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sndwurks

Proposal - Strife Icons as Turmoil - Altenrative Interpretation of Dice

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This came up in the discussion of the Beta table I was running last night. In it, we were talking about the frustration and strangeness of Strife icons on dice (and how just looking at a busted door might give someone more Strife than encountering their Anxiety). 

A proposed alternative interpretation of Strife icons on dice was Turmoil - negative / challenging / conflicting opportunities. This would depend on the roll, but Turmoil would not necessarily be immediately resolved as gaining Strife (unless appropriate). Instead, they can be spent by the GM like “anti-Opportunities”. 

Gain 3 Turmoil on that Fire / Aesthetics roll? Turns out that there is a hidden flaw in what you were working on. Gain 2 Turmoil on the Void / Meditation roll to clear your spirit? Turns out you may have attracted the attention of an unquiet spirit. 

Similar to Opportunities, there would be a list of suggested things the GM could spend it on, but it must push the story forward by making it more interesting.

There were also some thoughts to tying this to Ninjo / Giri, but the root of the idea is making Strife icons on dice more interactive and interesting, and less simply punishment. 

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while workable, the lack of threat spends was one of the things I liked about it. It's a time clock to blowing your fuse as is, and makes non-combat rolls into "do I really want to risk losing it?" 

Also, narrative strife would slow down an already slow rolling mechanic.

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Don't like it much. The GM doesn't always have something interesting to add.
Why give them even more responsibilities ? Especially as those icons can show up quite often...

The system as it is is far from perfect, but at least the responsibility of keeping Strife relies on the player rolling it.

 

Edit:
Another thing to consider is that those anti-opportunities should not negate the success the player has achieved.
If it turns out it makes the outcome not desirable, the player might just choose to fail, and you are back to square one.
Everything the players feel is getting in their way, they will either avoid or dance around.

Edited by Exarkfr

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I'm not a fan. I don't mind (and rather like) effects that add a rider effect to Unmasking (like Affliction) or trigger when you keep X Strife (Spiritual Backlash at 3 Strife, Bleeding/Dangerous Terrain, etc), but making each Strife icon a choice from a menu of options sounds like one layer of complexity too much. It also heavily discourages players from keeping Strife results. Stuff like hidden flaw or attention of evil spirits sounds more like a consequence of failing to grab enough Successes* than something that should be connected to Strife.

 

*"You spend a downtime activity meditating, and nothing happens" is boring consequence for Failure; "you meditate/craft your work, but X!" is much better failure stake that progresses the narrative no matter what without making rolls feel like punishment that stops stuff from happening. 

Edited by WHW

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We kinda tried this, with Strife results being treated like Threat results from the SW RPG (effectively anti-Opportunities. It did not work. The way it slowed down the game and made dice resolution so much more complicated was real. 

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