So in the ‘Stairway Perilous’ 17 canon attribute playtest, I rolled out the ‘legend calling’ idea in lieu of auction. Players state OOC which other PC they either ‘envy’ or ‘fear’ and name the quality involved.
This worked pretty smoothly, when I turned it into a conversation everyone could comment on.
Every Player selects (once) another Player Character and chooses aloud that they either “envy” or “fear” some quality that this Player Character has.
The classic example is: Corwin says, ‘I fear Benedict’s blade.’
‘Calling Fear’ on a PC increases the PC a rank in what is called upon by the Player–but only for that Player’s Character. IOW, the increase effects no other PC but yourself.
‘Calling Envy’ on a PC increases the PC one rank in what is called upon by the Player. This increase becomes something everyone in the family validates and affects all conflicts. All five Players could choose to Envy Gerard’s strength and this would increase that quality five ranks for all conflicts.
Once again, the examples would be:
“I envy Gerard’s strength.” Gerard gains a rank of strength that affects everyone.
“I fear Benedict’s blade.” Benedict fights against Corwin as if he had a higher ranks than listed.
This made the game unique and offered roleplaying cues right off for a group of strangers in lieu of an auction cycle. Plus it meant the GM did not call the pregens 100% and provided surprises.
In the playtest, we had Julian envied for his ‘conviction’. Julian and the Players decided this meant his Pscyhe.
As this idea caught on, other Players chimed in with what they thought about other PCs. Deirdre was feared for her ax abilities (Warfare), etc.
This worked quite well and got everyone into the mood. I plan to use it again, perhaps in other games. What I like best: increase in stick between PCs and a power rush to hear how your ability increases right before you are about to plunge into game.