Thursday, January 27, 2011

Skills and Potencies

When generating effort from your Pool, Hope has limits, and those limits are defined by your skills. And really, that's all skills do. They define what the limit is when you assign Hope points to actions. If you have a sword skill of 3, you cannot put more than 3 Hope toward it. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but remember a few things:

  1. You can allocate a second group of effort to an additional action with the skill. Your sword action might be capped at 3 Hope, but you can take a second swing for another 3 Hope (at a different target, of course).
  2. Your attributes aren't tied to Hope, and so they can add to an effort group even if you've maxed out the skill limit. Your sword skill might be 3, but if your Sword attribute is also 3, you can pump that effort total as high as 6.
  3. Destiny is not affected by skills. You can use it to generate effort toward any effect regardless of your skill rating.
So while skills are actually limitations, not boons, there are a number of ways to get around them.

As to potencies, they are special abilities that you can activate by spending effort on them. I have a small list of them, but it clearly could use some beefing up. To give you an idea of what they are and how they work, however, I'll provide a few examples. Note that the one common theme they all share mechanically is that they all require effort; there are no passive potencies.

  • Flashing Blade - effort placed into this potency generates an attack. You can use this attack to hit a target you've already attacked this exchange. 
  • Unflinching - effort placed into this potency sets the number of Pool points that go straight to bruised when injured, instead of going to bloodied and recovering. 
  • Riposte - effort placed into this pool generates an attack, but you can only launch the attack after you successfully defend yourself. When that happens, you may declare this action immediately. Not only can you attack an opponent you've already engaged this exchange, but you can add the margin of success of your defensive action to this attack.

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