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  • Questions on Huxster Backfire

    So last night in your game, it is only our second session the Huxster tried to make a "Deal with the Devil" for 2 power points, He failed then proceeded to run a 20 on the backfire chart to get mindwipe, basically, lose a die on his spellcaster stat. So I am new GM but do people temper this? Meaning should I have come to a less severe penalty? Or is the game designed that a character can recover from that? I decided that the penalty only last 24 hours but wondering I was being too lenient. It seemed that for a minor use of the power being only 2 points it seemed a little harsh. Thoughts from the more experienced GM's

  • #2
    This is more a factor of how you want the tone. And given how Hucksters evolve across the course of a campaign, I'm okay with being harsh with Hucksters (a full blown legendary huckster can take in as many as 11 cards per draw, basically guaranteeing them a successful spellcast) early on. The deal with the devil is meant to be the trade off to free power points. If it were something trivial and simple, then a Hucksters power point pool should have covered it. In choosing to deal with the devil instead of relying on their own power points, they made a risk. But that's just my opinion.
    Apologies if I am a little brusque, I'm not meaning to be rude.

    Comment


    • Andrewfroehlich1
      Andrewfroehlich1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Aye, I can see that now. I was just using the huckster in my posse as my frame of reference.

    • Mashedup9999
      Mashedup9999 commented
      Editing a comment
      15 cards if he/she joins the Agency with the +1 Grit

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      That's +1 to Guts checks only, not +1 Grit. A subtle distinction, but an important one. Bonuses to Grit can affect hole cards in duels (via Duelist) and the chance of coming back as Harrowed if you die.

  • #3
    The loss of Spellcasting is permanent, but I don't recall any language saying they can't just improve it again. It might seem harsh, and early on it is. But there's no reward without risk. This time it didn't pay out. Maybe next time the huckster will use their own power points. Being conservative about using their powers is a good roleplaying opportunity.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by marroon69 View Post
      So I am new GM but do people temper this? Meaning should I have come to a less severe penalty? Or is the game designed that a character can recover from that? I decided that the penalty only last 24 hours but wondering I was being too lenient. It seemed that for a minor use of the power being only 2 points it seemed a little harsh. Thoughts from the more experienced GM's
      It's your game, your table, and your players. You know them better than we do, so your answers are more "right" than ours.

      That said; no, I don't mitigate huckster backlash at all - when you gamble your soul with devils, losing has some serious consequences.
      Also of note, 2 PP is enough to do some impressive magic; you can blind a foe, shoot fire like a flamethrower, blast a target with short-range shotgun damage, magically deflect bullets and blades, locate magical effects, hide your own magic, wrap a victim in binding shadows, walk along the bottom of a lake, gain 50 pounds of muscle and bone, toss around everything in a 24 foot radius, generate light for 30 minutes, create a 36 foot wide fog cloud, create a focused earthquake to knock down foes, etc.

      Yes, a huckster can "recover" from such a result - it will cost an Advance of buying the trait again, but that's still better than a two-pistol character that gets a hand chopped off. There's no way to get back those two edge (Ambidextrous and Two Fisted), and it is entirely possible that he'll never get that hand back.
      You were way too nice - I've learned that players are usually crueler to their characters than I ever would be, so when they propose something awful as a result, I go with their suggestion. I suspect that they do this because victory only counts if the chance of loss was real - risking serious consequences makes the victories all the sweeter.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

        It's your game, your table, and your players. You know them better than we do, so your answers are more "right" than ours.

        That said; no, I don't mitigate huckster backlash at all - when you gamble your soul with devils, losing has some serious consequences.
        Also of note, 2 PP is enough to do some impressive magic; you can blind a foe, shoot fire like a flamethrower, blast a target with short-range shotgun damage, magically deflect bullets and blades, locate magical effects, hide your own magic, wrap a victim in binding shadows, walk along the bottom of a lake, gain 50 pounds of muscle and bone, toss around everything in a 24 foot radius, generate light for 30 minutes, create a 36 foot wide fog cloud, create a focused earthquake to knock down foes, etc.

