HQ2: Community Resources as FlagsJuly 3, 2009
One neat thing about HQ2 is the way in which communities are handled – they’re defined by 5 resource traits which:
a) can be used to set up situations in play, moments of crisis, opportunities, and conflict
b) can be improved or reduced as a measurement of the well being of a given community
c) can be called upon to aid player characters
What these do, is serve as Flags on a group level- a group of players could define what they want the campaign to be about through selecting appropriate Resources and assigning the traits appropriately (weaker traits = more conflict).
For example, if you wanted to do a Battlestar Galactica game? The Fleet would count as a community with Resources like, “Trust”, “Political Infrastructure”, “Vipers, Pilots, Marines”, “Food”, “Hope & Morale”…
HQ2 brings up the issue of Nested Communities- that you might be part of a national group, a local village, a religious group, a particular clan, all at the same time- which gives you several layers of communities to work with and aid or protect. This then sets up those very classic stories of the hero choosing between protecting kin or saving the country, etc.
It also becomes a neat thing where you might bring in one Community Resource at one level to influence a rival community at another – basically, we’re talking the issues of intersectionality built into the game mechanics.
“Yes, well, they are heretics, but she IS the daughter of the head of the merchant guild- and she could easily sell the rights to the trade routes to Baron Ofsky… let them keep their temples!”
Hero Wars had this, but sort of divided between the rules for community support and the rules for setting up crisis moments, but it locked in the categories- this is an elegant combination of the two, which I think makes a lot more sense and should lead to a lot of interesting play.