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Author Topic: [TSoY] Key of the Masochist  (Read 4789 times)
Ricky Donato
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Posts: 156

Just chillin'


« on: November 02, 2006, 10:31:52 AM »

Let me begin by quoting the rulebook:

Quote
Key of the Masochist
Your character thrives on personal pain and suffering. Gain 1 XP every time she is bloodied and 3 XP every time she is broken. Buyoff: Flee a source of physical or psychic damage.

It seems to me that this is an expensive Key. Being broken is a huge disadvantage, and will cost a lot of pool points to alleviate. 3 XP doesn't seem like a significant enough benefit to offset that penalty. Similarly, 1 XP seems like a small reward for being bloodied.

So this leads to two questions:

1) What is the justification for the Key? Am I misunderstanding something about it that makes it more valuable than I think it is?
2) If I modified the Key to be the following, is there anything problematic with it?

Quote
Key of the Masochist (Ricky's version)
Your character thrives on personal pain and suffering. Gain 1 XP every time she is bruised, 2 XP every time she is bloodied, and 5 XP every time she is broken. Buyoff: Flee a source of physical or psychic damage.
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Ricky Donato

My first game in development, now writing first draft: Machiavelli
Steve Segedy
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Posts: 97


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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 11:39:44 AM »

Ricky,

I think that modification works fine if that's the tone you want to set for your game (more experience faster, or fewer conflicts that go all the way). 

One thing to keep in mind is that once you're thoroughly beaten up (you've been broken, and probably have lots of wound levels stacked up), it's not hard to get broken again, immediately.  Without a lot of healing, even after shaking down harm, somebody only has to give you one or two hits and you're down again.  The XP falls like rain.  We've used this key in our games a few times, and the players usually have a great time, with their character pathetically stumbling from one beating to the next.

On the other hand, if you want something more heroic (where your character isn't beat up and pathetic all the time) it's not much of an XP earner, and the Key of Doom might be better (you're still always in trouble, but you don't have to lose).

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shadowcourt
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 12:27:13 PM »

I'll second Steve's comments on this one. I think the Key rewrite is fine, dependant on the style of game you're playing.

My two cents would be that the Key is a holdover from TSOY's 1st edition, where there was no Bruised condition, so it might not have been changed with that in mind. That said, I'd imagine that Bruised is fairly easy to get to-- but then again, so are some of the 1 XP levels for many Keys, which require, say, that you get up on a soapbox about some topic, or simply share a scene with another character or group.

On a related note, while I'm primarily familiar with TSOY's 1st edition, I'd imagine that Broken still isn't a state you want to spend all that much time in. Isn't it still the case that you automatically lose any direct contest you're in, once at Broken? Others' intentions automatically go through? And you have to spend pool points to take actions? That condition is severe enough, I'd think, that it might well merit the 5 XP payoff in some games. I can't imagine most players boldly leaping to Broken in a power-grab for 5 XP. And, if they do that too often, make it *worth* those 5 XP; have the bad guys sieze the opportunity, to really drive home the masochistic delight of being at Broken. That's when the villain takes his opportunity, kidnaps the princess, runs off with the gold, burns down your house, or kicks those kittens like he's been planning to secretly all along.

-shadowcourt (aka josh)
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Doyce
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Posts: 442


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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2006, 05:52:42 AM »

The rewrite's find, though you ought to remember that when keys are built as 1xp/3xp structures, you can hit them as often as you like, but the 1xp/2xp/5xp structures only allow you to hit the 1xp reward three times a session, so this rewrite isn't the powerhouse of xp-churning that it looks like at first glance.

Also, to Josh: you actually have to hit with Broken twice to be 'forced' to end a conflict.  You can (if you plan well) get a broken result and still pull out a win.  It's just not easy.
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--
Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
shadowcourt
Member

Posts: 153


« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 07:20:45 AM »

Doyce,

Good points, thanks. I feel wonky about the whole process, but if memory serves, you're only out of any conflict when you're Broken and have subsequently run out of pool points to spend to keep making rolls, so you're definitely right that Broken isn't the end automatically. Still, it's not exactly the most appetizing state to be in even once during a session, and I can't imagine the players that I know finding tons of opportunities to grind lots of tasty XP out of it without getting kicked around a lot. I guess it depends on play style, how frequently people are refreshing pools, and just how close to the wall your BDTP tends to go. Which is a lot of the fun of the whole roleplaying experience, for me-- finding those game elements that have have that "season to taste" aspect of them, and figuring out what works best with individual gaming groups.

-shadowcourt (aka josh)
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