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Are there any games where players have effectively unlimited meta-currency?

CarpeGuitarrem

Blogger and gamer
Validated User
Golden Sky Stories does this with Dreams, which you can pretty much hand out at any time for players doing cute/heartwarming stuff. It works because it's less about balance/an economy and more about building emotional rapport with the table.

Tenra Bansho Zero has a similar idea with the aiki chits, but they also feed into the kiai/karma economy. You give out aiki for good roleplaying, players convert that aiki into kiai in between scenes, but when you spend that kiai, it boosts your karma score, which you have to keep in check or else your PC gives in to their passions and becomes unplayable.
 

Efaun

Registered User
Validated User
In my experience most games with meta currency basically assumes that meta currency is unlimited. Not that you can not run out, but be it technoir, Burning Wheel or FATE, the assumption is that you are constantly spending and regaining currency and that this cycle drives play.
The last time I played something where you actually could run dry, because the cycle was kind of poorly designed was Exalted/WoD kind of deals.
 

Numanoid

#rocksteadyrollhard
Validated User
Except you can run out.
Ok, better example - Scarlet Heroes (OSR sword&sorcery game designed for only 1 player character)

There’s a feature called Defy Death that every player has in SH. When a character comes up against an untenable situation - like a save or die effect, or a problem whose solution is entirely outside of their class abilities - the player can Defy Death by rolling a 1d4 Damage Die. If the PC takes enough damage to be brought to 0HP, they are reduced to 1HP total and must suffer the consequences of the situation. If not, the PC takes the damage but the situation is overcome.

Theoretically this can be done infinitely, but each time the player uses Defy Death, the damage die value rises to d6/d8 etc until it caps at d12, and only resets when the PC conquers or gives up on the current adventure.

Was this closer to what you are looking for?
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
I don't know of anything that has everything you want built in. That said there are things that could invert, starting with basically anything where the GM can do whatever, but has to pay the PCs meta currency when they do certain things. That flips just fine - the GM gets a limit on how often they can do things, bu the PCs have unlimited meta currency which lets the GM reactivate those limited things. Genre specific dirty tricks come to mind here in particular, which someone here was actually working on (e.g. stuff like being given a mission with woefully misleading information or being betrayed by a Mr. Johnson in mission based cyberpunk).

I could even see a generic dick move clock working here, where the GM has a lot of leeway to do something that's kind of a dick move, but not catastrophic. The actual name of that clock would probably need to be different in all but some very specific tones, but that's the idea.
 

Spikey

Mean Mm-Mm Servant of God
Validated User
All of Their Strengths has a rule where players can roll a die to accomplish something they can't do wih their raw stats alone. The GM gets the die result and can use their collected die results to build antagonists and other threats. (There's a thread that goes into some detail on the rules of All of Their Strengths here.)
 

Kelton

Son of Excluded middle
Validated User
In Capes, your metacurrency works like credit card. You start at 0, and by buying extra effects you gain (narrative) debt. You have limit (related to your heroic motivation), and when your debt goes over limit, there are penalties.

In one game, I did similar thing in Fate. Players could draw additional fatepoints from magical source, but then had to pay them back (by compels). There was not explicit penalty for drawing too much, but I did try to make it a bit ominous.
 

DwarfRage

Active member
Validated User
Coriolis flips this on its head. The players have unlimited usages of their mystic powers, special abilities, etc.

But the GM gets the DP to screw with them later. It might be 1 point to just give the NPCs some minor ability, or to declare that a gun is empty and needs a reload, up to 3 points to bring in some more reinforcements.

So the trade off becomes “is it worth giving the GM more ability to screw with us later for an advantage now?”
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Was this closer to what you are looking for?
Yes, thank you.
I could even see a generic dick move clock working here, where the GM has a lot of leeway to do something that's kind of a dick move, but not catastrophic. The actual name of that clock would probably need to be different in all but some very specific tones, but that's the idea.
So the trade off becomes “is it worth giving the GM more ability to screw with us later for an advantage now?”
A "GM getting to screw us over" clock is a pretty good inversion: players get to choose between letting the dice mess them up, or the GM.
In Capes, your metacurrency works like credit card. You start at 0, and by buying extra effects you gain (narrative) debt. You have limit (related to your heroic motivation), and when your debt goes over limit, there are penalties.
What kind of penalties?
 

Kelton

Son of Excluded middle
Validated User
What kind of penalties?
Rulesy penalties. The specifics are hard to explain without going into the whole system (its different and kinda entangled together), but basically you have a penalty when working on your goals (like winning a fight). It does not apply when you help someone else or opposing someone. I think it is trying to push you in the supporting role for a bit.
 

Toa

Freilanzer
Validated User
Another +1 for Coriolis. The primary use is getting a reroll in exchange for the GM gaining one darkness point.
 
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