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Author Topic: Dust Devils Revenged -- The Call  (Read 4531 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: June 23, 2006, 10:33:09 AM »

Here's part of the revised rules that I'm really pleased with:

Quote
The Call

When all players and the Dealer receive all their cards, the Dealer Calls, and everyone shows his hand. A player may have several cards in his hand (maybe more than a dozen), but he can play only up to five cards. Players ignore their excess cards; only the five cards a character plays at Call count toward resolving the conflict. Players with fewer than five cards in their hand simply play all the cards in their hand, all of which count toward resolving the conflict.

In all conflicts, players can follow these simple steps to determine the outcome. Each player compares his hand to his opponents:

1) If he has the best poker hand compared to all his opponents, his goal succeeds. The Narrator must include his successful goal as part of the story, and his opponents must take Harm based on his hand (see Harm, page XX).

2) If he has a better poker hand than one or more opponents, but is in turn beaten by one or more opponents, the Narrator decides whether his character's goal succeeds or fails, and includes his decision as he narrates the story. The Narrator also decides whether any Harm affects any of his opposing characters.

3) If a player does not have a better poker hand than any of his opponents, his goal usually fails. However, the Narrator has final say, and can even allow losers' goals to succeed or partially succeed. Regardless, the player's losing hand cannot inflict Harm on anyone.

Note that it is possible in conflicts with many participants to have more than one player who defeats all his opponents with a superior poker hand. The Narrator must include all such players' successes and Harm effects as he describes the scene.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 10:34:54 AM by Matt Snyder » Logged

Matt Snyder
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John Harper
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 05:24:48 PM »

Very nice, Matt. That makes it crystal-clear why being the Narrator is such a big deal. And I really like how you explain how Harm is applied.
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Hans
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2006, 05:11:44 AM »

In all conflicts, players can follow these simple steps to determine the outcome. Each player compares his hand to his opponents:

I do like this, but I have a question: who is responsible for determining who the "opponents" are.  Admittedly I have only been the Dealer once, (although another session is scheduled for this week) but even in our session there were several multi-person conflicts that had some ambiguity regarding who was opposed to whom.  For example, the stated goals of the conflict for the four characters are:
  • Bob wants Joe to look like an idiot in Sally's eyes. 
  • Joe wants Sally to fall in love with him.
  • Sally wants Greg to beat up Bob.
  • Greg wants Joe to think he is a useful henchman.
This might seem convoluted, but it is pretty darn close to the stated goals in the very first conflict I ever dealt with as a Dealer in Dust Devils.  Does Greg count as an opponent for Bob?  Does Sally count as Bob's opponent?  Who decides who classifies as an opponent?  My assumption is the Narrator.  Or does EVERYONE else in the conflict count as an opponent for the purposes of Harm (which is, by the way, a better word than Difficulty)?  Or does the Dealer (who decides when conflict should take place) structure a multi-party conflict in such a way that only those that directly oppose each other are in the same conflict?

Another question: if one person has a superior hand, do the opponents each take the same amount of Harm, or is it split up between them somehow? That is:
Total Harm Delivered = (Size of Hand) * Num of Opponents
Harm to One Opponent = Size of Hand
or
Total Harm Delivered = Size of Hand
Harm to One Opponent = (Size of Hand)/Num of Opponents
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 09:13:41 AM »

Good questions, Hans. I'll try to answer 'em!


Quote
Who decides who classifies as an opponent?  My assumption is the Narrator.

The Dealer (not the Narrator, althought the Dealer may later become the Narrator for the scene) adjudicates who conflicts with whom. Players have a say and can influence, but the Dealer's decision is final. This is because opponents are declared before anyone knows who the Narrator is.


Quote
Or does EVERYONE else in the conflict count as an opponent for the purposes of Harm?

NOT everyone in a Deal (conflict) is susceptible to a given character's Harm. Only that character's opponents are susceptible.

Quote
This might seem convoluted, but it is pretty darn close to the stated goals in the very first conflict I ever dealt with as a Dealer in Dust Devils.  Does Greg count as an opponent for Bob?  Does Sally count as Bob's opponent?

It depends on the Dealer's decision. If he says that Greg and Bob are opponents, and Sally and Bob are opponents, you've got a true Mexican Standoff! Everyone opposes everyone in that case. And, everyone is susceptible to everyone else's Harm.

However, I'd like to look at this interesting case. In the following, the Dealer has decided that Greg and Bob are not opponents (despite them possibly beating each other up), but that Bob and Sally are opponents. (In this case, the real conflict isnt' between Bob and Greg, and the Dealer is just "using" Greg like some kind of weapon that can't suffer.)

