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Author Topic: splitting question  (Read 9397 times)
Sindyr
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« on: September 27, 2006, 02:10:04 PM »

OK, this also happened last night:
(more or less, I don't remember exact details)
 
Someone claimed a side that would win, a side I was allied to. The single die was a four.

On my turn, I staked two debt and schismed off my own third side, with a 1 and a 2, leaving a 1 behind.

On the next turn, using inspirations and luck I wound up with making those dice a 5 and a 6.

On the following turn, another player was going to claim my third side, containing my two dice and my debt.  I said that I thought I could freely move those two dice that were sitting on my debt to a new fourth side if needed, and he desisted.

But I am not now if I was right.

If I am aligned with a third side, I have two debt staked and two dice (a 5 and a 6) and someone else claims that side (someone not allied with either of the other sides, of course), what is the procedure for me creating a *fourth* side using my existing 2 debt already spent?

And when can I do this action? Only on my turn? Any time?

Thanks.

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-Sindyr
Sindyr
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2006, 05:58:07 AM »

Still looking for guidance.
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-Sindyr
Hans
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2006, 08:19:51 AM »

If I am aligned with a third side, I have two debt staked and two dice (a 5 and a 6) and someone else claims that side (someone not allied with either of the other sides, of course), what is the procedure for me creating a *fourth* side using my existing 2 debt already spent?

I don't think this is clear in the rules, but Tony gave a clarification here:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=19067.msg200101#msg200101

That pretty much answers the question.  If it is not one of the original two sides, there is no "free" die and you can just take your debt and make another new side with ALL the dice, leaving your opponent with nothing.  Screw him for trying to claim out from under you.

One assumes that if your opponent has staked debt, you could really screw them over.  Lets say you have staked two debt, and there are two dice, on the third side.  Your opponent comes along, stakes another point of debt, and splits to three dice, then claims that side on the start of the next page, chuckling at his cleverness.  On your turn, you stake another point of debt but DON'T split the dice...instead you take your three debt and all three existing dice to the new side, and leave him with one debt sitting there all on its lonesome with NO dice.  This makes claiming someone elses schismed side a bit dangerous if that person still has room in his drive strength to stake more debt.
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Sindyr
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 09:27:44 AM »

OK, adding in a new wrinkle.

What if I have a third side, with 2 of my debt staked, 2 dice, a 4 and a 5.

On his turn, my opponent  tries to roll up my 4, becoming allied with my thid side.  He then stakes two debt of his own on my third side.

Can he use *his* two debt to take both of my dice and leave me claiming a side with no dice? If not, wny not, considering I can do that to him?  Are the two dice more mine than his, even though at this point we both have 2 debt staked?

Thanks.
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-Sindyr
Hans
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 04:12:50 PM »

Can he use *his* two debt to take both of my dice and leave me claiming a side with no dice? If not, wny not, considering I can do that to him?  Are the two dice more mine than his, even though at this point we both have 2 debt staked?

ACK!  Hadn't thought of that!  That is incredibly, horribly devious.  I love it!  I also think it is somewhat self limiting, because while you and the other guy are busy stabbing each other in the back, someone else, or more likely a couple of other people, are cooperating to screw you both. 

If I was correct above, then this seems perfectly reasonable.  And if I was not correct above, well, it wouldn't be the first time.
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Sindyr
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006, 08:12:54 PM »

It's hard to say.  Tony will one assumes clear this up when he gets around to it.  I just hope it's before our next game.  There is some real lack of clarity regarding splitting and schisming. Hopefully not for long.
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-Sindyr
TonyLB
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2006, 05:06:20 AM »

Hrm.  I'll admit that the "hijack an entire side" interpretation is not one that I'd seen before.  You're quite right that by the rules it's legal.  I think that one deserves an errata, though it's going to be a tricky one to write.

The way I've played it, in practice, is by placing the dice on the poker chips.  Doing that, physically, seems to get everyone into the mindset that those dice belong to those chips, and those chips belong to the person who placed them, and so ... well ... you just wouldn't take the dice away without splitting.

But yeah, that's not in the book.  I think it's sufficiently wonky that I'm compelled to look at it as a bug rather than an undocumented feature.  Some sort of clarification (not sure how to right it or fit it on the page yet) will be in the errata, and in future editions.  Good catch!
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Sindyr
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2006, 06:05:49 AM »

OK, let's take a moment to briefly go over what we know and can reasonably infer about splitting and schisming. If anyone sees something not correct, feel free to point that out.  I will refer to splitting a die into two or more dice as splitting, and forming a new side as schisming.

FIrst of all, one can have splitting without schisming.  One can also have schisming without splitting.  And one can have both.

