September 18, 2011

Hari Ragat/Vivid: More Tweaks

Slept most of the afternoon, after getting home around 1 a.m. then waking up at 5 a.m. to help wifey get ready for her trip.  Now that brain seems to be working again, I’ve got some more thoughts re. the system I used last night:

Bala Mechanics
Bots and Gelo were also recommending that the effects of spending Bala (spiritual power) be changed from adding bonus dice to actually letting you do a re-roll.  At first I was thinking this could be done by letting you re-roll your base dice pool, i.e. your Role rating, but I’ve had second thoughts.

I’m now in favor of retaining the bonus die mechanic, for two reasons: first, it keeps GM and players from having to remember two separate mechanics, and second, Bala is a resource that increases.  This is a challenge for players to find ways to gain more Bala.

Risk Dice
I’ve had two new ideas regarding Risk Dice and how their effects trigger. 

First, a Complication Roll by the GM: Whenever you take Risk Dice, the GM rolls that number of dice after your action to see if there’s a complication.  If any of the GM’s dice come up a 1, a complication happens.  This retains the low = bad, high = good mindset.

Second possibility: ‘Discharging’ the Risk Dice by either volunteering a complication, or letting the GM impose a complication.  Complications are worth varying numbers of Risk Dice.  So if you took 3 Risk Dice now, expect maybe one major 3-die complication later, or three minor 1-die complications, or any combination that adds up to three.

I’m kinda favoring the latter for its player authoring possibilities.

Role Ratings and Adversaries
Am wondering whether I was being too conservative with my rating of the PCs’ adversaries last night, or if the PCs were indeed really that powerful. 

I’m tempted to reduce the number of dice assignable to Roles from 7 to 6 or 5, the idea being that a lower base dice pool motivates the players to look for means to increase their dice pool on rolling.

On the other hand, the surprise performance of my villain, rolling only 3 to 6 dice vs. Gelo’s 10, tells me even a modestly-powered villain can be quite dangerous in a protracted fight. 

This also tells me I don’t want to go hog-wild in raising the dice pools of adversaries.  Freak rolls like last night can result in disaster for the PCs.  Also, there’s the basis of PC power to think of: player characters are only temporarily powerful, as running out of resources makes their power drop by a lot.

Compromise: what if I reduce Role budget to 6 dice, and make the maximum for any Role 5 dice?

Abstracted Bahandi
Players not so invested in the milieu won’t really care what items they’re getting as bahandi wealth.  They only want its utility.  The reason I was describing bahandi items in the table was to encourage players to describe their items.

So: instead of defining each bahandi item, we’ll abstract all this into a Bahandi rating, taken as an Asset.  When you offer gifts to important personages, or for courtship purposes, we’ll look at how many dice you’re taking from your Bahandi rating to judge the value of your gifts.

And – aha! Giving away Bahandi items gains you Renown equal to the rating that you’re giving away; but if you describe the items interestingly enough, you’ll gain some bonus Renown for it!


  1. Hmm. Ever considered using Bala like WEG Star Wars Force Points?

    Abstracted Bahandi is good, just like abstract Wealth is good.

  2. That's exactly how they're being used now :)


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