This is a basic question, but I never remember the correct way. In World of Darkness (both 1e and 2e), you can alter the pool dice with modifiers, from -5 to +5, which are applied after the pool dice formed with attribute + skill.

What to do if player change her mind on the roll after knowing the modifier?

I'm only interested on dealing with negative modifiers, and I have 3 cases possible:

  • The player knows ahead of time the negative modifier. For example, if she's going to fire a gun on a storm, she knows she will have a negative modifier because of low visibility. In this case, I suspect is OK to let the player to change her mind, or even ask beforehand about the modifier.
  • The player forgot about a modifier. Let's suppose the player got a condition a while ago that penalizes with -2 dice actions taken at full moon. But the player forgot about that and tried to roll an action on a full moon, thus I had to tell her to subtract 2 dice on the pool. Should she be able to change her mind? Story-wise, I guess it would make a good scene to apply the penalty, as it would be like the character forgot about her condition.
  • The modifier isn't on player's knowledge. For example, the argument action is Intelligence + Expression - victim's Resolve. If she knows that I'm telling her to subtract 3 dice, she will know the resolve of the victim. Should I let her change her mind after knowing this? My opinion is that this makes a good opportunity to teach players not to go and try actions on everybody, without proper inspection.

Is there something in the books that tells how to deal with these situations?


There is no RAW answer.

Looking in the 2nd Ed core, 68-73, it describes forming and rolling dicepools, but it never specifies when players can back out - eg, "just before the dice hit the table", wherein they know how many dice they will roll before they are committed - or "as soon as it's said."

Three things to bear in mind:

  • Characters don't "think in dots."

For example, "I'm a pretty good shot, but this storm makes it hard to see. Still, there's not going to be a better shot..." is a much more realistic character thought than "I've got a dicepool of 7, counting my specialty, and this is only a 3 dot storm. This should work out."

Ergo, this could make a good basis for withholding the math of the pool until they're "committed to the action."

  • Players can be rewarded for failure (2nd Ed)

Don't forget, one of the easy ways to get a Beat is to accept a Dramatic Failure in place of a failure. As such, since this is a case where the player directly intervenes with the character's dice roll (substituting a rolled 1 on 1 die vs no successes on more than 1 die) it would be logical to have full player disclosure.

In our example, if I've got that 7 dicepool vs a 3 penalty storm, I'm not sure I want my character to dramatically fail - it might erode her group's trust in her ability to be the gunslinger. However, if the storm was a 5 dot storm, or she wasn't so adept with a gun, turning a failure on two dice into a dramatic failure might leave less room to criticize her shooting skills.

  • Heroic effort

Players, when faced with a dire task, can elect to have their characters spend Willpower to increase the dicepool by 2-3 dice (depending on context.) Anecdotally, players tend to employ this tactic on either very weak dicepools or very strong dicepools.

Numerical example: Manny the Mortal wants to do something; his dicepool is 3. The task is out of his league, and invokes a 4 dice penalty. "But wait," Paul the Player says, "Manny really wants this, and I don't want a 1 in 10 chance of success. So, here's a Willpower token." Now, rather than a 3 - 4 => 1 dicepool, Manny has effectively a 6 - 4 => 2 dicepool. His odds are now much better.

Do what works for your troupe. But if this means they never want to do anything with a risk of failure, it might be worth explaining how boring of a game that can become.

One other note on "forgotten" conditions: don't forget that Condition Card decks are available for purchase. And it's true that some obvious conditions (Leg Wrack, Burned, etc) should be hard to forget - but others (Swooned, Surveiled, etc) may be easily forgettable - or not even known by the characters. Whether the players should know of them, again, depends on the troupe.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Greate answer, as always :) \$\endgroup\$ – Veehmot Jan 19 '17 at 16:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate your appreciation. You have demonstrated a good pattern of taking a specific situation that occurs to you, and converting it into a well-formed question that can hopefully help out other knowledge seekers. \$\endgroup\$ – C Geist Jan 23 '17 at 10:40

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