Wednesday, April 17, 2013

System Shopped: Giri - Houses of the Blooded

System Shopped: Houses of the Blooded
by Tobie Abad

I absolutely love John Wick's games.   Houses of the Blooded and Blood and Honor are both masterful games that truly encourage creativity, storytelling and drama in their own ways.  I did, however, find myself wishing that the Giri concept was also present in Houses of the Blooded.  For those who aren't familiar with Giri, the word means "duty" or "obligation" and in Blood and Honor, it represents what role you play in your Daimyo's Province.  In some ways, it is pretty much like a "class" the way there are fighters, mages, and the like in other games.   I understand Houses of the Blooded was to represent characters who cared little for such things, but I didn't see any harm in exploring adding it as an option for people who'd like to do so.

Each Giri has an associated Rank, and it can be advanced similar to ranks of vassals.

Each Giri provides three advantages:
First, you gain three bonus dice for any risks involving your duty.
Second, you gain an Ability you can use in the game.  This usually has a limited number of "uses" (usually equal to your Giri Rank), if not once per game.
And Lastly, you gain a second benefit based on your Giri.

The Giri, however (for the sake of Drama) have a price.  They instill a Compel which can be used as normal against you.

So without further ado, here are my attempts to create Giri options for Houses of the Blooded.

You have developed a thirst for bringing violence upon orks, and have no qualms of being drenched in their monstrous blood.  You delight in watching their hides tear, their bones shatter, and their eyes grow dim with death.  You gain three dice whenever you battle Orks.

Ability:  I know this breed.  You may take a Prowess + Ork Slayer Rank.  If you gain privilege, you may declare facts about the Ork similar to a Wisdom Risk, only your facts are related to the deadliness or vulnerabilities of the said Ork.  You may make only one Risk per Ork you face.

Benefit: I Fear Nothing with my Weapon.  So long as you have your Sword with you, you have free Courage wagers equal to the Sword's Rank against any Terror from the Ork you face.

Compel:  I Will Not Back Down. You can be compelled to never retreat from an Ork.  You must be victorious! Or die trying.

Words are deadly, more so when status carries the words, and few know this better than Ven such as yourself.  You are a member of the Senate, and your influence goes further far more than simply the votes you cast during sessions.  You gain three dice whenever you are in a social situation with non-Senators which is intended to cast you in a better light.

Ability:  The Law States.  As a Senator, in the absence of other Senators, you may redact, alter, edit, reinterpret or change anything said by another Ven (you need not pay them a style point, however the player must agree to let you do so) to make it sound more appealing and acceptable in the given situation.  You can only do this a number of times per game session equal to your Giri Rank.

Benefit:  Senatorial Favor.  Every game session, you have a number of favors you can call for equal to your Giri Rank.  These favors are represented as boons and requests that you may ask of any other non-playing non-Senator character which shall be repaid before the end of the session.

Compel:  Appearances Are Vital. You can be forced into silence, knowing to say something might endanger your position in the Senate.

Unlike most Ven, you understand the Veth have their uses. You treat them as friends (though they understand they will never truly be your equal) and extend to them compassion and sensitivity.  In return, they shower you with loyalty and trust.  You gain three dice whenever you are in a social situation with Veth.

Ability:  They Share Their Knowledge.  Once per game session, you may declare truths equal to your Giri Rank about another Ven even before you make a Wisdom Risk.    These are truths about the Ven which the Veth have shared to you.  There just are so many things the Ven do openly before the Veth, thinking they would never dare talk to others about, after all.

Benefit:  There is Always at least One Present.  The Veth are always present in the background, cleaning or doing various services.  You may designate any discussion or event which you were not present in as something the Veth observed and report to you.  You may do this a number of times per game equal to your Giri rank.

Compel:  Enough. You tend to embarrass yourself before other Ven, and speak openly against any act of oppression or cruelty directed at the Veth.

You desire their favor.  You hunger for their Blessings.  While you know you can only serve so many, you seek to expand your Devotion towards them as an act of living, rather than as a moment of penitence.  And in return, they bless you.  They reward you.  You gain three dice in social situations whenever you are relating socially with any Ven who also are Devoted to the Suaven you serve.

Ability:  Dreams of the Suaven.  The Suaven speak to you with more frequent dreams.  Any time within a game session (preferably after a scene where you portrayed yourself praying, meditating or sleeping), you make declare a prediction that one of the Suaven supposedly had whispered to you.  If the prediction occurs, any Ven who participated to support its occurrence gain extra dice equal to your Giri Rank.

Benefit:  I Know Who You Do Not Serve.  For a number of times equal to your Giri Rank, you may in a game declare knowledge if a particular Ven does not serve the Suaven you serve.  

Compel:  Prostate Yourself.  You are so afraid of losing the Suaven's favor, that at times you take actions to further your Devotion even at less opportune moments.

You cannot stop.  The pangs of passion and the challenge of the hunt always call you.  The seventy four kinds of kisses cannot be ignored.  You must try.  You must win.  You gain three dice during any rolls to Initiate a Romance.

Ability:  I Actually Meant "This."  You are so adept in the games of Romance you can reattempt a failed Risk if the roll was in relation to a task in a Romance.  You can basically add dice up to your Giri Rank, post roll, and try to still achieve Privilege.  You can only do this once per game session.

Benefit:  The Right Moment.  You can steal a kiss.  An embrace.  A touch of hand against thigh.  And no one catches that moment.  You may do this for a number of times in a game session equal to your Giri Rank.

Compel:  Another Comes.  You find a new desire.  You must end the current one.  Now.

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