Sunday, February 28, 2016

Earth 10: Darkness Falls and the Smallville R-Map

So part of the way we built out Zatava’s rogues gallery was by making a relationship map using the Smallville rules as a base. I wanted to quickly record how we did it (i.e. the mods we did on Smallville) so that I will remember in the future, because it worked pretty well. Part of this was to simplify things so the r-map doesn’t get too unwieldy, as it can in a full Smallville setting, but also because our game mechanics are not dependent on the strength of the relationships – we’re just looking for narrative potential. As such each core character should only have 9 connections (one for each corner and edge of the square, plus one more). A Link is the line between two things on the r-map, with the relationship defined.

1)    Draw a box for your core character, and link your character to each of the others. With 4 players this is should make a square of squares, with connections using 3 of the 9 links.
a)    Jason, Marinette, Marian and Angel are drawn and linked
2)    Draw a circle for a secondary character, and an oval for a location. Link each to your core character. You can also link them to each other, but you don’t have to.
a)    Jason adds the prestigious medical college and Dr. Korloff, head of their experimental surgery department, and links them.
b)    Marinette adds the nightclub and Mr. Saturday, the gravekeeper, but does not link them.
c)    Marian adds the orphanage/international adoption agency and Min, its administrator, and links them
d)    Angel adds her swanky downtown apartment and the crime boss/international antiquities thief.
3)    Draw either an oval or a circle for another location or secondary character. Link to your core character.
a)    Jason adds police chief M’bego, placing the police under his control
b)    Marinette adds the Graveyard at the crossroads for a potent Voodoo site
c)    Marian adds Claire, her ward from the orphanage.
d)    Angel adds her true love/accomplice/techie
4)    Link your core character to a different core character’s locations or characters or Draw another character or location linked to your core character
a)    Jason adds his rambling estate outside town.
b)    Marinette links to Jason’s Police Chief M’Bego
c)    Marian links to the crime boss, indicating a trusting relationship.
d)    Angel links to the graveyard, saying she visits dead allies there.
5)    Link two characters or locations your character is linked to
a)    Jason adds the tunnels linking the rambling estate to the medical college
b)    Marinette links Chief M’Bego to the nightclub, saying he visits there wearing a magical mask.
c)    Marian links Min to the crime boss, showing they are married, tightening the link between the two
d)    Angel links her accomplice to the crime boss,
6)    Link your core character to one of different core character’s locations or characters – a different one than prior – or Draw another character or location linked to your core character. This is your 8th character link.
a)    Jason adds Mr. Ice, his highly capable butler and Renfield who handles his domestic affairs
b)    Marinette adds the Ogham’s Hammer motorcycle gang
c)    Marian links to the motorcycle gang, sowing how they’ve been threatening her (obviously outside of Marinette’s control)
d)    Angel links to Jason’s rambling estate, showing where she robbed one of her artifacts from there.  
7)    Link one of your locations or characters to another locations or character, yours or someone else’s
a)    Jason links Dr. Korloff to Min, indicating how the good doctor is after Min’s blood.
b)    Marinette links Mr. Saturday to the Graveyard
c)    Marian links Min to the Orphange, hoping to use it as a safe space for her.
d)    Angel links her true love to the police chief, showing that they are father and son.
8)    Link your core character to one of the final core character’s locations or characters, or Draw another character or location linked to your core character. This is your 9th character link.
a)    Jason links to Angel’s swanky apartment building, showing that he owns it.
b)    Marinette links to the Crime Boss, indicating that they do business together.
c)    Marian links to Dr. Korloff, showing that she is suspiciously watching the good doctor, doubtless concerned about Min.
d)    Angel, concerned about her house now offering no protection against Jason adds the secret magically shielded hide out.
9)    Link any two locations, yours or others.
a)    Jason links Mr. ice to his Rambling Estate.
b)    Marinette links the motorcycle gang to the Crossroads Bar.
c)    Marian links Dr. Korloff to the Orphanage, either to set up a major future scene there or to exercise some control over the doctor.
d)    Angel links her true love to her hideout.

There, that covers everyone. We ended up with a nicely complicates series of plots that, when you add in monster of the week episodes, can easily take 100 issues of a comic to play out.

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