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Author Topic: Conflict Narration and Fallout Disparity  (Read 9261 times)
oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« on: November 14, 2005, 02:31:24 AM »

I have had it happened twice to me now: A conflict is resolved, fallout dice are rolled and a completely unexpected result comes up - normally something that is too harsh in relation to the narration of the conflict:

1st Case: In High Rockton, the Dogs try to get Edwin off the sin of lust, and a bit of a shuffle ensues. Finally, one Dog convinces Edwin by presenting his Large Sword (fantasy adoption) and telling him he is not afraid of using it. Edwin gives - he wants to live after all. The dog rolls 4d6 for Fallout gets a two sixes, a five and a 3. His Raise using Body against 12 fails and he goes up to badly injured and needs medical attention to prevent his death.

We all were quite surprised by this, and in fact I think the way of the narration did not warrant the fallout result

2nd Case: In Olive grove (stock Dogs), the Dogs discuss wether a young man has deserved to be put to the gallows for his deeds (another problem regarding this here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17594.0).  In the case of the discussion, one of the dogs opposing this one invokes 'Three In Authority' to subdue her. Eventually Sr Miriam gives and takes 3d8 of fallout, which comes to a flat 15 - she needs someone to help her or she is going to die. This yielded a great follow up conflict in which the Dog she called from the Angel of Death's side before, which resulted in a 2d4 relationship to the Angel of Death and a 1d4 relationship to her fellow Dog.

But all in all, the resolution of the conflict didn't warrant someone to fall into a dying condition. Of course someone will say That's the Power that comes with Authority, but again, there was a unique and shared perception of disparity between conflict narration and fallout results. Part of this may be due to all the players being new to Dogs and this being only my third time of running a dogs game. Nonetheless, the question is: What to do about Fallout? It's disconnected from the conflict by coming up after it, and I have the notion of a cause-and-effect connection. Is it just a matter of not narrating the Fallout one takes to the hilt? Is it going on with a character when he should give?
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 03:46:55 AM »

Merely PRESENTING a sword is not a "physical" action... brandishing it (without using it) is an act of intimidation, "just talking".  The fallout dice should have been d4's.

Now if he USED it, of course, that would have escalated the conflict.

If "Three in Authority" was useful against the character, then he or she must have either been a sorceror, or posessed.  Faithful don't take fallout from ceremony.  You can describe the results of ceremony against a sorceror or demon any way you like, but TiA is a big one, and it'll hurt them.


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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Frank T
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2005, 04:11:44 AM »

The fallout was d6's from shoving around. The presenting the sword didn't cause fallout because it ended the conflict.

- Frank
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2005, 04:20:37 AM »

If the D6 fallout came from pushing and shoving, then the bad luck of rolling the highest possible result mean that someone took a bad fall, accidentally got smacked in the head, or twisted something.

There's a reason that the breakpoints come at eight and twelve.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Frank T
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2005, 05:18:26 AM »

Thing is: The shoving had already been narrated, and didn't sound like something that would put a man in mortal danger. That's the whole point. Harald, didn't we already bring this up in some other thread?
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lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2005, 06:16:22 AM »

Are these NPCs or PCs we're talking about, taking the fallout?

-Vincent
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2005, 06:24:04 AM »

One of the things you need to use, in my opinion, in Dogs conflicts, sometimes, is that injuries aren't always apparent in the thick of things.

Someone doesn't realize that they've twisted their ankle until they try to walk on it.

...or doesn't realize that they've been shoved into a knife...

...or doesn't realize that they've taken a bad spill and been banged on the head.

We're used to RPG's where injuries have immediate effects.  Dogs isn't like that.

In Dogs, it isn't until the conflict is over that the Dog realizes that he's been shot, when he looks down to see blood oozing through his coat.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Tindalos
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2005, 06:53:15 AM »

I'd also like to note that it doesn't have to be literal "death" of a character, or even injury.  In my reading of the game it can also mean an unwillingness to continue in the story and the game. 

