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Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture
Danger Point fear
Danger Points

I'm having an issue where it seems like the players aren't using hero points as often as they should. It seems like one of the basic mechanics for hero point gain is selling unused dice. The issue is that this results in danger points as well, which I think I might have scared them off of.

Essentially in the first session I introduced one of the most basic uses of the danger point (increasing the necessary amount for a raise) during a risk I wanted to feel dangerous. The players were still able to get through the risk without any huge consequences (they took a few more wounds than they otherwise would of, but all of the narrative consequences were avoided). Nevertheless I think it really shaked them that the GM has the ability to casually up the difficulty like that.

Since then they've been treating selling unused dice like a deal with the devil, despite the fact that I often forget to use all of my danger points each session, which I worry is causing an overall hero point shortage.


What experiences have you guys had with the hero/danger point economy, should I be worried that my player's are gimping their own access to hero points, or are they right to fear the danger point?

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Salamanca's picture
There is no selling, only buying. You do not need player permission to buy those dice. Their worry should come from your refusal to buy them leaving the shorthanded. You have a number to start with to ruin them anyhow. So I recommend a review of the cool stuff they could use them for before the session, then load them up by buying far more than you could ever spend and don't abuse their use. If they still don't get it, hand hold asking about actions that could benefit their use for a bit. The real key is to make sure they almost always have one to use.
Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

Well, if my players were scared of danger points then, they're going to be terrified now. But at the very least it should encourage them to use the hero points I'm giving them, rather than treating them like a very limited resource.


Should also help to remind myself to use the danger points as well, since I won't feel hard pressed to save them for the most dramatic moments.


Guess I misinterpreted because the rules were describing "buying" the dice, which implied that the players had a choice to sell them.

NeoTanuki's picture

"You do not need player permission to buy those dice"

Salamanca, can you point to the page reference in the book you're referencing for this? I was looking at page 177 after looking at this thread, and didn't see any wording that clearly indicated to me that players are compelled to sell dice to the GM if the GM wants more Danger Points.

This is just my personal preference, but I would be uncomfortable as a GM saying to a player, "OK, you've got an extra dice. You have to give it to me; I'll give you a Hero Point and now I've got another Danger Point." That just doesn't sit well with me. 

I may have missed something in the rules saying that the player has no choice in this, but even so I think I will stick to giving my players the choice of saying 'no' to buying a HP with an unused dice or not. If I was playing, I'd feel very uncomfortable with a GM who reached over, grabbed my dice and said, "Oh, hey, I need to make things more difficult for you. Gimme those. Here's a Hero Point." Obviously a GM shouldn't do that anyway...but still. 

Lord Rumfish
Lord Rumfish's picture

That's exactly how my DM rolls.  He buys up our unused dice all the time and both sides of the table at some point during the game get stacks of points to spend.  Somewhere towards the middle of the session he suddenly slows down and stops buying them, and interestingly both sides of the table start dwindling towards the end of the session.  It's kinda like high tide coming in and going out.  And yeah, he uses them quite often to increase the difficulty to 15.

NeoTanuki's picture

I posted a question on Reddit about this, and Michael Curry was kind enough to respond:

"Order of operations goes like this...

Player rolls dice.

Player makes Raises using their dice.

Player informs GM how many Raises they have, and how many unused dice they have.

GM buys any number of dice they wish.

It's important to note a few things. First, just because a set exceeds 10, that doesn't mean you can't add more dice to it. If you have a 5, 6, and 1, you can use all of them in a set to make a 12. You don't have to make the 1 unused. (emphasis mine)

Second, you don't have to make sets if you don't want to. If you have a 5, 6, and 1, you don't have to use the 5 and 6 to make an 11. You can say "I have no Raises, and three unused dice."



The intention here is that the player is the master of their own destiny, but the GM has the final say. The player sort of bets on whether or not the GM will buy their dice.

"Hmm. I need Hero Points badly. I'm in a sword fight, and I'm really good at it. Hey GM -- I'm willing to completely flubb my Weaponry Risk. I have no Raises, and I have 12 unused dice. How many Hero Points are you willing to give me?"

Any answer that the GM gives is valid. He could say "Have 12 Hero Points, I'll take 12 Danger Points." Or he could say "I'm not buying any of your dice."

