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Author Topic: Organizing Conflict  (Read 2076 times)
cra2
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Posts: 53


« on: August 03, 2009, 08:50:16 AM »

Hi,
Am reading over the rules again trying to get comfortable before I run my first game.

Could some of you experienced Dogs GMs chime in and sort out how you would run a situation like this for me?

3 Dogs confront the NPC shopkeeper who is really pimping his wife out as a whore.
[one of the sample premises mentioned in the book]

Alpha Dog declares that he tries to shoot her.
Bravo Dog wants to jump in front of her ("You wanna shoot her? You'll have to kill me!")
Charlie Dog wants to oppose Alpha Dog physically (push/shove/grab gun).
Shopkeep tries to draw & shoot Alpha Dog before Alpha gets his shot off.
Wife/whore tries to "dodge" behind the store counter before Alpha can fire.

Seems like there's sort of a speed contest between Alpha Dog and everyone as to whether or not he just surprises everyone by just shooting her dead before they can react.
Do you break this down into micro-contests or is it still all one conflict?

Please lemme know how you would sort this out as GM.
I'm probably making it more difficult than it needs to be.

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this question.
And thanks for any input!
cra2
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 09:17:06 AM »

Here's how I'd sort it out:

What's at stake is her life.

Alpha Dog has set the opening arena. It's gunfighting, so everybody rolls acuity+will.

By default, the player with the highest showing pair makes the first raise. However, as GM, you can choose to have Alpha Dog make the first raise instead, because he started it. I'd go with that.

Then play as normal! At the end of the conflict, she lives or dies, depending on who won.

-Vincent
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cra2
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 02:00:02 PM »

What's at stake is her life.

ahhh... genius.
I knew I was making it too complicated.

Alpha Dog has set the opening arena. It's gunfighting, so everybody rolls acuity+will.

even though the others aren't using their guns to oppose (aside from the shopkeep) ?

For example, I got it my head that Charlie Dog would roll for physical contest, with his raises only going against Alpha Dog.

as GM, you can choose to have Alpha Dog make the first raise instead, because he started it. I'd go with that.

So he raises with Bang!
Wife sees with 2 dice - she dodged behind the counter.
Wife sees with 3+ dice - she takes some damage.
Wife sees with 1 die - she "turns it around?"  (like she dodges and flings a pot at him or something?)

Does everyone else have to see the Bang! to get what they want?
Like Bravo Dog who jumped in the way -
if BDog sees with 2 dice - he shields her and what happens?  He takes the bullet but no dmg?
if BDog sees with 1 die - he "turns it around?"  Gimme an example.
if BDog sees with 3+ dice - he gets in front and takes the fallout as dmg.
But in any case, his dice means he 'won' his stakes - protecting the girl?

Or Charlie Dog who tries to push the gun -
if CDog sees with 2 dice - he blocks the shot?  Pushes the gun to the right.
if CDog sees with 1 die - he turns it around.  Disarms him?
if CDog sees with 3+ dice - he takes fallout - gets accidentally shot?

How do these play out in order?  They're all simultaneous "sees" right?
Or does the first 'see' that occurs cause a change in conditions and the rest of the people seeing may not have to?
Let's say the Wife saw with 3+ (taking dmg) but BDog and CDog both turned it around with 1 die each.
How does she take dmg even though CDog disarmed him and BDog 'turned it around' on him?

Am I making this too complicated?
I just can't see the forest for the trees.
lol.
Sorry.
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 02:41:21 PM »

Yes, you are overthinking a bit. Its an easy thing to do.

One idea. Don't think in terms of damage. Think fallout. Its more flexible. Taking the blow doesn't have to equal getting shot. It might. Or, it might mean that her father got shot.

Reversing the blow should also be kept loose. So you can hit the Dog where they will feel it.
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James R.
cra2
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Posts: 53


« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 04:18:21 PM »

Yes, you are overthinking a bit.

I don't doubt it.

Don't think in terms of damage. Think fallout. Its more flexible. Taking the blow doesn't have to equal getting shot. It might. Or, it might mean that her father got shot....Reversing the blow should also be kept loose. So you can hit the Dog where they will feel it.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Can you give me an example of how this might play out correctly then?
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jburneko
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Posts: 1429


« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 04:39:57 PM »

Hello,

Here are the ways I would handle it.  As Vincent has pointed out all those shouting of actions is simply the social indicator that a conflict is present and that the stakes are the woman's life.  I would go with the ruling that Alpha Dog makes the first raise since it's his action that started all the shouting.

I can now see two ways to handle it.

The Hard Core Way: By the rules the person who makes the raise also declares who has to see the raise.  If he says, "I shoot the woman and she has to raise" then the other character's can't mechanically do anything.  They can still do all that jumping around in the fiction, it just has no mechanical effect.  The woman see's the raise.  I'm stricter than James, if Raiser says he's shooting the woman than that's what taking the blow means.  She can't take the blow by having someone she cares about get shot instead.

