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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Why Group Conflict Is So Confusing...  (Read 9607 times)
jburneko
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« on: February 09, 2006, 06:04:25 PM »

Ron had this to say in an Actual Play thread about the common confusion over Sorcerer's group resolution process:

Quote
What concerns me about the dice is that complex group resolution in Sorcerer is easier, faster, and more reliably decisive than any RPG known, relative to the detail. (Yes, Dogs fans, it's true.) Yet for some reason people keep insisting on playing it as if it were Vampire or Over the Edge, adding complications like initiative in the former case and reducing it to freeform with arbitrary "roll now" bits in the latter.

I thought I'd address this to sort out the concepts in my mind since I've been working on Sorcerer Unbound again.  I think what trips people up most is that what comes out of your mouth doesn't match 1-to-1 with what actually happens in the game world.  In a game like Dogs or Capes or even Trollbabe there's this uber goal: Does X Happen? but there is still a 1-to-1 match between saying, "I do this" or "I do that" with a die roll or other application of mechanic.  But in Sorcerer there are these boundary conditions that can happen that can get confusing or frustrating when a minute ago you said you were going to do X but now X doesn't seem possible or makes no sense in the context of how the situation has evolved since the die roll.

Example 1: The Impossible Goal.

Imagine Abagail and her demon Brawl are rummaging around a file room.  Suddenly, NPC Christopher starts unlocking the door.  Let's say that Abagail's player wants BOTH Abagail and her demon to hide.  All it takes for this goal to become impossible for Amy to achieve is for the GM to announce some other action for Brawl other than hiding.  It's even impossible for Amy to get Brawl to hide.  Here's why.

Presumably the GM will be rolling Stamina for Christopher to see when he makes it through the door.  The GM announces for Brawl that he lunges at the door 'ROWR!'.  Abagail has to decide.  She can announce that she herself hides or she can try and at least stop Brawl from attacking.  Ordering Brawl to hide is pointless because although it may stop him from attacking he won't have a chance to hide because Christopher is coming through that door on this die roll.  There is no way for Abagail to get Brawl hidden yet alone herself.

I think this is frustrating for some people.  They want to find someway to give Amy the chance of getting Abagail AND Brawl hidden before Christopher comes through the door and I don't see it.  At least in Dogs you can put forth: Do Abagail and Brawl hide before Christopher comes in the room?  as the stakes and Abagail and Brawl can have a whole argument (blow for blow matching the dice) before that door opens.

Example 2: Out of Stamina Mid-Round Condition.

This ones easy I'm sure but it's still a confusing case.  Arthur and Brandon are duking it out with a baseball bat and crowbar in the back alley.  They both declare attacks on each other and Arthur whacks Brandon with the baseball bat for more penalties than Brandon has Stamina.  What happens?  Is Brandon winded and so his action goes away?  Or does Arthur just roll all those penalties as bonuses on his defense?

Example 3: The Evolving Situation and The Irrelivant Action Problem.

It is possible do everything 'correct' to make sure your declared action 'go off' and have it simply not make sense given the change in situation.  Abagail's action is to talk Brandon down and convince him that violence isn't the answer.  Brandon attacks Abagail and Christopher attacks Brandon.  The order is Brandon, Christopher, Abagail.

Abagail really wants to talk Brandon down so she rolls one die and either miractulously succeeds or manages to fend off enough penalties to make her action still viable.  Then Christopher whacks Brandon with Total Victory and manages to knock him out.  Abagail's action is....?  Pointless.  It makes no sense now because Brandon is on the floor unconcious.

In really complicated on going multi-round situations this can lead either to confusion, because you really want to some how make Abagail's action count but it just doesn't fit anymore, or frustration from feelings of being cheated out of an action, "If I'd known he was going to be unconcious then I would have done something else this round, etc."

Example 3a: Resolution Of Action A makes Action B seem weird or awkward.

