Story capital and meaningful decisionsDecember 5, 2013
I’m finally catching up on Chris Kubasik’s Play Sorcerer blog posts. One post in particular highlights the idea that Emily Care Boss talked about – “Story Capital” – that some things (characters, objects, events) become loaded with meaning for the players, that they become a “Big Deal”.
When you are playing a Character, keep this in mind: Your Demon is like a gun.
Your Character is not cracking the nature of reality to contact, summon and bind a demons because he’s fucked-up muther-fucker who likes doing fucked-up things. Your character is practicing sorcery because he or she cares about something so much that cracking the nature of the universe and forging a relationship with a Demon is the best solution he or she could come up with to make sure the problem is solved, wrongs are righted, goals are reached, treasures are obtained or whatever it is that matters to the Character so much.
In this way, a Demon is like a gun. You only pick a gun up when you need to get something done, and you pick up a gun because whatever you need to get done really matters.
And here’s another thing that makes a Demon like a gun. When you use a gun, there’s a very good chance your life, the life of people around you, and even the people you love might be changed forever. When the gun discharges, sometimes you, the person pulling the trigger. And other times you come back from a war with scars that no one can ever see. That’s what dealing with a Demon is all about.
Characters, objects, or actions which are heavy in Story Capital are also heavy in consequence – things that are done to/with them are not easily undone, if they ever can be – they create repercussions that change the whole direction of the story and the protagonists who are involved.
This also highlights the function of Flag mechanics: they point to a relationship, an ideal, or a behavior pattern which helps the group consistently create and play with Story Capital, or, to put simply, make meaningful choices.
Flags help the group create and identify what things are meaningful and to stay focused on it so that meaningful choices can emerge.