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bberry77

When does 'Threat' or 'Despair' lead to combat?

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If a player is performing some sort of skill required for the story while in the midst of potential combatants - should a success with either a lot of threat (let's say four) or a despair cause a combat scenario?

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I've had one player roll a triumph which scared away a Nexu beast, only to have the thing come back a few rounds later because of a despair. Funny, enough, a round later it was gone due to a double triumph. It was an interesting couple of fights.

Edited by kaosoe

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If a player is performing some sort of skill required for the story while in the midst of potential combatants - should a success with either a lot of threat (let's say four) or a despair cause a combat scenario?

Should it?  I doubt there's a single answer for that.  Can you have it go that way? Absolutely, particularly if the mechanical result goes hand in hand with actions or narrations on the part of your players that encourage that outcome.

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As others have said, it depends on the circumstances.

 

For example, my players were going into a negotiation scenario where they tried to get an underworld figure to buy some relics they had acquired on another planet.

 

I came up with some ideas about what could happen based on Success, Failure, Advantage, Threat, Triumph and Despair from the Negotiation check.

 

Depending on the outcomes, there is the possibility he'll become a regular, trusted contact all the way to the other end of the spectrum, that he might become immediately hostile to the party.

 

Success with Triumph: He buys the relics and trusts the PCs enough to deal with them again in the future, giving them good prices on relics they sell him.

 

Success with Despair: He buys the relics, but starts to worry that the PCs might be taking advantage of him and immediately concludes their discussion and ushers them out the door.

 

Failure with Triumph: He lowballs the PCs, offering a very low price for the relics, but trusts them enough to deal with them again in the future.

 

Failure with Despair: He refuses to buy from the PCs and becomes convinced the relics are fakes.

 

In the latter case, you could easily have the underworld figure become violent if he thinks the PCs are trying to rip him off.

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If a player is performing some sort of skill required for the story while in the midst of potential combatants - should a success with either a lot of threat (let's say four) or a despair cause a combat scenario?

 

I had a player who attacked a group of guys the night before and strolled up to their compound with a swagger in his step, instead of bluffing his way past he decided to strong arm his way in and 2 successful intimidates with some threat they opened fire from behind their secure positions and ran for the hills. I call it success because he got them to abandon their position and otherwise avoid a larger fight with the other 2 minion groups.

 

2 threat is all I used to trigger that ambush so 4 is definitely time to start a combat encounter early with a surprise round.

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