Free Will

From: Michael Cule (
Date: Sun 19 Jan 1997 - 14:11:32 EET

Joerg Baumgartner <> observed (springing from the Androcles
> It is one thing to be subjected to limitations in your free choice for the
> duration of a spell, but it is a totally different case if the rules don't
> allow you any. How this can be applied in the heroquest genre, which
> (according to most sources) is about the free will of the human quester in
> the environment of pre-defined solutions of myth, escapes me.
> Quests are more about free-willed choices than they are about fighting
> obstacles. The latter usually only occur as result of the former...
> (Rather than the current Pendragon trait mechanic, which produces binary
> solutions, I'd prefer a set of rules which gives three options: obeisance to
> one side of the trait pair - free-willed choice - obeisance to the other
> side of the trait pair.)
> If a quester still insists on acting against this outcome, it should weaken
> his/her substance.

In my draft HeroQuest rules (which I will complete Real Soon Now) I distinguish
between acting as/becoming a Hero and HeroQuesting. The latter is when you try
to follow a path already blazed through the HeroPlane by some earlier traveller
whether God or Hero. This is less costly and less potent than true Experimental
Heroing. You know what the risks are more or less and you know what you have
to acheive. Since you are trying to copy someone else then your choices are
limited by the path they have already followed. But you risk less.

For these circumstances the Trait mechanics might well be useful. You act as the
original Hero did or things don't work.

If on the other hand you are trying to be a true Hero and create something new
you have to use bits of your own Self (your Will in the mechanics that Greg
don't like and I do) to create new circumstances on the HeroPlane. There you
are the one defining the right thing to do. You can gain more but you risk more.

- --
Michael Cule
Actor And Genius
AKA Theophilus Prince Archbishop of the Far Isles Medeival Society
Motto Nulla Spes Sit In Resistando (Resistance is Useless)
Ask me about The Far Isles: Better Living Through Pan Historic Anachronisms


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