The Less Hard Core Way: If one of the Dogs wants to see FOR the woman he can.  But I would only allow this if his paired "initiative" order was higher than the woman's.  And if more than ONE dog wants to see in place of the woman than only the one with the highest initiative order can do it.

Do you see what's happening here?  All that shouting at the beginning?  That's just declaration of *intention*.  The characters within the fiction haven't actually started doing anything until the dice sort it out.

Jesse

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Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 06:22:30 PM »

The Hard Core Way: By the rules the person who makes the raise also declares who has to see the raise.  If he says, "I shoot the woman and she has to raise" then the other character's can't mechanically do anything.  They can still do all that jumping around in the fiction, it just has no mechanical effect. 

A little correction: they can help the woman and give her dice

Quote
The woman see's the raise.  I'm stricter than James, if Raiser says he's shooting the woman than that's what taking the blow means.  She can't take the blow by having someone she cares about get shot instead.

I agree, that would be a parry.  But if you help the woman putting yourself in the line of fire, and you helping die turn the see from a taking the blow to a parry, she could narrate you being hit by the bullet.

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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
cra2
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 06:30:02 PM »

I agree, that would be a parry.  But if you help the woman putting yourself in the line of fire, and you helping die turn the see from a taking the blow to a parry, she could narrate you being hit by the bullet.

So if the Alpha Dog raises a shot at her and she sees with one die, the Alpha Dog shoots himself?
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Noclue
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Posts: 351


« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 06:39:52 PM »

I'm stricter than James, if Raiser says he's shooting the woman than that's what taking the blow means.  She can't take the blow by having someone she cares about get shot instead.
Well, in my mind since both NPCs are under control of the GM, it really would depend on the fiction, which is properly centered on the Dogs and the effect the narration has on the Dog that did the raise. From that POV, my example probably fails because arguably hitting the innocent father could cause fallout to the shooter. It might be a great reversing the blow move though...:)

My main point stands that broadening the conceptualization of fallout from just physical damage is a good thing.
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James R.
Moreno R.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 07:50:54 PM »

Hi Cra2 (what's your name? I am used to normal names on the Forge, as for site policy, and I feel a little silly calling you "Cra2")

I think it's better if I write an example.

As Jesse said, all that "I stop him", "i kill her", etc etc at the beginning are ONLY conflict declarations. They DON'T force the action of the character when the conflict starts.

At the beginning of the conflict, the players and the GM must decide (1) What's a stake (in this case, the life of the woman), and (2) the arena of the conflict for their character at the start (some character will start shooting, other doing other things, etc.: this modify the dice you roll at the beginning. (page 54)

At the beginning each PLAYER (GM included) rolls ONLY the stats and applicable relationships (no traits, no objects), and all roll at the same time. Then, in the order given by the dice (adding together the two best dice) or in the order that make more sense if there is one, EVERYONE, one at the time, say what it's his/her action.

What does this mean? That (1) the woman and the shopkeeper share a single dice pool and the GM must decide each time who of them will act in his turn, and (2) the characters are not tied in their raise to what the players declared at the beginning, but only to the arena.

In your example, Alpha Dog shoot the woman, and declare that only the woman has to see his raise. The rules (page 70) state that "everybody whose character is affected has to See. You decide who that is; make it clear in your description of your Raise", so if some other character already stated that he is in front of the woman, or is obviously affected, you HAVE to include them in the raise. 

Let's say that this is not the case, and Alpha Dog can state that only the woman has to see. The GM, for her reasons, decide to let the woman get hit by the bullet (by taking the blow). Bravo Dog want to avoid this, but he can't block the shot for the woman. So he say that he help her by getting into the line of fire, and give to the GM a die big enough to force a reverse the blow (for example, the die could be only one number lower than the total raise). The GM at this time has no choice but to reverse the blow.

What does it mean "reverse the blow"? From your answers, you seem to think that it's making the bullet ricochet into the one who fired it. Like it was a ball, and "block" would mean "blocking the ball" and "reversing the ball" would mean "hitting the ball turning it back to the one who shoot her". But it's not like that,  You are not "blocking" a ball, or a bullet, you are blocking an ACTION. And, in the case of a "turning the blow", you are turning an action in something unfavorable to the one who did shoot.

In the case of that example, having Alpha Dog hit Bravo Dog could ALREADY be seen as a turning the blow: Alpha Dog wanted to kill a sinner, and he did shot instead a fellow dog.

Another case of turning the blow, if Bravo Dog would not have done nothing and the GM had turned the blow by herself, would have been this: the shot HIT the woman (no fallout, though) and PUSH HER OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW, saving her from other bullets. An action meant to slay her ended up saving her (momentarily, because the conflict s not still ended)

At this time, it's (for example) Charlie Dog's turn. At the beginning he had stated that he wanted to grab the gun from Alpha Dog. But let's say, for this example, that Alpha Dog is horrified from him having shoot Bravo Dog and Charlie Dog change his mind, and push the woman away from the room. It's not a real "change of intention", because the REAL raise from Charlie Dog was to be stated now, not before the conflict.

