Caranthir
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Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Wed 20 May 2020, 15:25

Hello everyone !

I wondered if you had to make a Panic roll if you had any 1 on your stress dice during an Opposed Roll, or even a Sickness Roll.
For example :
(Let's consider that these PCs already have 2 stress dice each)

-The PC must do a Sickness Roll against Neomorphic Motes, not knowing that he has been infected. Does he have to make a Panic Roll if he rolls any 1 on his stress dice ?
Knowing that he might not be aware of the situation ?

Second exemple :
-An NPC makes an opposed Manipulation roll against a PC. The PC fails by rolling a 1 on a stress dice. Does he have to make a Panic Roll ?
Because it would be very weird to have a PC go Catatonic, for example,while he could have been ordered to pick-up something in a near by room.

I hope I was clear enough, English is not my first language ^^"
Thanks all :)
 
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Gebohq
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Wed 20 May 2020, 22:34

As far as I can tell, technically you can panic from both of those situations. Perhaps in the case of the sickness roll, while they don't consciously know they've been infected, they feel they have to stave off /something/ and the resulting panic may be due to imagining the worst or just simply breaking down from the effort they need to exert. Similarly, in the case of the opposed rolls, if a PC really is that stressed out to potentially go catatonic, they might be perceived as just unable to handle the slightest pressure such as a slight demand to pick up something in another room. In both situations, it's less about being confronted with something that necessarily would panic a normal person (like seeing a monster) and more about already being on a razor's edge.

With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if I missed a rule line somewhere that says otherwise.
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Caranthir
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Wed 20 May 2020, 23:14

I really like your explanation, it fleshes out the PCs. I'll think about that for my next sessions ! Thanks again Gebohq ;)

I'll post an update if I somehow stumble upon a rule that solves the issue. Until then, i'll stick to this.
 
Vindictus
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Thu 21 May 2020, 02:08

I definitely dont think you should gain stress or panic off of opposed rolls

you should only gain stress or panic off of skill rolls that your own character initiates during their turn or from attacks which specifically state they cause stress or panic.

how is it fair if an alien sneaks up on you, forces you to do an opposed observation roll, and then you gain stress and panic on top of it getting to sneak attack you since youre probably going to fail the opposed roll anyway? then if it doesnt kill you, it probably makes you gain more stress and panic again. then when you try to get out of being grabbed or try to block an attack you panic a third time? there is nothing fair about that... If that ever happened to me as a player I would absolutely never play the game again.

theres way too much potential for abuse when you allow stress and panic to occur from opposed rolls. it can cause panic cascades that absolutely break the normal flow of the game.

panic is an awful enough game mechanic as is without having to make it worse. nobody likes losing their entire turn because of a random dice roll. but when you have to make multiple random dice rolls to see if you lose your turn it becomes that much more awful.

stress is an absolutely fantastic game mechanic. its too bad they had to ruin it with an rng panic table. they never shouldve made you roll randomly for panic, instead your panic state shouldve just been a direct result based on your current stress level minus your empathy attribute (empathy shouldve helped you mitigate panic).
 
Caranthir
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Thu 21 May 2020, 13:04

Thanks Vindictus for your answer.

Yeah, I agree at some point, the panic system is too hard to deal with as a player. My players had a hard time surviving because of that. Panic can completely ruin your game if not restrained i think. Too bad it doesn't consider a PC's Empathy, which as you say, would have been more coherent.

I'm planning to run the Chariot of The Gods in a few weeks, i'll try to manage the panic rules better and ask my players - when the scenario is over - to give me some feedback.
 
Vindictus
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Sun 24 May 2020, 09:11

results 12-14 are the biggest problems with the panic table. because those results make other players automatically panic.

and a lot of the time it just doesnt make sense. if you see someone going berserk shooting at aliens, that shouldnt make you panic. you should only panic if someone goes berserk on you.

I understand that having too much stress needs to have a downside. I just dont think one player failing to manage their stress should negatively impact other players that managed their stress levels better.

I also dont think command is nearly as useful at stopping panic as it should be. Because to use command you have to give up a slow action for certain just to have a chance at getting someone else's slow action back? the math there doesn't add up. Using command to aid someone whos panicking should only cost a fast action.
 
Babel2uk
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Mon 25 May 2020, 10:37

Ok, so, Stress you only gain from skill rolls where you push to reroll. So absolutely you should gain stress from an opposed or sickness roll if you choose to push the roll. Pushing represents your character hyperfocussing on it because they think it matters. While I agree the sickness roll may be more ambiguous, it's still a skill roll, and while the character may not know they have been exposed, gaining stress fits quite well with them suddenly realising they might have been, or simply just feeling something is wrong without knowing why.

You need to be quite stressed before the panic table starts dictating your actions. To get to the more serious ones you've got to already be at 6 stress and roll a 6 on your d6, or be higher than 6 stress. In either case it arguably means you're under a lot of stress already, quite close to panic, and maybe should have tried to deal with that already.

