House Rule: Zero Dot Stress Boost


(Tom Lommel) #1

So, I’ve run intro sessions for two different groups and a common thing I am seeing is players balking when they have zero dots in an action.

Unless it’s really dire, they don’t want to spend the extra Stress to get to 1 die and then we have to take a few minutes to either reframe the way they want to do the action or they just skip it.

I realize the game is about hard choices so a certain amount of that friction is intentional.

At any rate, I’m considering a house rule:

If you have zero dots in an action, you can pay 1 Stress (instead of the usual 2) to boost yourself to 1 die.

I know this will often mitigate disadvantage, I also feel like it’s a decent compromise to keep the flow of the game going and to keep the player engaged when they’ve come up with a cool idea that their specific PC doesn’t quite have the skills for at the moment.

Thoughts? Any other unintended consequences I might be missing here?


(Mr Hollins) #2

I would probably want some language about how it doesn’t qualify as a “push”. There’s so many powers that say “when you push yourself you get X” that a rule like this could be abused by certain power combos.

This isn’t a problem that’s come up in my games because typically when a player has zero dots in a skill, they will try to accomplish the action by using a different skill with less effect, more risk, etc. “Ugh, I can’t Sway at all… what if I used Consort to be really pushy, leaning on our friendship, guilting them, etc.?” “Okay, but limited effect.”


(Tom Lommel) #3

Noted.

Changing the position and effect is also a good alternative I haven’t offered enough. Good point.


(Ian Hart) #4

Agree with Udachnik on avoiding the exploit.

Other than that, it seems like a fine rule if you want to encourage using 0d actions with a push. It shouldn’t be enough to disincentive upgrading from 0d to 1d, since that already rewards you with a valuable resist die.


(Tom Lommel) #5

So, amended house rule: If you have zero dots in an action, you can pay 1 Stress (instead of the usual 2) to temporarily boost yourself to 1 die. This does not count as a push for purposes of triggering other abilities.

And to clarify one other thing: Just quick searched through the rules and unless I’m reading something wrong, the only time you get +1d to resist when pushing is if you’re a Soldier and you have the Eat Iron, Shit Nails ability. Which, hey it has the coolest name so I don’t know why you wouldn’t take that all the time, but still.


(Sam Dunnewold) #6

On top of the house rule (which I like and my experienced fitd groups could probably benefit from; everyone would rather Be A Weasel than choose the right action), I’d also very actively point out the assist rules when players are considering zero dot rolls. I’ve found people are often like “rolling 1 die? Dumb and not worth 2 stress,” but “rolling 2 dice? A++ would roll again, 2 stress is easy,” since they aren’t personally responsible for the assist stress. People also really love paying stress to assist each other (in my experience).


(Tom Lommel) #7

Yeah they spend Stress to assist each other all the time, that’s a really great incentive in the mechanics to keep everyone involved.