Saturday, February 2, 2008

There Is No Spoon: Trigger Discipline Retake

Note: All further posts on this system have been tagged under "Trigger Discipline".

Okay. Since maybe *one* person will know what both these things are:

There Is No Spoon is an excellent, mechanically simple action rpg that was conceived with the Matrix movie in mind but is fairly easy to convert due to that aforementioned simplicity. I highly recommend checking it out.

Trigger Discipline is an rpg concept that started with this 4chan thread; the existing work has been collected here. It's a satirization of anime, particularly the "giant mecha" genre. I was never involved with the project and it eventually stalled, but it's been coming up again on 4chan recently and when I actually took a close look at it I found myself having some ideas about how the game should work. These are just my musings, I have no connection to the project and can take no credit for any of that material I just linked to.

So, here's how I would recommend doing trigger discipline: Each player controls a character, while the Director controls about everything else about the show in standard GM fashion. The ultimate goal for both parties is to get through a full season- twenty-six episodes. Of course, both sides probably have their own ideas about what's going to happen over the course of those episodes. . .

-Start with the rules for There Is No Spoon, but rename Matrix as "Gar" (internet slang for "manly badass"), Skill as "Discipline", and Body as "Plot Armor". Include the "Woah," "Dicing With Death" and "Sick At Heart" variants.
-Characters also have a Fanbase statistic, representing how rabid and numerous their fans are. Fanbase cannot be purchased, only earned.
-The director has a Director Mandate rating, which represents how much control he has over the show. Characters contest director mandate like anything else, using their Gar stat as well as a relevant discipline, if any- "Dignity" is a good example of a discipline meant specifically to help your character resist cheapening themselves for the good of the series.
-The show itself has two statistics, budget (representing how much you have to spend on the animation for each episode) and popularity. The players normally decide how much budget to spend on a given scene; by default, most take only one or two points. Spending more than that gives characters a bonus on rolls and can let a Gar success increase a character's fanbase without an associated discipline success, while spending less grants penalties, prevents character's fanbases from increasing in case of a double success, and can even make it so that complex actions have to happen offscreen. Recaps provide another way to conserve the budget for a series. A show's popularity, meanwhile, is the aggregate of the player's fanbase scores plus any modifiers from Real-World Events (see below). High popularity can increase a show's budget, while low popularity can reduce a show's budget or even lead to its cancellation.
-Subplots: At character creation and in between episodes, players may select subplots for a character. Each subplot has certain details determined by the player; everything else is up to the director, who secretly chooses which subplots to bring into play each episode. The requirements for successfully resolving different types of subplots will vary, but doing so always counts as a learning experience for the character, earning them at least 1 point to spend on character creation.
-Fates in Trigger Discipline represent the director's plans for the plot, and always have an associated subplot. Acting in a way that brings them closer to their fate gives characters a bonus on die rolls. If a character fulfills their fate,
-At the beginning of each episode, the director rolls randomly to determine the episode's title and theme. Additionally, they must roll on the Real-World Event and Director Madness tables.

Here's what still needs to be done for this to be a working game:
-Full list of scene types (Action, exposition and so on)
-Episode name generation tables
-Full list of episode themes (plot advancement, fanservice, focus on a random subplot. . .)
-Director Madness table (Can abruptly tweak the feel of the show for good or ill, usually ill.)
-Real-World Event table (Internet meme makes random character's popularity skyrocket, random producer goes bankrupt, publicisized tragedy makes upcoming story event potentially offensive (a.k.a. "My brother died that way"), etc.)


Anonymous said...

Part of me really really likes the sound of all this, but it sounds like it would be REALLY complex.

Dagda said...

Consider that you're reading a summary of the ENTIRETY of the rules. In practice, I think it'll be alot simpler.