I've been thinking about this quote:
“The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself”
― William Faulkner
While I think it's overstated, I do really enjoy narratives that hinge on inner conflict. What I'm wondering is what systems drive toward this kind of play. I have a few initial examples but I'm interested in hearing more.
Burning Wheel Beliefs: The player announces what their character believes and the GM presents situations that challenge those beliefs or puts them into tension. Inner conflict occurs when PCs must choose one belief over another, or when a belief proves untenable after a change in circumstances. Most of the game mechanics and systems are about giving granular detail to the circumstances, but I think the core of play is the drama from conflicting and changing beliefs.
Follow: Players choose a shared quest, something they individually want from the quest, and something they need from another character. Most of the conflict is interpersonal (our reasons for being on the quest don't line up) but there is also the opportunity for inner conflict. My priority is X, but I also need the approval (or love, or tutelage) of someone whose priority is Y. The inner conflict arises from whether I care more about the relationship or the quest. Similarly, if another player (or circumstance) presents a way that I can fulfill my agenda without the quest (the mercenary finds a quicker way to get rich), I have to decide whether my commitment to the quest has extended beyond my personal agenda.
Of course, I think people bring this into a lot of other systems, often with little support. What I'm thinking about is systems that consistently bring inner conflict to the core of play.