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Author Topic: [Trollbabe] Multiple rolls in a conflict  (Read 2206 times)
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« on: July 15, 2005, 02:45:37 PM »

Here's something that has been giving me problems. I have two questions.
First, the stupid question: When you do a Conflict that isn't the One Roll type, do you roll all dice together, or do you roll the dice one at a time?
So, for instance, if your doing Action by Action, you need 3 successes out of a possible 5 rolls. Do you roll all 5 dice, and just see if you get three successes? (At which point you'd start deciding what rerolls to make.)

I think the answer here is you roll one die at a time, as - among other reasons - that draws out the tension more. But that leads me to the second question:

Second, if you roll one die at a time, what does this look like at the table? Do you narrate something with each roll, and if so, who narrates? And what effect can it have?
In trollbabe, the loser narrates, but at that point you know you have lost and you know what you have to narrate - a Discommode, an Injury, or whatever.
I'm not sure how to handle narration in the midst of a conflict.

Because of our dissatisfaction here, in our later sessions of Trollbabe, we started - pretty much without thinking about it - rolling all the dice at once to get them out of the way. But that was just as unsatisfying.

Help! :)
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Alan
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 03:35:38 PM »

Each roll is made one at a time.  Before each roll, there's a "free and clear" phase, where the player describes what action his character is taking.   Others may also make suggestions, but the rolling player is the one who decides what gets included.  Also, the GM contributes what npcs are trying to do, and also explains potential severity of consequences to npcs.  When everyone is happy, the player rolls his die.

After each roll, the player or the GM describe the results, as the roll indicates.  Then the player  returns to the free and clear phase and describes his character's next action.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2005, 04:08:25 PM »

Wow, I have been doing it wrong!
I've taken a while responding because I've been having trouble getting my head round it.

I think I've got it more or less, now. I'm going to pose a situation and answer it myself - and you can show me if I'm still going wrong.

So, let's say you're in an Action By Action conflict. The situation (from my last game): you're in the caves of a troll, having come here to grab a magic staff which you've just noticed is currently half buried under the body of the last owner, killed by the troll, as the troll appears in the chamber's entrance.
Your overall Goal for the scene - get out of the tunnel with the staff. You don't care whether the troll lives or dies. The troll wants to eat you and defend his home, but doesn't care about the staff.

How would you play this scene out under the Action By Action rolls.
What would be a suitable first action?

I'm guessing: "I try to grab the staff without being hit."
If I fail, I don't get it, but as long as I don't reroll and fail, I don't get too badly mauled by the troll.

Let's assume I fail.
On my next action, can I try the same action again?
In the conflict rules, it says if you fail something you can't succeed that thing in that scene, but maybe it's talking about the whole conflict goal, and not individual steps towards it?

If I succeed, I can try as my next action something like, "dodge around the troll," or "injure the troll", and for the final action, "run for freedom!" or "finish it off."

Is this the way I should be handling those conflicts with a Pace other than Full Conflict?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2005, 06:56:11 AM »

Oh, you're making my head hurt. This is so easy if you do it right.

1. "Roll" is a rules term that might include more than one die rolled in sequence. These are all considered re-rolls of the initial die roll, and should be paid for with a sheet item or a relationship. When that happens, call it a "series." A series may itself go all the way up to Incapacitation or Death.

2. "Conflict" is a rules-term which considers something that matters to the character to be in jeopardy - somewhere to go, a point to sway others, information to be discovered, a foe to be subdued or killed, a sudden attack to escape from, etc.

A conflict may be fully represented by one "roll" (as described above, including re-rolls). This is the easiest way to play Trollbabe is simply to play at one roll/series per conflict.

A conflict may also be represented by more drawn-out Paces, in which case you must carry out at least two (for exchange) or at least three (for action) rolls. But each of these rolls may be a series!

Get it? You can't move on to the next of the rolls until you decide, for the current roll, how far you want to take it in terms of re-rolls.

As far as narration goes, you can narrate any fucking thing you want as long as it's an exchange ("we crash together through the squawking chicken") or an action ("I get the pitchfork away from him"), as specified. AND that if the current roll has not settled the conflict (i.e. is not a second success or loss of three or third success or loss of five), then you don't narrate the conclusion of the conflict, you move on to the next roll (not re-roll, roll).

Now! Important point. There is one way for a conflict to be settled without achieving the two-of-three or the three-of-five. That's when one of the earlier rolls gets taken, by the trollbabe's player, all the way out to incapacitation or death. When that happens, the whole conflict is over.

Let me know if my head can stop hurting now. It's way harder to interpret you-alls misunderstandings than you might think.

Best,
Ron
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2005, 10:36:58 AM »

Oh, you're making my head hurt. This is so easy if you do it right.

