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Matt Gromer
Matt Gromer's picture
2nd Ed Rules - Loves & Hates

Hey all! I know the community seems to have mixed opinions on the new rules. What do you think? What are you going to change? Will you stick with the riles from the book? Or adapt a different system entirely? Let's hear it!

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Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Odds are, we are probably going to never know what the consiqunces are before having to decide.  Though with the new fail system, that might have to change... I don't know.  I find the rules fairly refeashing, but their was one thing that wasn't explained in the QS that came up a couple times.. and that was what happens when you hit 10 dice, and get another one?  Or do you roll 11?

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

I'm going to stick with 1st Edition and just use some house rules to help polish things up a bit. The only thing I like about 2E mechanics currently is that they streamlined the skills (I always thought it was weird to put points into Swinging or Leaping for example).

I posted this quote over at the Kickstarter page because I think it makes an excellent point of why, in my opinion, the current rules do not work; I contend they fail utterly in their attempt to empower players to play the role of Heroes.

"What’s more heroic: Charging into a situation that you know you can’t lose, or charging into a situation that may very well kill you?" -John Wick, Play Dirty Page 53

7th Sea 2e isn't about playing Heroes. Heroes actually risk their lives when they run into a burning building. They're Heroes because there's a chance of failure and despite that, they still run into that burning building.

7th Sea 2e is about playing stunt performers. Sure it may look like it's dangerous, but it's really not. You swing on a chandelier over a safety net, crash through breakaway glass, or run into a building with cgi fire. The QS rules refer to these actions as Risks but that's a very misleading term because you're not risking failure. You're not tempting fate. You're performing a stunt.

Assuming a character has a trait of 2 and a skill of 1 and is using their skill for the first time in a scene, they're rolling 4 dice. That's nearly a 99% chance of success. Those are the traits and skill of a novice character who just put a single rank in a skill. Any character utilizing skills they're specialized in with corresponding traits will absolutely never fail unless they choose to.

I believe a game about heroes should allow for players to take actual risks. 7th Sea 2e's mechanics do not allow for that.

WookieeGunner
WookieeGunner's picture

Sorry if I'm necro-replying, I just stumbled on the forum yesterday.

 

When I was reading through the QS I got a totally different feeling than "That's nearly a 99% chance of success."

 

Let's look at the two big examples they give.  First running through a burning building:

 

PC1:  I am going to run through the burning building.

GM:  Ok, the flames lick across your body, doing 2 damage as they caress you like the Castille Courtesian you once knew. 

Now, let's look at the mechanics.  Traditional RPG, PC rolls dice, on a critical failure they trip, on a normal failure they take full damage, on a success they take partial or no damage.  Now let's look at it from 7th Sea 2E rules, it takes one raise not to make it through the room, and more raises to take partial or no damage.

 

Example 2, the rusted lock:

PC2:  While Diego is getting hot and bothered, I'm going to pick the lock on this cache and get us some weapons.

GM:  Ok, you start to pick the lock.  The sea spray has frozen the tumblers and it is hard to tell which will give first, the lock or your picks.

Now, let's look at the mechanics.  Traditional RPG, PC rolls dice.  On critical failure, the lock picks break, on normal failure nothing happens, and on success the lock opens.  Now let's look at it from 7th Sea 2E rules, it takes one raise for the lock picks not to break and another to successfully open the lock.

 

The first raise is to counter what other games would resolve via their critical failure rule.  So yes it is easy to get, because at least one risk is designed to rarely happen, just like in traditional RPG's there is a rare to happen critical failure risk.

CrazyOldWizard
CrazyOldWizard's picture

From my understanding that would be an average of two raises?  If so wouldn't the consequences eat that up right away? 

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

The point isn't that the consequences would kick in. The point is that the player will always succeed at what they're trying to accomplish and then potentially have to deal with consequences. It's a very predictable system that actually makes the dice rolling boring because you have a very good idea of how many raises you'll get. I've read multiple posts on Reddit and in the Kickstarter comments that support this, so it isn't just my own personal experience with the game.

I really love 7th Sea's setting and I think John Wick's a genius when it comes to worldbuilding but the mechanics just don't appeal to me.

Morgan Wolfe
Morgan Wolfe's picture

Yes, they explode if you have Rank 5. I like having them always have the chance to explode :-).

We may give the 2E system another try, but right now we're leaning towards the 2E setting with 1E rules (and our one house rule -- keep the higher of Trait or Knack instead of always keeping Trait).

