*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 16, 2019, 08:34:38 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: Can talking people's heads off be as fun as slicing them off?  (Read 4892 times)
arthurtuxedo
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2007, 12:53:45 PM »

The single roll model does increase tension for high stakes, and I can see where it might be appropriate sometimes, but a single roll can be very capricious. It's like the "save or die" spells in D&D, good for tension but man does it suck to lose a character that way. In general, I'd say that no rolls should be used for minor stakes, single roll for moderate stakes, and the full blown, multi-roll system involving the whole group for high stakes.
Logged

Tensided, From Realism to Fantasy and Everything in Between.

Don't forget to visit our attached forum!
Noclue
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2007, 02:02:12 PM »

James (noclue),

Wow, fantastic examples! Wish I had given examples like that - they are from actual play as well, aren't they? Those are great stakes!

Thanks Calan. Yes, those are from our Blossoms campaign, which should be restarting after the Holidays. Just to pimp my own AP, you can follow all of our sessions, including the clan burning at http://www.burningwheel.org/forum/showthread.php?p=48845#post48845 its also on RPGnet actual play forum.
Logged

James R.
GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2007, 07:16:05 AM »

I'm shyly approaching a game I'm calling "Bete Noire" which resolves three different types of conflict -- physical, intellectual and emotional -- with the same mechanics.  One thing that came up with emotional combat is its ambiguity of scale and intensity.  When someone swings a brick at your skull, it's not hard to interpret.  When someone SAYS something, it's not so clear-cut.  The solution I use is, yeah, just agreement.  "How intense is this argument?  Is each exchange of words going to be a roll that could harm, or is it just one roll after the end of it?"

-G.
Logged
jag
Member

Posts: 75


« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2007, 10:29:52 AM »

I'm not suggesting sometimes it should be just a single roll and that the GM decides whether it's single or multiple rolls. I'm saying the amount of rolls doesn't have much to do with the excitement - take my example of arguing against being hanged, using multiple rolls. Now compare that against something like the characters arguing against a parking fine, with multiple rolls. The multiple rolls (or singular) don't make the excitement happen, the stake does - being hanged is a big stake, a parking fine is a small one. James/noclue has some fantastic stakes in his post, check 'em out!

Once your working with big stakes, the resolution method/rolls involved is important to look at, I think. But before then it's just...I dunno, what do you think?

Callan,

I agree with you that how exciting a challenge is has a lot to do with its stakes.  However, the mechanic used for resolution has a major influence on that excitement, both during the conflict and for the players' engagement of the system as a whole.  For example, if all conflicts were resolved with a coin flip, a particular conflict might be exciting, but it wouldn't be a system that's appealing to many people.  In addition, a resolution system that involved several interacting choices by players (and the GM) can steadily mount tension and excitement over a longer period of time, as well as making the final outcome (even if it's the same as what would have happened with the coin flip) more satisfactory.

Having a resolution that incorporated what's actually interesting in a social conflict could help enrich the shared imaginary space, leading to a far more engaging encounter.  Take the Dogs resolutions method -- players are constantly making interesting tactical choices (which dice to raise, whether to give, etc), while simultaneously adding significant, cool, and interacting colour to the conflict.  That makes it much more compelling, and perhaps even exciting, than a coin flip.

So if we take the situation of the players trying to convince a king to send his army to the aid of their endangered realm, a system which incorporates the back-and-forth of the opposing arguments, sweetened by offers or bribes, would be awesome.  I'm definitely of the opinion that it should at least resemble the conflict resolution in the rest of the system.

james
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2007, 04:41:38 PM »

Hi James,

I partly agree, because I think were partly talking about the same thing. But I also disagree because it looks like no distinction is being made between mechanics which resolve conflicts about stake and mechanics which support and fill out stakes to begin with.

Quote
In addition, a resolution system that involved several interacting choices by players (and the GM) can steadily mount tension and excitement over a longer period of time
There I think your talking about mechanics which help to increase and expand a stake the player has brought to the table. But it's not resolution. Think of it like foreplay - foreplay is not the climax of sex. Yet good foreplay makes the climax all the greater. I think this thread is focusing on the climax/resolution of winning an arguement just by association (ie it seems like the climax is the only part involved because of the oomph involved there). And that means it's already skipped the foreplay stage, where the real oomph of the resolution is seeded.

