House Rule: Descriptive Stress

Hi all,

In my Marvel: The Verge campaign, I came across the following problem…

One character had taken emotional stress from fighting another character (they had actually spent 1PP to change the stress to emotional, instead of taking physical stress). During the next adventure, they had not entirely rid themselves of the stress but when it came time to use that stress in against them, I could not remember the circumstances by which they had accumulated the stress. All they had written down was “Emotional d8.”

Now, we could have just came up with something entirely different, but I felt that if we had made note of the circumstances, we could tie the narrative together, from an earlier fight to a later conflict.

So, I’ve begun to ask my players to make a short descriptive note to accompany any stress they receive. For example, “Burned by Hellfire d10.” Now, when that physical stress is rolled against them, I can invoke the specific cause as I narrate, or they narrate. Or, “Father Issues d12” will allow me to allude to their self doubt about living up to their sire’s expectations.

If the stress is stepped up, add in another description for the new level, keeping the old description too. As the stress is healed later on, the description will remain until that level of stress is recovered.

Of course, we have already been doing this for our complications, resources and assets, but it seemed natural for stress to follow the same suit, and I couldn’t find reference for this in the OpManual.

What do you think?

Categories: GMing, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Original Content | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “House Rule: Descriptive Stress

  1. Pingback: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Collected Miscellanies

  2. I agree on the utility of descriptive stress, especially emotionnal stress (would help me to know what the player sees has his character’s issues).

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