Weird SOTI Thing I Ran Into
I’m really scouring the Sagas of the Icelanders rulebook in a way I hadn’t before, looking to fill in where I didn’t really pay much attention to long-term play stuff. And I ran into the passage I’ve clipped to this post.
Now…an experienced player did a great job of clueing me in on how to use the Norns’ bonds they can hold with the characters: get the players to answer honest questions via Look Into Their Heart and then act on it. Neat, I dig it. Kind of wish there were other RAW moves that allowed for Bond use (beyond help/hinder) and I’m contemplating custom bond-using moves, mostly to give the Norns more ways to spend them.
But what I hadn’t noticed is that NPCs can also have bonds on the PCs. Interesting! Very interesting. I mean it’s still the GM spending those bonds, but when Fura the Seiðkona, an NPC, looks into a PC’s heart with her bond, I assume the effect is basically the same, yeah? An honest answer from the player? That seems like it radically loosens up the bond economy for the GM. I assume also that whatever actions are taken on that information are taken by that NPC, so it’s a bit more constrained than, you know, reality itself conforming to your answers.
I assume, then, that NPCs can also give meaningful gifts and generate more bonds?
Which brings me to the possibility of the Norns themselves providing gifts to PCs? And gaining bonds with them? Kind of blows my mind but it seems neither RAW-illegal nor off-tone. So I think maybe Imma make that happen.
On the broader topic: I confess I get kind of a thrill when I discover mechanical implications like this. It’s almost “emergent” but it kind of isn’t either. It’s just a legal play that’s cool and doesn’t break the game. I feel like these sorts of discoveries are only available to me when I’m wearing my rules-evaluation hat. I know many players don’t actually own that hat.
I know some of that thrill comes from the bad old days of tearing apart games to “beat” them. You know, piece together some set of powers in Exalted to achieve infinite attacks or something. So I’m constantly checking myself, too, for tonal okay-ness when I start thinking through rules implications. There’s always a kind of dark cloud hanging over the thrill. I guess that’s what they call a guilty pleasure.