Same situation Above except the order is Abagail, Brandon, Christopher.  Brandon chooses the 1-die defense and fails, so Abagail has talked him down but the reason Brandon went with one die was because he wanted to attack.  So, um, what does this mean?  Abagail has succeeded in talking Brandon down but Brandon still has an incoming attack?  There appears to be no difference in this situation between aborting to defend against Abagail and going with the 1 die because either way attacking makes little sense.

Example 3b: Earlier Victory Negated By Later Action

Same order as above.  Abagail goes first we'll say that Brandon aborts his action to defend but still looses.  So Brandon has been talked down but then Christopher whacks him.  Hard to imagine this won't re-insense Brandon to violence negating Abagail's achievement.  Note: Can Christopher voluntary abort his action or must he follow through if he's not defending or had his action made irrelivant by situation?

I think all the patches people try to apply to the Sorcerer resolution system are an attempt to fix the problem of a player saying, "I do X" and then have X not happen or become irrelivant or negated.

My questions are: Are all the above situations correctly staged and interpreted?  In places where I haven't offered an interpretation what are the answers to my questions?  Finally, are there any other confusing situations I've missed that you can think of?

Thanks.

Jesse






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Bill Cook
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2006, 09:10:49 PM »

Re: ex. 1.

I don't see that as an unexpected resolution. Anytime the GM announces a counter to your intent for a bound demon, you're not going to get what you want without burning a round, mastering it. (Unless the GM allowed a snap roll, a la self-mastery.) (p. 108)

Yea, upon rereading, that is an impossible goal. But there's some degree of controller assumption with regard to the demon that Abagail must surrender.

Re: ex. 2.

Let's say Arthur and Brandon both have Stamina 5. Brandon's defense sucked and Arthur gets 5 successes. Those become 5 next and 1 lasting damage penalties. Time to roll for Brandon's crowbar attack. Consulting the damage penalty effects (p. 107), .. Brandon is indeed incapacitated. If he's a flatscan, forget it. If he's a Sorcerer, he can master to regain up to 5 dice of Stamina. (i.e. Will vs. score dice to regain.)

Not sure where you get the idea to apply Arthur's successes as a bonus to his defense.

Re: ex. 3.

This is firing off references to TSOY in my mind. Specifically, Clinton's concept of parallel and perpendicular actions. To me, Abigail's argument is her defense against Brandon's attack. So I would consider hers a passive action and reserve her roll.

But to play along, lost relevance is only a hurdle if you thought you had a guarantee. Sorcerer commits you. Much like the script in BW.

Re: ex. 3a.

This feels like straining, but, keeping everything parallel, Abigail's success doesn't determine that she's talked Brandon down. (With one or two exceptions, as near as I can tell, the group mechanic doesn't determine anything, ever.) She has applied narrative force. That's it. So her successes apply as penalties against Brandon's next action. If he persists, he'll likely be ineffective. If he aborts, he accepts delay to protect his measure. They're very different choices.

(I guess it depends if you want to categorize damage (TSOY does), but if you apply her successes as damage penalties and they rate an effect, you could say he's the social equivalent of incapacitated, i.e. demoralized, and can at best master for score dice. That's getting kind of esoteric.)

Re: ex. 3b.

Yea, Chris has to whack Brandon. (Poor guy.) As a GM, you could rule that his successes act as a one-time rollover bonus, reflecting Brandon becoming incensed.

** ** **

It sounds like you've got a hangup over the unexpected, wasted and inappropriate resolution that the high-die ordering allows. Or maybe you're concerned over the lack of clarity. Not meaning to be negative at all, but I think it's your bias that prompts you to elucidate these cases.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2006, 09:55:50 PM »

I like dissecting out examples like these, but you beat me to it, Bill. (Looks like that multi-thread dialogue we had a while back paid off)

Anyway, I don't see a shred of problem with any of those, Jesse. In every case, what I see is flat-out solving of common RPG announcement problems.

