I’ve been thinking a lot about Grey Ranks. Central to the design is the need to mechanically and thematically mirror love and war. There are four Episodes of 4 Acts each, or 16 opportunities for players to increase Intimacy or (the opposite of Intimacy, help me out here – Brutality? Not sure). 16 slots to fill.

Intimacy is divided into Friendship and Love, Brutality is divided into Enmity and Hate. In any Act you can try for a single bonus die in any one category, but I’m thinking that only one player total can try for Hate. Also, it’s an escalating scale like Love, but you can only ever have a single “relationship” with Hate – you can’t take Killing twice.

There are 5 Hateful things:

Obedience. Blindly following orders, easy to achieve, the first step and worth no bonus die.

Violence. Causing harm. You have to be present for the act and its result to get the bonus die. +1

Killing. Causing death in combat. Shooting a German soldier. +1

Murder. Causing death outside of combat. Shooting a German prisoner. Assassination. +1

Derangement. Sadism, torture, trophy-taking. Forcing a priest to bless your rifle while you jam it under his chin. +1

So to get those 4 bonus dice, you’re going to be pretty fucked up. In contrast, bonus dice from Love are supposed to be plentiful and easy to get, although you have to work at it, since low level Intimacy nets no bonus dice. .

The three levels of Enmity (These are, I think, Polish compatriots only):

Antagonism (worth no bonus die)
Rival +1
Nemesis another +1

The three levels of Friendship:

Friend +0
Good friend +1
Best Friend another +1 (Only one Best Friend!)

The five levels of love

Crush +0 (interchangeable with Friend)
Mutual Crush +0
Sweetheart +1
Boyfriend +1
Lover +2

Theoretically a super stud could be rocking 3 lovers and 12 bonus dice by game end. That’s cool.

I’m also thinking that voluntarily submitting to Traumas open ends 6’s.

Grey Ranks: The Slots
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