Morgan Wolfe
aka Capt. Doña Sir Kestrel of Avalon http://silver-gateway.com/7sea/

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

I agree 100% on dice explosions. I also like that house rule of yours. The only house rule my group normally plays with is that the initial drama dice given out to players cannot be cashed in for XP at the end of a session. This helps discourage hoarding and gives even more incentive to earn drama dice during the sessions.

Duncan Hecht
Duncan Hecht's picture

In my opinion, consequences are more realistic than simple failure.  For example, if I'm faced with the option of running into a burning building, I can evaluate the consequence before I take action, knowing full well that I could suffer burns.  Maybe if I announce that my intention was to run into the building, climb the stairs as they burn, pick up the infant from the bassinet and leap from the window into a hay cart, and roll once to effect it, that might be unrealistic.  But if I run into the building, I know the consequence will be smoke inhalation, with a high chance of receiving burns.  Climbing the stairs while they burn carries a consequence of igniting my clothing, further smoke inhalation, and burns, and collapsing the structure.  Snatching the baby from the bassinet should be an opportunity that I have to spend a raise on.  And while I can (if I haven't taken so many wounds that I'm helpless) leap from a window, landing in the hay cart should be an opportunity, while the consequence would be twisting an ankle, dropping the baby, and carrying something incindiary out to the street which spreads the fire.

Mental-Mouse
Mental-Mouse's picture

I really hope there is more danger and risk of failure than there is presented in the QS, but as things go It would not be hard to work with if there is not.

Though as the QS states, there can be multiple consquences per Risk, depending on difficulty. Also Imagine situations like fighting on a ship during a storm may cause a player to always have to expend one raist to remain upright, leaving fewer for avoiding other consquences.

Morgan Wolfe
Morgan Wolfe's picture

I'd only require that for characters without a relevant still. Someone with a sailor skill shoudln't need to work as hard as someone without it to keep their footing :-).

Morgan Wolfe
aka Capt. Doña Sir Kestrel of Avalon http://silver-gateway.com/7sea/

Landrew Logan
Landrew Logan's picture

I'm hoping for some big changes in the mechanics that I see.  I know the old rules are far from perfect, but without house rules we're still using them every week.

El Vago
El Vago's picture

For me, I think I am going to make my own "Edition 1.5" to play. 

Loves about 2e: No more knacks; just use skill. 

Skill > Trait

Sorcerer / Swordsman doesn't cost most of your points.

Roll and Keep everything. 

Lukewarm on 2e: Making Raises. I'd rather just count the total.Nothing like rolling three 9s to make you upset in 2e. 

Does NOT Like about 2e: Story-Game-esque "Dice-Bidding Commitee" taking turns, one d10 at a time, going around the table until all d10s are exhausted to finally reach a resolution as to what happened in one round of combat. This works okay for non-combat situations (and may make them more dramatic) but for Combat, Errol Flynn would roll all his dice, keep them, THEN he'd make his attack. It would either succeed and do damage or it would miss, and we'd all get on with the round. Things move FASTER this way. The faster things move, the more we can say it is cinematic. 

All weapons do the same damage. We get it, Riddic can kill you with a tea cup. But my character ISN"T Riddic! Why bother picking up a musket when there is a teacup sitting nearby? Why bother using a sword when I can punch for the same damage? At the very least there should be some sort of mechanical difference between the weapons. As for amazing improvized weapons, I think that should TOTALLY be a thing, but only for people who WANT that to be their thing. In fact, that would be a good special ability for some Sword Schools (like it was in 1e).

Seeming lack of tactical (mechanical) options in combat. In 1e, Lunges were cool because they did more damage. In 2e for some reason a slash makes you gain Hero Points instead of doing damage (if you choose). WHY? This doesn't make sense. What is it about this move that makes you get Hero points? In 1e, Double Parry gave you a drama die if you took a risk to make a Parry with a raise. Tag gave you a drama die if you blew your action making a difficult roll to embarrass your enemy. BECAUSE IT LOOKED COOL. So you see, there was an actual explanation for why it worked that way. There needs to be the same consideration for dueling mechanics in 2e, otherwise it seems like the special effects of different fighting moves were chosen at random with no regard for what that move actually ought to do. 

 

El Vago
El Vago's picture

So what I probably will do is keep the things I love. 

For the Dueling mechanics I will keep it like it is in 7th Sea 1e for the most part. Maybe everyone gets a set # of actions per round (3 for Heroes / Villains, 2 for Henchmen, and 1 for Brutes). Active Defense only costs 1 Action. You roll 1d10 per action per round and proceed in order. 

