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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 153 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Sorceror and Sword combats  (Read 3786 times)
Balbinus
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Posts: 290


« on: May 12, 2003, 06:53:09 AM »

Hi there,

I'd be very grateful if those who've run S&S campaigns could indicate how combat in S&S differed from trad Sorceror.

I realise the book addresses this, but my impression with Sorceror is that reading the rules often does not quite prepare one for their implications in play, as the mechanics are subtler than they look.

Also, in S&S my understanding is that characters can start without bound demons.  Has anyone seen this in their games?

Thanks folks.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2003, 08:15:54 AM »

Hi Max,

There are three differences to consider, none of which are especially hard.

1. Humanity-based goals can play a serious role in terms of bonus dice. You should know that in Sorc & Sword, one may increase Price in order to gain ongoing bonus dice regarding a given goal; this bonus may apply to multiple conflicts and perhaps through several sessions of play.

Just bear in mind that two, three, and sometimes as many as five dice may be barrelling into the picture, and these "goal" dice very commonly apply to combat situations.

2. Past and Stamina descriptors firing in parallel. This is no different from the usual Sorcerer rules, but it shows up more commonly in Sorc & Sword play. I usually toss in either Past or Stamina (whichever seems secondary) as a roll during the "free and clear" phase of actions-announcement, against something relevant about the opposing character (Past or Stamina, usually). The bonuses, if any, are merely bonus dice for the soon-to-come attack roll.

3. The trading-victories rule. A lot of people have some trouble with this, mainly because they are still getting used to moving victories from roll A to roll B, and think this must be some application of those rules. It isn't. It's a totally new mechanic and doesn't involve more dice or less dice at all. Make sure you understand it thoroughly.

Best,
Ron
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dyjoots
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Posts: 91


« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2003, 07:45:44 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
The trading-victories rule. A lot of people have some trouble with this, mainly because they are still getting used to moving victories from roll A to roll B, and think this must be some application of those rules. It isn't. It's a totally new mechanic and doesn't involve more dice or less dice at all. Make sure you understand it thoroughly.


I'm a little unclear on this part.  
When you trade victories down, does the number that you trade matter?  More specifically, do I need to trade a number of Victories down equal to the number of "non-Victory" dice I take away in the next round?

How does this mechanic allow you to prevent your opponent from getting a Total Victory?  ex. If my opponent rolls 7, 9, 8, and I roll 5, 4, 6, 5, then how could taking non-victory dice away from this help avoid the fact that every one of his dice is higher than any of mine?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2003, 05:19:22 AM »

Hi everyone,

Check out the Last (?) combat question and Holding victory dice threads. Let me know if there are any further questions.

Best,
Ron
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dyjoots
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Posts: 91


« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2003, 07:57:58 AM »

thanks.  those other threads cleared it up some.
i think this will be my last question.  the book says that you can use the trading victories rule to avoid a Total Success, but i can't think of how.  do you have an example?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2003, 08:55:49 AM »

Hi dyjoots,

The answer is probably going to be a bit annoying to some players and GMs, because to some extent it causes a "whiff" - something that ordinarily doesn't occur during Sorcerer play.

Basically, if someone beats you by X victories, and X is all of his dice, then you're not only suffering the effects of X victories, but also some kind of colorful disaster based on the Total-Victory concept. (Not everyone makes use of this concept at all times, by the way. It's an opportunity, not a "see Total Victory table" sort of thing.)

Well, buy off one or more from X using your saved victories, and by definition, now, not all of his dice officially beat all of yours. Hence, not only is X reduced quantitatively, but technically, the Total Victory effect (whatever it might be, and whatever the GM might have wanted to do with it) is now removed as well.

Now for the annoying part ... if you have saved victories equal to or greater than X, then basically, you've just made that whole exchange go "poof" in terms of in-game events. Played poorly, that would be a whiff - nothing happens. I think, if I were GMing such a situation, I'd pop in some kind of interesting environmental or situational effect so that the "nothing" becomes something for the next set of decisions in play: the floorboards collapsing under the combatants, or something similar, probably drawing on the players' opinions and suggestions.

Best,
Ron
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dyjoots
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2003, 10:05:20 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi dyjoots,
Basically, if someone beats you by X victories, and X is all of his dice, then you're not only suffering the effects of X victories, but also some kind of colorful disaster based on the Total-Victory concept. (Not everyone makes use of this concept at all times, by the way. It's an opportunity, not a "see Total Victory table" sort of thing.)

Well, buy off one or more from X using your saved victories, and by definition, now, not all of his dice officially beat all of yours. Hence, not only is X reduced quantitatively, but technically, the Total Victory effect (whatever it might be, and whatever the GM might have wanted to do with it) is now removed as well.


ah.  that makes sense.  your not removing the dice, you are just removing the victory that those dice produce, so it is no longer a total victory.  perhaps it was just me, but i felt the text could have been clearer.  thanks for the explanation.

