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Author Topic: Non re-entrance of BDTP and the Quickening of in-Game effects  (Read 9007 times)
oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« on: January 18, 2008, 06:31:56 AM »

Eero made the following remark on the Vulfen Species design thread:

Quote
On the other hand, what if the wizard's goal was to get past this other character, and he just happened to use a spell to achieve that? Or he wanted to hide the other character, or make it so his mother wouldn't recognize him? In these cases the success of the spell is not one of the stakes, which makes it really insidious: if such a spell is cast in BDtP and it succeeds, it takes effect immediately!

I think this merits some discussion. First of all, Bringing Down the Pain is not re-entrant; that means one cannot declare Bringing Down the Pain on a volley of an already-running BDTP. This is good, but brings us to a counter-intuitive point: Stuff that happens in BDTP is part of the game fiction as soon as it happens, and there's no mechanics-wise game on this level to try to prevent these effects.

So, would it be one of the "advanced" techniques of magic wielding characters to only use magics within BDTP to avoid losing their effects to BDTP? What other techniques work better/worse within BDTP because of this?
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 05:09:30 PM »

Eero answered in the other thread:

Quote
(As if this wouldn't be a topic for another thread...)

It's notable that, technically speaking, a spell is not any easier to get through in BDtP if the opposition opts to resist it and the group indeed allows changing intents in BDtP to stop new actions (perhaps allowing the original action to get through). I find it wise to do this, for otherwise players could sneak their real intent through in a more assured manner by starting a fake BDtP about something else and then doing what they really intented. To clarify: the armsman to be spelled into a toad does not need to change intents to roll his initial Resist check against the spell; he only needs to change intents if he wants to contest the spell further, to bring its effects into BDtP as stakes. In that case we'd have a basic change of intent situation.

As for the toad-transformed character, our position on this has been that the toad acts in BDtP just like any toad with the stats of this particular toad would, whether he's been changed into the toad from the beginning or not. It's the same principle as a character who drops down a well (an example I was troubled by a couple of years ago, as it seemed that dropping in a well would prevent a character from continuing in conflict) or really any situation where the conflict narration changes the environment. Thus, I'd say that the toad could try to still continue in the conflict, but he'd probably suffer from penalty dice for most strategies available to him. If, after the transformation, he had a high "Croaking" Ability (perhaps the toad-equivalent to Savoir-Faire?), he'd most likely have to not use it solely because it is not relevant to stopping armed, violent men. So yeah, in practice the toad is screwed is my position, which is why the character might wish to resist the toad spell as mightily as he can - it's an instant conflict ender for most situations.
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sabbatregent
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René López


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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 11:28:39 PM »

I'm not sure I follow this, but it sounds really puzzling. I have the same question as oilof, really. It seems like, in order to make a spell easier to happen, you can BDTP, because if you fail the Resist check inside the BDtP, you can't contest the effects... I'm sure we're missing something really obvious here
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Troels
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 07:56:27 AM »

Obviously the rules are not crystal clear, but BDTP i a fairly important part of the game, and it can very easily be short-cirquited by magic. Now if we were simulating a fantasy world, I might say: "Cool. Magic does that." But that's kind of not what we do. Instead I'd say that the magic maybe doesn't completely take hold all at once, it does mechanical damage that reduces and will eventually eliminate your ability to stay in the conflict. When you go past broken (or give), you are toadified all the way and cannot resist. Formulated in general terms:

Effects that would effectively eliminate you from BDTP cannot be narrated as accomplished facts until you have been well and properly whupped.

My tuppence, anyway.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 01:37:02 PM »

The way Troels does it is pretty common in many indie games. I don't personally brook it for TSoY, mainly because I don't want to imbalance the complex subsystems that do not account for BDtP. Three-corner magic is one of those, but I've managed to create such myself as well. I also like to have things happen "for real" in the fiction with all of their consequences intact, instead of doing creative leg-work to have the newly ensorcelled toad continue using his sword-fighting skill or whatever (unless he's Yoda; in that case it's totally OK).

