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Stress Relief

Your characters are a special lot. They defy the powers-that-be and dare to prey on those who are considered to be their betters. They push themselves further than ordinary people are willing to go. But this comes at a cost. Their life is one of constant stress. Inevitably, each turns to the seduction of a vice in order to cope.

A character’s vice is their obsession. But with this indulgence comes relief from stress and the ability to once again face the overwhelming challenge of their daring life.

Vice Roll

  • Roll dice equal to your Lowest Attribute rating.

Clear stress equal to your highest die result. If you clear more stress levels than you had marked, you overindulge. If you do not or cannot indulge your vice during downtime, you take stress equal to your trauma.

Indulging Your Vice

When you indulge your vice, you clear some stress from your character’s stress track. Say how your character indulges their vice, including which purveyor of vice they use to satisfy their needs. This indulgence takes time, so it can only be done when the crew has downtime. Alternately, you may choose to release your character to be “lost in their vice” during a game session, allowing them to indulge off-camera while you play a different PC. A gang member, friend, or contact of the crew might be created as an alternate character to play, thus fleshing out the landscape of PCs.

You roll to find out how much stress relief your character receives. A vice roll is like a resistance roll in reverse—rather than gaining stress levels, you clear stress levels. The effectiveness of your indulgence depends upon your character’s worst attribute rating. It’s their weakest quality (Insight, Prowess, or Resolve) that is most in thrall to vice.

Make an attribute roll using your character’s lowest attribute rating (if there’s a tie, that’s fine—simply use that rating). Clear stress equal to the highest die result.


If your vice roll clears more stress levels than you had marked, you overindulge. A vice is not a reliable, controllable habit. It’s a risk—and one that can drive your character to act against their own best interests.

When you overindulge, you make a bad call because of your vice—in acquiring it or while under its influence. To bring the effect of this bad decision into the game, select an overindulgence from the list:

  • Attract Trouble. Select or roll an additional entanglement.
  • Brag about your exploits. +2 heat.
  • Lost. Your character vanishes for a few weeks. Play a different character until this one returns from their bender. When your character returns, they’ve also healed any harm they had.
  • Tapped. Your current purveyor cuts you off. Find a new source for your vice.

Ignoring your vice

If you do not or cannot indulge your vice during a downtime phase, you take stress equal to your trauma. If you don’t have any trauma, you’re free to ignore your vice. It doesn’t have a hold over you (yet).

Roleplaying & XP

Along with your character’s heritage and background, their vice tells us what kind of person they are. This obsession impacts their motivations, goals, and behavior. When you ponder what your character might do or say next, you can always consider their vice to help you think of something. As an added benefit, by playing to the nature of your character’s vice, you earn xp at the end of the session.