Quote
Now for the annoying part ... if you have saved victories equal to or greater than X, then basically, you've just made that whole exchange go "poof" in terms of in-game events. Played poorly, that would be a whiff - nothing happens. I think, if I were GMing such a situation, I'd pop in some kind of interesting environmental or situational effect so that the "nothing" becomes something for the next set of decisions in play: the floorboards collapsing under the combatants, or something similar, probably drawing on the players' opinions and suggestions.


this shouldn't be a problem.  i see it (the "whiff") as a effect of the combat exchange.  using the trading victories rule could easily be explained as a particular combat maneuver or the like, and the effect of the combat maneuver is the loss/gain of a total victory condition.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2003, 10:12:39 AM »

Bang on. That's how I'd do it too.

Best,
Ron
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Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2003, 11:28:33 AM »

Hey Folks,

I know Ron is on vacation for a bit, but in the meantime maybe someone else could see where I'm confused. In reading Last (?) combat question it gives the example:

Quote

Why do this to your dice instead of his? It depends on the number and distribution of his dice. Say this fellow had rolled EIGHT dice, and every single one came up lower than your two highest dice, and higher than your lowest dice. You only have three dice, so cancelling three of his eight has no game effect at all. But cancelling three of your three non-victory dice gives you Total Victory, as above.


but then here it also says:

Quote

Well, buy off one or more from X using your saved victories, and by definition, now, not all of his dice officially beat all of yours. Hence, not only is X reduced quantitatively, but technically, the Total Victory effect (whatever it might be, and whatever the GM might have wanted to do with it) is now removed as well.


This seems at odds to me. Are you buying off victories, or dice? Or is it whatever benefits the player at the time?

-Tim
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jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2003, 12:28:34 PM »

Quote from: talex


This seems at odds to me. Are you buying off victories, or dice? Or is it whatever benefits the player at the time?



Ah, The Curse of Sorcerer's Currency.  Victories and Dice are the same thing.  You're buying off Dice.  To cancel out Victories just buy off the dice that the victories come from.

If there's one thing I've leard about Sorcerer, it's that this little formula,

"1 score point = 1 die = 1 victory = 1 bonus = 1 penalty"

is a lot deeper than it looks.

Jesse
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Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2003, 12:35:16 PM »

Hey Jesse,

So if that's the case then doesn't the second example not quite work? I mean, if you remove one Victory/Die, he's still got a total victory because now he has X-1 dice and victories, right? Otherwise you're violating currency by removing a victory, but not the die. That's sort of where I'm stuck, is it another currency factor I'm not grasping?

-Tim
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2003, 01:38:10 PM »

Hmmm... I see what you're saying.  I think I misunderstood your previous question.  Or rather I missunderstood one of the examples, and I now see where your confusion is coming from.

Let's see if I can rephrase the problem using a concrete example.  The first example you quoted assumes a dice spread that looks like this:

Player 1: 10, 9, 3, 2, 1 plus 3 saved victories.
Player 2:  8, 8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 4

So, Player 1 takes his 3 saved dice and uses them to eliminate the 3, 2, and 1 *DIE*, so that he now has total victory because it's like he only rolled two dice against against the eight and both of them came up higher.

The second example looks this:

I'll keep it simple:

Player 1: 1, 2, 3, plus 3 saved dice.
Player 2: 10, 9, 8

The example seems to suggest that here Player 1 uses one of his saved dice to cancel, say the victory from the 8 BUT we still count all three dice as having been rolled and thus Player 2 doesn't have total victory.

Hmmm...  That does seem inconsistant.  I don't have the book with me, so I can't check the wording of the rule.

I'll think about it.

Jesse
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Tim Alexander
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2003, 03:03:23 PM »

Hey again,

Yep, you've got my quandry exactly. Given a couple of things I've read on Sorc currency in the last few days I'm completely open to the idea that I've missed a nuance, but I have to admit I'm stumped.

-Tim
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2003, 04:36:46 PM »

Hi there,

I'm not seeing the quandary, so it's likely that my response isn't going to be very helpful.

In both cases, the person with saved victories is able to reduce the impact of the other person's roll, in terms of who rolled higher than whom. That's pretty much the only principle at work.

Let me know what I'm missing.

Best,
Ron
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2003, 05:09:14 PM »

I think the problem is that the two examples are contradictory in whether we still consider a given die to have been rolled.

In the first example I point at my die and say I cancel this die and it goes away as if I had never rolled it all.

In the second example I point at my opponents die and say I cancel this die and the victory that die generated is canceled but the fact  that it was rolled at all was not.

So am I canceling dice, victories, whatever works?  That's all the confusion is.

Jesse
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