Every player character in A Rest of Nine Pennies starts with seven points in relationships with other characters.
Relationships is a mechanic that represents significant relationships that will be played on screen. They represent both oaths of fealty and vows of vengeance. They represent the bond of brothers and the scorn of ex-lovers.
At least three of the seven points must be invested into relationships with other player character(s).
It should be assumed that most characters are likely to have a great many relationships with numerous people. But the relationships invested into here represent relationships that are going to be significant in the game.
Each relationship should be attached with a relationship statement that represents what the relationship is. Relationships are often one way, and for this mechanic; we assume they are. A player character might be madly in love with another, but said love may not be reciprocated at all.
Relationship ranking: 1 through 3
• 1: Represent a minor, but significant relationship.
• 2: Represents a moderate relationship connection.
• 3: Represents a strong relationship.
A relationship statement works in tandem with the rank to determine what type of relationship it is. Relationship statements are often positive or negative, and reflect an affection or disdain appropriate to the ranking.
Based on the positive/negative relationship statement and the number, you will be able to determine your default disposition to that character. Please see the chart for further details:
- Rank 3, Positive = Affectionate Disposition
- Rank 2, Positive = Friendly
- Rank 1, Positive = Amiable
- No Relationship, Indifferent
- Rank 1, Negative = Dislike
- Rank 2, Negative = Unfriendly
- Rank 3, Negative = Malicious
How to Use Relationship in Play
Whenever you roll dice for a purpose that seems to fall within the guidelines of your relationship statement, you may ask the GM if this relationship applies to the roll. The GM might ask for an explanation if it’s not obvious. Should the GM accept, you now may a number of dice equal to this relationship into the dice pool as bonus dice.
If your relationship statement does not justify the way you wish to use the relationship, you can challenge the relationship (see below).
Growing Relationships in the Game
Players will be able to grow relationships over the course of the game. To represent this, a new mechanic deemed Growth Pool will be used. Players will collect growth points to add to the growth pool much like experience, at the end point of stories and events. Any time before or after a session, a character may opt to grow a relationship by a single point. This growth should be justified by role-play that shows growth in the relationship. The cost in growth points is exactly the rank your relationship is growing to.
A relationship should be capable of changing on the fly. Challenging a relationship is one means of an experience having immediate effects on a relationship. Old friends become bitter enemies. Longtime foes find friendship and love. Odd acquaintances discover common ground on which to form an alliance.
When a character’s relationship statement does not line up well with the present situation, and you feel the relationship ought to immediately reflect this, you may opt to challenge a relationship. You may roll the on this relationship, plus an additional free bonus dice for challenging the relationship. The relationship steps back a single point, and that point returns to your growth pool (so long as the pool is not already at a maximum of 5). This relationship can be rewritten (see below) after the game session is complete.
A relationship statement can be rewritten at any given point outside of a game session. Relationship scores can decrease or be removed entirely outside of game sessions as well. When a relationship is decreased or removed, the points go back to the growth pool.