Player Turn Folly

I’m working out an ending during our current PT. I’m the GM for this Autumn session and plan to have the group in a Winter session next with all the normal Winter session fun.

So, that is part of what is making the tail-end of our PT a little difficult. The most recent event is a player using a check to Scout a lost mouse. It became a Scout vs Nature (mouse) and resulted in 2s vs 6s respectively. The margin of failure is pretty high.

I considered using a Twist in the PT, but don’t know when they’d be able to actually handle a Twist; plus that means that the Twist precludes the group finding the lost mouse. I want them to find the lost mouse; because, the mouse has info that I want to provide, and they’ve really worked hard to accomplish this. I’d hate to block it.

So, I’m working out Success w/ Conditions. Right now, I’m thinking of Sick as the condition, since it is late Autumn and the weather is unseasonably cold. It also seems to play well that the mouse called on Tough to keep searching despite hardships. So, my mind is thinking, ‘I’m so tough that I’ll get sick rather than give up.’

The problem I’m facing is twofold. One, should I really narrate all that much of getting sick, or just allude to it and let the players personify the sick condition as they wish (it might not last long anyway). Two, once we arrive at Lockhaven for winter, they’ll pretty soon have a chance to recover from all conditions. Sick might not be long-lasting. That could kinda reduce the sting of Success w/ Condition.

On the other hand, I could use Injury. I’m worried that might be even more contrived. Also, one member of the patrol is Injured already, so it cannot be applied twice.

lastly, I’m open to the idea of forcing the patrol to test Health at a factored Ob to determine if they become Sick. That lays the chance on their dice, rather than simply laying down the condition. It doesn’t mean they could decide to back-off the Scout–that’s already rolled. It just comes as a consequence of the attempt.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Complaints?

I think plenty of the conditions work. Sick, like you said–they’re pushing too hard. Injury works well, I think, because you could say “You relentlessly search, and push yourself way too hard” or simply “You search through some perilous places and get hurt along the way”. Angry would be great–“You spend so much time looking that even though you found the mouse, you can’t believe you didn’t find them earlier–you’re better than this”. And so on. I’d give a simple reason why the condition came about, and let the player internalize and express it as they will. Remember–the test should go relatively quickly.

You shouldn’t impose a second roll to see if the condition sticks. Just hit them with the condition–that’s perfectly fair and in the rules, and in the spirit of the game. You’re supposed to beat down the mice! :smiley: (But only so that they can bounce back with renewed vigor!) Though, save that idea for a mission. You could totally say something like “all of you make a Health test at Ob X” and have a condition of “Sick” on the losing mice.

Which–I don’t recall seeing anywhere that you couldn’t repeat a condition amongst the party. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. What you can’t do is give the same mouse any condition twice. So a mouse can’t be Angry twice, or Injured twice, or Sick twice. But two mice can be Angry, or Hungry, etc.

Don’t worry about the Winter phase coming up. If the condition lasts for a single GM’s turn, it’s still worthwhile. Just hit 'em with it, and let the rest sort out. :slight_smile: Keep up the pressure leading up to Winter. Most importantly, it impresses the fact that they shouldn’t be out adventuring in winter. (Though–you’ll later want to play off this. Perhaps when they’re more experienced, you could give them a twist at the end of Autumn. Nothing like a hard choice to liven things up.)

How about them finding someone else who has found the mouse – or something else, say, a fox? That ought to be covered by the spirit of the twist rule. Do they still have a check left for a follow-up conflict?

And, will this information keep until the following spring?

I’m a bit of a bastard, but I’d likely have them find the lost mouse… but find him dead. Then, provide them with the information that you wanted that mouse to provide, but via the journal which they find on the mouse’s corpse, or something along those lines. You get to accomplish what you want (providing them with the info that mouse had), as well as hit them with a hard result based on the high margin of failure. It also leaves them with yet another decision to make: lugging the mouse corpse back to camp, or leaving it behind. Good potential for more check use, and lots of roleplay opportunity.

That’s nasty. I like it.

right, that’s a great way to use the condition. Alas, the entire patrol is already Angry. So, I think Sick will be the thing.

I could bring back a fox which the group already faced during the GM turn. It could make an interesting additional facet. However, I’ve already got myself deadset on the group finding the mouse. The info can hold through Spring, but the NPCs to whom it relates are not exactly part of any PC mouse’s connections. I’d hate to force them to start caring about these NPCs through winter and into another year. I’d prefer they can learn the info and decide later if they want to follow-up on that info. There is one final check of the PT which could be spent on a conflict.

now, this–the mouse can’t give the info and the sickness might lead to death–could be an excellent to keep the tension high. See, I’ve already narrated the finding of the mouse, and don’t want to retract that section. However, it would be really easy to narrate the next portion of the scene in which the young mouse is incapacitated by fever and the patrol is starting to succumb to fatigue with Sick condition. That means the hard question becomes whether the patrol should spend the last check on an attempt to Pathfind somewhere safe for recovery, or try Survivalist on their own. Also, they do have duties which could be finished (yet, I think they’ll let that go).

So, in the end, I think I’ll use Sick with a short description to allow the players to personify that on their own. I’ll have the found mouse drift into a fever and withhold the info until her life is assured. This ensures the last check is under dramatic tension to succeed; because, the life of the patrol and the found mouse will be on the line.

thanks everyone! I’ll keep the subject open to other thoughts about using the Player’s Turn for Twists or Conditions. In fact, I might return to tell the reason this entire patrol is Angry right now–its from Anger during the PT.

my last post in the game to resolve this check as well as prepare for the next check follows below:

The patrol members gain Sick condition. They have found S; she will live for now, but has not woken up.

ok ready for A’s last check; Healer to handle the sickness and hopefully get S awake? or, Pathfinder to a settlement to get out of the cold? or, Weather Watcher to call surprising unseasonable warmth? or, Survivalist to build a suitable shelter for a long-term rest? devious grin