The Rules: Dying Stars   Leave a comment

[This was inspired by Levi Kornelsen’s Countdown Stack]

Play begins with a pile of twelve dice in the center of the table called the Dying Stars. These represent the encroaching darkness that threatens the galaxy. They are not just the literal fading suns of the title, but also the tendency of humanity to turn away from its Creator.

Any time the Hero needs bonus dice, she can take one or more dice from the Dying Stars pile. She can even take dice after having rolled and counted up successes. The Hero can either take one die and roll it (possibly getting a success) or take two dice and get an automatic success.

If a Hero invokes a Vice for bonus dice, she has to take a die from the Dying Stars pile. This die does not get rolled; it just disappears.

The Dying Stars pile also diminishes by one at the end of every session.

When the Dying Stars pile reaches zero, catastrophe strikes. This could be a critical systems failure onboard a ship, an ambush by a powerful enemy, a natural disaster, or anything equally terrible. The catastrophe doesn’t need to happen right away, but it will happen very soon.

Once the catastrophe has been overcome or evaded, the Dying Stars pile resets at one less than its previous maximum. So after the first catastrophe, the Dying Stars pile will refresh to eleven.

[This is the players’ favorite and least-favorite mechanic. Whenever they fall short of a task by a success or two, they agonize over whether or not to take a few dice to guarantee themselves a success. They like the heartbreak that comes from this, or at least I think they do. It’s a great way to inject tension into every choice.]

Posted September 29, 2011 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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