Okay, so GM describes a harm consequence in all its gorgeous gory detail.

Okay, so GM describes a harm consequence in all its gorgeous gory detail.

Okay, so GM describes a harm consequence in all its gorgeous gory detail. Player decides to resist and seamlessly recuts the scene, amending the fiction. Beautiful, fun mechanic.

But what if the GM describes the harm, the player takes it, but the player already has both harm boxes filled for that level. The harm needs to go up a step, but this would also change the fiction. That shoulder stab needs to become a stomach stab or something.

I know this isn’t the worst problem in play, but I find it still creates a bit of a narrative dust up, makes the fiction a bit hard to keep in sharp, punchy, focus, especially in an already chaotic scene.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Any hacks attempt to address this at all?

7 thoughts on “Okay, so GM describes a harm consequence in all its gorgeous gory detail.”

  1. My thought is there is nothing to address as far as Recutting the scene. I recall being told not to do that in the GMing section. When resistance occurs, don’t “undo” or “negate” the fiction of the failure, because it’s already been determined by the action roll. But I digress.. like maybe you just meant to indicate you would add something to the fiction to explain the lessened injuries. I think revision is occurring almost as the fiction is narrated in this case though, so I don’t see it as a problem. And if you haven’t by now, you will master how to incorporate this with time running this game.

    Another thought I have is that the fiction of injuries do work that way, because of the harm system. So if you already narrated the injury before it was noticed that an upgrade was necessary, I can see how you might be concerned about revising too much to fix things. To avoid this being jarring, describe how the injury was one thing, but then the other injuries led to a stumble or moment of indecision, and insert that fiction to deliver the new (worsened) injury. You might say it’s multiple of the same injury (“Pincushioned” instead of “Stabbed in arm”), worse injuries of the same type (maybe “Stabbed in chest”), or even totally different injuries (like “Eyes Gouged” or “Fractured Arm”).

  2. Mark Cleveland Massengale Oh interesting! I can’t see how you wouldn’t have to recut. GM says monster pulls your arm off, and you resist, there’s going to be some (at least implicit) recutting of that. Maybe consequences aren’t meant to be described that specifically? But in that case, that’s something that I think could be fun to improve. My experience with the resistance system is that it’s just an amazingly fun way to SHOW all manor of deadly threats to the players first hand (without having to have the ghost suck the soul out of a poor redshirt or something), while still being incredibly empowering to the players, who then get to “say no” and recut. I’m just curious if we can smooth it out a bit (why I posted in the hack channel), because sometimes there can be a little TOO much back and forth (DM: He rips off your arm! Player: No! I resist! I feel my shoulder dislocate instead and grit my teeth and… oh, wait, I already had full harm boxes… okay nevermind… he does rip off my arm… I guess.”)

  3. I think something that could help (that my Blades GM does) is announce the consequence before the dice are rolled. That gives everyone the chance to get a feel for how things are going to go before they go too far down the wrong path.

    This is part of our usual conversation before dice are touched. It also gives the scene more tension. “If I try this thing, and don’t get a 6, the monster will rip my arm off. Am I really sure I want to try this?”

  4. Isn’t the obvious answer here to wait until the harm’s marked down to narrate it? Other than that, I like to break up the actions a bit more, say for that monster example it could be more like:

    “And, that’s a two.”

    “So, you try to shoot, but the monster closes the distance faster than you expected, and deflects your gun, the shot goes off into the sky. You feel the beasts claws wrap around your arms, like a pair of vices. Do you resist?”

    “Yes…wait, no. I can’t all of my level 2 harm’s are checked.”

    “You try to muster your strength against the monster, but you’re already weakened by your various wounds, and you feel first your shoulders pop out of their sockets, and then the tearing of flesh.”

  5. Zachary Miller has the answer I use in my games. I may describe it a little, if the flavor fits into whether or not people want to resist, but I never go through the full fictional description of harm until exactly what level it is has been nailed down — so after a resistance roll, if there is one.

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