How exactly does Resolve work

So, I’ve been gone a long time from the forums, and I’m still debating posting a lot of the things I’ve been using the RPG for, but I started some in person games and a guy started asking a lot of questions about a particular ability and I want to confirm I’ve got it right. I tried searching, but I couldn’t find it answered anywhere.

So, under Higher Power, you have the ability “Resolve”: Boost yourself, and then you can remove a penalty or heal.

Now, he picked up immediately on the fact that since hinders are applied to your next die roll, that if you have a single -2 hinder, that is used up by the boost roll, and then you can’t use the second part to remove the penalty. Obviously, if you have a persistent hinder, this would remove it, but I think only after it applies to the Boost roll.

Here are where my thoughts get tricky.

  1. I remember that only one hinder is applied at a time, so three -2 hinders I think would resolve as such. First hinder is applied to the roll. Second hinder is removed by the ability. Third hinder is “eaten” by the boost. Correct or not?

  2. Let us say you have two hinders, or a persistent hinder. You roll and the dice generate a boost. Does the removal get rid of the hinder before the boost is “created”? So, if I have a persistent -2 and I roll, I apply the -2 to the roll, and get a boost of +2. Does the ability then remove the -2 and leave me with a +2, or do those cancel first, leaving me with a net zero? I think it would be the first, but I want to confirm if this has been discussed and decided “officially”

  3. How does this work with constant source hinders, like from an environment. Something like “Civilians in burning building, -2 to all heroes until you complete two challenges”?

It feels to me, like that -2 is “reapplied” every round. You might be able to get rid of it with boosts or the like for your current turn, but since the challenges still exist, you would have the penalty again once it was your turn again. I’m still very uncertain when it comes to environmental stuff like this, so I’m not sure how this scenario interacts with a lot of the other rules.

I know I’m getting into the weeds a little bit, and I can just rule this how I want, but I feel like some of my answers make the ability less powerful than it seems to be intended to be, so I wanted to get the most official consensus I could on how this all works together. Thank you all for your time.

I’d say we have the same results but this is the order I see it happening. First penalty would be used up by the boost dice pool results, that bonus created could then be used to lessen or remove a second penalty, and then the second or third penalty could be removed by the ability.

Based off the text you don’t remove the penalty outright until after the boost action so the persistent penalty would stay until the second part of the action. To the second part you’d have a net zero after the boost action as the bonus and penalty would negate each other.

I’d say this one is GM discretion on how you want to handle it. I could see it being taken as the hero using the ability is no longer impacted but the rest of the team is until the challenge is finished. Or they can’t ignore the persistent penalty until the challenge is done.

Personally I feel Resolve should have the remove a penalty text first and then do the boost.

Yeah, that’s why I’ve been a little stuck on this. Because that removal of the hinder is so hard to actually matter if the boost is eaten by the hinder first. It makes it only useful for removing Persistent Hinders, which is useful no doubt, but makes it very much feel like the removal is an after-thought to the ability.

And my gut says it wasn’t supposed to be an after-thought. It feels, in terms of the design space, like the healing was meant to be there in case there were no hinders, as a “well, you can’t get the maximum benefit, but you can still do this” but as the system is currently working, removing the hinder is the least likely thing to happen, and the healing is then more prominent.

Which, again, isn’t bad per se, but feels like it is against the intent behind the mechanic.

To me, hinders should only be applied to rolls they make sense to apply to. If your hero is wrapped up in webbing, that probably shouldn’t apply a penalty to like focusing your resolve the way it would apply to throwing an attack. Maybe that’s not the way the game is meant to run but it kinda feels like it should be.

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As written a penalty is supposed to apply to your next roll and if there are multiple die used from the pool for results the person who applied it can decide whether it applies to min, mid, or max. Certainly at your own table you can do what you want.

I can definitely see that, but that gets into some really sticky GM call territory, and leaves it open for players to challenge penalties being applied.

For example, if you are wrapped in webbing, how does that penalize my ghost hero who attacks via psychic projections? I can just… pass through the webbing, so can I not be hindered at all that way? Same with magical spells, if I just need to incant and move my wrists, then how does being buried part way in a wall hinder me?

I’m not saying you are wrong, because I clearly agree that sometimes a hinder doesn’t make sense to apply to an action, but it makes this very exception based and that makes it far harder to run effectively.

