Angel Debts

  • 3 Replies
Angel Debts
« on: October 24, 2016, 12:11:40 AM »
So one of the options for when an Angel stabilizes someone is this:

They owe you for your time, attention, and supplies, and you’re going to hold them to it.

Along with this as an option for if life became untenable and you saved them

They come back in your deep, deep debt.

What I'm wondering is why would you choose those? It seems to me that the angel can already claim those in the fiction - "I just healed you, so that'll be X Barter." Or "You were going to die and I did some goddamn medical miracle and got you out of death's door. Not a great experience for me either. Anyway, we can discuss this huge bill of yours once we get to safety."

Is the idea that if the angel chooses the other options then they don't really have a claim to charging the characters? It seems odd for someone to say "Well yes you did stop me from bleeding out real bad, but you learned something about practicing medicine so guess we're even then."

There's no mechanics to those options, no way of helping the Angel collect or make sure they can get it. The Angel could say "Well then I guess I won't help you in the future," but presumably they can always do that even if they chose the other options.

What am I missing?

Re: Angel Debts
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 03:04:09 AM »
My thought would be that making those choices guarantees that the debt in question is a real thing in the fiction, that the rescued party has no choice but to acknowledge. Sure, the Angel can say 'you owe me' even without this choice, but who knows if anyone else agrees? If these options are chosen, then there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Rolfball was gonna die otherwise, no doubt about what that means for Rolfball and his friends, etc. You can't actually create debt/obligation unilaterally in the lawless post-apocalypse, after all -- not without some separate leverage, at which point it just looks like extortion with window-dressing. Choosing these options says 'this is leverage -- all by itself, this is a real thing.'

This makes it a particularly useful option to choose in a case where the person you just saved would otherwise be inclined to take your help for granted, or to simply dismiss your claims out of hand.

Now, there are ways to acknowledge a debt that don't involve paying it -- presumably lots of the people who live in the post-apocalypse are not big fans of reconciliation of any sort, and certainly not to their disadvantage. That's what makes the choice interesting -- or more interesting than just 'you get X barter from your patient.'

Re: Angel Debts
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 10:32:12 AM »
Yeah, I'd say it's about how the world views the situation.

If you don't pick those options, the world might think they maybe owe you a little barter or something, but they don't see it as a big deal.

If, on the other hand, you pick those options and then they fail to pay up? Then the people they interact with are gonna see them as someone that doesn't pay their debts. Someone untrustworthy.  And that matters.



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Re: Angel Debts
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 10:44:35 AM »
To me the most interesting times are when you have your character say "you seriously owe me," but you don't choose the option, signaling to the table that you're not going to pursue it as a player, and when you have your character say "hey don't sweat it," but you DO choose the option, signaling to the table that you ARE.