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Author Topic: [Mortal Coil] Backing Facts with Rules  (Read 2960 times)
Brennan Taylor
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« on: February 15, 2006, 12:14:27 PM »

One of the things mentioned in the Dreamation playtest of Mortal Coil was that magical facts sometimes need some system backing to make them effective. To that end, I have added the following rule to the text:

Quote
Sometimes a fact or price will be self-evident and need no further backup from the rules. Other times, a fact or price must trigger a rule effect in order for it to have meaning in your game. When it is obvious or agreed that a new fact or price fits this criteria, there are two ways to back up the fact with a rule.

Conflict Trigger: With this option, when the fact comes into play, it immediately triggers a conflict with pre-set stakes. The stakes for the conflict are set when the fact is introduced, and whenever the fact comes into play, the appropriate players resolve the conflict.

Ex: Jason creates an artifact, a magical jeweler’s glass that allows a character to see the true nature of whatever he views through it. Michelle, the GM, sets the price: this sort of true sight is damaging to a mortal’s mind. Everyone agrees that this is a good price, but relatively vague. What form does the damage take? Michelle decides to set a conflict trigger. Whenever a mortal gazes through the glass, he must initiate a conflict. The stakes are pre-set. If the mortal loses, he will gain a 1-point Passion of either Love or Fear for the being he sees through the glass. If the mortal wins, he will see the true nature of the being he sees through the glass.

Bonus or Penalty: With this option, when the fact comes into play, it will confer a bonus or penalty upon one or more characters. The size of the modifier should never exceed +/-3, and most facts will not require a modifier higher than +/-1.

Ex: Keith is playing Mithra, a god of soldiers, and introduces the fact that war gods have the power to cause those around them to grow more contentious and irritable, leading to fights. Everyone agrees that this needs to be backed up by the rules. The GM proposes that anyone attempting to perform a non-violent action when this ability is in effect must suffer a -1 penalty. Violent actions are unhindered.

I think this will probably cover the situations. Thoughts from any of the playtesters?
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 12:22:39 PM »

Brennan, I think this would completely cover the issue that arose at the table. It seems quite elegant. I like it. The Conflict Trigger especially appeals to me.

I do think you might benefit from a more explicit discussion of how to price the bonus or penalty. Most situations only justify a +1 or -1. Great. Under what conditions should we expect a +2/-2? How about +3/-3?
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 12:26:01 PM »

Brennan,

I agrees with Thor.  It covers it nicely.

My question is, why have a range of +/- 1 to 3 at all?  Why not just choose a number (3 for example)?

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
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Nathan P.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2006, 12:32:24 PM »

Ditto. The bonus (or penalty) was exactely what I was grasping for when I wanted to establish Facts to help out my character. Question - when two characters are in conflict (like when Hermes wanted to trip Coyote, and Coyote wanted to be too suave to be tripped) would the facts established cancel each other out? Or could you spend more chips to get a larger bonus? Like, say he spends two chips to establish that messenger gods can always get in peoples way, so he has a +2 bonus, and I then spend 3 to say that trickster gods can never be embarrased, so I get a +3? Or maybe every 2 gets you a +1 above the first, or something. I'm just curious as to how you see that situation, and have no idea if turning those into minor bidding wars works for you...
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Nathan P.
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 01:54:02 PM »

Y'all have excellent points about the variable bonus. In fact, since I posted it, I had already changed my mind about this, and decided that the variable bonus was too vague. I think a good set level would actually be +/-2, since this is the advantage using an item normally confers by the rules. This sets a strong bonus or penalty, but not a completely overpowering one.

And Nathan, I actually want to avoid that sort of bidding war, so I think I will steer clear of making the variations depend on number of magic tokens sacrificed.
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Nathan P.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 02:09:17 PM »

Neat.

So, in the scenario I described, the first person to decide they want to get a bonus via Fact then leaves it up to the other person to eat it or come up with their own Fact to level the playing field? Thats cool.
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Nathan P.
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Mayuran
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 03:36:04 PM »

Great. That makes a magic fact more than just color.

If I spend a magic point to create a coven of witches descending on the secret Old Gods bar, that could be the initiator of a Conflict Trigger, right? Or is it purely the GMs power to introduce new characters / nemesis into the game?

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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2006, 07:23:53 AM »

So, in the scenario I described, the first person to decide they want to get a bonus via Fact then leaves it up to the other person to eat it or come up with their own Fact to level the playing field? Thats cool.

That's right. And if you recall, a player can't create a new fact that completely negates a previous fact. You can only come up with a fact dexcribing something else that give you an advantage, or create a fact that limits or mitigates the previously established fact (and then, of course, the GM or another player can set price--and there is a bidding mechanic on setting price, if people want to compete over that).
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2006, 07:28:29 AM »

If I spend a magic point to create a coven of witches descending on the secret Old Gods bar, that could be the initiator of a Conflict Trigger, right? Or is it purely the GMs power to introduce new characters / nemesis into the game?

I am going to add this in to the bonus token mechanic. Spending these will allow you to introduce non-magical elements to the game, or add complications, etc. (I am also changing the name to 'power token,' for a couple of reasons). More rules on that will be posted here later.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2006, 08:23:15 AM »

In your original example:  Do you actually want "whether the magic doodad works" to be part of the stakes?  I know it seems sort of minor, but the difference between "Lose and gain an obsession toward the subject, win and see their true nature" seems quite different from "Lose and see the subject's true nature (which causes an obsession) or win and see their true nature without becoming obsessed."

The lens is much more tempting in the latter case, because you're guaranteed your desired outcome.
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2006, 08:36:47 AM »

In your original example:  Do you actually want "whether the magic doodad works" to be part of the stakes?  I know it seems sort of minor, but the difference between "Lose and gain an obsession toward the subject, win and see their true nature" seems quite different from "Lose and see the subject's true nature (which causes an obsession) or win and see their true nature without becoming obsessed."

The lens is much more tempting in the latter case, because you're guaranteed your desired outcome.

Good point, Tony, and yes, I want it to work the way you suggest. I will definitely change this. More tempting is more better in my view.
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