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[Homebrew] Working on side game to run my Court King/Queen NPCs.

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  • [Homebrew] Working on side game to run my Court King/Queen NPCs.

    First the definition I created for the term Meta-RPG:
    • An tabletop RPG within a tabletop RPG that helps create the setting of a game.
    For instance Stars Without Numbers has a separate game system within in it for the GM to use to determine how political groups and planetary governments interact with one another. The system is so separate from the main game that you can have friends play it as a separate game and use it to give your world a sense of life beyond what the characters do.
    My Situation:
    I am planning to run a Changeling the Lost 2nd Edition game with three of my friends from work. However, I also have four friends who are interested in helping me run the political intrigue of the game, two gamers and two non-gamers none of which are familiar with the game line.
    I've given these four players individual control of the four main leaders of the Changeling Freehold (Equivalent of a council with one person being the leader depending on the season). But the problem I am having is making this meta-game enjoyable.
    Brief description of Changeling the Lost's Court System:
    Changelings are humans who were kidnapped by the True Fae and transformed into half human half fae creatures. When they eventually escape they tend to group together into communities called Freeholds. This gives the Changelings a supernatural protection against the True Fae as the Oath to make a Freehold and Court system has a magical benefit that I don't need to really go into.
    Changeling's Court systems are ways for a group of Changelings to protect one another while at the same time giving people a sense of community. My Court System is the standard 4 Seasons Court; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. During their respective seasons that court's monarch becomes leader. Depending on the Freehold this can be an elected position.
    When a monarch is not in charge of the Freehold they are still leader of their respective court. Representing the interest of their courtiers.
    My Plan:
    I've given my players a choice of the following 4 characters:
    • Spring Queen Morgan Leflay (Based on the Evil Queen from Snow White) - Known for being the most laid back of the monarchs, Morgan likes to organize events and parties for the Freehold as a distraction from their
    • Summer Queen Malorie Crow (Based on Malificent from Sleeping Beauty) - Known for being very competitive. Malorie organizes the fight club in the Freehold as well as train other Changelings in martial arts.
    • Autumn King Jack Carver (Based on the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz) - Known for being very into the Halloween season, Jack organizes the Halloween Haunted House ride. Additionally he also runs the movie theater year round. He has a large collection of occult research in his book store.
    • Winter King/Queen Alyssa Pawn (Based on Alice from Alice in Wonderland) - Known only as the Crooked Old Man, Alyssa keeps her identity a secret from most of the rest of the Freehold. She is a criminal kingpin who helps the Freehold smuggle in weapons and illegal goods.
    Now I've also created stats for the players to use whenever they make decisions for their Court/Freehold:
    Spring 7 3 5 5
    Summer 5 7 3 5
    Autumn 5 5 7 3
    Winter 3 5 5 7
    For those that don't know about Changeling the Lost/Chronicles of Darkness's game mechanics each stat is the number of d10s you roll and every roll greater than or equal to 8 counts as a success. My plan is that regardless of how my players perform an action, such as rob a bank, they will get a bonus to a stat, but if they fail they will also get a penalty and if they Critically Succeed they will get an additional bonus. In the rob the bank example it will always give +1 to Resources, but if you fail you will get -1 to your Social because the job resulted in extra heat on yourself and if you Critically Succeed you get an extra +1 Resources because the bank was particularly loaded.
    The problem I am having is trying to make a game out of this idea. For an RPG, I'm used to my players reacting to the world I've created, but in this scenario I've got 4 players playing NPCs who would normally have motivations and goals that they would know how to work towards.
    My hope is to make this Meta-RPG game system to work similar to how Diplomacy works, where game mechanics are simple and the amount of backstabbing can be legendary. At least as per a Matt Coville video on the subject. See link here. Note half of my players aren't Roleplayers and I've kind of framed this as a more detailed version of Risk. Where the players only have to answer a handful of prompts written by me.
    My current structure I have is to dictate some short term goals for the players to work towards. Such as taking out another criminal gang for Winter or for allowing the Summer Court to hold a fighting tournament. But I'm having trouble coming up with these ideas.
    The problem is there is no end goal. Eventually the players may lose interest and I want to make sure that they get into the creative mindset.
    Any advice on how to run this would be greatly appreciated.
    Working on a game within my current Changeling the Lost game where the community leader rolls are dictated by friends not playing the game.
    My Goals:
    • Create a system that is simple to play.
    • Create a system that is fun to play.
    • Create a system that doesn't lose momentum after a long period of time.
    • Create a system that requires a minimum amount of time and effort from the player. (Specifically because these players don't have enough time to spend playing a tabletop RPG)
    My Questions:
    • How can I get across the political intrigue of politicians working for a common goal, but across purposes?
    • What are some goals and events I can set in place to get my players to think creatively in a way they may not have been used to?
    • Is there any system that has done something like this similarly that I might be able to use as a framework or to inspire me?
    Thank you so much for getting this far. I hope my long post didn't seem too complex. I am so appreciative that you've chosen to read this post. Any advice, comments, critiques, and suggestions are welcomed.

  • #2
    Have you seen the Houses of the Blooded based games by John Wick? I'm using Blood and Honour (the samurai take of the same rules) for my changeling game and it has the domain/province game you seem to be looking for.