Style Points in SW

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Shrieking Emu
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Style Points in SW

#1 Postby Shrieking Emu » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:55 pm

For my SW games, I'm thinking of replacing bennies with "Style Points" from the Ubiquity system. I enjoy giving more than the recommended 2-3 chips/session, especially for good role-playing and for playing up Hindrances. In the Ubiquity system, you can use style point(s) to add 1 per chip to your die roll before rolling as well as use them to assist other characters.

I imagine that I probably lean towards giving away 7-10 chips per player per session. Do you think being able to add to a total before a roll or having many more chips to remove Shaken conditions, soak rolls, etc. would affect game balance in a huge way? I've considered may bumping up rerolls to a cost of two chips, but I'm just not sure if that makes it too expensive.

Thoughts?
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Re: Style Points in SW

#2 Postby Clint » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:44 am

Shrieking Emu wrote:Do you think being able to add to a total before a roll or having many more chips to remove Shaken conditions, soak rolls, etc. would affect game balance in a huge way?


Being able to add to a roll ahead of time would make a big difference. A +1 or +2 bonus can be a huge effect in SW.

Consider the base TN is 4, so a +2 bonus guarantees success on any roll except a critical failure.

Thing is, even in Ubiquity, Style Chips don't work exactly like that; they add bonus dice to the dice pool, not a bonus to the roll itself.

So a more direct translation might be to allow a player to spend them to increase the die type of the roll. So if they have a d4 in a skill, they could spend 2 to roll a d8 instead.

I would say it would have to be limited in some way since beyond a d12 lies those same flat bonuses (+1, +2...) which aren't usually possible without Legendary Edges. It'd be simple enough to say the maximum as usual for a character is a d12.

Really though, I'm not sure there is any reason to add a new use for Bennies to adjust the odds of a successful Trait roll since rerolls allow that already. If you want to give out more Bennies, then just give out more Bennies and give the players more situations to spend them in. It will be a more "cinematic" game, but that may not be a bad thing.

If the intent is to give out more and keep the same tone (or very nearly), then Bennies have to be devalued, and allowing flat bonuses really won't do that. I think it would take a bit of figuring to pull it off.

Anyway, hope that helps.
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Shrieking Emu
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#3 Postby Shrieking Emu » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:28 am

Great insight, Clint. I did forget that style chips added to the pool and not the net result. While your idea to use chips to boost traits honors the original system the most, I think I'll just use your idea to simply give out more bennies and create more situations for them to be used.

Does that mean a more difficult game, harder hitting combat, etc.? What would you suggest?
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#4 Postby C.A.Pryde » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:38 am

Shrieking Emu wrote:Great insight, Clint. I did forget that style chips added to the pool and not the net result. While your idea to use chips to boost traits honors the original system the most, I think I'll just use your idea to simply give out more bennies and create more situations for them to be used.

Does that mean a more difficult game, harder hitting combat, etc.? What would you suggest?


I adopt this approach--I load up my players with bennies by giving one out any time a player describes "cinematic" action or does something flashy. You can account for it by ramping up the difficulty of combat and skill challenges (lots more mooks or a few more Wild Cards). You can also call for a few extra Skill checks, allowing those checks to produce bonuses. If one of my guys says, "I grab the chandelier and use it to swing feet-first into the bad guy's head," then I call for an Agility check before the Fighting roll, but I give the guy a benny (which allows him to re-roll the extra check if he fails it), and I give his Fighting roll a +2 bonus or an extra effect (in addition to being hit, the enemy is automatically knocked Prone), or something like that. Overall, I've found that this approach makes for some really exciting, cinematic combat.

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#5 Postby Shrieking Emu » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:51 am

Great ideas, C.A.Pryde!

Something I'm considering to avoid folks stockpiling to continually re-roll is to have only the last roll total count, instead of automatically using the highest roll.
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#6 Postby Clint » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:52 am

Shrieking Emu wrote:Does that mean a more difficult game, harder hitting combat, etc.? What would you suggest?


Things like that. Throw in more Extras to fight since they have more Bennies to reroll or Soak with. Or don't just make it a fight or a chase, but throw in some obstacles or outside effects that require extra rolls.

Things like a gun misses, shoots the rear tire of a nearby truck which causes the barrels in it to jostle loose and start rolling out into the fight; every one has to make Agility rolls as they roll through the combat.

Or if they have more bennies consider bumping some penalties up a point or two for "normal" rolls. If it takes a Climbing roll to reach the top of the cliff, maybe it's rained recently and the roll is at -1. That's a little trickier as you don't want to make it impossible even with Bennies (as said before mods can make a big difference), but it's an option.
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Indeed.

#7 Postby manifold » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:35 pm

By getting rid of the Bennies for XP rule, a GM is free to give out all the bennies he wants, and more bennies means, at least in my game, that the players will try more fun things. If bennies are precious, then they won't try anything. If they are abundant, then the players will be more likely to invoke situations that will require their use. Ymmv.


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