Technoir: Upping the Tempo

One of the central aspects of the Technoir system is that of the Push dice economy, which are passed back and forth between players and GM in order to apply adjectives which last beyond the length of the current scene. For a full adventure, run over multiple sessions this works well. Unfortunately for a single session one shot adventure it leaves the pacing on the slow side, especially as many NPCs are unlikely to feature in more than a couple of scenes.

Upping the tempo is relatively simple, achieved through the addition of a new type of adjective, that of Instantaneous. Here’s the new rule in full:

  • Instantaneous adjectives slot in as the new default result of an action and do not require the spending of any Push die. The chain therefore now consists of Instantaneous – Fleeting – Sticky – Locked.
  • Instantaneous adjectives last until the character has taken their next action.
  • The cost to apply all other adjectives increases by 1. So Fleeting now costs 1 Push die, Sticky 2 and Locked 3.
  • Apart from the change in cost all types of adjective continue to function as before.

By introducing this rule players are thus encouraged to spend Push dice more freely in order to apply adjectives which last the length of the scene. In turn this provides a greater supply of dice to the GM who should spend them regularly in order to apply Fleeting adjectives on the PCs. This relatively simple change therefore not only ups the tempo of the game but increases the frequency with which players are handed a physical object, a technique which I’ve found does wonders in getting their attention and drawing them further into the narrative.

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2 thoughts on “Technoir: Upping the Tempo”

  1. Hey, just wanted to say, instantaneous effects seem like they would have been a good addition to the DresNoir game. The only concern I have with it is that it may be a bit too inexpensive to shake off a fleeting effect given that it costs a die to inflict. At worst this only means it’s a bit easier to hoard dice though. I’d certainly be interested in trying this out sometime.

    1. Yeah I did contemplate adding in an extra cost for getting rid of Fleeting adjectives, such as having to discharge a Push die (in the same way you do when boosting your defence against an action) but wasn’t sure whether that would work or not. Hopefully next time I’m up in Glasgow I’ll be able to run another playtest of the game.

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