I'll preface this by saying that conflict occurs when players decide they don't want stuff to happen that other players say they want to happen. So, basically, I'm saying that in all your statements, I'm assuming the controlling players don't just assent (and avoid conflict). For example, if Sally already WANTS to fall in love with Joe, then there's no conflict between her and Joe. So, assuming the conflicts are all happening, it breaks down like this:

Bob's opponents are Joe and Sally (because she wants to have him beaten up, and he doesn't want to get beaten up).
Joe's opponents are Bob and Sally
Sally's opponents are Greg and Bob.
Greg's opponents are Sally and Joe.

Let's take it another step and assign each of 'em some cards:

Bob has Three of a Kind.
Joe has Two Pair
Sally has a Full House
Greg has a Straight.

Here are the results, and how the Narrator should handle it:

Bob defeats Joe, but is defeated by Sally. Thus, the narrator decides whether he makes Joe look like a fool. The narrator also decides whether ONLY Joe suffers 2 Harm from his hand (see Harm chart below on this post)

Joe is completely defeated by Bob andSally. The Narrator still could conceivably make Sally fall in love with him in some way, so long as it doesn't ruin Sally's goals of beating up Bob. The Narrator CANNOT inflict Joe's 2 Harm on anyone.

Sally is the big winner. She defeats both Greg and Bob. This means the Narrator MUST include her convincing Greg to beat up Bob in some way (and, probably, Greg beating him up!). It also means Greg and Bob MUST suffer Sally's 4 Harm (each of 'em takes 4 Harm).

Finally, Greg defeats Joe and loses to Sally. This means the Narrator has the option to make Joe think Greg's a good henchman. The Narrator also has the option to inflict Greg's 3 Harm on Joe.


Quote
Another question: if one person has a superior hand, do the opponents each take the same amount of Harm, or is it split up between them somehow?

Every opponent takes the same amount of harm. Good question -- I think I need to clarify this in the text!

Harm

The amount of Harm delivered is no longer equal to the number of cards in your poker combination (e.g. 2 for pair, 5 for full house, 4 for four of a kind, etc.) Now, Harm is determined by this chart:

High Card, Pair = 1 Harm
Two Pair, Three of a Kind = 2 Harm
Straight, Flush = 3 Harm
Full House, Four of a Kind = 4 Harm
Straight Flush, Royal Flush = 5 Harm

This prevents the awful and wonky results where a Flush is as nasty as a Royal Flush, despite it being a "middle" hand. I always hated that.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 06:18:35 PM by Matt Snyder » Logged

Matt Snyder
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Hans
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2006, 10:10:31 AM »

This is fantastic, Matt.  I understand the process better than I ever have before.  You going through the example in detail makes a BIG difference, which makes me think a similar example of play might be useful in the next edition?

A couple of quick clarifications...

Joe has Two Pair
...
The Narrator CANNOT inflict Joe's 1 Harm on anyone.
...
High Card, Pair = 1 Harm
Two Pair, Three of a Kind = 2 Harm

I'm guessing you meant to say Joe had a pair, not Two Pair?  Also, when you said:

Quote
The narrator also decides whether ONLY Joe suffers 2 Harm from his hand.

Did you mean:

*The narrator also decides whether Joe, the ONLY possible target for the harm, suffers 2 Harm...

that is, Sally is not a legal target for Harm, as Bob's hand did not beat Sally's.  If so, then I suggest that where you say in your new rules:

Quote
The Narrator also decides whether any Harm affects any of his opposing characters.

you instead say:

The Narrator also decides whether any Harm affects any of his opposing characters with lower hands than that character.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2006, 06:18:51 PM »

Hans, good points. You've rightly zeroed in on some errors I made in haste, but I don't think you're misunderstanding any of the real issues here. (I have since gone back and corrected that error about Joe's Harm so that others can read my post without getting confused. Thanks for pointing that out!)

Joe has Two Pair
...
The Narrator CANNOT inflict Joe's 1 Harm on anyone.
...
High Card, Pair = 1 Harm
Two Pair, Three of a Kind = 2 Harm


I'm guessing you meant to say Joe had a pair, not Two Pair? 

Yes, that's a typo. I meant all along for Joe to have Two Pair, but I misquoted his pontential Harm at 1. It should be 2.


Quote
Quote
The Narrator also decides whether any Harm affects any of his opposing characters.

you instead say:

The Narrator also decides whether any Harm affects any of his opposing characters with lower hands than that character.

Yes, exactly. Both your clarifications are good.
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Falkayn
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 09:36:11 PM »

Here's part of the revised rules that I'm really pleased with:
This makes a LOT of sense, and reads much clearer than the current text.

Matt, do you have any idea of when we can expect a PDF version of Dust Devils Revenged?
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 07:35:25 AM »

Hi, Angus. I expect to have the PDF version out slightly before the print version. This should be sometime near the first of September. Still waiting on a couple pieces of art, and I need to work with other authors to include their alternate settings.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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