By the way, in my previous blog entry, I’m fully aware that there’s no way to physically rotate the position of entries on a sheet of paper as if they were a dial. The metaphor was used simply as a handy means of visualizing a mechanic: I had it in mind that the relative positions of keywords would remain the same, making a certain amount of game thinking necessary even in the filling out of the character sheet – rotating one keyword to match up with a higher or lower level would also align the other four keywords in the circle with respective sets, which could create serendipitous advantages or unintended limitations.
To illustrate: if the elements are in the following order clockwise from the top of the circle – Ether, Fire, Earth, Air, Water – and a character has the descriptive chain “Loyal, Impulsive Hellene Master Sorcerer”, then spinning the imaginary dial to align Sorcerer with Earth for a hypothetical in-game benefit also yields the following pairs of keywords:
Ether – Hellene
Fire – Master
Earth – Sorcerer
Air – Loyal
Water – Impulsive
We can imagine, then, that there may be situations that arise in the scene in which the character has the opportunity to call upon Fire and the Master keyword benefit synergistically, or the player may be forced to act on the Impulsive keyword and try to leverage it by doing so in a way that falls under the auspices of Water. (Much of this is not going to make a whole lot of sense to people that aren’t me, because you haven’t seen all of what’s written thus far, but you may get the gist of it.)
While I like symmetry, I can’t quite shake the neat package of three core attributes that I’ve come up with, so I have to think of a way that they would fit into this framework if I want to progress forward with it. The most straightforward method is to overlay an equilateral triangle with the three attributes at the points: aligning one attribute with an element, which we would say is the “active attribute,” results in the other two being placed between two elements on either side of the circle. So if attribute A is declared as active and aligned with the Earth-Sorcerer axis, then attribute B falls betwixt Air and Water, and attribute C is shared between Fire and Ether. What that will actually mean remains to be fleshed out, but it’s very suggestive.