Trophy - ring 5

CN: spoilers for many of the published Trophy incursions. Not all, because apparently I don’t have Codex Glamour 2.

Just trying to get my head round the options for designing Ring 5 in an Incursion. The advice in the rules in Codex Dark is clear enough, but obviously relies on a GM to connect the incursion to the players’ drives, and push the treasure hunters to turn on each other. It’s kind of tough in the abstract to come up with ways to make this happen with an unknown group of hunters.

The published incursions each have their own solution to this. In fact I observe a number of distinct types:

  • Make it a straightforward condition of getting the treasure that you must screw over the others - do it and you get what you want. Examples: The flocculent cathedral, you have to sacrifice them. To make my bread, you have to cut them open to get the gold inside. Shifting sands, you have to kill the others to get your desire.
  • Simply tell the players / use leading questions to make them decide, that they are going to betray the others. Example: The spiral, you ask them to define how they don’t trust the others and how they’ll stop them.
  • Hint or use dreams to show that the others plan to betray them, and hope they’ll either act on that or Ruin them until they no longer have a choice.
  • Just have them do bad stuff without even realising that’s what they’re doing, because of illusions or whatnot. Example: Witchwood, the illusions prevent them realising they’re cutting their friends up until the curtain is pulled back.
  • No betrayal involved! Instead, it’s about giving up and accepting your doom. Examples: Mother, you touch the gems and the pain goes away (but implicitly you still die).

Interesting that the brute force “do it or no treasure” approach seems most popular. Not surprising I guess.

Am I missing some options here?

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Well, literally the entire point of Trophy is that you’re treasure hunters whose future depends on getting the treasure, so “do it or no treasure” is actually the best way to deal with not having any idea who’ll be there at the end. It certainly doesn’t mean that they can’t in the end reject the premise (as has happened a couple of times I’ve run FC).

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Oh, totally. It’s not really my personal preference, but I can see the logic.

I was more wondering about what other options there were that didn’t either (a) rely on this kind of forced choice or (b) rely on the GM to do the work to get you there.

I think I’m currently leaning more towards an approach that leave it open to the GM to try and encourage the players into betrayal, but also leaves it open to them to just embrace their doom or indeed attempt to escape (probably unsuccessfully). But, y’know - just interested to hear what approaches people have thought of.