Hello Gamers!

Hello Gamers!

Hello Gamers! I’ve been watching and wanting to GM blades for a long time, but just now finally getting to be a player a bit before doing it myself… so Yay.. but I was wondering for when it my time… I get that the position should be set according to the fiction and all that and as the players choose to raise it, they have higher effects or consequences… etc… however, IS THERE an average number of actual “Desperate” rolls a player is allowed to have per game/score? I mean, we know balance is considered differently and all that compared to other systems, but is there a point where one person or the whole group having more than say… 75% percent, or more, of their rolls set in the desperate position and what that looks like if “risky” is usually the default? Is that like a fast game setting so that folks can get achievements faster and what happens to those who fall behind in getting ticks to get achievements also? I’m thinking about introducing this to my D&D group and know 2 of my powergamers are goinna “pull on this” before I even start… What were/are the expectations for “Leveling” by default? Thanks!

11 thoughts on “Hello Gamers!”

  1. There’s no limit to the number of desperate rolls a player can make. If every single roll they make is desperate, that’s awesome! It means the game is tense and high stakes, which is super fun. Yes, they’ll be racking up a bunch of XP, but it doesn’t confer as much of an advantage as leveling-up in D&D is. And eventually, they’ll fail a roll and suffer some serious consequences and probably play a bit more carefully after that.

  2. The players can get themselves into as many desperate positions as they want and their harm and stress tacks can absorb. Bear in mind, anything but a 6 means their taking major harm and/or a serious complication.

  3. GM chooses position and effect based on player choice of action and the fiction. The players should not be setting position and effect. As for Desperate — IMO, these rolls are best used as spice and not main meal. There shouldn’t be a lot of them; not because they convey XP but because fiction overall works best if there are ups and downs. If 75% of the rolls are Desperate, it just feels like there’s not the proper build up of tension that good drama needs.

  4. A PC might get the option for increased effect by dropping to a desperate position. Depends on the situation. It’s not a system that applies to every roll.

    Also, the PCs don’t have to have similar advancements. Nothing breaks in the game if one gets more xp than the others.

  5. The thing to keep in mind if one player keeps pounding the Desperate actions is that they can easily hog the spotlight as they address the complications their actions raised. Try to raise complications that need another PC’s help or fall into another PC’s expertise to spread it around.

  6. When the player rolls a 5 or less on a desperate position, that is level 3 or 4 harm (or an equal complication). Sure some groups do it (Cariless Firm).

  7. PCs have the option of trading position for effect, and that will usually result in an uptick in Desperate rolls for a bit, especially if someone takes Daredevil. As a GM, don’t be afraid to REALLY drop the hammer on failed Desperate rolls. They should be self-limiting, in that either a character that fails a Desperate roll suffers horrific consequences or harm, somehow manages to survive it, and says “well, let’s not do that again if we can help it.”, or they suffer horrific harm and don’t survive, and the other PCs say, “well, let’s not do that again if we can help it.”

  8. What Ben Morgan said. And be declarative about the Consequence before they roll, and make it nasty. So they have the choice set before them, and as a GM you don’t have as much inclination to get soft-hearted and walk back the severity. “You want to jump from this rooftop to that rooftop? Okay, that’s Desperate. Consequence will be that you overshoot and fall through a skylight, taking lvl 3 Harm. Are you sure?” If you tell them and they do it anyway, its not on you, right?

  9. Arne Jamtgaard This is exactly what happened to our group two sessions ago. Two of our PCs (one of them was mine), were attempting to gather info by breaking into a place in Whitecrown. A combination of one player (NOT me) insisting on pushing things to Desperate (for effect, as well as the extra die from Daredevil) and REALLY bad die rolls saw the both of us getting shot in the back by Bluecoats and left for dead in a dumpster for the Spirit Wardens to collect later. We managed to limp home, but we weren’t happy.

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