Boosting In Detail

Ahey there! First time sorta posting on the forum, so first of all, lemme say, thank you for the fantastic series of games that is the Sentinels franchise. Discovered SotM around the middle of last year, and since then it's become the game of choice among myself and my group of tabletop gamers. We've always appreciated the approach to having simple, well-explained rules, which you can then expand on in interesting ways. Being a vaguely creative bunch, we've even taken to creating a few custom decks of our own - thusly you can probably tell that the RPG is the sorta thing that makes us excited to be able to create and use more heroes and villains.
Unfortunately, we have however run into a slight issue when it comes to the Boost/Hinder system. Whilst I… THINK I get it, a few alternative interpretations have been proposed, and there's been an air of confusion.
As such, I'm gonna try and explain Boosting and Hindering as best as I can, and would appreciate being corrected if I'm wrong! Thank you in advance!

Basic Boosting/Hindering
With a standard Boost or Hinder, you want to create a one-time-use bonus or penalty. Firstly you decide what you want that bonus or hinderance to be… for example let's say you're Absolute Zero, and you want to improve your next melee attack, in this instance by freezing over your fist with ice to add a bit more bludgeoning weight. It would probably be justifiable to roll Cold and Creativity on this one, in combination with your Status Die. For the sake of argument, let's say the mid result from those rolls is 5, that makes it a +2 bonus. So Absolute Zero notes down;
Frozen Fist +2
This one time bonus can now be used at any time as long as it's use can be justified - and once it's used it's gone. So though it was created with the intent of helping him punch real good once - and indeed, it could be spent on that - AZ could choose to use it in another situation where he sees fit, as long as (A)He can justify it, and (B)It is expended after it's use.
For example, perhaps Tachyon needs to cool an overheating device. Before she makes her roll, AZ can say 'I want to use my frozen fist bonus' and suggest that she cool the device agains the already-formed ice, granting her that bonus but melting the ice away in the process. Basically, as long as you can JUSTIFY your bonus use, that bonus can be applied to anything relevant?

You may also have more than one boost prepared at once, and can even use them in conjunction with each other. So for example, this Absolute Zero player really REALLY wants his Absolute Zero to get into the fray of things. Maybe missed the 'Ranged Combat' element of the character. So he has AZ create himself an ice sword, in much the same way he froze his hand over, this time getting lucky and managing a +3 bonus. Thusly he now has;
Frozen Fist +2
Ice Sword +3
If he wanted to make an attack, he could suggest he slashes with the sword with one hand, and then punches with the frozen one. This will allow him to use (and thus expend) both bonuses in one instance - creating a total +5 boost to the result of that attack.

Hinderances work in much the same way, where one comes up with what the hinderance is first, and then applies it where they next see it applicable. For example, tangling someone in web, you determine who you're tangling with the web, and then when they attempt an action you think would be hindered by that, you ask the GM to apply the penalty then.

Lastly, one can make boost/hinder rolls to counteract the effectiveness of boosts or hinders that have not yet been activated. For example, if an ally is similarly webbed for -3, an ally may try and untangle that web before it actually gets to apply it's penalty to the one it's entangling, by trying to create a counteracting boost. Say they wind up boosting by +2. The web instead will only apply a -1 when it comes into effect.

Now I BELIEVE I've gotten all of that correct. Once more, if there is an issue, please correct me! Next up are Persistent scores…

Persistent Mods
A persistent mod is essentially a bonus or hinderance that sticks around. Rather than being expended after it's use, it can be used again and again. Once more, it has to be justifiable in each circumstance that it's used, so for example Wraith may whip out a hardening cloak of sorts, that can act as a shield. This would obviously help a lot with Defend actions, and also could potentially be justified for things like gliding and similar such if one so wished. Basically, it can be used over and over for a variety of different actions, as long as you can justify how it would help.
In this circumstance, it would probably come down to the GM to make sure people are very specific with what they want. Whilst a 'moralising speech' could probably happily work for a standard Boost that could apply to a lot of actions, for something that's persistent you're probably going to want people to be more specific - just so they don't have something vague enough that it can persistently help them with nearly any type of roll. 'Ongoing tape of encouraging words' could probably quite quickly become quite a cheap way of applying bonuses to everything because people are feeling super duper hyped to do all things.
So yeah, basically a boost or hinderance that can have multiple uses, but probably needs to be rather specific in it's nature, to allow considerable justification.

Exclusive Mods
These are very particular mods, and are often persistent in nature. These mods are often to represent a very specific unique object - Wraith's favourite knife for example. Since the mod represents a very specific unique thing, it means multiple exclusive mods can't be applied to the same roll - as each exclusive mod would represent a different object. Your favourite knife cannot also be your second favourite knife to get the bonuses of both. That wouldn't make too much sense.

