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Author Topic: [IAWA] Flee in the middle of the fight?  (Read 3595 times)
Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« on: April 27, 2008, 03:34:28 PM »

Hi!

This happened in our IAWA game yesterday (a Con game, not with my usual group):

I played a vengeful ghost. My murderer (another PC) paid a sorcerer (a NPC) to bind me to my (dead) body, and watched from hiding while this happened. All this happened in a deep tunnel.

During the conflict with the sorcerer I won the first conflict, and stated that I would have continued to injure him until he will die. The GM offered to me to have the Sorcerer die right then, if I would have accepted to be bound to the inside of the tunnel by the half-done ritual. I said that I accepted if the ritual could be canceled by the powers of my lover (a living priestess of the death goddess, both NPC), that I did know was coming there.

Then, the murderer started to run to the mouth of the tunnel, I said the usual "No, YFD, A." catchphrase and said that I was catching him. We started a conflict, he won the first roll, and narrated "I arrive outside of the tunnel".

This stumped us, and the game stopped for a while while we discussed the problem. My thesis was that no matter what he narrated, he couldn't get to "get out" of the conflict in the first volley in that way, not without doubling my roll. He countered that he was allowed by the rule to narrate that.  At the end, not knowing what to do, the GM mediated a compromise: we would have played a second roll, and if he would have won that one, too, he could flee before the third. We both accepted it to continue the game.

Thinking about if afterwards, my interpretation is that he could have narrated that he was out of the tunnel, but he still wasn't out of the conflict, so "in some way", I should have been able to hurt him again (throwing rocks?), at least for that conflict. But still this didn't satisfy me: the tunnel was very deep, he narrated a very long run with that roll, I really don't like the idea that he could have gotten away with a single roll. So I am posting here in case there is another way of playing that roll that I didn't see, of if I have misread the rules (it was only the third time I had played IAWA).
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 05:03:50 PM »

I think I might understand this problem a bit more than I did when I ran IAWA for the first time this afternoon at a meetup. I avoided most threads beforehand, EXCEPT for the "bad habits" thread, and I think we STILL, in our group ended up "setting stakes, even in your secret heart."

As of this evening and several more threads, my understanding is, 1) Hell yes the GM can narrate the NPC successfully fleeing the tunnel; 2) Hell no narrating the NPC fleeing the tunnel does not, CAN NOT, end the conflict. The real question is not "Will the murderer escape the tunnel?" The real question is, "Will either the ghost or the murderer be exhausted or injured?"

By rule, merely getting out of the tunnel doesn't mean the murderer can't get exhausted or injured because, by rule, it doesn't mean you have to stop rolling dice. Within the fiction the murderer could fall down a ravine or keep running until he collapses from fatigue or discover that he twisted his ankle in the escape. Around the table, people need to agree how the conflict continues, but they have to agree THAT the conflict continues - that is, that you get to keep rolling dice for up to two more rounds. In particular, the onus is on the GM in this case to help come up with ways the murderer is still vulnerable to harm. Since the dice say he has not won outright, the NPC is by definition still vulnerable to harm. If the GM's SOD won't let him assent to a harm mode once he's outside the tunnel, THEN escaping the tunnel is an illegitimate move and he should take it back, I think.

My experience this afternoon suggests that you're "setting stakes even in your secret heart" any time you belay the achievement of the initiative winner's stated first-round action even if her roll won out. We did this a few times and ended up with a "baby steps" problem. You narrate a simple concrete action to start, and because it's simple and straightforward it becomes awkward to explain how it hasn't happened yet, even though it was simple.

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding how the rule should be applied.

Best,


Jim
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Valvorik
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 05:48:48 PM »

I agree that the murderer being out of the tunnel, beyong the area your ghost can reach, shouldn't mean you can't narrate something to continue the dice rolls.

