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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 48 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Semantics on goals...important?  (Read 13534 times)
Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« on: March 30, 2006, 10:01:17 AM »

From the "Critique my exemplar" thread:

Goal: Prevent Jerry from doing superhero stuff. 
[snip]
However, this is a weak goal because while it's in play it doesn't stop Jerry.  I think it'd be better done as Goal: Do superhero stuff.

I find this an interesting statement.  I assume that the 2nd goal is really "Goal: Jerry does superhero stuff" and the first is "Goal: Teacher prevents Jerry from doing superhero stuff."

Previous to this moment, I had always considered the following two goals to be fundamentally identical:

1) Goal: X does Y (X can veto)

2) Goal: Z prevents X from doing Y  (Z can veto)

the only difference being who can veto.  By identical I mean that anything that would engender a "Not Yet" with one would engender a "Not Yet" with the other. 

But Matthew seems to think they are not equivalent.  Moreover, he seems to think that 2) above is essentially useless.  It doesn't  prevent X from doing Y while its on the table, and since anything goes after resolution, it doesn't really prevent X from doing Y then either.  Under a comics code or house rule where facts established have some narrative permanence (such as  the CiM codeor Fred's "Goal in Goal out" rule) the distinction would be less important.  But if I understand Matthew, the upshot of what he is saying is that 2) only really prevents someone for during the narration of its resolution.

How do you all play with this issue?  Would you treat 1) and 2) as equivalent, or are they different?  As I ponder the question, I begin to see how the veto rules matter MUCH more than I thought they did, because if Matthew's intepretation is valid, the only way for a preventative goal to really work is for it to be vetoable by the person who is its target.  In other words, the only way to stop somebody from narrating something is for them to agree to be stopped. 
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Matthew Glover
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Posts: 160


« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 10:41:41 AM »

I'm going to wait to comment on this.  I'm glad you brought it up, though.  :)
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Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 10:45:12 AM »

The two goals prevent different things.

The first goal prevents X from doing Y until the goal is resolved.

The second goal prevents Z from preventing X from doing Y until the goal is resolved; but since (mechanically ) Z can't prevent X from doing ANYTHING, anyways, it's a (mechanically) meaningless goal.
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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
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 10:46:44 AM »

To be more clear: The two goals are NOT identical in the "not yet" that they allow.

In the first case, a "Not Yet" is triggered if X does Y.

In the second case, a "Not Yet" is NOT triggered if X does Y, but rather if Z tries to prevent it.
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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
Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 10:56:39 AM »

To be more clear: The two goals are NOT identical in the "not yet" that they allow.

In the first case, a "Not Yet" is triggered if X does Y.

In the second case, a "Not Yet" is NOT triggered if X does Y, but rather if Z tries to prevent it.

So, on the bigger point, Fred, do you think it is true that to prevent someone narrating something you must do so through a goal that they can veto?  If not, can you give an example of a goal that would be functionally equivalent to "Goal: X does Y" that X couldn't veto?
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Sindyr
Member

Posts: 795


« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2006, 07:18:54 AM »

To be more clear: The two goals are NOT identical in the "not yet" that they allow.

In the first case, a "Not Yet" is triggered if X does Y.

In the second case, a "Not Yet" is NOT triggered if X does Y, but rather if Z tries to prevent it.

So, on the bigger point, Fred, do you think it is true that to prevent someone narrating something you must do so through a goal that they can veto?  If not, can you give an example of a goal that would be functionally equivalent to "Goal: X does Y" that X couldn't veto?

I am very interested in this answer.

At the moment, it seems to be the case that any preventative goal can be vetoed.

What about: Goal:  A way out is not found by Jetboy.

Is that veto-able, as it is merely "Goal: Jetboy does not find a way out" changed into the passive voice?

Is there ANY way to create a goal to prevent Jetboy from escaping that Jetboy's player is not allowed to veto?
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-Sindyr
Adam Biltcliffe
Member

Posts: 56


« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2006, 07:47:35 AM »

Say I'm playing Jetboy, and my buddy Clive is playing Star-man. If there's a goal on the table "Star-man stops Jetboy escaping", and I narrate Jetboy escaping, surely that makes it impossible for Star-man to fulfil the goal? In which case Clive is totally within his rights to say "not yet".

That is, I think a goal "X stops Y doing Z" can prevent Y from doing Z.
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Sindyr
Member

Posts: 795


« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2006, 07:50:51 AM »

Vaxalon, I am getting confused here - now Adam seems to be making sense - what do you think?
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-Sindyr
Sindyr
Member

Posts: 795


« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2006, 08:02:04 AM »

Goal: Star-man stops Jetboy from escaping.