Boosting Boosts
This is where the waters do begin to muddy slightly, but… so, as far as I'm understanding, you can boost using boosts?
So for example, saaay Unity gather scrap metal together as a boost. They could then use that boost to, for example, create a machine frame out of that scrap metal, which winds up becoming a bigger boost. They then use that bigger boost to create a golem essentially.
I realise that may not be 100% how Unity's character runs, but just in terms of how the description plays out, would that work? Would one be allowed to use a boost on a boost roll to create an even bigger boost?

Aaand I think that just about covers everything, as far as I understand it or am unsure about things. I do believe one of my other players had an additional question, but I can't quite recall it for now. Nevertheless, please inform me if I have anything wrong or any details missing/that I don't understand here!
Oh, and once more, thank you for the awesome work you guys put in! You've bought us many hours of joy, and we're hoping the RPG shall bring us many more!

The thing I would add is what Paul said before;

Hinders always affect the next dice roll for the hindered target regardless of the action, which includes minions and villains. You choose boosts before you roll the dice!

And what Christopher said before (In Raccoonnoo post) :
You can remove a permanent hinder either with an overcome or by the hindered hero being boosted by an equal or greater amount of the hinder.

Exclusive mods are particularly notable or powerful, and cannot be used at the same time as other exclusive mods on a roll. (Player guide, Page 7)

You can use a boost to try to create a bigger boost. This game is on a clock so if they spend 2 turns not doing much that is on them.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica}

This fact is giving me bad flashbacks to previous games with one of my game groups. Several of them are notorious mechanics abusers. I know that there's the time limit, but they'll still try to do it.

It has some serious diminshing returns (though at the same time, encourages the kind of teamwork you want a Sentinels game to have.) My home group growing up were all minmaxers so I know how to cover bases. 

Also remember that spending 3 actions to turn a d4 -> d6 -> d8 isn't necessarily mathematically any better than using your actions 3 times even at d4 (average rool of the d8 boost = 4.5, average result of 3 d4 boosts = 2.5x3). 

If your party really wants to do it, it definitely can help them, but might not be the game breaker that in d20 system games a +6 (3 "aid another +2 actions cmbined) would normally be.

I'd also add that you can allow a Mod to last for 2 uses by accepting a minor twist (or by invoking your collection in place of the minor twist).

So that hindrance can last two turns :)



I don’t have the rulebook right in front of me, so I might be misremembering this, but I believe that when a bonus or penalty is created, its creator must specify which character the mod applies to.

As a general rule, using Boosts to Boost is going to be a worse choice mechanically every time than just giving someone two Boosts. I can’t imagine a situation in which it wouldn’t, to be honest. Even a +3 bonus is only enough to push a Boost up by one category, which means you’re giving up +3 to increase another bonus by +1.

The only way I could see that working would be to use a big one-time Boost to provide a bonus to a roll to create a persistent bonus, trading an extra high number once for a consistent extra +1.

1 Like

And I just realized that I responded to a three-and-a-half year old necro thanks to a spambot. Whoops!

1 Like

Apologies for thinking you were a bot, but your post had all the hallmarks:

  • Using your first post on the forum to respond to a post from three years ago
  • Responding to a thread about the use of the "Boost " action in the Sentinel Comics RPG to discuss buying things to make characters more powerful in computer games.
  • Linking to a World of Warcraft third-party sales site which I am absolutely not going to click on but which looks suspiciously like advertising for illegal third-party sales.
  • Not engaging with the subject of the forum (and, indeed, apparently thinking that this is a board game discussion) or even mentioning anything about the forum that you are currently in.
  • Ending your thread with a vague but nice-sounding statement about life and games that could be copy-pasted to any forum without having to engage.

Essentially, while I’m sorry for mistaking you for a bot, yes, your post was spam. And I could have not responded, but as I noted, I didn’t realize this was an old thread, so I was responding to people from before you bumped it up. I wasn’t responding to you - heck, I thought you were a bot, why would I?

1 Like

Yep, spam. Deleted. (The original didn’t have the link, so I was willing to let it go for a bit to see what they did. :pensive: Should have known better…)


I have to say, three years down the line, wasn’t expecting all these alerts popping up in my e-mails. XD
Though, uh, thank you for all the advice all those years ago people. 8D

As a ‘how the story ended’, successfully wrapped my head around the system in the end, and still intermittently GM the system. Next month will be in my first campaign in this system as a player.
So yeah, thanks all y’all. ;D