Phase intent: increase tech index

Very simple question: Can you raise a world’s tech index as a phase intent? It’s not on the phase intent list but I have a PC with a burning (!) desire to bootstrap his world out of zero.

It strikes me as something a bit harder to change than the government or military or quarantine rules. But I also like his belief and don’t want to say “no” outright. Perhaps there are legal, smaller changes he could make that would represent improved areas of tech?


Is everyone else in your gaming group as passionate about staying at Zero Index as this one player is about going up to Low Index? Because, from reading your other posts, I don’t think the guy’s interested in a game of slowly building a planetary economy up to higher tech; I think he’s interested in having the cool high-tech stuff. (I would be too – I’d insist on Low Index for a game myself).

I think the way to cut this Gordian Knot is to go back to your group and say, “Hey, everyone, how about we reburn the world as a Low Index planet – any objections?”

That’s on my list of solutions, yes. I think I do want to go back and make sure everyone’s cool with the tech index-as-written, or if they want to kick it up a notch. This is the only player that’s not 100% sold on the rough-and-grungy setting, and I think he’s trying to push the envelope. OTOH, he does like the Index 3 Iron…

The belief in question goes something like, “To strengthen my new kingdom on this backwater planet, I will stop at nothing to drag it into the modern age.” The belief works, I like it.

So, I can either take him at his word that the low-tech setting is fine as long as his FoN can plausibly work toward improving it (my preferred solution), or I can second-guess the player’s dissatisfaction with the setting as secretly wanting the cool SF toys (and disrupt everyone else’s vision of the setting in the process).

Best possible solution: Let him have the Index 3 Iron and let his FoN’s phase intent be to modernize the world. Hence the question.


No. By the book it is not possible to raise the Tech Index of a world as a Phase Intent.

Thank you. A followup: are phase intents limited to those listed in the book, and if not is there a list of intents that are explicitly off-limits?


Paul, check the Phase Objective section that starts on page 408. Pay special attention to Color the Threat to Your World on page 410.

Yes, I’m very familiar with that section. This is why I asked the question they way I did. I get that the list of phase intents is the “most common” and is not limited to the list. I also get that the “most common” intents involve changing an element from the World Burner. And, yes, I get that you’re supposed to explain the phase intent in a way that reflects what’s actually going on when you change a World Burner element.

Here’s where I’m confused:

To my eyes, the Tech Index is “an element from the World Burner.” However, you just said that it’s not possible to raise the world’s Tech Index “by the book.” I’m not sure where in the book this is stated, if not in the phase intent, but I’m taking your word for that. This leaves me with an understanding that the phase intent focuses on changing elements from the World Burner but not ALL of the elements because, according to your answer, the Tech Index is one such element you can’t touch. Now I’m wondering if there are other inobvious elements I can’t touch.

How else am I to reflect my FoN’s desire to modernize the world he’s been handed if not via an increase in the tech index? To my mind, a change to any of the factors listed as “okay” to change (planetary attitude, military, government, quarantine, regulation, or export) does not say “this planet is more technologically advanced at the end of the phase than at the beginning.”


The mechanical World Burner elements you can change (i.e., the ones that will change Disposition totals) are the ones listed in that section.

Groovy. I didn’t realize changing those things would also recalculate the Disposition! Perhaps another item for a future errata (along with a clarification that the elements listed are a comprehensive list of changeable elements)?

After much discussion with the troublemaker in question, I think he’s fine with Index 3 Iron, leaving the world’s tech index alone, and pursuing other avenues during his phase.


Tech Index is the one element of a World that I couldn’t justify changing in a single phase. It’s the one thing that just seemed TOO big.

Like Thor said, by the book, it’s not on the table, but you’re also free to come up with your own phase intents. So you do as you see fit in that aspect of the game.

I know you meant “troublemaker” jokingly, but nevertheless, even the joke suggests enough lingering badthink that I want to sermonize:

Gamemasters, love your troublemakers. Don’t love your jerks: If players are demonstrating what would be bad manners in any other civilized social setting, they’re displaying bad manners in your roleplaying game too. But love the players who care so much about some aspect of the game you’re playing together that they keep on pushing the envelope of what you imagined the story should be about. Your default answer to them should be “yes,” not “no.” When a player’s desires conflict with your vision for the fictional world or for the story, the thing that gives way should be your vision.

After a couple day’s discussion with the player we agreed it was a stretch, even fictionally, to pull that trick in one phase. The question of foreigners bringing advanced tech to backward planets remains large in our minds, though (particularly since this sorta-kinda happens in Faith Conquers!). We’re finding it a stretch to be “okay” (suspension-of-disbelief-wise) with a lack of trade between worlds of varying technological advancement. :-/

I’m still not finding the section in the book that says you refigure your phase disposition when you accomplish your phase intent. I hope I’m not missing more rules, but I’m sure I am.


That’s the player’s intent for the Infiltration phase in my game (Zero Index -> Low Index). Everything makes a lot of sense, based on both the player’s/character’s goals and what we established during the world burning.

I didn’t realize that it wouldn’t change the disposition, though. Oh well. I have a strong feeling that it won’t break the game.

Believe me, I tried to get it on the table. <sigh>. :smiley:

I’m still wondering where in the book it discusses refiguring your phase Disposition based on changes you make to your world settings. Is it in there? Or is it simply understood?


It’s a bit tough to find, but it’s in there:

Under Starting the Next Phase, p. 438:

Be sure to apply the winner’s intent to the world. This may change the disposition for one or both sides.

Fantastic, thank you. Holy cow that is OBSCURE, particularly since it can mean a big swing for one side or the other. Duly noted!