I have to make time to run sessions of the system without worrying too much about the finer details. However, preparation for All Rolled Up attendance at events has been a priority. Now, I hope to have the chance to pick up some slack.
I like Incriminating Evidence as a way to hold stuff against someone – and I’m good that the counters cut specific records or details. The players all know their characters have guilty secrets. Who discovered them and how they found out doesn’t need to have a specific answer. Ultimately, someone knows something that you wished they didn’t.
Under those circumstances, I suspect it would be a good idea to make amends. It’s occurred to me, for example, that someone with Incriminating Evidence might try to offset their guilt with selfless acts. For example, you might spend a point to take the hit when someone else gets hurt – whether they’re hit physically or struck by reputational dirt, grievous red tape or whatever. If a team mate will take damage to Access or Power, you spend a point of Incriminating Evidence BEFORE they turn over the effect tokens to find out the extent of the damage.
For example, George wishes to have an audience with Prince Reznik to communicate a matter of considerable import. Reznik’s personal advisor, Devit, suspects the information might undermine one of his plans and intercepts George, Maria and Peter. George rolls the dice and gets a twelve, without using any cards to adjust the success threshold. His team aren’t totally sold on the situation and see no advantage in helping, so they don’t spend pool points, and George himself doesn’t have enough to influence the roll.
The sigil on the dice rolled indicates that George has fallen foul of the System and the GM gestures to take an effect counter. Peter impresses his intent to step in and he discards an Incriminating Evidence counter, which George happened to have applied to him earlier. A gesture of good will to win George over, or a shaky hope that they will have a better relationship in future?
The GM turns over the counter and finds a result of 2 Power. Devit sends guards to retain and restrain George. When they appear, Peter steps in the way and attempts to distract them, while George gets away. The guards lose patience and beat Peter up, before giving chase. George won’t get that audience with Reznik today, but he might find another way to get the information to him if he can escape the guards – at least he isn’t locked in some dungeon cell. And Peter’s bruises will heal with time.
To be clear, the fact that the Counter that Peter burned to take the hit for George originally came from George is irrelevant. Once you have Incriminating Evidence Counters in play, it doesn’t matter where they came from. The blemish on your record exists – how you seek to better your reputation and, perhaps, clear your name as a result is entirely separate and non-specific.
On the other end of the spectrum, I see Incriminating Evidence as harmful to advancement. While you have any IE tokens, you can’t improve your character.
Current thinking is that if you complete an adventure with more points than you started, those represent a pool for possible improvement. If you have X Access above your starting threshold, you can spend them to improve a Pool by one point. For a little more, you can take a character card from the development pile – which will be a separate deck specifically intended to support improved expertise. However, if you have IE tokens, you need to exceed your base pool plus those tokens before you’re considered to have an excess. Maybe.
I’m still pondering this one.