My gaming group recently finished up a short campaign that started in the Smallville RPG and finished in Primetime Adventures. I enjoyed both games a whole lot, though I think PTA was the better fit for us. There are a lot of neat things about Smallville, but the thing that benefited our game the most was the Pathways character creation/relationship map system. I’m sure we still would’ve had fun, but I think the game wouldn’t have been quite so good without that sprawling relationship map.

I wanted to be able to put that kind of nifty stuff into other games, so I ended up writing up this thing called “Entanglements.” It’s essentially a genericized version of Pathways, with a few new elements I thought would be neat, plus some suggestions for using it with specific games. I haven’t actually tried it out yet, but I want to, especially for the next time I’m starting up a campaign of a game like D&D that has minimal built-in support for such things. So, this is a rough draft, and I eventually want to do a finalized version with an extended example and maybe an illustration or two. I might even get into more copious examples and d66 tables eventually, but we’ll see.

Update (2/1/2012): I made some smallish changes to Entanglements based on trying it out for a Wushu game a while back (which was tons of fun, but exposed a few things that needed refinement). I also added some stuff about group setting creation and expanded the section on using Entanglements with specific RPGs.

Download Entanglements (PDF)

5 thoughts on “Entanglements

  1. I am wholly and completely in favor of this. I feel that doing it in D&D is a bit of a lost cause, but the D&D group that meets at my house has soured me on the possibility of actual roleplaying occurring. After all, it gets in the way of optimizing the character. :( Whenever you complete this, I would like to give it a try, though by its very nature I feel that it is optimal for long term games with a great deal of story to be told.

    1. You’re making me appreciate the D&D games I get with my other group. We don’t role-play as much as we have in some other games that focus on it more, but we do a good amount of fun RP.

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