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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Will in combat and rollover of successes  (Read 1286 times)
Neon White
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Posts: 16


« on: September 08, 2009, 08:33:28 AM »

Hi all, I have two rules issues on which I could use your thoughts.

1) Roll over of successes in extended conflicts:

Let’s say PC Phil is in a fist-fight with NPC Norman. Phil hits Norman, Norman chooses to suck up the attack and ends up being on the receiving end of 2 victories from Phil.

Then Norman hits back (with his dice already on the table) and Phil gains two additional defense dice from the two victories he scored a moment earlier.

Let’s say Phil successfully defends against Norman’s attack.  During the next round, Norman is at -1 to his attack roll due to the lasting damage incurred in the previous round.

So here is the question:
How do you handle it when Phil’s player declares, “building on from my successful jab last round, Phil is going to plant his right leg and transfer the entire power of his body into a right cross to Norman’s jaw.”

Because the action is building upon the prior successful action (or at least attempting to), do you allow the 2 victories to carry over into Phil’s next attack?

My reading of the text leaves me with the impression that the victories can be applied to the next attack if it is a natural follow-on from the first.

The problem is that I feel that this is doubling currency value.

1 die = 1 victory = 1bonus or penalty.

The two victories from Phil’s first jab have already had their effect as a bonus to Phil’s defense.  If I allow the successful left jab to also be a nice boxing setup for a right cross, then it’s two bonus dice to Phil’s follow-up attack and so the initial 2 victories have generated 4 bonus’

I think I’ve convinced myself that they shouldn’t apply to the follow-on attack.  Can someone please confirm?

2) Effectiveness of using will as a primary score in combat

I have a player (let’s call him James, but you know who you are!) in my Sword and Sorcerer game at the moment who has built his character with Will:8, Sta:2, Lore:1 (he traded a point of humanity to get ‘inhumanly’ Will).

(James is a first time player to roleplaying of any kind (other than the computer sort).)

In our first session, James was trying to use his character’s (call him Jimmy) fast talking and verbal maniuplation to defuse hostile situations.  I was allowing Jimmy to roll his will for the fast talk as his action in ‘combat’. With 8 dice he was typically winning the roll and get his two cents in.

I think I will handle it more elegantly in future however last time I was allowing any successes Jimmy scored as bonus dice to his defense. (This only happened a couple of times in play and each time the opponent sucked up the attack and went for Jimmy with blades drawn.  If they hadn’t sucked up the attack then their attack would have been aborted and Jimmy achieves his goal for the round).

I think this all makes sense, except that, in an extended situation, the swordsman/stamina-based NPC will invariably wear Jimmy down. 

Would it be sensible to use the opponent’s will as a ‘reservoir’ to be attacked by Jimmy’s powers of logic and persuasion.  When sufficient penalties have mounted to equal will (or 2x will) then the attacker is calmed, dazed, distracted… whatever mental state is sensible given the lines of Jimmy’s attack.

Any thoughts or considerations here? It’s not really discussed in the rules or elsewhere that I have seen, so presumably there is a more elegant way to achieve the same goal?

- adam
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Adam
The Dragon Master
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Posts: 154


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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 09:50:44 AM »

Just wanted to get some quick answers to you while waiting for one of the Sorcerer Grognards (compliment intended, I aspire to be such a Grognard someday ;-) ) come along to give more clear answers.

1) The successes only roll over to the next roll, not to all connected rolls. So, yes, if Phil got two successes on the second roll, he (might? Someone else will want to verify this one) end up with 2 bonus dice on the third roll, but not otherwise (though he'd get some bonus dice for his description as well).

2) See, in Sorcerer a Will roll can't force another character to do anything. What it is used for (mechanically) is to provide your character with bonus dice on your impending physical conflict with them. So if James were to alternate between attempting to talk the other guy out of his actions, and take a swing himself... well, that would be the best way I can think of to use will effectively in combat.
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"You get what everone gets. You get a lifetime." -Death of the Endless
The names Tony
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 12:48:47 PM »

Hiya,

Adam, technically the rollover-penalties are already accounted for in terms of damage (and in fact are nastier than typical rollovers, because they last longer and might even be higher given the right weapons). So stick with the "next roll" logic, which means the player is better off not harking back to the previous attack, but rather to the previous defense which was actually what should literally lead into the coming attack.

In other words, he got two bonus dice due to the damage he did to that guy. How did the defense get narrated? That's what can be tapped and applied (however many dice it beat the attack by) to the next action.

Regarding Will, the Dragon Master's answer is sound as the most basic/conservative application of the rules. However, modeling it to physical combat in such circumstances is a rules-consistent application too. So if you do that, then yes, 2xWill would be a good threshold for you as GM saying, "OK, this guy's been psychologically beaten down."

These two options aren't as different as they seem. Keep in mind that as GM you have the option of having the assailant back off given any degree of victory in trying to get him to do that. You don't have to make the NPC keep ravening forwards, given the successful roll. All you're doing with the 2xWill threshold is formalizing a useful cut-off point for you as GM in deciding whether he does or doesn't back off.

Best, Ron

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Neon White
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 01:35:48 AM »

Thanks Ron and DM, the confirmation is always helpful to remove nagging doubts! 
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Adam
The Dragon Master
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Posts: 154


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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 07:59:48 AM »

Always happy to be of service.
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"You get what everone gets. You get a lifetime." -Death of the Endless
The names Tony
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