The command roll is designed more towards snapping characters out of more severe panic effects, and absolutely should take more than a fast action to get through to them. If you're trying to calm someone down, or stop them panicking while concentrating on something else, you're not really trying to help them.

The idea with panic is that it is contagious. One person panicking will absolutely drive up the stress levels of those around them, even if they themselves don't panic. This is because you suddenly have an additional unpredictable factor in the scene, that everyone now has to deal with. When someone goes beserk on the panic table they totally lose it. Their target is the nearest one to them, friend or foe, and everyone in close proximity will realise their former ally is a sudden potential threat. It's not just the fact that they've gone ape (on a bad guy or not) but the fact that their restraint has completely gone. Watching that happen to someone on your team is going to be stressful.
 
Vindictus
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Mon 25 May 2020, 11:09

So absolutely you should gain stress from an opposed or sickness roll if you choose to push the roll

I agree with that. Pushing an opposed roll should definitely increase your stress.

But rolling 1s on an opposed roll should not increase stress or cause panic. Because an opposed roll is only made to see if someone elses roll succeeds. It shouldnt affect you directly.


You need to be quite stressed before the panic table starts dictating your actions.

You dont have to be that stressed. Being at 4 stress and rolling a 6 on the panic table is all it takes to lose your slow action. Even if your stress is reasonably low you can still get a bad panic result just because you happened to roll bad... its unrealistically and unnecessarily random.


The command roll is designed more towards snapping characters out of more severe panic effects, and absolutely should take more than a fast action to get through to them. If you're trying to calm someone down, or stop them panicking while concentrating on something else, you're not really trying to help them.

I disagree that it should take more than a fast action. If you shout at someone or slap them to knock them out of a fugue state, thats the equivalent of a fast action. And you still have to make a successful command roll so its not even guaranteed.

And if someone is so traumatized that shouting or slapping them doesnt knock them out of it, then its going to take way more than a slow action to fix whats wrong with them anyway. Theyre going to need multiple therapy and cuddling sessions.

Besides Ive never even seen anyone bother using command because they dont want to give up their slow action. making it a fast action would get people to actually use it. Empathy based characters are super weak as is so I dont think theres a danger of them becoming overpowered.

The idea with panic is that it is contagious.

Panic isnt the coronavirus. People dont panic simply because other people are panicking. However that doesnt mean other people panicking wont increase their stress and that added stress might eventually cause them to reach a breaking point where they start panicking too.

Other people panicking should increase your stress but it shouldnt make you automatically panic. Automatic panicking is a bad game mechanic that punishes people who manage their stress well. Besides how is your entire group panicking fun? It isnt. Entire groups panicking at the same time leads to total party wipes.

Panic results 12-14 should add +1 stress to everyone but not make everyone automatically panic.
 
Babel2uk
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Mon 25 May 2020, 12:46

But rolling 1s on an opposed roll should not increase stress or cause panic. Because an opposed roll is only made to see if someone elses roll succeeds. It shouldnt affect you directly.

You don't get additional stress for rolling 1's, at least I can't see where that rule comes from. You run the risk of panic if one or more of your stress dice comes up a 1 on the roll, but that doesn't automatically give you additional stress or mean that you panic.

You dont have to be that stressed. Being at 4 stress and rolling a 6 on the panic table is all it takes to lose your slow action. You can roll a 1 or a 6 and the results vary wildly. The sheer randomness of the panic table is part of the problem.

OK, so at 4 stress - which means you've already pushed 4 rolls (which is your own choice to do), or encountered 4 stressful events - you have a 1 in 6 chance of losing your slow action, that seems fine to me. As you get more stressed the chance increases, which also seems fine.

I disagree that it should take more than a fast action. If you shout at someone or slap them, thats the equivalent of a fast action. And you still have to make a successful command roll so its not even guaranteed.

And if someone is so traumatized that shouting or slapping them doesnt knock them out of it, then its going to take more than a slow action to fix whats wrong with them anyway. Theyre going to need multiple therapy and cuddling sessions.

Nope, a single fast action won't cut it. If you're barking an order at someone who is panicking, it generally won't get through first time. You'd need to attract their attention, make proper eye contact, and make sure the message got through. The slap is simply the start of the process, the attention grabber. hell, if you don't like thinking of it as a slow action, think of it as 2 fast actions, a quick slap/attention grab, and a barked order. It's still more than a single fast action. Remember as well that "Give Orders" is a slow action, because you have to make sure it's communicated effectively.

I'll point out that there's a specific officer talent that allows for command rolls as a fast action instead of a slow one - that's to give orders, but personally I'd allow it for stopping panic as well - and there's a specific general talent that (if you have it) reduces all panic rolls by 2. I imagine there will be further talents that help with stress in the upcoming supplements, and probably some optional rules as well.

The "therapy and cuddling sessions" come in for permanent mental trauma - which is dealt with after the session anyway - or in the "resting to reduce stress level" rules.