This is an explicit drift on the rules, but it's also the only sensible way to handle it, I think: characters need to be able to declare change of intent reactively to delay and draw into BDtP events that happen during its execution. Specifically, if a character is involved in BDtP when something untowards happens, the player needs to be able to immediately engage the new event in BDtP. Any other interpretation goes into some paradoxical situations I'd rather not encounter, like what happens when a BDtP happens on a much longer time-scale than some other events played in tandem. An interesting question is whether the change of intent should be declared in the free-and-clear, before the actual event happens (or is rolled for, anyway) but after it is declared; I'm leaning towards having the declaration only happen if the initial action succeeds, to parallel how BDtP is initiated to begin with. Of course, not allowing that is a much smaller drift on the rules, as the rules as they stand already allow players to negotiate character action in the free-and-clear, so it's entirely reasonable to have one player say that he's going to cast a spell, while another declares a change of intent to stop that spell. Allowing reactive change of intent (which would, effectively, happen during the next round) after a BDtP action succeeds would be a much more drastic change to the rules, although one that comes up only rarely in practice.

The above of course gets into a ream of follow-up questions: characters should certainly suffer the penalty for restating intent, but should they have to also forfeit their original intent? Does the new intent mean that the opposition automatically succeeds in overcoming the original intent? If so, should players be able to push their original intent in BDtP through by forcing the opposition to switch intents by introducing unacceptable actions? If not, should characters be able to run several intents simultaneously? Several BDtP conflicts, if their scales do not overlap?

My own solution for those follow-up questions lies in careful analysis of intent in BDtP: characters can have any intent they can reasonably work to achieve, so in many situations we can avoid any problems just fine by changing intents from "guarding this hall-way from intruders" to "stopping this particular character / group of characters from getting their way". This method means that it is still possible for a guard guarding a hallway to stop somebody from getting in the hallway while simultaneously resisting the toad transformation (both are activities of the same character, a character which he just declared he was trying to stop), but he's leaving the way open for unacknowledged third parties (which used to fall within "guard the hallway against all comers" but are not included in "stop this spellcaster"), which is not entirely unreasonable.

The above solution is still incomplete for BDtP situations that run in such different domains that a singular intent can't be relevant for both, while forfeiting one because of the other makes no sense either. An example would be a BDtP with stakes of "make you fall in love with me", played over months of in-game time. If another character then came along to murderize the paramour during those months, could the paramour declare BDtP? He's already involved in one, after all. What about if the murderer is involved in the same BDtP, perhaps as a co-suitor? I'm perfectly willing to run separate and simultaneous BDtP conflicts in complex situations myself, provided that acting in one BDtP does not impede acting in the other one; other SGs might have different opinions.

The most important part of this problem is the principle of character rights: TSoY presumes that all characters have a right to systematic defence via a certain procedure insofar as they are unimpeded and able to work towards resolving their current goals. All the specific situations above should therefore be resolved in a manner that allows the character his defence, which usually means having any incoming events go through BDtP should the player desire it. The only exception to this is the case where the character is impeded from trying to resist by some in-fiction cause. The typical reasons, and the ways they are utilized, are as follows:
  • The character has an intent that is not achievable with his leverage, like flying to the moon without any means of propulsion; the intent automatically fails.
  • The character is unaware of his intent, like when he is surprised or the event he'd like to affect happens in the next room; the intent automatically fails.
  • The character chooses to pursue other interests instead of his intent, like when a character chooses to go to the Qek jungles to search for his father instead of going to Maldor to stop a revolution; the intent not pursued automatically fails.
But presuming that none of the above holds sway, I'd say that the spirit of the rules is that the character should be allowed to contest the incoming fictional event, whether doing so means reworking statement of intent in an ongoing BDtP, starting a new one on the side or allowing a character to have "two intents" at once (with the understanding that this is one a case-by-case basis and only when the character can work towards both simultaneously in the fiction). The key idea here is that unless one of the above reasons says otherwise, a character is justified in requiring a conflict resolution procedure for resolving his intents; a part of this procedure is the player's right to call for BDtP, which right is paramount to most other considerations involved in these situations.

