Token Use

Every token is held by a particular player. There are a couple of things that can be done with tokens:

  • They can be read, signed, and amended by other players.
  • They can be declared (deliberately shown) to other players.
  • They can be consumed for a bonus in a conflict.
  • They can be placed on the flagpole.

Token Permissions

A token has four types of permissions:

  • read: Who can read this token
  • declare: Who can +declare this token
  • sign: Who is permitted to sign this token
  • amend: Who is permitted to attach amendments to this token

The author and current holder of a token always have permission to read, declare, sign, and amend a token. However, additional people can be granted permission to do so, with:

+token/allow list-of-players to permission-type list-of-token-numbers

Players can be removed from a permission list with:

+token/allow list-of-players to permission-type list-of-token-numbers

So, for instance, to grant Benedict the ability to read your token 99, use: +token/allow Benedict to read 99

Declaring a Token

Declaring a token simply shows it to other people. This doesn't do anything in particular; all it does is to let people read the text. This is handy for proving something in a given scene. For instance, if you've got a token for your concealed weapon, and you want to prove it to the others in your scene, declaring that token to your current location is appropriate.

To declare a token, use:

+declare token-number to targets

Note that people don't have to accept that your token is legitimate. Tokens, like everything else, are subject to negotiation, consent, and so forth.

Consuming a Token for an Effect

Some Focus-invested tokens (those created with a gift that has the power-token powerbit) can be consumed for a one-time effect. Doing so consumes the Focus in the token, rendering future uses invalid. Only the person who is currently holding the token can consume the token.

To do this, use:

+token/use token-number at targets

As a general rule of thumb, if a Focus-invested token's effect is being used, it should be consumed, not merely declared. Use of a token in this manner, as with all roleplay, is subject to negotiation and consent.

Consuming a Token for a Bonus

Some Focus-invested tokens (those created with a gift that has the bonus-token powerbit) can be consumed for a bonus in a conflict, or for a one-time effect. Doing so consumes the Focus in the token, rendering future uses invalid. Only the person who is currently holding the token can consume the token.

In a challenge, the command is:

+challenge difficulty-or-gift using stat with token-number

In a conflict comparison, the command is:

+compare opponent using stat with token-number

Whenever you consume a token in this way, it is automatically also declared to the relevant people. Use of a token in this manner is subject to consent, and in a conflict comparison, subject to an explicit handshake of agreement.

The Token Flagpole

The Token Flagpole is a mechanism for resolving large-scale conflicts.

Tokens as Stakes

When you write a token for something, you are implicitly stating, "This is important to me," or, more broadly, "This is something which should have story significance." When you give something story significance, you give it the power to matter in a conflict — and, potentially, to be part of the stakes in that conflict.

Think about the tokens you write as being part of what you want to have opponents go after. After all, that's what's going to make the token interesting. For instance, it would probably be dull if you spent a bunch of IC time building up a fortification, and no one attacked it — you can't get a chance to really show off your clever preparations unless some enemy throws themselves at it.

This may initially sound counterintuitive — after all, if you're building up a fortification, your character is probably seeking safety, so why would you want anyone to attack it? But from the perspective of story, if you've put effort into the fortification, it ought to matter; it's the equivalent of showing the gun on the wall. It can only matter in a dramatic fashion if it's attacked, or it is otherwise actively involved in what happens. ("The fortress deters everyone from attacking and nothing happens" is a pretty boring outcome to roleplay.)

Tip for creating play: If you want to represent something that really matters to your character, write a token for it… and let an enemy know that it's out there to be stakes in a conflict.

Tokens in Player-Centric Storytelling

This MUSH is a loosely-GM'd game. This means that while the staff is keeper of the cosmology, deals with thematic enforcement, and tosses background "balls" into play that keep things moving, the staff does not have a particular story arc in mind, and we intend to intervene as GMs as little as possible.

However, the staff, as well as player volunteers, will sometimes act in a GM role, helping to guide specific stories. Our stories, however, are player-centric. This might require a bit of explanation, because it turns a fairly common method of GMing on its head.

In many roleplaying games, the GM is in full control — he sets up the situation, its obstacles, and so forth, and the players try their best to overcome those things. Things play out, resolved mechanically, or via GM fiat.

In our GM'd stories, however, we set up a general situation. Then, we look for what players grab onto in that situation — what, in essence, we hear they're roleplaying about, and more concretely, what tokens they're writing that relate to that situation. We use this as an indication of what parts of this story players are interested in, and also, what "cool" individual players are trying to highlight about what their characters do.

We then frame the scenes around these player investments. Basically, we figure that if your character cares enough about it to be writing a token for it, or people have been spending a bunch of time roleplaying about something, we ought to try to find a way to make that cool. If you build a fortification against an invasion, that fortification ought to be important in the forthcoming battle. If you've researched a potent magical ritual, there ought to be a moment where that ritual is cool and important. If you've gone and found special troops in shadow that can breathe poison gas, the enemy ought to use poison gas against you at some point in time. And so forth.

In other words, if you want to clearly signal to a GM that you want something to be cool in a story: Write a token and let them know about it.

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