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Author Topic: DoW Question  (Read 1518 times)
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« on: December 01, 2005, 05:32:17 AM »

In my continuing effort to break myself on the wheel, last night I started our session with a kickin' duel of wits.  I ran into a big problem, though, and had to improvise, so I'd like your feedback on how to handle this:

The country is thrown into civil war between three factions.  The players, southern border lords, have gotten together with their southern peers to decide which faction to support.  Each is a viable power and each brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table, so it is a tough decision.  I set up each faction with an advocate among the southern lords and let the players choose as they saw fit.  What I ended up with was, essentially, a three-way duel of wits, which does not work.

We solved this by having two factions go at it, and then having the winner of that duel fight a second duel with the remaining faction.  This worked OK, but the third faction (the one the players supported, as it happened) sort of got a free pass.  There was no question it's goals would be part of the final compromise unless it got decisively beaten, while the first faction was completely out of the picture.  It was a little unsatisfying, and I'm wondering if there is a better way to handle a conflict that clearly has three sides. 

In a related, cheerful note, everyone in my group simultaneously adores the duel of wits and is terrified of the fight mechanics, so the game is morphing into one of courtly intrigue and diplomacy. 

--Jason
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Luke
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2005, 07:07:08 AM »

Did you allow the factions that weren't up to bat at the moment to help the faction they favored the most?

So you have A and B dueling it out. C supports B.

A loses. B and C go at it. A supports B because C screwed them in the previous duel.


The other side of something like this would be carefully framing the stakes to ensure that each side is going to get its say.

-L
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Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2005, 07:40:03 AM »

Did you allow the factions that weren't up to bat at the moment to help the faction they favored the most?

Yes, the faction not in play in each duel threw in dice, sometimes on both sides in different volleys.  It sounds like we handled it OK after all.  There was definitely an "oh, shit" moment when I realized the duel of wits absolutely does not support what I had arranged, which I imagined as a free-wheeling shouting match between three evenly-matched parties. 

We set the stakes of the first duel as all or nothing - the loser abandons their support and must throw in with one of the two remaining factions.  For the second, and thus more critical duel, the stakes were more conventional, with the winner being the faction the southern lords would ultimately back, but with a degree of support based on the margin of victory.  We didn't see any good way to keep the interests of the loser of the first duel in play. 

As it turned out, the second duel was a draw, so the southern lords did nothing, which was pretty interesting.  But to get there, we spent 15 minutes trying to figure out a way to have a three-way duel, which was a waste of time. 
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MetalBard
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2005, 08:38:19 AM »

This may be a bit of a weird idea, but what if you had three DoWs - A plays B, B plays C and then C plays A...  that way you match up all the arguments against each other, then you total the final body of argument results for each group.  Then you compare the BoAs and extrapolate compromises and/or concessions from those final numbers.  I think the only stipulation would have to be that each group would have to have their same intent for each "bout."

Does that make any sense as an alternative?
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"If you've ever told someone how your day went, you can narrate." - Andrew Norris at the Forge on player narration

My name is also Andrew and I have a  blog
Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2005, 08:58:14 AM »

Thanks for the suggestion - we thought about that but decided it would take too long.  Honestly we did all right, and it probably won't ever come up again, but I wondered how people would handle it.
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