I have 2 ideas regarding using “Hold” with a device, both of which I am looking for feedback on…

I have 2 ideas regarding using “Hold” with a device, both of which I am looking for feedback on…

I have 2 ideas regarding using “Hold” with a device, both of which I am looking for feedback on…

The first idea is of players gaining “Knowledge” (generic term for now but fitting enough for my idea), the points of which would be used as a gauge of understanding. Essentially, interacting with one device gives them a better understanding of it, potentially making it easier to interact with more of them later…

EX: When using this device while having 3 or more Knowledge, you do so with a +1 Forward

Additionally, I want there to be an option (when interacting) such as: “You do NOT gain Sympathy” that would attach to them 1 “Sympathy” should they NOT choose said option. Then later, that “Sympathy” could be exploited by a, for example, a mob…

EX: This enemy takes 1 less damage from those with 3 or more “Sympathy”.

Here’s an example of these concepts together in a device…

When you interact with this device, roll+INT. When using this device while having 3 or more Knowledge, you do so with a +1 Forward. On a 10+ choose three, on a 7-9 choose two, on a 6- choose 1.

…You gain Knowledge

…You do not gain Sympathy

…This device does not break

…You do not draw unwanted attention

Feedback request:

– I want it to be simple – do you think this is too much for players to track? I was imagining having up to 3 different “Knowledge’s”, and then the “Sympathy” so there could be up to 4 “currencies” to track. That said, this would only carry through a session or two, and I imagined after that, they could discard the currency (it would no longer be used for various reasons).

– The description of “Hold” seems to indicate this is not the way to use said currency – I’m not too worried about that, but I do wonder if this kind of thing fits within the accepted “rules” for Hold.

– Is there a better way to achieve what I am going for?

13 thoughts on “I have 2 ideas regarding using “Hold” with a device, both of which I am looking for feedback on…”

  1. I hope Tim Franzke doesn’t mind if I drop his name here, I just really enjoy his work and would love to know what he thinks of this as well 😉

  2. I’ve seen a few examples of hold currencies being the focus of custom moves and extra playbooks. Generally, the hold can be spent on something, to either makes something true, or allow the player to do something cool.

    At the moment, it loos like you’re using it as an extra stat. This can work, but I’d suggest a couple of options.

    1: treat it as a straight modifier stat, knowledge+1 to +3. Have certain actions increase and decrease it to keep it dynamic if you like.

    2: treat it as a currency you spend to add bonuses to a roll. “When you spend 1 to 3 knowledge, roll+knowledge spent.”

    3: treat it as a currency that makes thing happen, or makes them true. “Spend x knowledge to gain perfect understanding of a monster in front of you” “spend y knowledge to give someone perfect, terrible foresight on their actions and how they will lead to disaster”


    When gaining a currency can be used to your disadvantage, that’s a GM move mostly. I’d bake those consequences into the move directly nested of managing a negative stat or currency. “Your heart softens for the plight of X, take -1 forward for violence against their kind”

  3. Adrian Thoen Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it! For what I have in mind, I think your first example is an excellent way to go for one of the cases I am thinking of.

    As for the disadvantage, one of the things I liked about applying it as a negative currency was that I could do something like… ask the player, “do you have any crud?” to which they could respond, “yes, 3 in fact” which could be used as a trigger by a mob, etc… when striking an enemy with 3 or more crud, inflict 1 more damage, etc.

    I guess I’m essentially (in that case) using the “Hold” mechanic much like a status effect (diseased, etc). Maybe that’s a problem, I’m just not sure.

  4. You could use crud currency (cruddency?) as a sort of bargain.

    When you have 3 or more Crud, the GM may offer you a disadvantage, hard choice, or extra damage against you. If you accept, lose 3 Crud, and gain 1xp. (Or some other bonus)

  5. You know, that’s interesting as I was thinking after I posted that, “how about getting rid of crud? I guess they could lose it after being hit but that would be odd” – so yea, that’s a good call, I like it

  6. Copy from Reddit.

    “Interact with device”, Roll+Knowledge on 10+ gain 1 Knowledge and choose 3. On a 7-9 gain 1 Knowledge and choose 2. On a 6- choose 1 and loose 1 “Knowledge”

    You do not draw unwanted attention

    This device does not break

    It doesn’t confuse you: You do not lose knowledge

    Negative Knowledge “I didn’t mean to do that!” For every -1 knowledge, the GM gets to make a move.

    The idea here is instead of worrying about keeping track of multiple currencies, you deal with just one. The knowledge is there to give +rolls to using a device, but notice how hard it is to keep that number from staying positive? 7-9 Rolls make the player have to make a hard choice, do they want to keep the knowledge they just gained? Or stop it from breaking or gaining attention? And a Miss will pretty much always draw trouble, especially if they don’t want to break the device!

    I hope this works for you  🙂

  7. I see your copy from reddit and… well, do the same…

    I see what you were getting at now and I like it a lot – very nice and yea, risk vs reward. The “negative” thing was losing me for some reason when we were chatting earlier, but I get it now, nice!

    Thanks for your time with that, I appreciate it 😉

  8. Yeah sorry about that lol. 

    The move really allows for move’s on your end, unless it’s a 10+ you will most likely get to do something to the poor bastards! 

    Spending the hold just makes it a success for a 7-9, denying you a move. Using that as a +Roll also means anyone in the party can try it, instead of whoever has the highest INT.

    Oh and you can easily make that a global Hold for the PC’s. Just let them know that Knowledge is shared, make interesting dynamics in the group, they would fight over which options to choose. That and if a single person misses, it bad for the whole team. 

    Oh and the PC’s Don’t subtract negative Knowledge to there roll, it just means you/GM get to make a move. At least that’s how I would treat it, the move is too nasty to add negative to rolls.

  9. Thank you Mike Weem 

    If you look at my Academic Researcher or Maestro they have the same thing basically. It’s more of a stat for them however. 

    But there are 3 kind of hold like things;

    – gett hold and spend it for effect

    – hold as threshold (my psionic classes can do things as long as they have psi. Psi can also be spend however)

    – new stats that are used to roll+ 

    However, in your move it should be made clear what sympathy does i think. When I just choose this without knowing what it will do it confuses me. Not sure how to work this into the move though. 

  10. But also the move is lacking fictional hooks. What device etc. What happens when you Spout Lore about the device instead or discern it’s realities? How does that interact with knowledge? 

    (of course you can make a custom move

    When you spout lore about hte device, on a hit gain 1 knowledge but that is kind of meh)

    I don’t know if this is the right way to deal with “the device”. I would only do thsi if the device is somehow extremly important to the game. Otherwise you create new things to rack without that much gain. 

  11. Yeah Knowledge is confusing to be used for it’s name. call it “Tech Knowledge” Which is more specific. If you wanted to expand on the fact that they can learn something, than just give the PC Roll+ for Discern Realities or Spout Lore based off how many holds they have. 

    I think these are commonly found devices, right? I think these are devices that run different things, but usually only serve a single purpose. So the player will be using them a lot? 

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