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Inactive Forums => Chimera Creative => Topic started by: Neil the Wimp on June 25, 2008, 02:54:09 AM



Title: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Neil the Wimp on June 25, 2008, 02:54:09 AM
We've been playing a great game of Nine Worlds recently (I won't bore you with actual play, as most of it is 'you had to be there' funny).  Now that the PCs have resolved a few muses, they have some Pride to play with.  That brought up two rules wrinkles. 

First, when someone bids for trumps, when do they declare what suit is trumps?  Is it before or after people chose Urges and declare their fate scores?  If trumps are declared before urges are chosen, can someone choose a non-trump urge to minimise the number of points they give away?

Second, when a Talisman wins some points in a conflict, what can those points be spent on?  Specifically, can they be spent to increase the controlling character's muses?

Ta,

Neil.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 25, 2008, 08:57:15 AM
Hello,

I'll hop in pending Matt's arrival. As I understand it ...

Quote
First, when someone bids for trumps, when do they declare what suit is trumps?  Is it before or after people chose Urges and declare their fate scores?  If trumps are declared before urges are chosen, can someone choose a non-trump urge to minimise the number of points they give away?

Trump is declared before Urges are chosen. Everyone else is forced to use that Trump suit, period (that's the point), even if, and hopefully if as far as the Trumping person is concerned, that gives them worse Fate scores then they'd get by choosing their Urges freely.

Quote
Second, when a Talisman wins some points in a conflict, what can those points be spent on?  Specifically, can they be spent to increase the controlling character's muses?

I think so. The idea is that a Talisman is a sidekick, more-or-less, and so rewards pertaining to it get shifted over to its owner.

Matt, correct me if I've gone astray ...

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Blankshield on June 26, 2008, 08:16:38 AM
Hello,

I'll hop in pending Matt's arrival. As I understand it ...

Quote
First, when someone bids for trumps, when do they declare what suit is trumps?  Is it before or after people chose Urges and declare their fate scores?  If trumps are declared before urges are chosen, can someone choose a non-trump urge to minimise the number of points they give away?

Trump is declared before Urges are chosen. Everyone else is forced to use that Trump suit, period (that's the point), even if, and hopefully if as far as the Trumping person is concerned, that gives them worse Fate scores then they'd get by choosing their Urges freely.
[/quote]

I don't think that's quite right - my understanding is that it works like any trump-using card game: you can play whatever you like, but trump always beats non-trump.  So if Trump is spades, and I play 1 spade and you play 11 hearts, I still win.

Quote
Quote
Second, when a Talisman wins some points in a conflict, what can those points be spent on?  Specifically, can they be spent to increase the controlling character's muses?

I think so. The idea is that a Talisman is a sidekick, more-or-less, and so rewards pertaining to it get shifted over to its owner.

Ayup, I think it works the same for narration rights, too.

James
(Not Matt, but I played him in a demo.)


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Neil the Wimp on June 27, 2008, 03:51:36 PM
I don't think that's quite right - my understanding is that it works like any trump-using card game: you can play whatever you like, but trump always beats non-trump.  So if Trump is spades, and I play 1 spade and you play 11 hearts, I still win.

OK.  That agrees with the example in the book, where the NPCs play a non-trump suit and then lose.  It could add a little tactical sophistication into the game: if you bid trumps, you're very likely to win the conflict, but at the cost of there being very few points on the table for you to steal. 

And thanks for the confirmations on Talismans' points. 

Neil.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Valamir on June 30, 2008, 08:45:50 AM
A tip on Talismans that is very important to understand.

You cannot successfully use weak (low point) Talisman's to be a Head-to-head addition to your character's firepower in a conflict.  Using a weak Talisman in this way serves only to dish more points to your opponent (who will defeat weak talismans easily).  If a player envisions a Talisman as a fighting partner or a source of butt kicking, they'll need to save up a bunch of points (probably 15 minimum).

