So, I’ve moved on from “Prelude to a murder” (because people can get dysfunctional families at home) and on to something else: a small short retro-SF larp set in a baroque space empire, inspired (of course) by Dune with design elements stolen from Warren Tusk’s Inheritance. Four or five leaders of Great Houses trying to convince an imperial representative that they should be the next people to run Not-Arrakis (its a waterworld, and it grows magic seaweed rather than sandworm shit. See? Totally not Arrakis. The weed must flow!)
For Reasons I’d like to make the question of how hard to squeeze an issue. Do the characters want to offer more weed to the Emperor in the hope of making their claim attractive, or do they offer to go easy on the local plebs in the hope of winning them over? But this in turn creates problems: in order to be meaningful, the decision requires mechanics (so characters can assess the costs and benefits of their choices). Worse, it needs more than just a repression-production scale; in order for decisions about how much to offer to be meaningful, there need to be opportunity-costs there too. In other words, I end up having to design an entire economy, which is more than I want to do for a two hour game. OTOH, without it, discussions about production, repression, and squeezing just become Arguments About Nothing, which Are To Be Avoided.
The easiest choice, of course, is to ditch the whole squeezing angle. But that takes away a bunch of potential plotlines. Any suggestions?