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Author Topic: Non re-entrance of BDTP and the Quickening of in-Game effects  (Read 9034 times)
oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 02:55:25 PM »

Actually, I was quoting a statement from Eeero out of another thread that spells within BDtP are insidious because you can't out-BDtP them. Also, I brought this up being incredulous that a subsystem like 3 corner magic might break the holistic approach of BDtP as I understand it, so I seem to be in the same court as Eero and Troels.

I must say that I can't really follow most of the discussion anymore. I am somehow not seeing the good paragraph or two on how you'd (you = Eero, Troels) handle a situation like this that isn't obscured by the stuff I don't get.

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 have somewhere in the back of my mind ideas for a REIGN/TSoY fusion, which would be something like that.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2008, 04:08:19 PM »

Apoptis: no reason to do Counter-magic specifically from Enhancement (I), it's just what made sense to me at the time. I would expect and consider fully compatible for there to be several, slightly different ways of countering magic within the Three-corner community; it's such an important function for a school of wizardry that I'd expect all three foci-pairs to ultimately have something along those lines.... hm... might as well make six of these, although I wouldn't use so many in any single campaign... something like this...

Damp Counter-magic
You can smother Three-corner magic with an Enhancement (I) check. Success level is converted into penalty dice for the caster of the working for their next Three-corner check, unless they refresh the Pool appropriate to the focus of the smothered magic. The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Instinct.

Narrow Counter-magic
You can deconstruct Three-corner magic with a Transformation (I) check. The magical working in question is dismantled and you gain the Success level in Pool points appropriate to the dismantled magic. The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Instinct.

Fiery Counter-magic
You can destroy Three-corner magic with a Destruction (V) check. Success level is converted into Harm for the caster of the spell, as their spell backlashes. The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Vigor.

Passive Counter-magic
You can guard against Three-corner magic with an (usually) unresisted Creation (V) check, the result of which is marked down for reference. The degree of success determines how many magical Ability checks are dispelled; the Passive Counter-magic stays active until expended or until the magic ends. The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Vigor.

Wide Counter-magic
You can counter any magic that requires Pool expenditure with a Divination (R) check. The degree of success determines whether your counter-magic recognizes the target working as "magic" and is able to counter it; Use the following table, which presents some examples and guidelines based on how "far" a given magical tradition is from core Three-corner dogma:
  • 1 success: Any disguised Three-corner magics and generic (culture-independent) folk-magics or magical items.
  • 2 success: Zu magic, Perfect notes, other blatant reality-manipulations.
  • 3 success: Shamanistic practice and other primitive magics. (Walozi, Dream-walkers, etc.)
  • 4 success: Cult magics, religious magics. (Green World, Sun/Moon cults, etc.)
  • 5 success: Racial extraordinary Abilities. (Elven auras, goblin Adaptation, Ratkin telepathy, Vampiric powers, etc.)
  • 6 success: Other esoteric practices. (Alchemy, supernatural martial arts, Moon-metal manipulation, etc.)
  • 7 success: Any Secret requiring Pool expenditure.
The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Reason.

Active Counter-magic
You can deflect Three-corner magic with a Enthrallment (R) check. You may assign a new target for the magic, but it only acts at your margin of victory and you have to succeed in further checks of appropriate foci to gain any further control of the magic. The target of this Secret is either the caster of the magic to be countered or a target of the same. Cost: 2 Reason.

As for Invisible hand, yes, you'd need it to use any of those counter-magics from a distance, if you wanted to do that. An actual, powerful and ludicrous counter-magic spell that could be the center-piece of a pretty interesting adventure might look like this:

Parma Trismegistus
The target is engulfed by a shimmering globe of magical force that counters any magical effects within its radius, set at the time of the casting. Air inside the globe is thick and smoggy. The Parma is Damp and Fiery, Active and Passive, Narrow and Wide: in other words, it catches non-Tricorner magic as well, turns it against the caster, persists for several activations and causes both penalty dice for further casting and Harm for any mages foolish enough to go against it. The Parma replenishes its Passive persistence with the Pool points absorbed from incoming magic, with each Pool point equaling one extra spell countered. Should the spell duration run out at a Solstice, the spell recasts itself with the original success rating, paying the Pool costs from the Passive persistence pool. If it has not leached enough Pool points to recast itself, the Parma shuts down partially in an effort to preserve itself until enough Pool points are again available. (The shutdown sequence priorizes ability to leech Pool and longevity over range and offensive functions.) It is unknown how the spell is able to perform these crude independent functions; an advanced Three-corner Secret is probably involved. This cumbersome, gothic Three-corner masterpiece is known to have been cast only once, when Absolon's Tomb was sealed in its unknown location. The unresisted success rating apparently was around 2-4 or so, as the casting was performed by a large group of apprentices led by the last Academy masters.
Cost: 14 Instinct, Vigor and Reason each.
  • Magical Contagion: 10 Instinct
  • Magical Persistence: 10 Vigor
  • Living Spell: 10 Reason
  • Enhancement: Damp Counter-magic: 2 Instinct
  • Destruction: Fiery Counter-magic: 2 Vigor
  • Enthrallment: Active Counter-magic: 2 Reason
  • Creation: Passive Counter-magic: 2 Vigor
  • Transformation: Narrow Counter-magic: 2 Instinct
  • Divination: Wide Counter-magic: 2 Reason

Hmm... clearly I should start a Three-corner campaign at some point, It would certainly be interesting!