We had a similar situation, with a dog confronting a coven.  The entire conflict was talking except the possessed had viciousness and inflicted higher die fallout.  As a result, the dog in quesiton took 12, rolled body against it (probably should have been Will but that's a different point) and then was in danger of dying.  All from talking.  As the GM I suggested (and the players agreed) the dog wasn't physically dying but spiritually dying.  In other words, she was ready to walk away from life as a dog and leave the game.  Then we had the "saving the life" conflict only it became a conflict to convince her to remain a dog.

So while the rules talk about physical damage, as it is generally physical harm that will result in that kind of fallout, the rules are also open enough for different types of harm that have the same net result such as leaving the game permanently.  If I'm not mistaken the rules even say this explicitly.

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Christopher Weeks
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2005, 06:58:32 AM »

We're used to RPG's where injuries have immediate effects.  Dogs isn't like that.

In Dogs, it isn't until the conflict is over that the Dog realizes that he's been shot, when he looks down to see blood oozing through his coat.
I know the argument about realism isn't The Thing here, but I just read an article about when President Reagan was shot.  It took 15-20 minutes from the time of the shooting till anyone discovered that he'd been shot.  Shot!  So even if you want to invoke realism, it is.  Or can be.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2005, 07:21:00 AM »

Thing is: The shoving had already been narrated, and didn't sound like something that would put a man in mortal danger. That's the whole point. Harald, didn't we already bring this up in some other thread?

We talked about it briefly discussing actual play of our session. But since the very same thing came up again this weekend, I thought I could help some more insight. I see some valid points raised, but I am not quite sure I think I know how to handle such an occcurrence in the future yet.
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lumpley
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 07:30:51 AM »

Were these NPCs taking the fallout, PCs, or some of each? How you handle it depends on which.

-Vincent
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2005, 07:33:36 AM »

If "Three in Authority" was useful against the character, then he or she must have either been a sorceror, or posessed.  Faithful don't take fallout from ceremony.  You can describe the results of ceremony against a sorceror or demon any way you like, but TiA is a big one, and it'll hurt them.

Let me quote the rules here: "Sorcerors, Demons, and the Souls of the Faithful can't ignore ceremony performed with authority". So what kind of soul does a Dog have, if not a faithful one? On the side note that this is off topic, I should have asked the other players if they support the ceremony (and possibly have asked them to show their support by putting dice forth as per the Helping rules if they want to).

I think I will have to reconsider my interpretation of 'the souls of the faithful' or rather reflect the question back on the players if something like this happens next time.

Vincent: It was the one dog in the three-to-one conflict that was taking the fallout.
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lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2005, 07:42:32 AM »

Vincent: It was the one dog in the three-to-one conflict that was taking the fallout.

Good, excellent.

Now, have you seen Serenity?

-Vincent
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2005, 07:54:50 AM »

Vincent: It was the one dog in the three-to-one conflict that was taking the fallout.

Good, excellent.

Now, have you seen Serenity?

-Vincent

No, I haven't. Indulge me. Another notion: In hindsight, I could have asked the winning dogs if they claim the fallout dice for a follow-up conflict, no?
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lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2005, 08:32:18 AM »

Another notion: In hindsight, I could have asked the winning dogs if they claim the fallout dice for a follow-up conflict, no?

Mm, that's a good idea, actually. It's a bit not-by-the-rules, but I'm comfy with it.

You'd say something like "well, I don't want Sister Miriam's life to be at stake, so let's pretend she's an NPC and hold these two sixes against her in her next conflict."

Where I was going with Serenity is, there's a scene where someone takes the blow and the blow's "you aren't alone!" and then ten minutes later takes the fallout for it, and the fallout is "and they stab, stab, stab you!" The blow was an opening for the future attack, it didn't cause the injury.

So the rule is that the fallout has to follow from the conflict, that's all; not even strictly from any of the blows you took. So you could even say, at the end of the conflict, "this whole thing pisses me off so bad that I storm off without looking where I'm going and miss the step down from the porch - I fall and crack my head on the big rock with the iron ring set in it."

I also fully endorse Tindalos' approach.

Anyhow there's three things you can try next time. Mix and match, choose whichever seems best per case.

-Vincent
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