Has anyone here used flags as an alternative to bonds?

Has anyone here used flags as an alternative to bonds?

Has anyone here used flags as an alternative to bonds? It seems like it could be useful. How well does it handle in-game? Is there anything to watch out for?

Also, what flags have you used in your games?

7 thoughts on “Has anyone here used flags as an alternative to bonds?”

  1. I haven’t yet, but plan to use it as a compliment (not necessarily a replacement). Haven’t had a chance to get my group playing consistently in the last months… interested to hear others opinions though.

  2. Tomer Gurantz​ let us know how it goes when you get to use them!

    Matt Smith​ flags. They work like bonds, only backwards. Where bonds focus on how your character sees other characters, flags focus on how you want other characters see your characters. They’re designed to work better with changing casts.

    Scott Selvidge​ thanks! That looks useful!

  3. I’m intrigued by the concept, but haven’t implemented them in a game.

    My one concern is that i like what bonds do – they encourage players to accept a little input and perspective from the other player characters, that helps in the “playing to find out” bit of discovering the characters we’re playing.

    The discussion of bonds at character creation and at the end of each session helps me understand the impact of what i’m doing on the other players. it gives me the feedback that helps me see my character in a new light, and helps me continue to discover that character, rather than my old habit of trying to force the character to match my preconceived narrative.

    Flags instead lets me throw my preconceived narrative up on a pole and reward players whose characters jump into my narrative, instead of rewarding them for challenging me to explore new facets.

    I’m not against flags, per se. I think i’d like to play with them, even. But i don’t like the idea of using them to replace bonds – i don’t think bonds are “broken” and i don’t think flags accomplish a similar goal to bonds, really.

  4. Andrew Fish​ the advantage I see to flags is their flexibility with more “open table” settings. It’s hard to coordinate schedules with all my players, so I try to just take whoever I can get for a given game. Bonds seem to assume a more regular group.

  5. I’ve run some “open table” games, and used the following to make bonds work out decently:

    1. Remove the limit on number of bonds a PC can have. Cap it at three Bonds with any other individual PC, but as many bonds as you want.

    2. At the start of session, inform all players that their PCs know each other, at least by reputation if not personally (provide some context – at least rumors around the hearth). Ask each player to give a VERY brief “elevator pitch” of their character. Give the players a chance to write a new bond with a character they’ve just met now, if any are compelling.

    3. At the session mid-point, announce a brief break, and let them know that upon returning, you’d give them a chance to write new bonds, if appropriate. Then give them that chance.

    4. Revise the end-of-session move to reward one XP if any (or more than one) existing bonds were resolved or if any new bonds were written. This does make a “farmable” source of XP, but only one per session, and it encourages inter-PC development.

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