Ultimately we run into a soft spot in the TSoY rules here, caused by the mix of qualitative and quantitive resolution systems involved. It would be entirely reasonable for a given group to rework the rules to translate all qualitative results (like magic, say) into quantitative Harm results; so instead of having a spell that changes another character into a toad you have a spell that turns another character into a toad, but only if it manages to cause an appropriate level of Harm, where "Harm" is completely abstracted to only mean character ability to resist things in conflict. Something like this could be easily enough implemented to eradicate the paradoxes involved here. Myself, I prefer to keep the mix of quantitative and qualitative mechanics, as that gives the game edges that lack in totally point-based ones like Universalis; I like how things can just simply happen instead of being monetarized and compared to other forces before allowing them legitimacy.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 01:45:09 PM »

Also, to answer Harald's original question: the way I interpret Three-corner magic in BDtP is that the several Ability checks needed to get a multi-focus working going are all sequential, separate support checks. Therefore a working with two focuses actually takes two BDtP volleys to resolve as per the basic rules for unrelated actions in BDtP, with the first check only preparing the grounds for the second (with special effects, of course, when the character taps into the Destruction mainline or whatever). This makes magic in BDtP rather... interesting, to say the least. Also, I have Spells overrun this limitation just to give them a bit of added punch, and to give accomplished magicians a motivation to build spells out of stuff they already know.

So that helps a bit when it comes to the specific problem of powerful magic getting through easier in BDtP. Combine that with my above, very abstract musings, and you get a pretty good balance for most practical situations; it still improves your chances then if you can hit the opposition with several hostile intents at the same time in the same venue, but nothing gets through "automatically".
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Troels
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 02:40:23 PM »

The way Troels does it is pretty common in many indie games. I don't personally brook it for TSoY, mainly because I don't want to imbalance the complex subsystems that do not account for BDtP. Three-corner magic is one of those, but I've managed to create such myself as well. I also like to have things happen "for real" in the fiction with all of their consequences intact, instead of doing creative leg-work to have the newly ensorcelled toad continue using his sword-fighting skill or whatever (unless he's Yoda; in that case it's totally OK).

Actually, I really, really like "doing creative legwork".

Consider a classic western six-shooter showdown played with TSoY. Actually, there are six-shooters (and blasters!) in my Shadow of Fading Suns campaign, so it could happen anyway. Two guys/gals with their guns, it goes into BDtP, and they have to go at it until somebody drops, which will most likely take a number of exchanges. How do we visualize it? Either they are standing there pumping bullets into each other, and that's what the harm represents, or we "do creative legwork". Imagine that the narration in between the dice-rolling isn't guns blazing, but the tumbleweed rolling across High Street, sweat running into the gunfighters' eyes as they stand there staring down each other at fifty paces, a nervous twich of a cheek, annoyance at the distracting squeaking of the pump windmill... Only when fatal damage (or a give) occurs are the actual shots narrated, because the true western gunfight is a battle of nerve, not hot lead.

Which is cooler? I'll stick with my legwork, thank you very much. Now, can this be applied to the question of somebody turning somebody else into a toad with magic? Totally. Swordsman and sorcerer facing off, very classic. "Butbutbut, swordfighters can get weapons with bonuses and stuff, that gives them the advantage!?!" Imbue yourself a magic wand, +2 damage when toadifying. Leave a trail of amphibian woe!

And as far as subsystems go, IMO they ought to take the main systems into account, and BDtP is a main system. Eero's solution sounds sort of cool, but by the time you get into the third or fourth nested sub-BDtP because two magically-capable sides are colliding in multiple timescales, it will probably induce pain, dizziness and nausea in most players due to the sheer complexity of it. At least, it will probably take a really skilled game master to manage it. I think.
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sabbatregent
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René López


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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2008, 11:15:54 PM »

Ok, let's say I'm a magician/assasin and I attack the Duke (a PC) with the intent of "removing him from the negotiations". The first roll is a plain Knifes vs. Resist. The Duke loses and so he BtDP. Some exchanges latter, it's clear to me that the knife is not going to cut it (so to speak) and I say that for my action I'm going to turn him into a toad. I have the Spell payed for and everything. The action is still within my intent (I don't want him dead, just of the negotiations). What does the Duke needs to do, if he doesn't want to get turned into a toad?

Also, let's assume he fails the defensive check. My intent stays the same, right? But if the character fails, he's removed from the BtDP because he can no longer carry out his intent. The only way he can stay in conflict is if he changes his intent to "avoid being transformed into a toad, at which point... I have no idea what happens:

In Troels idea, you change the pace of the BtDP to acknowledge the new conditions, but you keep going the same way, and you're not a toad unless you give or lose. In Eero's proposition, you do become a toad, unless you launch a second, parallel, BtDP. Am I right?

