Reply To: Changing the name of the “Martial Feat”

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Saxon England, some time prior to the Viking incursions but a few generations after Christianity was adopted. It’s a fantastic version of it – among other things, the old Roman city ruins are avoided by Englishmen on account of the dire sorcery that surely lurks within, but in general it does a good job of trying to make that setting feel like a neat place to explore.

In particular, the classes (a worker of sung magic, one who invokes divine intercession, and everyone else, who are considered to be Warriors where it counts on account of the social demands on free people, whatever else they might do) each come with their own ‘Glory’ and ‘Shame’ states, which are basically XP and anti-XP.

If you’re a Warrior, you get your XP for doing worthy deeds in service to lord or kin. You get XP for facing great challenges in said tasks. And you lose XP for betrayals, for cowardice, for failing to keep your freely given word.

A worker of magic, meanwhile, their XP is all about basically proving themselves a worthy member of the community – a foe to monsters and devilry and pagans, and a boon to good honest Christians (and their ilk explicitly do not count). They lose XP for basically confirming the fears about them, in basically the opposite direction.

Notably, they gain a Shame for being friend to Pagans when a Warrior would not – because that’s not the thing the Warrior needs to struggle against to prove their worth, they need to struggle against the appearance of being a treacherous coward.

So on and so forth, the player incentives are about immersing yourself in the things that matter to people in the setting, and to the social role your character occupies, and thus it tries to get the player in that mindset as well.