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sndwurks

Tracking Strife During Narrative Scenes - Is it worth it?

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Basically what it says above. Last night, during a session, it was pointed out how during a routine narrative scene, this one a simple “look at the scene of the crime”, players had to often choose between doing nothing or getting Strife. While the Action to recover some Strife and Opportunities to do so were available, the choice often came down to “further story” or “prevent losing control”.

Ultimately, they felt this drew them out of the game too much, and hurt with immersion. As such, in our next session, we are experimenting with ignoring Strife symbols on rolls outside of Conflict Scenes. 

Has anyone else had this experience?

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Depends.

If you allow players to assist each others a lot, and let them try every possible approach, you might as well ignore rolls altogether.
Players will succeed, with minimal/no Strife gained.

If you limit assistance, and don't allow every approached to be tried, don't ignore Strife.

Edited by Exarkfr

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I know there is this lingering misconception that Unmasking must be some sort of earth-shattering event and woe shall befall to anyone who dares to do it, but it isn't a big deal at all 90% of the times. You do something stupid, tank some random penalty, then it is over, the world and the story move on.

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Like, if my players would get to Unmask during "crime scene investigation", they would probably do something fun like decide that their character cannot stand this show of human evil and  loudly announce that they will catch the Culprit and bring them to justice, staking Honor and Glory on seeing the deed done. 

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2 hours ago, WHW said:

We do use Strife in all scenes, but we don't consider it losing control. Unmaskings are fun.

Same here.

It's important to remember that, outside designated conflicts, Fire and Void tasks gain no benefit from stance... So void rolls in narrative scenes can increase, and fire tasks don't gain bonus successes from taking strife.

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To be honest, I tend to find it a useful 'clock' on "how much can we get done in downtime?', too.

Most players should have a sufficient composure that even a couple of strife-heavy rolls aren't an issue, but "I do this....then this....then this....then this..." which players naturally tend to want to do in scenes with no hard time limit before they move on gets a bit ridiculous sometimes, and strife in narrative scenes gives you a mechanical antidote to this:

  • An earth or water opportunity (or two void, fire or air opportunities) can be used to clear off a point of strife, but at a cost of not having that opportunity on the check itself.
  • If a character allows themselves to become compromised in a scene, then there is only one success and one opportunity, on different faces, available on a whole ring die - and narrative scenes are the ones where the 'obscure' skills like games and seafaring that you don't have ranks in are more likely to come up.

Unmasking is not the end of the world, but it should have consequences that matter. @WHW's idea of "I swear vengeance" (stake honour/glory because people heard you do so) is a good one.

 

 

 

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