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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 59 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: New rules for BDTP and Harm  (Read 17840 times)
dindenver
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2009, 09:31:47 AM »

Corvus,
  One thing that strikes me about your BDTP system is:
 - If you can't mix conflict arenas (fighty vs talky for instance), then who gets to decide which is relevant?

  I know you wrote the person declaring BDTP does. But what if both players want to BDTP?

  Its seems like you need an initiative mechanic. Or at least a trump mechanic to figure out who gets what they want first.

  I mean, it seems like you are writing this system to address the "mind control" issue (as well as to maybe address issues of plausability). But instead, you are just introducing another kind of mind control. I mean, if I am playing a ninja-like character and I need to steal a letter from you and escape, so I can deliver it to my master. Why would I ever fight you? But, if you declare a Fighting BDTP, then I have to fight you, even though my character never would. I mean its not needed for the mission, right?

  Just a thought, let me know how it goes for you.
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Dave M
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2009, 11:13:51 AM »

  That is a LOT of penalty dice. I don't know abuot your games, but in my games, I don't think my players could overcome the penalty dice generated by a 4 harm attack. But they could handle the penalty dice generated by a 4 harm attack in the old system. I think the creates a really powerful death spiral. If I am reading your correctly.
  And it doesn't really change the record keeping burden. I mean, it is easier to track a pool of dice, then to remember that one time when you need to make a Vigor roll and you have to do a one time penalty die. But you still have to track harm and penalty dice.

Presumably the Harm pool of penalty dice would be doled out in small drops, but if it was all used at once, well, that'd just mean that now it's gone - you probably lost that one check, but it also got rid of those dice. The opponent's goal is to make you gather a lot of penalty dice, so spending more of them to make you lose than he's going to gain by winning that check isn't going to be productive. His goal is to gain you more Harm than he needs to spend as dice, otherwise he's just spinning in place. In probability terms this means that if you have a '+' in your dice before the opponent decides to spend your Harm as penalty dice (essentially, he's deciding whether or not your character is feeling his wounds right now), in average he's going to spend one Harm to lower your result by one - it's a wash. If you don't have a '+' in your dice, he's actually going to be betting against odds if he spends that Harm. No, the only actual reason for spending the Harm would be to save his own bacon if you got lucky against him and he was low enough on Pool to want to avoid taking Harm himself.

Actually, looking at it this way, it might be a bit of a problem that a player wouldn't ever want to spend those Harm dice... probably would be an improvement if you mandated that all checks made by the player with Harm would have to have at least one Harm die. This way the Harm would slowly leach out if it wasn't being constantly added to.

Anyway, I accept your opinion on the record-keeping, it's an aesthetic issue. I'm myself more annoyed by look-up tables such as the Harm track than I am by piles of dice/tokens I can move around the table, but aesthetics differ.

Quote
  There are two other possible approaches you could use to reduce actual record keeping
1) Keep the harm track, but replace the one time penalty dice with removing a point from the relevant pool. The advantage of this is, you still have "7" as a meaningful amount of harm. The disadvantage is the recordkeeping is only slightly reduced. It does directly resolve the issue of tracking when to apply one-time penalty dice.
2) Make your pool your harm track. So that when you run out of pool, you are broken. the advantage of this is, it drastically reduces recordkeeping. However, it does mean that causing 6 or 7 Harm could be meaningless and you do have a bit of a Hit Point situation going on now.

Those are both options, yeah. Harm 7 can still be meaningful by forcing the opponent to lose outright. The lack of accumulation is more of an issue with both your and mine pool solutions - the original system is pretty relentless in that all characters will be out of conflict after a maximum of seven losses. It's certainly a different system.
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Paul T
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2009, 09:15:07 AM »

This thread has made me wonder:

How do you folks apply those 1-3 Harm penalty dice? There a few spots where I would feel unsure about applying them.

1. Let's say you fail an Ability check and take Harm 1. When you roll again next, do you take a penalty die?

2. Let's say you get into a BDtP, and take Harm 1 and 2 in the same round. Do you take two penalty dice for the next roll?

3. Let's say you get into a BDtP, and take Harm 1 and 2 in the same round, then immediately give up. Do you take two penalty dice for the next roll, in a subsequent scene?

4. Let's say you have Harm 5 and 6, then get into a BDtP and it "shakes out", leaving you with Harm 1 and 2. Do you take two penalty dice for your next roll, in a subsequent scene?

Finally: are these 1-3 Harm penalty dice Pool-independent?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2009, 09:57:37 AM »

I apply the one-time penalty dice to the next check made in BDtP - they are not applied after the BDtP ends. It's a minor issue, though, I don't think that you can play it too wrong whichever way yo decide to go with it.

The one-time penalty dice are Pool-independent, so they are applied to whichever check the player makes next.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2009, 12:50:13 PM »

Here is my very straightforward interpretation:

1. Yes

2.  Yes. Harm at Levels 1 to 3 are cumulative.

3. Yes.

4. Yes.




I like Eeros idea of harm dice instead of harm levels, but I am not sure if I understood it correctly.

I have this very simple idea:

The first three Harm dice can be used as penalty dice only.

If you have more than four Harm dice, your opponent can use any of them to deplete your Pool (even if the number of Harm dice fall below three).