Result: any narration that would indicate Starman at being successful at stoping Jetboy's escape or at failing to stop Jetboy's escape would be forbidden under the not yet rule.

If Jetboy were to escape, than that invalidates the Goal.  Of course, Jetboy might escape right *after* the goal resolves, but whlie the Goal is on the table, Jetboy can not successfully escape, can he?

This would lead to the conclusion that to prevent person X from doing action Y you simply cretae a Goal like:
Goal:  Your character stops X from doing Y.
and while the Goal is in play, X will not be able to do Y without the Not Yet rule stopping them.

I think this is what Adam is saying.  Vaxalon - does this hold up for you?  Because the logic seems flawless.

Not if *your* point is barring house rules and mods, if the player of X really wants him to do Y, then that player simply waits until the Goal preventing X from doing Y resolves, and then X can do Y.

Is *this* your main point??
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-Sindyr
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2006, 08:07:38 AM »

Okay.

I'm going to sit back and wait for Tony to weigh in on this one.
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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
Adam Biltcliffe
Member

Posts: 56


« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2006, 08:14:58 AM »

Ok, I confess that my answer was kind of a cheap way out, because it wasn't exactly addressing the original question. Consider these two goals:

1) Raspberry-ripple-man stops Chocoboy from escaping
2) Raspberry-ripple-man stops Chocoboy from being a hero

Raspberry-ripple-man's player can certainly veto either of these goals, and Chocoboy's player can't veto either of them. Also, while they're in play, Raspberry-ripple-man can't do anything which definitively prevents Chocoboy escaping (in the first case) or being a hero (in the second case). But the restriction on Chocoboy isn't that he can't do those things, it's that he can't take away Raspberry-ripple-man's ability to stop him doing those things. In the case of escaping the two are pretty much identical, because Chocoboy is only going to escape once (assuming that it's implicit in the goal what he's trying to escape from). But 2) doesn't prevent Chocoboy from being a hero, as long as the need for him to be a hero doesn't go away. Say he (heroically) saves a bunch of the hostages, that's fine, as long as there are still hostages left who Ripple can talk him out of going back for. What he can't get away with is resolving the crisis of the moment completely, because that would mean that the need for him to be a hero disappeared before Ripple could try to talk him out of it.

So I think the answer to "is there a goal I can create which X can't veto and which prevents X from doing Y?" is "it depends on what Y is". Like, if Chocoboy's player really wants him to be a hero, maybe you can't stop him doing it that one time, but you can still eventually force him into a situation where Chocoboy has to fight to do what he thinks is right.

Answering Capes questions in the abstract like this seems like tricky stuff. How are we doing with resolving Hans' original concern?
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Sindyr
Member

Posts: 795


« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2006, 08:56:47 AM »

Very good points.

So, what we are saying now is that:
Goal: X stops Y from doing Z
only stops Y from doing Z when Z is non-repeatable.  If Z can be done multiple times, than doing Z now does not prevent X from being able to stop Y from doing another Z later - and therefor does not qualify for the Not Yet rule.

Of course, if Z is NOT repeatable, than Y doing Z would qualify for the Not Yet rule as once done, X would have lost the option to successfully resolve the Goal.

So if someone throws down a preventative goal in the format of "X stops Y from doing Z" and if that Goal-maker does get specific enough about Z, then Y can continuing doing Z.

Example: Goal: Bif stops Marty from driving the DeLorean.
Marty can continue to drive the DeLorean, only having to stop if the Goal successfully resolves, after which he can immediately start again.

Example: Goal: Bif stops Marty from driving the DeLorean at 88 mph, there by time travelling.
Same as the above.

Example: Goal Bif stops Marty from dricing the DeLorean at 88 mph, and exiting this scene.
Does prevent Marty from doing this?

Perhaps the ONLY preventative Goals that work are those that address specific OOC matters, like scenes, etc?

A quick side question: can a Goal or Event even address OOC stuff?
Goal:  Starman stop's Jetboy from staking debt.

Back to the main point: What about this:
Goal: Starman suppresses all use of Jetboy's powers between Noon and 1pm.

Assuming that it is 12:05PM in the story, how is the above goal handled?  If Jetboy uses a power, that invalidates the Goal, bringing the Not Yet rule out. Or does it?

