No, no, no, wait wait bear with me please!!
Right, so anyone who’s been seriously following the SMEN threads (some might say, Seeking the SMEN threads) would either have read or will want to read spacemarine’s fantastic account of his experiences in that endeavour (available Riding Immortal on the Seeking Road - Google Docs ).
I’m midway through reading it and just under 20 pages in, spacemarine describes a mechanic in the Royal Bethlehem as follows:
Some time before this, I woke up in the morning and checked FL to discover I’d been hit by Alexis with a social action I’d never seen before, which gave me approximately 1 frick-tonne of Nightmares, as well as decreasing my Reputation: Abomination. I was mildly bemused, but didn’t think much of it. […]
A few days later, I got hit with it again, this time by an absolute stranger. I sent them a confused letter, and discovered this was due to a new option in the Royal Bethlehem. Anyone could play this action, Seeker or no, and it allowed them to harass anyone with an Abominable Reputation and give them hella Nightmares in exchange for Memories of Light and a fairly sizeable Nightmares drop.
The start of Seeking Mr. Eaten’s Name warns potential Seekers that other players may be as much their enemies as their friends. This was especially significant considering the original tie-ins with Knife-and-Candle and the degree to which the betrayal mechanic relied on social actions. SMEN today is largely a solitary affair in the diegetic game - and as a result, players who Seek are actually advantaged by social metagaming (participating in the forums and the IRC). People trade cats, offer help with menaces and stat loss, and are even now spreading Mr. Eaten’s Calling Card. The forums have become a support group.
What if other players were encouraged by in-game mechanics to menace Seekers? What if Reputation: Abomination actually made you eligible for social actions where Heartless players could insult you, Austere players could deplore you, Ruthless players could wound you, Melancholy players could curse you, Daring players could play pranks on you? SMEN would suddenly begin to interact with non-seekers in a very real way, and players would begin to be encouraged to reconsider their spiritual, emotional and roleplayed support of the seekers when it comes at odds to a mechanical advantage to siding against the seekers.
Would you enjoy the option to - occasionally and lightly, but with mechanical benefits to yourself, and ENTIRELY in the spirit of SMEN - harass seekers?