So. This thing I’ve been working on.

Blends social interaction with betting rounds and narrative structure. Narrative structure includes eleven descriptive points, numbered from zero to ten, indicating the number of dice the GM receives as bonus opposition.

Every social conflict has a de facto goal of achieving material gain.

I’ve created a list of twenty-five “intangibles” that each Player Character has available to use as “Social Currency.” Five categories ranked by “value.”

Any social conflict is an attempt to convert an intangible asset into a material asset — be it cash, labor, goods, favors (material in this case), magic, or land.

One player — typically starting with say, the player to the GM’s left — opens with an offer to exchange one intangible on their list for a tangible asset desired by the group. In turn, players Raise, Call, or Fold.

Raising or Calling entails marking off the same intangibles as the other players, or moving up to the next more valuable intangible in a category. Folding forfeits intangibles already wagered and gives the GM a bonus opposition die.

Included of course is the GM, and the GM always calls.

Once all the players have taken a turn, the player who opened — or if they’ve folded, the next player in sequence — chooses the skill for the conflict and explains how/why they’re using skill X to achieve goal Y using means Z.

Hilarity ensues. I mean dice rolls.

GM rolls 2d6 plus the initial opposition bonus (up to 10d6), plus one for each folding player. The GM never folds — they provide the opposition after all.

Players roll their respective skill (d6, d8, d10, or d12) and total their side. It’s incredibly easy — even at low levels — for the GM to overwhelm the players.

That’s where plot points come into play. Every plot, when rolled up, creates a pool of plot points that function as additional narrative currency. Whenever a player calls or folds, they choose another player to receive a plot point.

When a player raises, they instead take a plot point for themselves.

Spending a plot point enables a player to add another factor to their pool — calling upon their character’s relationships, abilities, or stress.

Likewise, the GM can spend plot points to dredge up a character’s abilities, twisting advantages or making a poor ability scores count against you.

If the players’ total exceeds the GMs’ total, they get the asset they wanted — with a twist. After receiving the spoils, the players can then choose whether they’ll actually make good on the transaction. (Bluffing after the fact.)

This is important for other reasons… like player consent.

But if you bust a deal, you face the wheel — if you decide not to hand over the goods, you open yourself to the opportunity for a Reckoning, which can very quickly turn into a violent conflict with powerful NPCs.

If the players lose the conflict, the GM has the option to introduce either a Development or a Complication, based on the situation or a die roll.

This might be a boon to help the PCs in the next conflict, or a setback.

One of the side effects of each conflict is escalation — see the “narrative structure” bit at the beginning of the post — making subsequent conflicts progressively difficult. The plot operates independently of location and characters. Kill all the BBEGs you want, the plot knows where you live.