One of the things Bliss Stage does in a very subtle way, is it places certain responsibilities on players and characters that are difficult to ignore.

During a Briefing Action, the GM describes the mission — this is basically the rumor stage in D&D — and will then assign the mission to one of the PCs. Forgive me for choosing D&D jargon over Bliss Stage terminology, it’s how I was raised. Lol.

Now, the GM can call for a volunteer but this is actually far more cruel than assigning the mission to a particular Pilot. Here’s why:

One of the GM’s main characters is the Authority, who hands out missions. Each of the Pilots has a relationship with the Authority, which means if they refuse a mission they’re assigned to, trauma takes a hit and their Authority relationship receives stress as well. Refusing missions can literally kill you.

Applied to D&D, the effects would be a little different.

Let’s say instead of an Authority figure, you have an NPC relating a quest to a particular character. This is a direct action on the part of the GM to present a quest to a player. None of this fiddling with Gather Information checks.

Once the player is given the quest, they have the option to take it or leave it. Using Condition Rating, we could apply the very same effect as Bliss Stage — refusing a call to adventure makes it harder for you to adventure at all.

After the first player refuses the quest, the GM can choose to shop it around to other players or drop it if they like — the damage has been done already.

By choosing one player to receive the quest, the GM is giving them the power to “assemble their team,” even if it’s going to be the same PCs every time. The PC benefits from elevated importance, no matter how imaginary the situation.

It fosters an attitude of, “This quest was given to me.” Quest ownership.

Now combined with Masks and Allegiance, a GM can create conflicts between players and characters by offering quests from un-allied or enemy Masks. In the end, the Mask offering the quest doesn’t matter to anyone except the players.

Without even knowing what the quest is, you have the potential for conflict based on where the quest originated, and to whom it was given.