Drives for the FERMI RESOLUTION RPG setting.

What I’ve been working on tonight, among other things. GUMSHOE tries pretty hard to keep the players on track to play, and Drives are a helpful way to do that. As the below notes:


Each PC follows a drive, a personal motivation giving him, her or it good reason to act heroically and curiously. By following your drive, you keep the story moving and ensure that your behavior is in keeping with the adventuring-investigative genre.


You instinctively act for the benefit of others, especially when they’re unable to help themselves. As far as you’re concerned, the fees your group earns for its jobs are just a means to an end. They keep the group operational and your companions sufficiently equipped to go out and do good in the world. Somebody’s got to go out there and keep things from getting bad, or worse – and it looks like you’re “somebody.”


This continent is full of ancient ruins, filled with miraculous technology from a vanished golden empire. The question is not, “Why are you going into the underground ruins?” It is, “Why isn’t everybody else?”


You’re in it for the action. What makes you different than a thrill-seeker is that you want to risk your life and limbs for something meaningful. Or at least cool. Exploring and looting old ruins qualifies; so does cleaning out bandit lairs.


Not just religious faith, although that’s a common one. You’ve got a moral code, and it doesn’t care for people just sitting by and letting the bad guys win. If you can help, you’re expected to help, and that is the way of it.


Money is nice. But it’s not as good as being known; oh, for the right reasons, of course. Money can’t buy you respect from your peers, or the wistfully envious glint in the eyes of kings and presidents as they contemplate your life of excitement and heroics.


It’s a rough world out there. Bad things can happen to good people. You can’t always stop it, but it’s for sure that you won’t let the bad guys get away with it.


Yes, you are in it for the money. And there is nothing wrong with that. Money is what powers civilization. The things you bring out of those ruins benefit society, which is why they’re valuable. You’re not going to apologize for doing well by doing good, and you are doing good.

Righteous Revenge

Somebody (it’s usually the Universal Dominion) did you wrong, and they will pay for what they did. The “you” can be personal, familial, tribal, national, racial, or any combination thereof: but you are emotionally committed to getting your revenge. As long as you don’t become what you hate. You’ve seen other people fall into that trap.


The world is savage, outside of the cities; and treacherous, inside of them. There are monsters and bandits and cunning traps and the machinations of the Universal Dominion, all lurking around the corner, or in the darkest portion of the cave. Pure death to the unwary or unskilled – and perfect for you.


The Old Americans may not have known everything, but they had answers to questions that stymie modern society. One of those answers might be in the next ruin. Somebody just needs to go get it.