Dungeon World System
Contacts and Goals
In any given town, any given world, people understand the concept of whats going on around them.
Most game systems do not represent this, its up to the GM to monitor and control this.. this means that unless you get a copy of your notes, your character is restricted to that GM’s campaign.
Also, arguments arise in game where players are sure their character would ‘know’ this but its not stated that they would or do.
Player: Well my character is a 4th level fighter, surely he would have contacts with the local military captain
GM: possibly, but this captain has more pressing matters than local heroes, and he has yet to hear of your exploits.
Player: But I defeated the local Ogre.. hasn’t he heard of that?
GM: are you asking the captain or me?
By developing a set of scores/values based about the characters likely contacts with likely NPC’s the GM has a clean and clear understanding of whats going on. Some GM’s may reveal the required scores to players, but they are suggested to give an idea so players may take on tasks that might lead to a better score and therefore a better chance of success.
Without going into details, The Player chooses some Contacts from his class list which he would like, such as Connection: criminals 4, Connection: Local Criminals town: Arnheim 4
When this character would like to contact the local guild of beggars in Arnheim (connection: Criminals 10 or Beggars 5) he asks some local beggars some specific questions, either by roleplaying or asking with the skill. If successful, the beggars guild will make contact with the character and deals may be struck.
The rewards for the character may be the acquisition of the ‘contact: Beggars’ as well as quest itself. Like Quests, players may use roleplay points to gain levels in contacts when they are in contact with the right group.
Fame is essentially a similar trait of the character. When a player performs a task, he /she gains Fame: general and Fame: local. Fame can increase or decrease the chances of any contact wanting to make a deal.
Furthemore, when dealing with NPC’s its interesting to note their contacts, Maybe a player has no contact with the local merchants, and would like to acquire a more difficult item on the black market. The local Merchant has a contact: Black Market score of 10, but the Heroes have a Fame: General of 4. The local merchant is intelligent 17, and so he knows that his chances of making a deal for the heroes will be difficult, so he raises his prices 40% to take care of the possible backlash.
This give GM’s a nice clean set of numbers to make decisions for NPC’s which are fair and pretty much correct for the situation.