How 'Hope' and 'Fear' Work In Critical Role's Daggerheart

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
Here’s the main reason I like Fear specifically: it’s a very easy way to make every roll feel like it has consequences in a concrete way.

Sure, in my playtest session when a player rolled with Fear, I hinted at an off screen complication to foreshadow the boss fight, but I also gained a Fear that I spent in said boss fight to call back to that moment and summon some baddies.

I absolutely could have just done all of that anyway, but the excitement around the roll was higher because of that dynamic, whether you want to consider that illusory (you could have summoned the monsters/used a special ability/granted advantage anyway!) or not.

It also, in my playtest, felt like it gave me permission to really push things. I don’t need that of course, but it helps because I have a tendency to be too nice. It was a bit of mechanized social lubricant, like W-DM40.
 

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SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
You will end up breaking those rules sooner or later, trust me.

There's always a scenario that works much cooler, or works at all, when you make an exception from rigid meta rules.
I mean, I don't imagine how I could not end up doing that. I've been doing this since the 70s and I think I've broken about every rule in gaming. I think RPG rules at the most are like the Pirate's Code from Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes, I take them seriously, but no they aren't holy writ. Provided you talk about things with your players, why not?

That doesn't mean having rules is a bad thing. Two of my favorite games, D&D4 and the Hero System are pretty rules-heavy, but I've broken those rules when running both. I'm not a rule-light sort of guy, but I do know that they're just a best guess for what's fun at the most.

Edited to add: I'm going to be playing 5E in just a few minutes. The DM for this is a new DM and he regularly asks the veterans what we think about weird edge cases in the rules. And then he sometimes just goes with his gut and makes a ruling. And that's why he's becoming an excellent DM. I expect Daggerheart or any other game to work the same way: you follow the rules most of the time, talk about issues sometimes, and just go with your gut the rest of the time.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
I don't understand this. That's the way the game works. That's the GM's job. You aren't being an asshat, you are providing the players with the experience they signed up for.
Basing this upon Cortex Plus (Firefly and MHRP), Talisman Adventures, and 2d20 (STA & Dune)... all of which have similar point spend issues...
Some nights, the dice absolutely «bleep»ing HATE the players.
In one session of STA, the first, basically throwaway roll to let players build some temporary traits (Scanning the system before arrival with LR sensors), 4p, so 4 starting threat, 6 more for them throwing 5d20 on that, the TN was 15/5 for the PC, 13/3 for the ship die... and they rolled 5×20 and a 19... I spent two on the sensors being misaligned, then banked 8 more threat.
So one roll down and I'm 18 threat... they go to fix it, generate 6 more for the 3rd to 5th dice, and fail, despite 17/5 on the repair... with another 3 20's... so I spend 2 of the 6 just made on "Sensors down for repair"... so I"m now at 22, their sensors are offline, they've gotten no data, built no mission specific information traits... Every NPC rolled 5d20... but I still ended session with a mission failure AND over 20 threat. If I'd spent more, I could have simply killed one per shot due to the massive pile... but that WOULD be a huge «bleep»-move asinine approach.
The biggest failing of STA is the amount of damage one can add with threat. It wasn't limited. I hope 2e does. Otherwise, the GM ending with double digit threat makes my players feel like they succeeded because I wasn't spending... but also, several characters would have been taken out before they could act.

In TA, had a session where I was at max dark fate because my NPCs didn't live long enough to use it. And I was imposing penalties aplenty ... but still ended at max pool size.

But not always is it hate the player...
Then there was the night, running MHRP, the doom pool was up to 8d12...
And the night where the doom pool was, of need, spent down to literally nothing... at which point they've basically won the adventure's environmental elements. The exact opposite snowball.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Basing this upon Cortex Plus (Firefly and MHRP), Talisman Adventures, and 2d20 (STA & Dune)... all of which have similar point spend issues...
Some nights, the dice absolutely «bleep»ing HATE the players.
In one session of STA, the first, basically throwaway roll to let players build some temporary traits (Scanning the system before arrival with LR sensors), 4p, so 4 starting threat, 6 more for them throwing 5d20 on that, the TN was 15/5 for the PC, 13/3 for the ship die... and they rolled 5×20 and a 19... I spent two on the sensors being misaligned, then banked 8 more threat.
So one roll down and I'm 18 threat... they go to fix it, generate 6 more for the 3rd to 5th dice, and fail, despite 17/5 on the repair... with another 3 20's... so I spend 2 of the 6 just made on "Sensors down for repair"... so I"m now at 22, their sensors are offline, they've gotten no data, built no mission specific information traits... Every NPC rolled 5d20... but I still ended session with a mission failure AND over 20 threat. If I'd spent more, I could have simply killed one per shot due to the massive pile... but that WOULD be a huge «bleep»-move asinine approach.
The biggest failing of STA is the amount of damage one can add with threat. It wasn't limited. I hope 2e does. Otherwise, the GM ending with double digit threat makes my players feel like they succeeded because I wasn't spending... but also, several characters would have been taken out before they could act.

