Resistance Rolls and Harm


(The Void) #1

It was brought up in the discord earlier today a question regarding having harm and making resistance rolls.

If you have a lvl 2 harm which gives you a -1d to that category of actions, does that -1d also apply to resists in that same category? Wasn’t not able to find clarification in the core for it.


(John Coleman) #2

That’s a good question. I don’t know if the book answers it specifically, but I’d probably rule that a physical injury would result in a penalty to a Prowess Resistance roll, and some kind of mental or emotional injury could affect Insight or Resolve as well. Just seems to make sense to me.


(John) #3

Contrariwise - if you apply the -1d to the resistance roll, you increase the average stress the character takes so making trauma more likely. Be careful about double jeopardy / death spiral mechanics if you interpret this way. It’s not wrong, IMO, but it will lead to a more lethal game.


#4

I’ve never thought about it, but it seems like it could.

Your character suffers the penalty indicated at the end of the row if any or all harm recorded in that row applies to the situation at hand. So, if you have “Drained” and “Battered” harm in the bottom row, you’ll suffer reduced effect when you try to run away from the constables.
https://bladesinthedark.com/consequences-harm

Imagine a situation where the situation above is a consequence, and the running away is a resistance roll.
“The consequence for your Prowl roll is that the constables discover you.”
“I resist the consequence by running away, so I’ll roll Prowess.”

Another way to make the game more deadly if you feel the need for it :grin:


(The Void) #5

Would have to concur that it is not explicitly stated but it can add more deadly thematics if that is the level of game play you are going for.

Good thoughts and thank you all for the comments!


#6

The harm examples refer to actions, and strictly speaking resistance rolls are not actions. But it’s not clear to me if “action” in these examples is meant as the game term (i.e, Hunt, Skirmish, Consort, etc.) or a less formal generic term for doing stuff. I don’t think I’d mind penalties to resistance rolls if that’s what a GM wanted to do, but I probably wouldn’t utilize this in games I run. I dunno, I have a vague dislike of it for some reason, but I can’t muster a strong argument against it.

This wasn’t asked initially and need not be considered as the same issue in my opinion, but if the harm was level 3 instead of level 2 would others require players to push their PC in order to resist a consequence unaided? If the harm was level 1, what, if anything, does “reduced effect” mean for resistance rolls?


#7

And for a noob’s perspective…

I agree with @JohnnyC, and I think it stands to reason that if you’re resisting harm when you’ve already been harmed, it’s more challenging. Pain tolerance, mental fatigue, and other things can affect your ability to think clearly. Helps the narrative, for me.

I like the option to make things more lethal in this way, and it further encourages the buy-in from the PCs to embrace the scoundrel’s life and get back up again.

Also, I like @John_Harper’s post about adding an XP tick if someone remembers or roleplays their harm.

Inspired by that, I’m thinking of adding a house rule for my group:

"Remember harm: If you roleplay your harm and suffer the die consequences without me asking for it, tick an XP track. "

An aside: We also have one “edge” token on the table. Gives the PC a bennie in the bank when someone exercises exceptional RP or has a great idea. I basically use the players to trigger it. “That was really good./That deserves the token.” Use it or lose it when someone else gets it. For now we’re using it for a +1, but we may revisit it.


(John Harper) #8

Harm penalties don’t apply to resistance rolls, only action rolls.

That said, if you play it that way it’s mostly fine, as others have said.


(The Void) #9

Good points here.

I have never used my harm levels to interfere with my resistance rolls but only actions but it was an interesting conversation in the discord so I thought to bring it up here as well for discussion. Thank you all for the in-depth answers!