BTW, Eero, that was some fine dissection of the core principles of the game, and will be very helpful for my upcoming games.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2008, 12:49:15 PM »

Troels: I won't dispute that your method of interpreting the relationship of conflict rules to fiction (which I call "formalistic" in Finnish theory discussions) works just fine; I use it myself extensively in other games, such as The Mountain Witch. I don't know what to make of your straw-men, though.

Sabbat: you're right that I could have been less obtuse in my musings, above. Let's see... yes, your example is an interesting one in that you could look at it from two viewpoints:
  • Resisting the toadifying spell is probably within the Duke's intent (something like "participate in the negotiations safely"), and therefore any action that would directly make him fail cannot conclude as long as the BDtP is on-going. The principle is the same as if the assassin had declared an action to "remove the Duke's head with one swing" or some such; that kind of action is automatically interpreted as an attack intent on harm, not a direct success. The only reason an action is delayed in this way in TSoY is character interest in the form of conflict intent; if a character wants to resist something, his resistance may continue as long as the player is willing to take Harm, up to Harm level 7, at which point the character is unable to continue resisting. This is the procedure by which character intent is overridden in TSoY.
  • As the spell itself is not the intent of the assassin, the resolution of the spell is not directly tied to the results of the BDtP. The spell could fail, and the assassin could still achieve his goal. What determines whether the Duke is a toad at the end of the BDtP? The result is pretty interesting, but it seems to me that if the spell is delayed as part of the BDtP as per the above point, then whether it concludes or not depends not only on whether the casting character wins the BDtP, but also on whether he's continued the spell narratively until the end of the BDtP! So if the assassin's last action, so to speak, were related to the spell, the Duke would become a toad, but if he abandoned the casting effort mid-way through the BDtP in favor of some other method (perhaps the knife, again), then the Duke would stay human, even while the assassin wins the BDtP with his knife.
Those are not opposed points, so it seems to me that the situation can be judged pretty clearly: the spell allows the assassin to bring a slew of magical Abilities into the conflict, and it makes it possible for the conflict to end with the Duke as a toad (which wouldn't be possible without the spell), but it doesn't actually give any hard benefits in the middle of the BDtP, apart from the possible tactical benefit of using the Transformation ability against the Duke's resistance. However, if the Duke had formulated his intent in the conflict in a way that failed to account for his potential transformation ("Imprison the assassin", for example, which might still be feasible as a toad), then the spell would force him to either become a toad and continue the BDtP as one (with the assassin's intent pretty much resolved, note; the rest of the BDtP would be pretty much about the Duke's intent to catch the assassin, if the assassing wouldn't just give up after succeeding in the spell), or reassess the situation and change his intent now that his own ability to participate in the negotiations is threatened... not entirely unreasonable, but a bit confusing, perhaps.

Ultimately, it seems to me from what I've written that I equate spells that accomplish special effects with any other ability checks made to cause events in the fiction. The confusion engendered by BDtP is not specific to spells, but it's a general question: how can actions taken in BDtP be challenged to BDtP? Harald intimated the hard-line option at the beginning of the thread, stating that BDtP volleys cannot be challenged, that they take force automatically. I hope to have demonstrated some of the problems of this approach. Instead, I'm actually much closer in opinion to Troels, who stated that BDtP actions cannot threaten the character intent in force during the BDtP; I'd take one step further and say that actions in BDtP, just as elsewhere, shouldn't be allowed to bypass the BDtP challenge themselves if there is a character who wants to contest them and has the means to do so. Any such action, any such contest, is immediately taken to BDtP (understood more as a state than a procedure here, I confess) and hashed out as long as one side gives up or is overcome by Harm. The only potential confusion in this position concerns the possibility of simultaneous BDtP conflicts (in the case of differing scales of conflict) and whether a character contesting another's actions has to change intent, and whether he has to relinquish his old intent to do so. All three of these considerations are, for me, purely case-by-case: if the group sees no fictional problem with a character who simultaneously defends his friend, say, and tries to get out of a falling cave, then it's a valid intent to "protect my friend and get out". I see nothing in the rules of TSoY to suggest that the breadth of intents in BDtP should be limited or equalized somehow, as long as the character is physically up to the task of fulfilling all separate parts of his ambition.

