Domain Rulership, Part Seven

Previously in this series, I looked at one of the high-water marks for fine detail in domain rulership systems. This week, I’m going to some systems at the opposite extreme: 13th Age and Dungeon World. Not counting, of course, systems that simply have no rules for domain rulership or strongholds. Absence is different from minimalism – and I’m about to split that hair damned fine.

Tribal Knowledge: You’ve Got to Know How to Ask

This article is about a very thorny subject in gaming: what does it take to get information out of someone who doesn’t want to give it to you? I’ll be attempting to address this point within both LARPing and tabletop gaming, as the visceral immediacy of LARPing intensifies the issue. There are interlinked issues of information control, the grimdarkness of the setting, the players’ and DM/NPCs’ conceptions of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” mind-control magic, and whether any threat suffices to get the PCs to back down.

Also, a caveat to the whole discussion: nothing that I’m going to discuss here is necessary or helpful if the DM and the players can easily come to consensus on the issues. Rules exist to guide the flow of play when the sides of a conflict can’t agree, or when uncertainty in the outcome is desirable. This is doubly true when applied to rules governing social encounters (or, in the case of interrogation, anti-social).