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Author Topic: Question: Using More/Less-Than traits, and trying to avoid conflict  (Read 4120 times)
Arturo G.
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Posts: 333


« on: September 15, 2005, 03:53:56 PM »


Hi folks!

I got my copy of MLwM yesterday. I'm discovering incredible nice things thanks to The Forge. I have now some new exciting games and almost no time to play. But I have the feeling that all this new stuff is going to encourage my players to find more time to play.

Reading the rules I was thinking...

1) If a minion is using a More/Less-Than trait to overcome a conflict without dice, I assume we should proceed as if he has drawn the dice and won. Thus, getting only Love in an overture scene, and Self-loathing in a Violence scene. Is it also posible to use bring these traits up to "fail" a Villainy scene and skip the Self-loathing point?

2) What happends if a minion is in a Violence/Villany scene and he presents a reasonable way to avoid the conflict in the last minute. Shall we consider the outcome as successfull (Self-loathing point), unsuccessfull (Weariness point) or as if nothing has happend?

Thanks in advance,
Arturo

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Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 12:04:26 AM »

Hi Arturo,

1) Yes (to everything). But remember, as GameMaster you frame the scene, and this gives you a lot of power over whether or not the more/less than humans will be relevant.

2) This should never happen. Make it clear to your players that each and every scene - except for (1) scenes in which the Master gives a command and the player does not try to resist and (2) Horror Revealed - will involve a conflict. This conflict will be decided by MtH, LtH or rolling the dice. But there are no scenes without a conflict.

In fact, a player who tries to avoid conflict is likely to break the game. Tell them to work with you to create the most interesting, poignant, heart-rending conflicts available. Tell them, whenever they try to avoid conflict, that you will not end the scene before a conflict has come up.

Have fun,
Victor
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 03:51:06 AM »

Hello,

I'm a little concerned with question #1. It seems to me as if More Than Human and Less Than Human are, by definition, impossible to utilize in Overture scenes, in mechanics terms. That is, you could do stuff that corresponds with them in these scenes, but they cannot replace the need to roll. That roll is based on specifically human interactions and therefore anything More or Less than that isn't going to work.

I'd be interested in your take on that, Paul.

Best,
Ron
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Victor Gijsbers
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 04:24:35 AM »

I have always allowed MtH and LtH to influence overtures, and this has made for some good and interesting scenes. I'm not sure the game will benefit from disallowing it.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 06:06:31 AM »

I take a very different tack than Victor. I never let MtH/LtH cancel the need for a die roll. If you haven't successfully Resisted a Command, you MUST devote at least one die roll to carrying it out. If your MtH allows you to accomplish the main point of the command without rolling, then your roll will have to be on some other set of Stakes. This has worked very well for me.
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2005, 06:12:19 AM »


Thanks, Victor! Pretty clear. All the game is conflict driven. Ok, not a relief in any scene (it is also said in the Manifesto on Mastering).


Ron:
Quote
I'm a little concerned with question #1. It seems to me as if More Than Human and Less Than Human are, by definition, impossible to utilize in Overture scenes, in mechanics terms.

I'm surprised. I can imagine many More/Less-Than-Human examples which can be meaningful in overtures. It is not the one I like most, but the example in page 22 could work: "Powerfull thuthful and persuasive, except between midnight and 2:00 a.m."
I supposed that it was a matter of roleplaying appropriately to bring the trait up, as in any other kind of scene. What Victor says sounds quite reasonable. It should be nice to see players trying to roleplay what it is a major feature of their characters also in overtures.

Is there any game-balance or mechanical reason I'm missing to disallow it?
I'm also interested on what Paul thinks about it.

Cheers,
Arturo


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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2005, 06:25:55 AM »


Michael:
Quote
I never let MtH/LtH cancel the need for a die roll. If you haven't successfully Resisted a Command, you MUST devote at least one die roll to carrying it out.

This is different question. I didn't think they were incompatible things.
Let me recall the rule in page 27 which says: "... a minion's obligation to act on a command is lifted after a single dice roll is performed in service to it.".
I think that it is possible to do one (or even more) scenes carring out the nastiest part of the job without rolls (using More/Less-Than-Human traits), but you still need to ask for a scene in which both, the master's command and a dice roll are involved.

I think is funny that I am arguing about this questions when I have not even play once. I suppose I have the rules really fresh on my mind, and I was trying to imagine all this type of possibilities.

Cheers,
Arturo
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2005, 10:54:23 AM »

Good questions.

I don't let a character's MtH or LtH produce fluctuations in stats. When a MtH or LtH is relevant to the outcome of a scene, the conflict resolution formulae and the various stat fluctuations of success and failure associated with them are set aside, and the scene is roleplayed to conclusion in keeping with the MtH/LtH. The formulae and stat fluctuations are for the minion's struggle to be human. When it comes to the MtH and LtH, there is no question that the character is something other than human. A dog doesn't gain self-loathing for eating from the cat's litterbox. A dog-faced boy doesn't gain Love for tracking down a lost baby with his unerring ability to track anything as long as he does so on all fours.

Can a player use a MtH to sing a troubled Connection to an untroubled sleep? Yes. But consider that there was no human work in it, and so the minion gains no Love. And that dog-faced boy who tracked the lost baby doesn't get Love for having tracked it. What he did was what he is. (He may get Love for how he returns it to the mother. But that depends on an Overture roll.)

Can a player use a MtH to avoid a specific situation that would represent a Violence or Villainy roll for any other minion? Yes. And neither Weariness or Self-loathing is gained.

Can a player use a MtH to avoid rolling in service to a command from the Master? No. The rules require one roll in service to the command.

Paul
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2005, 06:12:58 PM »

Hello,

I think my point is not being understood, and so Paul's explanation might be seen as different from what I was saying. It is not different.

No one said anything about MtH or LtH not being "used" or "relevant" in Overture scenes. I am talking about whether they can be utilized to avoid rolling in Overture scenes, thus getting a point of Love without the risk of Self-Loathing.

From what Paul says, no they cannot - if you want that Love, then you need to risk the Self-Loathing, and that means a roll.

Best,
Ron
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2005, 06:33:03 PM »

From what Paul says, no they cannot - if you want that Love, then you need to risk the Self-Loathing, and that means a roll.

Yep.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 390


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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2005, 01:44:29 AM »

Interesting. I'll try it out next time.

(Unless I have to master another strictly timed one-shot, as my original interpretation of the rules moves the game forward faster.)
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2005, 01:56:10 AM »


Ok, it is now perfectly senseful for me.

Indeed, these answers already clarified my next question. I was thinking about the possibility of More/Less-Than-Human to seriously affect the game balance due to risk elimination. But it is simple: Nothing is risked, nothing can be gained. I think I also see the Michael's point now.

Thank's a lot to everybody.
Arturo

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