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Overdrawn houserule evaluation and rules question

Started by Filip Luszczyk, September 23, 2006, 08:49:29 AM

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Filip Luszczyk

In this thread Eric Sedlacek pointed at the negligible mechanical consequences of being overdrawn:

QuoteThe dirty little secret of Capes is that the effect of being overdrawn is mostly psychological.   The mechanical penalty is negligible and remains so no matter how long the game goes on.  The thing is, most conflicts are resolved during the first page they are contested, so you can be overdrawn in page after page and end up never having to roll anything down.  Even when you do, it tends to be no big deal.

If you so choose, you can have a character permanently overdrawn in a drive and just use that drive as an endless resource for splitting dice.  But it is very psychologically difficult for me to see a huge pile of debt on my character, know that it represents pain, and not at least try to get rid of it.

Now, in my (limited) experience with the game I haven't yet seen overdrawn drives affecting player's plans negatively, and looking at the rules it's not very likely. I'm not fully comfortable with the thought that the only serious consequence of being overdrawn is this "psychological difficulty" - I think I'd prefer overdrawned drives to actually hinder players mechanically. Maybe it's because I initially interpreted overdrawning as a way to gain advantage from winning a conflict where other player staked by "damaging him".

I've been considering a houserule that would make getting overdrawn more risky - rolling down the dice at the end of the page, before resolving conflicts. That would certainly make generating debt and staking it more difficult choice, and consequently increase the importance of non-powered abilities slightly.

The question is - isn't it to harsh? I want overdrawns to bite, but not extremely strong.

And, just to be sure. Dice owned by the player are dice on the side he claimed, not only allied with, right?


You roll down the highest die on any side you are allied with for each drive you are overdrawn,
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Filip Luszczyk

Ha, this changes things. Using my houserule idea would be too dangerous, it seems.


Yeah, you can totally screw your friends, as well as your own plans.

I've done light testing with the "overdraw penalty at resolve phase" version, and it looks, to me, like it pushes much more powerfully towards a death-spiral for the character ... that they occasionally need to be put away for at least a couple whole sessions, while the player consciously dedicates himself to gathering the resources to "rescue" the character.  Which is a neat dynamic, but not the one I was hoping for.

I've been thinking about a "overdraw penalty after free actions but before story tokens" house-rule, but haven't given it enough playtest to know what sort of impact it would have.
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Filip Luszczyk

You mean, in the middle of the round, after normal turn of actions passes, but before additional actions are bought with Story Tokens? Yes, I may try that someday in the future, if the overdrawning will still bother me.