*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 19, 2014, 09:21:23 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 41 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Trollbabe] One out of three ain't bad: a musing on Numbers  (Read 1685 times)
Kordeth
Member

Posts: 5


« on: November 13, 2008, 03:29:46 PM »

So, it's been said (although I can't find a thread or errata document or anything where Ron officially says so) that the Trollbabe rules should be changed so that your trollbabe's social rolls are the smaller range of your Number. That makes sense--with the rules as written in the book, if a player wants to play, say, a purely "fighty-type" trollbabe he might as well just make his number 9 and be good at basically everything he's likely to want to do.

The one thing this rule doesn't allow for is a trollbabe who is best at social interaction--the best you can do is a 60/40 shot with a Number of 5. I'd like to be able to play a trollbabe who isn't particularly great in a fight and isn't a master of magic, but who can fast-talk her way through conflicts.

What I'm thinking is this: When you're choosing your trollbabe's Number, you can choose to "swap" the places of Fighting and Social activities. In other words, you might be:

- Fighting under, Magic over, Social worst of the two.

- or -

- Social under, Magic over, Fighting worst of the two.

Any thoughts?
Logged
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 04:20:04 PM »

I don't have a firm enough grasp on Trollbabe to comment on what effect that rule would have but I would like to point out something you may have missed.

Fighting and Magic are number EXCLUSIVE.  That is if your number is 5, 1-4 succeeds at one and 6-7 succeeds at the other .  Rolling a 5 fails at both.

Social is number INCLUSIVE.  So with 5, you succeed on a 1-5.

Jesse
Logged
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 04:21:18 PM »

Damn.  Typo.

6-7 in my previous post should be 6-10.

Jesse
Logged
Kordeth
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 06:21:57 PM »

Yep, I accounted for that, although I just realized my math was wrong when I said 60/40 split. The best Social ability you can get is a straight 50% shot, with 40% on both Fighting and Magic. So it's actually a 50/40/40 breakdown.
Logged
angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 135


« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 07:02:32 PM »

In the original text, Social was always your best chance, and as a result players had a serious incentive to resolve matters with Social actions.  In the revised version, Social is (almost) always your second-best (and second-worst) chance, and players have an incentive to fall back on it if their main schtick fails or is inappropriate.  In both cases, it is not possible to do the classic powergamer thing where you 'dump' your social capability, whereas with your modification it would be.  Not that this would be mechanically optimal the way it was in (say) D&D, but I think not having that option is actually a big deal in terms of the game's headspace.

The other implication that your modification would have is that fighting and magic would no longer oppose each other, i.e. those who were reliable magically would no longer be necessarily unreliable in combat, and vice versa.  Since Fighting and Magic are appropriate in different (and often exclusive) circumstances, and Social is appropriate (in my experience) in a wider range of circumstances, it seems fitting that Social as the fallback in terms of competence is also more likely to be appropriate should the main schtick not be.
Logged

-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 07:22:27 PM »

Hiya,

My thinking is that the trollbabe's heavyweight status should be with something very tangible: Fighting or Magic. Partly that's because she is viewed as so consequential by anyone she meets, which I think needs to be legitimized by the system, and partly because even on her own, she should be a doer. I like the idea that the talkiest trollbabe is a bit hosed in the other fields, not too much, but enough to point out that with a point shifted either way, she's much better off.

Um, Jules (angel etc) said it better.

Best, Ron

Logged
Markus
Member

Posts: 32


« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 03:22:07 AM »

Hi guys,

just a quick comment (I'm working on that Trollbabe actual play report I promised to post in every snippet of spare time I can find...)

I always used the 'new' rule in all my games and I'd say that I would not change it in any way. There IMHO are two main reasons to keep things as they are (social = lower range):

(1) The usual "successful roll = good for the player" does not apply that much or that directly to Trollbabe. In fact, *winning* most rolls is one of the worst situations for beginning players especially, since you don't get to narrate anything and/or use rerolls, and the game falls sort of flat in my experience. So, by allowing character builds that maximize TWO conflict arenas, you minimize all the good things that the system would make happen 'by itself'.

(2) I know this is largely non-mechanical, but deciding to approach problems with spell and axe rather than with words does indeed have a different (usually stronger) thematical impact in good old fantasy stories. So, by not allowing high social scores, you indirectly sort-of-guarantee that sooner or later, it will come to sword & sorcery if the Trollbabe cares about the current situation. This is ultra-elegant, no-frills game design, IMHO, and not mere coincidence.

Also, this rule contains a secondary premise-y question for the players, which is represented by the following. If you WANT to stick to social (ie non-violent, non-supernatural) confrontations for solving stuff, then you'll be less successful, on average, than what you would be if you resorted to violence or magic. So this means that in long term, you'll have to use more of those relationship rerolls. And we all know what this means, isn't it? (THIS is the main system-supported premise of Trollbabe, in my opinion).

But don't take my word for it. Try to picture in your head, or better yet, do a playtest session in which you allow either 2 very high scores, or a social score of (let's say) 9. Then compare this to the current rules, and note down the differences...

I hope this helps!

bye

M
Logged
Brand_Robins
Member

Posts: 650


WWW
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 12:25:53 PM »

I once (only once) played a version of Trollbabe hacked to run an Exalted-like universe, in which I let players chose their "high/middle/low" attributes -- so you could set social to high exclusive, or middle inclusive, or whatever.

One of the players made a talking primary character, with a fall back to magic, and a very low fighting. And that character, while she worked in the context of the game we were playing, made very different choices and had a very different impact than the more Swords and Sorcery feeling Trollbabes. It suddenly became a much more political, gradual game and lacked a lot of the hit it hard aspect that my other Trollbabe play has had.

So, for me at least, letting players shift their ratios around didn't kill the game, but it did change the focus of it quite quickly.
Logged

- Brand Robins
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.16 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!