ulmus
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Posts: 7
Joined: Fri 27 Nov 2015, 14:58

Personal stress and panic reactions

Tue 25 Jun 2019, 07:56

The stress/panic-system seems great and I’m really looking forward to see how it plays. One thing I’m missing is a more personal stress/panic response. There are signature items for relieving stress, but very little about personal ways of gaining stress or reacting in panic.

In the rules as they are in Alien RPG, stress and panic is something pretty generic. It seems like a pretty common trope in stories (and in reality) that people get stressed out about different things and panic in different ways. Personal phobias and anxieties could potentially play a bigger part and would be great for storytelling. Maybe they can be gained on high Panic rolls (you gain an appropriate phobia, every time you are exposed to the phobia, you gain one stress).

What would also be cool is a personal stress response. It could be something that gives no rules effect, but is activated on a “no effect” panic roll. Like babbling, cowering, cocky, clam up, nervous laughter, irritated, etc. Just for flavor.
 
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CynicalMo
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Re: Personal stress and panic reactions

Tue 25 Jun 2019, 18:39

I have a feeling that the rules in the starter kit are a basic version of what we'll see in the final rules. For instance we really don't know how/if traits are going to come into play. I imagine there will be more complicated mechanics but I do like your take on it. As a GM you can always look at the characters and decide when their stress levels might go up. 
I think there could be additional stress added/subtracted by the GM in the following areas:
  • Something happens that might conflict/fit with a character's trait.
  • Something happens to a buddy/rival.
  • Signature items reduce stress but could become lost/misplaced during action.
  • Study the bios and look for potential there too.
Again, I think a lot is left up to the GM's discretion but these are a few places to start until we have the finished product.
 
jacob
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 25 Jun 2019, 21:54

Re: Personal stress and panic reactions

Tue 25 Jun 2019, 21:59

Played it last night, it seems to work pretty well as written. I found the trick is to tailor the situation to the panic roll, instead of vice-versa.

Last night a PC tries to pull the medical logs from a terminal. rolled COMTECH. succeeds AND panics. Rolls 'flee'. Odd result for a computer access roll.

I described the PC pulling up a video of what happened in the medical pod. Total Clive Barker body-horror. PC freaks out and runs. "I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE."

If he hadn't panicked the log wouldn't have included the video at all.

(edit, I missed the part theorycrafting personalized stress gain, not personalized stress reaction). I think the rules expect it to be pretty GM-fiat-y but I definitely used that; on a space walk one PC got an extra stress since he was from a colony of tunnel dwellers; the vastness open space was pretty terrifying for him.)
 
ulmus
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri 27 Nov 2015, 14:58

Re: Personal stress and panic reactions

Tue 25 Jun 2019, 23:56

Great to hear that it works well! Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting any major changes, just some personalizing touches on top of the current system. The one I think I’ll add just because it doesn’t interact with the mechanics at all is that every PC should have a “nervous tick”, a Roleplaying suggestion to act out a panic roll of 6- that doesn’t have any effect. The best is if you don’t tell the other players what your tick is and then they become aware after a few panic rolls that your character gets a bit chatty when nervous.
Played it last night, it seems to work pretty well as written. I found the trick is to tailor the situation to the panic roll, instead of vice-versa.

Last night a PC tries to pull the medical logs from a terminal. rolled COMTECH. succeeds AND panics. Rolls 'flee'. Odd result for a computer access roll.

I described the PC pulling up a video of what happened in the medical pod. Total Clive Barker body-horror. PC freaks out and runs. "I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE."

If he hadn't panicked the log wouldn't have included the video at all.

(edit, I missed the part theorycrafting personalized stress gain, not personalized stress reaction). I think the rules expect it to be pretty GM-fiat-y but I definitely used that; on a space walk one PC got an extra stress since he was from a colony of tunnel dwellers; the vastness open space was pretty terrifying for him.)
 
jacob
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 25 Jun 2019, 21:54

Re: Personal stress and panic reactions

Wed 26 Jun 2019, 00:08

I kind of like the idea of each character developing their own panic table over time. Sort of like how the Overkill talent 'overrides' certain results, maybe you can 'earn' other table replacements.

People tend to respond to stress in semi-predicable ways; maybe you are more prone to screaming rather than freezing up, or have a greater tendency to violent.

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