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[tremulus] Are the Trust Rules Backwards?

Baulderstone

Registered User
Validated User
I recently won a copy of tremulus, so I am going to give it a shot this weekend. There is just one thing in the mechanics that is bugging me enough that I am tempted to change it. I just wanted to run this change through that RPGnet gauntlet beforehand.

In tremulus, players can assign Trust points to other players. To quote:

tremulus said:
Your Trust in others is used when you Help/Hinder them, so if you have Trust +2 in Meg, and she has Trust +1 in you, you’d roll +2 to Help/Hinder her while she would roll +1 to do the same for you.
I love the idea of a Trust mechanic, but this seems completely backwards to me. Sticking with the example in the book, I have placed more trust in Meg than she has in me, yet I have a greater ability to Help/Hinder her than she does me. It feels like it should work the other way around. The Trust I place in someone should be the number they use to Help/Hinder me.

By having more trust in Meg than she has in me, I should be more open to her assistance but more vulnerable to her betrayal. It means placing a large score in my Trust for Meg actually requires me to trust Meg to use it to help me and not to use it as a club to beat my around with. That’s exactly how I would want a Trust mechanic to work.

The RAW doesn’t have this effect. Quite the opposite. If I develop a rivalry with another PC, it benefits my to mechanically have a high Trust for them so I can hinder them, even if they don’t trust me at all. It just feels so backwards, I feel I must be missing something. It would seems that if I disliked a PC, it would benefit me to coax them to increase their Trust in me before springing my sudden but inevitable betrayal, not boost my own Trust in them to make betraying them easier.

I even looked at the separate section Help/Hinder rules to be sure that the example wasn’t a mistake, but it repeats the rules word for word.

So, I invite feedback. Am I missing something here? Will reversing the way Trust works have some horrible effect I haven’t foreseen?
 

The Storyteller

Devil's Advocate
Validated User
I don't know the system at all, but it strikes me that the most obvious possible outcome is this:

You might have no trust bonuses at all.

See, if each character assigns Trust themselves and benefit from that Trust that they have assigned, everyone has Trust bonuses. But if I assign Trust to others and they get the benefits, then it's possible, maybe even likely, that you'll have no Trust bonuses because you're entirely reliant on other players giving them to you.
 

Baulderstone

Registered User
Validated User
I don't know the system at all, but it strikes me that the most obvious possible outcome is this:

You might have no trust bonuses at all.

See, if each character assigns Trust themselves and benefit from that Trust that they have assigned, everyone has Trust bonuses. But if I assign Trust to others and they get the benefits, then it's possible, maybe even likely, that you'll have no Trust bonuses because you're entirely reliant on other players giving them to you.
Would that be a bad effect though? If nobody in the party is willing to trust one another at all, then nobody gets a bonus to helping each other. That seems to. Exactly what a Trust mechanic should do.
 

Chroma

Retired User
Yes. You should play it that way, not the way it's written.
I completely agree with Johnstone! As one of the playtesters of tremulus, I and my group tried to get the mechanic changed to the way you're looking to adapt it; it just makes sense and is one of the most common house rules of the game.
 

Derek

Registered User
Validated User
I was just coming to post the same thing Chroma did - this change was part of our playtest feedback, as well as being brought up by other locals once the book came out. It feels much better in play than the rules as written for most people I've talked to.
 

Baulderstone

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks, guys. That is what I did. The session went well, but I am not sure I am sold on the system. It feels very much at conflict with itself. The shared narrative elements don't always sit easily with more trad elements like the frameworks. It's not bad. I would run or play it again. It just didn't hit the same sweet spot that DramaSystem or Fiasco did for me.

Whether I play this again or not, I still want to try one of the more "pure" *World games out there.
 

SibKhatru

Registered User
Validated User
Have you tried Apocalypse World? It's the "pure" game, so I ponder if I take your comment rightly, "no..."

Do try it. It's kind of thing of (ironic and dark) beauty.
 

Baulderstone

Registered User
Validated User
Have you tried Apocalypse World? It's the "pure" game, so I ponder if I take your comment rightly, "no..."

Do try it. It's kind of thing of (ironic and dark) beauty.
I will. My group just reached consensus by email that we are going back to DramaSystem next week. I'll read Apocalypse World and have it on hand for when we are missing a vital player and need something else to run.
 
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