Did I gross anyone out? >Smiley
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2007, 06:08:38 AM »

I hadn't realized this before now (possibly because Bete Noir skews a little more towards task- than conflict-resolution) but the intensity of the conflict maps to its duration. 

Basically, the way conflict works is like this: First you determine what's at stake.  ("I want you to fall in love with me," he says)  You can't force the player to make a choice, no matter how badly you whip on him, but you can do an awful lot of damage as a punishment for resisting.

Second, you decide how intense the conflict is, and usually this emerges organically.  For minor stuff, yeah, one exchange of rolls.  For intense stuff, it tends to go on and on.  The love example sounds like it's going to be a SLOG. 

Then it's ORE conflict, and each roll is a chance to harm your opponent in a real way.  Since it's ORE, the best defense is often offense.  So the woman resisting wooing can start off by mocking him in an attempt to hurt his feelings, while he tries to kid around and bring out her best nature.  Then he can intellectually appeal with the argument of how much better off her fatherless kids would be with a male role model, while she caustically points out that he's not their father and never, ever could be.  Furthermore (she ripostes) she's still in love with the dad.

By now loverboy's decency and kindness has been whittled down by her abuse, while his nastiness score has grown, so he pulls out the Sunday punch.  "I didn't want to the the one to tell you but... he's dead.  Ask his mom, she's known the whole time."  Revealing a relevant secret (I'm thinking) is the emotional conflict equivalent of a weapon, and that's a doozy, the kind of thing that really shakes you.  If she keeps resisting him and he keeps pushing, she's going to wind up a basket case.  So she might relent, or say she needs more time, or she might turn the secret back on him ("HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME THIS?!?").

Now that I think about it, this also means you can have minor physical scuffles - a boxing match where you might get some bruises but aren't going to worry about fatal head trauma is one roll, while a bare-knuckle fight to unconsciousness requires a number of rolls.

-G.
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2008, 03:36:46 PM »

Duration is basically spotlight time. The time spent on the issue shows it is important. Which is very affirming if for players who thought it was important to begin with. Mind you, if neither player/side in the conflict care about the issue, it wont do a jot of good. Has to be something they care about a bit, but spotlight/focus on the issue might add a snowball effect, making the care about that issue grow even larger.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2008, 07:46:19 AM »

Let me be a bit more specific. I'm talking about situations where someone is standing in the way of the party getting what they want. In my experience, the first and only resort of most player groups for any situation like this is lethal force, and when the group is forced to converse, they pick whichever character has the highest score and let him do all the talking. The conversation tends to be short and boils down to a single roll of the die that determines whether or not the obstructing NPC is convinced to let the group get what it wants, and the group as a whole is not very engaged by the whole process. Small wonder they go running to the combat mechanics every chance they get! A back and forth persuasion mechanic that involves all members of the party can make these situations a lot more interesting and fun for everyone.

I think a lot of this is expectation of what kind of challenges the game and system can and will resolve.  Most systems treat such ideas as afterthoughts and that communicates itself to play.

Say for example (one I have seen very occasionally), the source material came with a little chart for NPC's that gave things that could be persuaded of, and how hard this would be to do.  And further more, the players know this to be the case; in the rules governing social skills, an example of such an an NPC persuasion table was given to demonstrate how the skills could be put to use.  If this were the case the players would be equipped with appropriate knowledge and tools to get things by persuasion; the use of persuasion would have been explicitly endorsed and explained by the system.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2008, 05:56:53 AM »

Or there's always the brute force, carrot & stick approach:  "Oh, every time you resolve a situation by talking, you get an experience point/drama point/hero point/lickeeboomboomdown point.  Every time you start a fight, you lose one."

Crude, but often effective.

-G.
Logged
arthurtuxedo
Member

Posts: 41


WWW
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 07:37:24 PM »

I find that approach to be hamfisted. The players should be able to play the game the way they want to without some Monty Python-esque god figure throwing "thou shalt"s at them. I think if you make conversation more exciting and appealing, you'll naturally see more of it, especially if you couple that with realistic consequences for acting like gang members on PCP during a prison riot. The important distinction is that one GM forces players to behave a desired way through formalized rewards and punishments or by arbitrarily ramping the difficulty on every potential fight to "impossible", while the other lets them choose their own path but doesn't fudge to protect them from their own bad choices.
Logged

Tensided, From Realism to Fantasy and Everything in Between.

Don't forget to visit our attached forum!
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!