So Reading through Aria’s Interactive History chapter which ties into their Narrative ENvironment and Society Determinants rules. Basically, you rate a society on various attributes to create a feel/view of that society, then handle momentous events and changes and reflect how the events change the society, building up a history, etc.
Which reminded me of Ray Winniger’s Underground’s Social Parameters rules. (A cool idea tucked in the GM’s chapter and overshadowed by the Gonzo Real American Super Heroes with Big Big Guns atmosphere of the game. The … Fighting the Good Fight at Home portion being overshadows by the Gonzo Real American Super Heroes with Big Big Guns that is.
It is actually pretty clever, particularly how the rules have Players work with GM to create said stories. Seriously anti-murderhobo territory. It also makes me think of the Social Combat mini-game in Diaspora, the example of changing history and rating aspects and traits for organizations. This kind of Grand Narrative stuff I find hella cool. I also need to review Burning Empires, which has a grand narrative scenario built into the game.
So anyway, here is my longish Notes on it:
TL:DR seven parameters - Wealth, Safety, Goverment Purity, Quality of Life, Education, Necessities, Take Home Pay. Rated 1-20, players can come up with goals to change socienty on scale of neighborhood to nation, GM determines parameter changes necessary to make that happen. Then GM and players develop stories required to make the parameter changes happen, to a final story when goal is achieved. Raising one parameter raises 1 related parameter, lowers another.
7 parameters tracked to represent quality of society
Wealth – amount of money avaialble to average citizen
Safety – lack of violence criminals in society
Government Purity- lack of corruption among police./government officials
Quality of Life – happines level of people in socieity
Education – intellgence/education level of people in society
Necessities – societies access to food, shelter, medicine etc
Take Home Pay - How much average citizen takes home after taxes/government
Each parameter rated 1-20, 15 or above, society truly stable, 5 or below very unstable
Parameters can be set to any scope for a setting, Neighborhood in Watts, Los Angeles, State of California, US another
PARAMETER CHANGES FOR GOALS
Example stopping AIDS problem in LA county, big problem, several points to change
Current Parameters - Wealth: 8, Safety:5, Government Purity: 5, Quality of Life: 4, Education: 6, Necessities: 6, Take Home Pay 10.
To solve problem need to adjust several parameters – barriers standing in the way per parameter:
Government Corruption misappropriating tax dollars = Government Purity
Insufficient access to medical care – Necessities
Improper Aids education – Education Parameter
Not enough available tax funds – Take Home Pay
Because it is staggering achievement, GM rules parameters must be changed by a lot – levels necessary: Gov Purtity: 10, Necessities: 9, Education: 9, Take Home Pay: 8 (Note Take Home pay must decreased to increase tax revenues for programs)
To change one parameter – Must spend reward points based on scope, and suggest an appropriate story to achieve goal
Every time you alter one parameter 2 others are altered as well
If Players increase: Increases Decreases
+Wealth +Safety -Government Purity
+Safety +Necessities -Quality of Life
+Government Purity +Take Home Pay -Safety
+Quality of Life +Government Purity -Education
+Education +Wealth -Take Home Pay
+Necessities +Quality of Life -Wealth
+Take Home Pay +Education -Necessities
Decreasing a parameter does the reverse (e.g. decreasing wealth decreases safety, increases government purity)
Players can overcome this bump by Tripling the Reward points spent, and performing grander actions.
GM should use Parameters to reflect stories and changes in environment – More thugs if safety decreases.
After making all necessary adjustments, GM prepares a final story that will usher in the change.
Once goal has been achieved, new goal is achieved, and the Parameters being to revert to the starting values. – To permanently change a parameter requires 5x reward point cost.