The Gift of Kindness

When don’t you give the Gift of Kindness and why?

BE makes it explicit, but I’ve been wondering about this in BW as well. The chapter on Resources says that it is usually best to grant the Gift of Kindness, but the GM may refuse it to mitigate outlandish purchases. But if a player wants to make an outlandish purchase, isn’t it the GM’s job to declare that his intent and task are inappropriate and ask him to modify his intent or not test entirely?

So when do you not grant the Gift of Kindness? It seems like if the player’s intent is appropriate then the Gift of Kindness is too, and if it’s not he shouldn’t be testing at all (and there is no need to refuse). Can anyone give me an example of when it helped your game?

I withhold the Gift of Kindness in tense moments when there’s a lot riding on a Resources test. If the GoK is a given, Resources tests become bland. An occasional threat of brutal failure spices things up!

I’ve used the same rule-of-thumb as I’ve used for BW. If the Resource Test is at the heart of the conflict then no GoK. If it’s just leading up to the main conflict then GoK is usually appropriate, especially if it enables the conflict to occur.

Actual play examples to demonsttrate; A PC was trying to wreck economic hardship on a GMFON. In mechanical terms this would have reduced narrative control of the GMFON’s company and also permanently reduced the GMFON’s Resource (no specific rule for this in the book, this was something we came up with adhoc). The Resource Test was the last step in a Linked Test Building Scene. I was fine with this Test going ahead, the Ob was quite high and they’d set this scenario up adequately in my opinion. But no way I was going to GoK that. Miss the Brass Ring and you faceplant.

On the otherhand another character needed a spacecraft for a group of PCs to reach a GMFON that was out in space. The real conflict is PCs confronting the GMFON. I’m not going to say “Yes” to the spacecraft because they wanted some specific things, especially to travel as a group, on short notice. But I did GoK when they failed, because the alternative is a cockblock on the core conflict occuring.

EDIT: I don’t think this is a lot different than what Luke’s saying. If there is a lot of tension around a roll, that there is a lot riding on it, that’s a pretty good sign that it is the core conflict.

Ah, neat. Sounds good to me.