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Using momentum to buy extra dice?

posted Feb 01, 2017 02:37:21 by ChopperDan
My group has just started playing Mutant Chronicles, and we're having a blast. I started with the 2d20 system through the Conan RPG, and I'm hooked now.

One thing I noticed about Conan vs Mutant Chronicles is how you buy extra dice for skill tests. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way, per the rules, for PCs to buy dice in MC3 is to add to the Dark Symmetry pool. In Conan, you can use momentum OR doom to do this.

It seems like this method of buying dice adds to the DS pool very quickly in MC3. I've been experimenting with allowing my players the option of using momentum to buy dice, like Conan does. Is there any issues that you can see doing this? Is it the intent for the GM to have a huge amount of DS due to players buying dice? Has anybody else tried something similar to this?

Thanks all.
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4 replies
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Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 01, 2017 11:14:30
This is an evolution of the system, and something I've considered for my own Mutant Chronicles games.

It requires a few extra tweaks in other places to work, however - you can't just add the option to spend Momentum for bonus d20s, because that alone will reduce the amount of Dark Symmetry the GM will receive (which isn't a crippling issue, but it can be inconvenient). It's not intended that the GM gain a huge amount of Dark Symmetry due to players buying dice in MC3, but certainly, the changes introduced in Infinity and Conan will have an impact on how much resource the GM will get.

So, there are a few extra tweaks that work along this:

First, any left-over NPC Momentum is added straight to Dark Symmetry, much as PCs add surplus Momentum to their group pool. NPCs can treat the Dark Symmetry Pool in the same way that PCs treat the Momentum pool in all ways. This makes the Slave to Symmetry rule that some NPCs have redundant, so if you're using this variant, just ignore that special rule.

Secondly, allow more than one Response Action per round; each Response Action adds +1 to Dark Symmetry (cumulative), so the first adds 1, the second adds 2, the third adds 3, and so forth. As normal, when NPCs used something that would add to Dark Symmetry, they spend from it instead; Trooper NPCs aren't allowed to make Response Actions as normal.

Thirdly, characters can never have more than 3 extra d20s by any means - whether buying with Momentum, Dark Symmetry, Chronicle Points, by spending Reloads, or any other means (so, you always get your basic 2d20, you can only ever have three more d20s). The only exception to this is assistance (because someone else is rolling that die), which also includes the extra dice that Mobs and Squads get (because it's several NPCs assisting a leader). This helps keep a number of other elements of the game under better control.

Additional considerations:

You might want to start looking at individual Momentum spends as being Immediate or Repeatable. As in Conan, Immediate spends are those that can be used at any time, spending directly from the group pool (and which can be paid for with Dark Symmetry instead, if you wish), such as buying extra d20s (Conan has a more extensive list of them). Repeatable spends can be used multiple times per skill test or per round in combat. As a rule of thumb, where a use for Momentum is described as “for each Momentum spent” or “for every X Momentum spent”, or if the spend is listed in a table with “1+” or “2+”, etc., then the spend is Repeatable. If the use for Momentum specifies a single cost, such as “for one Momentum”, then it isn’t Repeatable.

When using Dark Gifts, characters can buy additional d20s as Immediate Momentum spends in the way described in this section; however, if the character buys any dice in this way, they will also suffer [DS]X with the Vicious 1 quality, where X is twice the number of extra d20s purchased (so, buying one dice is [DS]2 damage, Vicious 1, while buying 3 dice is [DS]6 damage, Vicious 1). This damage ignores a character’s Soak, and is applied to a random location. This replaces the normal Light Wound that buying extra d20s normally inflicts.

When using The Arts, characters can buy additional d20s as Immediate Momentum spends in the way described above; however, they may also draw on their own willpower, buying dice by suffering Mental Damage. If you do this, the character will also suffer [DS]X mental damage, where X is twice the number of extra d20s bought (so, buying one dice is [DS]2 damage, while buying 3 dice is [DS]6 damage). Any Dark Symmetry Icons rolled on these dice inflict one Dread. This replaces the normal 1d20 for 1 Mental Wound trade.

Those are the considerations I'd personally make if using the Conan version of the Momentum rules.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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ChopperDan said Feb 01, 2017 15:59:20
Thanks Nathan! I really appreciate how responsive you guys are on the forums here.
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EdwardAmnonDoernberg said Feb 01, 2017 16:46:05
Very interesting. I need to find time to look at these other 2d20 games.

The limit of 3 aditional dice becomes an isue in relation to the talents that give 2 dice for each DS point spent. Eg specialist in close combat.

Should be able to address it easy enough but it will come up so a tretment for the case will be needed.

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Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 01, 2017 18:35:28
The limit of 3 aditional dice becomes an isue in relation to the talents that give 2 dice for each DS point spent. Eg specialist in close combat.

Not really. The MC3 rules already impose a limit of 3 dice bought with DSP anyway - this just extends that limit across everything - so those talents basically make the first dice "buy one get one free" (you get 2 for the first one, and then the second point gets you the third die).
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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