Good Stuff..... Bad Stuff.
A little Stuff goes a long way. Stuff is NOT your bank for unspent points. Stuff is how you get along with your own destiny.
Players are always intrigued by the concept and limits of Good/Bad Stuff. For clarity, and whatever help this would be to players of ADRPG, I present my own interpretation. Some minor events are included as examples.
Please note that the range shown is the maximum I allow in my campaign.
+10 Sinbad the Sailor - He is in the "Hand of Allah" through most of his adventurers. To be sure, he continually strives to succeed on his own wiles. But nothing ever seems to set him back for long. Every loss turns into a gain just around the next plot corner. He becomes a legend.
+ 8 Amanda King - For those of you not familiar with this famous adventurer. She has no background, little training, and luck that even her allies don't believe. Her experienced partner always shows up to rescue her, villains become infatuated with her, clues fall into her lap, she can even use common household objects as weapons against trained attackers. And she gets credit for it all.
+ 6 Indiana Jones - No question. If adventure has a name, it's "Indiana Jones". He fights with graceless abandon. He can hot-wire vehicles he can barely drive. Opponents twice his size bring bare knuckles to a knife fight, or knives to a shootout. He can almost always be in the right place at the right time. He gets most of the credit.
+ 4 Dick Tracy - He's been shot, stabbed, blinded, and lost his family to kidnappers. All multiple times. It doesn't slow him down. He always gets his man. He gives credit to the department. They love him.
+3 Your enemy shows up when you have a friend over who's better at most things than you are. A helpful neighbor calls the police before things even turn bad. They show up fast. Collar the villain. Thank you for the bust.
+2 Your enemy shows up when you expect him. You're ready. He retreats faster than he attacked.
+1 Your enemy shows up. He thinks he's got you cold. He cleans your clock. Your attaché case with the tear gas bomb is right where he knocks you into the wall. In desperation you use the bomb. He gets away. Your injuries are mostly superficial.
0 Like the rest of us, you take your chances.
-1 Your enemy shows up. He thinks he's got you cold. He cleans your clock. Your attaché case with the tear gas bomb is right where he knocks you into the wall. In desperation you use the bomb. It sets the apartment on fire. He gets away. Your injuries are serious. Your apartment is toast. The clues are destroyed.
-2 Your enemy shows up when you don't expect him. You're surprised. He knows it. It's a trap. He's brought support with him. You're in the infirmary for several weeks. Plans that you were counting on are ruined. Clues point to your friends.
-3 Your enemy shows up when you have a friend over who's worse at most things than you are. An angry neighbor calls the police because things look bad. They show up fast. A gunfight breaks out. Your neighbor is shot. Turns out to be one of your stray bullets. Your friend is wounded badly. The villain escapes. The local authorities ask you a whole bunch of awkward questions. Plans that you have been working on for months have to be scrapped. Clues point to your Father.
- 4 Sam Spade - He's shot at, stabbed, betrayed, and lost his partner to a killer. It doesn't slow him down. He always gets his man. The dame he trusts betrays him. He sends her to prison. The cops think he was in on it. They're gonna keep a close eye on him. He can't pay the rent.
- 6 Han Solo - What a guy. He starts out hunted by the most powerful crime boss in the sector. He's the best pilot in space, but can barely keep his ship running. He runs into the farm kid the whole Imperial Navy is looking for. Takes a job he doesn't want for money he doesn't get to keep. Gets tortured and frozen for having the wrong friends. The girl he wants thinks he's a money grubbing scoundrel. He acquires enemies he can't possibly beat. He keeps pluggin'. He only gets credit for his mistakes.
- 8 Jessica Fletcher - For those of you not familiar with this famous adventurer. She has no background, little training, and her family and the police continually suspect her friends of murder. She has no partner. Her lucrative writing career is continually interrupted. Her bank account is overdrawn with travel and legal costs of defending her relations and going to help them. Clues are hard to come by. Evidence is always pointing at her friends. She couldn't fight her way out of a wet paper bag. Medicare doesn't cover her expenses. The police think she is a troublemaker and a smart mouth. She never gets credit.
-10 Popeye the Sailor - He's gruesome looking. He is hog-tied to a useless band of moochers and wimps through most of his adventurers. To be sure, he continually strives to succeed on his own wiles because nobody ever helps him except his Pappy, who makes him pay with blistering verbal abuse. But nothing ever seems to go right for long. His spinach is never where he needs it when he needs it. His girl friend has the IQ and figure of a No. 2 pencil. Every gain turns into a loss just around the next plot corner. His arch-nemesis is never down for long. He gets no respect.
I think drawing the line at + or - 5 points is a good idea.
This material inspired heavily by the Endeavor web pages at M.I.T.