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 Post subject: Fear: Questions of Steel
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:26 pm
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System Explanation and Overview:
Spoiler: show
This is a Fear Mechanic for TRoS, based off Nemesis and Burning Wheel, with help from higgins, Regin, and other forum members. We thank all these people for helping the creation of this system.


It started with a thread about how I disliked it when characters weren't afraid of the first zombie they ever saw, even if they were new to adventuring and hadn't seen anything so terrible. So I came up with the idea of a vaguely SA-like system, where you get a penalty equal to your Fear Attribute when facing the thing, until you've gotten used to it.
Higgins then said it reminded him of another game system, Nemesis, which was basically a horror game system. It had four categories of fear: Violence, The Unnatural, Self, and Helplessness. Being able to stomach terribly bloody acts before you, coping with ghouls and magical events, staving off your guilt and doing as you please, and keeping your sanity even after you were helpless to stop horrible events.

After that came a new system. Higgins suggested we do it like skills, and they were called Courage Ratings. They start at ten, and lower as you faced horrors and became hardened. But then came the question of lowering them at character creation, so you didn't have warriors afraid of blood and vampire hunters afraid of zombies.

Then he told me to look at Burning Wheel, which had a series of questions you're asked at character creation about your character's background. The questions lower (to a minimum of 7) or raise (to a maximum of 10) your Courage Ratings (lower is better since they're like skills) based on how you answer them.

When challenged by an object of Fear, you roll the correct attribute (usually WP) against the Courage Rating associated with the thing of terror.
This could be: A bloody, tortured corpse (Violence). A vampire casting a strange enchantment (The Unnatural). Your guilt after murdering an innocent man (Self). Or watching your lover killed before you when you're unable to act (Helplessness).

Along with a category, this thing will have a Fear Level. A pool of blood would be Level 1 Violence, whereas watching a demon torture someone is Level 10 Violence.
So let's say we have a zombie, which is Level 3 The Unnatural in this case. John has The Unnatural 6, while Ted has The Unnatural 8. They both roll WP against their respective TNs. John rolls four successes, but Ted only rolls one. John is unafraid of the zombie, but Ted takes a -2 Penalty to CP and certain actions.
Each success they rolled lowered the effective Fear Level by one (to a minimum of 0). The leftover Fear Level is a penalty to their CP and certain actions (at the GM's discretion).

Meanwhile, Fred had The Unnatural 10, but he didn't need to roll. This is because his character has fought zombies before, and is has reached Level 3 of Hardness for The Unnatural--he forgoes any fear checks of The Unnatural Level 3 or lower.

If you fail a Fear Roll, then you take the full penalty plus one--so for the zombie it would be a -4 Penalty (Fear Level +1).
Botching a roll forces you to do one of the following (you choose): You take Flight, charging back through the path directly away from your object of fear, taking more familiar routes when given a choice.
You Fight like a madman until your thing of fear is dead, gone, or you're incapacitated (close friends could potentially calm you with a difficult roll). Fight as per the rules of Berserker, attacking anything that tries to stop you until its out of your way at which point you return to the thing of fear.
You Freeze and hide if applicable, not taking any action for 5d6 minutes--unless you are threatened by the object of fear or something else, in which case you swap to either Fight or Flight (the GM decides).

Every time you roll half (rounded up) the Fear Level or more in successes, you check a box associated with one of the four categories as you would with a skill (there are three of these). When all boxes are checked, you roll WP against your current Courage Rating, a success reducing it by one.
You become hardened in a category the moment you check the third box.
Also, every two failures you roll (not Botches) checks a box.


Rules List:
Spoiler: show
  • Characters may be excepted from Fear rolls even without the right level of Hardness if they are deemed "used" to that object of fear, at the GM's discretion.
  • Courage Rating is temporarily raised or lowered for harder or easier fear rolls. An example is if you're trapped in a room full of zombies, then the TN will be higher than just facing a zombie.
  • Fear Rolls are more difficult when you're alone, since you don't have friends to support yourself. However, you Harden faster from relying on your own strength.
  • Courage Ratings can never be lower than 3.
  • At character creation, the minimum Courage Rating is 7, and the maximum is 10.
  • If none of your Courage Ratings are lowered at character creation, you start with +1 Soc bonus. If you have lowered your Courage Ratings to a total of 5 points or more at character creation, you start with a -1 Soc penalty.


Questions of Steel:
Spoiler: show
1. Has the character lived the life of a soldier, bandit, or warrior?
If Yes, lower Violence Rating by 1.

2. Have they ever been severely wounded?
If Yes, lower Violence and Helplessness Ratings by 1. If no, raise Violence Rating by 1.

3. Has the character ever murdered or killed with their own hands?
If they have done so more than once, lower Violence Rating by 1 and Self Ratings by 2.

4. Has the character been tortured, enslaved, or beaten terribly over time?
If Yes and their WP is 5 or higher, lower Violence Rating by 1 and Helplessness Rating by 2. If they haven't been and WP is 3 or lower, raise Violence and Helplessness by 1.

5. Has the character led a sheltered life, free from violence and pain?
If yes, raise Violence, The Unnatural and Helplessness Ratings by 1.

6. Has the character given birth to a child?
If yes, lower a Courage Rating of their choice by 1.

7. Is the character Gifted or Faithful?
If yes, lower The Unnatural by 1.

8. If the character's Perception is 5 or higher, lower The Unnatural and Self by 1.

9. If the character's WP is 5 or higher, lower Helplessness by 1. If the character's WP is 6 or higher, instead lower all Courage Ratings by 1.

