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This is to explain a proposed new Action Card I am testing at table to replace the Party Card.

The WFRP 3rd edition attempt to have something that binds a group together is laudable, a “character sheet for the group” not just “a sheet for each PC”. Some other games have done this with “the spaceship you’re all on”, the “magical covenant you belong to” both which you buy features for as for your PC and both of which give you individual benefits etc. but I like WFRP going further with a mechanic that is “ways you help each other, or annoy each other”.

Breaking down the Party Card’s elements and reasons I’m revisiting it (many tables apparently just drop it):

- Party Tension doesn’t feel like it – the track builds slowly and the result is that a “trigger point” where negative effects are felt doesn’t “feel” inherently connected to what made tension reach that point. The idea of tracking inter-PC tension is a fun one but I feel this one ends up feeling like “arbitrary negative consequences” when they do fall.

- Party Special Ability overlooked – perhaps some tables are better at this than mine.

- Sharing Talents either overlooked or over-used in a way not roleplayed.

- Fortune Pool overlooked – a reward for good roleplaying to get more fortune points is fine idea though I admit I’m usually caught up in running game, while I form impressions during play I really only “grade performance” after the fact and the principle here is "reinforce good play on the spot". I give access to freeform die outcome possibilities for assigned boons etc. only with roleplay which is probably enough roleplay oomph mechanically.

So instead, each Player has a single Basic Action Card, the name varies by the Party Card, Glory Hound being this groups and has the information on it that puts it more in Player hands.

This would be a basic card you get starting out for free.

In this case: Glory Hound Party (click for a bigger look), courtesy of Strange Eons software.

The fact it recharges compensates a bit for letting every hero have opportunity to share talents, but I like letting every hero do this - why should only a couple of heroes do this at once?

In play you have to think ahead to still to choose what to slot, you can still benefit from it, and someone else is not as likely to recall what you can do as you are.

There are new generic chaos star effects on single and double chaos stars that reflect the "party stress downsides" of the tension meter - these chaos stars can only be invoked on failures (failure + chaos star not too likey, but the effects generally are nastier than a single chaos star effect). The particular effects here are based on the Glory Hound party.

Some effects in the game either increase party tension or disable a party talent slot.

When these come up I will replace those effects with something else. In the case of disabling a talent slot, which means one fewer shared talents, such as when someone is suffering a particularly nasty disease that makes working together harder ("stay over there and don't breath on me"), I will likely rule that the character in question can't "share their talent" or "benefit from a shared talent" instead.

In the case of increasing Party Tension, this will likely mean one Stress to each hero.

Comments welcome.

So far, players were happy with the switch, agreeing with the view of party card as "nice try but not cutting it".


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jonas Mose
Dec. 17th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
Party tension
In our group (currently playing TeW) we have 5 players in total. A lot of animosity exists between the characters because of different backgrounds, views on magic and races, etc. This means a lot of talks and arguments and at times even strife within the group.

Our GM uses the party tension meter to illustrate how divided or loyal we are. It's a great tool to sometimes end long debates. After an hour of arguing back and forth our GM simply begins raising the tension meter until people cool of. Then it's a long hard ride to bring things back to normal. Helping each other, supporting social actions and so forth.

Good idea with the action card though.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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