Second Chance - who can play?

graethynne
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Second Chance - who can play?

Postby graethynne » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:43 am

Hey All -

I could swear I saw this discussed somewhere, but on searching I couldn't find it, so apologies if I am being repetitive but -

Who can play Second Chance when a PC rolls a one? Is it any player who has Second Chance in there action pool, or is it only the player of the PC who rolled the 1 (presuming they have SC in their pool)?

Thanks!

Graydon

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:00 am

I would say it follows the same rules as Opponent Fails. Only the person who rolled the 1 can use it on themselves.

There are cards that can be played on anyone, Action etc. and those that can be played only on yourself.

Someone should do a list. Hint, hint...
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Wotan
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Wotan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:03 am

graethynne wrote:Hey All -

I could swear I saw this discussed somewhere, but on searching I couldn't find it, so apologies if I am being repetitive but -

Who can play Second Chance when a PC rolls a one? Is it any player who has Second Chance in there action pool, or is it only the player of the PC who rolled the 1 (presuming they have SC in their pool)?

Thanks!

Graydon

Unless a Destiny card specifically states otherwise (e.g. Supporter) it only affects the player who uses it.
But it is legitimate to swap Destiny Cards cards with other players at any time; Pool to pool when Drama cards are being flipped (e.g. in combat), or, hand to hand otherwise.
So if you roll a 1 and another player has a Second Chance in their pool, you could (with the other player's consent) swap it for a card from your pool and play it immediately to re-roll that 1.
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graethynne
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby graethynne » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:18 pm

Wotan wrote:Unless a Destiny card specifically states otherwise (e.g. Supporter) it only affects the player who uses it.
But it is legitimate to swap Destiny Cards cards with other players at any time; Pool to pool when Drama cards are being flipped (e.g. in combat), or, hand to hand otherwise.
So if you roll a 1 and another player has a Second Chance in their pool, you could (with the other player's consent) swap it for a card from your pool and play it immediately to re-roll that 1.


As a practical matter, how much does this limitation affect things in your games (how much it should is a separate question)?

My Players have actually been commenting on how impactful these two cards have been, and were a little little relieved by the "you can only okay it on yourself" rule. I'm wondering how meaningful the limitation becomes with the ability to trade at any time (Since we have haven't been playing correctly yet at my table :lol: :lol: :lol: )

Thanks all,

Grae

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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Atama » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:05 pm

Wotan wrote:
graethynne wrote:Hey All -

I could swear I saw this discussed somewhere, but on searching I couldn't find it, so apologies if I am being repetitive but -

Who can play Second Chance when a PC rolls a one? Is it any player who has Second Chance in there action pool, or is it only the player of the PC who rolled the 1 (presuming they have SC in their pool)?

Thanks!

Graydon

Unless a Destiny card specifically states otherwise (e.g. Supporter) it only affects the player who uses it.
But it is legitimate to swap Destiny Cards cards with other players at any time; Pool to pool when Drama cards are being flipped (e.g. in combat), or, hand to hand otherwise.
So if you roll a 1 and another player has a Second Chance in their pool, you could (with the other player's consent) swap it for a card from your pool and play it immediately to re-roll that 1.

We do that all the time.

Second Chance is one of those cards that if a person has it in their hand it goes into a pool first, so it’s ready if someone needs it.

Just remember it has to be swapped. So if you have no cards in your pool and roll a 1 you’re hosed. You can’t trade a card for nothing.
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Wotan
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Wotan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:09 pm

graethynne wrote:
Wotan wrote:Unless a Destiny card specifically states otherwise (e.g. Supporter) it only affects the player who uses it.
But it is legitimate to swap Destiny Cards cards with other players at any time; Pool to pool when Drama cards are being flipped (e.g. in combat), or, hand to hand otherwise.
So if you roll a 1 and another player has a Second Chance in their pool, you could (with the other player's consent) swap it for a card from your pool and play it immediately to re-roll that 1.


As a practical matter, how much does this limitation affect things in your games (how much it should is a separate question)?

It has a good effect IMHO, and I'm pretty sure it's part of the deliberately baked-in combat balance & pacing.
Destiny cards are a big part of what gives SKs their heroic potential, the ability to take down more powerful foes, but the building of pools throttles this ability. IMHO This is a good thing from a pacing point of view.
It makes it easier to set encounters which might put the PCs under pressure to start with, but which they're likely to be able to win once they've built up their card pools. "The heroes struggle a bit at first but triumph in the end", is a pretty good default outcome for a heroic/cinematic combat system.

Allowing players to spend their Destiny cards on other character's actions, (without having to swap them) massively accelerates how soon the PC's are able to pull off actions enhanced by multiple cards.
E.g. Barring the use of Situational Awareness (or similar effects.) no PC has any playable cards in their first Action of a combat. This is a clear constraint. Without a lucky roll or Possibility expenditure, they're likely to be less impressive &/or a bit under the cosh to start with, even against fairly mundane threats. There's a perception of threat which helps build tension.
But, if players are allowed to spend their cards on other PC's actions, the last PC to go on round 1 could potentially have their action enhanced by the cards which all the other players have put into their HandsPools. This puts the party in a much stronger position to attempt Alpha Strikes in round 1, which probably diminishes perceived threat?


