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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 29 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Trollbabe] Question about Conflicts regarding Goals and Scale  (Read 2078 times)
Christian
Member

Posts: 13


« on: January 22, 2009, 08:58:16 AM »

Hello,

Iíve been a long time lurker here, and here is my first post!
Iíve played lots of RPGs in the days and very few in the last years. I must say that Iím very impressed by what I discovered here!
So, I bought a few gamesÖ I first tried InSpectres, that was a great success. Now Iím focused on Trollbabe and In a Wicked Age.
I hope to play Trollbabe soon. Iíve read and reread the book, searched and read lots of AP reports and Q/A, and I think I got an honest grasp on it, that is until I bring it on the table!

I will :
- use the lowest-of-the-2 Social score rule
- not use modifiers, use agreement/narration instead
- not use multi action type conflicts
- not use action type changing in a series
- promote pace 1 conflicts

There is something I just canít seem to wrap my head around though, Iíll try to express it clearly through an example (yes itís hypothetical, but I donít find the solution, please!)

The Scene : the Trollbabe enters the council room. The king is here, surrounded by 20 warriors. The trollbabe asks for a conflict:
Action Type : Fight
Pace : 1
Goal : to kill the king
Fair and clear : sheís aware that all the warriors will try to stop her
Roll the dieÖ Success, first roll.

Now what bugs me here is this: it seems to me the Goal is off scale (the 20 warriors try to stop her), but on the other hand she tries to kill one person onlyÖ Honesty drives me to narrate how she kills the king, and then possibly ask for another conflict with the warriors. But in the end itís almost as if the king was alone. The thing is: I donít have a problem with the Trollbabe killing the king, but with a Goal and Conflict that ignore the warriors.
What did I miss, how should I rule the conflict? Should we change the Goal? Should we agree first for a ďbypass the warriorsĒ conflict (which, incidentally is off scale if I understand the rules correctly). I donít feel I can get through with narration alone, as sheís not even incommoded and I cannot introduce new actions or conflicts in narration (rule).

Thank you!
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 11:49:15 AM »

Hi Christian, and welcome!

Part of the game concept is that she can, indeed, try to kill the king - and do it. Warriors be damned. No single person is safe from a trollbabe from the outset of play.

Do remember that you narrate her success. Your job in this circumstance is (a) to maintain her as a protagonist and (b) to stay plausible. It's up to you to say how she gets there and does the deed. Now, working backwards, that shouldn't be so hard because the player has already contributed during fair-and-clear (or should have), and he too was using (a) and (b) as guides. So you have something to work with.

It's fair for you to follow up with another conflict against the warriors, if you want. In that case, given her Scale, she cannot simply defeat and/or kill them all - she can only consequentially defeat one of them. She might escape, though.

Does that help?

Best, Ron
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Christian
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 12:03:26 AM »

Hello Ron,

Thank you for your response and reactivity.

Yes it does help !

The Trollbabe is a force to be reckoned, and that force is internal and dramatic.


(Off topic, but anyway) great music for Trollbabe games : Hagalaz Runedance (listen to Frigga's Web).

Thanx !
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James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 06:38:17 PM »

Christian, one wrinkle in your hypothetical is that a King by necessity wields a lot of social and political influence.  So killing the dude might mean that he dies off--but any larger socio-political problems will be maintained by his successor until the Trollbabe is capable of taking on conflicts on a kingdom-wide scale.
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--Stack
Christian
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 11:49:50 PM »

Hi Christian,

Quote
... just to be sure, would it be fair to ask for another conflict first, to bypass the warriors ? Because I'd like to know if it matters wether the warriors are here or not (regarding mechanics).

Not after the player announces the first conflict. An announced conflict becomes the operative one, by definition. If you want her to fight the warriors first, then shout it out first.

Quote
Then there is the "How to play out the consequences of the action ?" to which you answered (to be fair I didn't think of this aspect in the first place). So, correct me if I'm wrong : if the king was killed in an attempt to stop a war, that wouldn't work, but if he was killed to save someone, that could work, right ?

Almost right. To save the person, then the goal has to be save the person. The player might begin the action (and call the conflict) as "I kill him!" regarding the king, but in those moments of clarifying the conflict, the player must specify saving the person as the goal with killing the king as a means. I have some extensive text in the new rules about how this is done.

The point is that it is OK to call a conflict by stating an action ("I kill him" or "I hit him" being the leading favorites), but we don't go into fair-and-clear until everyone knows what the Goal really is. Sometimes the Goal is absolutely inherent in the action, and other times it needs a bit of specification.

