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Complication Gimmicks
By Ralph Mazza


Nested Complications

Submitted by Ralph Mazza

A nested Complication is nothing more than a new Complication that is Originated before an existing Complication has been completely resolved. This sort of Complication can either be internal to the current Complication or external to it.

An internal Nested Complication is one where the source of the new Complication was generated within the current Complication. For an example inspired by Ron Edward's Sorcerer, imagine a Complication which involves a party of sorcerers fighting an enemy deep in an underground stronghold. One of the players seeks to draw upon Traits from a powerful demon that a character is bound to.  This demon has not had its Needs met in a while and so is likely to resist its master's commands.  Another player begins a new Complication pitting the character against his demon in a battle of will to see if the demon will obey or not. 

An external Nested Complication is one where the two Complications are entirely separate and running parallel to each other, but where the outcome of one Complication can influence the outcome of the other. The classic example of this is where one group of characters is responsible for establishing a "diversion" while another group proceeds with the mission. These Complications could be going on separately within the same scene or actually simultaneously in two different scenes.

Both types of Nested Complications are handled the same way. One of the Complications must be resolved first and has the capability to impact the Dice Pools of the other. In the case of multiple Nested Complications going on simultaneously, they all might impact the same primary Complication, or they may all impact the next Complication up daisy-chain style. A word of caution: multiple Nested Complications are an advanced technique that, while they can be extraordinary fun, requires lots of dice, lots of table space, and careful organization. Which Complication is resolved first is up to the player Originating the new Complication. Almost always it will be the new Complication being resolved first.

Each Nested Complication will have its own set of Dice Pools, and are separate Complications for purposes of Drawing upon Traits. Resolving the Nested Complication is handled just as any other.  Common uses of the bonus Coins generated by a Nested Complication include: purchasing a new Trait attached to the scene which can then be Drawn upon to provide dice to another Complication; describing Events and Facts related to the Nested Complication that can be used to provide justification for Drawing upon Traits in another Complication that otherwise couldn't be used; to Introduce or Create new Components that can be used in another Complication; or to  damage or even eliminate Components that could be useful to another Complication before they're Drawn on.

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