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If a ghost hero can be wrapped in webbing at all, then the webbing got into their eyes so they can’t focus. Or if a spider-bot is trying to hinder the ghost hero, it’s hopping up and down inside their incorporeal body and generally being a nuisance. If you’re buried under a wall, your arm could be trapped or dirt could be in your mouth.

And yes, the point of “do a thing, then remove a penalty on yourself” is to get rid of persistent penalties.

(Not sure how to quote in this new format, or how to break up a quote)

I agree with you. But this is why I disagreed with @Escher 's point about “hinders only applying if they make sense”. Because then it leads to the player’s potentially trying to get out of hinders by narratively making them make no sense, and that causes tension that I don’t think we really want at the table.

Yes, I can counter them trying to make it not make sense, by saying it does make sense, but that is what we were doing anyways, instead of what Escher was proposing by having Hinders sometimes not apply.

Here is the rub though. Because I can fully see that. But, this is a Boost Action, and it is a valid interpretation that Powerhound put forth that the Boost is created first, before the removal. Meaning that a persistent hinder would consume the Boost first. This leads to a lot of this action being negated.

If the Boost is bigger than the hinder, than there is nothing to remove. If the Hinder is bigger than the Boost (and therefore you can remove it) then the Boost is negated entirely, and a wasted action.

Personally, I’m going to run it where you can remove the hinder before the Boost “hits the table” but the more I dig into this ability, the more confusing the RAW intent is.

I don’t see how this is any different from any other action. If you have a persistent -3 penalty, and you roll a 3 on the effect die, whatever you did is going to fail.* At least with this action you can get rid of the penalty afterwards.

  • Unless it’s something like Create Minion, where you still get something even on a 0.

I suppose I see it as being different because the ability gives a way to remove hinders. And, if it were a -3 non-persistent hinder, then this ability doesn’t do anything special. And if it was a -2 hinder and a -1 hinder this ability doesn’t do anything special, and if I decide to heal and I have a -2 a -2 and a -1… then this ability again doesn’t do anything.

And I know that is the same with other abilities if I had the same penalties. But ability doesn’t say “remove on persistent hinder” it says “remove one hinder”. So, I would expect that part of the ability to actually be useful beyond just a narrow application to persistent hinders only.

So… I guess this means we still haven’t found a good use case for this ability, aside from the slim situation where you might be burdened with very large and/or redundand, persistent penalties?

Since the ability is quite widespread (5 of 20 Power Sources have it!), a word of clarification from the authors about their intentions would be really helpful.

Does anyone know if some FAQ exist, or are in the works? Or an ‘errata’ document of sorts, updating SCRPG to v1.01?

There’s quite a few things we seem to be left with, be it with the somewhat unbalanced Backgrounds (only a masochist will take struggling, which will punish you with significantly weak dice for trying an underdog backstory), the weird Divided Archetype (adds downsides, but doesn’t offer any bonuses in return) or the somewhat unclear purposes of this seemingly redundand Abilities like this.
There’s a few efforts to clarify or even rebalance things here, and a few more over on, but I find nothing even remotely official.

I must say I’d really really appreciate if the designers of the game would show a little more interest in their product post-sales… and the feeling that the newly-published core RPG seems a little abandoned already (they haven’t answered any mechanics-related questions since the KS campaign as far as I know) begins to curb my enthusiasm a great deal.
Or mabe they do care, and I’m just looking in the wrong place? Is it maybe buried somewhere in the podcast?

(Apologies that this has become a little more off-topic than I had intended to. However, I feel it’s nonetheless closely connected to the initial -and still somewhat unanswered- question… Also, I don’t intend to rant. I very much love SCRPG and just would like that love to be a little less, eh, hindered.)

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There have been items in the Letters Page podcast. Recently you had this Bullpen episode with co creator Dave Chalker in January The Letters Page: Bullpen #2 - The Sentinel Comics RPG and they’ll have another for July with Dave joining. I certainly agree we haven’t seen much interaction on the forums and it would be nice to have that.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Struggling background

(Adding this back, since we split the thread:)
In addition to Powerhound’s thoughts (Feel free to submit a question for the next Bullpen asking them about this! :smiley: ), you could shoot a message / Tweet to the official Twitter account (