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Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Pressure
rulings, core rules, house rules

So, I asked John Wick how pressure works on Brute Squads.  He looked at me and his eyes glazed for a second, he grasped his bloody mary and blurted, I don't know... it never came up."  So we started brainstorming.

The first thing we agree on is that a player SHOULD be able to pressure a brute squad.  but with the squad not having actions to spend, they can't really resist which makes for never really needing to ever use them.  so this is the potential fix:

 

When a player applies Pressure to a Brute Squad, The GM may opt to let the Squad follow the command or they may choose to act normally but are reduced by 2 members.  (making it slightly more useful than just dealing a wound to the squad in a fight) 

I would further recommend a player cannot command a squad to turn on it's villain leader unless the leader has acted in a manner detrimental to the squad previously in the sequence (say setting fire to the room with them in it)  but can command them to surrender, stand down, or parley (I hate parley) 

SECOND ISSUE: Multiple Pressures on the same target.  A group may get it in their heads that if each of them commands the villain to do something different, it will stack up the pressures.  I recommend that multiple Pressure attempts cancel ALL pressure attempts.  a villain getting shouted at from all sides will probably ignore all of those orders and do what they wanted anyhow. 

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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Sounds like a nice fix.  Pressure costs a HP and a Raise, right?  Yeah, that should be worth 2 brutes.  I would also suggest that the GM should be able to spend a Danger Point to counteract Pressured Brutes, if only to provide players another way to whittle away at the Danger Pool.  

Which suggests a new Brute ability:

High Morale: These brutes are immune to Pressure.

Also, does pitting his brutes against the PC duelist constitute acting in a manner detrimental to the squad?

This all makes me wonder if brutes shouldn't have something like a morale score.  It would make a nice mirror to villains (Strength & Influence / Strength & Morale) but I haven't the slightest idea how one could impliment such a thing right now.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
I think brutes are contractually obligated to fight duelists. It's in the Union bylaws ( but they get a bonus and free medical for it). I was thinking more along the lines of being in a fight and the villain has the other squad fire into them, triggers the trap they are standing under or generally does something harmful to his own lackeys. I like that idea of spending danger points to avert it. That is a great solution. (Maybe one per 5 brutes would make the pressure more cost effective against big squads)
Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

I remember reading in the corebook that you cannot pressure a character that has already been pressured... I found it on page 176, under pressure rules, before the last paragraph.

The way I read it, it can also be applied to combat and it would solve the second issue of multiple pressure unless I'm missing something.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Well, to me, that is saying no without a great reason. If the player INSISTS, you get to show him why it was a bad idea. And we all have that player that thinks their plan is the better idea or does not pay attention to what the others are doing. Either way, I think Pressure is my favorite mechanic on the system.
Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Got a question for you then... something I just tought.

Imagine your character tries to seduce a noble and applies pressure so the noble pays attention only to you. Then, another character, a npc, comes into play and tries to seduce the same noble... something like trying to "steal" her from you. If he applies pressure and you apply pressure, the noble will get tired of both of you and exit the scene(like not paying attention to anyone like you suggested) but, what if you want to compete and win her over? How would you approach this scene? A simple risk seems... well, too simple and I really like the idea of pressure as stabbing(metaphorically speaking) the npc, so he can't win, while you use every trick in the book.

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

I think solution is simple- reduce threath of brrute squad by one for every raise villain has to use. Brute squad has automatic raises equal to dmage they deal. 

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
On the NPC Seduction issue: to me this reads as a turn of events that falls outside the "once in a sequence limitation". (Where the player has to spend multiple raises all at once to deal with the problem... Most commonly a consequence). Depending on what you want to do with this it could be a simple opportunity to spend as many raises as you choose with the high bidder winning. OR. We switch to an Action Sequence and have a social duel using convince, Tempt and intimidate to deal " social combat wounds" on the death spiral. (At which point it is less about tempting the target and more about shaming the rival). No notes in front of me but I would think there are a handful of obvious backgrounds that would allow use of the dueling maneuvers for this repartee.
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

well, the official word from the team from Gen Con on dealing with this is in.  

According to John we should...

 

WING IT.   

Yeah, he had a month and a half to work out a solutions since i asked at Origins and all he has is, "wing it".  

 

Lazy.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Thanks for the insights, @Salamanca. 

Maybe this is just the pressure of Gen Con talking, probably exacerbated by the stress of delivering so many printed books early, thus, forcing John Wick to think less about game mechanics and more about social pleasantries, like welcoming new players to the fandom. blush

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

I like this particular house rule, as I'd allowed something pretty similar in the couple games I've run, namely allowing a Hero to spend a Raise to reduce the Brute Squad's Strength by 2 for that round.

Since they're a Brute Squad, I don't see them has having a whole lot of "agency" in terms of what they can or can't do, so it's either "attack the Heroes" or "do nothing," mostly as a game construct to keep things simple(ish) for the GM and their nature as extras in the scene.  A Hero or a Villain can choose to act against the Pressure simply because they've got greater agency as befits the leading roles in a scene.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

Other options we are tossing around with Pressure:

Allowing the expenditure of a Danger Point (or Hero Point for the good guys) to remove the Pressure when there are not enough raises left in the round.

Allowing the villain to spend for Brute Squads.

Brute Squad reductions of 2, 4 or half.  Each has a valid merit.  2 equals the raises that would be spent.  4 doubles that to make it really mean something.  and half is always a valid amount for reduction.

Not allowing Pressure to be preformed if we have reached the point in the round where the target has fewer than 2 raises.  Effectively, it cheats the target out of an extra raise. (the one at the end of the round and the two being spent at the start of the next)  Alternately, you could allow the target to bank that last raise towards the pressure and charge their first raise the next round as well.

Mosswood17
Mosswood17's picture

I had thougth that a HP spent should net you something better than just another brute killed.  I was going to allow pressure on a brute squad to model things like sails falling on them (or tents dropped, or the ever-present chandelier!).  I was thinking you could just drop out their action for a round.  In particularly high-stress times that could help tremendously and buy players some time.  It would also encourage them to do cool things like dropping said objects on brute squads.  

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Interesting idea.

Now turn it around and ask yourself why you, as a player, would NOT pressure brutes EVERY TIME. Really, unless your back is against the wall, you would do it. Spend a hero point and the brutes can't affect you that round while you nickle and dime them? I would. So now the GM's gotta cook something else up to bother you, because brutes just became a complete non-issue.

But I do think you're right, that a HP should be worth more than just one more brute. Regardless of what I said up thread. But there as to be some balance where the option isn't too good to pass up. 1 more brute? Eh. I'll save my point (unless I have just one more brute). No damage from brutes that round? Done. Here's my ante for this round.

I like your idea in concept, I just feel the cost benefit is waaaay off.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

I could maybe see this as an Advantage, either 2pts with a restriction of only being used once per scene, or being more expensive and able to be used as long as you have Hero Points to spend.

But I agree, having it be a default option for a Hero Point makes it too good, especially if the GM is being generous with the Hero Points.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

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