Trust in the Ocean Game

BTavern over on the Pelgrane discord asks if we’re using the Trust mechanics from Night’s Black Agents in the Ocean Game. It’s an excellent idea, since the Ocean Game’s a contest between players and only one person’s going to reach Briny Heaven – but they have to work together until then. So, while the Trust rules aren’t in the Ocean Game book, let’s adapt them here.

Assigning Trust

When creating your character, you allocate five points of Trust among the other player characters. This reflects how much you trust them.

The character you trust the most gets a Trust of 3; the character you trust the least gets a starting Trust of 0. Next, give up to two other characters starting Trust scores of 1. (If there are more than four players, you don’t get extra Trust to play with; if you’re three or fewer, then excess Trust is lost.)

At the end of each round of play, you may reallocate one point of Trust; extra Trust can be bought with experience. Spend Trust refreshes each round.

Trust isn’t necessarily bidirectional – Bob might have three points of Trust in Alice, while Alice has only one point of Trust in Bob. (Consider what that says about you, Bob.)

Ideally, assign Trust before starting the Induction phase of the Ocean Game.

Using Trust

If a character who Trusts you is in the scene with you, you can spend their Trust in you on any General Ability test, or on Investigative Ability spends. You can also spend Trust if you can justify that you’re relying on the other character (Alice always keeps a spare gun around the house – I’ll spend Trust on Preparedness while searching her house). If you both Trust each other, you get a +1 on Co-operation or Piggybacking.

If another Ocean Game Player trusts you, you may spend 1 Trust to intuit their approximate location in the Outskirts or Outer Dark.


When you betray another character, you turn their Trust in you into Betrayal. You may then spend from this Betrayal pool; each point spent can

  • Give a -3 penalty to a general ability test made by that character
  • Counter a use of an investigative ability by that character
  • Give a +2 bonus to one of your general ability tests made against that character

Their Trust is in you is negated by the betrayal, and can never be restored.

Should you enter a Red Ruling – the endgame of the Ocean Game – then everyone you have Trust in knows it, no matter where they are – and they may choose to Betray you in that moment of transcendence.

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