For clarity's sake, let's treat splitting and schisming (and staking) as seperate self contained processes.

Except, come to think of it, we can't - and this starts to make this hard.  We can't in that there is at least one instance where one can split if and only if one schisms - that would be the one debt split/schism.  That is, if you have a point of debt staked on a side that you are also allied with, you can use that single point of debt to split a die into 2, if and only if you immediately take one of
the 2 new dice to form a new side with.

One wonders: if you have two debt staked on a side that you are aligned with, that has two dice, can you split *both* dice in two, creating four dice, and immediatley taking two of them for a new side?

Or furthermore: if you have two debt staked on a side that you are aligned with, that has one dice, can you split that die into 3, immediately taking two dice and forming a new side?

It is complex and somewhat thorny.

Let's look at what we do know:
-if not forming a new side, but only splitting, the number of debt employed in splitting is the number of dice you turn one die into.
-if schisming and forming a new side, the number of debt employed is (at least) the number of dice you move.
-if you schism from one of the two original sides, you must leave at least one die behind.

Some more unknown questions:

If you schism from a side with 2 dice, can you use a single point of debt and simply take a die without splitting it?  To put another way, is splitting while schisming only required when not doing so would remove all dice from one of the 2 original sides?

If you have 3 debt staked on a side that has a single die, and want to schism off a new side, can you use 1 debt to schism, but move all 3 debt to the new side?  Or must you keep the other two debt on the side where they were, as they were not used to schism?

And of course, the question asked above, if I create a third side of two dice with my two debt, and my opponent stakes two debt on that side, becomes allied with it, and then two my two dice into a fourth side, leaving me with my two debt on a side with no dice.  Legal?

I am going to go out on a limb and muse for a moment.  What if debt used to split gave you a continued guarantee of having dice?  That someone who schismed would have to do it in such a way to leave you with the same number of dice as you used debt to make?

For example, if I have 3 debt staked on a side I am allied with, which has a single die, a 6, I then split that into three dice, each a 2.  Later, if someone want to use debt he has staked on this side, he can, but he *must* leave me with three dice of some value at the end.

So in the above example, where I used two debt to split and schism, creating a new side with two dice, that debt isn't just staked on that side, it's staked and split. Perhaps placing the debt tokens under the each die can indicate this. 

Now at any point, I can move these debt tokens and create a new side, taking the same number of dice with me as debt tokens under dice.  I do not have to take the same dice that are on my debt, but I have to take the same number.

So if my opponent staked debt on my new third side and becomes allied, he cannot simply take my 2 dice to a fourth side, because while he has staked debt on this third side, he doesn't have any debt that has been used to split.  And it's only debt that has been used to split that enables you to move dice.

I am not saying that this idea is in any way official, but it may make this muddy area more clear.  Does it fit in harmony with the way Capes is already played, or would it change anything?

To reiterate the idea:
-Staked debt can only be used to split, whereupon it becomes Split debt, placed underneath dice to indicate it's new status.  Split debt can be used to schism. When you do schism, you may take as many dice as you have split debt on that side.  Which dice you take is entirely up to you - it does not have to be the specific dice your debt was under. 
-You must always leave one die behind when schisming from one of the two original sides.  Therefor, when schisming off of one of the original two sides, the following rules also apply:
>If you already have an equal number of split debt to the number of dice, you can at no extra charge split any die into two, and then form a new side with as many dice as you have split debt on the side you are leaving.
>If you have a number of split debt less than the number of dice (but greater than zero) you may simply schism off a new side with as many dice as you have split debt on the side you are leaving.
(The following rule idea I am completely unsure of.  How would *you* word the exception?)
>If you have only have staked debt on the side you wish to schism from, which has not yet been used to split, you may *single-split* as many dice as you have staked debt.  Single-splitting is a process where one single debt can be used to split any die into 2. Place each debt so used under a die to indicate that this debt is now split debt.  You must immediately after single-splitting move a number of dice to a new side equal to your split debt. Any die not split may not be taken.

(The above rule could have instead been:

> If you have only have staked debt on the side you wish to schism from, which has not yet been used to split, you may use use one debt to split one die into two.  You may then directly convert staked debt into split debt by placing them under dice on that side, with one limitation: you must leave at least one die with none of your split debt under it. You then must take as many dice as you have split debt to form a new side.

However, this rule would create a problem - a person who stake and split now has 3 split debt and three dice on a side. Using the above rule, it is possible to schism, leaving them with only one die.  This contradicts the above idea that you also have as many dice as you have split debt to make them.  The only other possible split/schism rule for when you have debt staked but not split is:

> If you have only have staked debt on the side you wish to schism from, which has not yet been used to split, you may use use one debt to split one die into two, turning one of your staked debt into split debt.  You must immediately select one die to form a new side with.

