Inverting rights

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Inverting rights
« on: October 09, 2014, 04:25:51 AM »
So we're a couple sessions in our game, the summary of which I won't provide because I don't feel it'd add much to what others have already established. Plus, I'm not the MC, so it's not my job!

You can't help but think about fiddling with the game as you go along, that's just what the AW engines does, I guess.

So here's a rambling chain of thought about an interesting problem that hasn't yet come up in our game - when, how, why, deny rights?

To start, you'll have to go along with the following - 'rights' are merely duties for everyone else. If you have a right to impose a law on a village or something, that necessarily means that the village has a duty to follow your orders and the neighbouring leaders have a duty not to interfere.

Now, technically, rights are duties for *everyone* else, including the moon, stars, and the mongol hordes, but obviously it doesn't work like that. Every inverted right has a clincher to it, the person, people, place or event that makes it so that you having a right means something rather than nothing.

There's a lot of them, probably! But you're an MC, so you get to choose what sees the light of play. Is the right to lay down the law a right because the villagers follow the liege (why?), or because the warlords nearby respect the claim (why?).

Since you're an MC who has played apoc world, you get to be creative, too, and meld clincher NPCs of different players into one, making triangles. The blacksmith has the right to marry a girl from a family who's say-so determines whether this village will seek protection of the liege this side of the river or that. The guy who gets a life at midwinter for the Wicker-Wise is also part of the War-captain's raiding party.

Or you can leave them dangling alone, making them more of a problem than a node. My labours bear no fruit because the spirit of tilled earth was not sated by the year's sacrifice... What do I do, who do I turn to?

Anyway, this means you don't ever need to decide on the spot on whether you want deny a right or not. You make aesthetic choices and contributions to the game that are useful on their own, and then as these develop, possibilities of denying the players' rights will flow naturally out of the fiction, which at that point will be affected by player and MC alike. Is the clincher in working order? Then the right goes through without a hitch. Is the clincher gone? Well then, friend, you are denied, let your voice pierce the heavens.

So that's a thought.