#1. Basically, too bad, Abagail. You can't get what you want (we both hide!). Jesse, you see what's going on, right? The player is trying to play the demon. However, the GM plays demons. That fundamental rules-break is the single and only source of frustration in your described situation. If the player were not trying to break a rule, he or she would not be having this problem.

#2. Both. Arthur gets the penalties as a bonus to whatever comes next, and Brandon is hosed - screw his announced action, he's seeing stars. (Unless he wants to do the Will thing and carry on with his attack, which is permitted.)

Side note: in Sorcerer, you can lose actions when they are rendered irrelevant - best example is, the guy you were just trying to shoot jumps over the cliff. There you are, and I guess you can shoot into empty space if you want, but typically, the player aborts the action - classic bit where he almost pulls the trigger, then doesn't and points the gun up, looking grim. "Damn, he's fast."

Another example is what this case indicates - that the degree of penalties makes the character go all kerflooey, so who cares what you announced if you're counting the tweety-birds circling your skull. Don't like it? Make a Will roll.

[Brandon, regarding the bonuses, Jesse's referring to the fact that scores don't go into the negatives in Sorcerer - say if Brandon had Stamina 4 and has total penalties of 6 - the excess go over to Arthur as a bonus.]

#3. Ah! Why look, I was just talking about this above. Jesse? Too bad. The character typically aborts the action and stands there miffed. That's right.

Me, I like this effect during play. It has everything to do with events in novels, movies, comics, and (ahem) real life (and it's not often I say that), and nothing to do with the fucking nonsense "my turn I go" logic seen in RPGs and computer games.

Announcement in Sorcerer is, indeed, a risk. Complicated situations = unpredictable mid-mess outcomes = pre-empted or screwy outcomes.

Learning how to make sure one's opponents face these situations instead of oneself ... now that's when the system starts to kick in.

3a - Bill's right, but hey, if the player wants to accept that the character is talked down, then the action gets cancelled. If not, it proceeds with the defender getting Abagail's victories in bonus dice.

3b - Nothing stops Brandon from attacking on a later round - he's been talked down for now, that's all. Again, the talking-down victories will be fine penalties.

Jesse, none of the above are patches. Everything I say up there is applying the rules exactly. There is no discrepancy between the written rules and what I'm saying here.

And I'll kneecap the next bastard who says different. Whoever it is, I'll tell you now: the game is better than you.

Best,
Ron


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jburneko
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2006, 11:41:55 PM »

Hello Ron,

Nope.  I agree, fully, rules as written.  I wasn't claiming that these situations NEEDED patches.  I'm saying inexperienced Sorcerer players encounter them and feel the need for a patch because, I think, they want to protect everyone's 'action' in a round.   By the way almost all of these situations are versions of things that happened directly from my own play of the game.  All of them, at the time, produced a kind of a choked up feeling where I thought I'd done something wrong and had backed myself into a corner.

With example #1 I see what you're saying about playing the demon.  I was thinking about situations in movies where two people are seaching a room and someone is about to enter.  One of them shouts, "Quick HIDE!" and then they both do so successfully.  I think I see now that in such as case both characters want to hide in the first place.  The "Quick HIDE!" line isn't an order it's just dialogue cementing the actions the two characters are taking.

Pure rules question: How does the roll your Will to overcome penalty work mid-rouind?  Let's be exact.  Arthur and Brandon are attacking each other.  Both have Stamina 5 but Brandon has 2 bonus dice from something or other but Brandon has a spectacularly bad roll and Arthur a spectacularly good one.

Arthur: 6 6 8 8 9
Brandon: 1 1 1 3 3 5 5

Arthur wins with 5 victories.  So Brandon's working on 6 penalties come his action.  More than his Stamina.  So he want's roll his Will.  His Will's kind of low so he decides to only risk 3 dice of his Stamina and succeeds!  How do those 3 dice and the six penalities and the seven dice already on the table al relate?

