[Let’s study: Curse the Darkness] System Part 3: Memory Points and Between Points

Posted: March 22, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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As established in the previous articles, death happens with terrifying frequency in Curse the Darkness. He watches through some unknown, inscruitable means and his attention (and subsequent wrath) is represented in game as well.

This is represented by Between Points. Players can give the GM Between Points at any time in the game in exchange for the ability to refresh an Attribute. This represents His attention, and once enough have been gathered, he can make live difficult for the characters. This doesn’t always mean a Removal Challenge, but it could be the case.

Between Points are also gained when certain other circumstances happen, such as when a Removal Challenge takes an action that lights a candle but fails and stays in play. Or when someone Opens a gateway to or from the Between.

This mechanic is pretty neat as it does help build the idea of the dread of being subject to His eventual ire. The harder players struggle, the sooner He’ll notice them.

There are ways to remove Between Points as well, including taking a moment to focus, meditate an shift the character’s attentino from anything He would find objectionalbe. I’m not sure if this is a trick that people would inherently know, but it is in the rules, so I suppose characters would have a fair chance of doing this.

Characters in a Removal Challenge can also take an action that Lights a candle and succeed to reduce the GM’s pool of Between Points as well.

Memory points are the currency that can help players generate sections of Wick in order to make the essential choice to light a candle. Memory Points are gained by discussing characters who have left play, via a mechanic known as Memory Conversations.

A Memory Conversation is triggered when a player (speaking in-character) talks about another character who has left play. The character who initiated the Conversation gains a Memory Point, and every character who contributes a meaningful and distinct piece of information on the dead gets one Memory Point as well.

Memory Points also have other uses, including spending them on Removal Challenges to remove cards from the Resolution Deck, or to Refresh one Attribute.

These two mechanics are pretty crucial to building the tone and themes of Curse the Darkness. The Memory Conversation mechanic is one that I find to be very interesting as I’ve yet to see anything like it in most games. The idea of remembering the dead (like an impromptu funeral) is a nice touch of holding on to something essentially human in such a bleak world.

Next week, we’ll take a look at Scenario and Character Generation, and hopefully be able to tie these all together to get a comprehensive review of Curse the Darkness.


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