*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 31, 2014, 11:41:03 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Task vs. Conflict and Scene vs. Action? (for Ron)  (Read 7772 times)
Manu
Member

Posts: 57


« on: October 18, 2001, 10:53:00 AM »

Hello Ron and all,

You mentioned these in your essay; Could you please provide a few examples of these? I fail to see the nuance. Thanks.
Logged

-------------
Manu
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2001, 11:05:00 AM »

Yes, Ron.

Is it the concept of result and scope respectively? That is I would surmise that you might mean that Conflict vs. Task relates to how you look at the outcome, while Scene vs Action refers to how much activity is being considered in one roll?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2001, 11:17:00 AM »

Hello Manu,

I'm not Ron but I understand 3 of these concepts very well.  I personally don't see the difference between Task and Action, so we'll have to wait for Ron's input.

Mainly we're talking about level of abstraction for any given resolution system.  From least abstract to most abstract it goes Task->Conflict->Scene.

Tasks are individual character steps.  I hit him with my sword.  I pick the lock.  I try to hack the computer.  A good deal of the more popular role-playing games work on this level.  This is the classic skills model.

The next step up from Tasks are Conflicts.  Conflicts can be thought of as the REASON a character is performing a given task.  Are you swinging your sword at an enemy because you're trying to kill him or because you're trying to subdue him?  Systems that resolve Conflicts assume that you will retroactively determine any tasks that were needed.  An example of system that works at this level is Sorcerer.

Example:

Player: I'm trying to learn info about the enemy.  Roll dice.  Oh, I succeed.  Since I'm a hacker, let's say I hacked into their central database, what do I learn?

Next up from Conflicts are whole Scenes.  Scenes can be thought of as the overarching goal that subsumes any of the individual conflicts that may arrise.  Assume a typical adventuring party encountering a bunch of pirate slave traders.  The adventuring party declares that they're going to try to kill the pirates and the pirates declare that they're going to try to subdue the party.  The dice then resolve these group goals and not individual conflicts or tasks.  This is most effective when combined with a degree of success system.  This allows for something like the Pirates subduing SOME of the adventures before the adventures manage to kill all the pirates.  An example of a game that works on this level is Story Engine.

As for Actions?  I don't know how they're different from Tasks.

Jesse
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2001, 11:32:00 AM »

I dunno Jesse. I think that Ron implied something different in the essay. Scene resolution was introduced by story engine, ane just meant that a whole buncha activity could be resolved in one roll, essentially all the activity in one scene defined in a pretty traditional sense. If you won the scene you got to describe most of what happened.

I think Ron is talking about quantity and method of resolution as two different things.

Or am I way off here Ron?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2001, 05:37:00 AM »

i]and<newandnew
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2001, 06:04:00 AM »

Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote

I am highly interested in discussions along this line because, to date, everyone has told me that this idea is new<


Well, I think the idea of having a version of each skill for three different scopes is very new. Might be really cool (from my Sim vantage). Do characters have to buy each as a separate skill, or are each of these just a scale of resolution for a single skill? If you do buy separately, do they relate in any way (default perhaps)?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Matt Machell
Member

Posts: 477


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2001, 06:07:00 AM »

To me a conflict differs substantially from a task. A conflict can span a number of scenes/tasks. Say, a political conflict between two characters can be the backdrop for a whole story, but contain many individual tasks.

Surely the Conflict vs Task issue relates to on what scale you resolve events. Lots of RPGs focus solely on task resolution (I hit him), but not on overarching conflict resolution (Who won the fight/war).

Or am I missing the point?


Matt
Logged

Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2001, 07:10:00 AM »

You're missing the context Matt.

There has been an ongoing discussion of the usefulness of something called Conflict Resolution over Task Resolution. These are defined for this purpose above. The terms aren't too important. Everybody is familiar with traditional Task resolution. "Conflict resolution" as introduced by Ron is what Jesse and I (attempt to) describe above.

In Ron's latest essay he states that there is another dichotomy or spectrum as well, and I am theorizing that it has to do with how much action is being considered all at once. This may not be what Ron was implying; I can't say for sure until Ron chimes in. I still think it's an interesting topic, though.

So, no, in the model that I'm describing, Conflicts do not have to be long. A conflict could be trying to survive a fall. With Task resolution typically we see a GM assigning a roll against a skill like "Breakfall" or something, essentially the conflict is ignored temporarily so that we can resolve a breakfall Task. In Conflict resolution, you'd probably roll against some physical trait or against luck, or whatever and when successful you'd get to describe what Tasks you undertook to be successful. In the case of the example, I could be rolling my Stamina stat from Sorcerer, and on success I could describe the result as landing on my feet, or just absorbing the shock well, or grabbing something on the way down, whatever, as long as it relates to what I rolled against (Stamina applies to any physical activity in Sorcerer). In Task resolution which of these I was attempting would have been decided first.

That make any more sense?

Mike

[ This Message was edited by: Mike Holmes on 2001-10-19 11:11 ]
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2001, 07:34:00 AM »

Whew - the thread even has my name on it, and I haven't had a chance to get to it yet.

Okay, let's break it down.

Task Resolution = a single-action resolution without reference to the larger context of play, whether in terms of in-game time and space, or in-game relationships, or metagame issues. "I swing my sword at him!" "You hit/miss," referring specifically to that one physical action. Same with non-combat: "I climb that fence!" "You get over it / fall down on this side," referring specifically and only to the success of the character's muscle movements and that fence.

