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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 116 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Cover Bonus on Stamina Rolls  (Read 1716 times)
Tasseomancer
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Posts: 13


« on: July 23, 2008, 02:34:14 PM »

First off I'd just like to say hi. This is my first post on this forum.

Next I'd like to pose all my questions I have about the Cover Bonus on Stamina Rolls.

On page 32 of the Sorcerer Rule Book.

Quote
Cover Overlaps with Stamina and Will on Occasion, eg. a character with "combat training: martial arts" for a Stamina description and "martial arts intructor " as a Cover description. When a proposed action seems to have two descriptors that apply, then permit a roll for each score, rolling the victories for the first (if successful) into bonus dice for the second.

Then on pg 104

It states in the Combat section (complex conflict - I think you've since called it) that

Quote
A couple of significant ways exist to get some extra activity into a single action ...The second is when Cover and Stamina are both applicable in a given situation.

Question: Now I just need to check I'm reading this right in combat. When you state the above. You mean ...when Cover descriptor and a Stamina descriptor are both applicable...

Hence in the Combat-Athlete example in the book his Cover is: Athlete and his Stamina descriptor is: Combat training.

And

The swashbuckling pirate character in the book example has a Cover: Pirate and a Stamina descriptor as: Combat training: Swashbuckling.


Therefore they get to roll their victories over to the next roll.


Which bring me to the next question.

Taking the Pirate example, of him swinging down on a rope and attack on the way past.
When everyone who's doing something proacive rolls to determine initiative.

Does the Pirates first roll of Cover determine his initiative, and then his Attack roll happens at that initiative?
Or does the Cover roll get rolled before all others. And then his second Attack roll (hopefully with extra victory dice from the Cover roll) determine his initiative?

Finally,

Taking the same example. Say Pete the Pirate wants to swing down and attack Colin the Corsair. And Colin wants to attack back. Is it allowed?
Say Colin has a higher initiative. Does that mean he attacks as Pete swings down before he gets his attack in. Or would you rule Pete is only there for the split second he attacks? And what happens if Pete has a higher initiative, could Colin still attack after?


Thanks in advance

Mark



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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2008, 04:45:13 PM »

Hi Mark,

Welcome! I like questions.

Quote
Question: Now I just need to check I'm reading this right in combat. When you state the above. You mean ...when Cover descriptor and a Stamina descriptor are both applicable...

Quote
And

The swashbuckling pirate character in the book example has a Cover: Pirate and a Stamina descriptor as: Combat training: Swashbuckling.

Therefore they get to roll their victories over to the next roll.

Those are both totally correct.

The best way to handle such a situation is to have the first roll merely modify the second, and the second be treated as the roll in terms of everyone rolling at once. You’ve described this pretty well.

The opposing dice for the first roll should be a handful set by the GM, unless there’s some compelling reason to use someone’s score of some kind. It’s at most a three-dice or four-dice roll, often less if conditions are favorable for what the Cover is about.

One point I have to make concerns your use of the word “initiative,” which isn’t really what that roll is. It sets the order, yes, but it’s also each character’s actual roll for success in what they’re doing. For Sorcerer purposes, it’s better just to call it “the roll.”

Quote
Taking the same example. Say Pete the Pirate wants to swing down and attack Colin the Corsair. And Colin wants to attack back. Is it allowed?
Say Colin has a higher initiative. Does that mean he attacks as Pete swings down before he gets his attack in. Or would you rule Pete is only there for the split second he attacks? And what happens if Pete has a higher initiative, could Colin still attack after?

The first answer is yes, it’s allowed: Pete is launching himself into space in a swinging-type way, and Colin wants to nail him as he arrives. (I’m assuming Pete and Colin are beginning the situation fairly far apart.)

If Colin rolls the higher value, then by definition, Pete has not managed to pull off his “dramatic surprising swing-attack” in time – Colin is ready and waiting for him. Pete has the usual decision (a) to continue with his attack if he survives Colin’s attack, defending with just one die; or (b) to switch to defending fully, with all his dice, and giving up on his swing-attack.

My answer corresponds to your phrase “as Pete swings down before he gets his attack in.” I can’t make much sense out of your “split second” sentence, but since the previous one is correct, it doesn’t matter.

