I ran into an interesting phenomenon when running my bi-weekly Infinity: The Roleplaying Game. The game itself was a kickstarter and is currently shipping (check out the quickstart), though that’s not what this post is about.
By default, in the Infinity RPG, characters come from very different backgrounds, from the hyper-capitalist hyperpower PanOceania or the Neo-Anarchist megaships of the Nomad Nation to the rugged backwater nations of Ariadne or the cloning vats of Aleph, humanity’s sole AI. However, as per the standard design of the game, the characters will be working together in a supra-national team, usually dealing with crises that threaten the stability of humanity as a whole. This of course results in wildly different personalities and loyalties, something the game loves to play with. You see, there’s a layer placed on top of the normal special operations, diplomatic wrangling and rooting out alien infiltrators that the game usually deals with.
Every character has a handler (or more) that represents the interests of the nation state they ostensibly are loyal to. These handlers will provide side-missions to the character and that character alone. And that is where it gets interesting.