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Push-Hands Stakes

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Jun. 6th, 2008 | 04:43 pm
mood: creativecreative

Here's the big idea.

You have a character.  The character gets a certain number of dice to roll (I'm working with the general idea of D6s with 5-6 being successes), based on whatever you like (you can make this as explicit or hippy as you like - I've already got some ideas).  When you go, you get to roll them in order to get something you want, something you define, you know, Stakes.

Here's the thing.  Your stakes are constrained by what you ask for, and certain stakes are going to be harder to get than others.  These require a certain number of successes in addition to whatever you would use to determine if something went off or not or what you use to compare with an opponent.  This is a threshold.  I've worked up 5 Actions, which you take when you've got initiative, 5 Reactions, which you take in response to  someone else's action, and 4 Side Actions, which you can take as an Action or a Reaction.

Why would I do this?  Well, because a little restriction reminds people what they can actually do with Stakes.  Telling someone you can do anything you want with them is one thing, the only problem with that is that I tend to forget it, and a lot of other people with less of a background have a similar problem.  Also, I know some people who would rather narrate things happening to their character, rather than their character's actions, which, granted, is alright with me, but I think I want, for the games I plan on trying out, a little more emphasis on character action than things happen and the character benefits.

Here they are, with examples given by a team of adventurers, Jet, a fighter type; Ruby, a social manipulator; Amber, a sneak thief; Saph, a sorceress; and Esme, a detective, or something.  They are trying to acertain the connection between a merchant and a spooky cult.  In the course of the investigation, Esme and Amber sneak into his suite of rooms at the inn, Ruby keeps him distracted downstairs and Saph and Jet are stuck dealing with a thug and a sorcerer in his employ.  Let's see how things turn out...

Action
  • Push [1] – Pursue a Stake Directly.
    • Jet attempts to stab her assailant.
    • Ruby tries to get the attention of the merchant.
    • Amber tries to shimmy up a drainpipe unseen.
    • Saph tries to harm the spirit with sorcery
    • Esme tries to find a clue to the Merchant’s activities in his room.
  • Feint [2] – Test a motive or reaction, gain information about a reactor.
    • Jet feints to see how her opponent will attack her.
    • Ruby tries to find out if the merchant is alone tonight.
    • Amber checks the windows for traps or alarms.
    • Saph tries to find out what kind of spirit the merchant’s sorcerer is using.
    • Esme tries to interpret the merchant’s activities from his effects.
  • Hold [2] – Entrap or entangle the reactor, prevent them from leaving.
    • Jet tries to grab her opponent’s arm.
    • Ruby tries to hold the merchant’s attention and keep him downstairs.
    • Amber tries to River Tam in the hallway while a servant passes under her.
    • Saph tries to hold the spirit in place with her sorcery.
    • Esme follows a trail of blood drops through the merchant’s suite.
  • Pull [3] – Compel reactor to do take some action.
    • Jet retreats deeper into the alley, drawing her attacker.
    • Ruby tries charm the merchant and get him to try to seduce her.
    • Amber throws a rock to get a servant to look toward the sound.
    • Saph tries to compel the spirit to do her bidding.
    • Esme plants evidence that the merchant’s allies have betrayed him.
  • Expose [3] – Reveal vulnerability in the reactor, gain subsequent bonus.
    • Jet gets her attacker to overextend, leaving himself vulnerable to attack.
    • Ruby gets the merchant drunk.
    • Amber releases a sack full of mice in the hallway to draw off attention .
    • Saph compels the spirit to use a powerful attack, which it will not be able to use on her friends later.
    • Esme plants false orders from the merchant’s guild.
  • Link [4] – A push with a follow up action. The cost of the follow up is not included in this, so a Linked Push would be [5]. You can Link more than once.
    • Jet attacks her assailant and then trips him [Linked Expose – 7].
    • Ruby continues to charm the merchant and gets the his friends to leave the table [Linked Pull – 7].
    • Amber Picks a lock and sneaks into the secret room in the merchant’s suite [linked push – 5].
    • Saph weakens the spirit and binds it to her prayer beads [Linked Hold – 6].
    • Esme finds a hidden document and decodes it [Linked Feint - 6].
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reaction
  • Block [1] – Deny a Stake Directly.
    • Jet blocks her opponent’s attack.
    • Ruby deflects a question about how she knows the merchant.
    • Amber disables ye olde crossbowe trappe.
    • Saph sets her shields against the sorcerer’s curses.
    • Esme replaces the hair that was put across the window.
  • Sacrifice [2] – Accede to Actor’s Stake, take an Action in return.
    • Jet lets the assassin knock her over but uses the momentum to grab and throw him.
    • Ruby agrees to go upstairs with the merchant but convinces him to get intimate with her in the hallway.
    • Amber slides down the trick stair trap, but controls the slide so that she is behind some barrels at the bottom and can’t be seen.
    • Saph lets the sorcerer’s curse get through so she can counter-curse him.
    • Esme leaves traces of her presence, but is able to slip out of the suite unnoticed.
  • Dodge [2] – Avoid the affect of a Stake (but remain engaged).
    • Jet jumps aside to avoid her opponent’s charge.
    • Ruby delays intimacy with the merchant without making him suspicious.
    • Amber leaps around behind a table before the cultists in the basement can see her.
    • Saph ducks down a side alley as the sorcerer’s fire spirit goes roaring past.
    • Esme waits for the merchant to be too engaged with Ruby to notice her and slips past.
  • Bind [3] – Deny the Stake and entrap the actor.
    • Jet blocks another attack and binds up the weapon.
    • Ruby distracts the merchant and keeps his attention on her so that Esme can escape.
    • Amber knocks a bookshelf on the cultists, pinning them in place.
    • Saph knocks a curse aside and engages the sorcerer in a witchcraft fueled staring contest.
    • Esme begins to lay a false trail for anyone who would follow her.
  • Escape [3] - Avoid the affect of a Stake, disengage from Conflict.
    • Jet leaps into the canal and swims away from her attacker.
    • Ruby convinces the merchant to go back and get her some more wine and slips away.
    • Amber shimmies up through the dumb waiter chute and squeezes out through the kitchen.
    • Saph distracts the sorcerer with will-o-the-wisps and leaves before he can find her again.
    • Esme covers her trail from the destination of the false trail and heads back to rendezvous with her friends.
  • Redirect [4] – Turn the effects of the Stake back on the Actor or other Target.
    • Jet uses the attacker’s downward motion to drown him in the canal. Yuck.
    • Ruby fakes tears in the common room and leaves the merchant’s friends with a bad impression of him.
    • Amber dodges by an attacking cultist and pushes him down the dumb waiter.
    • Saph turns the ghost back on the sorcerer that summoned it.
    • Esme arranges so that those searching for her will meet and each think they other has turned traitor.
 
 
 
 
 
Side Actions
  • Cover [1] – Protect another from negative Consequence.
    • Ruby makes a story to explain why Jet is covered in canal muck.
  • Aid [2] – Help another win a Conflict.
    • Esme uses her knowledge help Saph heal Jet and prevent her from getting infection.
  • Count Coup [3] – Action that does not pursue a Stake, but gains Coup.
    • Amber comes back to the rendezvous point by roof-running, because roof running is cool.
  • Narrate [4] – Narrate a change in the environment independent of the Actions and Reactions of those involved in a Conflict.
    • Jet’s player narrates that her lover has thoughtfully drawn her a hot bath in anticipation of the state she was bound to be in when she got back.
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