Here's how I see the clearified explination of Sorcerer's ordering system.  The high-die rule isn't an initiative system embeded in an action roll.  In fact, it isn't even an exception to the normal rules.  The player with the high-die is simply going to have victories over everyone else involved in the conflict.  He isn't going first but rather he's the most successful.  His action carries the most narrative weight and thus is narrated first.  As such, it's possible for one person's success to result in another person's failure even if he isn't the target of the more successful action.  Easy-peasey.

Jesse





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James_Nostack
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 06:10:48 AM »

#2. Both. Arthur gets the penalties as a bonus to whatever comes next, and Brandon is hosed - screw his announced action, he's seeing stars. (Unless he wants to do the Will thing and carry on with his attack, which is permitted.) 

(Emphasis added.)  Ron, I thought the "muster through the pain" business was only permitted at the start of a new action?  Like, that roll you made at the start of the round before they clobbered you is your roll for the current round.  If someone totally cleans your clock, you're K.O.'d for the current round and lose your intention, and at the start of the next round you have to narrate the Theme Music Effect to do anything.  You can't just re-roll in the middle of the round. Or am I totally wrong?  I'm pretty sure you said words to that effect either in another thread, or in that cheat-sheet thing I put together.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 06:13:30 AM »

Hiya,

Having been with you every step of the way, all this time, I award you the High Order of Sorceresque Merit Badge, Jesse. My kneecapping applies to the next bastard, not, uh, the current one. (Something about that doesn't sound right, somehow ...)

Your interpretation of the rules is pretty high-level, and I guess I've always been comfortable with equating "goes first" with "fictionally physically pre-empts" as a basic feature of the system without breaking it into narrative-logic vs. in-game events, except to say that the latter is driven by the former. Which is to say, using movies as an analogy, if the screen-events cut to Joe, in the middle of the fight, then clearly Joe is going "next" and whatever we saw Billy doing a moment ago isn't happening until Joe gets his licks in, or at least will be affected by it.

In filmmaking, it's not about whether Joe "would" go next, nor about seeing "whether" he goes next through some fictional causality. No - it's about whether Joe is "up" in story-effect terms. That's what the dice in Sorcerer are doing, and I think extremely well, in terms of their relationship to fairly finely-grained actions during play (compared e.g. to PTA), and in terms of the decisions forced upon the creators by how the dice turn out.

All of which agrees with your post.

Now - your set of examples is more or less a diagnostic board of what I've been calling, with various reactions 'round the internet, brain damage. There are so many bent/broken features of creativity and interaction embedded in those examples that it'd take a textbook to lay them all out in a way which shows what's really wrong.

Yes - "wrong." Since brain damage (which I think is literally the case) seems to get right up people's asses as a term, I'll analogize to limb-based physical limitations.

"Wrong" ... what do I mean? Wrong in the sense that a person missing limbs, using old-school prosthetics, must whip their head about and lurch down the street, rather than using a modern prosthetic which (a) doesn't resemble a limb in the slightest but (b) permits them to walk without damaging the rest of their body or forcing constant disorientation. Note, I'm not privileging viewer comfort as the point, but rather the person's health and function as the point.

If you say "creative social interaction" instead of "walking," in that paragraph, then that's what early-to-mid 1990s role-playing procedures concerning so-called "storytelling" were like - Vampire leading the pack, as well as a number of other offspring of a particular application of Champions. You've seen these role-playing experiences too, Jesse. You know all about the social and creative equivalents.

Heh - I could carry on with that limb-analogy with some accuracy, I think ... the contemporary tendency toward overt and covert freeform as a solution would be like tossing away the crappy prosthetic, but then flapping one's arms very hard and saying, "I'm flying, I'm flying!"

Julie (jrs) told me about a guy she saw walking along with a lower-leg prosthetic that didn't look like a leg at all - a flat, s-curved sheet of metal, if I understood her correctly. The guy strode along with his head, shoulders, posture, all in sync, just like a person with legs.