I'm not saying it would be bad-wrong-fun, but I can see it having a significant impact on how combats play out.
PCs would have the potential to be more impressive during the first few rounds of combat, but if they haven't won by round 4 or 5 they're likely to be out of useful resources. The end of the fight could end up feeling like an attritional slog, rather than starting slow and building to a climax.

The former can still happen as is, and there's totally room for fights going that way in a cinematic story. But I'd opine that it's not a great default outcome for a cinematic combat engine, and think that allowing card play on other PC's behalves would lead to it happening more than might be ideal.
YMMV though, naturally. :)
/tuppence
Last edited by Wotan on Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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graethynne
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby graethynne » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:01 pm

This is really valuable insight, thank you folks.

The issue that I was afraid of is that since we have been playing Day 1s up to now, once they start playing characters they have built from scratch they will only become more capable. Though I expect the Day 1 threats are toned down a little too...

Graethynne

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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Atama » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:03 pm

graethynne wrote:This is really valuable insight, thank you folks.

The issue that I was afraid of is that since we have been playing Day 1s up to now, once they start playing characters they have built from scratch they will only become more capable. Though I expect the Day 1 threats are toned down a little too...

Graethynne

Yeah if the players get better, throw more enemies at them.

In this game quantity means more than quality. Our group has demolished some really big solo enemies but has struggled against large groups of weak guys.
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Kuildeous
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:48 am

GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:There are cards that can be played on anyone, Action etc.


Er, I thought that Action can only be played on yourself, much like Adrenaline and Willpower. Have I been running this incorrectly? Wouldn’t be the first time.

As for the OP’s concern about difficulty, I’ll admit it can be difficult to gauge the challenge level. Exploding dice are a great strength of Torg, but they also pose the greatest challenge to encounter balance.

As said earlier, quantity can make an encounter scarier than usual. A PC can take only so many multi-target penalties before they’re useless, though a high skill combined with Up, Possibilities, and +3 cards can turn practically anyone into a minion-slaying machine. I use “slaying” lightly here because a super-effective Trick or Intimidate could wipe out several minions as well, though weapons still have the edge here.

There are some threads on here that give advice on how to ratchet up the difficulty but not so much that you accidentally slaughter your group.
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Re: Second Chance - who can play?

Postby Wotan » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:56 am

Kuildeous wrote:
GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:There are cards that can be played on anyone, Action etc.


Er, I thought that Action can only be played on yourself, much like Adrenaline and Willpower. Have I been running this incorrectly? Wouldn’t be the first time.

No I reckon you're right mate. Action specifies "Add +3 to the total of your test." So it seems fairly clear cut IMHO.

Having looked through the regular Destiny deck, the only card which specifies that it can be played on another player's tests is Supporter.
Glory's wording is ambiguous, "Play after a die roll of 60+...", so I lean towards letting any player use it when one of my players makes the roll, but I could see other GMs insisting that it has to be played by the player who made the roll.
The only other option, I can see, for aiding another player's tests without a swap is Leadership, which could be used to feed the acting player useful cards after their roll. *shrug*


As for the OP’s concern about difficulty, I’ll admit it can be difficult to gauge the challenge level. Exploding dice are a great strength of Torg, but they also pose the greatest challenge to encounter balance.

Heh, I know I'm probably teaching you to suck eggs Kuildeous, but FWIW, since the subjects come up, here's my take on encounter setting in Torg.

I've found PCs in TorgE to be fairly robust. With standard encounters I tend to low ball the villain's, and rely on the exploding dice to give the occasional wounding shot. Shock is still a threat if a fight runs on too long, so PCs can't afford to be complacent, and IME can still feel in peril even when the chance of death is actually quite low.
(IMHO this works for cinematic, how often do the heroes in Action Movies actually take Wounds? as opposed to what TorgE would frame as Shock damage.)

As a rule of thumb I look at the weakest PCs Toughness compared to the villains' attack & damage. If the base damage is more than 10 higher than that PCs Toughness you're getting into the territory where a lucky attack could one shot (Soak/Test Defeat or die) a PC. If base damage is 15 higher than the weakest Toughness, you're even closer to potential one shot territory.
Attack vs Defence alters this calculation too, if Attack is 5 higher than Defence then add ~4 to base damage, or 7-8 to damage if Attack is 10 higher than defence.
So long as PCs are likely to survive one shot the party's usually gonna have a chance to prevent deaths; whether that's by a wounded PC going defensive and/or taking cover, or other PCs rolling out healing, or acting to draw aggro/protect their comrade.

I'm not advocating keeping villain damage at less than 10 above weakest Toughness in all fights, and especially not Dramatic fights, but I've found it to be a decent rough benchmark for setting minor encounters which can still feel threatening while actually having a relatively low chance of PC death.
Numbers of villains per PC, and individual PC capabilities (especially the number of combat focused characters,) obviously have to come into the equation too though.
/tuppence
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