If Pete rolls the higher value, then the converse is the case, and his swing-attack has definitely caught Colin relatively flat-footed. Colin now has the same decision Pete did in the previous paragraph: either (a) take the attack with a single die for defending, and hope to win or at least to roll high enough to stay standing, for purposes of nailing Pete anyway; or (b) switch to a desperate parry or dive or whatever to avoid the swinging attack o’death, with full dice.

If I’m reading your question correctly, then yes, Colin can still “attack after” assuming that he was either undamaged or at least not too badly damaged from Pete’s attack.

Let me know if I’m making sense!

Best, Ron
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Tasseomancer
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 02:58:45 PM »

Hi Ron,

Yep all that makes perfect sense. I'm glad you like questions. Well lets face it you wouldn't have a forum if you didn't ;) But I certainly didn't expect such a prompt response!

Oh the reason I was using the term initiative was that the other aspect of the roll, how successful it is, I understood (I think ;) ). So I was just separating the aspect I didn't understand. But point taken about not confusing it with how other systems work.


As for the question about Pete swinging down and attacking Colin.
I was thinking of the initiative aspect of the roll (am I allowed to say that?) as if it somehow dictated at what time in the round the action occurs. I'll explain a little.
Of the action, swinging down on a rope, slashing with a sword and then swinging past. The actual action of slashing with the sword is only a fraction of that action. So if the initiative was thought of as increments of time. Say Pete attacks on initiative 7 and Colin on 5. Then if Pete attacks at time increment 7 then by time increment 5 Pete would be swinging past on his way back to the rigging and be not able to be attacked by Colin.

However your answer and from reading this post means all that nasty confusing-ness can be ignored thankfully.
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=688.0

Quote
Think cinematically and let the dice be your cameraman. Go ahead and roll for everyone, with all the stated actions and Stamina and bonuses and whatnot. If the rescue happens first, then it just means it gets seen first. Movies do this all the time, stretching and contracting time for individual sub-conflicts within a larger action sequence. Written literature does it too.

I am thinking that you are coping with one of the most fundamental Simulationist priorities: that game time is fixed and "real" in the game-world. That is a fine priority, but it CANNOT be the first priority in Narrativist play. No story-creation mechanism I know of places it as the first priority. It becomes one priority among many, and as such, it can be stretched and twiddled within the bounds of plausibility for that particular story. Sometimes time is horribly significant, but at other times it is re-shaped like silly-putty, even within the same story.

It helped me realise that the roll just simply states the order in which characters act (and of course their success). The space/time continuum can shrink and stretch cinematically. So that order occurs when and where ever is relevant to the action.

So in the Pirate example. If Colin goes first, his attack would occur when relevant, in the case just as Pete swings down into reach and before he could make his attack. If it came after Pete then Colin would receive Pete's attack (and if still able to attack back) he would be slicing at him as he swings past. The time Pete is swinging before and after these attacks (apart from being a double entendre) being irrelevant to the action.

So thanks for clearing that up.
Though I'm sure I'll have some more questions sooner or later ;)

Mark
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 06:30:54 PM »

Hi Mark,

That's exactly right! Here's another way to say the same thing, especially in rules/announcement terms.

At the end of the announcements process, when everyone has settled upon whatever it is their characters are doing, that's a good time to think in terms of a great big "establishing shot" for everyone. Imagine that microsecond just before everyone actually moves, or perhaps with a couple of them whose actions have prompted reactions (like Pete's) just barely beginning to move.

So most of them have not yet moved, but a couple are launched into motion, and not one of them can turn back. Every single character is fully committed to his or her action, and no one knows who's going to get where first, but nothing has actually really happened yet. Right at that microsecond. There is no turning back; there's just one little bit of reactivity left to each person to abort the action, ungracefully and desperately, but that's it.

Now we roll dice.

I love this moment when playing Sorcerer. Sometimes I think I play the NPCs and demons the way I do just to see it develop, the more so because I play them in such a way that I hardly ever actually initiate the conflicts myself any more, yet they appear through what happens, full of tension and horror and action.

A long time ago, Paul Czege described it as "grabbing a live wire."

I will always be grateful that the rules for Zero (an RPG from 1994) showed me how it could be possible, and that I was barely quick enough to realize that my dice system worked so well in that context that it seemed as if it had been written for it. Lester Smith designed that game. I have not yet met him, but when I do, I'm going to shake his hand.

Best, Ron
edited to repair a moronic spelling error
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 07:05:08 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
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