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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 205 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: (Champions/Hero) Stakes before Sim...  (Read 20796 times)

Posts: 24

« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2005, 02:39:30 PM »

What you state is very close to a the model I was asking about at the beginning.  Stakes as "scene framing"  with the "Just so you know, here is the worst that can happen" talk.  Great way to put it.  What I was wondering is whether or not this was a legitimate use of Stakes... or is Tony's model the "true" model and this is some other kind of technique?

Sorry to answer so late, x-mas business... well, I would say it realy depends on the game that your are playing. There is no true model, I think and I second some answers that are already here with this,

I started including Stakes and somehow light conflict resolution in my HERO games because I only play Champions with one other person. At a scale like this, with a game like HERO you always have to fear for a total-party-kill (well this is very easy with one player) because the dice came up very bad.

So I was confronted with a massive problem and my answer (after reading some of these fine indie games out there) was asking before combat, why he fights, for what and what would happen when he would get KO'ed (we houseruled that with killing damage you only get maimed etc. no final death). Well the funny thing is, in the end we came up with bad stuff that would happen to him, to other people and so on conforming to some sort of story code.

I borrowed this from capes in some way... one rule is that if he fails someone can get in danger because of this but he will have a chance to safe the day. (At least when we play Anime-like Superheroes). If he realy fails miserably and gives some great input in what would happen I hand out more XP, Luck Points etc.

ok, I also incorporated the circles mechanic from burning wheel and use stakes often in social situations. As in Sorcerer (I borrow a lot from other games :) ) I like to give a bonus for good narration. I will listen to how the player thinks the character would do it, then tell him my vision of what will happen if he fails his roll, which is often not that the character fails his intented action... but more that something unpleasent will happen too.

Like the example in sorcerer & sword were the one character does not fail to impress the girl but gets unwanted attention by the baron... or something along these lines, I do not have my book at hand.

I think you could say that the use of stakes in a game like HERO is possible, and the use of Conflict Resolution is not disallowed (not supported... well that's a different story) but you have to learn how to use them to be most effective. In combats I set the stakes before the first turn, but as I learned, some scenes of Roleplaying during the combat can throw your pre-set stakes out of the window.

Example: Player has a character similar to batman, and fights with some ninja-like henchmen in the dark streets, after he beats down two of them with his mighty kung fu he has the idea of telling the third ninja he could tell his master that he's coming for him. (He doesn't know about the HQ of the master at this moment. I asked him if this should turn into some sort of hunt. Well as it turned out he was cool with it and then we changed from normal champs combat with stakes "he beats them and analyses their gear etc. or the beat him and he gets into a trap...  I always liked the old batman TV series :) . into some little scenes where we would test 3 or 4 of his characters skills... but I told him that the moment he decided to hunt him. Well an athletics and a breakfall roll later he lost the ninjas trail, but he was cool with it... well... this is the way you make yourself enemies :D (The ninja who run away became a named character)

I switch often between task (used in combat) to conflict resolution (most often used out of combat) but I like to set stakes for longer tasks... we do not play often and I absolutly do not know how this would work with more then 2 players (my maximum of players) but since I changed to play like this, it is less work for me because the players have their input too.

The only thing I wish for is that I could play more games like the one with the ninja to work on my GMing abilities because my last game was long long ago... (holiday business :) so much stress )


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