Card Questions

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Atama
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Atama » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:49 pm

Kuildeous wrote:So my house rule is likely going to be 3 Possibilities for both people. The player so that he's encouraged to play the card, and the victim who may need a consolation prize after this happens. I'm debating on allow a victim to volunteer for 1 Possibility each (which is zero sum for the victim—or worse—if he chooses to soak it). Of course, having a healer can help, but there's not much a healer can do if 6+ Wounds are inflcted.

The person who plays the card isn't immune, that player might end up being the victim of the card since it's randomly determined. So in that situation would you give 6 possibilities to the player?
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:35 am

Atama wrote:The person who plays the card isn't immune, that player might end up being the victim of the card since it's randomly determined. So in that situation would you give 6 possibilities to the player?


That was rather short-sighted of me. Mostly I wanted to append to the card text rather than modify it, so I still wanted to keep the rule that the card player gets three Possibilities. So I added three more for the victim.

Maybe I do need to reword it to avoid that weirdness. Or maybe I could just embrace the weirdness, and award only three if the player is the same as the victim.

Perhaps I'll change it instead to three Possibilities to be shared among the two people. This way, if the victim has to spend 3 Possibilities to stay alive, then they can agree that he gets all 3. If he takes it without flinching, then they may choose to split it. My group would likely just give all 3 to the victim anyway unless the card player is really low.

But that once again assumes responsible players. If your players are not so responsible (especially if you've got "that guy"), then my suggestion can turn into a hot mess.
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Gargoyle » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:22 am

Kuildeous wrote:
Atama wrote:The person who plays the card isn't immune, that player might end up being the victim of the card since it's randomly determined. So in that situation would you give 6 possibilities to the player?


That was rather short-sighted of me. Mostly I wanted to append to the card text rather than modify it, so I still wanted to keep the rule that the card player gets three Possibilities. So I added three more for the victim.

Maybe I do need to reword it to avoid that weirdness. Or maybe I could just embrace the weirdness, and award only three if the player is the same as the victim.

Perhaps I'll change it instead to three Possibilities to be shared among the two people. This way, if the victim has to spend 3 Possibilities to stay alive, then they can agree that he gets all 3. If he takes it without flinching, then they may choose to split it. My group would likely just give all 3 to the victim anyway unless the card player is really low.

But that once again assumes responsible players. If your players are not so responsible (especially if you've got "that guy"), then my suggestion can turn into a hot mess.


Even with players who are responsible, you could easily have this scenario with the card RAW or with your house rule...note that I list a lot of conditions here, but to make a point, except for the last part about NPCs, this is the best case scenario for playing the card and is not hard to imagine happening, and I can also easily imagine many more scenarios when it's not a good idea to play Trap!.

- Everyone is low on possibilities, maybe even out.
- It's a standard scene, they aren't currently in grave danger, not confronting the big bad guy or even a lieutenant.
- No one is wounded.
- All the other cosm cards have been played already.
- It makes narrative sense, they're in a 'dungeon' or seeker tunnel or the bad guy's fortress.
- There are no NPC's in the party (I'm assuming Trap! can affect them too, but in this case there are none).

We want them to play cosm cards. Not playing the card should be a sub-optimal choice in this scenario.

The card gets played, there is an average or better die roll (4+), and the death and defeat roll fails, and a Storm Knight dies an ignominious death before they even get to a dramatic act. Or they succeed with a standard success and suffer a permanent injury (so much for everyone having the same XP total!). It's worse with RAW because if they are out of possibilities they can't soak or spend any to help the death and defeat roll. I assume with your house rule you'd award the possibilities when the card is played and before they take the damage.

Even if they have possibilities to spend on soaking and the death and defeat roll, they can still fail, though it's much more likely they will "just" suffer a permanent injury or be knocked out and severely wounded for a while. Still not feeling fun.

My conclusion is that the problem with this card is that it ignores Toughness and just does too much arbitrary damage. I'm not an especially kind GM, I let player characters die sometimes, I don't fudge die rolls, and I think there should be tension, but this thing just doesn't seem fair or fun.

One simple fix is to just change the number of wounds to equal the possibilities you gain, choosing from 1 to 3. At least then the player can avoid killing his friends with it most of the time. It's still potentially deadly, and bypasses Toughness, but is mostly just dangerous and potentially annoying. Another way to do it is to spread the damage around...allow the trap to affect more than one character and let the players decide who takes the wounds instead of making it random.

Or, to really embrace D&D in a more meta way, have them all make a Reality skill check to avoid the trap. The damage remains 1BD, but they split it up however they like between anyone who fails their "saving throw".

Or I might just leave it out of the deck, but I think the problem is the damage, not how the possibilities are awarded.
Last edited by Gargoyle on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:34 am

Gargoyle wrote:Another way to do it is to spread the damage around...allow the trap to affect more than one character and let the players decide who takes the wounds instead of making it random.


