Drama points for Narrator

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Drama points for Narrator

Postby aaronil » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:31 am

Hey, I'm experimenting with a new tool for the Narrator in my True20 arabian adventures game, and I would like some input!

Does this idea seem useful? Or is it just uneccesarily codifying what Narrators do anyhow? If it seems useful, would you revise any of these uses or add new ones? Have you seen something like this done before?

Drama is Conviction for Narrators. A Narrator may do the following things with drama:

* Activate Cinematic Feature: Each adventure has a theme, for example "mystery", and each theme has a cinematic feature that typifies that type of adventure and allows the Narrator more control. In a mystery this would be "montage scenes" (subsequent investigative checks build on intial investigative roll by +2, each time yielding more info), while in a comedy it might be "absurdity" (a failed roll is dramatically comical).

* Force Challenge: A challenge is a voluntary increase in a task's Difficulty in order to acheive a greater result; this idea first appeared in Monte Cook's "Iron Heroes." You may force a player to make a certain challenge.

* Inflict Complication: You inflict a hero with a complication of your choice during the adventure. You do not need to spend Drama points if the complication is the logical consequence of the hero’s action. Certain complications are inappropriate to be inflicted on heroes, like Code of Honor or Inner Conflict; leave such complications to the player’s decision. For an example of some complications see this link:
http://www.greenronin.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6312

* Re-roll: Allows you to re-roll any die roll you or a player just made, and take the better of the two rolls.

* Spotlight: One hero of your choice take center stage for a scene. That hero gains a +2 bonus on all checks. The spotlighted hero gains an extra point of Conviction to spend at this climax; if this point isn’t spent it is lost after the climax ends. This is the hero’s moment of glory, and all eyes should be focused on him or her. Spotlight must be used on every single hero before it can return to the same hero again.

* Unexpected Reputation: One (or all) of the heroes unexpectedly gains a modifier (+2, +5, or +10) on Reputation checks during a scene, or as long as the heroes remain in a certain environment. For example, a rogue might discover that he is wanted in a foreign city, and all supporting cast get a +2 on Reputation checks to identify him.

* Veto Conviction: You may veto an unreasonable use of Conviction, such as a poor stranded hero using heroic feat to gain the benefits of either the Connected or Wealth feats, or a wounded hero exposed in the wilderness without supplies or a tent using recover or cancel fatigue.
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Re: Drama points for Narrator

Postby Pseudonym » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:35 am

I'd say it does seem like unnecessary codifying what the Narrator already does.

* Re-roll: Allows you to re-roll any die roll you or a player just made, and take the better of the two rolls.

I dislike this one. Rerolling a player's roll, even for the better, is a bad idea as it diminishes their role in the collective enterprise. If as a player I roll and fail to succede at a task, then I have to adapt to the consequences of that failure, be it overlooking a clue or missing an opponent. If the Narrator rolls and says I succede anyway, then it becomes less me playing and more watching the Narrator tell a story.
Last edited by Pseudonym on Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drama points for Narrator

Postby timemrick » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:24 am

Pseudonym wrote:I'd say it does seem like unnecessary codifying what the Narrator already does.

I agree. Veto Conviction should be a Narrator perogative, never requiring any mechanical expenditure. Spotlight is its own reward, and the Narrator should make sure each hero gets a chance to shine each adventure. And many Narrator characters have Conviction of their own to use for Re-rolls and the like.

As far as things like Inflict Complication or Unexpected Reputation go, I think I'd prefer something more like the "Bad Things Happen to Good People" rule from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. In that game, the GM can make a PC's life harder in some way in exchange for giving them a Drama Point (comparable to Conviction) to spend later. No need to track a separate stat for the GM, and it's a lot more open-ended.
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