*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 04, 2020, 04:33:48 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 53 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Can you do EVERYTHING with an Extended Contest?  (Read 8182 times)
lightcastle
Member

Posts: 118


« on: July 20, 2005, 09:26:35 PM »

 Is there ever really a reason to use an unrelated action in an extended contest?

Lately I've been finding that it seems easier to just subsume the unrelated action in. Someone hangs back from a fight and uses "evaluate target" to figure out where to strike -- it's a low-bid action.  Someone decides to attack the magic resistance of a creature rather than trying to seize control of it directly -- just a change in tactics.

The thing is, do you apply anything garnered from those actions beyond the AP shift? In other words, if you are successful evaluating the target, should I give you more info, or does the AP knock down cover it?  If you  get a critical success against the magic resistance, should I take it away, or does the AP transfer cover it?

In other words, I am wondering if I should impose an unrelated action when you intend to gain situational advantage from the action. If the result will give you a situational bonus as well as the AP transfer, is that just a reward for clever tactics or is that getting something for nothing?
Logged
soru
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2005, 05:01:08 AM »

This is kind of covered in:
http://www.glorantha.com/support/na_ranged.html

In short, for most extended contest actions, wherever possible try to give both an in-world and mechanical change. So 'evaluate foe' would usually be a small bid, and both change AP totals and give the player some extra assessment of the situation (he's the best swordsman you have ever seen, but he's lightly armoured and his sword looks nothing special).

You could also run it as a variable augment ('you have recognised a weakness in his footwork'), which follows the same pattern - in-world change _and_ mechanical change (but _not_ two different mechanical changes).

In gamist trerms, this gives a bias towards making dramatic, scene-changing actions - instead of repeated 'sword and shield combat', use 'trip foe' and get both AP and the situational advantage of having your opponent on the ground in front of you.

That new situation would make their sword and sheild combat a less appropriate ability, (perhaps a -5 situational modifier), until they did something that changed the situation again.

soru
Logged
lightcastle
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2005, 08:50:25 PM »

Quote
In short, for most extended contest actions, wherever possible try to give both an in-world and mechanical change.

I guess the question I'm asking is how much of a mechanical change? My thinking is that it should be limited to something that the other side can get back with a sufficient AP bid. I could take your shield away, but not destroy it. Possibly in the case of the Magic Resistance, I should have insisted on an unrelated action to knock it down. (Although maybe I could have ruled that the creature could have just gotten it back up with some kind of appropriate action bid.)

I'm not sure what you mean by 2 mechanical changes. Could you give an example?
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 10:06:32 AM »

Two cases here, I think:

First, there's just going off on a tangent. No, tactically this is never sound, but sometimes a player may just want to stop in the middle of doing something and do something else. Like you're in the middle of a debate, and you decide to skip your next rebuttal and get a drink of water. It happens.

Second, I personally tend to think of it in the metagame, however. That is, I use an unrelated action to create a penalty for the opponent. There's some question as to the validity of this. But lets say that I'd rather attack my opponent's ability rating instead of AP. What I can theoretically do is take an unrelated action to give that character a penalty. In the debate, perhaps I intimidate the character during a break. Note that the penalty for this will potentially last further than the contest (he'll be intimidated until "healed"). So this is a good gauge.

As I've pointed out, given the right wording, one could argue that an attempt to wound a character might not be related to an attempt to kill said character. So instead of working on his AP, I can make an unrelated action to wound, and hopefully deliver a penalty.

The problem with this approach, however, is that as long as you have the lower TN, it might be very attractive to take your round to try to penalize.  This might lead back and forth to players trying only to lower each other's TN, instead of getting to AP. Which leads to a mechanical problem if/when somebody gets to less than 0. Basically this should be rare. The standard argument is that the action has to be really very unrelated - attacking to wound is too close to attacking to kill to be counted. In fact, that argument could be extended to say that anything that penalized an attackers TN for the contest is therefore related. So it's easy to ban this. But then that would seem to preclude the other use that's suggested, which is to take an unrelated action to augment.

I think that basically I'd allow some leeway here, and give a player the benefit of the doubt as long as he's not using unrelated actions in a way that seems overly gamey or such. If you don't do it often as narrator (which is easy enough to avoid), then people will get the idea that it should be relatively exceptional.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Brand_Robins
Member

Posts: 650


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 10:17:47 AM »

I almost always give both AP and situational advantages for actions in extended contests. I also almost never use unrelated actions.

