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Author Topic: Commanding demons and the like  (Read 2877 times)
Solamasa
Member

Posts: 50


« on: July 12, 2006, 07:08:58 AM »

I have questions pursuant to an upcoming Sorcerer game; these then aren't questions from actual play, but I can reasonably expect to have to address them, and I'm not sure how.

First, I understand ordering a demon in combat is an action.  And if the demon intends to resist the command, Will would be the appropriate roll for the sorcerer.

But what if the demon is perfectly tractable and won't resist?  First, would you still roll Will? 

Second, how is this adjudicated?

Say your friendly demon, trying to be helpful, goes haring off to mutilate Thug A.  Meanwhile, you know Thug B needs to be the target of your demon's attentions (for whatever reason.  Thug B's the one with the detonator, or somesuch, and Thug A is actually the friendly undercover cop.)  I understand that if your demon's action goes off first, poor Thug A is getting maimed regardless.  But what if your action comes up first, commanding it to attack Thug B?  I understand someone can't change their action once it's been locked in; is that true even if they want to abort that action entirely?  If that's so, then your poor demon--even though it has no intention of disobeying you and has already received your command--must attack Thug A this round regardless.  Is that correct?

Should such a situation be instead resolved during the "statements may be amended freely" stage of combat?  (In this example, the GM announces that your demon is going to mutilate Thug A.  You respond that you'll be ordering him to attack Thug B.  The GM then says, oh, your demon will happily follow your command, so now it's attacking Thug B.)

As a corollary, can you ever abort an action?  Say it's something that wouldn't come up during the "freely amended" stage:  you're all taking pot shots at Thug B but your group is more efficient than you hoped, and by the time your action comes around Thug B's innards are about to become, um, out-ards, so you decide you want to stay your hand so the poor thug can live.  Are you "forced" to take the shot regardless?

Thank you for your attention!

- Kit
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 03:53:58 PM »

Hello!

I love rules questions.

Quote
First, I understand ordering a demon in combat is an action.  And if the demon intends to resist the command, Will would be the appropriate roll for the sorcerer.

But what if the demon is perfectly tractable and won't resist?  First, would you still roll Will? 

Second, how is this adjudicated?

The sorcerer still rolls Will and the demon still rolls Will. This isn't resistance, but rather "attention," to see whether the command can penetrate the fog of the current sequence of actions.

For you theory heads, that's a within-SIS answer; the story-ish answer concerns whether the command has enough narrativist oomph to make itself important.

As for the adjudication, the GM plays the demons, always. The player has no authority at all, ever, over what a demon "would" do.

Quote
Say your friendly demon, trying to be helpful, goes haring off to mutilate Thug A.  Meanwhile, you know Thug B needs to be the target of your demon's attentions (for whatever reason.  Thug B's the one with the detonator, or somesuch, and Thug A is actually the friendly undercover cop.)  I understand that if your demon's action goes off first, poor Thug A is getting maimed regardless.  But what if your action comes up first, commanding it to attack Thug B?  I understand someone can't change their action once it's been locked in; is that true even if they want to abort that action entirely?  If that's so, then your poor demon--even though it has no intention of disobeying you and has already received your command--must attack Thug A this round regardless.  Is that correct?

Aborting is always an option. You can't change your action, but you can not do it. However, that means you do nothing.

If you proceed as you just described, then the command comes in, and say the demon fails its Will against it, so the demon does not attack Thug A. I.e., it aborts its action. But that doesn't mean it can attack Thug B right then. That will have to wait until next round.

Quote
Should such a situation be instead resolved during the "statements may be amended freely" stage of combat?  (In this example, the GM announces that your demon is going to mutilate Thug A.  You respond that you'll be ordering him to attack Thug B.  The GM then says, oh, your demon will happily follow your command, so now it's attacking Thug B.)

Yeah, that works fine. You will discover, oddly, that this never produces arguments. Particular after the first round, it becomes so clear where everyone is and what they're doing, that what someone could or would do becomes totally painless. Sometimes you say something like what you describe, and everyone goes "no, dude, the demon's still got his head in the bucket," and other times, they'd say, "Yeah!" There's no formal consensus required by the rules (after all, the GM plays the demons, period), but as I say, it plays really easily.

Quote
As a corollary, can you ever abort an action?  Say it's something that wouldn't come up during the "freely amended" stage:  you're all taking pot shots at Thug B but your group is more efficient than you hoped, and by the time your action comes around Thug B's innards are about to become, um, out-ards, so you decide you want to stay your hand so the poor thug can live.  Are you "forced" to take the shot regardless?

As I mentioned above, you can always abort an action as your move when the turn arrives. In the case you describe, you just stay your hand. Imagine the character just about to pull the trigger, then relaxing his finger and pointing the gun straight up.

Good answers? Making sense? Let me know!

Best, Ron
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Solamasa
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2006, 06:06:54 PM »

Clear on all counts!  Thank you very much.

- Kit
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