Glory – the Heroes are Rock Stars!

Our heroes are adventurous celebrities, whose fame is fickle but leads to the world bending to their will.

Gaining and Spending Glory

At the start of each Scenario, each adventurer gets 1d6 Glory. Their previous Scenario’s total isn’t wasted – it becomes their Wealth in this scenario (fame leads to resources!).

You get Glory for doing anything that makes you look good and might lead to people talking excitedly about your exploits. Winning contests, defeating monsters, standing up to oligarchs, foiling evil plots while showing your cleverness, and so on – a;; these things give at least 1 Glory.

You can then spend Glory to boost your skill rolls, and to create dramatic coincidences like how that assassin’s bow-string snapped, that henchman is related and doesn’t want to attack you, or a ship just happens to be passing when your raft is about to sink, and escape death.

So, basically, Glory is your pool of hero points and is used to make your “story” more interesting.

Glory From a Game-Design Perspective

Many games give players a pool of points to influence their character’s fate. Whether called hero points, edge points, willpower, fate points, or something else, the intent is the same. To combat the tyranny of the dice.

In these games, PCs are meant to be larger than life characters, and having them deal with unfair outcomes is seen as a bad thing.

Let’s not get into the issue of what exactly is fair right now. That’s a topic for another day. For now, just accept the idea in these games is that players should have more control of their character’s fate.

One thing is immediately apparent: these points have to be a player resource, and the character usually doesn’t know anything about them. Why should a character know how many successes they gained on a roll?

This lets a player spend points in ways the character wouldn’t. Maybe Conan faces an enemy they cannot defeat. While Conan the character would never run away, the controlling player wants to keep playing that character. So they spend a point to describe their character’s horse panicking and running away, carrying Conan to safety. Conan would never choose to run from a fight, but circumstances conspire to remove him safely from the situation.

And so, characters are oblivious to these points that players spend to have some authority over the setting and their character’s fate.

But what if the character does know they have hero points? How would that affect them, and how would it affect the setting?

What is Glory?

In this setting, there is a thing generally called Spontaneous Magic, aka Wishes. It is widely recognised that if enough people believe in something, and repeat that belief often enough, that becomes true.

If enough people watch a play about a volcano erupting, the land might erupt beneath the audience. This can be inconvenient (to say the least)!

But there’s another side to it. If someone becomes popular, and people are talking excitedly about their exploits, the world believes that character should live (and have a dramatic life) and so they do.

This is a world that was made in part by daemons. When people tell stories, and repeat those stories, it is a form of ritual, invoking daemons to make things happen.

Glory is how the game represents this. As an adventurer pulls off the kind of deeds that win fame, they gain Glory. And they can then spend that Glory as they wish for better outcomes. Better successes, beneficial coincidences, and even escaping certain death.

Adventurers and Their Glory

This is a fairly standard hero point system so far. But where things change is that the characters know this happens. In this world, adventurers know that those who become famous for their deeds can make things happen through their wishes. There is a class of people who want that benefit, and strive to gain Glory.

They take risks because risks are what get people talking. They stand up to power because most people have none and love to talk about that. They stand up for those in need because who doesn’t love a story about someone defending those in need?

This means they create trouble – they want to turn every situation into one where people might talk excitedly about them, so they can gain Glory. They don’t have to be nice people – they might do these things for purely self-serving reasons.

And So, What is Glory For?

This is the perfect incentive for player characters to act in ways they already do.

But it also means that those who seek Glory are suspected of being potential troublemakers. Their Glory lets them survive things they really shouldn’t. Thus, they are threats to those in power. They can’t be ignored.

And because they can’t be ignored, those in need seek out the adventurers, the trouble shooters, for their help . When something is recognised as impossible, for an adventurer it just might be possible.

The idea is also funny. There might be people taking silly, cartoonish, risks just because they know they can’t easily be killed, and they need to keep acting this way to keep their Glory (fame is fickle).

With Glory, players have the means and incentive to have their characters do the kinds of things that make good stories.

NPCs and Glory

Glory is inherently a PC mechanic. Most people who try to become adventurers die in the attempt. The few who succeed become PCs. So NPCs do not have Glory.

But the influence of daemons is everywhere, and the stories of a PC’s exploits demand drama. So the GM has Glory to spend for their NPCs, just as the players spend Glory on themselves. By virtue of being adventurers. PCs lives are inherently more dramatic, and they need opponents worthy of them…

Read Legends Never Die!

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