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The Mitten King
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Post by Avilister »

This is an excerpt from the 3rd Edition Core book on the topic of Intimacies, which we'll be using in this game:

Intimacies represent loves, hatreds, ideals, and goals—the things in this world people feel strongly about. Intimacies are important to social influence actions, as they help determine what kinds of influence will affect your character. They come in two basic types:

• Ties describe your character’s attachments to people, objects, organizations, and other concrete entities. They have an emotional context which describes your character’s feelings towards that entity. Ties are generally written as the subject of the Tie, followed by a parenthetical clarifier to establish context. Examples include Great Forks (Hometown affection), My mysterious benefactor (Wary respect), My wife (Love), Peleps Deled (Hatred), and The Immaculate Order (Admiration).

• Principles describe your character’s beliefs and ideals. Principles are generally written as a statement of the Principle. Examples include ideals such as “Honesty is my watchword” and “Pragmatism rules my actions,” and beliefs such as “The Immaculate Philosophy is the true guide to righteous living” or “I believe everyone looks out for number one.”

The basic mechanical function of Ties and Principles is identical, but some Charms and other special rules may differentiate between them.

Intimacies come in three levels of intensity: Minor, Major, and Defining. Minor Intimacies are notable parts of your character’s worldview, but only come into play when the subject of the Intimacy is directly relevant to her current situation. Major Intimacies hold more influence over your character, coming into play even if the subject is only indirectly or tangentially related to the situation at hand. Finally, Defining Intimacies hold sway over every aspect of your character’s life—they’re the pillars of her worldview, and often things she would lay down her life to protect.

Intimacies help characters to regain Willpower, and govern what actions they can be persuaded to take via social influence. For more information on Intimacies and their role in social influence, see pages 214-215.

Charms will sometimes become empowered by Intimacies, such as by granting a character extra strength to fight to protect his loved ones. In these circumstances, Minor, Major, and Defining Intimacies are “valued” at two, three, and four points, respectively—thus, a Charm granting dice equal to an Intimacy’s rating would grant three dice if keying off of a Major Intimacy.

Gaining Intimacies
Characters start with whatever Intimacies their players feel are appropriate, with a minimum of four Intimacies, of which at least one must be Defining, one must be Major, one must be in some way negative (a thing the character opposes or dislikes), and one must be positive (a thing the character supports or likes). Characters may gain new Intimacies in several ways, all subject to Storyteller approval. The key to changing Intimacies is that the change must make sense given the roleplaying going on during the scene and in the broader context of the story. Characters can’t gain beneficial new Intimacies if it doesn’t match how they’ve been played.

• Intimacies can be created at Minor intensity or strengthened by one level by the social influence of other characters (p. 215).

• Whenever the player feels it is appropriate and the Storyteller agrees, the character may add a new Minor Intimacy or intensify an existing Intimacy at the end of a
scene by one degree.

• In extraordinary situations, the character may gain a new Intimacy at Major or Defining Intensity based on the events of the story—when an Abyssal murders your brother, it’s probably acceptable to go straight to a Major or Defining Tie of hatred toward him.

Losing Intimacies
Losing Intimacies is similarly simple, and likewise subject to Storyteller discretion.

• Intimacies can be degraded by one level or removed entirely (if Minor) by the social influence of other characters (p. 215).

• Whenever the player feels it is appropriate and the Storyteller agrees, the character may remove a Minor Intimacy or degrade an existing Major or Defining Intimacy
at the end of a scene—the character just doesn’t care about that thing as much anymore. Generally, this should follow several sessions in which the subject of the Intimacy hasn’t come up—characters should rarely drop or degrade an Intimacy right after it has been created, even if the Intimacy is undesirable. Alternately, this might follow several sessions showing the character resolving or working to conquer unwanted Intimacies, such as Intimacies of fear or hatred.

• Whenever the Storyteller judges that a player hasn’t reflected an Intimacy in her roleplaying for a while, she may declare that it has degraded or even disappeared completely. This is mostly to keep characters from accumulating a lot of Defining Intimacies, which should be reflected in the character’s actions at least once per story. Few characters can sustain the kind of intensity needed for more than a small handful of Defining Intimacies, and the Storyteller’s pruning helps keep down the clutter.