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Author Topic: Speeding up war of story tokens?  (Read 6393 times)
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« on: September 27, 2006, 07:26:33 AM »

In the game we played last night, another player and I were going at a particular conflict very intensely - the final one of the scene and night.  He had 10 or so story tokens to spend, I had around the same amount.

He took an extra turn.  This took a while.
He didn't do well, and so he took another extra turn.  He did better.
*I* took an extra turn, fought back, and gained the edge.
He took an extra turn.

Back and forth it went, we were all tired, the other two players were kind of a little bored, and even my opponent and I just wanted this to end - but neither would give up.

I thought of this idea to speed things up:
A story token may be spent to negate the use of someone else's story token if done so immediately.

This would lead to a story token war where each basically bids up how much it is worth to them.  So if I spend 7 tokens and he spend 8, instead of 15 turns being taken, only 1 is - his turn.

What are the deeper implications of this idea?  Is it bad? Good?

-Sindyr
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-Sindyr
Hans
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Posts: 576


« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 09:49:04 AM »

A story token may be spent to negate the use of someone else's story token if done so immediately.

Frankly, I like it for Claims and Actions.  I like it somewhat less for Conflicts and Characters, but not so much I wouldn't want to play in a game that used it for those two uses of Story Tokens as well.  You might have to make sure you are very specific about the order in which a person can cancel out a story token use.  You and I may both want to stop Him from doing something, but if you are first in the order, you could just pass, and make me spend the token to do it. 

That being said, I'm not sure it would ALWAYS be a good thing.  Some of the most fun I have had in Capes is when you get into a true battle of story token power over a conflict, and the narration associated with that battle.  This is because the rules as they are require people to NARRATE their opposition when using extra story tokens, while the rule above would allow them to simply cancel it without extra narration.  When everyone is tired and about done, this could be god send, but when everyone is fresh and excited, it might not be.

If the principle impetus to this house rule is simply to speed things up, I'd almost suggest this as a house rule tied to real world time.  For example, lets say you want to play from 7 PM to 11 PM.  You could say that the above rule can be invoked any time after 10:30 PM.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 09:51:39 AM »

[E]ven my opponent and I just wanted this to end - but neither would give up.

Yep.  Welcome to the dollar auction.  It's there by design.

These actions you were taking?  The ones you were spending the story tokens on?  Did you find that they started generating debt you'd rather not be holding?
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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 10:01:12 AM »

These actions you were taking?  The ones you were spending the story tokens on?  Did you find that they started generating debt you'd rather not be holding?

Nope - I was playing a Villain that I may or may not return to - plus I don't care as much about avoiding debt as I used to.  SO you reroll one die - it can hurt, but its not the end of the world.

Plus I was eyeing spending a story tooken and bring in a whole new character with little debt.  Never had to in the end.

So, Tony, I am not sure whether you like the idea of the token negation or not.

Oh, by the way, an idea my group discussed is allowing token negation on all spent tokens, only on and after the 4th page.  We already have a house rule that says that ALL conflicts, goal or event, are vetoable on and after the 4th page, so this would be a part of that.
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-Sindyr
LemmingLord
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Posts: 65


« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 11:01:34 AM »

I'm not seeing why you had two bored friends.  They still get to react to whatever you do and narrate.  I don't like the idea of negation - it stops the action in its tracks.  If someone has a story token, they have earned the right to add more to the story.  A rule negating this advantage favors stifling the creative process the game seems to be most interested in protecting.
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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 11:40:36 AM »

Well, I am tenacious, so I am cool with supporting whatever they decide to do in this matter.  Personally I think the negations on/after the 4th page might be the way to go, but I am happy with whatever choice they make in this matter.
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-Sindyr
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 11:51:51 AM »

If the principle impetus to this house rule is simply to speed things up, I'd almost suggest this as a house rule tied to real world time.  For example, lets say you want to play from 7 PM to 11 PM.  You could say that the above rule can be invoked any time after 10:30 PM.

I missed this bit before - it's also a good idea. I will mention it to the group when next we meet, along with the other ideas.
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-Sindyr
Matthew Glover
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Posts: 160


« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 12:09:49 PM »

I can see why some people would like this, but I really don't.  This house rule makes the game lean toward the importance of having resources rather than using resources to impact the fiction

If you're so bored you want this conflict to end, give up.  If I'm not willing to give up, this means something.  If it means something, why would I want to just skip over the interesting parts of the fiction?  This rule will just let the guy with the most story tokens buy the outcome he wants.   Screw that.  You want it?  Work for it.

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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 12:15:01 PM »

Again, I am stubborn and willing to take the long way... but I am also willing to go along with the other players should they want a way to make it more efficient.
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-Sindyr
Hans
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Posts: 576


« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 12:41:07 PM »

If you're so bored you want this conflict to end, give up.  If I'm not willing to give up, this means something.  If it means something, why would I want to just skip over the interesting parts of the fiction?  This rule will just let the guy with the most story tokens buy the outcome he wants.   Screw that.  You want it?  Work for it.

Matthew, I think the concern is one about exterior constraints, if I'm reading Benn correctly.  That is, its not that people are bored with the current conflict; its that it is 10:45 PM and everyone's wives are expecting them home at 11 PM.  It has to do with not wanting to stop mid-scene or even mid-page at the end of a session. It has to do with knowing that if you spend a few more story tokens, you would have a chance to win the current conflict, but you just don't have time to do it properly.   Essentially, its a moment where you sort of want to skip over to the resolution of the conflict, but you don't want to cripple people tactically on their chances to resolve it.

I'm not sure if Benn's suggested rule is a good way to deal with the above problem, but I can understand the force behind it.   I've known this feeling myself a number of times in multiple role-playing games, not just Capes.  That's the main reason I suggested the house rule be tied to real time.
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Matthew Glover
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 01:24:19 PM »

Oh, sure, I understand that completely.  I was just explaining why I didn't like it.  I think your realtime constraint is an excellent amendment.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2006, 09:09:55 AM »

I tend to worry that vaguely-defined real-time constraints are very likely to be trumpeted by people in pursuit of their own personal agenda (whether they realize their self-serving bias or not).  It's exactly the same way people in some games say "Well, these rules apply when it's good for the story."  You've got a potentially undefined externality that people will pull into arguments to try to change the rules.

I like Hans' time-based rule, because at least it's objective.  If the conflict is really, really, really trivial and the time is 10:25 the rule that goes into effect at 10:30 still isn't in effect.
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Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2006, 09:31:46 AM »

I like Hans' time-based rule, because at least it's objective.  If the conflict is really, really, really trivial and the time is 10:25 the rule that goes into effect at 10:30 still isn't in effect.

Do you find the idea of allowing negatory story tokens on and after the fourth page only also objective?
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-Sindyr
TonyLB
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2006, 10:09:48 AM »

Sure.  We can all count to four.  Sounds objective to me.
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Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
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