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Author Topic: [Solar System] Quick Questions Thread  (Read 30956 times)
oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2008, 08:14:45 AM »

Eero: Agreed. It would go like this: If a player doesn't like the way a refreshment scene goes, they can opt for a conflict, forgoing the refreshment. Right? I would advise GMs to use a gambit like this only sparingly, though.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2008, 10:34:33 AM »

Yeah, that's pretty much the thing - if the SG pushes too hard, the player will signal that by demanding conflict. If your players never get to refresh because your refreshment scenes are so nasty that they always end up in conflict, then you need to relax your grip as the SG a bit.
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Simon JB
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2008, 02:45:49 AM »

New question:

Can you enter extended conflict and immediately give up, before the first round is played?

My player wanted to do that, arguing that if you cannot do that then the suggested strategy of entering extended conflict to shake down harm is pointless. I countered that if you don't have to make it through the first round then it's way to cheap to do that if you bring down the pain you must be prepared to take at least some consequences. My player was a little bit bothered by this detail, so I thought I'd bring it up here.

So, how do you guys do this?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2008, 04:59:21 AM »

Well, I don't recommend entering extended conflict to shake down Harm, for one. I know that Clinton does discuss it, but I see it more as a secondary result of normal events of play, not something that should be pointed out as a clever trick. It's more of an exploit, and the whole shakedown rule has proven a bit fragile (as in, sometimes we forget to apply it) in actual play: as you might remember, I'm very pragmatic about rules, and this one only just manages to stay in my field of vision when I play. I could easily imagine forgetting it and being just as happy with life, especially when you consider how most crunch environments tend to make the rule so relatively insignificant.

That being said, if it ever came up, I guess I'd allow a player to give up in the negotiation stage of the first round. It's not inconseivable that a player'd get into an extended conflict only to realize when the procedure starts that the conditions are not favorable. Or more simply, it might just be that the opponent, seeing his willingness to go into extended conflict, negotiates a conflict goal that makes it acceptable for him to back down right off. That's an intricate play: go into extended conflict and make it clear that if your opponent gives you this thing you actually care about, you'll back off without a blow and let him have the rest.

If you think that this is too easy, you may always in your role as the Story Guide take that opposing NPC and give him some interesting goals in the conflict. Upping the ante should make a player consider twice before giving up. This won't do anything if two players decide to have an extended conflict between their characters to shake down Harm... but if your group is that far gone, I don't know that there's much we can do to reimpose an interest in solid play from a distance.
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Corvus69
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« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2009, 01:50:23 AM »

Quote from: Solar system
An important detail is that bonus and penalty dice may be added to the roll either before or after the initial dice are rolled.
Extra dice after the roll are simply rolled immediately (unless cancelled) and the player picks the three best or worst results normally.

Quote from: TSoY
After you roll, remove a number of your dice equal to your penalty dice, starting with pluses. If you run out of pluses, remove blanks, and then minuses. Bonus dice work the opposite way: you remove minuses first, then blanks, then pluses. More simply, penalty dice take away your highest rolls. Bonus dice take away your lowest rolls.

hmm there is a difference between SS and TsoY bonus/penalty die methods. Both have the same results if there are only BD or only PD in the check. BUT what if I rolled a check with one PD and after the roll I chose to add one BD?

The TSoY method is clear to me, but SS method IMHO assumes that BD and PD are different colored than regular three dice, so I could know which one was PD to cancel it with BD. And I think that this method gives different results. Am I right?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2009, 02:43:16 AM »

The methods should work the same as far as I know. In the one case you are removing low dice until you only have the three highest left; in the other you directly take the three highest dice. When you do this in segments, it works like this:

TSoY style:
I roll one bonus die, let's say ++-0. I drop the lowest, leaving me with ++0.
Then I add a bonus die, it's a +. I drop the lowest and get +++.
Then I add a penalty die, it's a 0. I drop the highest and get ++0 again.

Solar System style:
Rolling the same dice, so ++-0. I choose the highest, so leaves me with ++0.
Then I add a bonus die, it's a +. I choose the highest of the four and get +++.
Then I add a penalty die, it's a 0. I choose the lowest and get ++0 again.

How do you get different results with the two methods? I strongly suspect that I'm missing something here. Wouldn't be the first time: there are some surprising lacunae in the TSoY rules which make people read them in a quite different manner from what Clinton intended.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2009, 04:56:16 AM »

There are some subtle statistical interactions with the question of when you can use penalty or bonus dice. Both are a bit more efficient if you put them out after rolling, since you don't spend the resource when you already know the result, and you have a 2 in 3 chance of getting a better result than an existing minus as opposed to have a fift-fifty chance of one die being better than the other when rolling them in once.

The coloration of the dice is not important, it's just a device to help you find out faster which dice to take out if you have multiple bonus and penalty dice on one check.
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Paul T
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2009, 08:56:51 AM »

Corvus69,

Are you reading the SS rules as saying:

"Do NOT cancel out bonus and penalty dice"?

Are you thinking like this?

You roll three dice, with one bonus die and one penalty die: 0 (-) (-) (+) 0.

