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Author Topic: Hint question  (Read 1789 times)
Plotin
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« on: February 19, 2006, 05:11:37 AM »

Hello!

The description of “Hint” on page 53 of the rulebook says:

Quote
The demon rolls Power vs. the Will of the target, and if that is successful, the target rolls Humanity vs. the victories. Failure of the first roll means hallucinations (penalties = victories; failure of the second means terrible convulsions (lethal Special Damage = victories).

As the wording of the sentence gives the demon as the active part on the first roll, “success”  means victory by the demon and “failure” victory by the target; with the second roll, it is the other way around. I can’t believe that this is how Hint is supposed to work. Or does it really mean:

First roll:   
Power wins over Will: proceed to roll Humanity vs. victories
Will wins over Power: hallucinations for the target, do not proceed to roll

Second roll:
Humanity wins over Victories: target’s player may ask question
Victories win over Humanity: convulsions for the target

And if this is how it works, could somebody please explain the logic behind it to me? Getting hallucinations for overcoming the demon’s Power?

Thanks in advance,

Michael
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2006, 06:18:54 AM »

The knowledge from Hint is inherently foreign and terrible. There's a smidgen of Lovecraft here, I should say; the hallucinations are the better and more natural result, and thus only those of high Will are able to protect themselves from Hint this way. The demon wants to give you the knowledge, and you want to not get it. Because the human mind cannot completely ignore the Hint, it protects itself via madness.

I guess the second roll is about whether the demon's hellish imagery overwhelms the interest of the target, or whether he manages to wrest something useful out of the experience. The demon wants to make you mad and broken, you want to get something constructive out of it.

Of course, the above are just rationalizations of the mechanic. I could explain any combinations away with assumptions about the Hint's nature, so this doesn't tell us much about whether it's meant this way. I guess Ron'd have caught it by now if he intented either roll the other way around.
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Plotin
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Posts: 27


« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2006, 07:36:51 AM »

Thanks for taking the trouble of explaining, Eero; but I think I am not quite with you here. You wrote:

Quote
The knowledge from Hint is inherently foreign and terrible. There's a smidgen of Lovecraft here, I should say; the hallucinations are the better and more natural result, and thus only those of high Will are able to protect themselves from Hint this way.

So - the higher your Will, the more victories you will statistically achieve. And the more victories you achieve, the worse your hallucinations (i. e. penalties). If you are able to protect yourself better from the demon's alien knowledge, your hallucination should be less severe, I would think, not actually worse.

Michael
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2006, 01:18:44 AM »

No, it's your hallucination that protects you, you see. So the more severe the hallucination, the stronger the protection. The Will score is used with a notion of autosuggestion - the stronger mind will create stronger hallucinations, and thus protect you better. The choice is between madness and even worse knowledge, withstanding it with stoicism is not an option.

Mind you, I don't personally think that anything will break if you switch this formula the other way around, if it makes more sense to you. Hint is just as useful either way (both the hallucinations and the real success are useful), and I'd imagine that it's sensibility is very much tied to the local sorcery definition. The hallucination explanation doesn't necessarily make sense in all contexts.

Perhaps Ron will explain it all when he returns?
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Plotin
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2006, 06:02:20 AM »

Ok, I see what you mean. And you’re right, the mechanic could be switched around for different flavours:

Hallucinations due to autosuggestion: You delve deep into your unconscious, dragging out whatever affects you most deeply, loosing yourself in a wonderland of hallucinations to stave off the intrusion of the alien knowledge into your mind. The better you do this, the more you will loose yourself within your own mind, becoming delusional; it’s an entirely internal thing and it doesn’t matter that the demon’s roll showed nothing but 1s – you’ve already launched yourself into the depths of your mind.

Hallucinations due to alien knowledge: You summon up all your willpower to close off your mind against the utter alienness of demonic intrusion – and fail. You behold terrible and strange visions of the demonic psyche, the worse the more victories the demon scored against you, the deeper he invaded your mind. But if you are successful, you stave off the more insane part of the knowledge granted, and have a chance to make sense out of it. Therefore roll Humanity to have the demonic insights relate to puny humans like yourself. But the better you closed off your mind against the demon (i.e. the more victories you achieved on the Will roll), the more difficult it is to make sense of what gets through to you at all – maybe you warded yourself too well against the demon. Hm – but this makes the convulsions kinda hard to explain....

So I am drawing near the conclusion that the original version would really make more sense, yet I would still like to know the original intent. Ron?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2006, 07:52:45 AM »

Hiya,

That's kind of a hard question to answer, because all I'm coming up with is, "Yes, the original version made most sense to me too, so that's why I designed it that way ..."

As a retrospective note, Hint went through several versions right up until the publication of the core rules as a book. I tend to think that I was a bit harsh in requiring both rolls to succeed in order for the Hint to work at all.

Best,
Ron
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Plotin
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2006, 08:07:05 AM »

Hi Ron!

Well, hearing something along the lines of either “yes, Hint works exactly as described in the rules” or “the rules’ wording is easy to misunderstand and Hint works the other way round” is exactly what I wanted; now I know exactly how to deal with it. And, yes, having to succeed at both rolls is somewhat harsh.

Thanks Eero and Ron,

Michael

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