After struggling with this for a while, today there was a little blast of inspiration: Innocence & The Void
Now, at least at the moment, The Void is a place from which a corrupting influence spreads itself into the mundane world. It’s all very Supernatural/Buffy/Angel/etc. There is Objective Evil, it is in The Void, and it bleeds into our world constantly.
And our Fixers are trying to keep back the tide.
Which of course means we are now looking at Urban Horror, basically. Because we’re in this ballpark we need a “ticking clock”, a “sands of time running low”. It needs something that will not come back, will spell the Fixer’s End, and allow that Horror feel to be present.
Now Beta Maxx as a System is a Pulp System; it is 100% an 80s/90s straight to VHS movie and 1pm on the Free-to-Air TV Channel Movie feel. But I think you can still have a compelling horror element in the middle of something that is gonzo mayhem. It sits there ready and waiting to end characters in ways that fit both into Horror and also allow for ‘noble sacrifice’ as a way to ‘check out’ your Fixer.
In comes Innocence (I’ll call it that now, maybe it will change, maybe it won’t). Your Fixer is going to get a fixed amount (I picked 8 because it’s a ‘good’ number in Chinese, but hey, with a little playtesting maybe the number would get reduced or increased).
Your Fixer is going to have to sacrifice that Innocence to get access to the supernatural powers available: Aberrance (physical), Faustian (mental/cognitive), and Temptation (social).
Also your Fixer is likely to have to spend Innocence to get access to some of the ‘plot escape hatches’ (If you have Beta Maxx X, that’s the Press My Luck rules but they’ll get another name here).
Each time you bring in The Void, you lose a little Innocence. When you run out of Innocence, you’ve hit ‘start’ on a countdown clock and you have no control over the timer. Plus, you’re going to choose how you might trigger the end of that timer.
- Will they fail at a task, and then throw themselves into the void to succeed? Buy the success the Fixers might need at the cost of their metaphoric death?
- Will they just juggle the hand grenade and each time their tap into their Void related traits could be the last?
- Will they be forced to check if now is the time every time they hit a ‘down time’?
- … what other sorts of options would people enjoy? (Please comment)