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Nightly Vagabond
Nightly Vagabond's picture
Single actions
rules, risks, raises, consequences

I think I understand action and dramatic sequences well enough.

What confuses me a bit is when, through the course of normal play, a not-so-risky situation arises where a character's talents might be useful, and success or failure both make for potentially interesting twists.

Or perhaps when a single, brief danger is presented.

Let's take an example: A player is talking to a major NPC, but there are facets about this NPC that could lead to a new adventure entirely. However, it's not information the NPC himself is aware of.

These are visual cues the player could potentially pick up on. Whether or not the player character can discern what these elements mean, the story will continue to be interesting; it's just a matter of whether or not it branches off here. In such cases, we decided at the table to come up with a number of elements that could be illuminated, let the character make a single roll, and spend Raises learning about a number of elements equal to their Raises.

But that seemed slightly convoluted for such a thing, and it doesn't account for, say... A sudden, unexpected asssassin's shot going out at the King of Montaigne, which the players have a chance to detect before it's too late.

The idea there is that you have one chance to spot the attacker and shout a warning, and the assassin will disappear either way once the shot is taken. In this case, do you literally just GIVE it to them if you can't think of enough Opportunities or Consequences to justify a Risk?

Or is there something very simple I'm missing?

Perhaps it's simply my job as GM to come up with more potentialities to make a scene interesting, and MAKE it a Risk if I think a roll is interesting come success or failure?

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BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

I see you chose to fail this action.  Here's your Hero Point.  laugh

edit: Oh, so you chose to spend a Hero Point to succeed after all.  Carry on.

Ar E
Ar E's picture

"I see you chose to fail this action.  Here's your Hero Point."

Heheh this tickled me to no end when I read it. :) Yeah, something weird happened with my account being banned immediately; I suspect due to the account safety measure that is "email masking". It seems to have been rectified, but I'm a little confused; I was told to login through Google or something to have it restored, yet here it is.

Just in case I logged in through Yahoo anyway, so hopefully this is resolved and I can post future questions by merely spending a Raise. :P

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I think it really depends on how important it is for the player's to 'know the thing' as it were.

If it's just flavor information that enriches the setting....no roll, just reveal through RP

If it's something key to happen for the story to continue...no roll, just reveal through RP

If it's something the player's shouldn't notice for the story to continue...no roll, don't reveal

If it's something important that's truly "either / or" and the story continues in both cases...AND the heroes are already in a Dramatic Sequence...no new roll, spend raises to notice (with penalties for those not using the right skill)

If it's something important that's truly "either / or" and the story continues in both cases...I would make it a 'dramatic sequence' ahead of time as part of a larger one and then use the above...

The problem with an individual roll at the time is that it's statistically improbable that someone in the group won't succeed, so you're pretty much back at "Just give them the information or not"


BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

NV, what you are talking about sounds exactly like an Opportunity to me.

Really, the game does not handle individual rolls very well.  Even standard Risks feel a bit forced.  The scenario you suggest sounds tailor made for a Dramatic Sequence.  That gives the players a currency to spend for actions, consequences, and opportunities.

If you really want to break it down to an individual roll, I can imagine two ways of handling it.  You can have the player roll the dice and spend their raises on opportunities ("This thing could go a couple of ways.  Choose one."), create opportunities for other players ("Have you met my friend, Ted?"), or to steer the scenario in a different direction, tweaking the opportunity they've chosen in favorable or unfavorable ways.  Failure in these cases should be player choice.  

The other way to handle it is this: Take the player's dice pool (Trait+Skill) and roll a d10.  If you roll that total or less, the hero picks up on it.  Yes, this takes the agency out of the players' hands but for secret perception rolls, it should work just fine.  They either get the opportunity or they don't.  No mishaps or critical successes.  Those go against the tone of the game.

But otherwise I wouldn't concern myself with single action rolls.  Risks aren't worth rolling for unless you can think of at least two consequences to the action.

Alternatively, it occurs to me that the assassin could do the following: spend a danger point to increase the TN to 15 and apply Pressure to the scene.  Now any player who wanted to get a tip off needs to spend 2 raises to get it.  But even then, I would expect the game to work against me so why bother?

Ar E
Ar E's picture

Okay, thanks for both the replies. I think this clarifies things for me a bit more. I'm still in the process of shaking out of the age-old "roll for every outcome" method. Having to retrain my brain to 7th Sea's "influence the scene" method. :D

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Honestly, the only time the Heroes should honestly be rolling dice is "is the outcome important to the story and is there a chance of bad things happening to them?"

I struggled a bit with information-gathering checks for a Halloween-themed adventure I ran for some friends, since random "what do I know?" checks aren't really something this system was set up to handle.  Instead, much like the films, it tends to fall into one of two categories: One or more Heroes knows the answer, and expounds on it to the group, or nobody knows and they have to go off and do something risky to get the information.  In this system, I suppose you could simply tap the PC with the best Scholarship (or best Wits+Scholarship) to serve as the mouthpiece for the GM info-dump.

For the adventure in question, after running it I modified it so that the GM would simply parcel out the minor details to the Heroes, and then asking for rolls to get info from the local church and villages, with the Consequence being that several villagers would be incited to violence by the Heroes' meddling and in response form a Brute Squad to harass the Heroes; each Raise spent towards alleviating the Consequence reducing the Brute Squad's starting Strength by 1.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

This is generally what I go with. Depending on someone's skills in question I just tell them certain information, no rolls necessary. This can also be modified by other factors.

Like. Oh, you're a fate witch with a fair deal of scholarship, yes you've read legends about the Mad Witch that tried to use her magic to excise an entire island out of existence. Or, you're an Avalonian with the bard background, yes you know all the old songs and stories, including this obscure ballad the sidhe is referring to in his riddle.

Opportunities also work well for more circumstanstial elements of whether they noticed certain things. You can often use them in conjunction. For example, someone might have the opportunity to notice a pin a party goer is wearing, but unless he has a mercantile background or is Vesten, he might not realize that the pin marks him as a low-ranking clerk of the Vendel league.

7th sea has a lot of these paradigm shifts, including a great many actions that really don't require rolls, as opposed to many systems where a roll is standard for anything that has some degree of uncertainty (including just knowing facts)

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

It is apparent opportunity, if you do not want the adventure trigger automatically.

If you want it lead to another adventure, pick some Hero who notices it. Simple.

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