When has a force been declared?

A question came up in our most recent session of DramaSystem: Brigades: Is it legit to use a bennie to burn a drama token out of an already announced force? If not, is there any easy way to tell when a force has been declared and is therefore immune to bennie burning?

The situation: Lydia rushes a scene intending to force an interrupt in the building romantic tension between Eliana and Nathan. Lydia pays her DT to the scene caller and announces her emotional ask to Nathan as Respect (entreating him for professional devotion to the revolution). Shortly after entering Lydia pushes two drama tokens to Nathan to call for a force. Nathan and Eliana want to block the force but he has 1 DT and she has 2 DT as well as a bennie.
Assumption 1: Eliana can't contribute more than 1 DT to Nathan via the helping rules which means he'd only have maximum 2 DT.
Assumption 2: Eliana can't accept a DT from Nathan and block the force on his behalf.
The only way this could work is if Eliana could use her bennie to burn one of Lydia's DT out of her force. Is this legit?


  • My interpretation would be this:
    - if Lydia only has 2 DTs (i.e. this force relies on her using all the tokens she has), then burning the token works.
    - if she has some in reserve, it doesn't. After all, the tokens don't change hands until the force is accomplished, so which two you hand over would be up to you.

    Having said that, allowing a Bennie to block a force is not necessarily a bad idea. I would shy away from it, though, because forces are great ways for PCs to get into all kinds of dramatic strife.
  • We ended up ruling (arbitrarily to be sure) that once a force has been declared it can't be bennie'd out of existance.
  • That seems a sensible ruling to me. The actual rules text says that you spend the Drama Tokens to initially make the force, even if the target doesn't receive them until the end of the scene. I picture the first player pushing the two tokens into the middle of the table as they make the force, then the other player either concedes or pushed three token of their own onto the table. Any tokens played by the forcer or forcee are sitting in the pot at this point, like chips that have been bet in poker. At the end of the scene, the appropriate player scoops up the tokens.

    They way I see it, yes, you could burn a token that was played in a force played on you after the declaration, but it has already had its effect in this scene. You are simply depriving the player that gets the pot of one token when they collect.
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