25 September, 2016
Elimination of Duplication
After a few days break, working on other projects, I looked back at "Tales" and realised that there was something that simply felt like it was a odd duplication within the rules. Two of the mechanisms seemed to be doing much the same thing, and one of the incarnations of the mechanism didn't seem to be addressed very well at all in the rules.
Needless to say this had to be attended to...
...and I've stripped out impairments completely.
Generally the idea behind the impairment system was a series of predefined traits that would aply penalties in a variety of situations. Such impairments would include such concepts as being "tired", "hungry", "injured", "scared", "cursed" and similar effects. If you suffered an impairment, it would temporarily make things harder for you, but this basically works the same as temporary disadvantages. There were a few badly worded and vague ideas about rendering these impairments into permanent disadvantages, but since temporary disadvantages do that as well... why have two things that work (for all intents) the same way?
Instead, I think that there should probably be a standard range of disadvantages that are always possible to acquire, then a few disadvantages (and a few advantages) that are specifically linked to certain scenarios. For example, a "Lost" trait might be appropriate in a fairy tale forest, but might not be as appropriate in an urban cyberpunk setting. As another example, "Diseased" might be appropriate in a scenario about the Black Death, but might not be as suitable in a tale with lighter subject matter. The disadvantages are tailored to the scenario, and maybe there are a few disadvantages that might be tailored to specific characters (a golem might slowly lose charge, gaining the "low power" disadvantage in much the same way that regular characters earn a "tired" disadvantage, a courtesan might pick up the "dishonoured" trait which effectively renders their advantages at court irrelevant).
Another thing I need to consider as I rework Tales is the way scenes change. I'm happy with the changes in mechanisms as acts shift through the course of the story, but there's nothing about the way scenes change within an act. All temporary disadvantages would end when a scene changes, because otherwise I'd basically end up retreading the path that FUBAR takes. I could theoretically get away with leaving the whole concept nebulous and vague, but that's what a lot of games do. Since the duration of temporary advantages is linked to the changing of scenes, it really needs clarification.
More thought required...