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Author Topic: Questions after yesterday’s game  (Read 4004 times)
Jonas Ferry
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« on: April 02, 2005, 02:12:32 AM »

We played our first session yesterday and have some questions. It mostly concerns allies and what the dice actually represent. Some of the things are perhaps hypothetical, but it would still be nice to get it out of the way until next time. We all had great fun! It was hard, but we all really want to play again.

An overview of what the questions cover:
1-6: Allies
7: Reaction deadlock
8: Inspiration
9: Free events for non-person characters
10: Narration based on the dice

1. Ok, first question. Let’s say you have two archenemies that want to fight each other. You have player A, PA, who plays the hero and PB who plays the villain. Someone creates “Goal: Defeat villain” and place the two dice at 1:1. PA starts by rolling one dice and gets, for example, 1:5. He describes how he smacks the villain around, since he’s controlling the conflict. The hero is now allied to the right die. On PB:s action for the villain he re-rolls the 5 to try and increase it. Now he’s allied to the same side as the hero, but since there’s no “for” or “against” side on the dice, if he’s the first one to claim next page he can claim the side the hero rolled and resolve the conflict. Is this allowed?

2. You become allied to a side if you try to roll up that side or roll down the other. Do you have to state before the roll which way you want to roll; otherwise you can chose which side to ally with based on the roll. If you have a 1 and say that you want to increase the die, because you want to ally with that side, and roll a 3; do you have to take the higher die to ally or can you chose the lower die and still become an ally? This could be a way to ally with a side that will surely lose.

3. If you have three sides to a conflict, side 1, 2 and 3 and try to roll down side 1, do you become allied to side 2 and 3 or 2 or 3? If it’s the or-choice, do you have to state which side you want to ally with before you roll?

4. Does a claim make you automatically allied to the side you claim in the conflict?

5. Can you ally with a side opposing your claim, split off a new side and resolve? Let’s say you have PA with a hero and PB with a villain. PA have claimed the left side of 4:5 and on his action tries to roll up the 5 in order to become allied and split off a third side from the villain, for example 4:3:2. He still has a claim on the 4 and the conflict would resolve with both sides as losers. Are you allowed to ally with a side opposing your claim like that?

6. You have 4:5, with PA’s hero allied to the 4 and PB’s villain allied to the 5. PA uses the heros action to roll up the opposing side to a 6 and split off a new side, and you have 4:3:3 with the characters allied to the two threes. Who controls the conflict? Perhaps you never want to do this in a conflict, I don’t know since I basically haven’t learned any tactics yet, but it seems strange that no one get the final say when narrating.

7. Something we called reaction deadlock occurred. Let’s say PA takes an action and both PB and PC want to react with one of their characters, only no one wants to go first. According to the rules we didn’t find a way to break the deadlock, but proposed a rule that said that if you go a full circle with everyone passing you lose your chance to react. The first time around the circle you’re allowed to pass, but if everyone does it a second time you move on to the next person’s action.

8. An inspiration question. If you match a 2 to a 4 and a 2 to a 5 in the same conflict, do you receive one 2-point and one 3-point inspiration or do you get one 5-point?

9. If you play a disaster and have a free event, when it’s introduced and resolved your character is out of the game. But if you don’t have a free event, but instead introduce an event as everyone else, do you get to stay around even after it’s resolved?

10. Do you narrate differently if you have a 1:2 conflict and a 1:5 conflict? Does the size of the dices influence the scope of the actions or are they completely unrelated? If you try and increase a 4 and roll another 4 should you narrate how nothing changes in the conflict?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2005, 06:49:23 AM »

(1) Yes, that's legal.  To maintain consistency it helps if PB has a reasonable explanation for how Player A's actions were aiding their goal (e.g. "I'm a masochist, I want to be beaten up," or "Please brutalize me... my confederates are video-taping this all, to discredit you").

(2) You do not have to decide your alliance before your roll.  However, if you choose not to raise a side (when you have the opportunity) then it allies you with your choice of opposing side, not with that side.  To ally with that side you'd have to actually act as an ally, raising the die.

(3) Your choice, state after you roll.

(4) No.

(5) Yes.  That will result in losing the Stake you made in order to split, which can be a very good idea when you need both more Debt and more Inspirations quickly.

