[IaWA] Question on Consequences

Started by Alan, February 17, 2008, 11:26:47 AM

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In a chapter yesterday at ConQuest story games lounge, I GMed this situation:
An NPC priestess declared that she and Balthior, a PC pass through a marriage arch and say the vows during a fertility ritual (as representatives of god and goddess but also for real committment.) We rolled this out and the priestess won. The player elected injury or exhaustion and I chose injury (getting slapped).

The question I have is: does the wedding still happen or did the player take injury _rather_ than stepping through the arch?
- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com

Darren Hill

The loser has the option of taking Injury/Exhaustion _instead_ of the winner's desired consequence, so I'd say the wedding didn't happen.



By the same token though, the marriage didn't NOT happen. By the rules, you can have the priestess say "now walk with me through the marriage arch, or do you want another one? Next time I won't treat you so gently."

Beating people into submission is a viable tactic, if you mean it and if you can keep winning rolls.


Moreno R.

Yes, the loser can always choose to simply get the standard consequences without agreeing to any negotiation.

But then the priestess can simply slap him again, and again, and again, until he agree "by his own will" ...  ;-)

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)


So for confirmation: the initial declaration "we get married" is not a stake that is indicated by winning the contest, it only happens if the loser agrees to it as a consequence? If they don't agree, the worst that can happen is a exhaustion or injury.

Oh, another question. In a multiple player contest, where A and B are both challenging C over different things and A knocks C out of the contest, can B still challenge C? Or do they call their action unresolved and start a new conflict?
- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com

Christopher Kubasik

Hi Vincent,

I'm going to piggy-back onto this thread with another question:

So, what seems to be the case is this:

If two characters are at each other's throats, and they fight, and the desired consequence for both characters is, "You die," and they roll dice and one of them wins, the defeated character's Player chooses either death or Injury/Exhaustion.

And if the defeated character's Player chooses the loss, rather than death, we've got two characters standing there breathing hard at each other... And if the Players are determined to finish this... we do it again, right?

And as long as neither Player chooses death, we just keep doing it till someone's knocked down to 0 in two of his dice slots.

Is this correct?

I don't have the text, but this isn't an abstract example.  I played Sunday night at a con, and out of five Players, most of the PCs were at each other's throats out of the gate (vengeance, pride, you name it, we had reasons.)

But this sort of meant that while the color was great during the fights, I was confused at the end of each conflict because it seemed sort strange that the resolution would offer the option of a compromise out of death, but still leave the PCs where we started.

Now, again, I don't have the text, so I don't know the language of the rules nor the examples, but I suspect that we missed something.  Maybe in making the goals of the PC's so blunt.  Maybe in how we phrased the conflicts.  I don't know.  There might be something about the narrative style/technique/agenda we were off of.

OR... This is exactly how you mean the system to run: Two PCs want to kill each other, and they run the conflict mechanic again and again until someone goes down.

So, that's all of it.  Thoughts, replies, request for more info -- I'd love to hear it.



"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield

Ben Lehman

Hey, Chris:

My experience is that, yeah, that's basically right. However, if you choose to injure people, it'll rapidly reach the point where it's trivial to double them on the first round. At which point they'll probably just go "okay, you kill me! Jeez Louise!" Since chapters are so short, it's not really worth it to get too attached to your guy.

Also note that there's no need to agree on anything at all beforehand. I can start the dice with "I stick my tongue in your ear and you melt into my arms" and end it with "okay, so I kill you" after I win.



Most importantly, I think, the rules don't care what anyone's intent is. Their function is to provide consequences for (contested) actions, not resolve intents.

Christopher, about the "run the mechanic again and again until someone goes down" thing: it's just that the game has hit points. You can't kill someone in one blow (unless you both agree that that's what's called for). You have to hit them several times, depending on their stats.

Each "to hit" roll takes a while, it's true - in that way, I hope the game puts a certain amount of creative pressure on everyone to negotiate interesting consequences instead of "I hit you. I do damage. I hit you. I do damage."

Maybe that's not the best solution to that particular problem, but it's a good enough solution. I'm willing to accept it, especially when the rules work so freaking well for fights where people aren't absolutely intent on each others' deaths.