So yes, my short answer is that whether the toadifying spell is an instant win for another character depends on whether the group's conception of Three-corner transformation magic involves a simple D&D-like "spell fizzles" SFX sequence, or whether resisting the spell is a painful and grotesque struggle of molding flesh and knitting bone. In the former case it's quite reasonable for a character to keep up an intent like "guard my friends and keep myself safe from evil magics", while in the latter case an argument could be made that a character devoted to resisting the transformation spell is fully occupied during the process, and cannot address other concerns simultaneously.

Hmm... too much theory and too little crunch here, I fear. Here's a spell that just popped to mind, crafted to end almost any conceivable conflict.

Spell: Fall to the sky
One man-sized target touched by the caster starts falling upwards on a successful Transformation (I) check. The spell lasts for an hour, so presumably the target will fall down in two hours or so.
Cost: 1 Instinct
  • Transformation: Gravity: 2 Instinct.
  • -1 Instinct for being a spell.

Much more stylish than transforming somebody into a toad. Cheaper, too. Actually, that's probably the cheapest possible way of ending any conflict under the sky (as opposed to in-doors). I certainly would want to resist that in BDtP in almost any situation...

Transformation Secret: Gravity
You can negate gravity affecting one man-sized target with a Transformation (I) check. You can spend extra Instinct points to:
  • Double the mass of the allowed target.
  • Cause extra pull equal to target's weight in one particular direction.
Cost: 1+ Instinct

Perhaps the most play-pertinent problem with spells is that some of these Three-corner Secrets are just a bit too cheap for their effect. I'm mainly looking at Living Morph here, on which Gravity, above, is based. Both of them could stand upping the base cost to 3 points in my opinion, the effects are so powerful.
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Troels
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2008, 03:01:28 PM »

Troels: I won't dispute that your method of interpreting the relationship of conflict rules to fiction (which I call "formalistic" in Finnish theory discussions) works just fine; I use it myself extensively in other games, such as The Mountain Witch. I don't know what to make of your straw-men, though.

They are merely there to demonstrate to hypothetical other readers (since I don't doubt you'll get the drift) that my approach is possible to put into practice and doesn't have to be utterly abstract. Technically, somewhat bad form since we are sort of arguing. Apologies.

Concerning your spells. Well, being a bit of a faerytale fan, I think toadification is cooler. Plus, an hour later the victim can say "Well, I got better". I think the low cost on your very, very fatal spell is totally acceptable ...if it can only take final effect at the end of a succesfully concluded BDtP.

I still think multiple, nestled BDtPs can lead to undesirableness in play. I can certainly see a duel of wizards, a fantasy classic not unlikely to occur, turning into a very, very deep pile of BDtPs only limited in depth by their available harm levels and pool points. It is simpler and IMO more elegant to say that in BDtP you simply do harm until someone drops or gives, at which point you hit them with and in the case of magic pay for the consequences.

I do agree with you, Eero, that the OP assertion that events in BDtP take effect immediately is problematic as it breaks some of the underlying principles of TSoY. Very nifty analysis too, BTW. I just don't agree that yours is "the only sensible way to handle it".
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2008, 04:20:23 PM »

Those suggestions about nestling BDtP weren't intended as a practical solution for basic situations - my position is that several concurrent BDtP resolutions are pertinent only when they do not interact in any way. My example of a conflict over romance played over several months overlapping with a conflict over immediate, violent death was intented to demonstrate that such situations are quite possible, and it would be silly to let the combat encounter affect the longer term situation in any manner. Of course, long-term BDtP is for the most part a theoretical proposition fully supported by the rules, but only demonstrated in action rarely, if at all. I for one remember only two or three such from my own actual play. The actual way the game is played usually strongly favors handling long-term situations in terms of development scenes and sudden break-points, where after gaining all necessary leverage in previous scenes the hero finds an opportunity to succeed or fail in one, immediate conflict that usually resolves in a social, violent or magical manner. It would be entirely possible to play TSoY with an explicit ban on long-term conflicts, only allowing conflicts that span over one explicit scene at most.

(On the other hand, I'm waiting expectantly for somebody to take Birthright's premise and run a Solar System game focused on rulership and large-scale social matters. I'm sure that long-term BDtP would come up in a game where a war could be fought in a single conflict...)

