Tim and Lee and I were having a discussion the other day about bennies and adventure cards, and it got me to thinking. Tim pointed out that the reaction to adventure cards has been less than enthusiastic, which he found odd considering they are just free perks that don't need to be given out to begin with.
I see his point on this, although the natural reaction for someone who is given a card that he doesn't think will come in handy at all is to groan about it, it's certainly no worse than not having a card at all, and generally better. The main grousing point has been the card which allows a player to go through the deck and get a card of his choice...easily the most powerful card in the deck, and the one which people seem to like the least. ???
Now, I kind of understand the problem with it, as I once had the card myself and I kind of froze with it, not wanting to blow the card too early and regret it later. Those who get the card seem to suffer from somewhat the same problem...too many choices makes it difficult to make any choice at all, and it feels like it slows the game down. Tim has offered to take the card out of the deck...which is okay, I guess, but it will be detrimental to us over all even while making things easier on us the players. Perhaps the problem lies simply in the fact that we are all new at the Adventure deck, and aren't familiar enough with it. I know that if I had the deck down much better it would probably make it easier for me to judge how to use the card. What do you folks think?
This is an important question. I like the cards, but we as players need to make our feelings about them better known. Right now Tim thinks we'd rather not have them, which I hope is not the case, and if it isn't we need to show more appreciation for what the cards do for us, or we may lose them as a perk.
Now, bennies. Bennies are unanimously loved, I think, but there is a wide difference in how each player handles them. Most exemplified by the two players who seem to be at opposite ends: Shawn, who spends his bennies like water and me, who tends to horde them.
Shawn will spend his bennies early and often if he doesn't like a roll he gets, thus usually meaning he has none at the end of a session. Nothing wrong with that per se, but sometimes he gets a bit beat up on account of he runs out of soakers or doesn't have a bennie at a crucial moment. On the other hand I almost never spend my bennies unless I am soaking damage or I need to re-roll something which is crucial to the success of a plan (ie, the plan will fail if I fail my roll). I am a paranoid gamer who fears taking a big hit and reaching for a bennie to soak the damage...and finding them all gone. Or that I will need multiple bennies to soak the hit because I fail one or two of the soak rolls. In other words, I don't feel very safe unless I have two to three bennies at all times. Luckily my current character's power helps me keep bennies handy while still spending them.
Most everyone else is between Shawn and I on the "bennie spending" spectrum. Other than Shawn and Nigel (who starts with less), most folks have one or two bennies left by the end, but are willing to toss a bennie here and there to re-roll a damage roll (something I am LOATHE to do) or something along those lines. I am not advocating that anyone needs to change their bennie habits...Shawn's way is no less valid than mine. In the first half of the session though I think nearly everyone is a bit wary of spending a bennie until they have a general idea of how things are going. While persusing the bennie rules in the main book, I noticed something that could change the dynamics a bit, making those of us on the miserly end of the spectrum a little more free-spending and those on the free-spending end able to every once in a while have a bennie or two at the end of the session.
The rules state that, on the average, the GM should give out one or two bennies per session to each player, depending on play. Obviously you might get less if you suck, and more if you do some way cool stuff or make a great joke or what have you. I don't think I've ever seen more than one player gain one bennie in any session, and usually none. Are we just not doing very well at impressing you, Tim? Or have you chosen to set the bar higher? If you chose to set the bar higher in my case, given my character's unique edge, I would understand that. Something like the cliff-dive last session I would think would be benny-worthy, for instance...but if you thought "Well, I'd give a bennie to anyone else's character who did that stunt" I'd understand that. I'm not trying to grub for more bennies, is what I'm saying, but I do think it might be good for the others if you gave out more.
Then again, I could be wrong. We seem to do pretty good even without the extra bennies, so if you have indeed chosen to raise the bar as to what it takes to earn a bennie mid-session, I'm not going to argue too strenuously. I guess what I'm saying is, I'd like to know about where the bar is so as to give people more of a chance to try to impress the gm and earn some. Until I re-read the section on bennies I hadn't even given any consideration to that aspect of the game...it could have an entertaining effect on game play if people think more about things they can do to earn some bennie love.