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Author Topic: [Solar System] Quick Questions Thread  (Read 31722 times)
Paul T
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2008, 07:26:29 AM »

Eero,

Thanks again for answering--you're laying it all out very clearly. And your points about the nature of the conflict and the Abilities are taken.

However, I was thinking about two situations in particular:

1. Two characters are BOTH seeking the high ground in a duel. For instance, there's a table in the room and they're both trying to climb onto it. It wouldn't really make sense for them both to get it, now would it?

2. A character encounters two characters fighting and wants to prevent one from hurting the other. So, yeah, he's opposing the action of one of those characters. But maybe both are his friends, and he's not sure yet who is in the right, and he doesn't want to Harm anyone, since he wants to keep the conflict from carrying on.

Those kind of sound like opposed actions that don't cause harm or defensive actions based on Abilities other than passive Abilities.

Is this a case of, "well, if it comes up in your game, and it makes sense, go for it", or would doing this be undermining the system somehow? In that case, what's a better way to handle it?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2008, 12:00:08 PM »

1. Two characters are BOTH seeking the high ground in a duel. For instance, there's a table in the room and they're both trying to climb onto it. It wouldn't really make sense for them both to get it, now would it?

Generally speaking, when two characters act to overcome each other in an extended conflict, such a check is made for Harm - so as strange as it might seem, two characters wrestling for the table actually cause Harm to each other in the process; either they literally wrestle for it, or the Harm is just representational, the same way you'd get Harm in a running competition from being outran. In a running competition nobody is actually ever going to throw a punch at the other guy, and still Harm will accumulate all the same, representing whatever makes sense in the context. Exhaustion, probably.

Quote
2. A character encounters two characters fighting and wants to prevent one from hurting the other. So, yeah, he's opposing the action of one of those characters. But maybe both are his friends, and he's not sure yet who is in the right, and he doesn't want to Harm anyone, since he wants to keep the conflict from carrying on.

Interestingly enough, you can't actually prevent people from Harming one another without Harming them yourself. This is typical of this sort of rules-set (Vincent Baker even discusses this explicitly in Poison'd, I note), so nothing special there. If your opponent is hell-bent on his course, the only way to get him to stop is to force him out of the conflict with level 7 Harm.

In the actual situation, if you were trying to stop two people from fighting by throwing yourself between them or whatever, you'd be making an opposed check against them both, for Harm. The Harm would represent their humiliation or internal struggle or whatever the group find sensible. From then on the conflict would run its own way - you make checks to try to prevent the fighters from fighting, they perhaps turn against you or continue trying to fight against each other. Each round you try to stop them and they try to fight you'd all have to oppose each of the other two with your own checks, potentially suffering or causing Harm to both of the other parties. Ultimately the conflict could end with a great amount of Harm but no actual punches thrown, assuming that you win it - mechanically it's the same whether you're trying to prevent damage or cause it, it's all about causing Harm to force the other party to accede to your solution.

Quote
Those kind of sound like opposed actions that don't cause harm or defensive actions based on Abilities other than passive Abilities.

Is this a case of, "well, if it comes up in your game, and it makes sense, go for it", or would doing this be undermining the system somehow? In that case, what's a better way to handle it?

This is certainly a case where I would play it the way that makes sense to me. There is no major balance-based reason to not allow opposed actions for bonus dice. As I intimated earlier, the reason for why I like the rule about Defensive Actions is that it works for me, aesthetically, and thus it doesn't feel like a burden or annoyment to me. I imagine that if a given group doesn't share this aesthetic, they'll not only question the validity of the rule, but also tend to forget to utilize it at all - that's what happens to me with some of Clinton's rules!

Note, though, that even if you decide to allow opposed-for-bonus dice, I recommend not allowing the sort of action you imply with the example about a character going between fighting friends. The notion that you can't really force anybody to do or not do anything without going through the Harm mechanics is kinda important for preserving the protagonistic freedom of the player characters. Saying that my character "just stops the fight and makes sure nobody gets hurt" without actually matching my resources against the other player's, his Harm tracker included, is just bypassing the mechanics. Consider the Harm tracker not necessarily as violence in the fiction, but as a resource and a right possessed by the player of the character - as long as the other player has not actually exhausted my Harm tracker, I have the right to insist on this course of action my character is trying to undertake.

