This is the second of two articles dealing with new house rules I am introducing into my Witch Hunter game. The first can be found here.
As of October, my group will have been playing Witch Hunter: the Invisible World for four consecutive years, with the same cast of characters. It’s been a great ride and there is still more story to tell (theirs’ and mine), assuming my players are on for the ride.
I say that to give some weight to this: while on the whole I think WH 2nd edition is superior to the previous edition, there is quite a bit of dead weight and cruft. Some of these are artifacts from the previous edition, some were brought over from Arcanis without much thought or integration. (Seriously, has anyone read the Creature Size rules lately?) These are rules and elements that don’t really hold it back so much as add drag to what could otherwise be a lean, mean ruleset. Take the following use for Hero Points:
One Hero Point may be expended to gain the use of any one Talent the character qualifies for but does not currently have. This talent only applies for one action.
Now on paper, that sounds great! And I’m sure plenty of groups and players have used that benefit extensively. Mine…have not. And if it’s not being used, then its just a drag. Besides, talk about choice paralysis! Do you really want your players reading through all the Talent descriptions and requirements in the thick of play? I don’t. So why not trim that rough edge and reshape it into something more useful? Which is exactly what I’m doing.
Uses For Hero Points (Revised)
Hero Points can be expended for the following effects: (Changes are in green.)
- Add one bonus success to any roll. The Hero Point may be expended after the dice for the action are rolled. This is the most common manner of expending a Hero Point. Additional Hero Points will need to be spent to gain a bonus success on any other actions. (We’ve been using this tweak for months and it really has a huge affect on gameplay. Heroes feel a lot more heroic and it offers some protection against the whiff factor.)
- One Hero Point may be expended to negate damage suffered from a single exchange (damage roll) up to the character’s True Faith score.
- One Hero Point may be expended to resist the triggering of a character’s Sin.
- When a character is injured, she begins to suffer penalties to her action rolls. One Hero Point may be expended to ignore all injury penalties for one round.
- If a character fails her roll to remain conscious, a Hero Point may be expended to remain conscious.
- If a Witch Hunter is killed, one Hero Point may be expended to avoid death. The character is instead unconscious and at the threshold of death. Remember, barring an exception from the GM, only one Hero Point may be spend per instance, so another Hero Point could not then be spent to remain active.
- One Hero Point may be spent to gain an additional Quick Action in a round. Unlike normal conditions, this quick action may repeat a previously performed action (ie. an attack, parry, dodge, etc.)
- One Hero Point may be spent to increase any one Defense by 1 until your next turn (or approximation thereof).
- You may spend a Hero Point to grant another hero a +3d bonus to any single action. This represents you helping the receiving hero in some way, even if its only moral support. A hero may only receive help from one other hero for any single action. (Hat Tip: 7th Sea 2nd edition)
1, 7, and 8 pretty much cover, in the broadest terms, almost every available Talent. Not all of them, but enough to make me happy.
With that out of the way, and after my last article on the Damnation Pool, I felt like I should turn to Damnation. For me, damnation just never felt tempting enough. There’s no real reason not to buy it off unless you just regularly find yourself in desperate situations with no Hero Points (which may not be uncommon if the con events I’ve played in are any indication). Gaining Damnation shouldn’t be the goal of any witch hunter character. But I want that slippery slope to be a bit more slippery. These changes are meant to go hand in hand with the incorporation of the Damnation Pool.
Using Damnation (Revised)
- A damnation point may be spent to gain a 2 bonus successes to any roll. Damnation may be expended after the dice for the action are rolled. This is the most common manner of expending a Hero Point. Unlike Hero Points, you may expend as many Damnation dice as you wish on a single action. Each additional point spent on an action only grants 1 additional success. (Example: Spending 3 damnation on a single action would grant you 4 bonuses successes to your roll.)
- A Damnation Point may be expended to negate ALL damage inflicted from a single exchange (damage roll)!
- As a character becomes injured, he begins to suffer dice penalties to his action rolls. A Damnation Point may be expended to ignore injury penalties for one scene (typically one combat, or the remainder thereof).
Uses 4 and 5 remain unchanged.