But regardless of what the GM says, the player doesn't get to change their mind."

So according to Mr. Curry, when creating Raises, a player does have the choice to include all of his dice for Raises--even if they are not needed to do so--if the player does not want dice left over for the GM to buy. The player does not have to surrender them as surplus dice to the GM if the player does not wish to.

If the player does choose to leave unused dice, the GM then may either buy them in exchange for Hero/Danger points or not. But that is up to the GM. 

And once the player chooses to offer the dice to the GM, the offered dice can't be taken back and used by the player if the GM decides not to buy them. 

That interpretation works for me. :)


Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Wow, I don't think I ever realized that the "Purchased unused Dice" was only the GM's choice. I've been playing it as the player's offer up dice and I choose to buy them or not. 

I suppose technically the players could just use any extra dice and add to existing dice pools (Nothing in the rules as far as I can tell says that a Raise is the least number of dice needed to add to 10 or more, so a player could make a Raise from a 5, 4, 2, and 3 and have no leftover dice :)

I will be going with the rules as written though from now on!

Easl's picture

Neo, you found the right page. The fourth bullet says "For each die the GM chooses to buy..."  So, it's GM choice.

Salamanca's picture
Mind you, they should be minimizing what you get by optimal combinations. But nothing g makes them more miserable than turning them down on the offer and denying them hero points. But as a GM, DON'T SPEND JUST TO USE THEM. Save it for when it counts and leave yourself with a pool you never get around to so they stop fearing the consequences. The more they spend, the more you buy to supply. Burn them to do cool villain stuff that may not directly effect them. You want the players to stop thinking of you as adversary and more as facilitator.
Rossbert's picture

I never did quite get that mechanic in general.  I think it is poorly explained. I'm assume the GM keeps the number and just adds it to their pool?

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I like Michael's explanation and will use it.

Salamanca's picture
I don't agree with the idea of tossing extra dice just to keep them out of the GM's hands. That works against the whole concept here.
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, not a big fan of the idea that you can keep stacking dice once you've hit a 10, but I do like the rest of Micheal Curry's explanation on the process.

I was under the impression from the get-go that it was the GM's choice of whether to buy any unused dice, and how many to purchase, after the player had declared their Raises.

As for spending Danger Points, I've also never seen it as a requirement that I need to empty the pool; if there's points left over when the session ends, that doesn't mean I've failed as a GM, but rather that my players were successful enough to overcome the challenges presented before I could use them all.  Or in the case of one adventure, they were clever enough to make it so the Villain couldn't make use of their various special tricks that would be fueled by Danger Points (was an undead witch that the party hexe pretty effectively shut down).

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Matt's picture

I really don't agree with adding in dice after the target number is met - it seems to go both against the spirit of the system and the examples in the rules.

The example in the rules appears to clearly show that, while you can make up sets from dice that add up to more than 10 (e.g. 7+4), you stop adding dice into the set once the total reaches 10 (or 15 if applicable). The example shows several sets made up in several ways, none of which add extra dice just to make sure all are used. There's a definite bias on the example towards limiting the unused dice to as few as possible, but no indication implied or otherwise that you can just keep adding in extra dice so that they are all used.

Running by the rules as they appear in the book, you get a nice ebb and flow of Hero and Danger Points going throught the session. Using Michael Curry's explaination, it's perfectly possible for the players to completely stop that flow, at which point you may as well do away with the danger pool mechanic entirely. The system is already geared towards PCs being successful in the vast majority of their rolls - they do after all only need 1 raise to succeed at anything they attempt - for the most part the only thing they're going to be spending additional raises on is mitigating consequences - even on 2 dice they are, on an average roll, going to succeed. All allowing the players to block the Danger Pool does (and lets face it, given the option, no player is ever going to leave an unused die if they don't have to) is to encourage the GM to stack up higher and higher consequences to make up the sense of pressure that the normal ebb and flow of danger/hero points gives anyway.

I'll be sticking by the Danger Pool and unused dice as they appear in the book, and ignoring the system designer's Reddit explaination - becuase frankly, that  explaination is nonsensical when put beside the rules and examples as they appear in the book.


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