Player Motive - Faction Motive

Seems like discussion is winding up around factions a bit more and I was thinking a bit more about PC/NPC interaction works relative to a faction and it’s themes. If we’re roleplaying a character then we need to define our character’s motives relative to other NPCs and the factions they will be members of.

I suggest that Motives be added to character creation, these represent the basic driving forces behind a character’s personality and they way they behave and make decisions. Essentially, their ideals. Each Motive has a relative opposite that would act as a malus to a character’s potential relationship with an NPC or faction, provided the player’s motives are discovered by some means (dialogue options and your skill at bluffing can allow you to “hide” your motives.) Each character has one Primary Motive and two Secondary Motives, accomplishing goals related to your motives or contrary to the goals of those that oppose your Motives can grant morale bonuses. Secondary motives are not as important, accomplishing goals related to them gives less of a morale bonus. When you interact with an NPC, they have a chance to detect one or more of your motives every time you attempt a dialogue check with them. You can choose to directly espouse other motives, if you can manage to determine theirs (NPC motives are unknown until a player discovers them through dialogue (with them or others of the same faction. A rumor dialogue?) A player can espouse specific beliefs to dupe an NPC but if the player’s real motives are discovered, the NPC might be upset.

Motives would have an invisible score and “rust” like skills in that if you do not achieve anything related to them or interact or associate with others that share those motives, the score will decrease. If a primary motive rusts while a secondary is propped up, the secondary motive will be elevated to Primary. The scores for your Motives are hidden, and are ticked when certain actions or missions are completed. If all your motives rust to nothing, your character becomes Aimless, often suffering in interactions with NPCs and factions. Aimlessness is a sad existence, everyone tries to find their own purpose and those without them are sad individuals indeed. Perhaps interacting with certain NPCs could help you acquire a new motive through some process or another. If your secondary motives rust to nothing leaving your primary motive alone, you become a Zealot. Zealous players will interact much better with those NPCs and factions whom share the same Primary Motive as you, and slightly better with those whom have a secondary of your Primary motive however you are disliked and very intolerant of those who do not share it. You suffer greatly in interactions with those whom share the motive opposite to your primary. Zealots of opposing motives will never have positive interactions barring some bizarre circumstances such as mind-control or what-have-you.

Example Motives are:

Unity - Independence
Freedom - Order
Enterprise - Charity
Purity - Diversity
Peace - War
Tradition - Progress
Nature - Technology
Grandiose - Austere

Notice that none of these motives are explicitly good or evil, since in a world where factions with opposing motives are likely to conflict, you’ll never really be sure which side is good or bad in some cases, as likely both sides will be guilty of what could be considered an atrocity before these Dark Days.

Love it!

Birdie, just a bit of etiquette: if the post has fallen off the front page, then please add something when you post. For example:

I rather like the idea of NPC motives, but it’s hard to really give the the player a motive beyond “Survival” until later in the game. Maybe, if these motives were implemented, you would instead be able to select them from the NPC Faction list or something? Also don’t penalize the player too much for not having a particular motive. A character with no particular motives or beliefs would have a harder time getting people to join up with them, but at the same time these people would be more inclined to give the player throwaway jobs. (Whether it’s because you’re not doing anything or just to get you to go somewhere else for a while)