I will keep knacks for individual Sword School Moves, but the cost would be mitigated. So if in 2e each dot in a skill is 5 points, each dot in a dueling knack would be 2 points. So you still might want to learn Lunge, but you can still just use Sword as a skill and be fine in a duel. 

For the world, I will also be keeping the things I love in 1e and adding in the things I like in 2e. So I will add the Sarmatian Commonwealth, but keep Castille and Vaticine City, etc. as is. 

Brian Rosenberger
Brian Rosenberger's picture

That is our plan also. We loved the Roll and Keep system but will modify it for the new skill system . As for the setting I will keep what I like form both and chunk the rest. I personally love Villinova and Verdugo as the villians ( We play mainly in the Areas around Castille and Vodacce) and am a little disapointed that the rich history of 1st Ed. was pretty much thrown out. Also I want a completely unsettled New World. I want my players to be the ones that explore a new and exciting land with out it being full of colonist . I want to explore a new area and find its people without the safety net of a group of fellow Theans just over the last ridge to back me up if things go wrong. 

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

I'm going to jump in with both feet and get a home game going again using the new system.  I'll run it and see how it stacks up.  I'm certainly not going to abandon it based on a quickstart.  I need to see just what all is encompassed in 300 pages.  I am sure there will be some tweaks to something but there were in the old system too.

 

for those that are new to the setting, I think it will be a ton of fun.  but your resource of all the old system in PDF is a great tool as well both for mining plots and NPCs as well as to get a rough feel for some of the setting material while we wait for the various sourcebooks. 

Now, my convention schedule has me helping run a living campaign in 1st edition and we will be holding to the old system for that as much because we are 6 years in and don't really want to fool around with creating conversions for 200 PCs. 

Mental-Mouse
Mental-Mouse's picture

They way combat is described does sound rather boring to me. I like me weapons with some difference in them and for there to be manuvers to exist that add some flair and risk. Hoping that the full rules provide some more crunch or variety. Hoping it doesn't turn out like Numenera, Where I do enjoy the setting but loath the rules as its all kinda of boring to me.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

John Wick is chatting with us on RPG.net IIRC and just gave insights into Sailing Ships and Combat rules:

[JohnWick]: Boarding a ship is just another Action Scene.

[JohnWick]: Ship-to-ship combat is an Action Scene. A duel is an Action Scene. Escaping a burning building is an Action Scene. The ship only gives you specific advantages when it's present. Just like another character would, except it's a character everyone can access.

[MarkDiazTruman]: The ship is like the set on an action movie. It matters, but it's not going to define success or failure... unless something about the ship is relevant in a specific, narrative way.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Landrew Logan
Landrew Logan's picture

Yeah that's not helping any, the old ship rules were a little light but worked, now it appears they will be all but non-existent.  The way the new system plays I wonder if we need a system or dice at all, and if he couldn't just save the space and make them all setting books.

El Vago
El Vago's picture

It seems way too "Story-Gamey" for me. This news about the ships compounds that. 

KC Krupp
KC Krupp's picture

But really how often did you actually use the ship-to-ship or advanced naval combat rules in 1st Ed? Or the Mass Combat rules? Or even the Chase Rules? A lot of the rules were just unecessarily convoluted. All he's saying is that things are streamlined down and handled the same way most groups I know addressed naval and mass combat anyway: Rather than rolling for wins and losses the GM just made the naval/mass battle part of the scene/scenery and ran the scene the same way the handle any other combat scene with Rounds and Phases.

Brian Rosenberger
Brian Rosenberger's picture

As my group plays mainly a single Pirate ship and Crew that tends to hunt down Inquisition ships we use the Naval Combat system quite frequently. I think a game that is heavely influenced by pirates and exploration needs a Ship to Ship combat system . Just using it as window dressing is kind of a let down for us

Kevin Krupp
Kevin Krupp's picture

Based on what we've seen so far, ships are going to have traits just like they did in 1st Ed (John posted something about this on FB a while back.) When John says it's going to be an Action scene, I am assuming he means ships will work just like any other character...which is exactly what they were in 1st Ed; they made actions (move, tack, fire, etc) and you rolled your Traits to see if you were successful. Sure there were some advanced rules for calculating wins and losses, but that was more just icing layered over the top of the main system. It looks like 2nd Ed is going the same route, but it will follow the new Risk/Consequence approach. Your ship is trying to fire at the opponant ship, the other ship is trying to manuver away, you roll, your ship spends it raises to deal damage to the opponant ship and the opponant ship can spend its raises to either ignore some of the wounds you've dealt (the crew frantically patch the holes or the shot sails just the main deck) or to put more distance between your ship and them (their intent.) Now I'm making a lot of assumptions since we haven't actually seen any rules for Ship-to-Ship combat yet, but if it's "just another action scene," I imagine that's how it would go

