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Author Topic: InSpectres Throwdown Dustup and Slugfest  (Read 1044 times)
Bailywolf
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Posts: 729


« on: June 20, 2002, 12:12:14 PM »

I reread the two Hellboy comics they had at Borders last night, and started watching the complete second season of Buffy on DVD (oh, the sublime pleasure, my heart trembles).  

OK, so I want to run a more actiony InSpecters game in the vein (sorry) of these two sources.  And simply put, I need some advice on using the system to play out fun and exciting combat scenes.  

If I understand things, Stress pretty much covers everything from the shock and horror induced in seeing a painting come to life and spew blood to having the same painting leap off the wall and bite your arm... one reduces (say) Contact, the other Athletics.  Yes?

So does this mean that high cool agents can shrug off physcial harm with their Cool?  I can see how this might work- a high cool experienced field agent learns to sidestep potential danger as a natural posture...while a zombie simply shrugs off gunfire like rain where a hellboy swats it aside with is Big Chunky Hand or regenerates by the next page.







Oh, and a side note while I'm thinking about it.  How good is good?  What are the skill benchmarks- if I want to kick in a heavy oak door, how tough is it?  How about some quick and dirty character models so we can get an idea about where a character ranks along side the inspiration characters from source material.  I mean, what can I DO with that Athletics of 5?  

Also, any mathheads out there who can figure the bellcurve for InSpecter's die system?  I'm hopeless with the numbers.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2002, 01:09:22 PM »

Quote from: Bailywolf
If I understand things, Stress pretty much covers everything from the shock and horror induced in seeing a painting come to life and spew blood to having the same painting leap off the wall and bite your arm... one reduces (say) Contact, the other Athletics.  Yes?


Yes. The player usually gets to choose how their agent's skills are reduced...when I'm GMing, I sometimes suggest stuff if the player is having trouble coming up with a rationale (truth be told, the rationale isn't really necessary...but it's just more fun).

Quote
So does this mean that high cool agents can shrug off physcial harm with their Cool?


Yes. Weird Agents and characters with Cool a) handle Stress rolls with greater aplomb and b) are able to trade their Cool in for extra skill dice or to restore lost skill dice.

Quote
Oh, and a side note while I'm thinking about it.  How good is good?  What are the skill benchmarks- if I want to kick in a heavy oak door, how tough is it?  How about some quick and dirty character models so we can get an idea about where a character ranks along side the inspiration characters from source material.  I mean, what can I DO with that Athletics of 5?


With an Athletics 5*, you have 5 dice to roll. Which means you have 5 chances to roll a total success. Which means you can also lose up to 5 skill dice due to Stress.

Seriously, that's it. Because a high roll enables the player to decide what happens, there's no need for modelling characters or real-world physics problems.

But to answer your question:

1: Below average ability for an InSpectres agent.
2: Ye Average Olde InSpectres agent
3: Better than average
4: The agent is a Specialist in this field or is just highly skilled
5+ The agent is weird and posseses superhuman ability

Note that this skill number represents an agent who is acting alone and without benefit of extra help, training, supplies, knowledge, whatever.

Also keep in mind that a skill of 1 just means that there is a 50/50 chance of the player getting what s/he wants. Higher skills DO allow for "bonus" chances (it's still 50/50 but they're effectively "re-rolls") BUT the real benefits of having high skills are: a) you can degrade a higher skill due to Stress without suffering the "automatic result of 1" penalty from losing all your skill dice and b) having a skill of 4 allows you to use the Take 4 rule.

Oh, and you can also better afford to loan dice to teammates.

*Keep in mind that only a weird agent could have a 5 in a skill.

Quote
Also, any mathheads out there who can figure the bellcurve for InSpecter's die system?  I'm hopeless with the numbers.


1 skill die: 50%
2 skill dice: 50% on first roll, 50% on second roll
3 skill dice...and so on.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Bailywolf
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2002, 05:02:54 AM »

Cool.  Still adapting to the scheme.

But help me out with the combat.  How do I spice things up... not every troll and demon should go down with the first roll of 6... how do I drag things out a bit, make it more dynamic?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2002, 05:44:01 AM »

Quote from: Bailywolf
Cool.  Still adapting to the scheme.

But help me out with the combat.  How do I spice things up... not every troll and demon should go down with the first roll of 6... how do I drag things out a bit, make it more dynamic?


Have them make Stress rolls (to account for fear, injury, surprise and bad fighting conditions).

Also, you COULD expand the Franchise Dice concept to equal "monster hit points" -- where you need to roll a certain number of 5's or 6's to beat the bad guy.

(For those in the cheap seats, InSpectres missions are rated for the number of Franchise Dice that are needed. When you roll a 5 or a 6, you gain some of those dice. You can only end the game once the pre-defined total has been reached. Then you get to spend those earned dice on the business...)

You could give each scene a Franchise Die rating. And only allow that scene to be "successful" when the characters have acquired that # of dice.

When octaNe is released you'll see how I've changed the InSpectres system -- instead of Stress dice (which degrade performance over time) there are Hazard ratings (which act as short-term obstacles).

If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to chime in. BTW, I may use some of the stuff in this thread in the InSpectres FAQ.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Bailywolf
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2002, 06:10:47 AM »

Kickass.  

I keep forgeting that the player not the gm decides what those blown rolls mean...


I also like the 'dedicated' dice thing.  This means if a group wants the full dice for the assignment, they have to take out the Big Bad for the session...they can cash out easly, but won't get those dice regardless of how many 5's and 6's they might roll during lesser actions...

I could also see layering the outcome based on the number of franshise dice the group wins before deciding to cut their losses and bail.  

Say like this:


The assignment centers on an abandoned hospital... it is slated for demolition, but the work crews who are sent in to remove the abestose insualtion keep coming out mad mad MAD MAD!

The gm opts for a Layered outcome- he decides that the Big Bad (whatever that turns out to be) is worth 6 Frachise dice if Utterly Destroyer.  It is worth 3 if Banished for a Time.  It is worth only 1 if simply Driven off to Return When You Least Expect It.   Since these dice have been assigned to the Big Bad, they can only be won by 5's and 6's rolled when directly confronting it- whether socking it in the brain with a 2x4 or incanting a bansihing spell from Oculurd's Practical Grimoire for Boys or zapping the bejesus out of it with a Gravity Pole Inverter.  

at the same time, the thing if doing its worst with 4 Stress dice.  Nasty.

Neat.  I like it.
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