Panic isnt the coronavirus. People dont panic simply because other people are panicking.

Actually that's exactly how anxiety and panic work. Someone panics, they let out social cues as well as fear pheromones that everyone around them responds to. Mass hysteria is absolutely a thing.

However that doesnt mean other people panicking wont increase their stress and that added stress might cause them to reach a breaking point where they start panicking too.

Other people panicking should increase your stress but it shouldnt make you automatically panic. Automatic panicking a bad game mechanic that punishes people who manage their stress well.

If they've managed their stress well, they're unlikely to suffer too badly from a panic roll. If they've managed their stress well they probably won't get more than 11, which means they're likely freezing, seeking cover, or performing their action with a side effect of some sort. Given that 15+ is Catatonic, I feel fairly safe in assuming that the game creators feel that any stress level higher than 6 is heading rapidly towards the character's real breaking point.

I doubt very much that anyone would really bother to command a frozen character to "snap out of it", unless they had something important to bring to the fight and which has to be performed before the next round. Likewise, those seeking cover or screaming. It's only when you get to 13, 14 and 15 where the command roll really makes a difference in most circumstances because those effects last more than a single round.

Panic results 12-14 should add +1 stress to everyone but not make everyone automatically panic.

You're confusing making a panic roll with actually panicking. Just because you have to make a panic roll it doesn't follow that you will definitely panic. If you're already highly strung enough that you'll pretty much definitely panic badly, you're absolutely at the point where someone else panicking nearby will tip you over the edge.
 
Vindictus
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Re: Panic Rolls : On Opposed Rolls and Sickness Rolls

Mon 25 May 2020, 13:46

You don't get additional stress for rolling 1's, at least I can't see where that rule comes from. You run the risk of panic if one or more of your stress dice comes up a 1 on the roll, but that doesn't automatically give you additional stress or mean that you panic.

You can definitely gain stress off rolling a 1 if you get a panic result that gives you more stress. My point is I dont think you should gain stress or panic off of an opposed roll because an opposed roll is part of someone else's skill check to see if they succeed. its not your skill check.


Nope, a single fast action won't cut it. If you're barking an order at someone who is panicking, it generally won't get through first time. You'd need to attract their attention, make proper eye contact, and make sure the message got through. The slap is simply the start of the process, the attention grabber. hell, if you don't like thinking of it as a slow action, think of it as 2 fast actions, a quick slap/attention grab, and a barked order. It's still more than a single fast action. Remember as well that "Give Orders" is a slow action, because you have to make sure it's communicated effectively.

Then players will continue not using the command skill. It simply isnt good enough as a slow action.


Actually that's exactly how anxiety and panic work. Someone panics, they let out social cues as well as fear pheromones that everyone around them responds to. Mass hysteria is absolutely a thing.

Correct mass hysteria is a thing. But none of the panic results would actually cause mass hysteria.

An ally shouting at you isnt going to cause mass hysteria. An ally going berserk on an alien isnt going to cause mass hysteria. A person fleeing isnt going to cause mass hysteria. those would all add stress, sure, but cause mass hysteria? no way.

Its a case of the penalties not matching the conditions... its unrealistic, makes no sense, and from a game mechanics standpoint its bad because it can lead to cascading panics and full party wipes.

An event that would cause mass hysteria is something like a chestburster bursting out of someones chest. Or an alien pulling someone into the ceiling followed by blood spraying everywhere. Those are all believable mass hysteria triggers. someone shouting at you not so much...


If they've managed their stress well, they're unlikely to suffer too badly from a panic roll.



that isnt true due to the sheer randomness of the panic table. You can always roll poorly and get a 5-6. whats relevant isnt that its unlikely, whats relevant is that it can happen. I dont believe the panic table should yield a random result, I believe the panic result should be based directly off your stress level. That way lower stress always means a lower panic result. And higher stress always means a higher panic result. the panic table definitely didnt need an element of randomness to it.


You're confusing making a panic roll with actually panicking. Just because you have to make a panic roll it doesn't follow that you will definitely panic. If you're already highly strung enough that you'll pretty much definitely panic badly, you're absolutely at the point where someone else panicking nearby will tip you over the edge.

No im not confusing them because when everyone in the party has stress levels built up the two are inherently the same thing. By the time the game gets to the point where one person is rolling a 12-14 on the panic table then everyone else is going to have enough stress that theyll be rolling more than 6s on the panic table if an automatic panic triggers. So yes everybody will be panicking to some degree or another. Ive seen it happen and ive seen it wipe out parties.


It can get so ridiculous... Because theres no limit to how many times you can panic in a turn. which is really silly.

Someone can scream or flee making everyone else panic which causes someone else to scream or flee and makes everyone else panic AGAIN which causes someone else to scream or flee, etc... and it keeps on going until everyone is catatonic.

But you think thats fine? Its a huge flaw with the rules IMO.
Last edited by Vindictus on Mon 25 May 2020, 15:23, edited 9 times in total.

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