lots of Lingering Penalties

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lots of Lingering Penalties Submitted by pansophy on Mon, 19/11/2012 – 02:46

Hello Forum,

during our last session the players hat a lot of bad luck and ended up with heps of Lingering Penalties, most at the -3 (Hurt) or -6 (Impaired) level.

Since every Marginal Defeat gives a -3 (Hurt) Penalty, it was very easy to accumulate so many of them, the players were no longer able to pull off even basic contests.

So, I either made the mistake of coming up with too many contests during one session, or I do not get it right.

 

Any advice of you guys how you handle it? Also, can you give some example Penalties and how you phrase them? Maybe I phrase them too broadly?

Any help is appreciated as this is currently a big issue at our gaming table.

Thanks! 🙂

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Lots of penalties is perfectly fine

Submitted by RoM on Mon, 19/11/2012 – 04:07.

Lots of penalties is perfectly fine. Imagine yourself in the realworld having a really bad day at work. 8 hour shift plus 4 hours overtime, difficult customers, angry boss, computer crash, no AC/heater etc. In the end of the day you are really tired – and you will have a lingering penalty on almost anything.

Some penalties (most of the -3) will go away just by spending some recreational time. For bigger penalties you will have to do something actively: reconcile with your boss, persuade the IT guys to put your computer ticket on urgency level etc.

For a narrator that means: don’t worry giving your players penalties, but give them the chance to heal again, too.

The easiest way to apply penalties is by giving it to the ability used in the contest and similar abilities. All kinds of combat for a sword or pistol failure. All kinds of social abilities for a failure in a public speech or in a negotiation. However, that is not the way you *have* to do it. Sometimes a complete defeat in a duel will give you a reputation/social penalty rather than a combat penalty. You could apply the penalty also to the means of reaching the goal instead of any specific ability. So any defeat will leave their daily life intact but makes it harder to accomplish their mission.

Cheers

Robin

 

So I did it right …

Submitted by pansophy on Mon, 19/11/2012 – 06:00.

That’s the way I did it. One player character started out to ruin the communications array, tried to find a manual in the computer database only to get frustrated and annoyed by his own inability with computers. So he set out to fix the antenna by hand, without any help – and broke his leg by climbing the mast in bad weather.

This all more or less rendered him prettyy much useless for the rest of the evening – and the otheres did nor fare much better.

They decided to take a break, wait for the next morning and start fresh and relaxed (so all of the -3 penalties were gone). It did not help too much, but they rolled a lot of 20ies … Nothing I could really do a lot about it.

I think next time I will use the optional rule to roll higher instead of lower to have a marginal success. Otherwise I do not see a lot of a benefit of augmenting a contest.

— 

cheers,

Rob

RoM's picture

Yes, you did it right.

Submitted by RoM on Mon, 19/11/2012 – 10:39.

Yes, you did it right.

I think the “high wins rules” is indeed the better rule. You said the reason yourself: augments work much better that way.

Also remember the success-failure-cycle. When your character had a really shitty day, make the contest in your next session a bit easier to give them some feeling of success.

Besides that players have to live with defeat and penalties. That’s life. 🙂

 

RoM

Thanks!

Submitted by pansophy on Tue, 20/11/2012 – 03:59.

wouldn’t it be awesome, if the player’s dice would come up with low numbers next time 😉

The next session will definitively be a lower opposition …

Also, it helped thinking of states of adversaries/victories like this:

+3 = penalty/bonus affectes the character on a personal level

+6 = penalty/bonus affectes the character on a group level

+9 or bump down = penalty/bonus affectes the character on a community level

It helped me to come up with something different than the usual stuff (sprained muscle, bruises, broken limbs, broken equipment, etc) and instead some diverse lingering effects came into mind (like “coward”, “anxious in darkness”, “regarded as a fool”, “loss in reputation”, etc.). Even the players now have a better understanding on what the tables could mean.

HeroQuest is a complete different game. It takes a lot of time to get your mind around it – but when it “clicks”, it is just awesome.

Bad thing these “clicks” come in dribbles, and I sometimes really could need a steady stream. 😉

— 

cheers,

Rob

Herve's picture

Bruised and battered, but still standing

Submitted by Herve on Mon, 19/11/2012 – 13:12.

I agree with Robin – you handle it right. SXXX days happen, and only rising above this can the PCs prove their mettle. Indeed give them some time to “heal”, and set a low difficulty level for the next contest.

As for rolling higher = success, even I have began to apply this rule, inspired by great gamemastership by (also Great) Ian Cooper. It all flows more easily.

Almost laughed out loud while reading the misery your PCs went through. Did they exorcize the dice, KoDT style?

Cursing the dice

Submitted by pansophy on Tue, 20/11/2012 – 04:02.

Did they exorcize the dice, KoDT style?

Hahaha, would have been an option. 😉 They were cursing and calling out names at them. Was fun to watch. Then they exchanged them, I did that as well – to no avail. It was just a crappy day … 😀

BTW: did you put up the nice Glorantha map you got at the Kraken? How does it look like?

— 

cheers,

Rob

Herve's picture

The nice map from Kraken

Submitted by Herve on Fri, 23/11/2012 – 17:01.

This map now hangs from my living room wall, framed in a nice wooden frame, and I like to watch it from time to time. It’s one of a very few in the whole world and I like the idea!

As for dice, I saw a kickstarter for spinner dice. They’re rings which you slip on your fingers and spin for a random results. Love the idea, can’t wait to get one.

The spinning dice / Lingering Benefits rule

Submitted by pansophy on Mon, 26/11/2012 – 22:28.

Yes, I think Fabian posted a link and I was looking at them. They look nice, indeed.

 

In regards to the 1001 Lingering Benefits the characters collect during an adventure: I just came up with a rule the players can “cash-in” multiple Benefits that add up to a  +9 into a +1 to an Ability.

For example: a character has “+3 shooting”, “+3 using pistol at close range” and “+6 aim at vital organs”, he can cash-in these overall +12 benefits into a +1 to the Ability of “Firearms” (or write the Ability on the sheet (rank 13), if the character does not have a corresponding one).

Obviously this will have to reduce the amount of HeroPoints the players are handed out at the end of an adventure. I reduced them to 3 to 4. The players still get the 2-4 HP per game session, though. Only the higher amount at the end of an adventure is no longer given.

The Players can only cash-in Lingering Benefits at the end of an adventure. It represents the characters thinking about overcoming their latest obstacles and adversities and how they used their Abilities to become heroes.

Rules wise, characters will advance Abilities they use during an adventure and do not need to come up with explanations why they want to raise an Ability. It also encurages them to come up with good descriptions for Lingering Benefits, so they can be used for more than one Ability. Also, it represents a cheap way to raise an Ability for more than one point.

It is possible to raise an Ability by more than +1, if the character has sufficient Lingering Benefits that add up to multiples of +9.

 

Any thoughts?

— 

cheers,

Rob

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