Earning/Using determination in game

Playing a living campaign as a PC and our GM is not using derectives to give chances to earn determination or letting us create our own directives for scenes to generate it. He used the play theoughs that modiphius used on U tube as his example in which no determination is earned. I know much is up to the GM discretion but it seems that this is taking a vital element out of the game play. The determination seems to play like a players personal pool of momentum not requiring group approval to be spent. The guide book states that there should be clear derectives in play to warn it and gives multiple ways a player may earn it. It seems like a key element is missing from the game by not giving a player a personal chance to create an advantage or do somthing crazy to save the day. The GM is a great story teller but the playing part of it gets more hindered i feel by not giving this essential bonus to the players involved and some characters such as the veteran captain i created with stats and talents designed to boost the other players around me seem to suffer greatly

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Use this method - Give him the axe. Get a new GM. - I feel very strongly that everyone should use this method. There is no room in the GM seat for people on a power trip, people who’s goal is to kill the whole party, fun suckers, or any other type of douche bag. Cut 'em loose. There’s no sense in you and your friends missing out on fun.


I would not say he is on a power trip. I just feel he does not feel this is as crucial a part of gameplay as what the book says it is due to the the only few examples that the company gives in video form (which are all very bland) do not emphasize using it. Is there any good video examples i can find to show him how exiting this can make the game

Look up Shield of Tomorrow at Geek & Sundry, Clear Skies (New show) at QueueTimes, Second Star at HappyJacks RPG, Constellation by Heroes of Awesome (Wierdlings).

They may not use them in the very first episode, but they do end up using Determination when they need to most of the time.


Remember that each player starts each session with 1 determination (resets each time).

Also, the main route for gaining (and using) determination is through the character’s values. This works exactly like the directives.

Yes the values by sticking to them you recieve an agreed complication and challenging them you must change them at the end of session. It seems like this puts more drama in the players hands and makes for much more shared story telling the way I read it from the core rule book. I figured before i raised an issue assuming that this was the design of it I would head to modiphius forums itself to make sure i was not misunderstanding

I have to admit, I seldom give out Determination to inwoke Values connected Complications.
My Players and I, when I play, regularly use our Determination…

Regarding Directives. I have to learn to implement them, but I fear they spoiler too much of the Adventure. How do you handle that?

I haven’t used Directives much, only if there are clear orders or mission parameters. Like “Protect the Ambassador” would mean that PCs have to choose between the ambassador (who may be an idiot) and their friends.

In any case, I don’t see anything wrong with a GM that does not use Directives regularly. You already have four Values to create Determination.

Also, when playing as Starfleet, there are already Directives always implied, like the “Prime Directive”.

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For my home campaign, I have yet to have a single instance, despite opportunity to do so, of a player challenging one of their Values. I’ve awarded Determination a handful of times in key moments. All in all, with the ebb and flow of Momentum, Determination hasn’t really had a huge impact on gameplay, with most sessions passing by without anyone using it, even when it would be dramatically appropriate.

As for Directives, I use them, but tend to keep them secret until a relevant moments pops up in game and then reveal it at that moment because of their ability to spoil a plot point of the Mission.


The value system seems to be the most important part of earning the determination. By the way I interpret the core game book this seems to be a big inscentive to remain in character as well as follow starfleet protocols. Currently it is only being given if someone challenges a value but not if the stick with a value. The determination i feel if the system is designed to allow you to bank up to 3 per scene that there should be opportunity to do so. It seems the idea behind it is to allow somone who is not a high level engineer succeed in a engineering situation when no one else more qualified is available or to allow that low security PC in a moment of desperation to defend his colleagues in a hand to hand combat situation. By giving 2 automatic successes it seems that it allows for a breif encounter a character that has not been built to do a task instead of fearing a fail or critical fail to attempt somthing to help the party that they might not otherwise

I do agree that the directives are a grey area. Currently though we are not being given determination for sticking to our values though and accepting a character complication. One of the GM’s primary complaints has been sticking in character for the PC’s it seems that determination is set there for this. The momentum is a great tool to use but only works well if the party agrees to use it together. While the determination seems to encourage both team work and the own players ingenuity but more more of the specific players choice to succeed at a task

Derectives can be broad or very pointed as the players discover somthing in the mission. Say they come upon a distressed enemy ship. broad objective is that star fleet has the obligation to answer that distress beacon and attempt to assist. A more narrow objective could be that once they do they realize that there is now a federation citizen imprisoned aboard that they must also rescue…just spit balling a little but it gives the players a moral choice as well as a directive choice. How well do they fix the enemies ship, how do they peacfully negotiate the release of the prisoner into their custody. Or does starfleet want them to attempt to now capture the crew of this ship for war crimes they may have committed. how do they now confront the ship that they may have just assisted in repairing as it may now attack them or call for back up with its systems back up. The way the system is set up. Derectives may change by players choices but it can also give the crew more opportunities to work towards a goal together earning that determination preparing for whatever the GM may have in store next for them either from the next directive or the conclusion of of the mission the more determination you let the players earn (say they are all maxed at 3 determination at the final part of the mission) the crazier seemingly impossible to win scenario you can throw at them in the conclusion of the mission while allowing them to both feel they have a fighting chance or they can try some crazy plan to succeed. All giving them the feeling that they made the discissions that created success and not that they appeased the GM to win

You should definitely be getting determination when your value causes a complication. It’s a core part of the game mechanics and it’s there to encourage character play (in the same way as momentum encourages teamwork and threat governs hazard levels).


I completley agree i just wish modiphius would publish a video or a post to confirm this and make it “GOSPEL” but they have only published there very basic a bland totorial so so far any attempt to convince otherwise is lead to be a individuals interpretation and not a core game mechanic

Just a minor note… Directives are basically your orders.

Next time you are given orders by the Commanding officer (or if the GM is playing an Admiral giving an order) write down that order, and viola. You have a Mission Directive to use.

Excuse me – p. 87 of the Core rulebook explicitly says

Is your GM illiterate, or why do you need an additional video?!


Also, considering both have to agree, my interpretation of that is that the players can also suggest complications based on their values in exchange for a point of Determination. It does not have to rest solely on the GM to come up with these situations, since they have to keep track of everything else in the game.

If the GM offers Determination for complications on values and the player does not agree with the complication, that is a perfect opportunity presented by the GM to challenge that value and still get the Determination.

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This is one of the things stated in the omissions. I tend to be restrictive in quoting rules, as they shall be read (and bought…) in PDF/DTF from Modiphius rather than read in forums. :slight_smile:

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I guess my players are fairly lucky in the fact that I don’t go strictly by what’s in the book, and use interpretations and what I have read on these forums regarding the rules. :stuck_out_tongue:

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The point is, the GM of @CaptainT obviously does the same and does not what they should do: reading the rules. Judging by CaptainT’s post, their players are fairly unlucky.

There is absolutely no problem in not gaming as the rules as written would ‘demand’. But I am convinced that you should only deviate from the rules when there is consensus in the group for doing so. Everything else inevitably leads to conflict within the group.