        Yes, a huckster can "recover" from such a result - it will cost an Advance of buying the trait again, but that's still better than a two-pistol character that gets a hand chopped off. There's no way to get back those two edge (Ambidextrous and Two Fisted), and it is entirely possible that he'll never get that hand back.
        You were way too nice - I've learned that players are usually crueler to their characters than I ever would be, so when they propose something awful as a result, I go with their suggestion. I suspect that they do this because victory only counts if the chance of loss was real - risking serious consequences makes the victories all the sweeter.
        I'm in agreement with ValhallaGH. With one exception; if this is the player's first time playing Deadlands, or first time playing a Huxter, you may want to be lenient to keep from discouraging the player and keep the table happy. Sometimes it's better to let them "dodge the bullet," so-to-speak, let them sweat it out and feel like they just managed to avoid total tragedy. For this reason, I rarely tell the players Target numbers, or what the results of their rolls are "officially." I make it all in-game. Now every player knows when they critically fail something bad is coming, but they don't have to know what that is unless you tell em.

        When I run a game, it's about letting the players put together a story of their own making. It's no fun for them if they think I'm gonna try to kill them every time they botch a roll, or fail to kill the big-bad. But as they get stronger, the challenges have to get harder. I usually only use the harshest consequences for when a player becomes really arrogant and bites off more than they can chew. (And they always do that so well.)

        So TLR - newer players may warrant some coddling. Consider the personality of your player. Don't do anything that will make him leave the game, or abandon a new character.

        Comment


        • #6
          I had a group of D&D/PF players I was able to convince to give SW a try. The settled on the Deadlands setting and made a few characters. I tried the best I could to explain how magic can do weird things to the casters as well as those around depending on how bad the roll failed. First time the Mad Scientist crit failed, and decided not to reroll, instead of having a chance of blowing everyone up I just ruled that it broke and needed repairs. I did how however tell him as he was doing the repairs that he could see it was only pure luck it did not blow up. They all learned that failed magic can be really scary.

          IMO, for a first fail the OP did all right. Just make sure all the players know it can easily be much worse and to be aware of the cost involved in magic.
          I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

          Comment


          • Jounichi
            Jounichi commented
            Editing a comment
            If they're used to 3.X/PF then you don't need to hold back. Save-or-suck and save-or-die are common enough occurrences that they should be fine. Mentally and emotionally, anyway.

        • #7
          So we are a new group and all the advice here is great! Thanks....we discussed it and I think the D&D mentality is the issue. We also discussed the advancement options in the game and my belief that stats and skills will be more fluid. By the time they will be Legendary they will have received 16 advancements, 4 those will be able to move an attribute up. Once you are legendary every 10 points is a new stat bump. So yes bad things happen, but you will recover. We are on are our third session and they are started to understand why I wanted to shift over to Savage Worlds.

          Comment


          • dentris
            dentris commented
            Editing a comment
            Slight clarification. At Legendary, every 20 xp is an Attribute Bump. You gain one rank at every 10 xp, and may improve an Attribute every other rank.
            Last edited by dentris; 02-25-2018, 04:01 PM.

          • marroon69
            marroon69 commented
            Editing a comment
            You are correct my bad

        • #8
          Originally posted by marroon69 View Post
          So we are a new group and all the advice here is great! Thanks....we discussed it and I think the D&D mentality is the issue. We also discussed the advancement options in the game and my belief that stats and skills will be more fluid. By the time they will be Legendary they will have received 16 advancements, 4 those will be able to move an attribute up. Once you are legendary every 10 points is a new stat bump. So yes bad things happen, but you will recover. We are on are our third session and they are started to understand why I wanted to shift over to Savage Worlds.
          I find character growth in incremental, point-buy games to be far more fluid, too; for good and for ill. It allows for character growth to be more dynamic, adjusting to their changing needs more easily. But it can also lead to an overwhelming breadth of options. I'm not sure it's one I'd recommend for novice players. It certainly requires a different mindset than more rigid, class-based growth like D&D. That being said, there was a 3.X compatible version of Deadlands. I don't think it would be a huge stretch to create various paths for the different classes in 5e and let players run those. Hucksters and shamans would be for wizards and druids, respectively. Others might require total reworkings, though. And, of course, the tech level and available equipment options could be a real money in the wrench.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by Jounichi View Post
            That being said, there was a 3.X compatible version of Deadlands.
            Really? Do you have any further info on it?

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            • #10
              Originally posted by Reverse View Post

              Really? Do you have any further info on it?
              Deadlands D20
              http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/...lands-D20?it=1
              https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9794.phtml
              Like what you have read in someone's post? Hit that like button and let everyone know.

              I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

              Comment


              • Reverse
                Reverse commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks.
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