This afternoon I worked on Location Types, with particular attention to Activity Modes. It was my thought before that certain locations encourage different types of activity, and that certain types of activity provide certain advantages to Action.

For instance, in a workplace, characters will generally be less attentive, as they will be focused on their jobs. They won’t respond to danger as well as they might otherwise, simply because they’re busy doing something important (e.g. working to sustain themselves, their family, et cetera). Not all workplaces are equal, however.

Consider that some activities are inherently easier to perform in some areas, depending both upon the nature of the activity and the nature of the area. For instance, a workplace isn’t necessarily the best place to play. (Anything’s possible.) Similarly, intersections of high-traffic areas aren’t good places to rest.

I’m still working on what exactly each one of the Activity Modes brings to the table but they’ll probably land somewhere in the vicinity of attitudes and expectations. When you meet an NPC in their workplace, they’ll expect you to want them to do something for you. After all, they’re working. They may also be suspicious of you.

If you meet a character at a crossroads, they’ll probably want you to get out of their way – after all, they’re moving. Characters will have rudimentary causes for conflict based on their location-given Activity Mode. Seriously, don’t get in a little girl’s way when she’s going to grandma’s house. It just isn’t cool.

Characters in places of rest or play will probably be more friendly, and also more vulnerable. Then again, if you decide for whatever reason to attack a character at home, they’ll probably be at least somewhat prepared to repel you. You’re probably better off trying to catch them out in the open. That’s just how it is.

Ultimately, if you’re trying to surprise (catch off-guard) one or more characters, you’re probably trying to catch them when they’re transitioning from one Activity Mode to another. You don’t want to get the duke when he’s at work or at home, you want to catch him between screens, when he’s switching and therefore vulnerable.

There’s more to it of course, but that’s what I’m working on at the moment.