10. Has you character ever experienced supernatural phenomena?
If yes, lower The Unnatural by 1.

11. Has your character made a living by deceiving people?
If yes, lower Self by 1.

12. Has your character been unable to stop a person they hold dear from dying before them?
If yes and your WP is 5 or more, lower Helplessness by 1. If yes and your WP is 3 or less, raise Helplessness by 1.

13. Is the character a Magic User?
If yes, lower The Unnatural by 2.

14. Has the character been wronged terribly and lost feelings of conscience?
If yes, lower Self by 1.

15. Is the character insane, evil or both?
If yes, reduce Self by 2, to as much as 6.


Examples of Fear:
Spoiler: show
Number refers to Fear Level.
* = It's possible to become Hardened against this without reaching that Level of Hardening.
** = It's possible to become hardened against this, but NOT easy...
*** = You can NEVER become hardened against this.

Violence
  • 1 - You see a large amount of blood. Someone is trying to hurt you.
  • 2 - You're trying to kill someone. Someone is trying to kill you. You see a serious injury.
  • 3 - You see a brutal injury. You see a disfigured corpse. You're seriously injured*.
  • 4 - You see someone die*. You see a tortured and brutalized corpse. You have to eat raw meat*.
  • 5 - You see someone be tortured. You're brutally injured. You kill someone for the first time.
  • 6 - You lose a part of your body. You're tortured**. Someone you care about is tortured.
  • 7 - You have to eat a sentient creature**. You see monsters devour a person in a horrible fashion**. Animal or animals begin eating you.
  • 8 - You see a brutalized abominating of the undead or of another plane**. Monsters begin eating you.
  • 9 - You see a brutalized abomination from hell**.
  • 10 - You see a Demon torturing someone in Hell***. You visit Hell while alive**.


The Unnatural
  • 1 - You see some cantrips*. A tiny aura of magic surrounds the place you're in*.
  • 2 - You see a proper spell*. You're in an area of small magic aura*. You see or meet a Faerie*.
  • 3 - You see a zombie or skeleton**. You see a strange spell*. You're in an area with noticeable magical aura*.
  • 4 - You see black magic*. You're touched by a ghoul**. You're in an area of strong magical aura**. You see a powerful spell*.
  • 5 - You see a werewolf**. You meet or fight a vampire*. You see powerful black magic**. You see an epic spell and are not a magic-user***.
  • 6 - You see a person transform into a werewolf. You see an evil ritual unfold**. You realize you're a werewolf**. You battle with a bizarre creature**.
  • 7 - You're in the presence of a wraith***. You see someone you knew rise as Deathkind**. You see a truly bizarre creature**. You're in the presence of an angel**.
  • 8 - You see a maddeningly bizarre creature from another plane**. You become a vampire. You're in an area of wild-magic**.
  • 9 - You're in the presence of a demon**.
  • 10 - You become a Litch***. You're in the presence of a Mighty Deity***. You're in the Presence of a Demon Lord***.

Self
  • 1 - You lie*. You steal so that you or others don't starve*. You insult someone who isn't an enemy*.
  • 2 - You steal because you find it relatively necessary*. You lie to a friend*. You insult a friend*. You hurt an enemy more than was necessary*. You break a promise*.
  • 3 - You steal because it's convenient*. You steal from a friend*. You lie about something important. You break a promise you made to a friend*. You lie to someone important to you*. You injure someone needlessly and purposely*.
  • 4 - You steal out of greed*. You steal from someone important to you*. You lie to someone you never wanted to lie to. You break an important promise. You hurt someone important to you (mentally, physically or emotionally)**. You hurt a friend (physically, emotionally or mentally). You kill an enemy, and aren't completely justified in doing so**.
  • 5 - You steal from someone, knowing it will be a terrible disaster for them*. You do something unnecessary knowing it'll hurt those close to you**. You hurt someone important to you (physically emotionally or mentally) out of malice**. You kill an enemy with no justification**. You kill a good man or friend out of need to do so**. You torture an enemy out of need*.
  • 6 - You've killed for the first time. You steal from someone important to you, knowing it'll be a terrible disaster for them. You badly hurt someone dear to you out of malice (emotionally, physically or mentally). You kill a friend. You kill an innocent man needlessly**. You torture an enemy needlessly**. You rape someone*. You associate with the obviously wicked*.
  • 7 - You kill someone important to you. You torture an innocent man needlessly**. You torture a friend out of vengeance**. You kill a child**. You associate with the undead**. You commit Genocide**. You rape a friend**. You accidentally kill a friend, someone you would have never seriously hurt***.
  • 8 - You torture someone important to you. You torture a child**. You associate with demons**. You put others to a fate worse than death. You awake from a drunken stupor to find you killed someone dear to you by accident, when you would have never hurt them***.
  • 9 - You put those dear to you to a fate worse than death. You perform major atrocities.
  • 10 - You have sold your soul to demons***. You are made to realize through magical means how wrong and terrible you have been***. You find out that someone truly dear to you, who you never would've hurt, has been put to a fate worse than death, by you***.

Helplessness
  • 1 -
  • 2 -
  • 3 -
  • 4 -
  • 5 -
  • 6 -
  • 7 -
  • 8 -
  • 9 -
  • 10 -



I've added three Questions of Steel. Also, I've done the examples for Self.


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