(Another way to say the same thing is that actions in extended conflict can't actually resolve the intents of the participating characters - you can't take a number of actions for bonus dice that necessarily lead into your own goal happening; as long as the other guy has his Harm track and wants to continue, he can push for the conflict to continue. In this sense any action that is made for bonus dice can't resolve anything about the intents of the characters.)
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Paul T
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2008, 08:08:01 PM »

Great! Thanks again!
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Simon JB
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2008, 12:01:41 PM »

Okay, a new question!

Effect pools, do they need to be assigned to one specific character pool and locked to it? When I want to put some more weight between my Negotiation (R) attempt, should I not be able to put my gun to my counterpart's head and use my Officer's Gear pool? If so, why would that be better?

Yours,
S
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2008, 01:37:35 PM »

Simon,

I don't understand your question correctly. Do you want to know if the pool of an effect has to line up with the pool of the ability you want it to use it to get bonus dice for?

I would say no; as was established earlier, Effect-for-Bonus-Dice is just a delayed supportive action, where this isn't needed either. An Effect's Pool is important for a) the initial Pool it's paid from; b) maintenance cost during refreshes; c) Secrets that may be limited by the Pool they affect.

Your example seems to be a standard supportive action case, maybe that is what confused me. 
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2008, 08:36:08 PM »

What Harald said. Taking your question at face value, you're asking whether Effects need to be assigned to the Pool of the Ability they're created with. Insofar as I'm concerned this is a good simplification, but if it absolutely makes more sense to assign some other Pool to an Effect (the Pool of the Effect mostly matters in determining what needs to be spent in upkeep of the Effect, remember), go right ahead. It's the same as Harm and other such judgment calls: there's a default option, but if the situation makes something else seem more sensible, go for it.
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Simon JB
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« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2008, 12:50:55 AM »

Thank you both! Sorry I was a bit unclear, but you managed to answer my question nonetheless. I got confused in play the other day and was looking for the point of assigning a specific pool to an effect, and now I see it. Thanks again!

However, another thing about pools and effects and the such...

Normally you can only buy one bonus die for a roll with the pool belonging to the ability rolled. If you have the Secret of Retraining for example, should you be able to use one point from each pool or one from either for bonus dice?

And the same thing when using an effect for bonus dice on a roll. Is it given that you can always spend an effect all at once, for a huge lot of bonus dice (granted, that's not at odds with getting dice from an immediate support roll), or is there a point in saying that unless circumstances are special you're only able to buy one bonus die at a time for effect points?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2008, 03:39:49 AM »

I'd suggest that you can use one point of either Pool (which is quite useful to begin with, and can lead to a lot of interesting crunch combinations).

I wouldn't limit the amount of Effect spent as bonus dice unless I'd also limit the amount of bonus dice you can get through supportive actions.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2008, 11:48:32 AM »

I'd most probably permit the one bonus die from each Pool; it's a pretty and interesting mechanic, which also gives the otherwise low-powered Secret a bit of a power boost. However, I'd make this choice in relation to the campaign context, not in general - those example Secrets are not really intended to be plugged in without taking them through the normal contextual secret-creation process, as the crunch landscape actively changes the values of different resources, such as the ability to buy several bonus dice. Think of them as examples of different game mechanics, not as a balanced set of Secrets.
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Simon JB
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2008, 11:54:59 AM »

Sounds reasonable. Thanks.
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Simon JB
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2008, 10:57:35 AM »

New question!
In refreshment scenes, when events trigger your keys, do you get xp? We've been doing it like that, but everytime it happens I feel a bit unsure if it's right.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2008, 07:03:22 PM »

Sure, no reason not to give xp for those events that I can see.
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2008, 11:44:01 PM »

Key triggers always fire, regardless of the type of scenes. The only thing that is explicitly not possible in refreshment scenes is conflicts, since your guard is down.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2008, 11:56:57 PM »

Or perhaps one might say that if there was a conflict, the scene was not a refreshment scene in retrospect. I wouldn't forbid conflict before seeing how the scene goes down.
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Simon JB
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2008, 01:43:58 AM »

Right. Good to hear you guys have been thinking the way we have.
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