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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: How to get rid of debt  (Read 6541 times)
Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« on: September 07, 2006, 09:30:40 AM »

From another thread...
In my experience the place you get pounded, once you have six debt, is when you get desperate and try to unload it too fast.  Overextending yourself gets you slapped down bad.

"Oh look!  I'll stake 3 Debt on A and 3 Debt on B and now I'm not merely no longer overdrawn, I've actually got room to spare!"

Which ... yeah ... if everyone lets you win both A and B.  But suppose you win only A?  Now you've gotten back six debt (just like you started out with) plus you presumably used a fair number of powers trying to defend B.

This brings up an issue that I think is worth discussion; how DO you get rid of that six debt?  Or worse, if you lose both those conflicts above and now have TWELVE!  Or perhaps even worse, the four debt you stacked up on a 1 drive strength drive in a bizarre fit of confusion.

Obviously, I know that mechanically the way you get rid of debt is staking and the winning conflicts.  But my experience has been that there seem to be nuances to when staking is a good idea and when it isn't that I am missing.  It is really hard to pick a winner, and often you end up gaining nearly as much debt in the process of winning as you are getting rid of via story tokens to someone else.

Anyone have any ideas on this?  I'm guessing it is more about the conflicts themselves, and the ways they affect the other players on the table, than it is about gaming the system. 
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Bret Gillan
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Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2006, 10:02:51 AM »

How about Debt-dump Conflicts? Create Conflicts that are relevant to the Drive that you can't imagine anyone else at the table really caring about, pile Debt on it, and watch it disappear. You'll probably get some token opposition so that someone can rake in those Story Tokens, but unless someone is out to get you it probably won't come back your way. Now, granted Debt is a resource and this may not be the best way to leverage that resource, but if you're looking for an easy way to hemorrhage it, this is my standby.
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Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2006, 10:25:05 AM »

How about Debt-dump Conflicts? Create Conflicts that are relevant to the Drive that you can't imagine anyone else at the table really caring about, pile Debt on it, and watch it disappear. You'll probably get some token opposition so that someone can rake in those Story Tokens, but unless someone is out to get you it probably won't come back your way. Now, granted Debt is a resource and this may not be the best way to leverage that resource, but if you're looking for an easy way to hemorrhage it, this is my standby.

I can see this in principle.  In practice, when I have tried this, I seem to be very bad at imagining what other people will fight over.  They ALWAYS seem to fight.  Moreover, since the goal was seemingly one I didn't think anyone would care about, it means that people are fighting over something that isn't that important.  Or at least, it didn't seem like it should be that important. 
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Eric Sedlacek
Member

Posts: 135

TheCzech


« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2006, 10:30:11 AM »

This brings up an issue that I think is worth discussion; how DO you get rid of that six debt?  Or worse, if you lose both those conflicts above and now have TWELVE!  Or perhaps even worse, the four debt you stacked up on a 1 drive strength drive in a bizarre fit of confusion.

Obviously, I know that mechanically the way you get rid of debt is staking and the winning conflicts.

Dump the debt on a conflict side that is already about to win.  Experienced players do this a lot.  It works especially well when you are the last in the page turn order.
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oreso
Member

Posts: 67


« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2006, 10:46:55 AM »

I can see this in principle.  In practice, when I have tried this, I seem to be very bad at imagining what other people will fight over.  They ALWAYS seem to fight.  Moreover, since the goal was seemingly one I didn't think anyone would care about, it means that people are fighting over something that isn't that important.  Or at least, it didn't seem like it should be that important. 
Make sure there is a conflict which they cant ignore as well as the debt dump. 
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TonyLB
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006, 12:44:59 PM »

Also, bear in mind your timing, relative to what other players need.

If other players have few Story Tokens, many Inspirations and very little debt themselves then spending your debt almost guarantees a victory:  they don't have any incentive to win that matches their incentive to lose.

If other players have many Story Tokens, great piles of debt and only a few Inspirations that is the wrong time to try to get rid of debt:  the other players are much more interested in winning then they are in gaining Story Tokens.

Since most of these things flow back and forth in cycles, I've found that the best way to get rid of debt is to shelve a character for a while, then bring them back at the right moment.
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Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2006, 01:12:57 PM »

If other players have few Story Tokens, many Inspirations and very little debt themselves then spending your debt almost guarantees a victory:  they don't have any incentive to win that matches their incentive to lose.

I see what you are saying here Tony, except...the decision on whether or not to contest a conflict often has more to do with the perceived consequences in the fiction of its resolution.  I've attempted to get rid of debt in the circumstances you describe, but ended up being caught in a big conflict over it because of some narrative element I brought in that made people go "ah, hell no!" and fight me unexpectedly.  I'm sitting there going, "hey wait, this is just 'goal: bake some cookies', whats with the opposition? I just want to give you some story tokens" and people say "no WAY we are letting you make oatmeal raisin, we want chocolate freaking chip!".  In other words, the incentive to win and lose is not strictly mechanical.

But I take your advice as a general rule which is reasonable, assuming you carefully select the conflicts so that the mechanical incentive is the most important one in people's minds. 

If other players have many Story Tokens, great piles of debt and only a few Inspirations that is the wrong time to try to get rid of debt:  the other players are much more interested in winning then they are in gaining Story Tokens.