On the other hand weak Talisman's have their uses.  They let you declare actions different from your main character's declared actions.  The trick to using weak Talismans successfully is to declare actions for them that are extremely different from your main character (and each other) in such a way that your opponent cannot oppose both you and them and has to choose.  If they oppose the Talisman your main character gets to act "for free" if they oppose your main character then it doesn't matter that the Talisman is weak, its goes off and does its thing.  In this case its "thing" will not be capturing points and shifting points around on your opponent's character sheet...instead it will be establishing narrative fact that can be built upon later.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Matt Snyder on July 01, 2008, 08:21:34 AM
Hi, Neil. First off, thanks for playing!

The advice here is sound. James' (Blankshield's) clarification is correct. You can choose to play a different suit, but ANY rating by a Trump suit will beat you.

Notice! That means it's still possible (but unlikely) to win victory with a Non-Trump hand. For example, suppose you have two opponents, one of whom declared Trump as Diamonds. Well, that person is very likely to beat you with his Diamonds hand unless you play a better Diamonds hand. But, for whatever reason, say you have zero Diamonds cards and a 0 in  your Stasis Urge. So, you have to play, oh, Spades.

However, suppose the OTHER person plays also chooses not to play Diamonds as Trump. Instead, she plays Clubs just because it's all she's got or something. Her Clubs hand is worse than your Spades hand.

This is how it goes down:

1) The player who declared Trump is going to win big. He's also going to be the final narrator.

2) But, you also win a victory, and you earn narration. Even though you didn't play Trump.

3) The player who chose to play Clubs is the big loser and has no narration.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 01, 2008, 08:50:42 AM
Hey Matt,

That's if the Spades player and Clubs player are on opposite sides of a conflict, right?

Let's say it's a straight-up fight for simplicity's sake, and the Diamonds player's character is fighting the other two, who are buddies.

Then, given the Trump and all the rest as you've described, what happens? I was under the impression that the Diamonds-played character simply kicks the other two in the balls, captured Points and all, and the Spades player in this case does not actually get a victory because he and his buddy were not opposed.

(Hoping I'm not screwing up again ...)

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Blankshield on July 02, 2008, 06:32:04 AM
Ron, we got around that problem by (almost) always opposing each other, in minor, but critical ways.  Like:

"Romulus wants to fight off the Harpies, all right, but he's also going to look better than you doing it.  At the end of this fight, there's gonna be no shit dripping from my hair."

"Oh, no you don't.  You're going to be as shit-covered as the rest of us, if I have to fling it myself."

James


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 02, 2008, 08:21:42 AM
I don't see it as a problem, James. Establishing who is opposed to whom is how we got into knowing we need to use the cards, so the information's already all right there. Seems to me that the Spades and Clubs characters can enter right into a straight-up fight with the other character without any need for tweaking and forced sub-conflicts.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Blankshield on July 02, 2008, 04:31:43 PM
Hmm.  I probably could have phrased that better.  How about this: We found that the system worked OK for A+B+C vs Bad Guy, but where it really started to shine was A+B+C vs Bad Guy, where A and B each want to outshine the other, and C is in love with A, so wants to impress A, but A wants nothing to do with C, so wants to be emphatically not impressed, and D wants the Bad Guy to win, but doesn't want B or C to know he's a traitor.  A already knows, so no conflict there.

James


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 02, 2008, 04:50:37 PM
Right - you have a lot of conflicts happening at once, and that's cool.

As long as we're drifting the fuck out of this thread, here's another thing, though - that it seems to me you're double-dipping a little. As written, no one is actually opposing the bad guy! No matter what that player (presumably the GM) draws, he's going to get what he wants.

I think we need an author call on that issue. I'm going to lobby for a relatively hard-ass, choose-it-or-lose-it approach, even though I bet that interferes with a number of people's current interpretations and use of the game.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Matt Snyder on July 03, 2008, 06:19:23 AM
Hey Matt,

That's if the Spades player and Clubs player are on opposite sides of a conflict, right?

Absolutely correct. That's important.

The thing I should have clarified is that even though "you" won a victory, I should have made it clear that was only against the player who played Clubs. NOT against the Trump player's objectives in any way.