E.G., You narrate that as he runs up the steep hill away from tunnel (creating it in narration) he is still so fearful of your ghostly assault that he doesn't see a root, trips and falls back down into tunnel.  Or as he runs he realizes the ghostly touch of your essence did catch him and is creeping into his limbs etc.

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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 05:46:09 AM »

I like answering rules questions.

Hey Moreno, you've played some Dogs in the Vineyard, right?

In the Wicked Age, whoever wins initiative, raises. The other person holds her dice until after the raise, then rolls them, then sees. Now: a) the see can be either a block or dodge, or taking the blow, and you choose which; b) someone gets the advantage, and the dice determine who.

For (a): just like in Dogs in the Vineyard, the challenger is going to say concrete outcomes as though they were a done deal. "I escape the tunnel." "I chop off your head." "I pocket the jewel." And just like in Dogs in the Vineyard, you, the answerer, are not empowered to deny the action, but you ARE empowered to deny the outcome. You can't say "instead, you decide to stay in the tunnel" or "instead, you kiss me." What you can say is "you don't take two steps before I tackle you and bring you down" or "I turn your sword easily." Empowered but, unlike in Dogs, not required - the dice don't tell you whether to block, dodge, or take the blow. You could also say "okay, you escape the tunnel. Two days later I find you at your house" or "you chop off my head, but I pick it back up and put it back in place, and the muscles and veins and nerves in my neck stump tendril up to hold it there."

Block, dodge, or take the blow, your choice.

For (b): when you say which and how, you have to account for who wins the advantage. THIS is what the dice constrain: not whether you have to take the blow or get to block it, but that either way you can't answer to your own advantage when the dice give the advantage to your opponent.

"You don't take two steps before I tackle you and bring you down. My advantage."

"You don't take two steps before I throw myself at you. I'm trying to bring you down but all I manage to do is set you off balance, where I'm sprawled headlong. Your advantage."

"You escape the tunnel, but two days later I find you at your house. You have no idea I'm there. My advantage."

"You escape the tunnel, but two days later I find you at your house. You see me coming a mile off. Your advantage."

Make sense?

Take home point: the answerer is the one who says what comes of it, not the challenger. The challenger is at the answerer's mercy (within the dice-determined advantage constraints).

-Vincent
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 06:13:07 AM »

Oh and let me add: I'm not disagreeing with Jim or Rob at all. If you decide to take the blow instead of blocking, then of course the action sequence continues with the sorcerer outside of the tunnel.

-Vincent
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 07:57:45 AM »

Vincent, thanks. Let me make sure I get this.

In Dogs, you block or dodge *because the dice back you up*. They've already been rolled and you earn a block or dodge by meeting your opponent's dice with no more than two.

I read your IAWA explanation as saying that you get at least part of a block or dodge in IAWA just by hanging in there. I'm getting this:

GM: I'm running the hell out of the tunnel.
Ghost: ONYFDA.

[They roll. GM wins initiative. Ghost's player picks up dice.]

GM: Am so. I am running out of the tunnel.
Ghost: I tackle you before you go three steps! [THIS IS MORE OR LESS A BLOCK.]

[Ghost's player rolls dice.]

NOW WE DETERMINE WHO HAS THE ADVANTAGE.

If we were playing Dogs, the sequence would be different.

[GM and Ghost's player roll a bunch of dice.]

[GM pushes forward two dice.]

GM: I'm running out the tunnel, Dogboy!

[Ghost's player pushes forward 1-3 dice.]

Ghost: "A see that depends first of all on how many dice I used!"

It does seem different. In Dogs, the dice result is buying you a block or dodge. In IAWA, it seems like the intent to roll dice gets you that.

Am I going astray somewhere?

Thanks,


Jim
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Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 08:25:44 AM »

Jim, I will try to answer your question, to see if I have understood correctly Vincent's answers

GM: I'm running the hell out of the tunnel.
Ghost: ONYFDA.

[They roll. GM wins initiative. Ghost's player picks up dice.]