I've been in this situation too.  I've actually tried to tempt people into unloading debt.  But what I have seen happen is that someone always seems to fight it.  If its there, someone is going to contest it one way or another.  I put out a conflict expressly intended to give PLayer A a chance to offload some of their big debt to me and the other players, but Player B suddenly decides either a) he's going to offload his debt instead or b) he can't bear the thought of Player A resolving that conflict.  And then its big fight time, and somebody is going to be taking back a wad of debt.

This could be symptom of suboptimal play on my and my friends part, and after we have played a lot more we will get used to it and manage it better.
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Eric Sedlacek
Member

Posts: 135

TheCzech


« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006, 01:28:09 PM »

I've attempted to get rid of debt in the circumstances you describe, but ended up being caught in a big conflict over it because of some narrative element I brought in that made people go "ah, hell no!" and fight me unexpectedly.

But if you have a significant advantage in story tokens, you can often win the conflict if you stick it out.  It may not be the walk in the park you wanted and you may have to spend more of your story tokens than you wanted, but that's part of the whole "How far will you go?" element that pervades this game.

No, it isn't always that simple.  There are configurations under which story tokens alone can't get you the win, multiple opponents staking debt against you, etc.

This could be symptom of suboptimal play on my and my friends part, and after we have played a lot more we will get used to it and manage it better.

Suboptimal play is part of the game.  As you correctly state, desire to win a conflict can trump rational strategy.  It happens to all of us.  It's all part of what makes the game fun, its never-ending capacity to surprise you.
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 08:27:00 PM »

Also, try reminding the other players, "Hey, you do realize I just put out a big fat bribe, there, right? I mean, you're gonna get lots of story tokens if you let me win. Just sayin, is all."

I know I forget this sometimes, and being reminded of it is nice.
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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 08:17:21 AM »

I *think* this is the *safest* and most guaranteed way to get rid of debt. (as much as *anything* is safe or guaranteed in Capes, that is)

Wait till the end of the page.  Look to see if one or more conflicts are about to be won - hopefully, overwhelmingly so.
Spend a story token to take another turn. (ouch, I know - but you pay for safety).  If you play by the book (as far as I can see), you can now stake debt anywhere you like - using of course no more than one drive per conflict, and staking no more than the drive strength.  If you have all your debt on a single drive with a 4 or 5 rating, and two conflicts are about to resolve, you could dump as much as 8 to 10 debt all at once.

(If you play with Tony's suggested addition, that you cannot stake debt unless you are aligned with a side, then simply on your free turn and/or on your extra turn, perform actions that align you with the side in command.)

The downside is obvious - you just lost a story token *and* you just gave a pile of story tokens to the other players.  Well, there's a downside to debt, and that's that the other players usually wind up receiving it as story tokens.  Deal with it.

A slightly more risky strategy, if you feel you *need* to NOT give story tokens to the other players (who is some sense are your opponents, and who wants to help them, right? grin) would be to create a stupid useless conflict that you think no one will care about.  If possible, do this on a Page where you are the last or next to last to act.  Claim a side of it.  When your turn happens, *do not roll on it* - if you keep ignoring it, maybe the other players will too.  If they *did* ignore it, then at the end of the page, spend a story token, and take another turn.  Roll up your side to align.  You have a good chance to be ready to claim this conflict, since the other side probably still has a one on it. After the reaction phase passes, hopefully, no one reacts down on your dice - since no debt is staked, they may care less.  Then, stake your debt - as much as you can.  If all goes well, the page ends and your debt evaporates, since no legal targets exists to award this debt to.

Possible downside - someone with a story token gets smart and realizes that if they spend a token and take an extra turn, they can collect all the debt you just staked. I suppose another option would be then to stake only one debt, making this a non profitable strategy - but requiring you to spend one story token per debt you want to get rid of - not good.

Better yet, if someone *else* is playing and claiming a conflict unopposed, use your extra turn to stake debt on their side. At least you have eliminated one person from consideration - the claimant, can not be eligible for story tokens, meaning you only have to worry about the other 1 or 2 players getting cute - and you may possible find that either they don't have token or that they do not see the option.

So getting rid of debt would appear to be fairly easy - if you don't mind the other players receiving story tokens.  If you want to get rid of your debt in such a way as to prevent others from receiving those tokens, that will be very situational, you will just have to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.  It will be next to impossible any time that you are trying to lose two or more debt on a single conflict and there's a player who hasn't claimed the winning side and has a token to spend - and who is aware of the opportunity.  There simply is no reason I can think of for any player with a story token NOT to spend it to gain an extra turn so that he can ally himself with the empty side, forcing you to give him all staked debt. (as well as probably lowering you Inpsiration rewards in the process.)

I guess the only way almost guaranteed to evaporate debt *without* giving it away as story tokens is to do so one debt/conflict at a time, to do so only when potential token recipients have no story tokens to use to create an allied side with during an extra turn, or if you employ the optional rule I suggested where a story token can negate the use of another story token, and out spend your opponent.  Out spending two opponents is unlikely, so there is risk this way too.

It's VERY situational it would seem.  I think the best advice is simply to always be ready to take advantage of a debt-evaporation opportunity.
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-Sindyr
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 11:23:41 AM »

Why is giving other players story tokens a bad thing?

The absolutely most efficient way to get rid of debt is to abandon the character.
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