Action Type helps a lot. Let me give you a hypothetical version of your scene in the king's hall, keeping in mind that the same thing might arise through a very different set of statements as well.

You: The warriors gather in front of the king, who shouts, "Take yourself out of my land, you horned bitch! I rule here, none other"

Me: I kill him. Conflict!!

The rule is now that before we go any further, Action Type and Goal must be specified, both by me as the conflict-caller.

Me: The Action Type is Social, to save Emhilde.

See? That solves everything. Killing the king is now understood to be the means. We move into Pace and Fair-and-clear without any trouble. Keep in mind that you narrate successes! So say she wins on the first roll. Nothing stops you from saying, "You kill him, and now the warriors seize you." That is 100% by the rules. She's killed the king and saved Emhilde, but your warriors are not irrelevant.

Oh, there are so many other things to talk about ... For one, the player may have specified a one-roll conflict, but you have the option to bump the Pace to a longer sequence. Given your posts so far, I'm guessing you'd do that - and by definition, that means you can impose the "need to get past the warriors" as the first Exchange in the steps. So that solves the whole "meaningless warriors" problem right there. If she gets past them, well, at least she had to do it, and if she doesn't, then that's how she fails - they take her down (at whatever degree of damage the player arrives at through re-rolls).

Best, Ron
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 07:13:01 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
Christian
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 12:13:32 AM »

Thank you Ron, I think get it better !

(side-note : I don't know what happened to my message, the one you quoted, I hope I didn't do anything wrong).

The Pace thing is great, I didn't think about it that way !

Just one or two more things, to be sure (boy, do I look dense!) : the Trollbabe must declare a Social conflict, even though she wants to kill the king and even though Emhilde is not there, right ? It is the "save someone" Goal that makes it a Social conflict, by the rules p12; and the conflict could not be Fight (not to save someone), nor Magic (no snapshot magic) except if she prepared some kind of ritual magic before. Is that right ?
(I hope so I hope so)
Man I think something clicked, did you hear it ?
Supposing the Scale is appropriate, if the Goal is "stop the war", I guess it would be like "save a lot of people" and thus a Social conflict too ?

Now for the narration, "You kill him, and now the warriors seize you.", what I don't get is : why am I allowed to say that? In my mind it would be ok for the "no new actions" part (I must have stated this kind of intent during Fair and Clear, so it's not a new action), but it would look like an Incapacitated result to me...

Now, unrelated questions :

About recovery scenes : is it just a narrative thing ? Is it ok to accept recovery scenes (for heal or rerolls) as long as plausibility is maintained ?

About Trollbabes getting involved in other's scenes : Aeghird and Bara are miles apart. Can Bara decide to get involved in Aeghird's Scene at any time, or only at the beginning of a conflict ? Can Bara request a Conflict for Aeghird ?

And then, about Magic : without the use of modifiers, is it ok to boost magic with a one Scale step bonus, to "balance" the delay aspect, or is it useless, narration alone should do it ?

I hope I don't bother you with basic questions but some concepts are, well, hard to deal with (too much trad rpgs ?). I did read lots of past messages and AP though!

Thank you again, I hope I will play soon !
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 05:18:12 AM »

About recovery scenes : is it just a narrative thing ? Is it ok to accept recovery scenes (for heal or rerolls) as long as plausibility is maintained ?
If you work with the player you can always find together a proper frame and situation for a healing scene. Even in the middle of the action.

When you rotate scene-focus from player to player, they may feel the healing scenes as a delay, a stop in their advancement to the action they expect, a delay to solve the stakes.

However, every time I play Trollbabe with different people they quickly develop a nice ability to use many of them to interact with someone (a helper, a healer, someone who brings the Trollbabe to the helper/healer, whatever). Thus, these scenes become good opportunities make them even more entangled (or implicated) on the stakes (even if they have not a conflict). They may also act as platforms to introduce a tilt on the next scene for that Trollbabe.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 05:27:23 AM »

Hi Christian,

I somehow replaced your own message with my reply, probably because I was sick and also due to my native stupidity.

Quote
... the Trollbabe must declare a Social conflict, even though she wants to kill the king and even though Emhilde is not there, right ? It is the "save someone" Goal that makes it a Social conflict, by the rules p12; and the conflict could not be Fight (not to save someone), nor Magic (no snapshot magic) except if she prepared some kind of ritual magic before. Is that right ?

That's correct. However, it's only correct because we are assuming the player says "Save Emhilde" is the trollbabe's real Goal. We're also assuming that the king is directly responsible for Emhilde's current peril. But both of those are very reasonable assumptions, so we can move on.

