BLOG POST FIVE - REWORKING GAME DESIGN THEORY FOR DYSTOPIA RISING: EVOLVED

Good morning all!

Today I am going to expand a little further on the idea of “Stability” as a rating, which a good number of people have expressed opinions on. Without a full fleshed out initial concept on the board it is difficult to efficiently debate (not that it prevents the internet from doing so) the idea or how to suggest improvements on the concept. So today I am going to focus on the concept of “Stability” and then also take a few seconds to remind people that this is a discussion, not something locked in stone. 


Stability (name and concept still being workshopped)

Stability is a rating that is a statistic that helps determine a character’s overall capacity to endure situations that go above and beyond what the standard wasteland survivor can endure. Every Strain starts with a rating between 3-5 based on the general cultural history and medical disposition of each Strain.

Each rating of Stability that is purchased is done so at an exponential cost of 10,20,30,40, and 50 XP based on your first, second, third, fourth, or fifth and above purchase of Stability. Stability is not a rating that needs early or mid game point investment, and could be left at starting statistics indefinitely.

Stability is not a score that commonly goes over total of 10, and effects that cause a loss of Stability do so at a very low rate and are rare. Stability is not a “damage type”, but is instead designed for very specific situations that should cause a drain on how often a player pushes themselves.

Stability can be regained via skills such as Entertain and Head Shrink before or after a rating hits zero. Replenishing Stability ensures that a person who has been mentally pushing themselves to the limit take time to tend to their mental health, to sooth the mental demons of the wastelands, and help people "stay people". 

When a character initially reaches Zero Stability, that character is under the effect of the psionic skill “Nightmares”. Once the player has removed themselves from others in their fear fugue state , the player then takes a moment to choose a Mental Quirk that they would add to their sheet. All mental quirks will have the same mechanics, so choice of Mental Quirk is based more on what role-play the player feels comfortable with and would like to experiment with.

Mental Quirks can be removed via skills such as Entertain and Head Shrink once the effected player’s Stability is returned to full (larger stabilities means it is less likely that you will gain a Quirk, but it also means it takes more to assist you once you are actually effected by something).

Examples of Stability Loss:

When a player has a Lazarus Drought used on them, it causes a loss of two Stability.
A full 10 count of the skill “GNAW” causes the fallen Strain being eaten to lose a Stability.
When a player dies and enters their grave scene, loss of five Stability.
When a player first uses the skill torture the first time on a target during a 12s, that player loses one temporary Stability.
Each time a player has the skill torture used on them, that player loses one temporary Stability.
When a player uses advanced certain Psionic and Faith skills or Psion/Faith concentration skills, those skills cost of one Stability.
Effects that allow you to willingly entering into the metaphysical grave space (grave robber procedures, silent observer brew) have a cost of one Stability. More may be lost within the scene in the morgue.
A rank 4 Brain Sieve or similar Director Approval Required NPC could call “By My Voice, Lose One Stability” ONCE.  


Much with any item or situation that allows a player to spend mind points, cost of Stability (when it exists, which is not common) will be listed in the skills or items that cause stability loss. For text purposes, this will make the rule set explaining Stability only slightly larger than the space given to Body or Mind.