GM: Am so. I am running out of the tunnel.
Ghost: I tackle you before you go three steps! [THIS IS MORE OR LESS A BLOCK.]

No, if I have understood what Vincent meant, I (the Ghost) roll BEFORE saying what I do. I don't have to say "I block him" or some other thing before rolling.

Quote
[Ghost's player rolls dice.]

NOW WE DETERMINE WHO HAS THE ADVANTAGE.

The roll determine who has the advantage.

Now, I have to narrate SOMETHING, and my limits are (1) what already "happened" in the story before the roll, plus any shared understanding of the kind of game and setting we decided before playing ("please, no monty python quotation, this time!"), (2) the declaration of the GM about what the NPC is trying to do ("he is running to the exit", even if he did say it like "he go outside"), and (3) who has the advantage from the roll.

In the game, yesterday, I lost the advantage, so let's continue using that roll as example

I could have said "no, I tackle him before he goes outside, but he get over me and is pinning me to the ground, He has the advantage"  (my character had the particular strength of "solidify" himself when he wanted, , or stay immaterial)

Or I could have said "he flee, hearing my curses from the tunnel. But then, after two days, while he sleep in his bed, I enter his room to kill him. (my lover did free me when she arrived at the cave). But I underestimate his fear, she was sleeping lightly and heard me, and he is waiting for me, hidden in his room. He has the advantage"

Vincent, if I understand correctly what you mean, I must say that I really like this A LOT. It mean that in that situation BOTH me and the other player could have got what we wanted without having to force the narration in tight restraint, and without having to stop the conflict!

But I have another question: one of the other PC (a semi-god who was my rival for the Sorceress love) was trying to prevent her from getting to the cave and free me. In this situation, with the result of that conflict influencing mine, how could we have played the situation?
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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 547


« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 08:37:53 AM »

Some errata on my previous post, and a clarification.

I meant "he was sleeping lightly", and my rival was a "Demi-God" (the son of the Death Goddess. The Death Goddess's best interest was to have the Sorceress marry my murderer. That was her father.)

At the time of the conflict, the Demi-god player's had not stated that he wanted to prevent her from reaching me, so the situation would have been like:

The Ghost (narrating the roll from the example above): "he flee, but two days from now I, freed from the tunnel by her, will..."
The Demi-God: "Ehi, stop it. Who said she free you? I want to stop her".

How would you play this?

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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 547


« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 06:57:08 PM »

Another question: I suppose the answerer can't narrate particular actions done by the challenger (so my example, with the bit about "you hid in the room" would need his consent, and without I can only say what my character do, and add that he noticed me and has the advantage), right?

But the answerer has plot or content authority with that narration (over the backstory or the setting), or can only use situational (scene framing) and narrational authority? Or what he can or can't narrate doesn't align on these categories?

(I would suppose only scene framing and narrational authority, but IAWA already surprised me with some rules and I would like to be sure)
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
lumpley
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 05:17:13 AM »

As answerer, you get to say how your character reacts and what comes immediately of it. I don't think that's full narrational authority, even, since you're limited to your own character's agency (but I didn't look up those posts of Ron's to check that).

The solution to the funny, hitchy problem with the ghost trapped in the tunnel and leaving the tunnel for round 2 but this demi-god interfering THEN is: let the demi-god roll dice in round 2. "I find you at your house" becomes the ghost's round 2 action, if he wins initiative, and the demi-god answers. It'll take a little on-the-fly reorganizing, but that's just because you didn't know upfront who's really participating.

There's an important tool in the rules you can use to minimize and smooth this kind of haggling. It's the rule that says that when someone asks you to describe something, you should, what's obvious to you plus a detail. Use this rule to clarify, at every stage, who's where, doing what, right now. Don't argue about who's allowed in by the rules - everyone is! Instead ask the player where her character is and how she's getting involved. Make sense?

-Vincent
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Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2008, 08:13:05 AM »

Yes, thanks!

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Ciao,
Moreno.

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