If one Pool is depleted this way and you accumulate X more Harm dice, you are broken as if you got Harm beyond level six (X probably is seven).

The numbers here are mainly to keep symmetry with the old system. I have the feeling they might be correct.
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Paul T
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2009, 01:40:03 PM »

Interesting.

I thought there might be some disagreement over this issue.

My original reading of the rules had indicated that 1-3 Harm only applied within BDtP, but it can be read the other way, as well.

The main reason I brought this up in this thread is because I think it's very relevant:

If you're trying to apply those penalties outside of BDtP, there is a whole lot more to keep track of, and could get tricky. For instance, you must remember whether points of Harm on your sheet have "gone into effect" already or not--has your character suffered those penalty dice yet or not?
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Paul T
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2009, 02:03:18 PM »

And... one more question:

That penalty die from 1-3 level Harm, does it apply to the next action, no matter what, or only if the action is related to the same Pool?

If I take Harm 1 in a foot race, do I get a penalty die when I try to charm the princess after the race?

(I could see it played either way, and happily so, but it also compounds the issue of tracking this stuff.)
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2009, 03:50:48 AM »

I think it is very clear in the revised rules?

[...]one to three harm is bruised. This means on your very next ability check, you'll have a penalty die. These add up - if you get bruised twice in a round of Bringing Down the Pain, you'll have two penalty dice. Level four and five harm means your character is bloodied. All your abilities that are associated with the pool that you took the harm from now take a penalty die. If you are bloodied twice in the same pool, you still only take one penalty die. These do not stack. Level six harm means your character is broken. If broken, in order for your character to perform any action, even defense, you must spend a point from the ability's associated pool, and you still receive one penalty die to this action.

For the first 3 levels of Harm, the penalty dice are applied to any follow-up check. Only the penalty dice on levels 4 and 5 are bound to a pool, but they don't stack. The 6th level of Harm makes you pay a pool point for any action AND you get a non-stacking die.

The book-keeping question is interesting, but I don't think it applies very often. IME, players will simply negate single and double penalty dice, and tend to heal lower level harm on the spot. And it's still less to track than conditions in some other games that only affect you in cricumstances (although I would try to consider the penalty dice in the description of an outcome of an ability check).

Bookkeeping for the 1-3 levels is easy: just make a slash when you get the harm level, and turn it into a cross when you use up the penalty die. Someone with Harm at levels 1,2 and 3 who used up their penalty die at level two would have it like this:

PoolLevelEffect
_6
_5
_4
I3/
I2X
V1/

If you have loads of dice, just give people a yellow penalty die for one-off use, and a red one for the more permanent ones on level 4-6 (if you have loads and loads of dice, make it yellow for generic ones and green/blue/red ones for Vigor/Instinct/Reason)




My question would be: Do penalty dice from harm levels 1-3 stack with penalty dice from harm levels 4-6? If not, do you use the harm levels 1-3 for checks not covered by harm levels 4 to 6 or do they disappear as soon as you hit the higher harm levels?

I'm aware that these are edge cases and you'd be better off giving when getting harm on multiple levels in one round/volley of BDtP anyway.



The confusion about harm generating penalty dice outside of BDtP is probably due to the position of the Harm rules in the text. Since failed ability checks outside BDtP can have Harm as a result, I'd say all rules applicable to Harm are also applicable outside BDtP.
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Corvus69
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2009, 05:34:35 AM »

this is what I was talking about harm rules being messy and not very elegant. no one seems to get the rules right! the update is imho neccessary.

and dont forget the shaking down and rewriting the pools next to harm checkboxes.. pain in the ass.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2009, 09:28:23 AM »

I'm all for writing up the current rules cleanly.
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Corvus69
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2009, 01:28:19 AM »

Quote
Mortal level Harm causes a penalty die to all Ability checks and forces the character to spend a point from the Pool associated with an Ability to use it at all.
is this penalty die cumulative with penalty dice from minor and major harm?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2009, 02:35:24 AM »

I have all penalty dice be cumulative with each other. Most folks have the mortal/broken die be cumulative with the rest, I think.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2009, 05:00:47 AM »

Cumulating all the dice actually remove pressure from the victim, as they have a diminished effect after matching the base number of dice. In other words: You might have a bad result now

Removing the distinction between cumulating and non-cumulating dice also reduces house-keeping.

I'm all for it.
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Paul T
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Posts: 383


« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2009, 10:14:44 AM »

Wait a minute...

* Penalty dice are all cumulative
* The Pool only matters for Harm levels 4 and 5 (right?)

So, if I have Harm levels 1, 2, 4 (V), and 6, then my next roll will take four penalty dice, or three penalty dice if it's tied to a different Pool than my level 4 Harm.

And after that, I'll be rolling at one penalty die, unless I'm using a Vigor-associated Ability, in which case I take two penalty dice.

Is that right?

Now what happens if I also take Harm 5? According to the original rules, it doens't "stack"; in Solar System, it's not specified.
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Corvus69
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2009, 10:18:42 AM »

oh stacking *all* the dice (so harm 4 V and 5 V gives you two penalty dice to V?) really simplifies things, but it can be pretty harsh...
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