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Author Topic: [DitV] Escalating in dice but not in the fiction  (Read 5713 times)
Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« on: May 17, 2011, 11:30:27 PM »

I was reading this recent thread:  [DitV] questions on Raises and Sees, and that made me think again about the "seeing a specific arena means escalating to it" rule (it's not in the book, Vincent explained it in this post from last year.

Thinking about it,  I realized that in my DitV sessions I went the other way around. Last year, in that thread, I talked about some way for the character to avoid escalating. I now realize that I really never use the "seeing a specific arena means escalating to it" rule. I used it a few times, and after a while I stopped. I really didn't like the way it de-responsabilized the dogs. removing the choice between escalating and avoiding violence (with that rule, they have their cake and can eat it too: get all the dice from gunfighting without having to do any violence in the fiction)

Example: Brother Joseph is trying to disarm Helen, a pregnant 15 years old nubile girl that was the daughter of a Sorcerer, but wasn't in the corrupt cult (her father became a Sorcerer to protect her, and was shoot down by Brother Joseph a few scenes before). She is trying to kill Brother Joseph to avenge her father, and Brother Joseph is trying to subdue her without harming her or the unborn child

Now, if Helen make a raise shooting Joseph, she escalate to gunfighting (she was only using the gun to menace him before, then they got into a physical struggle that Joseph would have easily won). Without that rule Brother Joseph now would have to choose: between escalating by shooting back (risking to kill them - I have a lot of 1s and 2s left, just in case, to be able to build a lot of fallout for Helen) or risking being killed.

Having to choose, Joseph don't escalate, and this choice tells a lot about the character.

With that rule, Joseph will get the gunfighting escalation dice, no questions asked. He will easily win the conflict, with raises like "I talk to her" or "I cuddle her in my arms" and never even touching his gun.  He can easily get everything he wants by following that simple course of action. But, as Vincent said in a old article, "There's no creating theme if the issue has only one credible side."

By the other hand, I don't see what problem that rule solve.  From that thread and other answers from Vincent, I get the impression that the desired result is to have every character in a conflict in the same arena of conflict at all times. But why having different characters in different arena of conflict should be a problem? DiTV is a game for (optimally)  2-3 players + a GM, too few persons to have problems or confusion at the table about who-is-doing-what.

Worse, that rule risk causing confusion, by removing some of the ties between the dice and the fiction.

So, what I would like to ask in this thread is:
- To Vincent: what is the reason behind that rule?
- To everybody: did you have any problem that I did not see, by not using that rule?

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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 04:49:26 AM »

Without that rule:

If you're low on dice and I escalate to gunfighting with a raise you can't see, I've put you out of the conflict without giving you the chance to escalate. I win the stakes by mechanically denying you the choice to shoot back.

-Vincent
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 10:11:48 AM »

Without that rule:

If you're low on dice and I escalate to gunfighting with a raise you can't see, I've put you out of the conflict without giving you the chance to escalate. I win the stakes by mechanically denying you the choice to shoot back.

Ah, now I see the reason why I did not see the problem...

In my group we always assumed that, if someone shoot you, and you see the raise with "I draw my gun and duck behind a barrel shooting back" (or something like that, combining and action to avoid the raise with a clear intention so shoot back) it does count for "escalating on a see". It still has the same mechanical effect on that problem, but it doesn't remove the choice of escalating from the player (I did not made up this rule for that reason: I simply always assumed it was the right way to play...)
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 10:40:30 AM »

That sounds to me like a rock-solid, by-the-book combination of the escalating on a see rule plus the most discerning player rule. No big deal.

-Vincent
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Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 05:31:45 PM »

Vincent, what would be the downside of saying that you don't get unfitting dice unless your trying to shoot back. So, if you want to duck for cover, that's cool but that's physical. But if you want to get the benefit of being in a gunfight it demands some gunfighting from you.
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James R.
Noclue
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Posts: 351


« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 05:39:39 PM »

Actually, I see you respond to Moreno in the thread from last year that you don't do it that way but it won't break the game. Nm
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James R.
lumpley
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 05:42:46 PM »

Even so, if you can't escalate to gunfighting on your see then I can put you out of a conflict mechanically by escalating on my raise when you don't have the dice to see it.

You have a 4, a 3 and a 1 left on the table. We've already gone from just talking to physical, so we've both already rolled acuity, body and heart.

I say "I shoot you!" I roll 4d6 or whatever for my will. I raise with a 10.

If you can't escalate to gunfighting on the see, you're out of the conflict without having had a chance to shoot back.

-Vincent
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Noclue
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Posts: 351


« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 11:40:55 PM »

I actually never imagined you couldn't escalate on your See.
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James R.
Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2011, 02:57:59 AM »

Hi

This is getting confusing for me. It seems to me like Moreno is saying "Escalating to gunfighting without actually firing a gun (but Seeing somebody who is) is not satisfactory". In the thread Moreno is linking to, Vincent seemed to be saying that "Escalation only has to be fiction-led for the guy starting it, all others who stay in the conflict get the dice from the new arena regardless of what they're doing." Vincent seems to be saying in the current thread that "if you can't Escalate on a See, you might suffer a technical KO". I don't quite see how this new answer addresses Moreno's point, but it's part of the discussion all right.

So is it okay to sum it up like so:

The conflict is at, say, talking. Everybody rolls Acuity and Heart.
A guy starts shooting. He rolls Will.
Everybody who stays in the conflict gets to roll their Will as well (it's not really a choice, they just do it), regardless of what they're actually doing (because if they couldn't do that, they might be forced to give).

If that's okay, then I think the expression "escalating on a See" is confusing because it might be taken for meaning something like the following example.