I consider Sorcerer to be like that kind of prosthetic ... but to use it, you have to abandon the idea that a prosthetic is supposed to resemble the missing limb parts. You have to throw away a whole bunch of stuff that you've learned by pure indoctrination, not analysis, "is" the way limbs work. Going to the topic rather than the analogy, we're talking about recognizing that role-playing is a Big Model phenomenon, not some "talk and roll and see what happens" fetish ritual. Hero Wars is just like Sorcerer in this regard. The Pool would be another interesting example, "shaped differently" from the other two, if you will.

Here's another application of the analogy ... years ago, I saw a phenomenal hard-style martial arts demonstration by a guy with one leg and one arm, using a crutch. Since the developed martial arts are based on a series of physical principles, a knowledgeable viewer watching this guy could (and did) say, "That's it!" Meaning, the movements were obviously different, but the principles he was using were exactly the same as the baseline art.

In other words, it wasn't, "crippled guy tries so hard, awww, isn't that sweet, give him a black belt." It was, holy shit, not only is this guy really good, but his mentor and the art itself are clearly validated by this application, in terms of the principles being employed and someone's understanding of them, rather than just memorizing coded moves for fully-limbed people. This was martial arts.

That's Dust Devils, Universalis, My Life with Master, and InSpectres. All of which I consider to be the collective gateway beyond which the past two years of creative explosion have occurred. Without that door, no Trollbabe, no Lacuna, no Polaris, no Primetime Adventures, no Breaking the Ice, and no Shadow of Yesterday. (I'm failing to include about twenty other titles; you all know who you are, so consider yourselves mentioned. Not all of you are active at the Forge.) Note that I consider all of this explosion to be equivalent to the martial arts stuff performed by the man with only two limbs.

[As some of you know, I am now embarked on an ambitious project based on the idea that we "have limbs" after all, and wondering what the principles underlying the bevy of fantastic new RPGs (and RPG-ish things) would be like, expressed by and for people without the damage. I consider this utter terra incognita, culturally, creatively, and commercially. It cannot and will not have any kind of relevance for gamer culture or commerce. As a survivor of the damage, I may fail miserably. But this topic is not relevant to the present point.]

If people are interested, I will explain my references to brain damage, for which missing limbs were a stand-in in this post. You may not like what I have to say.

Best,
Ron

Whoops, I am missing the business about the Will check and similar stuff. I'll deal with that first and then we'll talk about the more general stuff, in this post, later. No one bug me about that stuff until I deal with the specific question, please.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2006, 08:37:48 AM »

OK, let's break down this situation and show ya how it works.

Quote
Pure rules question: How does the roll your Will to overcome penalty work mid-rouind? Let's be exact. Arthur and Brandon are attacking each other. Both have Stamina 5 but Brandon has 2 bonus dice from something or other but Brandon has a spectacularly bad roll and Arthur a spectacularly good one.

Arthur: 6 6 8 8 9
Brandon: 1 1 1 3 3 5 5

Arthur wins with 5 victories. So Brandon's working on 6 penalties come his action. More than his Stamina. So he want's roll his Will. His Will's kind of low so he decides to only risk 3 dice of his Stamina and succeeds! How do those 3 dice and the six penalities and the seven dice already on the table al relate?

Okay! One problem - you seem to have mixed up Brandon's attack roll with his defensive roll. You don't compare the two attack rolls to look for victories. So I have to rewrite your example.

Given those rolls, Arthur's attack comes in first. The person playing Brandon chooses not to abort to defense. He rolls one die to defend, getting a 4.

If Arthur's using his fists, then yes, that's 1 long-term and 5 temporary penalties, making 6 total at the moment.

Brandon still has his crappy seven-dice attack sitting on the table. But he's knocked silly by that blow, so the attack would ordinarily just go away, blown out of the game by the damage rules.

