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RPG Moments of Awesome 6: M‑Space’s Conflict Pools

15 Jun, 2020


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Clarence Redd’s 2016 M‑Space is an SF table-top role-playing game. It uses the D100-derived Mythras Imperative game engine, which is to say it is a close relative of RPGs like Runequest , Call of Cthulhu , and Future World.

M‑Space uses conflict pools. They are fairly abstract tools to resolved extended conflicts between two or more people. These can be used to determine the outcome of any on-going conflict. These need not be restricted to physical combat. The detail that caught my eye was players are not restricted to one conflict at a time. To quote:

Using Multiple Conflict Pools
In some situations, you may want to use two separate pool values. Often it will be the main Conflict Pool, plus a pool for physical injuries.
Example: At a court duel, with a small gathering of spectators, two pools are used: One for physical injuries and one for social damage. While lightsabers dazzle, the opponents take turns insulting each other. One person may win the physical battle, but the rival can win the hearts of the crowd – opening up a lot of interesting situations in the scenarios to follow.

I don’t know if M‑Space style pools or the idea of running parallel conflicts involving unrelated skillsets are original to M‑Space but that’s where I first encountered them. The idea described above intrigued me quite a bit, which is rarer now than it was when I began role-playing.