The Basis of Discovery

The Basis of Discovery

Discovery is also supposed to be an important part of Kannagara. In the grand concept, the discovery in question is things like discovering how to transform yourself into a kannagi, but discovering what sort of food someone likes so that you can cook her the perfect dinner falls under the same general category, and that’s the case that has come up first.

This is also a somewhat easier case than the profound discoveries about the universe, or about the secrets of the setting, because it does not raise the problem of whether the players should know things that the personae do not. The preferences of a particular character can be decided while playing through the discovery without undermining the consistency of the whole setting, and the sudden realisation of the truth is not, in this case, supposed to be a big moment for the players. There’s also no problem, I think, with accepting that the success of the discovery, measured in terms of the number of dice the personae keep for the assessment, reflects how well the personae understand the character’s preferences, and the players will not feel that they “need” to have the same understanding. That is, the players do not have to describe the character’s preferences in great detail just because the results of the investigation mean that the personae understand all the details.

I do want to use the same basic rule structure for all kinds of discovery, so this is a good place to define the first draft of those rules. Obviously, they could change beyond recognition in later revisions, but I have to start somewhere.

The discovery rules have three stages. First, the player describes how the persona is investigating the problem, and describes something of what she finds. Other players may also contribute to the description of what the investigating persona finds, even though their personae are not involved in this part of the investigation. No dice are rolled at this stage. Instead, the elements incorporated into the investigation give the player dice to keep at the next step.

In the second step, the player rolls her persona’s investigation skill, and keeps a number of dice determined by the elements that were incorporated into the investigation description. The result of the roll determines what information the player can describe the persona as having discovered. This information also takes the form of elements, which are used in the final step.

This third step is the generation of a theory. Once all the personae who want to have gathered information, and shared it with each other, each persona can try to create a theory. The number of dice to keep is determined in the previous stage, while the number of dice rolled is the relevant knowledge. This theory is primarily described in terms of game effects, and a higher result on the roll results in more favourable effects. This represents a better understanding of the situation.

This structure keeps all the players involved as much as possible. Everyone is involved in the investigation stage, and every persona gets her own information stage. Finally, each persona can try to generate a theory, so everyone can be involved at this point, too. Personae with better knowledge and better investigation abilities will, however, do better at it than others, and have their chance to shine.

I will describe each of the stages individually in the following posts.

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