Supplanter wrote:Semi-separately and IMHO, some Watchers on the board sound like they feel practically obligated to build the DP up to 2D12, like if that doesn't happen they've failed somehow, and we'll all make fun of them here. I don't think that's true at all. And by the rules, 2D12 isn't actually supposed to get you much, as a Watcher. It just lets you end a scene whose trajectory is so obvious that it's not worth anyone's time to finish playing it out. It's not supposed to be a hose-the-PCs mechanic. It doesn't mean you can declare the heroes captured unless they were already well on the way to defeat. It's not a Get Out of Jail Free card for your villain. (Ironically, escapes should probably be way cheaper than 2D12. Imagine what Lockheed's SFX looks like if you flip it to work for a Watcher character.) Me, if a scene is dragging, I'm happy to let the Watcher end it for free!
I agree with the base concept of this, and support the notion that it shouldn't be viewed as a Watcher accolade or anything, but I do, somewhat, disagree on the application of 2D12 scene ending uses. Using the mini-Event Breakout as an example, the 2D12 scene closer is intended to be used to bring an ambush scene to a PC-capturing close.
I would instead posit that the 2D12 scene ender is meant to end a scene not just in an obvious direction because the scene was carrying on too long, but an ending that sets up the drama and excitement for the next scene.
As any experienced gamer will tell you, capturing most PCs, as a group, is an exercise in tedium and frustration. Capture is equal to failure in most player's eyes and they fight it with every bone in their body. Now, granted, some story-driven players may look past it, but I do not think that is the mindset of most gamers. Rather than beat the snot out of players, rack up the stress and/or trauma, and spend all their PP trying to avoid what is an incredibly common comic book story-telling device, the system gives the Watcher an ideal means of executing the same (with no typical form of "saving throw") while rewarding the players for it: 2D12 scene ender with all effected characters gaining 2 XP.
And let's be honest here, most character-captures in the comic books (as they should be in a comic book-emulation RPG) are not "hosing the players". In fact, they usually set the villain up for defeat as they get the heroes in to the vulnerable portions of a villains base, or trigger the bad guy's overconfidence and cause them to start monologuing.
Granted, the 2D12 scene ender should not be used to yank victory away from the players, but it is an excellent tool to facilitate captures and other similar difficult-to-execute moments.
Of course, that is just my two cents on the matter and is to be taken, or left, as desired.