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[SWD] [SWADE] Thoughts about Common Bond edge

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  • [SWD] [SWADE] Thoughts about Common Bond edge

    Ok, I thought about Common Bond edge in this period.
    Long story short, I think it's a bad edge. Bad because the player that choose it is moved by noble sentiments, and he wants his character to be a teammate pal. However, his character "lose power" (I know, Savage Worlds isn't obsessed with balance, however follow me about this one), 'cause he invest 1 Advancement for the chance to give HIS bennies to the other players/heroes. Sure, in game this is cool and so kind, but SOMETIME it turns that character into a "benny bank", with other players beggin' him to have his bennies, so they can save themselves or they can shine in their action. I know, this isn't the perfect behavior at the game table, nonetheless it isn't so uncommon (at least, in the groups I've been with).
    So, how to change it, if we have to?
    I have two ideas, and probably I'll choose one or both, soon:
    - The character with Common Bond receive a special benny that can be used only for his allies. Of course, he can also give his standard ones, if he want. This mitigates the sacrifice he had to do (spent 1 Advancement, AND "forced" to share his bennies). So, it's a special kind of Lucky edge, that encourage roleplaying too).
    - The character with Common Bond can share his bennies, as the vanilla version, AND he can receive** bennies from all the other characters (of course, if they can justify in game how they help you). I think this is genius. With the Advancement you bought the ability to give your benny to others, 'cause they mean something for you, so you try to help them whenever you can, AND you become a special character that the other characters love, and try to protect in game, when you are in dire situations (ie. probably you finished your bennies, and now you need your group to stay near to you).

    What do you think? I think this could be a great improvement for SWADE too.

    ** NOTE: receive bennies here is intended as "he can spend the Benny in place of the other character". Actually, re-reading the vanilla Common Bond rules, they are at least misleading: ie. they say "A character with this Edge may freely give her Bennies to any other character she can communicate with." But I think it's pretty "stupid" to GIVE bennies when there's no need for them. So, PROBABLY, even the Pinnacle crew was thinking to "spending the benny in place of the other character". On the contrary, I feel that it makes no sense to do the "support scene" in fiction, just to transfer the benny, with no contextual expenditure.
    Last edited by Lord Lance; 01-13-2019, 01:44 PM.
    "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


    Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

  • #2
    Since my experience to this Edge is limited to a game where one player took it and was very annoyed by one other player who just burned through his own Bennies "because she still has some left, so I can always borrow them, right?" and continued to bring himself in situations where he desperately needed a Benny and then practically begged (or nagged "this wouldn't have happened if she gave me a Benny!" after the game), I see the need to change this. (The player in question never took the Edge again in any of the games after that)
    Your first idea fits right in with SWD's Natural Leader and with our practice to give them a Benny more.
    Your second idea sounds awesome, the only downside I'd see is that it keeps other PCs from taking it since you can just trade Bennies through this PC. To stop this, it'd maybe help to change the Edge from "freely give Bennies" to "let someone spend a Benny so you can roll again", what do you think?
    Last edited by Vasant; 01-13-2019, 11:39 AM.

    Comment


    • Vasant
      Vasant commented
      Editing a comment
      It gives a shout of encouragement and a pat on the back as examples. That seems very easy to exploit.
      Also, as long as you have one Benny, the two transfers doesn't have to occur at nearly the same time.

    • Lord Lance
      Lord Lance commented
      Editing a comment
      Quote:"the only downside I'd see is that it keeps other PCs from taking it since you can just trade Bennies through this PC."
      I think there's no risk to have this kind of "Hub" in the game. Usually, the character that possess Commond Bond is a "support" character, not a "tank". So, it's the gentle cleric, or the spirited kindly teenager in a modern setting.
      So, they can't "trasfer" the bennies through him, they can only spend one benny FOR him if they actually do something for him when he's in need (the same standard mechanic, reversed).
      They can't pass bennies to him, so he can hoard them, and then give'em to others. Every time the Common Bond edge is used, the benny is expended.

    • Lord Lance
      Lord Lance commented
      Editing a comment
      I edited the opening post, adding an important NOTE. I hope this better clarify the whole thing.

  • #3
    I like the second suggestion better. Although I think some overall limitation to the Edge can help balance it and prevent abuse. Something like:
    Common Bond
    You can give one of your own Bennies to another player. Each player can only benefit from this once per session. For each Benny you give away, you have the option to take one from another player for your own use (or ask them nicely). You can borrow the Benny from players you haven't lent to, but only once per player per session.

    This means that for rude players like at Vasant's table, who burn through all their Bennies, they can only hope to receive one from the Common Bond character. No more endless begging.

    Furthermore, the character with the Edge must first give away a Benny before they can take one. So they can't be a heartless thief about it. And since it is limited to once per player, you can't be a bully either and take the same player's tokens.

    Thoughts? Critiques?

    Comment


    • Lord Lance
      Lord Lance commented
      Editing a comment
      Here, the only "problem" I see is that it adds book-keeping. And of course my memory during the game is already overstimulated by hundred other things. I prefer to avoid to put other things to be scribbled on the sheets.

    • Vasant
      Vasant commented
      Editing a comment
      While the particular player I experienced might be subject to the popular rule 0 at other tables, the question "why don't you give me a Benny when I need it?" might arise even with less rude players, so your proposition certainly fixes that. I'm not sure if that makes the Edge too weak, though.
      Regarding bookkeeping, I don't think that'd be too hard to keep in mind for a session.