Brandon's player decides to get sorcerous. Right then and there, he can call for a Will roll. Say Brandon's Will is 3. He shoots for a 50% chance, rolling against 3 dice. (Please note that the wise player would at this time be role-playing toward anything that gets the group fired up, for bonus Will dice.) OK!

The Will roll gets 9 9 10. Let's say the opposing three dice get 1 2 3. Rock on! Three victories!

Brandon's attack is now "resurrected" into play. Here's the point: it can't be a new action, it's his standing one, because it's in the middle of the round. He can roll three dice for it.

Now to answer all your questions.

1. These three attack dice are not penalized. Arthur does get to roll a five-dice defense against them.

2. The seven crappy dice sitting on the table disappear as if they never had existed.

3. In the next round (anything after this, in fact), Brandon's five temporary penalties from Arthur's attack are gone, never to be applied to anything. The Will roll blew them out of the game.

Quote
Ron, I thought the "muster through the pain" business was only permitted at the start of a new action? Like, that roll you made at the start of the round before they clobbered you is your roll for the current round. If someone totally cleans your clock, you're K.O.'d for the current round and lose your intention, and at the start of the next round you have to narrate the Theme Music Effect to do anything. You can't just re-roll in the middle of the round. Or am I totally wrong?

Sorry James - you are, in fact, totally wrong. You could use the whole Will roll thing regarding a new announced action as the next round is being assembled in the free-and-clear phase, just as you describe. But you can also use it right in the middle as I describe above.

Best,
Ron

edited to clarify a minor point and to invite discussion of any points made so far
« Last Edit: February 10, 2006, 08:49:17 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
jburneko
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2006, 10:23:55 AM »

Hello,

All of that makes sense.  I'm totally unoffended by the brain-damaged stuff, mainly because I feel it to be true down here in my gut if I don't fully understand what the difference between damaged and not damaged is.  I do have one question.  When you say my examples are a diagnositc board for what's wrong are you saying that the situations as posed wouldn't occur among healthy players (i.e. healthy players would announce different sorts of actions in general) or are you saying that the sense of dis-ease and frustation wouldn't occur among healthy players when such situations do occur?

Jesse

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Bill Cook
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2006, 10:31:36 AM »

Quick question: When you say "if the player wants  to accept that the character is talked down, then the action gets cancelled," do you mean (a) he can opt for full dice on defense, or (b) after defense fails, he may forego his announced attack?

That's interesting that self-mastery cancels next action damage penalties. Did not know that.

Jesse:

Hey. I think he's saying the second.
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charlesperez
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 11:06:56 AM »

I would like to read what Ron has to say about brain damage.

Charles
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angelfromanotherpin
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2006, 11:17:47 AM »

Wow, that's totally different from my previous understanding, so I have some questions.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
If Arthur's using his fists, then yes, that's 1 long-term and 5 temporary penalties, making 6 total at the moment.

Brandon still has his crappy seven-dice attack sitting on the table. But he's knocked silly by that blow, so the attack would ordinarily just go away, blown out of the game by the damage rules.

How does a six-dice penalty 'cancel' a seven-dice action?  That seems... alien to the rest of the system.  Is it because Brandon's now carrying penalties greater than his Stamina?

I thought that under these circumstances Brandon's crappy seven-dice attack proceeds as rolled, but that Arthur's defense would be 11 dice(5 Stamina+6 penalties converted via the currency).

Now, I can see that, faced with a poor attack roll against an 11-die defense, a character could choose to 'fight through the pain' and wind up with, as you describe...

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Brandon's player decides to get sorcerous. Right then and there, he can call for a Will roll. Say Brandon's Will is 3. He shoots for a 50% chance, rolling against 3 dice. (Please note that the wise player would at this time be role-playing toward anything that gets the group fired up, for bonus Will dice.) OK!

