The InSpectres character sheet includes a space for me to write in my "Current Stress," but I can't find that phrase anywhere in the manual!

How do I know what to write in the "Current Stress" box on my character sheet, and what does it mean?


Current Stress (deprecated)

The current commercially available version of InSpecters is not the only version. In a previous version, Stress worked differently and was a little more death-spiraly, in that rolling low enough on a Stress roll didn't knock out single Skill dice; rather, it penalized all Skill rolls until the end of the mission, with vacations being taken to clear this Stress penalty.

Current Stress was a way of recording that, and, just as speculation, was probably not as easily removed and replaced from the character sheet as the Stress outcome chart itself was.

Other Differences

Skill success was less well-defined in terms of awarding you Franchise Dice toward mission completion; the story just went where it went, with success being used to shape further narration.

Payouts were also lower, but since you were effectively getting 4 points of recovery from burning one payout die, that wasn't quite so bad.

However, missions tended toward either a stress spiral downward or a coolness spiral upward, depending on which way things broke over the first few rolls. So it was changed for a second edition and overall I find things flow much better now.

So What's It For Now?

Well, nothing, officially. Unless you want to play some of the old alternate skins for the game, Ward 13 and NIGHTWATCH, which are available at the official site, in their original forms.

But hey, remember that episode of the Ghostbusters cartoon where everybody went on a Hawaiian vacation to relax and they spent the whole time swimming and scuba diving and soaking up rays, and Ray and Slimer split an entire roast pig, and they had to deal with exactly zero vengeful surfing lava ghosts?

Of course you don't, that would be terrible television.

If you're running a more episodic game of InSpectres with a better-defined cast, you might find yourself wanting to interrupt people mid-vacation, as they're burning off Stress. So at the end of every episode, you can heal everybody to full and note down your total penalties under "current stress", and at the start of the next episode, you can mark off stress for time elapsed, and people can redistribute the penalties how they like, as their work follows them to the Wisconsin Dells or whatever.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting! Is there a character sheet available that's second edition accurate? \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Dec 19 '17 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope, the sheets in the current book and on the current site still have the entry. They've got the proper stress chart results on, though, so they're fine to play the game with. \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Dec 19 '17 at 17:04

It's probably a place to keep track of how many times you've rolled for stress that session, but it might instead be a place to track the temporary penalties to your next roll.

The typical lasting effects of stress are reductions to your skill dice, which already have their own place on the character sheet. However, there are two qualities of stress which might merit their own space on the sheet.

First, if you roll a 4 on a Stress check then you take a -1 penalty to your next skill roll (InSpectres Corebook 16, "Stress Roll Chart"). It would be useful to have a place to note this down, especially if it becomes cumulative (unlikely, but possible).

Second and more likely, the more stress you've already dealt with the more dice the GM can justify asking you to roll for new stress (16, "Dealing with Stress"). Perhaps "Current Stress" is a place to tally the number of rolls you've already made, as a running count of how awful your day has been.


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