This would work, but lead to the undesirable outcome that someone schisming off a new side will most likely be inferior to the side he is schisming from.  For example, if the side he is schisming from started with three dice - a 4,5 and a 6; he will probably split the 4 into 2 2's, making 2,2,5, and 6; and then take the 6, making their side 2,2,and 5 and his side a 6.  Unless you rule that the die he must take to make the new side with has to be one of the split dice, in which case the old side has 3,4, and 5; and he has a 3 - even more underwhelming.

The original proposal that *each* die gets split (if he stakes enough debt) is my favorite choice - a 4,5,6 could become (if the schismer has 3 debt staked) a 2 and 2, a 2 and 3, and a 3 and 3.  Could the schismer take all three 3's?  Or can he only take one die from each split, ie, a 2, a 2 or 3, and a 3?)

One final consideration: when schisming to a new side, does all your debt, staked, split, or otherwise, some with you to the new side?  If you staked 3 debt on a side, and use one of those debt points to schism to a new side, do the other two staked but otherwise unused debt tokens come with you to the new side, or stay where they are?

All of the above is NOT intended to revolutionize or change Capes.  My *only* goal is to formalize the split/schism mechanic rules for how it is supposed to work already - not to necessarily make Capes play any differently.

Does any of the above do that?  Or have I gotten the way Capes is supposed to work wrong?

The quest continues.
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-Sindyr
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2006, 06:08:07 AM »

Hrm.  I'll admit that the "hijack an entire side" interpretation is not one that I'd seen before.  You're quite right that by the rules it's legal.  I think that one deserves an errata, though it's going to be a tricky one to write.

The way I've played it, in practice, is by placing the dice on the poker chips.  Doing that, physically, seems to get everyone into the mindset that those dice belong to those chips, and those chips belong to the person who placed them, and so ... well ... you just wouldn't take the dice away without splitting.

But yeah, that's not in the book.  I think it's sufficiently wonky that I'm compelled to look at it as a bug rather than an undocumented feature.  Some sort of clarification (not sure how to right it or fit it on the page yet) will be in the errata, and in future editions.  Good catch!

I just crossposted with you. (grin)  I wrote out some ideas and approaches to hopefully help.  Again, my idea are not intended to change how Capes is played, just to capture in black and white the absolute rules governing how we are supposed to stake and split - and I am having a difficult time of it.  I look forward to your continued guidance.
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-Sindyr
Sindyr
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Posts: 795


« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2006, 06:56:51 AM »

The way I've played it, in practice, is by placing the dice on the poker chips.  Doing that, physically, seems to get everyone into the mindset that those dice belong to those chips, and those chips belong to the person who placed them, and so ... well ... you just wouldn't take the dice away without splitting.

A further question.  Is it your intention for Capes that debt used to split dice be linked to particular dice?  That if I split a 5 into a 2 and a 3, that the debt tokens go under those dice **and now those dice belong to me and are associated with that debt**?

I like that approach, it feels intuitive, but for some reason I thought you frowned on both players "owning" dice and specific debt tokens being linked with specific dice.

If you are cool with either of those, then we can just say that (in general) you can only schism dice linked to the debt you used to split them, yes?  That is, dice that you have your debt underneath?

Some questions (which I asked above) would still remain for covering when you can split, but that can be dealt with.

In fact, if you *are* ok with players "owning" dice and specific debt tokens being linked with specific dice, then I might even suggest to make it a solid capes rule that you can only schism dice that are sitting on your debt.  Then we simply come up with some black and white rules for different way you get dice *onto* your debt.

The only reason I came up with the long and complex stuff above was that I was trying to keep within my perceived impression that you did *not* want to let players "own" dice and also did *not* want specific debt token associated with specific dice.

Without that, things can (I think) become somewhat simpler.
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-Sindyr
TonyLB
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2006, 12:24:10 PM »

Like I said, I'm trying to figure out how to word this properly.  "Ownership" terminology has given me trouble in the past ("You have to 'claim' a side before you can roll it, right?")

I suspect that I'm going to come down, in the long term, on the side of saying something like "If you want to schism a fourth side off of a third then you must split dice to cover all of the available debt before taking dice away to form your side."  That's not exactly the same as the ownership thing, but the differences are really remarkably minor ... yes, if someone has 5+2 on their two debt and you split with one debt, you can split 5+1+1 and take their 5 rather than the 3 you'd be allowed under the ownership system.  But for the frequency with which that happens?  I'm not too concerned.

Anyway, I'll think about it over the weekend and get some errata out mid-week.
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Sindyr
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2006, 07:53:30 AM »

Cool.  I think the trouble won't be coming up with an errata rule, but coming up with one that is clear, unambigous, and procedurally simple to follow.