For me, personally, I hated the 1st Ed ship-to-ship combat rules. I ditched them and unless the heroes were actually crew members for a ship (or the captainof a ship) I treated ship scenes as just any other scene (after all they weren't sailing the ship, so why would they care about playing ship-to-ship combat.) In the case I did need to to ship-to-ship combat I used a custom set of rules.

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

My group HATED Mass Combat Rules and Ship to Ship combat rules.  I really never looked at the Ship Rules, and only VAGULY at the Mass Combat ones.. because i wanted to play a character that used the two Eisen Mass Combat schools... but never did becasue I knew they would never get used.

Also, are games are typically more stroy-oriented anyhow, and if my GM wanted to beat me in a duel, he could.  I went into a duel with my Drexel Eisen against a small montainge using, Val Rou I think?  First blood match... and he slaughtered me.  I was a character BUILT for combat, with a few non combat things set up, and I lost to someoe who had it as a passtime.  GM knew how to work the dice, and use the 'cheat anyways' rules.  

I am looking forward to the new rules.  I can't wait to see how they add to the game, and what our group can do with even more freedom then we were allowed in 1st.  I know durng the QS, sure, we always succeeded on our Intent, because my group didn't like to fail, but we added things to the scene for each other, played our characters (The Swordsmen ALWAYS used his raises to protect his sister before himself).  To people that say it is too perdictable, it really isn't any different then the old system.  "TN 20 to hit... roll 8k4.  Using Averages, you can assume you hit based on that."  So people saying you can perdict your Raises, isn't any different then perdicting your chance to hit a certain TN in 1st.

Radagast el Pardo
Radagast el Pardo's picture

My group hate Mass Combat an Ship to Ship rules too. We use a bunch of house rules to run mass combats. We love mass combats, it's very "seventeen century", hahaha.

Артемий Семенов
Артемий Семенов's picture

Yeah, in 1e you could also predict possibility of hitting some TN. But at least you knew that you could have ~30% of success and be awesome if you won't fail or take two less raises to make it 90% and not so awesome.

In QS both you and GM know how many raises you get with 80-90% possibility, so it's like playing AW with no roll results except 7-9 (success, BUT). 

Radagast el Pardo
Radagast el Pardo's picture

About predicting the results, I have to say that every player tries to predict the outcome. Every game has its odds-table for consulting. I think the point of this 2nd Edition is to adapt the Consecuences of a Risk... to become a true risk.

Anyway, I think every group will end up using their own home rules, just like it's done everywhere. A 1.5 version, hehe.

I remember "A Song of Ice and Fire" RPG. Fans soon get a collection of rules for solving a lot of issues poorly developed by Green Ronin. In fact, the spanish edition, by EDGE, adapted mostly of these rules, many of them discussed in the official forum.

 

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Might I ask for some examples of those rules in GR SOIF?  I have only played it a handful of times, but own the core book.

Radagast el Pardo
Radagast el Pardo's picture

For example the absurd rule that allows somersaults with heavy weapons and heavy shields. In the original Core, a character cannot do somersaults in armor... but it says nothing about doing them with a tower shield in hand (as it's considered a weapon). Absurd. The fact is that characters can achieve a Defense above 20 ... and Jaime Lannister, one of the best swordsmen in all of Westeros, has it around 13.

Another rule is about valyrian steel. I don't remember it precisely, but with the original rule, a valyrian blade is a real widowmaker (much like a magic sword in D&D). A simple blow and, as we the spaniards say, a family in mourning. This's not realistic. It never appears in the books that a valyrian sword has a greater damage score (significantly) than a good quality sword.

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

I don't remember the thing about Heavy Shields and Armor and the like, so I won't comment.  As I said, I ahven't really played it, and I haven't busted out my core book in a while.

However, in terms of Valyrian Steel, it actually does talk about it's magical and superior make.  In games I believe it dealt extra damage, but VS could easily cut through normal blades.  So, having it in game be a extra damage dealing weapon made sense.  And yes, given the fact that combat was much more lethal in SOIF from what I remember, having something that dealt an extra 2 damage with a successful hit, hurt... and those blades shouldn't be given lightly.  

