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adairhammer

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is there any example of how this would be handled in Genesys?

while playing some RPG podcast the party came across a basilisk and as this was dnd it was a save or become stone.  

how would something like this be handled in Genesys?  (I have one idea but I would like to hear what others think)

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In general, I'd say it shouldn't occur in Genesys at all. The design philosophies of D&D and Genesys are different. If you have a monster that can turn people into stone, it's probably better to have the effect act gradually, at least over a few hours if not days or weeks. That way you can make an adventure out of curing the affected PC(s), and you don't end up with a bored player at the table who can't play anymore because they're waiting for the other PCs to drag their PC's stone body to a magician to fix it.

That said, whether you want an insta-stone monster or a gradual-stone one, it's probably the monster's Discipline or appropriate magic skill opposed by the PC's Discipline, Resilience, or perhaps one of their magic skills. Just roll an opposed check with any appropriate setbacks and boosts added in, etc.

Edited by SavageBob

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Emulating saving throws from DnD should be quite easy in Genesys. Start of by determining how a character might resist the effect; in the case of trying to resist turning into stone, Resilience seems appropriate. After that you just have to set a difficulty, you could use either a fixed difficulty or base it of one of the monster's stats. Keep in mind the general guidelines from the CRB on basic probability in the system, as you could easily make the check to hard. I'd also suggest that you take a page out of DnD 4e and not make it a "save or die" effect and instead allow the player an opportunity to shake off the effect in two or three turns, if they succeed once they're in the clear. This also gives any spellcaster in the party an opportunity to counteract the effect while it is occuring. Then of course, I'd recommend you know before hand atleast a few options for curing the condition, maybe the fluid of from the eyes of a basilisk can be turned into a remedy or something like that.

Using effects that can effectivly kill a PC is not in and of itself a bad idea, you should however, give out hints about whats to come, an instantkill that no one saw comming is a sure way of getting grumpy players. In the case of a basilisk or medusa, you could have the players come upon a collection of eerily life like statues before encountering the monster. This will make the players start to think about ways to avoid that fate, and you should probably let some of those ideas be true. Maybe you only get turned to stone if you meet the monster's gaze, that way the players can activly make choices that makes the encounter more interesting. If they for instance avert their gaze, they won't get turned to stone, but they will probably get some setback dice on any attack rolls. 

Another thing to consider doing is that the first time you use such an ability, try to use it on the PC that is most likely to resist it. Then lastly, make sure the players have some story points to use on upgrading their check before you use the ability, and start describing the effect BEFORE you make them roll the dice, so they have a good idea of why they should spend that story point.

"Tordek, as your eyes meet the basilisk's, you feel as though it's cold gaze pierces your very being and you start to feel your limbs growing cold and stiff! I would like you to make an average Resilience check please."

Effects like these are great ways to bring tension to an encounter, but don't overuse it as the players are likely to become tired of it quickly. Don't shy away from them though, as such curses are common tropes in mythology and fantasy for a reason ;)

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Some great advice above.

 

In general, I think those kind of "Save or Die" mechanics are...tough. They can take a lot of agency away from players and make a game feel kind of unfair when the dice take a turn for the worse. But they indisputably DO add incredible drama. And, if you're running in a fantastical setting, at least, there is always some possibility of brining a character back after a bad roll.

 

But if you're going to use those type of mechanics, Genesys already offers an obvious way to implement it--triumph. Give the Basilisk some kind of Gaze ability that triggers an opposed role (say Discipline vs Discipline, though that would depend on the flavor you were going for) where the target would be staggered for a number of rounds equal to successes (and maybe inflict strain damage from advantages) or automatically petrified on a triumph.

 

That being said, I think there are some things to consider there.

 

First of all, the way Genesys is normally structured you, the GM, would be making the roll that could potentially kill or disable their character, and that might rub some players the wrong way. There are a couple ways you could solve this to get the player more involved. For one, you could literally just run it D&D style--roll for the Basilisk's ability as an attack rather than opposed roll and spend the triumph for the Petrify, but then let the player save against, say, a hard Resilience or Discipline test to see if the Petrification "takes". If you were going to go this route, though, I would probably still have the PC be strained and staggered so that they don't get off scott-free if they pass the petrification test. Or you could run it as, say, an average competitive test, Discipline vs Discipline/Resilience/Whatever. The Basilisk could then still spend a potential triumph for a petrification, but only if they win the overall test, giving the player more feeling of agency.

 

Another point to consider, like @PurpleKittenofDeath mentions, is that I think 4e handled this kind of effect well. Rather than a single roll, you had to fail a certain number of times as the effect got worse and worse. So, for Genesys, I would model that as something like...the Basilisk uses its Gaze ability as an opposed test vs the applicable PC skill and, if they spend a triumph, activate the petrify. But then the PC is only stunned at first, suffering, say, 5 strain or wounds (depending on if you want to model this as an effect the PC's mind or body would be resisting) each round until they pass a hard test in the applicable skill (and shake off the petrification) or exceed their strain/wound threshold (at which point they would be petrified).

