I’ve proposed this elsewhere, all in the hopes the designers are willing to tweak the engine for broader interactions. Perhaps they aren’t or can’t and then I’m just wasting time. It’s also possible that others have proposed something like this in the back logs. Anyway, here is the problem as I see it: most social actions at the moment are for two players only, so if I want to do anything with more people (it’s not so important what) I have to spend an Action on each. This works against social and longer Acquaintances lists, because you just can’t box or play chess with 30 or 90 people. It encourages intimacy, but I don’t want to be intimate with everyone I know! The result is a weak social component. So much for the problem. I can think of two solutions, not mutually exclusive:
Eliminate Free Evenings completely in favor of a separate Social Actions pool. Every social Action - accepting it or initiating it - would cost a point. This pool could have a smaller maximum, perhaps replenishing slowly, by a point every hour, to a maximum of 7 or 10. This way players will have something to do even if they run out of Regular Actions, and the Failbetters can sell renewals of social for Fate. Subscribers will get a double pool as usual.
Introduce, again if the engine can be convinced, multiplayer actions that would only cost one Action to start. A model possibility is the Ball. It might work as follows. A player issues an invitation to an Acquaintance, spending an Action. The invitation informs the recipient that such-and-such is hosting but the event will only proceed if at least 10 players, not counting the host, sign up. The number of players who have already agreed, their names and Notability are shown. The message also says that that benefits to the participants will be in proportion to the number of people who sign up. The receiver, and all subsequent invited players, can then decide whether to accept the invitation or pass.
Accepting costs an Action and only goes through after the player has picked a further addressee in the Acquaintances list. This pushes the invitation on in the manner of a chain letter. Sooner or later someone will refuse to get on the bandwagon, but a well-attended Ball should be able to gather good momentum. The maximum could be, say, 50 players. After the refusal, if the "quorum" hasn’t been reached, the Ball is a failure and all the previous players have wasted an Action. Otherwise the Ball "resolves" with proportionate benefits to all concerned - the more of them, the better. The host would get extra Notability and Making Waves, the guests - Persuasive and Making Waves.
Now you can see how this should create interesting dynamics. Appearing at balls could be a way for new players to raise Persuasive before they are due, and some players would become obssessed with Balls I’m sure, and Notability could play an important role. For instance, the host’s benefit might be reduced to the average Notability of the guests, so allowing a bunch of nobodies to be invited might actually end up detrimental. People would have to choose who to invite carefully, and take revenge on screw-ups - poison and all that good stuff. There would have to be some checks and balances here, sure, some play-testing. Very likely only Persons of Some Importance should be able to host. But on the whole, I think, it’d be a good way to stir things up in Fallen London - bring some people crashing down and elevate others who don’t deserve it. Which is the great thing society does, you know.
edited by Von Prabik on 7/10/2015