As for the wizard duel, for the most part I'd run it the same you do, I just express the reasoning behind the technical rulings in a different manner. I would also allow and require characters to make the necessary changes of intent if the opposition redefined the situation substantially - for example, if the opposition was at a disadvantage and suddenly threatened to cast "Fall to the Sky" on the loved one of your wizard, it would be entirely reasonable to require you to let go (perhaps temporarily) of trying to win the duel if you want to protect her as well to a degree where you want to BDtP over her safety. But if the spells cast in a wizard duel BDtP were all just variations of trying to overcome the opponent's intent, then I'd probably work it the same way you would: the characters pay the costs of each spell once, but the spell only takes effect if the check causes Harm 7 - otherwise the spell is narrated to be blocked partially or fully, perhaps with great exertion on the part of the defender. On the next round the caster has the option of "continuing to cast" the same spell, rolling suitable Abilities, or he can abandon that spell and try something else... hm... The way Three-corner magic works, I'd say that just about any wizard-duel will be an issue of constructing a spell that the opposition can't ignore, casting it once and then pushing it through with successive Ability checks while the opponent either casts countermagic or resists with Passive checks. Casting several duel-ending spells in BDtP wouldn't be useful at all, and if both wizards opt to cast their own offensive spells, they'd most likely be parallel - my specific judgement as SG would be that barring any details, two Three-corner spells are perpendicular only if their foci overlap (not because of any fine rules nuance, but because I like the tactical and narrative implications of how wizard spells "clash" only when they both try to draw on the same focus).

Where I differ from your position is solely in the reasoning and, perhaps to some little degree, in narrating the events. So while we both rule that the toadifying or sky-falling spell doesn't get through without the target accepting it, I don't rule this way because it's somehow unfair when magic short-circuits BDtP, but because the system allows all characters the right to resist with their Harm tracker pretty much anything they can manage to resist, fictionally speaking. Perhaps the above example of a situation where a character is forced to let go of one BDtP in order to initiate a new one is the greatest practical difference - as I understood you, you consider any such diversionary tactics to be automatically part of the same BDtP situation, so they only take place after the BDtP is over, if at all.

Also, in case it's not clear: when a hostile wizard breaks wizard duel to cast a spell at an innocent bystander, he's doing it under the rules for unrelated actions in BDtP - and the same holds true for somebody who decides to try to stop the action. My interpretation here is that both unrelated actions are resolved as if they were outside BDtP (as that is what an action unrelated to an ongoing BDtP is), which includes the right to announce BDtP over the outcome of the action in question. The question I've been struggling with in this thread is whether declaring BDtP when you're already involved in one is cause for the first BDtP to be forsaken, or should the new declaration be handled as a change of intent within the existing BDtP - I would only consider a "nested", simultaneous BDtP when the scale of one of the BDtP progressions was such that the other BDtP would fit entirely within the larger one - as would be the case when one BDtP lasts only a couple of minutes and the other takes months to conclude. In all other situations I'd say that the character declaring a "new" BDtP is either changing intent or giving up on the first BDtP to start a new one; which one is the case seems to my mind to depend entirely on whether the character can act in a manner that defends both intents at once, which is a judgement on the fictional occasion solely.

To finish: I note that Three-corner magic has no countermagic to use in those all-important wizard-duels. I also don't remember writing my version of that in English. Unforgivable, I say!

Counter-magic
You can resist Three-corner magic - that does not need to have you as the target - with an Enhancement (I) check. Success level is converted into penalty dice for the caster of the spell for their next Three-corner check in the same scene. The target of this Secret is either the caster or a target of the magic to be countered. Cost: 2 Instinct.

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Troels
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 10:05:30 AM »

Where I differ from your position is solely in the reasoning and, perhaps to some little degree, in narrating the events. So while we both rule that the toadifying or sky-falling spell doesn't get through without the target accepting it, I don't rule this way because it's somehow unfair when magic short-circuits BDtP, but because the system allows all characters the right to resist with their Harm tracker pretty much anything they can manage to resist, fictionally speaking. Perhaps the above example of a situation where a character is forced to let go of one BDtP in order to initiate a new one is the greatest practical difference - as I understood you, you consider any such diversionary tactics to be automatically part of the same BDtP situation, so they only take place after the BDtP is over, if at all.

