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A Question about the Consequences of Defeat and the Benefits of Victory


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In HeroQuest: Glorantha the text for the consequences of defeat (p.64) and the benefits of victory (p. 69) that these modifiers apply only to the Player Characters ("the heroes").

This makes perfect sense, as it seems like it would prevent the Referee from having to track additional modifiers for his NPCs. Moreover, the values of the NPCs/Obstacles are whatever the Referee wants, and are of value in that they are relative to the abilities of the PCs. They can be fixed as long as we're tracking the bonuses and penalties of the PCs. 

This is probably obvious to everyone else. But I wanted to check.

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I would though keep in mind things like injuries or other consequences to NPCs possibly providing bonuses to characters other than the one that inflicted it. Like, if Character A breaks an NPC's arm via a Major Victory, I would strongly consider applying that Lingering Benefit result as an Assist or Plot Augment if Character B fights that NPC later on. Parallel concepts could apply to Player A smearing the NPC's reputation and then Player B debating the NPC in court, and similar.

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4 hours ago, creativehum said:

the possible damage and benefits the players might receive

I tend to be very selective in my Lingering Benefits or Penalties - usually only as a result of some Extended Contest, and not even all of those.  Why? Well, with a Simple Contest, the result concludes the interaction and you immediately get the benefit or suffer the consequence, so I don't feel a need for some aspect to linger.  An exception might be during an actual HeroQuest, particularly if there is some chance that whoever you defeated (or defeated you) will return in some subsequent interaction at a different station, or that the result allows you to carry something forward to the next station. 

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10 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I tend to be very selective in my Lingering Benefits or Penalties - usually only as a result of some Extended Contest, and not even all of those.  Why? Well, with a Simple Contest, the result concludes the interaction and you immediately get the benefit or suffer the consequence, so I don't feel a need for some aspect to linger.  An exception might be during an actual HeroQuest, particularly if there is some chance that whoever you defeated (or defeated you) will return in some subsequent interaction at a different station, or that the result allows you to carry something forward to the next station. 

True, and good points, and something I have been thinking about.

But the point of reworking the table is to:

  • Make it clear who has won a victory and who has suffered a defeat (because, seriously, what is what the layouts with the tables in this book?)
  • Have the penalties and benefits right there, on hand for the Referee instead of having to look them up later. Even if the Referee is selective about when to apply them, there's no reason not to put them exactly where they'll be when triggered.

But your points is really well taken. What I like about offering the penalties and benefits is it gives the success and failures some mechanical teeth. But they should, as you say, offer those teeth only when if makes sense in the context of future situations and contests.

 

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