Here is a question for the group.

Here is a question for the group.

Here is a question for the group.

I want a simple mechanic to represent the threat of a surveillance state. Like a personal version of Heat. But, I’d rather replace a mechanic instead of adding more.

What if…

Stress was replaced by exposure. As you do things out of the ordinary, you gain exposure instead of stress. Instead of trauma, you blow your cover.

Does it make sense fictionally?

Other thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Here is a question for the group.”

  1. Benjamin Davis yes – I’m just floating this idea around because it would make the fear / tension of surveillance a constant presence in almost every decision a player makes.

  2. Doesn’t seem to fit.. fictionally, with regards to the mechanics. If what you said were true, then no one could gain exposure (or risk gaining it) when they take an action, since the rules for stress exist to track a game mechanic – the depletion of a limited resource for players – and is never affected by the usual fictional considerations. Furthering this notion, note that stress is designed such that there is zero chance of the player inadvertently taking stress – they have to choose to push themself or roll to resist.

    So in your game, using the stress rules and replacing it with exposure, would mean that they could never gain it without choosing to: the PCs could take any number of desperate actions, roll 1-3 on them all, and the rules would never permit the GM to assign even 1 point of exposure. Hell, they could literally try to blow their cover with actions, and never succeed (not without pushing themself, or rolling for resistance).

    Further, using those stress rules, and it being the only road to trauma, means they could never Blow Your Cover either unless they chose to. Given the name of the thing is “exposure,” you should look elsewhere in my experience. Personal heat is one option; but what it sounds like you want is less immediate consequences from action rolls, like starting and ticking clocks with names like “Exposed” or “Need new cover identity”

  3. Mark Cleveland Massengale I do agree. I’m also thinking about cover similar to gear or as an “action.” Perhaps a specific type of resistance roll.

  4. The latest incarnation is a “blown cover” clock as a consequence to some action rolls and also for devil’s bargain (bad opsec gets you an advantage, but risks exposure). The 4-tick clock works similar to harm, but the -d modifier is on engagement rolls. (or tied in to entanglement rolls)….still playing.

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