Friday, 5 October 2012

Threat Levels

All this week, I've been talking about my objectives for Killshot: Reloaded and the goal of creating a more advanced version of the rules. Today, I reveal my plan to deal with advanced jobs and difficulty rolls: threat levels.

As characters in Killshot gain more experience, they take on more complex and dangerous jobs. While opponents surely get better, difficulty rolls and challenges generally do not. Characters improve and master such tasks to increase their chances of success, but in a game, this creates a situation where the only way to keep a challenge  on par with the opponents is to increase the number of dice. If we simply add on more dice for the sake of adding on more dice, we're simply stating the original version of the game is broken.

So we have to increase the threat characters face; the repercussions for failure as their work brings them uncomfortably closer to dangerous or high-profile figures.

threat level is a modifier applied to all difficulty rolls, challenges, and certain opponents during a high stakes job. Each threat level adds a number of base dice to opposed rolls made by the Director. Aside from a greater risk of failure, threat levels can up the ante and bring the heat down on characters.

A threat level's modifier can only apply to opposed rolls related to the direct success or failure of the job. For example, if a character is photographing a location during the preparations for a job, the modifier need not apply. But if the same character is trying to photograph the mark while under the watchful eye of the Secret Service, then it most definitely applies.

Some opponents may include a strength allowing them to add the threat level's modifier to certain active rolls. For example, the above mentioned Secret Service Agents can apply their threat level modifier to all active Sense and attack rolls while protecting the mark.

Each threat level is recommended for characters of a particular training point range (starting at 40 training points). Once a threat level is applied to a job, the Director can start taking advantages with exploding base dice, just like players.

First, let's take a look at the individual threat levels and their training point ranges.

Common - 20 to 39 training points - None
Enhanced - 40 to 54 training points - +1d20
Dangerous - 55 to 69 training points - +2d20
Extreme - 70 to 84 training points - +3d20
Suicidal - 85+ training points - +4d20

Exploding Threats

Once you apply the Enhanced threat level or higher, all exploding base dice become threats. Rolling a 20 on a base die allows the Director to use many different resources, including some unique to an individual job.

The most common threats are;
- The characters gain +1 Evidence Points
- The Director can re-roll a single base die of his choice at any time in the current job
- A mark or thug can perform an additional option when they have the Edge.

Threat Levels & Evidence Points

Increasing the number of Evidence Points can also lead to increasing the current threat level on a job. Depending on the individual job, the Director can increase the threat level by one based on the number of Evidence Points collected by the characters.

Once the threat level is increased in this manner, it cannot be reduced, even if the characters are able to lower their Evidence Points. Once Pandora's box is open, you can never close it.