 

Edited by JonofPDX

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That's not supposed to happen easily in Genesys due the essence of the system and the cinematographic narrative style.

If a character would die, there is two situations:

1) after a lot of lethal impacts (like heroes in movies);

2) due some Despairs, which will generate a very dramatic situation (but this should occur with NPCs).

Permanent effect should be avoided. Temporary effects should happen to increase the drama in the story :)

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thanks for all the feedback.  how I was thinking about handling this in the first post was spending threats while attacking the basilisk to give out tokens or something that gives a disadvantage (despair is 2).   build up to many (thinking 5) and you turn to stone maybe with an action or maneuver to shake it off before becoming stone.

perhaps with some upgrades, if you wish to just not look to remove the chance to turn to stone.

 

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25 minutes ago, adairhammer said:

thanks for all the feedback.  how I was thinking about handling this in the first post was spending threats while attacking the basilisk to give out tokens or something that gives a disadvantage (despair is 2).   build up to many (thinking 5) and you turn to stone maybe with an action or maneuver to shake it off before becoming stone.

perhaps with some upgrades, if you wish to just not look to remove the chance to turn to stone.

 

That sounds really complicated, though. Review the part of the CRB on poisons, as 2P51 suggested. There are already mechanics in the game if you want to treat petrification as a slow-acting illness.

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How about utilizing the Critical Injury mechanic?

Create a Petrification Injury Table similar to the Critical Injury Table, then, on the Basilisk's attack, spend a Triumph to inflict a Petrification Injury.

Maybe have the effected character roll on the Petrification Table once a day (or some other time period of your choice), adding 10 to the roll for each Petrification Injury already suffered.

If all Petrification Injuries have been healed, then the character no longer needs to make these rolls.

But how do you "heal" Petrification? Maybe it's still a Medicine check (or Magic Healing), but without a Talent for healing Petrification, add some Setback to the roll to make it more tense?

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20 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

That sounds really complicated, though. Review the part of the CRB on poisons, as 2P51 suggested. There are already mechanics in the game if you want to treat petrification as a slow-acting illness.

I've just given it a cursory glance, but I didn't see those rules. I thought I recalled reading them, but couldn't find them just now. Do you have a page number by chance?

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3 minutes ago, Simon Retold said:

I've just given it a cursory glance, but I didn't see those rules. I thought I recalled reading them, but couldn't find them just now. Do you have a page number by chance?

it seems not to be in core..but there is rules for it in ROT 102

25 minutes ago, admutt said:

How about utilizing the Critical Injury mechanic?

Create a Petrification Injury Table similar to the Critical Injury Table, then, on the Basilisk's attack, spend a Triumph to inflict a Petrification Injury.

Maybe have the effected character roll on the Petrification Table once a day (or some other time period of your choice), adding 10 to the roll for each Petrification Injury already suffered.

If all Petrification Injuries have been healed, then the character no longer needs to make these rolls.

But how do you "heal" Petrification? Maybe it's still a Medicine check (or Magic Healing), but without a Talent for healing Petrification, add some Setback to the roll to make it more tense?

I like this idea.

28 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

That sounds really complicated, though. Review the part of the CRB on poisons, as 2P51 suggested. There are already mechanics in the game if you want to treat petrification as a slow-acting illness.

it is different can be a good thing if you want it to be a memorable fight.  this would only be good however if you want it to be the big bad.

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15 minutes ago, Simon Retold said:

I've just given it a cursory glance, but I didn't see those rules. I thought I recalled reading them, but couldn't find them just now. Do you have a page number by chance?

Ah, interesting. I was misremembering that there was a section. Instead, I was thinking of the "Fire, Acid, and Corrosive Atmospheres" section on pp. 111–12.

There are several poisons listed in the book, though, like Van Ryn's Potion of Parlyzation on p. 156. There's also a "poisonous" modifier for magic on p. 215. Looks like a Hard (PPP) Resilience check is the way to resist most poisons. The page reference in Realms of Terrinoth is pp. 102–03.

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The Manticore on p. 228 of Realms of Terrinoth has the poisonous stinger ability which causes the target to "make a Hard Resilience check as as out-of-turn incidental or suffer 4 additional wounds, and must check again on their next turn if the check generates [despair]." 
For a basilisk, perhaps doing something similar to this, but maybe up the difficulty to Daunting and causing strain instead of wounds. And maybe if the target is incapacitated because of this special damage, they get a final Formidable Resilience check before being turned to stone or something like that.

This approach gives the player more opportunities to resist rather than leaving it up to a single bad roll (one roll to hit with the ranged attack, one, maybe two if you use a story point or circumstances require an upgrade, rolls for poison damage per successful attack). The tail attack also has slow-firing 1 which makes it dangerous without being something that the players have to constantly worry about.

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