SotC Hack #3: More Consequences

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is another stress track hack.

I like Consequences. They make damage more flavorful, AND they're aspects, too, so that rocks. The default SotC stress track and damage system makes heroes extremely tough and hard to hurt -- which makes sense for pulps -- BUT this means they don't have to take consequences very often. I want to increase the frequency of consequences and also make conflicts a bit faster and more decisive.

To do that, I changed the stress track to a tweaked version of one Fred proposed for the upcoming Dresden Files RPG.

Each level has two boxes. When both are hit, you take the consequence at that level. So, if you take two '3' stress hits, you take a Moderate consequence.

Having high Endurance doesn't add stress boxes, it lets you take more consequences before being taken out. The right side of the graphic -- the circles -- shows this. By default, you can take one of each consequence (then the next one takes you out). If you have Average or Fair Endurance, you can take an extra Minor consequence. If you have Good or Great, you can take an extra Moderate (as well as an extra Minor). And Superb or Fantastic gives you one extra consequence at each level.

We tried this out last night and it worked great. Conflict was fast and furious, and we started taking consequences (I took a Severe early on). It seems to work just the way I wanted it to. If you want faster conflicts, this might be the thing for you.

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Blogger Unknown says:  

I'm trying to grok this.

You get into a fight, you take a level 1 hit. You take another.

Do you take a consequence then?


You take another level 1 hit. Does it shift up to the next level, or hit a consequence? Does it only shift up once all your available consequence have filled in?

Blogger John Harper says:  

Yeah, I see how it's confusing.

You get into a fight, you take a level 1 hit. You take another, which rolls up to 2.

Now both boxes are marked, so you take a Minor consequence.

You take another level 1 hit. It rolls up to 3.


I like this system, but I'm starting to think that there's a more simple solution. I'll probably post another version soon.

Blogger Unknown says:  


Out of curiosity, how many default boxes are you using on the stress track for your SotC game?

I'm getting to games running: one a sort of pulp-spin on Amber, and the other a straight Century Club thing. For the Amber deal, I'm sure 5 as the default is a good way to go, so folks feel tough enough.

For the straight SotC game, though, I was pondering a base of three, and that 'buy down the damage by taking Consequences' trick that Fred's mentioned.

Blogger John Harper says:  

Yup. We tried the "buy down" thing last night and it's my favorite so far. We're using a regular base-5 track, but I think a base-3 would help make conflicts more punchy and dangerous.

Blogger Matthew says:  

Do you (or could you) use this in combination with the -2/-4/-6 hack?

I like what I see here, but I'm worried about PC Manuever, PC Maneuver, PC big roll attack to take out a Big Bad that I want to stick around a bit longer, so I'd want the NPC to be able to back away from the Taken Out. I guess I could control that with Fate Points played defensively, just as PCs could...

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