I reccomend that the suggested distinction of having two kinds of debt - staked debt, that has not been sed to split or schism, and *split* debt, debt that has been used to split - is a clear way of creating rules on when you can and cannot schism.  A blanket prohibition on schism any more dice than you have split-type debt on the side can make what it intuitive explicit, I think.

Then the challenge wold be to simply define how and under what circumstances staked debt become split debt.  I gave many ideas above.

In this way you could simplify and clarify without ever having to resort to the idea you dislike of "owned" dice.  The only question is how is debt shown to be staked and how is debt shown to be split?  The idea I suggested (which people seem to be already doing) is simply slide the debt under some dice on that side.  The only downside is this may create a false intuition that the dice on top of you debt are more yours then the dice which are not on top of your debt.  However, since most people seems to be using the "debt under dice" convention now, the implication wouldn't be any more false than it is now, so I say go for it.

You *could* of course make it even more explicit by using two different colors for debt tokens - say, blue for staked but not split debt, and green for debt used to split dice.  Or, if your tokens have a heads side and a tails side, you could do it that way.  That way you would not be putting dice on top of debt, and would not be thereby creating any false implications.

By the way, why are we trying to avoid the idea of dice ownership so strongly?  I wonder if it wouldn't be simplest to just let people own the dice that sit on their debt in the first place?  Why is "dice ownership" such a bad direction to take Capes in?
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-Sindyr
TonyLB
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2006, 08:57:07 AM »

Ownership is not inherently a bad metaphor, but it is inherently a broad metaphor.  People think of it as meaning different things, and so the metaphor can confuse rules rather than clarify them.

Witness "Claiming."  I've had people, many people, who believe that once they've claimed a side, nobody else can act on it.  Because, y'know, they've claimed it.  Nowhere is that said in the rules, but the power of the metaphor is such that they intuit rules that don't exist.
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Matthew Glover
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2006, 07:48:46 AM »

I'm personally starting to lean strongly toward debt owning dice.  I've never actually said anything about owning dice when I taught or played Capes with anybody, and it's never been really discussed, but I believe that our action of placing a die upon a debt chip when we split it has caused us to think of it in terms of ownership. 

For instance, let's say that at my table, this happened:  I have two debt staked on Side A, with a 3 and a 2 stacked on my chips. Bobby stakes two debt beside mine, splits a 2 and a 1 onto his chips (leaving a 1 and a 1 on mine), then rolls the 1 up to a six.  On my turn,  I schism and take my debt, the 2, and the 6 to Side C, leaving him with a 1 and 1.  Bobby will go "WTF?" and we'll have to have a discussion about it.  I'm okay with that.  Honestly, I'd feel a little bit dirty about taking the 2 and the 6.  To me it feels like Bobby made a good play there.  Taking the die that he split smartly and the die that he rolled well?  That feels a little like a screwjob.  If it was Bobby taking my good dice and shafting me with the crappy ones, I'd be studying the rules to find some way to shaft him back.  Ownership, though, seems both fair and obvious.  To me, at least.  I also think (without any evidence, really), that a lot of people already play this way.

With very little forethought, I'd write it up thusly, I think.  Optional Rule -- Dice Ownership:  When using a point of Debt to split a die, one of the resultant dice (splitter's choice which one) is placed upon the Debt chip to signify that the die is owned by the same player who staked that Debt.  Any player may use an Inspiration upon an owned die or roll any owned die as per the usual rules, but no one but the owner may move an owned die with a schism.  Owned Overdrawn Variant:  When overdrawn, a player must roll down his highest owned die first.  If no dice are owned by this player, he must roll down his highest allied die.

I obviously haven't done enough playing without ownership to really back up these feelings, so I welcome anybody who has played extensively without ownership (explicit or implied) to school me on what I'm not recognizing.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2006, 04:17:53 AM »

Matthew, I really like your variants, and currently being a "rules man" in my group, I'll probably use them on the next session (especially that we finished in the middle of a conflict yesterday, with an intention of continuing the scene from that point, and massive goal sniping is anticipated).

But, with Owned Overdrawn Variant, I'm pondering Tony's untested idea of Overdrawn kicking in the "phase" occurring between normal actions and extra actions bought with STs. I may be mistaken, but it looks to me like the variant would further reduce the risks connected with being Overdrawned. Like, Overdrawned characters often won't be rolling down the highest dice on the side they are allied with, so the rule doesn't hurt player's allies as much. On the other hand, it greatly reduces the potential possibility of using Overdrawned characters strategically to roll-down so that it would be beneficial for the player (e.g. by allying heavily overdrawned character or two with the "enemy" side, and another character with his claimed side).
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