Ideology skill

  • 4 Replies
Ideology skill
« on: November 13, 2015, 02:48:00 PM »
What is the intent behind this skill?

It is at once the most interesting and the least clearly-explained skill. Why doesn't it confer any bonuses, unlike all the other skills?

Why should a player choose this skill?

Will the details be covered in an upcoming "module" (like "Through the Jasminite Gates"), in the same way that Warfare seems related to "Banners of War", Wizardry to the Grimoire, and so forth? For what it's worth, it would be a huge selling-point for me, although of course I can't speak for a general audience.

Re: Ideology skill
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 03:23:17 PM »
We had questions about this in our first playtest also. There's the Ideologies 'booklet' in the playtest packet, which is fun adn interesting. Our table wanted to know if other players who didn't have this skill were supposed to refrain from bringing its contents into play. Like a character talking about Terran birds vs Venus bats, for instance.



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Re: Ideology skill
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 10:28:18 AM »
You should choose the skill if you want to start play with a holy or scientific text and to peruse the booklet between sessions. Otherwise, you shouldn't choose it!

The other players aren't supposed to refrain from conversation, not at all, but eventually the booklet will be long enough that not everyone will read it, just the GM and the players who've chosen the skill.


Re: Ideology skill
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2015, 06:01:36 PM »
I found this skill odd as well. It is the only skill which at least seems to have its most significant effect outside of the fiction. Is there a reason not to encourage all players to read that booklet? Also, if I've already read it in a different game, should I not refer to anything contained within it?

I was considering if you would want to make it a "Science, Philosophy and Ideology Playbook", in which the GM creates some ideas of the mindset of the cities they visit. That would give someone with this skill the ability to exploit the taboos and ideas of a particular society.

Re: Ideology skill
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 10:58:37 AM »
That's an interesting idea; I like it. You don't just have access to the back of the rulebook - you have an ongoing conversation with the GM as content is created for your game. You could even go further and take inspiration from the Quarantine playbook for Apocalypse World.

(If you've never used the Quarantine, the start-of-session move, over time, creates a history of the world and the apocalypse, with the player and the MC taking turns adding to the lore. I could see something like that making for a very interesting way to develop Ideology or Natural Philosophy in the context of Freebooting Venus.)

More in line with the rules-as-written, it would be very symmetrical if the Ideology skill allowed the player to add 1 to a DEMAND SOMETHING roll when they invoked a particular ideology or fact of history or science. As a reader of the rules, I'm immediately wondering why something like that isn't included - does this rule interact with another portion of the rules, not as-yet disclosed?

But now I'm just speculating, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt this way about this bit of text, anyway!

(When Vincent tells us what the other 6 skills are, that may also clarify things, of course.)