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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Hint questions.  (Read 5380 times)
Trevis Martin

Posts: 514

« on: December 06, 2008, 01:19:37 AM »


So a ways back someone asked this question

Quote from: Plotin
As the wording of the sentence gives the demon as the active part on the first roll, “success”  means victory by the demon and “failure” victory by the target; with the second roll, it is the other way around. I can’t believe that this is how Hint is supposed to work. Or does it really mean:

First roll:   
Power wins over Will: proceed to roll Humanity vs. victories
Will wins over Power: hallucinations for the target, do not proceed to roll

Second roll:
Humanity wins over Victories: target’s player may ask question
Victories win over Humanity: convulsions for the target

Which given the way the sentence is written in the book seems right.  And I'm fine with it.  Now the thing I'm wondering about is is -1 cumulative penalty mentioned on p.53.  The book says that
...each successive attempt with the same demon will incur a cumulative -1 penalty, including unsuccessful instances. These penalties are permanent.
  So now I'm wondering, since the demon is the one who acts on the target in the first roll, does that mean that

a.) the demon is at a cumulative -1 penalty to win the first roll?  or
b.) does it mean the target is at the -1 for the first roll? or
c.) does the cumulative -1 only apply to the second roll (the actual Hint)

It would have a different in game effect.  If the option a is true.he demon would be less and less able to win the Power vs Will roll, which, if we accept Plotin's interpretation of the power would lead to more victories for the target and thus stronger hallucination penalties.  This progressively weakens Hint from being used as a weapon.  If the option b is true then the demon becomes more and more able to win the Power vs Will roll and is also stronger during the second roll and more likely to inflict lethal special damage.  This makes Hint something of a strong weapon if the demon continually hits the same target with it.  If option c is true then the targets chances of avoiding the second stage of Hint remain more or less the same over time (other things being equal.)

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 06:19:22 PM »

Hi Trevis,

Your statement of the Hint being the second roll is incorrect in a significant way. The actual Hint is the combined effect of succeeding in both rolls. That affects some of the nuances of my answer.

The original intention was for the penalty to operate for (a). Remember, if (a) fails, then the sequence stops and (b) isn't rolled at all. In other words, the chance to get only hallucinations increases with subsequent attempts at Hint, successful or not.

... If the option a is true.he demon would be less and less able to win the Power vs Will roll, which, if we accept Plotin's interpretation of the power would lead to more victories for the target and thus stronger hallucination penalties.  This progressively weakens Hint from being used as a weapon.

I see it a little differently and perhaps more straightforwardly: the cumulative penalty decreases the utility of Hint to the sorcerer (or anyone questioning the demon in terms of this ability) over time.

Also, this has nothing to do with any "interpretation" by Plotin. There wasn't any interpretation. He asked a rules-question and was answered, as far as I can tell.

Finally, your presentation of Hint as a weapon is interesting and not related to anything in the parent thread. If I understand correctly, you're talking about a demon "hitting" someone with Hint, such that they are either wracked with hallucinations or damaged quite badly. I'd consider that particular group's interpretation of sorcery and demon-stuff very carefully before even beginning to interpret the ability in this way. To me, it does not follow as an automatic application given the description alone - at least by my reading, which is colored (or polluted) by authorial perspective.

Let's say, though, that it's consistent with how insight, demonic stuff, and character action are conjoined in your game. All right, in that case, Hint could utilized as a weapon. Since it has no range, doing so would also require some kind of contact with a target, which in many cases would entail an attack to grab or something like that. And given the cumulative penalty, it actually becomes better as a weapon in terms of inducing terrible hallucinations, to be treated as one-time penalties (basically temporary damage) based on the Power's victories over Stamina. And then, potentially, if that roll is successful, there's the big gun lurking in the background of possibly failing the second roll and being really hurt. Interestingly, full success on both rolls would constitute a "miss" for such an attack. Interesting.

Best, Ron
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 06:21:43 PM by Ron Edwards » Logged
Trevis Martin

Posts: 514

« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 12:18:35 PM »

You're right that the weapon thing isn't related to the parent thread, I think the Hint as a weapon thing comes from an old thread or post by Mike Holmes if I remember right.  It was me rereading the powers section, paying particular attention to the mechanical effects of powers, and getting a little confused by the penalty sentence since the power has a two roll sequence and it seemed to me to be unclear which roll was penalized.  It makes sense the way you put it.

I looked at the parent thread again and I agree that it isn't an interpretation by Plotin, I was confused (I seem to do that a lot, don't I?) by the discussion about interpreting the hint roll in the middle of the thread.

Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
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