That's good since my head hurts too. :)
Right, I understand the way Rolls/Series work.
One thing your explanation doesn't tell me, and this is where my head hurts, is:
Who narrates the intermediate, incomplete results?

If you're doing an Action By Action, after each Roll/Series, someone says something about whatever happened.
Let's say, you (the player) fail the first action but decide to let it stand - you don't go for a reroll, so that series is over. Who narrates what happens in that case?
Is this equivalent to a discommode?

Then you succeed the next roll with no rerolls required; so you now have one of your three needed successes. Who narrates what happened for that roll?

The way I've been playing, I've tended to skim over these intermediate results, as I'm not sure how to handle them.

If you have time, could you look back at my cave-troll-staff example above, and give two responses, please (preety please):
a) An off-the-top-of-the-head idea of how the first roll would play out, if the player failed and did not reroll.
b) An off-the-top-of-the-head idea of how the first roll would play out, if the player succeeded.

Darren
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Alan
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2005, 11:35:26 AM »

Oh, you're making my head hurt. This is so easy if you do it right.
Who narrates the intermediate, incomplete results?

There's two parts of the intermediate narration.  First, the results of the die roll just made.  The narrator for this is determined by the die roll rules -- usually the trollbabe's player narrates when a roll fails and the GM narrates when the roll succeeds.  The second portion of narration is the run up to the next roll, where player declares what the trollbabe does next in order to justify the next roll (or the use of a Reroll slot).  Other players can make suggestions and the GM must describe NPC reactions and possible consequences.  Then the next roll is made.

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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2005, 12:13:23 PM »

Alan got it 100% right. What he said.

Quote
So, let's say you're in an Action By Action conflict. The situation (from my last game): you're in the caves of a troll, having come here to grab a magic staff which you've just noticed is currently half buried under the body of the last owner, killed by the troll, as the troll appears in the chamber's entrance.
Your overall Goal for the scene - get out of the tunnel with the staff. You don't care whether the troll lives or dies. The troll wants to eat you and defend his home, but doesn't care about the staff.

How would you play this scene out under the Action By Action rolls.
What would be a suitable first action?

I'm guessing: "I try to grab the staff without being hit."
If I fail, I don't get it, but as long as I don't reroll and fail, I don't get too badly mauled by the troll.

Not horribly bad, but not good either. You haven't really stated an action so much as re-stated your goal. Also, the "without being hit" is unnecessary. Let that get taken care of by your re-roll choices and your narration. Just saying it here has no impact on what can or cannot happen.

Quote
Let's assume I fail.
On my next action, can I try the same action again?
In the conflict rules, it says if you fail something you can't succeed that thing in that scene, but maybe it's talking about the whole conflict goal, and not individual steps towards it?

Nope, you can't try the same action, but notice that your goal is still the same. You can still try to get the staff, and in this case, all that's been established that you failed to grab it. So come up with something besides "grab."

That's another reason why your original action-statement was kind of weak.

To reinforce Alan's point, the first thing you narrate is how the trollbabe's grab failed (and given how you stated it, she must be hit by the troll, but as you declined the re-roll, all he does is discommode her somehow).

Quote
If I succeed, I can try as my next action something like, "dodge around the troll," or "injure the troll", and for the final action, "run for freedom!" or "finish it off."

You got it! The GM must narrate that you grabbed the staff, but obviously, you still have a roll or two to go in order to succeed at your goal. So he narrates something that keeps you there, and you would then state an action of the sort you're describing.

Best,
Ron
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2005, 01:32:17 PM »

Thanks Alan and Ron, I think I've got it, so you can put away the headache medication.
Well, after this post. There's just one more thing, as Columbo would say.

Quote
<snip>
Your overall Goal for the scene - get out of the tunnel with the staff. You don't care whether the troll lives or dies. The troll wants to eat you and defend his home, but doesn't care about the staff.
<snip>
"I try to grab the staff without being hit."

Not horribly bad, but not good either. You haven't really stated an action so much as re-stated your goal.
I'm not following you here.
My goal is "get out of the cave with the staff."
Stating an action of "grab the staff" only fulfils part of the goal, and still leaves the escape.
Now I do follow you on what you say later in your post about the weakness of the "grab the staff" action, but say I come up with a better description of an action that ends up with the staff in my hands and doesn't cut down my options if I fail - assuming that, what's inherently wrong with that as a first action. I still have other obstacles to overcome before achieving the conflict goal, as I see it.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2005, 07:52:54 PM »

Hiya,

My only concern is that "grab" is often interpreted as a general "get" rather than a specific kind of getting. If you are sure that both you and the GM are leaving the door open for later for other ways to get the staff (if this grab fails), then all is well.

Best,
Ron
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2005, 08:11:17 PM »

Great, thanks again (and you, Alan).
Armed with my newfound wisdom, I'll be off to introduce two more players to Trollbabe on Thursday.
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