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

I love the fact that everyone gets a Virtue and a Hubris now.  Having to choose between them led to lots of Hubristic heroes and very few virtuous ones.

Radagast el Pardo
Radagast el Pardo's picture

Virtues? There were Virtues in the Core Book??? winkdevilwink

Артемий Семенов
Артемий Семенов's picture

Loves:

- Sane-sized skill list

- DEATH SPIRAL

- Brute squad rules

- Price drop for swordsmanship and sorcery

- Both virtue and hubris for everyone (were homeruling that before it was mainstream)!

Hates:

- Predictability of the roll.

- No minigames: i'm against overcomplicated battle systems, but having few additional mechanics except "core" roll would be great. But I hope that some special mechanics for duels/boarding/sailing/mass combat will appear later.

- No room for AW's 6-: it's always 7-9 or 12+, 80% depending on GM's will due to predictibility. 

Hopes:

- I hope that 2nd ed won't have the same shitloads of metaplot as 1st had.

Bradley
Bradley's picture

I can agree to the hope of 2e not having a bunch of meta. We are talking about a planet with a lot of disconnected peoples. Why would they all be connected by some great secret? There isn't some secret conspiracy connecting all the people of our world together. All there is for us is a lot of expansionistic regiems connecting people together and the meeting and mingling of ideas that then occured.

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

That we know of. Amirite?

Kidding aside, I tend to like games that give you hooks for that kind of thing, but leave it to the GM to fill in the blanks. Some players just like that style of globally epic story.

Bradley
Bradley's picture

Hooks are good. I like hooks. That can lead to interesting stories. I don't want a book that has a story with a 'Insert Character Here' vibe to it.

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

I like Meta.... but I already said that in several posts.  An come on, their is ALWAYS a global conspiracy and secret that bounds the world together.  

Doctor
Doctor's picture

"There isn't some secret conspiracy connecting all the people of our world together."

Or so they would have you believe... *whistles X-Files theme*

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Jordi Estefa
Jordi Estefa's picture

I would like the Death Spiral to reflect non-physical damage as well.

Lazarus
Lazarus's picture

The interesting discussion of Core Game Rules:
http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/comment/531#comment-531

Toine
Toine's picture

What made me back the Kickstarter is the fact that the players always succeeds unless they choose to fail. It is a refreshing way to look at roleplaying from a rules perspective. The point of make i dice roll is to find out how well you succeed.

Abjourne
Abjourne's picture

I think the problem isn't in rolls & raises probabilities but with Risk presentation.

I intend to (as a GM) Present the Risk for a given scean as a rank, say 1-10 instead of listing a bunch of concequesces & opertunities before the players roll for raises.

This allows the players a sense of how risky an action will be without "giving away the farm", It gives the GM some time to create concequences & opertunities in a more organic way, it forces players to choose or pass concequences & opertunities in a more tensious manner.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I've thought about doing something similar. I've thought about giving risks a difficulty from 1 to 3, which should leave a few raises left for big consequences and opportunities. But I'm going to see what the full version of the rules has to say about risks. It's certainly too early to make any big judgments about house rules.

Abjourne
Abjourne's picture

also it allows players to create oppertunities if they roll well, in the spirit of the games history.

 

Shammara Blanchard
Shammara Blanchard's picture

It seems a bit too loose, with not enough mechanics to tighten up potential pitfalls.

I am not super into the community dice building AT ALL.

And the R & K system from first edition appeals to my personal preference in dice systems.

There is a bit too much player agency. The GM has a lot of work to do to balance consequences and opportunites.

The system may be good but it needs a lot of work in my opinion from the QS.

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I find the new system great. I've always been one for playing fast and loose with rules and mechanics but I've never been much for going as unstructured as Fate and its ilk. I feel 7th sea offers a system that complements my style quite well. The consequences system is a great way to keep things interesting without shutting down creativity.

I understand a reluctance towards easy victories, but I think consequences work well to keep things intimidating.

Is something really difficult or dangerous to accomplish? Make them pay for achieving their intent. Don't look at it as a novice acrobat able to jump around like an assassin's creed character, make their success hurt through consequences rather than just hitting them with failures. Make them really consider, "I probably could follow the villain up the cathedral if I wanted to. But at my skill level I'm likely to be down at least a dramatic wound or two by the time I get up there from the consequences. Is it worth it to fight him already beaten or bruised from the climb or should I risk him getting away by taking the time to take the stairs."

