I had a situation in our first game which I wasn't sure how to handle regarding Deathwish.
The party were facing 2 Scuba Snakes, 1 with Deathwish. During one of the rounds, the first friend reduced the Scuba Snake with Deathwish to 0 Tough but since Deathwish means it gets one more round before it dies the rest of the party thought it was still worth attacking (which 2 of the remaining 3 friends did) which meant they wasted their attacks (the other Scuba Snake was still alive).
Is that the purpose of Deathwish or is there a better way of handling the situation?
Well, the purpose of Deathwish is to allow a Monster to last a little longer in fights without raising its Tough or Armor dice.
Its worth noting that after a Monster with Deathwish is reduced to 0 Tough die they stick around for 1 more round no matter what. So attacking them to reduce their Tough dice further won't have any effect. They won't go away until the end of that next round.
Deathwish is meant to force the Friends to make a choice. DO they ignore the Monster who is already dead and focus on other targets, or do they try to minimize the damage the Deathwish Monster can still do (by moving away from it, or using Tease to control who it can attack, or a spell like Friendship to keep it from attacking).
A lot of Special dice can be confusing if a player hasn't encountered them before (and many players don't spend time looking at Monster Special dice), so when you introduce a Monster with a new Special die its always worth explaining how it works so the players understand what their options are. of curse, even if you do this the players might make poor decisions.
Doing normal attacks against a Deathwish monster is usually not the best option. However, there are some exceptions:
- A normal attack against a Monster with Deathwish will still count as a success, which can be important for building the Action Chain.
- Attacks with Special dice like Trip or Headbutt take way other Core dice, which may keep the Deathwish Monster from being able to successfully act against other Friends.
- Attacks with the Special die Knock take away the Monsters Action, which is a great way to neutralize a Monster with Deathwish. Some other Special dice have similar effects.
- Some Job Abilities, like Witch Curse, apply useful effects after successful attacks, which may keep the Deathwish Monster from being effective during its last Action.
But really, it sounds like your players didn't understand what was happening and were just doing normal attacks, right? It would have probably been much smarter for them to stay away from the Deathwish Monster and focus on the other Scuba Snake.
I hadn't been telling the party what special dice the monsters had!
I guess I shall have to start doing so.
The game doesn't instruct you to tell the party about the monsters. nick and I didn't really consider that becasue we come from a pretty open gaming background. I know gamers have different philosophies about this, and some games explicitly want you to keep monster stats secrets.
My suggestion would be to not specifically tell players what Special dice a Monster has at the start of a fight. but offer clues in the description. For example, if a Monster had Deathwish you might say something like "You can see death in its eyes!" More importantly though, when the Special die is used for the first time, I'd suggest explaining what it does. That way players can understand whats going on and make informed choices.
I hope thats helpful?
Extremely helpful, thanks!