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Author Topic: Player vs GM Assertion Rights  (Read 2862 times)
NickHollingsworth
Member

Posts: 78


« on: August 16, 2005, 05:18:51 AM »

I recently read a DitV thread that said something along the lines of:
Quote from: unknown thread
the characters went round the town and tested everyone for possession. No one was possessed. I was relieved that they had not started a contest with 'she is possessed' as the stakes.
(Aplogies for not being able to find and link it).

I read the thing and thought - 'ok, its the players right to assert anything they want as true and then prove it with a contest'. It was only when reading through the town creation pages this weekend that I remembered the thread and wondered what the players can and what they cant assert as true.

The GM has created a problem but not a solution. Can the players assert things that change the problem? I would have thought not. If that were the case they could change a difficult shades-of-grey situation to be nicely black-and-white and side step the difficult decisions.

My guess is that authority on the starting problem (whats happened, who wants what, who's possessed) lies solely with the GM, authority on whats the correct solution lies solely with the players, authority on what things happen between the problem and the solution is shared between the GM and the players via the formal mechanics of the contest and stakes rules and the informal give and take of framing scenes.

If this is true then a player can't assert via a contest that a given NPC is possessed, only that the characters determine which NPC(s), if any, are possessed.

Is this correct?
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Nick Hollingsworth
lumpley
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Posts: 3453


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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2005, 05:31:27 AM »

The GM decides up front who's possessed and who's not, in town creation.

Player: "What's at stake is, is she possessed?"
GM: "How about 'what's at stake is, do you find out whether she's possessed?' Because I already know the answer."
(Or GM: "How about 'what's at stake is, does she become possessed now?' If that's what they're really after.")

"Say yes or roll dice" is NOT intended to let the GM shirk her duties. The GM's duties, as I lay them out in the book, are NOT up for grabs.

Sorry for the terse reply, I'm tryin' to get out the door to GenCon!

-Vincent
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Bankuei
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 10:23:34 AM »

Hi Nick,

Yep, you've got it right- the players do not get director power with declaring conflicts.  In the case of the possession issue (or any, "find info" conflict), if there's no conflict regarding "hiding" the info, there's no conflict at all.  For instance, if the person isn't possessed, unless they were trying to fake it, there's no conflict to be had in the first place.  The "Say Yes" part is giving the players the info without rolling the dice, much in the same way you might skip "rolling to find traps" every 5 feet in a room without any in D&D.

Chris

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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 09:56:17 AM »

Hm. Methinks I'd misunderstood this.. Br. Chance's conflict over the Tarot cards might have gone a bit differently if I'd known.. Now, however, it just puts a new spin on it.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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