This is because the second rarely make sense in my personal brain (if you are disarming someone in a swordfight or intimidating them in a debate, my brain says "how the fuck is that not related? It's directly fucking related!" but then I have a rude brain....). And once you move that away, I've found the first pretty much neccesary to make the game work in an interesting way rather than just a sequence of "I hit him"s.

Although, having just spent a chunk of my vacation playing with my non-gaming mother in law, I have to admit I've taken a sudden turn away from extended contests in general.
Logged

- Brand Robins
soru
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2005, 04:08:49 PM »

Quote

I'm not sure what you mean by 2 mechanical changes. Could you give an example?

Say you blow a horn to summon the warriors of the village. If that has one mechanical effect (adding 10 17 AP warriors to your side), then it shouldn't count for normal AP gain/loss as well.

soru
Logged
Brand_Robins
Member

Posts: 650


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2005, 08:34:53 PM »

Quote from: soru
Say you blow a horn to summon the warriors of the village. If that has one mechanical effect (adding 10 17 AP warriors to your side), then it shouldn't count for normal AP gain/loss as well.

See, I'd just do it that the number of AP you got came out equal to the amount the warriors you summon add to your side. Or something roughly eq. In my experience, if AP gains get you AP and nothing else, the extended contests become bean counting competitions.

YM, obviously, varries -- I honestly don't think there is a right way to do it. Every group kinda has to figure it out on their own. I am, as yet, undecided if this is a feature or a bug.
Logged

- Brand Robins
soru
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 06:51:52 AM »

You can do it either way, but I do think it does count as a mistake to do it both ways simultaneously.

The same 'summon salamander' feat could be used first as a fire-ball like magical attack, then as a means of lending AP (by distracting someone else's opponent), then as something that creates a new actor in the contest. Just not all three at once.

soru
Logged
simon_hibbs
Member

Posts: 678


« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 09:06:41 AM »

I'ma  purist on this. I think any action that affects the contest, or anyone else involved in it - cannot be an unrelated action. For example the use of unrelated actions to inflict 'wounds' - APs can already be converted to wounds at a 7 to 1 ratio.

Unrelated actions are just that - such as lending assistance to someone else in a different contest.

Simon Hibbs
Logged

Simon Hibbs
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2005, 09:33:33 AM »

Unrelated actions are just that - such as lending assistance to someone else in a different contest.
So you run more than one contest at once? How do these get started? Usually a "bunch of us vs a bunch of them" situation? And then you go one round on each contest before going to the next round?

I've run simultaneous simple contests, but never any other contests while an extended contest was going on.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2005, 11:38:29 AM »

Unrelated actions are just that - such as lending assistance to someone else in a different contest.
So you run more than one contest at once? How do these get started? Usually a "bunch of us vs a bunch of them" situation? And then you go one round on each contest before going to the next round?

I've run simultaneous simple contests, but never any other contests while an extended contest was going on.
Quote

Radically differing time-scales, for example. I like to give my games as much structure as possible, and in HQ I thus favor long-range extended contests whenever players feel like starting one, just to spare myself the bother of deciding when something or other happens. A contest might start, run for two sessions, and finally end, while all kinds of other stuff goes on around it. This is pretty necessary if you have lots of action that's very variable in spent time. It's not very nice to be stuck in some contest like "Can the British navy gear up and build something to rival the Spanish in three years?" when the other players are doing swordfighting, is it?

Actually, now I'm getting curious about how Mike does that kind of thing if not with an extended contest...
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2005, 12:21:57 PM »

No, actually you have caught me in a lie, Eero. I have done other contests in the situation where the extended contest was streched over big sections of play. And in that case, I actually have had unrelated contests come into play. In fact this is pretty fun, because you can make good bangs for a player by asking if the character is going to take their turn on their round, or help somebody else with an unrelated action. So I stand corrected.

But the question still remains would you do this for a short time scale extended contest? That is, if this is the only mechanical reason we can think of that definitely requires an unrelated action, for such a contest, that seems pretty weak.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
lightcastle
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2005, 03:55:12 PM »

Curse me and my screwed up schedule.

This has turned into quite an interesting debate while I've been gone.  I do think the unrelated thing is really going to be one of those cases where you just have to find something that makes sense in your brain.

But I am interrupting, pray continue.
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2005, 06:20:48 AM »

I do think the unrelated thing is really going to be one of those cases where you just have to find something that makes sense in your brain.
I think we all agree. It's just that we're fishing around here for a functional rule to apply. "You'll know it when you see it" is just too loose to apply.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
lightcastle
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2005, 06:48:40 AM »

Oh, agreed wholeheartedly. But I think we are going to end up with strong guidelines more than a rule. (Maybe a rule of thumb.)
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!