I would try my best to run "diversionary tactics" as a change of tactics, and possibly pace if necessary to make the narrative make sense, within the same BDtP.

But, OK, we don't seem to be as far apart in practice as I thought. As for reasoning, I wouldn't rule against magic short-cirquiting BDtP on "moral" grounds, ie. fairness, but rather because of game aesthetics. Sub-systems (like 3< magic) shouldn't break main systems (like BDtP), especially main systems that are both nifty and bound into the game's general philosophy. In case of conflict, I will ruthlessly shave, mould and batter the square peg of the subsystem until it fits the round hole of the main system.

Ultra-long-term BDtP is a cool idea in theory, but I'm beginning to suspect that it requires a strong commitment by all parties to not break the system, at least to work well.

And on a lighter note... Two 3< magicians duel in BDtP. They both cast "Fall into the Sky". The GM rules it to be parallel actions. Let's say they spend their last Instinct points on it. Moments later, they are both falling up through the clouds.

Says one: "Crap. What do we do now?"

Says the other: "Errm... wanna make out? That way we can both get down alive..."

I love refreshment!
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sabbatregent
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Posts: 25

René López


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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2008, 11:57:48 AM »

Eero, your Secret reminds me of this other one:

Secret of Knock-back
    Your character's blows send people flying. Knock back a stricken character one yard per success level. This immediately ends Bringing Down the Pain if you're involved in that, with no resolution as to intentions.
    Cost: 2 Vigor.

They do sort of the same thing, I guess, since they end BtDP prematurely. I like the spell's idea a lot, since sending your opponet flying into the air is a very archvillany thing to do. The secret cost 2 Vigor and your costs 2 Instinct, so its seems the price is right.

Thanks for the clarification on the toad thing, it's a discussion that is bound to arise somewhere else later, so your explanation will be very valuable.

Quote
(On the other hand, I'm waiting expectantly for somebody to take Birthright's premise and run a Solar System game focused on rulership and large-scale social matters. I'm sure that long-term BDtP would come up in a game where a war could be fought in a single conflict...)

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. When we were translating TSOY into Spanish, one of the proposed terms for BtDP was "Slow Camera" but I argued that you could narrate an entire siege in one BtDP, and the idea has been with me since then. You could stop the big BtDP and play a smaller scale scene that affects the outcome of the next exchange of the Big BtDP somehow. Anyway, that really deserves another topic!

Finally, I'm not sure if nested simultaneous  BtDP and simpliy changing intents would be mechanically different. Maybe you're just looking at the thing by a different perspective, but the end result would be the same. Or perhaps I'm missing something.

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TSOY in Spanish: La sombra del ayer
apoptosis
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 12:22:12 PM »


To finish: I note that Three-corner magic has no countermagic to use in those all-important wizard-duels. I also don't remember writing my version of that in English. Unforgivable, I say!

Counter-magic
You can resist Three-corner magic - that does not need to have you as the target - with an Enhancement (I) check. Success level is converted into penalty dice for the caster of the spell for their next Three-corner check in the same scene. The target of this Secret is either the caster or a target of the magic to be countered. Cost: 2 Instinct.


I use destruction foci for counter-magic (under the auspcie that it can destroy a "spell"). Is there some problem with doing this? If it is not the caster then it requires the secret of the invisible hand
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apoptosis
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Posts: 15


« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2008, 12:37:49 PM »

Would creation and destruction which allow you to ratchet up the harm levels then be particularly useful when you are in BDtP?

Destruction also allows you to enter the BDtP with the harm done from the destruction spell, correct?

Third question in BDtP (sorry they all came at once).  Say if your intent was "to remove the guard from play" and you used your "toad" spell, it fails, and you enter  BDtP. Your next spell is say a destruction spell that has the secret of massive damage (classic fireball or whatever). The intent was to remove the guard from play, which happens 1) he is turned into a toad (the action that brought you into BDtP) or 2) is he burned to cinders (the spell that reduced his harm to 7). The intent was to remove the guard from play not necessarily to turn him into a toad.

This last question was pretty trivial as it really doesn't impact the end result of the narrative much but the answer might impact other related scenarios.

Didn't mean to derail the thread. But had some questions that popped up.

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