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Resource depletion becoming longer lasting social penalty. How?


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In HeroQuest Glorantha, page 124 at the end of the 'Drawing on Resources' section you can read the following:

(Game Masters wanting resource depletion to lead to longer-lasting social penalties can, at the cost of some extra bookkeeping, have the heroes shed a 3-point penalty at the end of each interval).

Maybe it's just that my English isn't good enough (I'm from Germany, so I'm not a native English speaker), but this sentence is not really clear to me.

Given that one of my heroes tries to convince his community to use the wealth of the community for paying a ransom, which will free another hero from being a captive, and he fails with a Marginal Defeat, then he gets a Depletion Penalty of -6 for the rest of the time interval used for resource calculations, e.g. the rest of the season. Because the captive is a high ranking and very respected person in the community and he's still not freed at the end of the season I would like to this penalty a longer lasting penalty. (As far as I understood it would go away at the end of the time interval otherwise).  So what do I do now? Decreasing the penalty now (end of time interval/season) by 3, i.e. the penalty is -3 during the next time interval/season and disappears at the end of this second time interval/season, because I would decrease it by 3 again at that point? Or do I misinterpret the above statement?

A clarification / examples would be much appreciated.

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I think you are reading correctly, and your interpretation is in line with what is suggested by the rules.

ie: at the end of the current interval, the -6 resource depletion is removed, and the clan takes a -2 "permanent" resource hit to wealth. (see "Changes to Resource Ratings")

The Heroes then are either free of penalty (default rules), or have a -3 "longer lasting social penalty" which will go away at the end of the next interval.

Given that the ransom has still not resulted in the captive's release, and the situation still important to your story, I would personally be tempted to maintain the full penalty, and only drop it off once the situation has been resolved (your Heroes give up and the story moves on, or the captive is freed by other means).

You can also just factor the communities distrust of the Heroes into the difficulty of future actions, until such a time as they have regained the communities trust. Which may be easier than keeping track of a bunch of penalties and adjustments. 

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