6 Aug 2008

Resistances Revisited

The preview edition of HQ2 has hit my desk, and the first thing I am interested to see, is how resistances are handled in this new rule set.

And, there are some definite improvements. Mainly, in the form of advice on how to set resistances, with a table and tools to help gauge what the resistance should be. I am delighted to see that much of the advice is focused on setting the resistance based on the flow of the story, where levels are decided primarily in relation to how successful the players have been in their last two conflicts.

There is guidance on how one should set the resistance first and then find story reasons why the resistance is at this level, so one could imagine a challenge with a clan champion which would normally be a high resistance but situated in the story after a sting of losses. In this case a low resistance would be selected and perhaps a secret weakness is revealed to the player by a surprise ally making it far easier to win the fight.

Another positive move is the advice that factors that cannot be changed by the players should be rolled into the resistance and not used as modifiers. This again allows otherwise complex sets of situational factors to be folded into the overall story and kept away from the mechanics. So if our champions challenge is on a cold and foggy morning this can be used as colour without the temptation to start adding modifiers for visibility or cold to both sides in a relatively pointless exercise. And indeed we have advice on folding away all of those weapons and armour modifiers as well unless there is good reason to bring them in.

Such guidance certainly steers the new HQ Narrator away from the habits of constant high resistances as challenge and instead moves towards high resistance when appropriate to the story, so I for one am delighted.

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