Yes! I love this idea so much. I think this may be the only house rule I'll make on this card. The person playing the card still gets the 3 Possibilities, but the group may choose where the damage goes. The wildly variable roulette nature is still there. Maybe only one person takes a Wound. Maybe five people have to choose to take two Wounds apiece (making the three Possibility gain a questionable gamble). Or if the GM rolls 25 Wounds, the team just chooses a sacrificial lamb to take it all and hope for that Reality roll of 20 (possibly followed by a Death and Dying check of 15).

It's less capricious this way, but I think it would cause fewer hurt feelings. The GM still chooses when to trigger it, so the players have this constant Sword-of-Damocles effect, but when it hits, the group can choose. This also makes me more inclined to have the trap sprung during or near an actual battle to give it some teeth, but I honestly don't know that it needs any help in that department. Best to play it safe at first.

I probably won't run my group through Aysle soon, except for the Delphi Missions, but I'll keep that in mind.
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Re: Card Questions

Postby MalicWanderer » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:29 pm

I think I might just halve the damage, round down, and otherwise leave it as is. That way it's much less likely to just be soak or test defeat (1 in 9 rather than 1 in 3) and even when it is it's more likely a standard or good soak will be enough to prevent defeat, rather than requiring an outstanding.

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Re: Card Questions

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:49 pm

Just had this happen in my last game. The player played the card and later ended up being the random target. BD exploded and did 9 wounds. He used his remaining 2 Pos and luckily got a total over 20. So it was a net gain of 1. He told me today he was glad it hit him. He didn't realize the lethality of it.

Spreading the damage around seems a fair house rule. I'll probably use that in the future.

As it is, it's a bad, nasty card.
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Re: Card Questions

Postby utsukushi » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:35 pm

That's interesting. Spreading the damage around has a lot of appeal, but that also makes it totally possible the group could lose Possibilities on the deal. It feels like a better representation of a broad range of traps, though -- that way it can easily be, like, a needle or a spear that shoots out and hits a person, or it can be the hallway filling up with flying blades or a pit opening under everyone, depending on the roll and what makes sense with it.

I find it kind of interesting that damage rolls count Wounds up like, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... but soaking goes 1, 2, Infinity. That's sort of a different topic, though.

Assuming a Reality score around 10, you need a roll of 31+ to negate all damage. With a Possibility and one Hero/Drama card, that's not guaranteed, but is super likely. Admittedly, having to use all that would basically negate the Trap card completely, essentially costing the 3 Possibilities that it gives, but if I evaluate the gamble, I get this:
About a 25% chance that you can Soak all the damage (eg., low damage roll successfully Soaked) - party gains 2 Possibilities
About a 25% chance that you can Soak enough of the damage - party gains 1 Possibility, or party gains 2 Possibilities and someone takes one or two Wounds
About a 45% chance there's too much damage and you really, really have to soak it - Possibilities probably cancel out to negate the wounds, so no effect
...And like a 5% chance that the damage is too high and they fail to soak it and someone dies.

That's actually not too bad. Especially when you consider that in case 2, well, you're also in Aysle - Home of the Healing Potion, which cures Wounds. During an adventure in Aysle, the group probably has at least one or two of those. (Which could also change the result in case 1 to, "Party gains 3 Possibilities at the expense of a Healing Potion.") And in case 4, yes, that sucks, but as difficult as it generally seems to be to kill characters in TorgE unless they agree to it, turnover is also built into the game. With the explicit lack of an XP penalty for dying and so many cool character concepts to try, PC death isn't as bad in Torg as it is in a lot of games.

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Re: Card Questions

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:04 pm

And even if the PC is unable to soak the wounds (especially with a natural 1 and no Second Chance available), there's still a chance of surviving the Death & Defeat test. It might even be possible to get away with only a temporary injury or none at all.
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Wotan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:43 am

I really like the idea of letting the players share the damage out, it brings some (IMHO much needed) player agency back into how the Trap! card's resolved.

In terms of Possibility rewards. I'll keep a flat reward of 3 possibilities for the PC who plays it, and let other players gain up to 3 too depending on how the Trap resolves, as follows: Anyone who volunteers to take a share of the damage gets a base of 1 PP, so their basic soak roll's covered. In addition, they'll gain an extra PP if they take one post-soak wound, & an extra 2 PPs if they take 2+ post-soak wounds.

I quite like the idea of PCs being able to essentially trade wounds (or, more likely, healing resources) for Possibilities, but am very open to feedback if anyone can see any mechanical flaws in my thinking? :)
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Re: Card Questions

Postby Wotan » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:39 pm

Another card interpretation question:

The Scourge card from Tharkold's Cosm deck adds double character's wound penalties to damage.
Given the flavour of Tharkold, my intuition is that wound penalties become a damage bonus, but technically adding a negative number is the same as a subtraction.
So is this card increasing, or decreasing, wounded character's damage?

TIA :)
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