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Game design question. I am currently designing a lightweight system for evolving inhabited planets and ensuring there is increasing criminal content. I am considering either adding societal values, specific locations, organizations, or facts. Should I limit to one of these options for every system or open them all up? Would it make sense to intentionally create new NPCs to represent these things?

@genesisoflegend As a GM, I find it most useful to know why rather than who; once the why is established (“there is a religious prohibition on alcohol here”) the who becomes clear (“there is an underground economy surrounding alcohol, with fights between cops, smugglers, and local distillers”).

@mithriltabby quite reasonable and it would make a great deal of sense to limit things to values (solidarity) or facts (the system has a robust labour movement) rather than the more specific who's.

@genesisoflegend Having a set of expected stats/skills/aspects for various sorts of people (smuggler, crime boss, labour organizer) would be good accompaniment to it. And an easy way to come up with names for NPCs (“this system was settled from X nation so X names are common”, or particular syllable selections).

@genesisoflegend Depends on part on how detailed every planet needs to be. How much time will be spent on a single planet? How much detail do you need?

And who creates these planets and when? Defining things collaboratively at the table is different than a GM doing lone prep work.

@nickwedig the basic structure is that the planets are pregenerated with aspect-like descriptors that differentiate them. During play, you elaborate on these systems by adding more details which would in turn provide more fictional fodder. I want it to feel like an evolving galaxy during play.

@genesisoflegend @nickwedig If it were me I might limit to adding one of each for each planet. That way you have one location of importance, one organization, one societal value, and one fact. That doesn't mean there can't be more later on, but for the purposes of play there's only one thing to think about one small list of things (societal value: androids who hate imperfection, location: Prime, organization: rogue simulants infiltrating the society, facts: rogue simulants are more cunning.

@craigmaloney @nickwedig yes, that is exactly the kind of scaffolding I need. Thank you both!

@craigmaloney @genesisoflegend @nickwedig

I like that. Though also, I can't help but also consider a couple other practical aspects. Do you use a mechanical trigger to eventually add additional items in those categories or keep it static? How do you track those items? Some type of planet or galaxy sheet for the table? And if so to both, how many additional items can be added (in order to plan for space needs on the page)?

@kennon @craigmaloney @nickwedig In this specific case, we have a half sheet per planet. The idea being that there would be 4-5 of those items which are blank per planet and get gradually filled out when mechanical triggers are hit.

@genesisoflegend @craigmaloney @nickwedig ah yep, you've got that aspect well covered then. And for what it's worth, I like the sound of those plans!

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