HQ2: Community Resources as Flags pt.2July 9, 2009
While tinkering around with writing up some setting material, I realized that in order to really get the most out of using Community Resources as Flag mechanics, you kinda have to shift your view of them.
The book lists them as literal resources or abilities (“Wealth”, “Influence”, “Magic”)- though in the examples you see it becomes abstracted to themes (“War”, “Peace” etc.). And this works well enough, but if you focus it a bit more, it really shines.
Make the first Resource the “one thing” the community has that makes it stand out and gives it influence and power. For example, “Controls the Southern Trade Routes”. This sets up their biggest source of power and sets a tone for what the community is about. If you choose to focus play on it, it becomes a big source of conflict, while if you focus play away from it, it still sets up the base of legitimacy while wrestling with other issues.
“We need THIS to survive.”
Pick two resources specific to the community and situation that they need to survive. “Safety from Sand Beasts”, “Oases, Water, Housing”. These should fit local to the setting and be things the players would want to call on often (in this case, a desert campaign would make sense). The strength of a community is not just the numbers, but how appropriate the resources are to the kinds of conflicts you expect to see fairly often.
“This is who we are.”
Finally, have at least one resource set to define the social/cultural identity of the community. This sets up a combination of morale and culture. “The Southern Trade Clan, and the ways of the Old Royalty”, “The last of the Dynasty style weavers”.
As a whole
By doing so, you set up communities in basis of power, necessary resources, and cultural identity, all of which make great places to set up conflicts. You’ll also notice that more than one could stand in for the recommendations in the book- military, wealth, magic, etc., while at the same time giving it a bit more context if you’re using it to generate situations to play with.