Then you remove one (-) because of the bonus die, and one (+) because of the penalty die, leaving you with 0 0 (-).

Is that it?

I think you always cancel out bonus and penalty dice. The alternative is just too clunky to make sense.
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Corvus69
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« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2009, 10:06:43 AM »

Eero: now I get it. no need for colored dice. you choose three best/worst dice *before* rolling any additional dice and then *after* again.

in tsoy style I have always kept all dice on the table and remove best and worst dice only in the end. in your example I rolled with BD ++-0 then BD + then PD 0. I had +++00-. I removed -0 and +. and the result was ++0. so the same result....

actually your style is better..

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fealoro
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2009, 10:37:11 PM »

Hi all

I need some clarification on killing... uhmm killing characters of course ;)

The killing of a characthers (both PC than NPC) could be the stake of a conflict? or a character can be killed only causing Harm?
or it depends on the importasce of the caracther in the story (so that if the SG don't bother about a guard he can be killed in a simple conflict, otherwise the SG should extend the conflict)?

The amount of Harm is indipendent from the weapon used (if there is no Effect at work)?

Thanks a lot
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2009, 01:03:58 AM »

Quite. The basic principle is that characters are only killed in two ways:
  • The group agrees to make death a part of the stakes in conflict. I discuss this under the heading of "propriety" in the conflict chapters of the booklet, as it's ultimately a matter of style and genre to determine when a character's death can be on the table. For example, in a superhero game a character is saving the city, and it might be quite appropriate to decide that hey, the saving is granted, but will he survive? In a children's show death wouldn't really be on the table, so it would be more along the lines of whether the character himself saves the city or whether he has to ask for his mentor to help him. Appropriate conflict stakes are all a matter of genre.
  • When characters are forced out of conflict with Harm level 7 (either somebody rolls it or, more likely, the Harm bumps up because level six is already full), the opponent may decide what happens to them in the immediate scene - they are not necessarily dead, but the opponent can decide that they are. This choice is still constrained by the genre, of course, so it wouldn't really be appropriate for a My Little Pony game to feature a character driving another character mad, forcing them to prance off a cliff.
Also note that the SG can't extend the conflict, that choice belongs to the players. In some cases a player might wish to extend because the SG refuses to escalate the stakes for pacing reasons unless the player makes a big deal out of a situation. The SG might decide that a given NPC is too cool to be killed just like that, say, so he insists that while the character can quite reasonably throw him into the reactor shaft, the SG reserves an option to have the NPC come back later on.

In practice you don't see much player character death in most campaigns. Mostly it happens as a finale for a suitably dramatic situation, or as a gritty flavour to a gritty campaign. In both cases it's largely the player's call whether the character lives or dies: it's rather difficult to get mortally wounded without going into extended conflict, and players can always back down from those, so the only way to really get yourself helpless on the mercy of your enemies is to stubbornly refuse to back down; something needs to be important enough to die for.

Also note that while the general SS rules allow character death as part of the stakes, it's almost always not a good idea. If the SG puts in death, he's also saying that you have to extend if you want to live; if he continues insisting on death when goals are declared for extended conflict, he's again saying that you can't give in. So offering death is almost always just an unnecessary limitation on a player's choices; it's much more interesting to threaten the character's honor instead, for example, and let the player choose whether he'd rather die. The SG's job is to invent a bargain where the player voluntarily gets his character killed off, I might say.

You're right that the amount of Harm is by default independent of weapon use, but that's easy to change with a Secret or two. Something like this might work for a prison game, for instance:

Secret of the Shiv
The character is lethally good with stabbing instruments. Whenever he is spending an Effect that amounts to a stabbing instrument in a conflict, he may declare that he's going for the throat: the opponent suffers a Harm of degree equal to the number of overflow dice (rolled dice left over after picking the three used in the conflict) showing a '0'. This Harm comes in addition to other consequences of the conflict. Cost: 1 Instinct, and has to blow a shiv Effect completely on the roll.

Or you can just use equipment ratings described in the Secrets chapter, their original purpose in Shadow of Yesterday was to emulate weapons and armor in a fantasy environment. Depends on what you're going for in the game.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2009, 01:15:28 AM »

Hey Eero, you're en-passant importing a stupid dice trick from Greg Stolze's ORE; namely using overflow dice (what he calls waste dice in his game). I like that. Clarification question: Does a character with Secret of the Shiv get the Harm Bonus from using the Effect as well as getting an additional Harm Level equal to the number of overflow dice?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2009, 10:51:19 AM »

As in, does he get to use the bonus dice to improve his check and thus maybe get to cause Harm by succeeding in the Ability check? Yes, my intent was to allow the character to potentially cause two Harm at once with this. Might be a bit strong, but if the campaign is a sparse prison drama, then I don't mind. You should fear the shiv.

ORE has overflow dice? I never noticed, must be because I got bored and skipped the combat system. I figured this thing out while bashing my head against the wall with the equipment rating rules; perhaps I'll get something tidy for TSoY out of it. Also, I already used the overflow dice trick at Story Games last month, in case you're interested.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2009, 05:09:21 AM »

ORE has quite some stupid dice tricks. Overflow dice are a nice variable add-on.
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