And one more thing: given that the GM narrates successes, it is fundamentally up to the GM whether the trollbabe successfully kills the king - at all. Since the Goal is "Save Emhilde," the only thing which makes "kill the king" part of the story, at this point, is the trollbabe's stated actions during Fair-and-clear, as well as during the series of rolls.

To put it as clearly as I can: if the trollbabe's Goal is "kill the king," and she succeeds, then the king is killed. However, if the Goal is "save Emhilde," and the immediate actions being taken concern killing the king, and let's go ahead and say that she succeeds, then the fate of the king during the fight lies in the GM's narration and choice.

Quote
Supposing the Scale is appropriate, if the Goal is "stop the war", I guess it would be like "save a lot of people" and thus a Social conflict too ?

Again, this depends on whatever (Action Type + Goal) you want. If you want to destroy the enemy army, then it's Fight. That might stop the war, depending on the situation, but the real point is that the enemy army is now routed, helpless, decimated, and unable to function as an army. But if you want to stop the war, with the fates of the armies being left as a secondary concern, then it's Social.

I am very, very happy with how this has worked out in playtesting. The whole multi-action concept in the original text tended to soften hard choices, and now they are up-front.

Quote
Now for the narration, "You kill him, and now the warriors seize you.", what I don't get is : why am I allowed to say that? In my mind it would be ok for the "no new actions" part (I must have stated this kind of intent during Fair and Clear, so it's not a new action), but it would look like an Incapacitated result to me...

Try to see the "warriors seize you" statement as an action, not as an outcome. The trollbabe player may still call a conflict with the warriors, or perhaps you, the GM, decide to do so. The only reason it would be a foregone conclusion is if both of them decide to accept the statement and move on with her being seized.

In other words, the GM is not dictating that the trollbabe has been captured, only that the warriors have seized her. The old conflict is over (it was over when she rolled successfully). Now she's seized, as a necessary piece of accomplishing what she accomplished (that's the GM's choice). What does she do?

Quote
About recovery scenes : is it just a narrative thing ? Is it ok to accept recovery scenes (for heal or rerolls) as long as plausibility is maintained ?

Yes. The best way to recover is to request a recovery scene, and the GM is advised to accept them as long as it's not silly.

Quote
About Trollbabes getting involved in other's scenes : Aeghird and Bara are miles apart. Can Bara decide to get involved in Aeghird's Scene at any time, or only at the beginning of a conflict ? Can Bara request a Conflict for Aeghird ?

This is a fairly involved issue. First, are they in the same adventure? If not, then the outcomes of their conflicts may affect one another, but they cannot act directly in one another's adventures. Second, Bara may enter Aeghird's scenes as long as Bara is currently "accounted for." That is, if Bara has been established to be quite busy at the moment, given her previous scene(s), then she is not available for sudden appearances.

Third, if a trollbabe is available, then she may enter another trollbabe's scene either at the beginning, during the play of a scene, and at the start of a conflict. The rules are very generous here.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by Bara requesting a conflict for Aeghird ... do you mean that Bara's player imposes some kind of opponent for Aeghird if the two trollbabes are far apart? I think I need a more specific example of what's happening and who says what.

Quote
And then, about Magic : without the use of modifiers, is it ok to boost magic with a one Scale step bonus, to "balance" the delay aspect, or is it useless, narration alone should do it ?

That was an interesting suggestion, but I decided not to use it. Magic operates according to the normal Scale rules. The advantage of using magic lies in its flexibility, its ability to ignore distance or other direct targeting, and its narrative impact on other characters.

It is always possible to announce a Goal which is higher than one's Scale. The actual achievement will be exactly at the right Scale, but the Goal can be stated in a more grandiose way. One can call down the wrath of the storm-spirit upon a whole tribe when your scale is beginning, one person. Only one person will be struck down by the spirit, but the whole tribe will feel and know what you did.

Christian, send me an email at sorcerer@sorcerer-rpg.com. I'd like to send you the current draft of the new rules.

Best, Ron
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Christian
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 12:18:11 PM »

Thank you Ron, James and Arturo.

Ron, all your explanations makes things clearer to me, now I got to deal with actual play to see how things interlock.

Regarding my questions about the two trollbabes, A and B :
I suppose A and B are in two different adventures. I thought the rules allowed A to get involved in Scenes and Conflicts concerning B, isn't it the case ? I thought that "sudden appearences" was one of the strong feature of the gameplay.
As for Conflict request, my question boils down to : the rules allow any player to request a Conflict. Does that mean "any player at the table", or "any player currently present in the Scene where the Conflict is requested" ?

I send you an email, it'll be a pleasure to read your draft.
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