Quote
Let's say it's a straight-up fight for simplicity's sake, and the Diamonds player's character is fighting the other two, who are buddies.

Then, given the Trump and all the rest as you've described, what happens? I was under the impression that the Diamonds-played character simply kicks the other two in the balls, captured Points and all, and the Spades player in this case does not actually get a victory because he and his buddy were not opposed.

If the Clubs and Spades players are "on the same team" (i.e. not opponents with each other) as you suggest, then CORRECT.

If it's a "royal rumble" with all participants fighting all other participants (a crazy, all out fight), then the Trump player wins big, but the Spades player wins a little.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Matt Snyder on July 03, 2008, 07:06:36 AM
I'm not following that last sentence, Ron. Can you clarify? Specifically, I'm not certain what you mean by "choose-it-or-lose-it approach."

Do you mean "If you don't actually say you're an opponent, then you're not. And tough shit if the person does something you didn't resist"?

If so, yes, I agree!


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 03, 2008, 08:23:45 AM
That's it exactly. In my post on July 1, I consider the points I'm making there to be a feature, not a problem.

Well, wait a minute. I'm also asking whether the character can oppose a foe but also try to do something to someone else at the same time.

As in, Chloe, Zoe, and Moe are all player-characters fighting (um) a gorgon. The gorgon is blasting them all to stone, toot-sweet. They are trying to do all sorts of things to defeat.

So the question is, given that each one is trying to do something concrete (i.e., not just "resist" the gorgon's attack but to defeat it), can any of them also declare conflicts against one another, of the sort James is describing?

My tentative take is "no." If Zoe decides that humiliating Moe is more important than fighting the gorgon, then her cards "offense" is compared to Moe's only, and the gorgon is safe from Zoe during this whole go-round. Zoe, of course, is not safe from the gorgon at all.

Is that right?

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Matt Snyder on July 03, 2008, 08:40:47 AM
Quote
I'm also asking whether the character can oppose a foe but also try to do something to someone else at the same time.

When I play, we play where a player can oppose a foe, and also oppose someone else at, say, non-fighting stuff at the same time. Of course, this all gets announced (i.e. the good ol' "free and clear" stage).

So, I think(?) you're saying that you'd rather not play it that way? Is that even right? If so, care to explain?

Also, just for fun I double-checked. The text doesn't not specify whether you can do this. It does specify that you can have nay number of distinct opponents, however.

I'm much less certain on whether examples hint you can do this. I just can't recall off-hand.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 03, 2008, 10:00:03 AM
The trouble is that "oppose" is too vague for the question I'm asking. If someone is trying to hit my character, then by definition, given that my cards might be higher than his, I'm opposing him. The question is where my character is putting his or her proactive effort.

What I'm talking about is probably better understood as the classic attack, and let all the defending be considered automatic. If everyone's attacking "everyone," then I guess that makes sense that every single hand of cards will affect every single hand "beneath" it in the Fate order. Some of the game text seems like it's written with that in mind, but as you say, it's not 100% explicit.

It's also better discussed if we had a really good in-play example to work with, but anyway ...

Back to Chloe, Zoe, Moe, and the gorgon. Let's keep it straightforward: each of the characters is trying to "beat" the gorgon, with exactly how being left up to the Urges per draw of cards. And the gorgon is trying to beat any or all of them, as many as it can get, apparently with its stonifying gaze, but hey, that'll be left up to its chosen Urges too (although we can take it as given that it's got some Trump potential for Stasis, duh).

Now - the gorgon pulls out its Trump potential for Diamonds and the other characters are 100% stuffed by it. This is, of course, no different from the gorgon simply getting the best draw even without its Trump. Whatever. It wins. Let's say the best Fate scores are, in order, Chloe's, Zoe's, and Moe's.

I think we've established one thing from earlier in this conversation, that there is no reason for Chloe's hand to be compared with Zoe's and Moe's, and no reason for Zoe's hand to be compared with Moe's. There aren't any Points or whatever going on in those comparisons. In this case, the order among the three player-characters is of no interest. No one narrates except the gorgon player, presumably the GM.