Perhaps this is a way to stop a character from doing general stuff - by creating a goal whereupon *any* action of type Z invalidates the Goal?
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-Sindyr
Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2006, 10:31:32 AM »

So I think the answer to "is there a goal I can create which X can't veto and which prevents X from doing Y?" is "it depends on what Y is". Like, if Chocoboy's player really wants him to be a hero, maybe you can't stop him doing it that one time, but you can still eventually force him into a situation where Chocoboy has to fight to do what he thinks is right.

Answering Capes questions in the abstract like this seems like tricky stuff. How are we doing with resolving Hans' original concern?

I too would like to see if Tony has anything to say.  However, I realize now that my original question was faulty. I have been thinking about it in terms of pairs of goals that are equivalent in terms of "Not Yet".  But now I see that was dead wrong, after what Fred and others have said.  The real question is "Can you prevent someone from narrating a certain story fact with a Goal they can't veto?"  Put in those terms, the obvious answer is "Of Course!"  Its all a matter of tailoring the Goal to exactly the narration you want to prevent.  All goals prevent some narration, so it is just a question of being specific.

The classic example is the villain escaping.  But the question is, "escaping from what, and what do you want to have happen before the escape?"  So, if A is fighting B inside B's villainous secret hideout, what does the player of A want?  My guess would be for B to be unable to leave the secret hideout before A has captured/arrested/dealt with him.  How to achieve this without giving the player of B the veto?

1) Goal: A prevents B from escaping

I agree with Fred, 1)is poor.  Who knows what escaping means?  B could travel to Tibet and still not technically have "escaped" A's justice.  Doesn't really stop any narration on the part of B's player.

2) Goal: A prevents B from leaving B's secret headquarters

Much better.  As soon as B leaves the secret headquarters, A will not have prevented B from leaving the secret headquarters...hence by logic the "Not Yet" could be invoked.  This was not true of 1) because "escaping" was not specific enough.  (Of course, we can always bring in clones, time warps, etc. but I am assuming a fairly low popcorn throwing threshold).  However, I would argue even better is:

Goal: A captures B and brings him to justice BEFORE B leaves B's secret headquarters.

I would argue that this is the strongest of all, and really keeps B inside that secret headquarters because it says that IF the capture is going to happen, nothing that forces it to be AFTER B leaves the headquares is allowed to be narrated.  The capture might not happen, in which case B can go about his merry way.

So, I guess I have the answer to my questions.  I was being distracted by the whole "pair of goals" thing instead of honing in on exactly what narration I am preventing with the preventative goal.
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Matthew Glover
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2006, 10:49:39 AM »

I just want to touch on this one little thing so as to remove it as an issue.  This is an off-topic aside, and has been covered by other posts earlier.  Not trying to disrupt the thread, which I think is rather important.

Quote
Back to the main point: What about this:
Goal: Starman suppresses all use of Jetboy's powers between Noon and 1pm.

Assuming that it is 12:05PM in the story, how is the above goal handled?  If Jetboy uses a power, that invalidates the Goal, bringing the Not Yet rule out. Or does it?

I just want to make certain that you realize that whether or not Jetboy can use his powers, Jetboy's player can use Jetboy's powered abilities to roll dice.

To clarify how this would work, another scenario.

Goal: Superman uses any of his powers.  Until this resolves, Supes can't use powers.  However I can say "Okay, I'm using  Superstrength [5] to roll down your 5.  My narration:  'Superman grimaces in the shimmery green light from the the Kryptonite, his superhuman strength faltering.  He staggers toward the leaden case, falling on it as it closes.' "  Not Yet isn't violated.
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drnuncheon
Member

Posts: 155

Some call me Jeff


« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006, 11:12:24 AM »

In the second case, a "Not Yet" is NOT triggered if X does Y, but rather if Z tries to prevent it.

Point of order: if Z succeeds in preventing it.  He can try all he wants, but X cannot be prevented from doing Y, and X cannot do Y if it would make it impossible for Z to prevent him from doing it.

Wow, that was tortuous.  It's a little clearer with concrete examples, because there are two classes of things that Y could be - it could be an ongoing action, like whistling, where perfoming it now doesn't mean you can't be stopped later, or it could be a one-time-only action, like destroying the world, where performing it now generally means that it can't be stopped at a later date, barring special circumstances.

So if Y is like whistling, then X can whistle all he wants, and Z can't stop him until the Goal is resolved.  If Y is like destroying the Earth, then X can't actually destroy the Earth until the goal is resolved.  Unless it's a Groundhog Day-style scenario, or Z can do a "replay" jump-back-in-time-for-5-seconds thing, or...well, you get the idea.

J
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