IDEA: Opposed vs. Parallel in SImple Conflicts?

Started by jb.teller4, February 23, 2010, 05:04:49 PM

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I understand that simple conflicts are always opposed rolls (using the extended conflict terminology) so the winner gets their goal and the loser suffers consequences.  Something I was idly thinking about recently is whether you could use parallel rolls in a simple conflict: Whoever rolls highest wins, like usual, but both sides suffer consequences based on their opponent's roll.

I was thinking about this because sometimes I like the idea that both sides suffer and the winner doesn't get out unscathed.  Two quick examples might be an argument, where the winner gets their goal but suffers the consequence of having to offer compromises to the loser based on the loser's successes, or a fight where the winner is triumphant but takes Harm in the process.

Anyway, I'm not set on doing something like this; at this point I'm curious if this would work.  Also, I picture this only being used some of the time (my first inclination would be to do it like negotiation in extended conflicts and let it be decided before rolling on a conflict-by-conflict basis based on the narrative and what makes sense). 

My questions are: a) has anyone ever tried this?, b) if so, did it work well and how/why?, c) any thoughts or comments on consequences beyond the obvious?, plus d) any other comments or questions?

(One impact of doing this, I think, is that the actual rolls would be more important than the difference between the rolls; a Good (2) roll vs. a Marginal (1) roll would not be the same as an Amazing (4) roll vs. a Great (3) roll, even though they're both one apart.  In the second, both sides would suffer greater consequences.  I go back and forth on whether I like that or not.)

-John B.
John B.

Eero Tuovinen

That's not at all unreasonable. Just remember to keep the currencies of the system balanced by making sure that a player doesn't get to apply his check result several times uncontrollably. In other words, no making Effects from checks that are already being used to cause Harm, for example.

I did some Secrets in the SS booklet that specifically messed with something similar, but I don't remember off-hand what it was. In any case, that's a good idea for a basic rule, even - the Story Guide already gets the authority to decide when Harm is applied, so it's not a big stretch for him to decide that this conflict is going to hurt both sides some.
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Thanks for replying, Eero!  I'm not sure if I'll do this and I don't think I'd make it the default roll, but there are some specific circumstances where I don't like the "all-or-nothing" feel of opposed rolls so I was wondering if this would work mechanically.  Sounds like it should.  Also, your point about not allowing results to be applied multiple times (e.g. causing harm and craeting Effects) is well-taken. 

I think at this point I feel comfortable that I could use this for a specific conflict where I thought it fit the narrative without worrying that I'm going to break something.  Then I could see how well it worked for capturing what I wanted and decide if I wanted to stop using it, use it rarely, or even use it frequently.

-John B.
John B.

Simon JB

We're often using something like this when we feel that some Harm from the conflict would be proper in addition to the stakes of the conflict. In these cases we usually say that the opponents cause Harm equal to their rolls, just like suggested above. We decide if this is proper from time to time, going by group consensus, usually, sometimes with the story guide as an arbitrator.

I don't think you need to be afraid of this breaking anything mechanically. But for some (many?) conflicts it just doesn't fit.

Of course, we rarely use extended coflict these days, so we need this to get some Harm done at all!