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Monotonous conflicts

Started by Simon Kamber, May 27, 2005, 06:37:37 PM

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Simon Kamber

Started this thread because of an issue that arose when I ran Fall Valley Branch.

The problem is that the conflicts sometimes get monotonous. Especially the ones that are about how to judge someone often end up with the same raises and sees, varied slightly to pull in traits, but sometimes not even so. It often ends up in "We should do my thing because I'm well educated", "no", "We should do my thing because the book of life says so", "no", "We should do my thing because I'm a dog", "no".

I think the solution here is to be more strict about traits. No "he's being philosophical so I get well-educated, quick thinking and I'm a dog". No pulling coats, book of life, sacred earth and "I'm a Dog" into the game unless you actually narrate a raise that specifically includes all these things. And finally, a bit more emphasis on narration and a bit less on the dice. Seeing has to be a narrated see, not just putting forward dice and saying "I disagree with him". Do you think I've got that one right? Is that the way to go, or do you have different experiences with the same problem?
Simon Kamber


1. The standard I use for whether to allow adding a trait is "if it displays the trait." In other words, if I read this one "see" in a book, would I acknowledge that because of the way it's written, Character A has Trait X?

I'd be intereasted in hearing other people's standards, I'm assuming you were up to now using more of a traditional "If it makes sense as contribuiting to his effectiveness."

2. I think its very important to emphasize that you're not disallowing any chosen response from the Dog, you're not telling him that he can't disagree for no good reason. You're just asking him, the player, to shed abit more light on the hows and whys the Dog disagrees.

I could see being abit more choosey about what you'll accept as a Raise. The rules say "Something he can't ignore." And well, if it's established that that a Dog is completely unmoved by a certain line of reasoning, I think it's safe to say that that line of reasoning isn't a Raise.

I would suggest that the player's incorperate more ciritcisms of the other's arguements as both Sees and Raises, criticisms and counter-points that expand and develop as the game goes on so you end up with something less repetitive and more intereasting.

Eric Provost

Yup.  I'm gonna totally agree that your group is being a bit lax on the narration.  And my group has a tendancy to go down that same path.  We've got a bit of a little slogan/rule to help us keep from going there.

Excuses aren't narration.

See, it all kinda falls back on that little rule (I don't remember where in the book it is) where anyone can object to someone else's narration.  I use it all the time.  Basically, if I don't find a player's narration entertaining, then I let them know.  And it's well established that in our group that you just don't get your dice 'till everyone's entertained with your narration.

I'll tie that together using a my character Brother Divid as an example.  I've got this one trait I love to use.  Big 2d10.  Easy to abuse if my group let me.  I could totally be like "I'm bigger than him, so he's intimidated by me."  But that's more like an excuse to use my 2d10 than narration.  In my opinion anyway.  So, I tend to pull out things like... "I step up to him, standing to my full height to give him a sense of my stature.  From this point of view I look sternly down at him, making my size as intimidating as possible."

I mean, it's everyone's job to entertain everyone else at the gaming table, right?  So pull out that rule and don't be afraid to tell the rest of your players; 'Hey, I'm not entertained by your narration.  The rules say you don't get your dice 'till I'm entertained... Try again.'

Works well for us.

Makes us narrate harder.



I think that's fantastic advice Eric.

Its pretty much the same advice you'd give to someone writing a novel.

"Show, don't tell"

"I'm big so he's intimidated" is telling.

"I loom over him breathing down his neck and standing on his shoes" is showing.

Good rule.