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      Lord Lance I can see the point about bookkeeping being a hassle. I suppose you can get rid of the "limit of one" stipulation and leave all the balancing up to the players.

      Perhaps a rule that you can't take a player's last Benny... or maybe only if they have more than two?

      Vasant Yea, with the way I proposed the Edge it certainly becomes weaker with fewer players (or maybe look at it as getting stronger with more players ). But the utility of the Edge would be that every player at the table can potentially get an extra Benny (which is almost like having the Luck Edge themselves), while the Common Bond character can "steal" a Benny from someone else if she needs one, as many times as there are other players. That's pretty good, I think; better than Luck I'd say.

      The caveat that you must give away a Benny before you can take one is there to prevent abuse. I suppose you can simplify it by just having it alternate, though. So you can take a Benny first, but can't take again until you give one away.
      ...You could track it with two-sided cardboard marker. One side says "Give" and the other side says "Take" and you just flip it each time you use the Edge.

  • #4
    I usually have Common bond as a Setting rule in campaigns where the characters knows each other very, very well. Then all players can share bennies between each other. To have it as an Edge makes life harder. At least in my opinion.

    Comment


    • #5
      To be honest, the Edge never interested me. Which is why I never took it... and it's probably why no one I've ever played with took it. Perhaps that was a giant missed opportunity, but like Lord Lance said, it doesn't really seem worth the Advance.

      Oddly enough, up until now, I didn't realize there was a verbal element to the Edge. That's even more restrictive. That means the scout 3000 feet away who botches his Stealth roll can't hope for a bit of luck to "rub off" his chummy teammate. I'm inclined to ignore the verbal element if this Edge ever comes into play at one of my tables.

      Comment


      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        I like the "he needs to be in your same scene", it adds something to the fiction, 'cause they need to interact (and I as GM usually love they do more than a simple "pat" on the shoulder, of course...). It's a trope in a lot of type of movies, books etc.
        Just the other mechanical parts doesn't sound good with me.

    • #6
      Thinking sideways, after reading your comments, and trying to imagine some kind of abuse of the new mechanics, I came with another curious scenario: what if the Common Bond character isn't the "support character", but instead he's the "tank"?
      Imagine him in the frontline, trying to keep a hoard of enemies at bay, defending a difficult position, knowing he'll probably sacrifice himself for his friends...
      But with the new mechanic, now he potentially have access to ALL the other players bennies (if they are ok with sharing them...), so we can emulate those scene in which the lone hero try to resist getting a temporary "superhuman resistance", at least until his friends are near there, crying for him, lending an hand, praying etc.
      Not bad

      The bad side of it is that you could potentially have more "rude" players begging for bennies... Well, at least now one of those CAN be the "poor" Common Bond character too.
      "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


      Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

      Comment


      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        Thinking about the whole edge, probably could be interesting to put a small caveat to all the "expenditure in place of the others". The caveat is "If the character has no benny left... etc. etc." This way, the fiction is more intense, 'cause you can only offer support in dire moments, ie. when the acting character has no more bennies, so he's more vulnerable.
        I think it's a small thing, but could be interesting, coupled with the other two options I proposed in the first place.

    • #7
      I have a character in my Savage Rifts campaign who has Common Bond, Luck, and Great Luck. I have another character in that group who burns through Bennies like a kid with a basket of jellybeans on Easter Sunday morning. I always insist that the Common Bond player describe what his character's doing to give the other player another shot at a roll or whatever he's using the Benny for, and it never fails to elicit quite the amusing response.

      I've been considering for quite some time the setting rule devised by the Birchers that would have players sharing Bennies with each other in a way that represents, mechanically, the changing social dynamics between the characters in the group: http://wineandsavages.blogspot.com/2...py-family.html

      Comment


      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, even I love to know the thing they do in fiction to justify the benny moving, but this of course doesn't help with the edge mechanic: on the contrary, it's another "burden" on the shoulder of the "poor" player that chose Common Bond for his character, so instead of gaining "power" with the advance, he now have to lend his bennies to the others, AND he need to justify it.
        This is why I proposed the two initial modifications.
        Last edited by Lord Lance; 01-13-2019, 09:56 PM.

      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        About the link: I understand the idea, while I don't think I'd use it in my SW games. Probably SW doesn't need another layer of modifiers (those "relationships" between the main characters), 'cause even if you let all players to have a "free" Common Bond, they probably will give (or not) their bennies to the other characters, and this is enough to simulate their actual relationship. Something like "I like you, I share the benny with you; I don't like you, or you did something bad to my character, then no sharing with you".
        Also, Having a +4 bonus with one, and a -2 with a couple of others, for example, probably it's not good for the game; let suppose that 2 players decide to have a +4 with each other, of course it's better to burn one of your best friend benny, instead of one of yours! Every time. Then, when YOU need a benny, of course it's your friend that burn his benny for you, and BAM, another +4. Those bonus can totally destroy the standard Savage Worlds math.

    • #8
      I played in a game where every character had a link to another character in the party, and the two could share bennies. No one abused it, and everyone seemed to have a good time with it. But I can see how some groups would find sharing bennies to be a problem.

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