In fact I have my eye on one particular item which I think is very interesting - the GameMastery Plot Twist Cards.
|Ohh, Plot Twisty!|
I read about these on the Stargazer's World and this is the sort of thing that really appeals to me. I am not a stranger to player 'bennies' or a token redeemable point system to reward good play with mechanical advantage, in fact spending XP to increase successes was a mechanic in my old homebrew that I lifted from the Marvel Superheroes karma system. Also, back in the day I had the thought to use Tarot cards to introduce a mechanic to generate random plot directions in my campaign. Kind of like the weather but all cool with fate and shit. But what I didn't have was the idea of having the players use a game mechanic to drive the plot.
This past fall I had a chance to play the Atomic Highway RPG, and this system has an interesting twist on the 'bennies' approach - having players use 'Fortune' to create plot twists in addition to the usual re-rolls and success bumps. This was awesome. I actually got to spend my accumulated Fortune on things like making two NPCs be related to each other, finding batteries in the dark, and creating small situations to nudge along a romance between two PCs. This was much more rewarding than simply re-rolling dice in combat. Now it could be hard to manage this kind of thing in the kind of game I like- for example I think I wouldn't let players have more than one card at a time and I wouldn't give the cards out very often, but I can certainly see the appeal in having a player drop an "Unexpected Assistance" or "Gastric Distress" event into the middle of things to stir the plot a bit.
Now don't panic, I'm not going to build in any mechanics in Beacon for Fortune or Bennies or card systems like the GameMastery Plot Twist cards (and especially nothing like a CCG travesty). I like to keep things lean. But I do think I will be picking up a deck of these funky plot twist cards and looking at using them or something similar in my own games.