In TA, had a session where I was at max dark fate because my NPCs didn't live long enough to use it. And I was imposing penalties aplenty ... but still ended at max pool size.

But not always is it hate the player...
Then there was the night, running MHRP, the doom pool was up to 8d12...
And the night where the doom pool was, of need, spent down to literally nothing... at which point they've basically won the adventure's environmental elements. The exact opposite snowball.
Why did they spend 6 threat for a throw away roll?

Anyway, sure, there are outlier situations, but that's not what we are talking about here.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
In trying to think of video games that have X/Day powers, I can literally only think of Elder Scrolls racial abilities.
Luckily I said "arbitrary restrictions". It was somebody else that read that to mean "x/Day". In video games it often manifests as "cooldown periods", mostly because the computer is great at counting and keeping track of lots of small things.

Either way, the problem is that a hero "should" be able to to do a roundhouse kick pretty much all day long. Perhaps not 12 times a minute for hours on end, but certainly more often than x times a day, and certainly more often in an emergency than during routine ass-kicking.

The discussion I am having is not trivial and uninteresting definitions. It is instead how to treat the - I assume - solution where you simply don't try to restrict the player at all, and instead make vague threats of "more dudes" or "bad luck" if you use the ability "too" often...

I am saying this can work. Just expect canny players to figure out the odds and then game them. (Soo many rules that just blithely expect people to turn off their brains, and whose balance can easily be power-gamed out of existence because somebody forgot their probability theory...)

Also don't even try to pretend the GM is going to be beholden to these rules. This mechanism is there to rein in the players. Not rein in the GM. That never works.

Suggesting these rules should somehow also apply to the GM means you haven't understand their purpose at all. The purpose is to make players hesitate or refrain from spamming their best abilities. How does putting up silly and artificial checks on the GM help with that??

Also, what if the GM is both adventure writer and games master? Can the adventure writer add in "some dudes" without having access to Fear points? Can the GM just "switch hats" and add dudes as he writes the encounters? How about the type of GM that shoots from the hip and makes stuff up as they go?

No, the notion that the GM cannot and should not "add dudes" without having Fear points to play means you (not you in personal, but the general "you, the rules designer") haven't understood a thing about how other people play the game. It works for you but probably only because your rules carry hidden assumptions you aren't aware of yourself (like "obviously I'm going to ignore this rule at certain times" or "I only GM my own adventures so I feel confident the number of dudes is right for my particular play group before these rules start to apply).

If you are aware of your assumption, write them down in the rule-book. That's a great start to achieving something that actually works.
 

Luckily I said "arbitrary restrictions". It was somebody else that read that to mean "x/Day". In video games it often manifests as "cooldown periods"
The example you provided in the very same post was only being able to do a roundhouse kick three times a day. Suggesting that it was someone else (me) who associated your post with x/day powers is disingenuous. Literally just used the example you provided yourself.

Cooldown periods are not the same as x/day. With x/day you could use the ability x consecutive times without waiting in between. Cooldown is a very different mechanic, and is less arbitrary because it represents needing to gather up enough energy to do a big move again.

So once again, video games are LESS arbitrary per your own examples. Which is why using the term videogamey is not only unhelpful but misleading in this case. It's pulled right from the edition wars where mechanics people didn't like are labeled videogamey (as an insult) even when it makes no sense to call them that.
 

You could also use a different scale if the referee is gaining too many tokens.
Not knowing the system, if a player gets +2 for a token, the ref gets +1. Or, 1 token to avoid a complication, the ref spends two to invoke one. Or something like that.
 

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