I first played Agon yesterday, and I am intrigued by the way that armor works - for each piece you're wearing, you have one "level" of protection, which dictates the die size you roll for defense.
1 piece: d6
2 pieces: d8
3 pieces: d10
I'm working on a game in which I want to give mechanical weight to laws and customs, and one way in which I intend to do that is by stealing wholesale from Agon. So far, the mechanic works quite like the armor mechanic described above, with the difference being that you "put on" different social/legal advantages, instead of putting on helmet, greaves, and breastplate.
Additionally, each such "piece" is a zero-sum item - only one party can claim each piece, meaning that it's possible for a single advantage, despite your opponent having the other two, is the difference between facing a d10 with nothing, and facing a d8 with a d6.
I have two of the "pieces" so far:
- your party has higher social and legal status than the opposition
- your party is innocently following the law OR your party is only trying to enforce the law (the former is something along the lines of "if you were minding your own business, your conduct lawful and customary, then you get some mechanical weight")
I can't come up with a third piece. An easy one seemed to be "you are kin with your adversaries", but that's not zero-sum: both sides'd get the bonus, and then it'd cancel out (if I follow my current logic), and it wouldn't fit anyway.
As far as the first piece listed, the law is very clear: "Women over men, old over young". It's a matriarchal, semi-communitarian republic, with clans as administrative divisions.
The second piece is intended to reflect that this society was peaceful, more or less, until the Stranger arrived. This society was cut off from the rest of the world for about 200 years after its successful rebellion against the White City (an entity that is conceptually developed only through play), and then, right before play begins, a male soldier from the White City is discovered by a frontier patrol.
The event sends the calm, industrious mountain culture into apoplexy, with some members of the annum (their all-old-lady senate) calling for an exploratory mission, and others demanding that the borders be sealed and the Stranger killed and disposed of. This second "piece of armor" reflects the very rough transition from political more-or-less unity to outright opposition and conflict.
But I think both "pieces" are fairly general (which is good). What I'm asking is - can anyone think of a sort of "I have it, you don't" social advantage that a group might hold over another, in conflict? Keep in mind that equipment and skills have already been taken care of - like I said, this list of three things is going to be social/societal/customary in nature.
Thanks for thinkin!
[edit: linky-link here