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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: phargle on January 24, 2008, 02:24:44 PM

Title: Re: Poison'd errata and Q&A
Post by: phargle on January 24, 2008, 02:24:44 PM
I am getting ready to run a Poison'd game.  I'm curious:  what are the consequences of losing a fist-fight?  It doesn't seem to mechanically harm you or benefit you to win or lose one.  The same with losing a knife fight at escalation level one.  Everything else I can see - you submit, get mutilated, get a deadly wound, get killed.  Fists and low-level knives?  It seems losing is just as good as winning.

Also, if a player jumps another player, errata says they should roll Brutality vs. Soul.  Victory can give Xs.  Defeat just means you can't do it.  Does that mean you have to roll Brutality vs. Soul to attack another player, or just to ambush them when they aren't looking?  If they are looking, do you just go into a fight? 

Now say you roll Brutality vs. Soul to push the unsuspecting captain overboard.  He decides to endure duress and rolls Soul vs. Devil.  Succeed or fail, what happens to him?  It sounds like, by enduring duress, he's tossed overboard and, uh, drowned.

If a player wants to kill another player's pirate, how does he do so mechanically?  It seems like the victim could always just give on the first round of a fight.  Even if he is put in the other guy's power by defeat, and the other guy says, "I stomp his head in!", it seems like he could endure duress and take it or (or not - I'm confused what the repurcussions of failing or succeeding on a roll to endure duress might be.)

Thanks for the pre-game help.

Title: Re: Poison'd errata and Q&A
Post by: lumpley on January 28, 2008, 10:15:00 AM

1. The mechanical consequences for losing a fistfight, or for ditching out of a knife fight before it gets serious, are that you lose all your Xs, while the winner goes forward with Xs for the win. (The in-fiction consequences might be significant too).

2. You roll brutality vs soul to attack someone helpless or unsuspecting. If they aren't helpless or unsuspecting, just go straight into the fight.

3. By enduring duress, he's tossed overboard. There's no "...and drowned" in the rules. Here's what might happen:

a) His player might take him out of play, by the "separated for good" rule. This might mean he drowns, might not, at the player's whim.

b) His player might make some more rolls for Xs to get back into fighting range. Enduring more duress by clinging to the side of the boat while being pounded with waves, going into danger by climbing the hull, using stealth and treachery by clinging below the rail until nightfall, attacking someone unsuspecting after dark.

c) Preceding (b), the GM might make an aggressive move and say "being tossed into the ocean from the deck and left to drown counts as receiving a fatal blow. Make a bargain or die, as per the fatal blow rules." This is within the GM's rights, and at the GM's option.

4. You're right. To kill a player's character, you have to get the player's participation - the player has to stay in a knife- or gunfight then fail to make a bargain, stay in a swordfight and lose, or volunteer to take her character out of play.

It's cool, because there's nobody you need to kill worse than you need to make a bargain with them. "I can't kill your pirate without your participation, but I can make his life a living fucking nightmare of enduring duress and losing fights. How about you ___ instead?" Or else, "you can't kill my pirate without my participation, so I'm just going to keep enduring duress until you get sick of this. How about you ___ instead?"

As GM, if it looks like one player is hunkering down for an extended bout of enduring duress, and the other is going to fall for it - I've never seen this but I can imagine it - just say "fuck the both of you. Make a bargain, right now."


Title: Re: Poison'd errata and Q&A
Post by: phargle on January 31, 2008, 05:22:26 PM
4. You're right. To kill a player's character, you have to get the player's participation - the player has to stay in a knife- or gunfight then fail to make a bargain, stay in a swordfight and lose, or volunteer to take her character out of play.

Thanks.  It's all clear to me so far.

I have a follow-up question.  Can you force someone into a fight?  Can I pull a sword on someone and initiate a fight?  Or can the victim always choose to endure duress every time I say that I stab him?  And what are the consequences of failing that roll to endure duress?  I gather that pass or fail on the roll determines whether you gain Xs, not whether you succeed, although narratively a failure could indicate squealing in pain or weeping or some other humilation.  And would saying that you endure duress when run through give you a deadly wound?  I gather than GM fiat would come into play there, depending on the situation.

The reason I ask about forcing a fight is this:  if I pull a sword and force a conflict on you, your character can suddenly die due to an event not of your choosing, and with no way out.  I say that because we could both roll the first round of the fight and I could lose.  The choice to give or escalate is not yours - it's mine.  I escalate and lose again.  We're once again faced with a situation in which I, not you, choose to give or escalate.  And then I escalate and win this time, bringing us to the third tier of escalation - instant death for you.   Now you are in the position of being able to only spend Xs to win, and if you haven't got enough, you lose the fight and die - a fight you didn't agree to have.  In short, I brought the fight to you and killed you without your permission.  To me, that suggests that all conflicts must be giveable before they even begin, and that conflict must be agreed to by both sides.  Is that correct?

To that I add - what if one person on a side chooses not to enter a conflict involving multiple people on both sides?  How do they do that mechanically?  If Pirate Joe says, "I run those two scallywags through!" and Pirate Pete says, "Nope, I fight back" and Pirate Jim says, "Huh, I don't wanna die" and refuses the conflict, how is that handled in terms of rolling dice?

Thanks again for the information!

Title: Re: Poison'd errata and Q&A
Post by: lumpley on February 01, 2008, 07:11:59 AM
1. I can always roll to endure duress instead of fighting. Yes, I can take a deadly wound by enduring duress when someone gives me one - I wouldn't call that GM fiat, by default. That is, the GM might decide that it's a deadly wound if it's not obviously one (as in the thrown overboard to drown example), but when it's obviously one, the deadly wound rule comes into effect without any decision-making on the GM's part.

2. Depends. Jim could really make out well, actually, if you go straight to the rules for fighting on a side, and Pete's the leader of the side, and Jim just withholds his dice. Jim would keep all his Xs plus gain 2, without having to endure duress at all.

That's a big if, though. Who's where on the ship? Who's done what to whom, recently? Is Joe attacking helpless or unsuspecting, or going straight to a fight? Are Pete and Jim cornered? Is Pete the leader? Is Pete Joe's primary target, but Jim is in the way?

Anyhow, if somebody says "I run them both through," stop, back up, and figure out the details of when, where, how, and in which order. That'll tell you how to apply the rules.


Title: Re: Poison'd errata and Q&A
Post by: phargle on February 01, 2008, 08:12:24 AM
Aha!  I understand perfectly now. 

Basically, if I want to throw Pirate Joe overboard and he sees me and resists, I have to beat him in a fist-fight if we're both unarmed.  The consequences of him losing the fight are that I get to throw him overboard, and he's narratively beaten up but mechanically not hindered - he takes no mutilation or deadly wounds, at least until I toss him into the briney deep.  And if Pirate Joe has a cutlass and charges me, and I don't want to risk death, I can just endure duress and get gutted and make a bargain to live.  I suppose, technically, I could also make a bargain to avoid Pirate Joe stabbing me, if he was inclined to agree.

I also understand the other scene.  I might have to fight the two pirates in sequence unless they specifically make their stand against me side-by-side, and the plot might dictate how that goes, depending on whatever bargains might have been made.

Where I am unclear is regarding the consequences for failing a duress roll.  It sounds like the consequences are just that the GM can call a fight (although he can call a fight any time he wants, right?), and you don't get advantage.  It also sounds like failing a duress roll could have a narrative impact.

Thank you for clarifying so much.  It makes very good sense to me now how this game works, and I'm eager to get my gaming group to try it.