If you end up with multiple dice for the vice roll, do you have to take the highest one? You might wish to take the lowest one so as not to be lost in your vice.
Yes, you must.
Indulging your vice is risky. And so is not indulging. Do you:
- wait for more stress? 6+ has no risk of overindulging, but more risk of trauma next mission.
- or indulge now? You risk overindulging now, but have less risk of trauma next mission
Interesting choices keeps the game engaging.
The only case where you take the lower result is if you have zero dots in the attribute. I.e. rolling zero dice rule.
This is something that I have been pondering. Because you roll your lowest attribute as your vice is connected to your weakness, as your lowest attribute gains more dice you should gain not be losing control more - the premise suggests that you have slightly more control looking strictly at the attribute mechanic.
That is why we have gone with allowing characters to roll up to to the number of dice they have in their lowest attribute so if they have 2 dice they can choose to roll 0, 1 or 2 dice. The nice thing about the blades in the dark dice pool is that while they can choose to skew things higher or lower there is always the chance of rolling a 1 or rolling a 6, so that allows them to choose how hard they are are hitting their voice but there is always a risk. I am not concerned that this will de-risk voice roles because anybody who is being careful could always wait.
I like the idea of players getting to choose how many dice to roll. Sounds like fun.
Yes, it may seem strange that over the course of the game you gradually lose control when Indulginge your Vice; presumably, you’ll add some dots in the first column in your worst attribute over time (though I’d expect most players to focus on adding dots elsewhere most of the time). But in a way, it does make sense: This is just another way of how living a stressful life in Doskvol brings you down over time as your risk of overindulging increases. The longer you lead the life of a scoundrel, the more excessively does the alcoholic scoundrel drink.
This is a great point. In crime fiction of most stripes, the characters aren’t completely in control of themselves. They frequently lose the battle of will with their vices, with greed, with violent impulses. Or, they do crime because it straight up pays for their vice (of course they’d overindulge at every opportunity!)
Accepting that and incorporating it into the characters’ stories often makes for much more compelling narratives than “a bunch of total badasses who live for the job and never screw up.” (Though in many rpgs, that’s the goal.)
If you’re interested, I put together a playbook that deals with exactly this – with the intent of offering more ways to interact with vice (possibly as veteran advances for other playbooks) and the ways it influences your character’s life. I already posted it on this forum once, so I’ll just link to that post:
(sidenote: Rakehell is hilarious. This is really the playbook for Canter Haig. The utterly inappropriate weapon made me laugh out loud)
I absolutely agree with interesting and challenging choices pushing the game forward. You could certainly look at it that the fiction of hitting your vice harder and with less control as time goes on makes sense.
But if your group finds an excuse to take on more stress when on 4 near the end of a score as then vice reduction is safer, that’s a slightly perverse incentive. More problematic is if you get to the point that you have 3 dice you are simply never going to indulge unless you have 6 points of stress.
Neither are a huge problem. and we are all pretty great at finding narrative justifications for these non-linearities in Blades, but I just wanted to point out that there are interesting ramifications either way. It might be that allowing fewer dice might result in more risks later on.
I’m imagining this could be cool as an “advanced permission” veteran advance. A special ability you can unlock fictionally or with long-term projects. In keeping with Functional Vice from the Spider playbook – yes, you can learn to better control your vice, but it takes effort and it’s not something just any scoundrel can do.
Actually, having more dice means you can “control” your vice better, because your result will be more predictable than if you had only 1.
Ie, if you have a lot of dice you can count on rolling almost always a 5 or a 6 , and then you’ll just have… to make sure you’ll use 6+ stress on every score, which is not so hard