(6) Oh wow!  I genuinely never thought of that.  You could end up with a winning side with no character remaining allied to it, for good, solid strategic reasons.  That would be cool!  That's extremely advanced use of the game-system:  I'll probably be borrowing that tactic soon.

Oh, yeah... rules clarification... right.  I suppose nobody could Resolve, and nobody would get "And Then" responses during that period.  Was there anything else that needed to be clarified?

(7) That's a good, solid rule.  I've seen the same thing in my game, but we generally resolved it by just shuffling and looking uncomfortable, which was a much less well thought out rule.

(8) One 2 and one 3.

(9) That is correct.

(10) That's sort of two questions:  What do the rules say, and what do I do.  The rules say that you can narrate a 1:2 conflict as complete and total domination.  And I generally do that.  But that's because I'm perfectly happy to have humiliating reversals where my utter domination vanishes like morning dew under a blowtorch.  Lots of people like a less bumpy flow of victory, and so they only narrate complete domination when they're pretty sure it's not going to be overthrown.  That's a stylistic difference on which the rules are (deliberately) agnostic.


Cool questions!  I can hardly wait to read the Actual Play report.
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Jonas Ferry
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2005, 02:51:26 PM »

Quote from: TonyLB
(1) Yes, that's legal.  To maintain consistency it helps if PB has a reasonable explanation for how Player A's actions were aiding their goal (e.g. "I'm a masochist, I want to be beaten up," or "Please brutalize me... my confederates are video-taping this all, to discredit you").

We did try to figure out which parts of the mechanics are tied to in-game events and which are out-of-game. I think we decided that claims were on the player level and allying was character level. Use of skills was player level, since you sometimes want to use skills to get to narrate goals and events that the character doesn’t want. Useless Boy could use his laser eyes to help the enemy destroy the skyscraper, for example, if the player would benefit from it but the character wouldn’t.

One thing I did was I used a skill to roll against what my character wanted. That was kind of cool. Since the abilities don't have anything to do with an actual skill level, but are more of a description of how central the ability is to stories involving the character, you could use abilities that way. I had a character, Detective Spark, that didn't like super-powered people. The player of a super-hero created "Event: Spark is blamed for disaster downtown", but one of the super-villains wanted to take credit. The player rolled up against the event, but I decided to roll for it, for him not to get too much inspiration out of it. I used "Simple Solutions 3" to call my boss and mistakenly make him believe I was guilty. That was fun.
You could use other abilities the same way, as ways to make mistakes or do things poorly. I like that.

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(3) Your choice, state after you roll.

You mean that I chose which side I want to ally with. The same character can't be allied to more than one side, of course?

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(4) No.

Aha. We were a bit confused actually, and thought that to be able to resolve you would need to (a) control the conflict, (b) be allied to the controlling side and (c) have a claim on the controlling side. Only, we weren't that strict on that, and changed it around a bit. What you need to resolve is of course only a claim on a side which is controlling the conflict after all the actions are over.

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(6) Oh wow! ... I suppose nobody could Resolve, and nobody would get "And Then" responses during that period.  Was there anything else that needed to be clarified?

You could still resolve, I suppose, because you only need to have a claim on the controlling side. I also suppose the right to narrate comes from having a character allied to the controlling side. I don't think it's a big problem, as long as the two non-controlling sides can agree what happens.

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(7) That's a good, solid rule. I've seen the same thing in my game, but we generally resolved it by just shuffling and looking uncomfortable, which was a much less well thought out rule.

Yeah. It was one of the other players who before we started playing proposed the rule. I said we probably wouldn't need it, and hoped we wouldn't get into that situation. Of course me and the other player got stuck once and wanted to wait before the other rolled (I wanted to roll down, but that would make it easier for him to roll it up again, and vice versa). I hade to give in, based on what I said before the game, and we moved on. (^_^)

Quote
(10) That's sort of two questions:  What do the rules say, and what do I do. ... That's a stylistic difference on which the rules are (deliberately) agnostic.

Oh, you're right, I could've been clearer with the "you". The rules are very clear on this point, and I was interested in how your group were doing things. I think players will adapt to how the others are doing fairly quickly, and decide what suits their group. I think I favour the sudden shifts of control and more over-the-top action when I describe things, but that’s just because I think it fits the genre and the characters I like to play.
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One Can Have Her, film noir roleplaying in black and white.

Check out the indie RPG category at Wikipedia.
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