The conflict is at, say, talking. Everybody rolls Acuity and Heart.
Rich makes a powerful Raise that his opponent Sam cannot See as such.
Sam escalates to gunfighting (fiction and mechanics) and Sees with his new dice.

What's not clear to me is when exactly people roll their new dice if the rule "when somebody escalates, all players who stay in the conflict get to roll the dice of the new arena regardless of what their character is doing" is indeed correct.
For example, in my second example, does Sam get to observe what Rich rolled for his Will before making his Raise? I'd say that Rich only gets to talk (and thus decide if he stays in the conflict) on his See, so that's when he rolls his Will (regardless of fictional content), meaning that Sam has to Raise without knowing what Rich will get.


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Regards,
Christoph
Moreno R.
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Posts: 547


« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2011, 05:13:43 AM »

If that's okay, then I think the expression "escalating on a See" is confusing because it might be taken for meaning something like the following example.

The conflict is at, say, talking. Everybody rolls Acuity and Heart.
Rich makes a powerful Raise that his opponent Sam cannot See as such.
Sam escalates to gunfighting (fiction and mechanics) and Sees with his new dice.

I don't see "escalating on a see" as confusing, because your example is in my opinion perfectly legal.

Example (it's always better to use concrete examples):  I play the dog, the GM is playing a mob of angry townspeople.

The Gm Raise with "they run to you and push you down the ground" (fighting)
I escalate to gunfighting (I say "I draw my gun and shoot") ---> I get the dice and complete my narration parrying with "I shoot in the air over their head, and they stop"
In this case, against a mob, I could even say that I shoot down the first one who try to touch me, but it depends on what a group allow on a parry. My one would.

It's not easy to parry something with a gun, they are build to kill, not to protect, but this is simply a narration problem: if you can see a way to do it in the fiction, you can do it.

About the problem cited by Vincent:
Even so, if you can't escalate to gunfighting on your see then I can put you out of a conflict mechanically by escalating on my raise when you don't have the dice to see it.

You have a 4, a 3 and a 1 left on the table. We've already gone from just talking to physical, so we've both already rolled acuity, body and heart.

I say "I shoot you!" I roll 4d6 or whatever for my will. I raise with a 10.

If you can't escalate to gunfighting on the see, you're out of the conflict without having had a chance to shoot back.

This lack something. The context is important: when this would happen?

It's the last exchange in what was probably a very long and drawn-out conflict (it's not easy to exhaust the mountains of dice a dog roll every conflict...). So the player could see himself remaining without dice a mile away. And he know that the opponent has still a possible escalation left.

Why he didn't escalate, before remaining without dice?

I suggest that a dog can't remain without dice and with some possible escalation left, without having chosen to do so, knowingly. The dice are visible to everybody, at the table. The dog's player can see that his opponent will beat him if he will not escalate, a long time before the moment he will remain with no dice to see. So why he did not escalate on his turn?

It's a choice. A informed, deliberate choice. Allowing him to "get the escalation dice for free" remove weight from that choice, turning it from a "hard choice" into a "easy strategy that work every time: let your opponent escalate and get all the dice for fighting, gunfighting and pushing without having to worry about getting your hands dirty: you can simply talk about the sacred scriptures and get all the dice anyway, exactly as if you did shoot someone".
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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 351


« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2011, 09:13:16 AM »

I'm with Moreno on this one. Escalating on a See is fine, but if you want to use those dice your narration should reflect your moral choice to enter the new arena.
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James R.
Noclue
Member

Posts: 351


« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2011, 09:15:31 AM »

And if you don't want to start shooting (or whatnot), that's what Giving is for.
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James R.
lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 09:45:47 AM »

So do you guys understand that "if you want to use those dice your narration should reflect your moral choice to enter the new arena" is a by-the-book application of the existing escalate-on-a-see rule plus the existing most-discriminating-player rule?

-Vincent
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 10:27:12 AM »

So do you guys understand that "if you want to use those dice your narration should reflect your moral choice to enter the new arena" is a by-the-book application of the existing escalate-on-a-see rule plus the existing most-discriminating-player rule?

-Vincent

Vincent, I completely agree that the way of playing the choice of escalate I explained above is 100% by-the-book. It's the way I played before reading this thread, last year.

It's what you wrote in that thread, and confirmed later, that it's a departure from the rules in the book:
Quoting from your post in that thread (emphasis mine): "seeing a physical raise also means escalating to physical. Dodging a gunshot also means escalating to gunfighting"
In the same thread, replying to my post:  you wrote: "acknowledging the gunshot at all -- seeing the raise in any way -- counts as escalating to gunfighting"

No matter what you narrate. You don't need to "reflect" anything. Hell, the way it's written, you get even to bypass the "most-discriminating-player rule"! You get the dice, period.

So, what you said in that (and this) thread is, using the words you used above and changing them to reflect that rule: "if you want to use those dice, you will. You will even if don't want these dice, you will get them anyway. No matter if your narration don't reflect that at all"

The fact that the way I play, as explained above, is 100% by-the-book, it's not in discussion, the way I see it. I know that. And I know that I can simply ignore what you said in an Internet forum and play the way I want. I am simply debating the rule you added in that post, because I see it as a violation of what the original rule system say. Both in spirit and in the "letter of the law".

I get to add another layer of problems this cause to me, too, in my unusual situation of being one of the proof-reader of the Italian edition and one of the people that explain people how to play both at conventions demo and in the Italian forum. What should I teach people? The way I think the game should be played, even if is against what the author said? Or the way the author said it's to be played, even if I think it's a way that remove a lot of "bite" from the conflict rules?  It's not simply a matter of "play as you like with your group".
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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 351


« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2011, 10:32:38 AM »

Unless, you're at the table and you're the most discriminating player. The GM is a player too, right?
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James R.
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