August 19, 2011

Wager of Battle

I’ve always liked the idea of players having input on the risk/reward aspect of their rolls in a game.  So I’m thinking of putting this back into Vivid (it was a component of Vivid’s ‘ancestor’ FLEX). 

In combat (and in non-combat contests where it’s appropriate), you can ‘wager’ how many Victory Points you want to win from an exchange.  The downside is, if you lose the exchange your opponent gets to win and apply the same amount of Victory Points against you. 

So if you’re very confident against, say, a squad of mooks, you can wager 3 or even 5 VPs.  Win them, and you’ve got enough to declare the entire squad defeated, the survivors running for their lives.  Lose, and – well, figure out how you’re gonna absorb that much damage. 

This mechanic will obviate having to codify such things as ‘all out attack’ or ‘cautious defense’ – such tactics are already implicit in the wagering. 

Now how to relate this to weapon/martial Secrets?  What if by activating the relevant Secret, you could get 2-for-1 on your VP wager if you win?


  1. I might not be fully understanding, but how do you prevent Players wagering a high amount against something they can beat with their hands tied behind their backs? What form does the reward take? Maybe I am misunderstanding that bit?

  2. The reward is, simply, the damage you do. So if you wager high when you're sure to win against a rabbit, you just expended a lot of muscle power and maybe strained a tendon - against a rabbit :).

    Against a group, though, high wagers can result in faster victories -- if you succeed. So wagering strategy against a group will proably be cautious, at least until you're pretty sure the group is weak enough.

    All these ideas are based on the realization that hit points function primarily as a pacing mechanic. So I let the players have a say in how they want to pace combat.


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