In Task Resolution, one extreme is utter failure to perform that task, and the other extreme is amazing success to perform that task.

Its partner or opposite term is Conflict Resolution, which is resolving the overall relationship or conflict of interest at hand, perhaps retroactively fitting in the details of how the tasks did it (without resolving them individually).

"I try to kill him with my sword!" "You kill him / do not kill him." Please note that this exchange can be DRESSED UP with embedded tasks a great deal, both before and after the resolution mechanic is employed. Also, a partial success might indicate a wound.

To continue with this idea: "I knock him out!" "You knock him out / or don't." In this case, a partial success might be dazing him, but a partial failure might be WOUNDING him! (Which you were not trying to do!)

Scene Resolution = a single resolution instance applies to the varied actions of many characters, even their sequential actions. "We fight the pirates!" The various characters can be fighting the pirates in a multitude of ways, but

It doesn't have an "opposite" term, so I think it might need one. Such a term would refer to a case in which individual's circumstances are being decided, rather than "a side's." So maybe Individual Resolution would be the best term. (And now that I think about it, Group Resolution rather than Scene Resolution isn't the worst term-change imaginable ...)

The most common sort across most RPGs is then Individual Task Resolution. The group's outcome is a summary of the separate Individual outcomes, and each of those separate Individual outcomes is a summary of a series of Task outcomes.

Sorcerer, despite a bit of wriggling in the text, is essentially Individual Conflict Resolution. Story Engine, if its most avant-garde mechanic is used, has Scene Conflict Resolution.

Is Scene Task Resolution possible? I think so. Tunnels & Trolls' fight mechanic is Scene Resolution, in that everyone on a side pools up their dice and bonuses into one roll. But the action at hand is "to injure the monster," not to kill or subdue or otherwise end the conflict. The conflict is ended only when the monster gets run out of points due to multiple Tasks.

This leads us to Hero Wars, which has two resolution systems, Simple and Extended. Either may apply to Scene (Group?) or Individual as needed, which in itself is pretty cool. Now for the tricky part. The Simple Contest is very clearly Conflict Resolution, but the Extended Contest is harder to read. I think it's a Conflict Resolution mechanic, rather than Task, partly based on my discussions with the designers. It does break up the conflict into "dramatic moment" stages though, and has (if I squint) a bit of an overlap with the T&T method.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2001, 08:20:00 AM »

Ah, so I was wrong. I now see three spectra. Specificity, Actions Scale, and Numbers.

Specificity refers to the Task Vs. Conflict thing. How specific is the task and potential outcomes.

Scale refers to how many subsumed actions are involved in the single resolution.

Numbers involves how many participants are involved in the single resolution.

Note that these are all spectra. For example classic task resolution often involves only the attempting character. I shoot the wall. But most games also include active targets in resolutions. So a single resolution actually affects two characters (or more for area effect). So you can easily have Task resolution that affects large numbers, just as you can have Conflict resolution affect large nembers.

Does that make sense at all? I would be more than happy to replace my terms with better ones if people can think of something good to replace them.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Manu
Member

Posts: 57


« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2001, 11:08:00 AM »

Thanks for the clarification Ron,it all makes sense now;

 A weird idea occured to me: What about a system that would use Fortune resolution for Individual Tasks and Conflicts, Karma resolution for Scene Task, and Drama resolution for Scene Conflict ? Say the GM determines (Drama) that he group of PCs wins the battle against the pirates, the various phases of the combat are solved using Karma, and Fortune is used to explain each task for each character, keeping in mind retroactively the winning side.Do you guys think I have something there?
Logged

-------------
Manu
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2001, 11:57:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-10-19 15:08, Manu wrote: A weird idea occured to me: What about a system that would use Fortune resolution for Individual Tasks and Conflicts, Karma resolution for Scene Task, and Drama resolution for Scene Conflict ?


You know this sound oddly like how I run my D&D game.  For example, I never put in a fight I don't intend the players to "win."  So, by Drama I have determined that the heroes will prevail.  To help insure this I compare the creatures abilities, feats, and skills to that of the players.  I use this comparison to determine how the creature will fight.  Which attacks, I can bring out in force to make the scene exiciting and which attacks I should probably 'pull my punches' on.  So inessence I use a Karma method to determine which actions a given creature will take.  Ultimately, however, we use the Fortune driven core task based mechanics in order to play out the fight.

Interesting.  Never thought about it that way.

Jesse
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2001, 12:06:00 PM »

Good call, Jesse! This is exactly what I was referring to in the essay, when I talked about "covert" Drama in ostensibly Fortune-driven games. I think it's what led so many people in the late 80s to say "Well hell, what are the dice doing in there anyway?" (My conclusion is different from most of theirs, but it was a good question.)

Best,
Ron
Logged
Le Joueur
Member

Posts: 1367


WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2001, 02:37:00 PM »

Quote
Mike Holmes wrote:

Quote
Le Joueur wrote:

I am highly interested in discussions along this line because, to date, everyone has told me that this idea is new<

Well, I think the idea of having a version of each skill for three different scopes is very new. Might be really cool (from my Sim vantage). Do characters have to buy each as a separate skill, or are each of these just a scale of resolution for a single skill? If you do buy [them] separately, [or] do they relate in any way ([as a] default perhaps)?participant<thing
Logged

Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2001, 07:31:00 PM »

Happy B-day Fang.

I've been playing GURPS for quite a while ignoring point totals. If you don't have limits, then why bother having the points at all?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!