Die By the Sword Game-Play Example 3


As before, please read the first two example blogs before reading this one.

Since posting up the other examples, I have created some alternative character sheets that get remove a lot of the wording on the main sheet and allow for putting narrative info (background etc) on the main page, so I’ll be using these for this example.

Phase 3

With one of the Mercenaries in a tussle, this Challenge remains Vital. As Nesker has created a shield to hide from the Bar Fight and flying Furniture, these Challenges are Additional; players do not have to deal with them if they do not wish to and will not have negative effects.

Ter-Saa is still pinned, even with the aid of one Mercenary. They Burn a Curse Point to “remove weight” to hurl both mercs through the air. This only Triggers the Drunk Opportunity, not Temporary Ally, putting the Choice Total at 1. They Burn a Point of Berserker for a Decision of 2 vs 4, as they roar out.


For their Limit Adjustments, they reduce Corruption from the starting value of 3 to 1.

Corruption is the only Limit you can reduce when Adjusting from Burning Points; in this case, this is throwing the mercs away from Ter-Saa and perhaps giving them an out from further fighting, so the GM approves to reduce Corruption. Ter-Saa only has a Corruption Threshold of 5, but starts with 3 (lower than normal; 5 is the standard starting value).

Increasing their Corruption rather than reducing it would have taken them beyond the Threshold, which would result in the Scoundrel embracing Corruption at the end of the story arc, which would not fit current events. Hitting Corruption 0 causes eventual retirement in a different fashion; these rules are in place to encourage the players to play anti-heroes, capable of both moral and immoral acts as situations require.

Hoo-Len goes to try and pick up her Mercenary ‘friend’, to make use of the Temporary Ally Opportunity she created (in Part 2), asking if he is okay. Adding to Ter-Saa’s Choice for a Collective Choice increases the Total to 3. However, this merc is under the other… the GM Triggers all three Penalty Points for Hoo-Len’s Weakling Trope, dropping the Choice Total to 0.


The GM describes her ally passing out as she tries and fails to tug him out from the other Mercenary. For this Decision, she gets two Status Adjustments, so decreases Corruption from 3 to 1 for at least trying to help.

The GM describes that the other Mercenary then tries to grab her. The GM Triggers the Hidden Obstacle of Mercenaries, Trained Fighter for an additional -1.

This drops the Collective Choice between the two Scoundrels to -1; only one beneficial Point has been spent from two characters, they are not yet defeated.

Hoo-Len lets out a high pitched scream in the face of the Mercenary who has her. She Burns all 4 Curse Points from her Curse of Voice for “project voice.” She describes screaming so loud that she intends him to pass out. This Decision increases the Choice Total to 3.

The Bar Fight dramatically stops (narratively, the challenge is still present).

The great cost of Advantage Points (Curse or Asset) is that they always Adjust Limits when you Burn them, which is a significant cost when spending 4 at once.

For Hoo-Len’s 4 Limit Adjustments, the player increases Exhaustion from 0 to 4.

The GM describes the Mercenary’s grip going limp. The Challenge represents two more Mercenaries; its fine to describe doing damage as you make Decisions, not just as a result of Success Points, though only Success Points will allow defeat of the Challenge.

The other two mercs draw their weapons.

Ter-Saa gathers the bottles they had prepared (scattered on the floor now but still available) and Burns both Points of Improvised Ammo, Fuelling an Asset Point for “dirty fighting” as their Limit Adjustment. They then Burn 1 their previously Fuelled Asset Point for “increase precision” and increase Corruption to 6. They cannot Burn both Asset Points as one was used Fuelled this Phase.

This increases the Collective Choice Total from to 6.

The GM describes the one of the Mercenaries drunkenly grabbing a shield but taking a blow to the temple and staggering into the other.

The Bar Fight erupts again, but remains an Additional Challenge.

Nesker decides to contribute to the Collective Choice Total, for more Success Points to bring down the Mercenaries. He takes a half-built crossbow out of his pack and hastily puts it together, and Burns a Point of Eureka and 1 Curse Point for “grant impossible capabilities to item.”


He describes firing a bolt that hits the one Mercenary’s shield with a shock-wave and tosses both against a wall. He reduces Corruption by 1 for avoiding murder as his Limit Adjustment.

However, the GM Triggers the Obstacle (-1) for Bar Fight, Breaking the Rules: nobody has been killed, but a proper weapon has been used. Now all eyes are on the Scoundrels again. Nesker has to duck again as another hail of objects is thrown.

The Choice Total is at 7. The players decide to Resolve with 3 Success Points, reducing the Challenge Total of Mercenaries from 4 to 1. Hoo-Len gets 1 Victory Point for inducing Exhaustion to achieve Success Points.

The last description by Nesker makes Bar Fight a Vital Challenge, but with all Choices made, it is also an Unresolved Challenge. The GM can Resolve against the existing Collective Choice Total, or 0 (if they feel no Choice deal with what they describe) as they wish, and they can also Trigger and Burn further Penalties they feel apply. The players cannot Burn any Points against an Unresolved Challenge, but they still must describe how they react to it (which can allow the GM to Trigger Penalties).

The players all created a Choice of 7 together to battle the Mercenaries, so it is appropriate to battle the Bar Fight as well.

As Nesker exposed himself to potential attack, the GM Burns his one Delightfully Mad Penalty Point, but as he describes ducking back behind the shield, the GM Triggers Stay Put and Take Cover Opportunities (+1 each) to increase the Total to 9.

Hoo-len is not a fighter and now horribly exposed as the bar crowd surges towards their corner, weapon in hand. The GM Burns all 3 of her Sneaky Penalty Points as it will be difficult for her to hide, reducing the Choice Total to 6. Hoo-len’s player decides Adjusting Corruption is not appropriate so increases Exhaustion by +2, as they grabbed, kicked and punched by approaching punters. Her Exhaustion Threshold is a very high 8 (she only has Injury at 3 and Corruption at 4 as a consequence), so she can risk this.

Ter-Saa describes roaring in challenge and dives in front of their boss. The GM Burns their 2 Sword Master Penalty Points and both remaining Berserker Penalty Points (as they have no sword out and their blood is up) to drop the Choice Total to 2 vs 3. They describe taking repeated punches and kicks and strikes with improvised weapons, and increase their Exhaustion from 1 to 3.

The GM Resolves with a Failure Point and gives Ter-Saa 1 additional point of Injury as they receive a barrage of hits and are likely to take more than just bruises.

They receive a Defeat Point for suffering Failure from an Unresolved Challenge, and another for Exhausting themselves against the Challenge by having Penalties Burned, as does Hoo-Len; sometimes, failure has a long term positive effect.

Nesker doesn’t suffer from the Challenge, so doesn’t receive a Defeat Point.

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