It's clear now?
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
cra2
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 03:52:57 AM »

Hi Cra2 (what's your name? I am used to normal names on the Forge, as for site policy, and I feel a little silly calling you "Cra2")

You can call me bob if it'll make you feel less silly.  :)

At the beginning of the conflict, the players and the GM must decide (1) What's a stake (in this case, the life of the woman), and (2) the arena of the conflict for their character at the start (some character will start shooting, other doing other things, etc.: this modify the dice you roll at the beginning. (page 54)

Right.
And if I understand Vincent (above), because one of the people in the conflict has already escalated to gunplay, EVERYONE who buys into that conflict must roll gunplay. 
Even if they're unarmed and not being aimed at, right?

So the only time you'd normally be able to call in OTHER dice for your other attributes would be if the conflict started lower and someone decided to escalate, right?  (in this case, however, it's already at the highest level so noone can bring in other attributes like body, acuity, etc)

What does this mean? That (1) the woman and the shopkeeper share a single dice pool and the GM must decide each time who of them will act in his turn,

ahhh... good idea.

and (2) the characters are not tied in their raise to what the players declared at the beginning, but only to the arena.

by arena, you mean they're tied to gunplay in this case?
(even though most aren't using guns?)

In your example, Alpha Dog shoot the woman, and declare that only the woman has to see his raise. The rules (page 70) state that "everybody whose character is affected has to See. You decide who that is; make it clear in your description of your Raise", so if some other character already stated that he is in front of the woman, or is obviously affected, you HAVE to include them in the raise. 

Ok, so here's a question.
Bravo Dog declared his INTENT to be in front of her.
But you're saying that unless his 2 highest dice allowed him to go first, then he couldn't say that he made it in front of her before the shot went off, correct?  In which case, he wouldn't have to 'see' Alpha Dog's shot.

Let's say that this is not the case, and Alpha Dog can state that only the woman has to see. The GM, for her reasons, decide to let the woman get hit by the bullet (by taking the blow). Bravo Dog want to avoid this, but he can't block the shot for the woman. So he say that he help her by getting into the line of fire, and give to the GM a die big enough to force a reverse the blow

can Bravo do this AFTER the woman took fallout from the Woman?

You are not "blocking" a ball, or a bullet, you are blocking an ACTION. And, in the case of a "turning the blow", you are turning an action in something unfavorable to the one who did shoot.  In the case of that example, having Alpha Dog hit Bravo Dog could ALREADY be seen as a turning the blow: Alpha Dog wanted to kill a sinner, and he did shot instead a fellow dog.

gotcha.  makes sense.
Could say the cartridge misfires jamming the gun?

Alpha Dog is horrified from him having shoot Bravo Dog and Charlie Dog change his mind, and push the woman away from the room. It's not a real "change of intention", because the REAL raise from Charlie Dog was to be stated now, not before the conflict.

got it.  that makes sense.

thanks, it's getting clearer and I'm getting more confident.
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cra2
Member

Posts: 53


« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 11:34:26 AM »

I agree, that would be a parry.  But if you help the woman putting yourself in the line of fire, and you helping die turn the see from a taking the blow to a parry, she could narrate you being hit by the bullet.

So if the Alpha Dog raises a shot at her and she sees with one die, the Alpha Dog shoots himself?

Moreno, ignore my question above.  I just re-read the post and realized you were talking about the Bravo Dog putting himself in the line of fire, not the Alpha Dog shooting.  sorry.
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lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 12:12:09 PM »

Jesse's a little bit wrong.

First thing to do, Bob, is commit to mind the initiative rules: descending high-pair order.

When player A raises and specifies that the GM has to see, everybody with a high pair better than the GM's has the opportunity to interrupt. Say that the player A has the best high pair and the GM the worst:

Player A: [raises] I shoot her!
Player B: [declines to see]
Player C: [blocks] I jump in the way!
GM: [doesn't have to see]

There are some nuances here, but let's skip them for now. Bob, we can come back to them sometime later if you want.

About the arena of conflict:

This conflict starts out with gunfighting, but it can escalate from gunfighting to talking, to physical-not-fighting, or to fighting, sure.

Player A: [raises] I shoot her!
Player B: [dodges] I drag her out of the way. [raises, escalates to talking] Brother, put up that gun or Dog or not I swear I'll kill you myself. [rolls heart]

Make sense? Escalation can go in any order, as long as you make sure that every raise is something your opponent can't ignore.

-Vincent
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Web_Weaver
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 04:38:52 AM »

We have had the "I jump in the way" thing many times and so far it has always worked best when the player lends dice rather than actually uses a see.

Just kind of mirrors the situation better for us.

Jamie
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lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 09:26:58 AM »

Ah, yes! That's also legal and you're right, it's probably the better way.

-Vincent
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