I talked briefly about “scope” in one of my December entries about factions. I’m putting scope next to another term, “scale,” to replace a couple of concepts inspired by Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons: tier and level. Fourth Edition ties the two together, but I think they should be separate concepts.

When I created the scope I intended to use, I came up with six, in order to keep systems simple: personal, local, regional, global, planar, and cosmic. When you have a power or an adventure that effects a handful of people, like a single adventurer, a family, or a roomful of murder suspects, you’re talking about the personal scope.

The other five follow pretty easily: the local scope encompasses a neighborhood, an elf village, a tribe or clan, or a small town. The regional scope includes a kingdom, or several competing city-states. The global scope may be a planet of hats, several competing cultures in medieval stasis, or an earth-sized world (or larger).

For the last couple months, I’ve been looking for a sixth game to complete my scope concepts. I’ve been working with Dungeons & Dragons, Arkham Horror, The Settlers of Catan, Risk: Godstorm, and Magic: the Gathering. Earlier this week, I had this notion that rather than falling directly on-scope, each title fell between two of them.

Dungeons & Dragons bridges personal and local conflicts, while Arkham Horror bridges local and regional conflicts. The Settlers of Catan serves as an effective bridge between regional and global conflicts, while Risk: Godstorm bridges global conflicts with planar ones. Magic: the Gathering ties planar and cosmic conflicts.

When all is said and done, scale is a linear expression of power, and scope is an exponential expression of power. Both are used for comparison. The farther up the scale you are, the more effective you tend to be, but differences in scope represent enormous jumps in power. (Like, an order of magnitude, at least.)