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shammy32

Issue With Talents Removing Setback Dice

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Again I don't think we are fundamentally disagreeing so I will leave this thread because I am communicating poorly and confusing matters.

I think by arbitrarily all I mean is that I don't think they want us to upgrade (ie change a difficulty die to a challenge die) after the GM has decided on the initial difficulty of the task. They go out of their way to talk about limiting upgrading to talents and destiny points. Am I saying you can never do it? No, just like anything else in this type of game never say never.

Anyway this discussion is not really relevant to the original question so I will now out of this thread and go back to lurking.

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Again I don't think we are fundamentally disagreeing so I will leave this thread because I am communicating poorly and confusing matters.

I think by arbitrarily all I mean is that I don't think they want us to upgrade (ie change a difficulty die to a challenge die) after the GM has decided on the initial difficulty of the task. They go out of their way to talk about limiting upgrading to talents and destiny points. Am I saying you can never do it? No, just like anything else in this type of game never say never.

Anyway this discussion is not really relevant to the original question so I will now out of this thread and go back to lurking.

 

I don't mean to further derail, but I think whafrog's point is that sometimes GM has to decide difficulty on the fly because the players ask to do something right then and there the GM wasn't expecting.  So in this case, there is no "after the GM has decided on the inital difficulty".  Maybe that initial decision involves making it 2 purples and a Red, no?

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That said, the boxes on page 21 and 22 are implying that we should not be upgrading difficulty dice to challenge dice all that often. Sure, if there's a bomb in the lock that's a special, planned GM event. We shouldn't be going, ok, that's an average difficulty task but because of X I am ruling that you turn one of those purple dice to red. It clearly states we shouldn't be arbitrarily upgrading difficulty dice unless a talent or destiny point was used

 

 

First I just want to say there is no need for you to leave the thread. I don't think you have angered or upset anyone.  This is an area of the rules that is confusing to some and I think your posts have been productive in discussing those issues.

 

Notice that in the box on page 22 it says challenge dice are "generally" upgraded due a talent or destiny point. That is not the only way they are upgraded but it is the most common.

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I don't mean to further derail, but I think whafrog's point is that sometimes GM has to decide difficulty on the fly because the players ask to do something right then and there the GM wasn't expecting.  So in this case, there is no "after the GM has decided on the inital difficulty".  Maybe that initial decision involves making it 2 purples and a Red, no?

 

In this case the GM does decide the difficulty. He just does it right there on the spot rather than in advance.  Most things the players think to do are not things the GM has thought of in advance so this happens a lot.  What I do is ask myself a series of questions in my head:

 

1) Under ideal conditions how hard is this task (assign purples accordingly)

2) Are there any circumstances to make this easier or more difficult (assign boost or setback dice)

3) Is there a greater than normal element of risk (upgrade a to a challenge die)

 

Once you get the hang of it you go through that all pretty quickly without really consciously thinking about it.

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Ok, this will be my last post :)

 

I wasn't leaving because I felt like I was angering or upsetting anyone.  I was leaving because I feel like I'm cluttering the topic of the original poster (My opinion, not worthless if your GM is providing setback dice appropriately) and because I'm getting frustrated at my poor communication skill.  Case in point, I said something about not upgrading the difficulty die after the GM decided on the difficulty, but people think I'm rigid about that and giving examples of why they would.  That's a communication problem of mine; I tend to speak too generically but I sound hard and fast when I don't mean to be.

 

If a player comes to a locked door and says he wants to pick it and I decide that it's a Hard lock that's 3 difficulty dice, off you go.  If that player then states he's going to do it while juggling a live grenade, then of course he's getting a Challenge dice (maybe two) along with setback dice.  If however, AFTER, I tell him it's a hard check they suddenly come under fire, I (my opinion) feel like the designers would rather that we use setback dice to reflect the added distraction than to increase the difficulty (add more purple dice) or to upgrade the dice; which might be a root cause of why there's this topic about talents removing setback dice are worthless (again, just a theory).  My example with the extorting of the guard while trying to deceive him was a terrible one as it probably should be an increased base difficulty rather than a setback die, but the underlying point I was trying to make is if you have a talent that lets you ignore a setback die and your GM consistently doesn't assign setback dice then there might be some leeway in what you want to do that your GM and you can agree upon that would be worth the amount of setback dice that you can ignore

 

Edit: Everything that patientwolf said above is exactly what I am trying to say (see why I am frustrated with myself) except in my opinion #3 should be rare (I don't mean never, I just would think that in most cases this can be handled with the first 2) as it's normally something the GM needs to spend a destiny point for and if my players see me doing that all the time they will cry foul.  As long as there's an exceedingly good reason for the upgrade then everyone will be happy.  That's all I meant by arbitrary.

Edited by IceBear

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@IceBear:  nice post.

 

 

 



n my opinion #3 should be rare (I don't mean never, I just would think that in most cases this can be handled with the first 2) as it's normally something the GM needs to spend a destiny point for and if my players see me doing that all the time they will cry foul.  As long as there's an exceedingly good reason for the upgrade then everyone will be happy.  That's all I meant by arbitrary.

 

Good point and I never did communicate that part.  If I upgrade a task without a DP flip, I try to make it clear to the players that it's for a good reason that their characters may not know about yet.  More importantly (IMHO), it has to be something discoverable by the characters later on (or that I can simply tell the players after the encounter is over if they're in doubt about it).  I do remember the first time I did it, and got some skeptical looks, so I had to step out of game and assure them it wasn't for no reason.  I usually don't have to step out of game for that anymore, it's generally understood.

Edited by whafrog

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Something else to consider is that the ability to ignore a setback die is kind of a license to get crazy.  If you're using Negotiate, and what you're asking for wouldn't normally involve a setback die, ask for a little more and ignore that setback die.  If you're lying, lie bigger.

 

If your PCs have these talents and you aren't providing the opportunity to use them, encourage them to find opportunities to use them by pressing their luck without having to actually press their luck.

 

All I am trying to point out is if you have a talent that lets you ignore a setback die and your GM doesn't assign one, work with him or her on pushing the envelope of what you are doing so that there is one.

 

Like many of you, I felt the ignore setback talents were problematic too.  I agree 100% that we need to get used to the system and it is meant to be run with setback dice fairly common.   This will help make the ignore setback talents more useful but they are still passive and GM dependent in these scenarios.   Icebear and lstye have put it well.   Players should be actively encouraged to frequently up the ante to gain setback dice.   This is suppose to be a narrative system so why not let the PCs shine and get something cool from their talents? It would be great to outline some examples for new GMs: -The repairs take 1 day?  I’ll do it in 6 hours!   1 set back die -I not only want to convince the base commander to provide me access to the base but I also want to be treated like visiting royalty!   2 set back die This also puts the initiative and action back on the players to come up with cool uses.    It’s a really neat way to incentivize players to push the envelope.   Most systems punish you for voluntarily upping difficulty but because of the nature of the talents (removes not adds and you get no benefit if there is nothing to remove) it actually mechanically encourages you to get into more difficult circumstances, which is good for story.  I like it!

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