Conflicting Rules: Treachery Cards and Worth

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So, Treachery Cards. I know many locations aren't using them, but we are in my group.

The rules for Treachery Cards on the website and in the "rule card" that comes with the packs says that the maximum amount of Worth you can gain for the cards is the highest card you play in the course of an encounter.

The rules for Treachery Cards as written in the module are that you get the worth value (positive or negative) EACH time you play a card.

In 4e, "specific trumps general," so the module would trump the general rules for Treachery Cards. However, one could also argue that "more recent trumps badly-edited campaign materials that we know have errors."

At our shop, our coordinator has decided that the worth from Treachery Cards is cumulative-- you get all the Worth for all the cards you play in that encounter, both positive and negative. This encourages use of the cards and made for a very lively, dynamic combat when we playtested last night. This also gives male drow a fighting chance to out-maneuver any female drow (the 10-point gap between the sexes is a little harsh), and gain a higher Worth and the associated Renown bonus.

However, organizers should be aware of this rules conflict and make a decision for their groups as to how worth in the cards will be used.
Our store stopped selling fortune cards after Feywild because they weren't selling. It was tough to get people excited about buying packs of cards for limited use in encounters. The treachery cards are the first time in a while they've looked more interesting to me, but alas we won't have access to them.

I regards to the rules dilemma here, I agree with your coordinator. Encouraging use of the cards is great. I also noted that the disparity of worth depending on what kind of character you make can be huge.

Since we don't have the cards, I'm devising a way to award worth based on acts of treachery that the players come up with on their own. Something like maybe getting in the way of an attack by a fellow member, stealing combat advantage, pushing someone into a hole, that kind of thing. If it works well within the role play/encounter. Anything to get them to think outside the box of skills/powers/abilities.
The way I read the rules card that comes with it, was you keep track of the total amount from the cards you played. And you get at most the value of the highest card you played.

So if you played 1, 2, 2, -1: You'd get 2 points (Total 4, but highest card is only 2)

If you played -1, -1, -2, 1, 2: You'd get -1 points (Total is less than your highest card)

Basically it promotes playing more positive worth cards, than negative worth. Without allowing someone to stack their deck with nothing but positive worth cards and gaining a ton of worth.

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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The way I read the rules card that comes with it, was you keep track of the total amount from the cards you played. And you get at most the value of the highest card you played.

So if you played 1, 2, 2, -1: You'd get 2 points (Total 4, but highest card is only 2)

If you played -1, -1, -2, 1, 2: You'd get -1 points (Total is less than your highest card)

Basically it promotes playing more positive worth cards, than negative worth. Without allowing someone to stack their deck with nothing but positive worth cards and gaining a ton of worth.


Yes. That is the rule as printed on the card. However, the module specifically states, "Each time a player uses a Treachery card, that player's character gains or loses the Worth shown in the upper right-hand corner of the card." So, following that instruction, in your first example, the player's character would get 4 points, not 2.
- Rico
The players at the shop where I oversee Encounters never really got into Fortune cards, despite my best efforts. Nor do any of them care for the Reknown aspect of the seasons. So midway through last season dropped it.

But this Treachery business has the players at my table rather excited. Whether or not any of them seek out cards on their own has yet to be seen. 

So a player at my table, and myself (as DM), have bought a combined six booster packs of cards. I plan on giving each player all three of the promo cards included in this season on day one. Each week we will take the Master deck (as we call it) and pass those out randomly between each player at the table. This should give them 10 cards each, give or take, depending on how many sit at my table. At the end of the session they will return all cards except the promos to the Master deck. Rinse and repeat on following sessions.

As for worth, I plan to follow suit with the majority here. Count all Worth from all cards played.

The question I have for you all is, are you letting non drow use the cards? 
I will let non-drow play treachery cards, since we're also doing a master deck at my table. However, the worth earned by that non-drow will go to the highest-worth drow in that faction.

It makes sense, from a management perspective. You reap the greatest rewards and punishments of your underlings' achievements, and their actions reflect directly on you.

Now, that's good for verisimilitude... How's it hold up for mechanics? Anyone's opinion?

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

I will be playing a non-drow slave at my table tonight and will suggest this to my DM and see what they say.

