Shock: and some mechanical hacks

I like Shock: – the world-gen is brilliant and the aesthetics of the book are great – but the resolution mechanics don’t quite work for me.

(It’s a subjective preference, of course. My issues: the exact nature of rolling over/under the “fulcrum” is a little fiddly to understand for some folks, and the audience roll sometimes bumped up awkwardly against our implicit social contract. If you wanted to affect things as the audience, you either had no impact or were entirely changing the result.)

So, let me describe some flattening/modification that I might do Shock: to fit my tastes.

When you’re rolling for a conflict: For each intent, roll 2d6. If the result is 7, this intent escalates. Otherwise, the intent occurs on 8+ (and fails otherwise).

You can add more dice to the roll (in which case, you just keep any two dice and take the sum). If the *tagonist is using their stronger Praxis, they can add an Influence die. Audience members can add Influence dice or cancel out existing ones. (However, Audience can only affect a single intent, just as in normal Shock:.) You should probably cap the actual dice rolled at 4. The probabilities work out like this:

  2d6: 41% success, 17% escalation [no benefit, no audience dice]
  3d6: 67% success, 13% escalation [strong praxis or audience dice]
  4d6: 82% success, 9% escalation [strong praxis and audience dice]

This seems like a satisfying probability spread. Just as in normal Shock:, both intents parallel and are rolled separately.

*Tagonists and Strong Praxes So rather than giving a numerical value to the Praxes, just pick one of each pair that’s stronger. In fact, it could be possible to make a 2×2 Praxis grid and put your *Tagonists there.

Drifting Antagonists Having played a few times, I’m not totally convinced that having a single antagonist works. The Antagonist player is going to represent all opposing forces of course, and you should definitely identify an initial antagonist who’ll be the opposing force in the opening scene. I just wonder if I should tell players upfront that they can move the specific Antagonist around as necessary.