Home > Game Chef > Back on track – First ideas of the game mechanics

Back on track – First ideas of the game mechanics

After reading a few comments and taking a break from the brainstorming, I actually managed to gather my thoughts. Now I have a better vision on what Secret Society is all about.

The Secret Society (working name: Order of the Lilies) is a world wide organization that has many talented agents who deal with the problems that the Society faces. Be it assassination, information gathering, subtle manipulation or even shutting down whole computer networks, the Society has a man for the job.

How the game works:

Each game focuses on a certain Mission that the characters must do. The Overseer chooses a Mission (or designs one himself) for the characters, briefs them about what to do, and inform them of the Objectives they must accomplish.  He also picks the Obstacles for the characters to overcome. (Something like a 3-5 from a list or a possibility to make them up)

Example Mission could be “Find the dangerous politician and deal with him” with several Objectives:
– “Find the politician”
– “Stop the politician from doing X” (this can be interpreted as an assassination, coercion or whatever the characters decide to do)
– “Interrogate the politician” (optional)

Obstacles for such a Mission could include:
– A bodyguard
– Hotel security
– A decoy
– The subject is aware that he is being threatened

Each Obstacle has to be cleared for the Mission, but success of the Mission is determined by the success of conquering Obstacles. So if you sneak past the security, kill the bodyguard without making a fuss and then kill the decoy without noticing it, the Mission cannot be completed successfully.  After all, the real deal is still out there.

I might want to figure out some kind of a mechanic for the “Obstacle – Mission” success rate, but for now, I’ll stick to just relying on the GM for that.

The resolution mechanics are on next on my list. I’m thinking of using tokens for those skills that the characters excel at, and by using those tokens they can automatically pass one Obstacle. For other conflicts, I might stick to throwing one d12 against a set value. (A guards skill for example)

After that, I need to finish up the character creation: the horoscopes, three “branches” of the Order and skills. And maybe I’ll throw in something extra.

Categories: Game Chef
  1. causticbuddhist
    September 4, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Just my initial thoughts:
    For Obstacles/Mission Success I can see each obstacle being rated something like this: Very Easy, Easy, Average, Above Average, Hard, Heroic and each of those ratings is given a value say 2,4,6,8,10,12 (for the d12 mentioned). Those values can then be used as a basis for mission success, ie… If you complete 10 of 12 points your mission is deemed sucessful, assuming you accomplish the main goal.
    Just because they completed the main goal doesn’t mean they were successful maybe they were caught or drew so much attention to themselves it has later rammifications.

    In this same mechanic then using tokens wouldn’t give you a free ride but lower the difficulty of the obstacle.

    • Antti Lax
      September 4, 2009 at 7:48 am

      Quite interesting ideas. I had decided to switch over to d6’s though (to keep that easy to pick aspect I’m aiming for), even though I still love those Shining Dodecahedron.

      I had thought that each Obstacle would be associated with a certain skill to overcome it, but it would make things less innovative. Maybe I will use your idea for the values and let the characters have their freedom of choice.

      I’ll post my initial thoughts on character creation and the dice mechanics later today.

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