 

If something is truly dangerous, I wouldn't be entirely adverse to making consequences entirely lethal. Theoretically you could sprint through that trap-filled hallway and make it to the other side to grab the treasure, but if you don't pass all the consequences it's incredibly likely that each and every one of those traps will make it so that more of you is splattered along the hallway than made it to the end, and grabbing that treasure is likely going to be the last thing you'll accomplish before you die of poison and blood loss.

 

I suppose my one recommendation for the system would be a guide on how to balance consequences based on skill level. Things like how many consequences to inflict on a risk a player rolling 6 dice should consider fair.

Personally I'm finding half the dice number rounding down is usually a fair number of consequences to set. Then I typically add one opportunity. (Though I might go for more with risks involving a ton of dice to keep things interesting) This is because it seems that on average 2 dice equal one success. So for a 6 dice risk, I'd set 3 consequences, and one opportunity. This means that since intent costs one raise, and average roll will still require a player to accept a consequence, turning it into more of a risk allocation. While sneaking into the mansion, do you risk attracting a guard by showing up in his periphary by accident, or do you avoid him more thorougly by gritting your teeth and diving into the rose bush to take a wound from the thorns? Of course, this encourages the player to roll above average (which is where hero points and proper use of advantages come in.) to avoid all the consequences and even achieve the opportunity I offered them. This also leaves room for a worse roll where the player may have to eat up two or even three consequences.

 

The game design is less about making the players worry about the possibility of failure, instead its about making them worry if their success is becoming too costly for them.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
OK, most of you new folks have not seen the material at the back of the original GM guide so let me sum it up. Killing the player characters is the worst thing you can do. It leaves the player without the personality they have invested time and creativity to build. It removes any plotline you have spent time building for that character forcing you to start over. It breaks the trust built between the players. It puts you in an adversarial seat with that player. And it lets them off easy. There are far, far worse things you can do to a character. Ruin their good name, make the children of Theah throw rocks when they pass, cut off their alliances and leave them adrift, pit them on a raft and literally leave them adrift, lock them in a cell and make them play out the sentence. But leave them the hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. They don't need to know that light is another train until it's too late.
Shammara Blanchard
Shammara Blanchard's picture

I have played enough RPGs to know that info. I don't think you should kill the characters.Unless it is Paranoia. Hell, even in Shadowrun you should try to keep their sorry butts alive. :-)

But the 2nd Edition system seems to be able to create Heroes who never have anything bad happen to them. At least that is what it looks like to me. And that is not fun, in my opinion. There have to be real risks and it is going to be complex to balance that against high aptitude characters. Heroes can be too powerful. 

And a lot of that is my personal preference towards tighter rules systems. I like mechanics to keep the frays in line. 

Doctor
Doctor's picture

I think the key is to make the consequences of success appropriate and, in many cases, a significant deterrent to just "winning all the time." In the original QS, there is a line saying "Do not use them [consequences] to turn a success into a failure." I agree with that statement only insofar as it is given an incredibly narrow interpretation. A character who devotes her Raise to success is entitled to succeed; she is not, however, entitled to survive or even succeed with all her limbs and loved ones intact. Consequences are about turning "yes" into "what is it worth to you?" One of the most important distinctions in the game is between "succeeding" and "winning;" in many other games the two are one and the same but here they can be very different. Replace the idea of "difficult" with the idea of "expensive." Keep ideas of success and failure tightly constrained to the task at hand, do not wrap the idea of winning and losing into them. Most systems assume that "success" means the goal was achieved without significant loss to the character: don't carry that assumption over to this system, a character can succeed and die, or succeed and lose an arm. I think once we get the zen of that, it will look a lot less like the heroes always "win."

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
It also helps to remember that you do not have to link the character troubles to a risk. You can roleplay around the need to roll dice and do terrible things without asking for a roll. Risks ate for when the player initiates an action in a dangerous setting. Risks are for avoiding being left helpless by a poison. They still get weakened or hurt, they just don't die. Risks are not for those double jeopardy situations where the bad guy let's you choose to shoot your partner or the innocent stranger. (Their choice of action may involve one but the choice and consequences are just going to happen)
Landrew Logan
Landrew Logan's picture

I think I love and many of my players will hate story based progression.  Its something I think all GMs want, and we try to direct experience points to reflect.

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