preservation. The second is based upon the character’s profession. So for a doctor, it might be Healing, for instance. The third is a bit different. The players first choose one of the 7 deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy or pride). Then the player must choose an action or activity that is within their character’s Nature based upon that sin. So if a player chose Greed as the sin, then they might choose Stealing as the descriptor. Or they might choose Hording. If Sloth is the sin, then Delaying or Resisting Action might be the descriptor. In the case of my game, there is one character with Convincing People I am Right (Sin of Pride) and another with Seduction (Sin of Lust). I chose to have the descriptors be actions based upon the sin instead of just the sin itself because 1) the sins are not actions, and 2) they seemed too broad.
We have played one game and it went well with Nature working as described. But today I read Luke’s post in the Dunedain MG thread saying that “Nature in Mouse Guard is a force at odds with the duty that must be performed” and I realized that I may have some problems. First off, the second Nature descriptor being based upon a profession doesn’t work in this way. I used this method because it seemed to provide a special uniqueness to each character based upon their profession. But there is no push and pull (or little at least).
A similar issue may arise from the sin based descriptor depending on what the player chooses as a descriptor. My players really liked the seven deadly sins idea so I want to keep that in but thought some of you might have some good advice on how to make this work better.