The Will roll gets 9 9 10. Let's say the opposing three dice get 1 2 3. Rock on! Three victories!

Brandon's attack is now "resurrected" into play. Here's the point: it can't be a new action, it's his standing one, because it's in the middle of the round. He can roll three dice for it.

Now to answer all your questions.

1. These three attack dice are not penalized. Arthur does get to roll a five-dice defense against them.

2. The seven crappy dice sitting on the table disappear as if they never had existed.

3. In the next round (anything after this, in fact), Brandon's five temporary penalties from Arthur's attack are gone, never to be applied to anything. The Will roll blew them out of the game.

...and wind up with a renewed 3-dice attack opposing a 5-dice defense.  That's a valid tactical choice, to be sure, and it fits the currency, it just seems odd to be generating a 'new' offensive roll in the middle of the turn.

My previous understanding would have that successful Will roll blow the penalties out of the game, but left Brandon's original crappy 7-dice attack standing against an upcoming defense of 5(Arthur's Stamina)+2(the difference between Brandon's 'acting' Stamina and 'originally-rolled' Stamina).

Help, please.
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-My real name is Jules

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"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2006, 11:42:16 AM »

Hi Jules,

Your supposition is correct - Brandon's penalties-situation is compared to his Stamina, not to the dice on the table. And you would be correct about just letting the dice on the table stand and tossing the "penalties" over to Arthur for his defense ... except for the Damage Penalties Table, which tells us, with total penalties exceeding Stamina, the character is shocked into momentary inaction. That's where the action "went."

Not that long ago, I wrote about how the scores serve as hard-limits for quanta of specific effects during play ... about Boost, wasn't it? I'll hunt down the link. Damage is a perfect example.

With any luck that answers your question.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2006, 11:55:49 AM »

Hi Bill,

Quote
When you say "if the player wants  to accept that the character is talked down, then the action gets cancelled," do you mean (a) he can opt for full dice on defense, or (b) after defense fails, he may forego his announced attack?

I'm talking about a character who has just failed his defense roll against a "Don't do that" command, before his action comes up. I'm saying (b), he can forego his announced attack and do a big [blank] for that action when his turn arrives. No, he cannot replace it with another action of any kind, defensive or otherwise. Yes, after his turn has arrived, he gets full dice for defense for future incoming attacks (as if he had taken the action).

I guess I don't understand what you mean by (a) at all. It looks like a splash of ratatouille or something, verbally speaking. If I've managed to answer your question, then let's leave (a) where it is, and maybe someone'll clean it up when we're not looking.

Best,
Ron
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Gabe McKean
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2006, 12:14:27 PM »

This thread has been really helpful to me, clarifying a lot of things about Sorcerer conflict resolution I was confused about, including things where I didn't realize I was confused!  Good thing too, since it looks like I'll be getting a chance to start a new run of the game this week.  Thanks to Ron and everyone else involved.

A quick question to make sure I cement my understanding:
Let's say poor Brandon currently has penalties equal or exceeding his Stamina from a previous attack, and then gets attacked again (after having acted this round).  Does he roll one die to defend, and give his opponent a bonus die on his attack, since his current Stamina is at 0?  Can he instead make a sorcerous Will roll at this point to see if he can use his full Stamina on his defense?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2006, 12:46:41 PM »

Hello,

In those circumstances, Brandon rolls one die to defend, and whatever further penalties he's incurring at the moment are added as bonus dice to the attack roll.

But yes, if Brandon is a sorcerer, he can opt for the Will roll to kick in at any point, including setting up for a defensive roll.

The character is lying on the floor, in fetal position, in agony. Cut to the opponent, who raises his pick, grins (at last!), then brings it down -

- cut to the character, now kneeling, with one arm raised, gripping the haft of the pick and stopping it in midair. Cue music.

Best,
Ron

(I'm working on the brain damage text. Friday PM is very busy for me, so I'm not sure if I'll finish it today.)
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