Now for the real question. Let's back it up to before the draw. This time, the person playing Zoe says, "I'm gonna show up Chloe, that snotty wench!"

The question is, does her attack on the gorgon actually count in game terms? Or does it become just Color?

OK, the cards turn out exactly the way they did in the previous description. The gorgon beats all three characters, and neither Chloe nor Moe compare their cards to anyone except the gorgon ... but now, once the gorgon player has finished, then the person playing Zoe compares her cards to Chloe's. Zoe has a better Fate score, so regardless of the fact that they are all now statues, Zoe did in fact show up Chloe.

What I don't know is, if Zoe had actually had the winning score, whether she would have been considered to have beaten the gorgon. As I understand it, by wanting to show up Chloe as her primary purpose in this round, she gave up her "gorgon attacking rights" and the gorgon is safe from her. So it beats the other two and basically ignores Zoe's attack, which was effectively (mechanically) directed at Chloe.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Matt Snyder on July 03, 2008, 11:16:16 AM
Quote
OK, the cards turn out exactly the way they did in the previous description. The gorgon beats all three characters, and neither Chloe nor Moe compare their cards to anyone except the gorgon ... but now, once the gorgon player has finished, then the person playing Zoe compares her cards to Chloe's. Zoe has a better Fate score, so regardless of the fact that they are all now statues, Zoe did in fact show up Chloe.

What I don't know is, if Zoe had actually had the winning score, whether she would have been considered to have beaten the gorgon. As I understand it, by wanting to show up Chloe as her primary purpose in this round, she gave up her "gorgon attacking rights" and the gorgon is safe from her. So it beats the other two and basically ignores Zoe's attack, which was effectively (mechanically) directed at Chloe.

Ah, I get it.

But ... no. What you suggest is too limiting in my mind. I get how it could be, what, narratively more interesting, even strategic? Something like that. But, I really see it as counter to the purpose I loaded in the game. And, of course, if you see great fun in that option, go for it!

(What you're suggesting Ron reminds me some of sorcerer "offense" and "defense" in initiative, I think.)

Regardless, in Nine Worlds, "attacks" that you can aim only at one purpose, and that if you do so you must ignore another purpose is definitely not how I envision or play the game. (Presumably, this also means you might say one purpose, find out something a second later and go "Oh, wait. No, not that. This instead is my purpose, let's rock." Also not that too!)

You have a fate score. Viewing it as "attack" and "defense" is misleading. It's not that. It's "Who wins?" Never, ever does a Fate score "defend" against an opponent, and then NOT produce a victory. If you're comparing Fate scores at all, then you are opponents. One will emerge as a victor, regardless of who said what. (Don't misread that last bit too much; someone did have to say at least "no way!" or something to declare opposition. You should know before-hand whose fates you compare.)

Now, it gets tricky. The game text explicitly does say something like "Don't try to do too much in a phase. If you do, you'll have to spread it out over a couple phases to enact your plan." How does one square that with, "You can declare as many opponents as you like?" That's tricky.

My quick answer is the usual flip designer reaction: "Eh, it doesn't come up much in actual play."

But, I think the slightly better answer is that the nature of these scores flying around are intended as narrative constraints. So, "Whaddya mean HE beat ME, but I beat HER? How are we going to explain that?!?" And, then, the magic happens when they do.


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 03, 2008, 01:26:54 PM
Actually, I agree. It got mixed up in my mind with another game.

I'll revisit this thread which I think I totally fucked up for the original poster and make sense of what I really want to say.

A bit later. Sorry about introducing all the flying squirrels.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Nine Worlds] Trumps and Talismans questions
Post by: Neil the Wimp on July 04, 2008, 01:01:52 AM
I'll revisit this thread which I think I totally fucked up for the original poster and make sense of what I really want to say.

No, you didn't.  It's an interesting discussion, and touches on a couple of things that were starting to come up in play.  So yeah, it was fine.  I'm looking forward to it continuing.

Neil.