For verisimilitude, however, my PC is an eladrin, so just owning her kind of insults one's House anyway.....
I will be playing a non-drow slave at my table tonight and will suggest this to my DM and see what they say.

For verisimilitude, however, my PC is an eladrin, so just owning her kind of insults one's House anyway.....



I know it's not in the module, but in the Menzoberranzan book it's -4 to worth for a drow to pass up any opportunity to kill elves. If you were playing at my table, you'd probably be dead on arrival. In fact, one of the players at my store always plays the same character: an Elven Hunter. I advised him that the drow would kill him on sight.
- Rico
What's the exact wording in the module, the entire sentence? You always gain the value of the card played, but limit net gain at the end of the session.
Worth gains from playing Treachery cards are shown on the cards themselves. Each time a player uses a Treachery card, that player's character gains or loses the Worth shown in the upper right-hand corner of the card.



Emphasis mine. There is no mention of limiting the net gain from the cards.
I know it's not in the module, but in the Menzoberranzan book it's -4 to worth for a drow to pass up any opportunity to kill elves. If you were playing at my table, you'd probably be dead on arrival. In fact, one of the players at my store always plays the same character: an Elven Hunter. I advised him that the drow would kill him on sight.



Eh. My eladrin isn't entirely elven (Elan bloodline), and she doesn't entirely belong to the Drow. She's a thrall to the illithids, but the drow borrow her when they want to have something to torture. I see her as being the one they keep around just because it's fun to see a proud eladrin swordmage turned into this crawling, submissive thrall, unable to stand up for, or even remember herself. Everyone knows they're going to kill her eventually, but the matron of the house that co-owns her has reserved that pleasure for herself.

Basically, if someone tries to kill her, her reaction is to submit. You'd be surprised how quickly that turns to disgust and "we'll keep her around until she's no longer useful."

Ironically, Will is her highest defense. Equivalent to "she's too crazy to be reasoned with."

I didn't get to play yesterday after all, so I don't know how well she'll fit into the party. But since my DM-game character is so into the game of worth and backstabbing, I wanted someone who is completely separate from that. PCs can play all the "you trip your ally" cards they want on her and gain worth from them. She's the whipping boy of the party. 
On a slight side note, related to worth and renown, one of my players made a suggestion last night that I'm giving serious consideration to implementing. He suggested that the 1 renown point earned for having the highest worth at the end of each session should instead be most improved worth. I think this idea has a lot of merit, since as it stands right now, it's almost impossible for any character who is not a priestess from House Melarn to ever have the highest worth at the end of a session.

But if we tie these two ideas together, i.e., players earn the total amount of worth from all of cards they play each session, and the character whose worth improved the most in that session earns the 1 point of renown, there's more incentive for the players to use the cards.
- Rico
Very good idea. I will pass it along to Loki.
Mortaine,
I'm not sure there's any conflict. You always gain worth when playing a treachery card, but your total gain for a session is capped by the highest single source of gain.
That being said, this rule is designed to slow down Worth gains over long campaigns. It could very well make more sense to "speed up" worth gains for the Encounters season, especially as this worth only applies to your standing with one of the three factions in the story.
Also, my character was a male drow sorcerer and was the second highest in starting worth, which was a -1. The first highest was a female drow Lolth priestess, starting at 4 or 5.
Playing the renown game, it will take me 2 or 3 sessions of out- treacherizing the priestess to get renown for having the highest worth. In an 8 session season, this isnt realistic.
While I may argue your semantics, Im thinking your right about worth gain during the Encounters season.
A female drow priestess of Lolth should have the following worth:

Start at 0
Add +5 for being female
Add +5 for being a priestess of Lolth
Add +1 if a member of House Xorlarrin or House Melarn

So provided that the player didn't choose Bregan D'aerthe they should have a starting worth of 11. If they chose Bregan D'aerthe then their starting worth is 10.

my two drow coppers...

Bryan Blumklotz
We have a female Drow priestess and she started out with a worth of +25! Not sure how our DM got there.
LOL! Hybrid with wizard, multiclass fighter feat?

Just goes to show: nobody knows how this mechanic is supposed to work....
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