8.2 Drawing on Resources

You can use community resources as abilities after convincing the community to let you expend precious assets. This requires a preliminary contest using a social ability, most likely your community relationship. Your GM will use a moderate resistance as the baseline, with higher resistances when your proposals seem selfish or likely to fail, and lower ones when everyone but the dullest dolt would readily see their collective benefits. Your GM may increase resistances if your group draws constantly on community resources without replenishing them.

The lobbying effort and the actual resource use require framing, a clear description of what you are doing, and other details to bring them to fictional life. You can use resource abilities directly, or to augment your own abilities.

Unlike character abilities, each use of community resources temporarily depletes it.

On a victory, you win the prize specified by contest framing, and a penalty is applied to subsequent uses of the resource.

On a defeat, you lose the prize and an even more severe penalty is applied to subsequent resource uses. If you fail to secure the prize you were seeking, the depletion penalty is also applied to your social and community abilities when interacting with members of your community. This reflects community displeasure at your fruitless expenditure.

Penalties from the Resource Depletion Table replace standard penalties for defeat, not add to them.

Like other modifiers to resources, depletion penalties end at the end of the current interval. These include depletion penalties applied to character abilities. However, a depletion penalty left unattended at the end of the interval can result in a permanent drop in the relevant resource.

If your GM wants resource depletion to lead to longer-lasting social penalties, at the cost of some extra bookkeeping, they can have the characters shed a 3-point penalty at the end of each interval.

8.2.1 RESOURCE DEPLETION TABLE

Contest Outcome Depletion Penalty
Complete Victory 0
Major Victory -3
Minor Victory -3
Marginal Victory -3
Marginal Defeat -6
Minor Defeat -6
Major Defeat -6
Complete Defeat -9

8.2.2 Required Resource Use

As part of your GM’s setting design, they may specify that certain actions in a setting always require the use of a community resource. Because the resource use is obligatory, it need not meet the usual criteria for entertainment value. Also, when the resource is used as an augment, you can also add a second augment from some other ability, adjudicated according to the standard rules, including entertainment value criteria. (This way, the required resource use doesn’t penalize you by forcing you to augment with a low-rated resource when you could otherwise use a higher-rated ability.)

8.2.3 Penalties to Resources

Threats to community resources act as a spur to PC action. Your GM may rule that the penalty from any outcome may be applied to a resource. (It might at the same time be applied to one or more PC abilities.)

When choosing a penalty arising from a player defeat in a simple contest, your GM will use the consequences of defeat table. For a long contest, the penalty corresponds to the second worst state of adversity suffered by a defeated group member.

If your group voluntarily concede a contest by withdrawing, your community suffers resource depletion equivalent to a major defeat.

8.2.4 Bolstering Resources

You can add bonuses to bolster community resources by seeking out and overcoming relevant story obstacles, specifying in the contest framing that the proceeds of victory go the community. If you succeed, bonuses from the benefits of victory table are applied to a resource instead of one or more character abilities. (Your GM may rule that the bonus also applies to you in social situations that involve community members, reflecting gratitude for their efforts on behalf of the community.)

8.2.5 Background Events

Your changes to resources take center stage in a series, but in the background all sorts of other events periodically alter the community’s prosperity. These include the actions of other community members, who are depleting and bolstering resources all the time, as well as the unexpected intrusion of outside forces.

At the beginning of each interval, one of your group should perform a simple contest of each resource against a resistance equal to the average value of all resources. These contests simulate background events outside of your control or influence; they can’t be augmented or bumped up with hero points.

The outcome of the contest may apply a modifier to a resource, as per the following table:

8.2.6 RESOURCE FLUCTUATION TABLE

Outcome Depletion Penalty
Complete Victory +9
Major Victory +6
Minor Victory +3
Marginal Victory 0
Marginal Defeat 0
Minor Defeat -3
Major Defeat -6
Complete Defeat -9

Except where your group is exceptionally keen on tracking resources, your GM should skip the background events process when the PCs are long absent from home. Your GM should rejigger them to serve their plot purposes when they return. The GM may also want to shuffle this process offstage when the PCs are occupied by epic events. This prevents them from having to flee from a climactic plot development to go home and tend to the beet crop.

8.2.7 Crisis Tests

When resources endure penalties, you conduct a crisis test at the beginning of each game session to see if trouble strikes the community. A high but penalized rating can still lead to crisis, because people have adjusted to the equilibrium it offers and feel squeezed when it shifts on them.

A crisis test is a simple contest (one for each penalized ability) of the resource rating against a resistance equal to the average of all resource ratings. Like background event checks, these can’t be augmented or bumped up by player action. On any defeat, the community starts to visibly suffer.

Your GM invents the specific reasons for each fluctuation and narrates them to you.

Crisis tests should spur you to action, challenging you to find ways to bolster the affected resources (see above). When bolstered, the crisis is reversed. If you neglect your duties or fail, the crisis worsens.

Your GM will call for crisis tests only as needed, as a tool to generate story. If your group already has enough story on its hands, your GM will suspend them until you next need a new plot hook.

8.2.8 Cementing Benefits of Background Events

Bonuses from background events are temporary, unless you take steps to cement your benefits. Doing so requires you to overcome a major story obstacle, perhaps taking focus for an evening’s worth of play. If you succeed, the background event bonus may, as per the next section, later solidify into a permanent increase in the resource’s rating.

When you cement a background bonus, your GM changes their notation of that bonus.

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