Gifts & Burdens

Here's where we'll post official clarifications and errata for all Coyote & Crow titles, including the core rulebook.
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:34 am

Gifts & Burdens

Post by Connor »

There's been a few folks who asked for some clarifications on Gifts & Burdens. The default system for them is a 1:1 ratio between Level and increase/decrease in Success Number. There are a number of exceptions to that, of course, like the Financial Burden, or Addiction, which has no Gift aspect. For other things you'd like to include using the standard system, we included Quirks as a catch all.

You might be saying, 'what about the ones that don't conform to the standard system, like on the pre-generated characters'?

Well, I'm glad you asked. I know some folks like hard and fast rules for those kinds of things, but, well, there aren't in this case. In fact, the whole point of Gifts & Burdens is that the things that make us the most human are often hard to quantify and trying to often just diminishes them. So, if you want to make a Gift or Burden have an effect that isn't just a lowering or raising of a Success Number, talk with your Story Guide. Work out what kind of effect you want to have. Remember that however you decide to craft it, it becomes a burden for you as a player as well. You'll be responsible for incorporating it into your play. You and your Story Guide should agree on the effect, the scale and scope, and the ripple effect it might have on your character.

Aten is a great example. We gave him a very mechanical Quirk of "Vigilant", which translated into a straight Level 2 advantage of +2 on Initiative. In that case, it's simply giving the same numerical bonus, but outside of Success Numbers. But he also has a Curse Burden. And the Unnatural Luck description doesn't fit neatly into the basic rule set. Let's walk through it. It's a Level 1, which means it shouldn't happen too often or be too extreme. This is reflected in the fact that it takes four of the same number on a Check in order for it to fire. Maybe it would be Level 2 if the Player ended a Check with 3 of the same number. It also has a subjective effect in that the Story Guide gets to decide the outcome through a Story Event, making it less likely to derail the Story or to impinge on the player's agency over their character. But it's also fun to think of how Aten might see themselves, feeling that he's both vigilant *and* cursed. Is he vigilant *because* he believes he's cursed?

In the end, making your own Gifts & Burdens should follow two basic principles:
- they should be fun for the character to play (even the Burdens)
- they shouldn't derail the play for the Story Guide or any of the players

And that's it really. I know that this kind of open-endedness is an anathema to some of you, but give it a chance. I truly believe that leaving it up to your imaginations is better than a pre-scripted list.
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