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Goal Oriented Playing
Goal Oriented Playing is the counterpart of Event oriented modding. It is a method to make sure that your character fullfills ambitions and goals and thus advances. You can discuss this and any other method in your Player Compendium.
Setting up your character's goals
This method is very much like a real life project plan might look like. It is a concept called Plan, Do, Check, Act,, also known as the Demming Circle because after Act the circle starts again with Plan. After all, why invent something new when a theory like this is already out there for decades!
To be effective in our game, and possibly have the most fun, we advise you to define some broad goals and viewpoints for your character. What does your character believe in? What does he care about? What position in life does he want to reach? Does he want a partner or is he a loner?
For instance, take Jonathan Wild. Jonathan has defined the following things about his character:
- He wants to become a talented politician
- He is a Royalist and so will defend the throne and the royal family against rebels, Whigs and outside forces
- He is a fervent Anglican and so will uphold the Church of England
- He wants to become an influential person in England
- He wants to marry and have a family
Now those are large, general goals that are not likely to be accomplished in a day and as result they may seem a little overwhelming. This is why you should cut subgoals into smaller, short term goals.
Jonathan spends some time reading the wiki and the boards, and in doing so he finds out what are the current events and what opportunities those events bring. He also spends a bit of time talking to his moderators to check if he is far off the mark. He learns that there is pressure on the King to exclude the Duke of York from the throne because he's a Catholic. He will also know that the King is seeking alternatives to funding from parliament because that institution is a hotbed for Whigs and forever encroaching upon his powers.
Jonathan now establishes that his short term goals are:
- to learn politics
- to increase his knowledge of finances
- to earn money
- to become involved with government
- to attend Church
- to plot revenge against the Whigs, those damn upstarts
- to meet people, and more specifically Ladies of good name and fortune
Actions or Small Steps
This already gives you a good idea of what Jonathan can be doing in the game but it is still very general. Now look at those subgoals. What action can Jonathan take to bring himself closer to reaching his goals. This does not have to be large sweeping actions and declarations. Should Jonathan step up in Church and denounce Catholicism, demanding the exclusion of the Catholic heir, he might well find himself throw in the Tower for being a Whig and seditionist. He does need to take action however. Sitting in an Inn observing others trying to find that one girl or perhaps the influential baron that will solve all his problems is not likely to bring his goals within reach.
Here are some of the actions that Jonathan decides to take in London:
- He asks around to find a mentor in the art of financial management
- He seeks out the local library and does research on politics, committing to memory the names of influential people
- He decides to start collecting books and other items to impress other people with
- He goes to Whitehall every evening and talks with several people, still on his hunt for information. He also flirts with ladies, just for practice you understand.
- He joins government as a simple clerk, using some of his new found contacts. He uses this as a stepping stone to new and higher things.
- He goes to confession at Church and offers his help as a concerned citizen. Perhaps there is some charity required. He makes sure everybody knows about his charity.
- He attends social gatherings. If he meets any of the influential people he scouted out he will try and impress them (and meet their daughters)
- He joins any efforts that will gain him favour both in the government and in church.
Timepath, Evaluate and Act
At some point stop and look what you've achieved already and how effective it was. Possibly you need to adjust some of your actions or subgoals. It is useful to give yourself a timepath for certain actions or they will linger.
Jonathan takes the above actions in one Season. Then he looks at the facts he has learned. What does he now know that will influence his next steps? What contacts has he established? Perhaps Jonathan has now gained enough clout in governmental circles to be promoted, possibly because his talents are needed on a diplomatic or even a military mission. It is also entirely possible that Jonathan while running around in London fell head over heels in love with a pirate girl, ran away with her on her ship and has devoted his time to raiding the French ships, having gained a letter of Marque from the King via an official he befriended earlier.
In other words your goals are not limited to one outcome. Explore the possibilities!