I’ve been working on an encounter and was wondering if permanently reducing a strain threshold by 1 or (maybe 2) because of torture is a viable option or not. After all, the crit tables do have the means of permanently reducing a characteristic by 1, so I’m thinking this would fit in well on the RAW front.
As always, suggestions are welcome, criticism requested, and thanks for any help you may give.
How permanent it is? Even after they get free (if they get free - otherwise it doesn’t matter i guess) they cannot recover from it?
If you are doing it to a PC, I’d make it a custom critical (hard difficulty) and give them narratively.
Or if the PC agrees (only then) give them as an obligation. It has the mechanical benefit of reducing the strain threshold from time to time and you can narrate it as mental trauma that haunts the player. You can reduce it by therapeutic actions (you need to discuss this), it contains some RP opportunity if the player is interested in it.
If you go this way, I’d recommend giving the player / group a major benefit, as Obligation generally something that is voluntarily and picking up extra obligation should get some benefit for the player group. I’m thinking that they gain something / someone (a ship? save a base? get some precious relic? save a jedi mentor?) by the PC sacrificing himself / letting himself be captured and this results in the interrogation - obligation.
That’s a very good recommendation, I’d probably take that approach were I in this circumstance.
However, if it does not fit with the circumstances, then permanently reducing Strain Threshold (as a result of dice results, not “automatically” or “because narratively it makes sense,” otherwise the player may feel railroaded) should be fine.
I wouldn’t recommend lowering it by more than two, and you’d have to consider precisely what results would justify it. I’d say it should require the interrogator to “break” the character, meaning at the very least a successful extraction of information.
I was thinking indefinitely permanent, but reading your guys’ posts I’m thinking that’s not the best idea.
I like that a lot more than my original idea. If I’m understanding you correctly, there is no number for it but it would still count for the total crits?
Yeah, of course. I wouldn’t reduce it unless they broke during the Interrogation/Torture time.
Basically, the players are captured and a player would be chosen randomly by the GM to be taken into interrogation. The rest of the players have a chance to save him by giving the information that the enemies are looking for now, instead of after the character has gone through the torture/interrogation. If I was to use this as an additional Obligation (and correct me if I’m wrong as I’m still figuring out how Obligation works), then I would just add it in the extra Obligation slot on the back of the sheet and give it a magnitude of say, 30ish and call it Trauma or something. However, this Obligation would be a bit different as you can get rid of it, by the means that you mentioned earlier (Therapeutic RP).
No, indefinitely permanent is fine. -1 or -2 isn’t too bad (and leaves Grit as a good mechanical manifestation of the narrative “therapy”).
However, I think that Obligation is the best option here, and fits the general situation best. The “day to day” effects can be handled narratively/through RP.
If I were doing this for one of my players right now, I’d give a crit with that effect, and the Obligation with a value of probably 10, depending on the results of the torture check.
Yes. I wouldn’t rate it at 30, somewhere between 5-15 should be fine, again, depending on the results. And yes, it would be possible to get rid of this. Possible, but not easy. In fact, I’d consider making it permanent, with “therapy” only able to reduce it to a background level (5).
If you want it to be a very major issue in the short term, a large number like 30 is fine. It all depends on how serious the torture is, and the effects it has on all the players, not just the victim. You’re in the best situation to decide that as GM.
Yeah, maybe activate the -1 ST on a rolled Despair and make it -2 ST on 2 Despair.
Maybe start it at around 5-10, then up it by one or two for every uncanceled success the GM rolls for the torture check. Then narratively treating it like PTSD for the player, where when it is triggered the player has some sort of traumatic flashback or something of the sort.
I think I’m starting to grasp this.
I’d treat any torture checks as active on the part of the torturer, forming the difficulty with the victim’s applicable skill.
So I’d suggest a Triumph to “permanently temporarily” reduce WT by 1 on a failed check, by 2 on a successful check. This would be analogous to inflicting a crit, and so I’d suggest Rimsen’s crit suggestion.
Aside from that, I’d put it on Obligation. The 5-10 suggestion is good, although I wouldn’t increase by 1 per success. I’d make it something like X with success, +5 for 3 Advantage (alternatively, 2 additional Success). Or, if it’s a series of checks (or torture sessions), add Success cumulatively. 3 Success here, 2 Success there, another 2 over here, etc.
However, I’d round to the nearest increment of 5. Obligation is rarely given a value that is not a multiple of 5, and having an Obligation that isn’t makes it harder to calculate.
Sounds like the issue is solved thanks to you guys.
I agree with the triumph, that was what I meant when I said Despair. Working with NPC checks always flips around my thought process.
The X per success/advantage is what I’m going to go with. I haven’t worked a lot with Obligation so I’ll take your word for non-multiples of 5 being weird. On the series of checks bit, are you saying that I would add all total uncanceled success together after all checks to determine total Obligation?
What I meant was X on a SUCCESSFUL check. Not X=Success. Consider it like base damage on a weapon (aside from the adding damage with net Success bit).
So on a successful check (whether 1 net Success or 7), the victim takes X Obligation (probably 5). From there, EITHER an amount of net success or an Advantage expenditure can increase that, OR you add success cumulatively from subsequent checks.
Segueing into your question, that would mean that you add all total uncanceled Success together after all checks to determine how much to add to the base amount of Obligation.
So if you have 6 net Success on 3 successful checks, if your base was 5 you’d add 6 (11), then round down (10).
We just went through this session yesterday, and my players outsmarted me with the “Tognaths can’t feel pain” garbage. Other then that, it was a very good addition to the session, and I want to thank everybody for their assistance.