The anti-stats (Menaces)

  • 4 Replies
The anti-stats (Menaces)
« on: August 21, 2010, 06:51:06 AM »
So, you've got Dangerous, Watchful, Persuasive and Shadowy, right. There's other qualities like Routes, Connected (can be handled by a Hx-like mechanism, like Influence in Shreyas' Set Apart), Accomplishments, Story and Specific Abilities, which, based on the chatter from John and Vincent, would add options and upgrade your basic moves or maybe give you new ones. (If you have the quality "Investigating: the secrets of St. Dunstan's" then your Watchful move gains an option "Does this have the air of St. Dunstan's about it?") Maybe that has changed, I dunno.

But you've also got Scandal, Suspicion, Wounds and Nightmares. Original AW already has a parallel to wounds: Harm. What happens there is that when you take Harm, you roll+harm taken. Why not apply the same to the other menaces. So, making this stuff up as I go along...

When you take Wounds...I'd leave this just as it is in AW. Except obviously, when you die, you just get taken to the Tomb Colonies.

When you become Suspicious, roll +Suspicion
On 10+, the MC picks one:
-your progress is interrupted: you're watched, under investigation, interrogated
-caught red handed! take +1 Suspicion
-pick two from the list below:

On 7-9:
-you alert the authorities to your activities
-you have to get out quick and leave your stuff behind
-you need to change lodgings
-you need to blame it on someone else

When you become the epicentre of a Scandal, roll +Scandal
Haven't hit this yet, so no idea what happens...

When you come face to face with something Nightmarish, roll +Nightmares
On 10+, the MC picks one:
-you're unable to handle this any more, you're catatonic, feverish, shocked, sobbing...
-it's even more horrible than you could have imagined: take +1 Nightmares
-the MC picks two from the list below:

On 7-9:
-you begin having strange encounters in the street
-you won't be able to sleep tonight
-you drop everything and run screaming
-you're sure there's someone watching you

If any of your Menaces hit 12:00, you get taken to the appropriate places or institutions.

These aren't perfect in any way, but that's the direction I'd take it.

Alternatively (a little harsher), take out the countdown clocks and just assign the worst result to a 12+ roll, so:
Nightmares: On 12+ You're in a state of some confusion. There's a room with soft walls and talking cats.
Suspicion: On 12+ Too late! The constables descend upon you with no means of escape. You get locked up in New Newgate Prison.
Scandal: No idea what happens, haven't gotten there yet.
Wounds: On 12+ Darkness falls on your eyes, you wake up in the Tomb Colonies.

The 12+ results are basically just permissions to the Master of Ceremonies (or actually, Master of the Bazaar?) to use a bunch of his hardest moves at once. (separate them, put them in a spot etc.)


Of course you could complicate it more, give it some more depth and diversity. Madness could have Hold over you, and you could spend that Hold by doing crazy-person stuff.



Re: The anti-stats (Menaces)
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 08:35:13 PM »
Personally, I'd handle menaces and their increasing qualities as moves that the MC can make when things go poorly.

Maybe you can take a permanent menace point when healing, sort of like disfigurements in AW, though.

Re: The anti-stats (Menaces)
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 01:18:39 AM »
The thing that's cool about treating the other menaces like harm is that it's a mechanic that's already set up for "can go up and down in play, usually goes up faster than it goes down, and when it reaches a high enough point, rather bad stuff happens".

The *only* thing I don't like about the clocks/"menace roll" set up is that you'd be tracking, what, like 4 or 5 menace clocks? Seems a bit fiddly.

Re: The anti-stats (Menaces)
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 08:13:41 AM »
Elizabeth, I like that, but I like how the Menaces are Qualities right there on your sheet in EB and it's often a conscious choice (faustian bargain?), to increase them. That's why I'd prefer to keep it a player roll and not just a MC/MB move. The MC/MB can have moves that he triggers when someone blows his Nightmares roll for example, but I'd like to keep Nightmares itself a rollable stat on the player's sheet. :shrug:

Jeff: You're right about screw that. So how about this:

Menaces are just like Stats, they increase with use. ie. "When you're caught doing something suspicious, roll +Suspicion"... cue some unpleasant options, including +1 Suspicion. 

If one of them would advance to +4 (like, from stratum 0 to stratum 1), you get a new 12+ option ("Imprisoned in New Newgate." "Banished to the Tomb colonies." "Institutionalised in the Asylum."...), and the "fail" (win in this case) option is removed (as when normal stats increase in stratum).

Much easier to keep track of and handle. Gives you 4 main positive Qualities and 4 negative ones, for 8 core moves altogether. No more than core AW.

Re: The anti-stats (Menaces)
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 12:14:32 PM »
Not bad! What exactly do you mean by removing the "fail" (actually win) condition when your stratum goes up? Like, at minimum you're taking something from the 7-9 list? Also, when it goes up to a new stratum, is that permanent like with the other qualities, or can you un-strata the menaces? Making it permanent seems pretty vicious, and less in keeping with the original game, but easier to track/make rules for.