--

As for Apoptosis's questions:

First question: Destruction is only useful in BDtP because it can cause Harm by default. Any of the other Foci can cause Harm as well, though, if the conditions of the BDtP conflict are suitable. Harm is not only damage, for any Ability check that goes against a character's intent "erodes" the Harm tracker of the target by causing Harm. For example, the following are all situations where another focus might cause Harm:
  • Destruction, by definition, causes bodily Harm. Usable any time like any good fighting Ability. I never forget to apply the Three-corner laws on Destruction when a character uses it as a generic fighting Ability, though; I also tend to assign a SG penalty die for doing unspecified "Three-corner magic" in a fight, on the presumption that the magic still requires some ingredients, hand-waving or whatever, all a bit unsuited to going against a swordman.
  • Creation can easily cause bodily Harm by, say, creating a lot of some material and suffocating the opponent. Reading the rules carefully also reveals that Creation can create fire, which would certainly hurt you. Therefore the cheapest method for causing Harm in BDtP with Creation is to get next to your target and "create a small amount (handful or so) of fire out of nothing". I would as SG assign two penalty dice for this even against weak and sluggish opponents; against armed and armored opponents, or animals with a thick hide, I'd disallow it altogether, as fire in small quantities isn't such a great weapon.
  • Transformation by itself cannot cause Harm, but combine it with Living Morph for that Toad spell, and you certainly can; if the opponent does not want to become a toad, they have to resist the spell in BDtP, potentially suffering Harm.
  • Enhancement is a tricky one to use for Harm alone, but if the target had a lethal disease and the enchanter had a suitable Secret that allowed him to increase the efficacy of disease (an entirely reasonable application), Harm could be caused with a direct Enhancement check. Of course, increasing the efficacy of other checks with an Enhancement check is trivial, so Enhancement can certainly participate in Harm-causing that way.
  • Divination can cause Harm in BDtP when the opposition has secrets that they want to hide. For example, having a Secret for reading minds (again, rather reasonable) would allow the diviner direct access, leaving the opponent no other choice but to risk Harm in BDtP.
  • Enthrallment is easy; if the opposition does not want to do as the Enthrallment says, he needs to resist and potentially suffer Harm. If he doesn't, nothing prevents the wizard from having the victim walk off a cliff.
As you can see, Destruction is the only one that does not need specific conditions, Secrets and Pool points to cause Harm. It's also the only one that causes Harm outside BDtP by default. (Any Ability check may do so, but the SG needs to specifically include the Harm in the stakes.) Apart from that, it's rather equal with the others.

Second question: If a Destruction check were made against a living target and was successful, and the target then declared BDtP, the Destruction check wouldn't cause Harm, as the Harm was part of the stakes. Instead, the destructor would gain bonus dice to their first check in BDtP equal to their success rating.

Third question: The toad spell would not take effect after BDtP, because the character abandoned that course of action and chose another spell in the middle of BDtP. Note that he wouldn't have needed to; he could have continued rolling Transformation checks to get the toad spell through, instead. He also wouldn't need to pay for the toad spell several times, as the spell didn't actually fail (BDtP replaces the original result, which does not count at all) before the wizard abandoned trying to get it through and opted for the fire-spell instead.

--

Finally, Harald: here's my position in a nut-shell, I hope it's more clear. Part of why we're not being clear is that we're working through the potential problems related to the issue, while simultaneously discussing how we rule on the examples in real life. Makes for a messy discourse.

My nut-shell:
  • All characters have the right to resist anything that they can, fictionally speaking, resist. So a character can't resist something that happens without their knowledge, out of their reach or is otherwise out of their hands, but if the group thinks that a character can do something about a matter, then he can resist it and the conflict system may be invoked. A part of the conflict procedure is that a player may, on behalf of his own PC, invoke BDtP in important conflicts. This right to resist events is bounded and metered by the character's Harm track; an event can only happen against a character's will when (a) the player surrenders the issue (the character does not need to; BDtP ends when the player wants it, not when the character wants it), (b) events conspire to take it away from their hands or (c) an enemy agent rolls Harm 7 against the opposing character. In the first two cases the event in question happens, while in the last case it happens, and the winner of the conflict has power of life and death over the losing side, as well.
  • The above principles, I think, are paramount to the core idea of TSoY. The game's conflict resolution system assumes and guarantees the right of characters to resist with all their power, mechanically speaking, but only up to their mechanical robustness. The Harm track is, in many ways, a thematic and dramatic issue: it represents a character's capability in hogging game-time and pinpointing it on any particular issue the player wants. BDtP conflicts are, mechanically speaking, largely about bidding Harm against the opposition and seeing who is willing to pay more of their stored influence to get their way.
  • The rules of the game are rather clear in disallowing BDtP declarations in response to BDtP actions; I think, however, that the rules are wrong in this place, as that particular rule may potentially disagree with the above outlined principal rights to resistance. This is the basis for my rules-drift where I allow characters to reactively change intent to stop events even while they are in BDtP; as long as the character has the Harm track to make his decisions stick, I think that it's just fine and dandy if the players have lots of stakes and things on their plate.
  • Based on the above points, I always allow characters to restate their intent to include any new conditions that may come up in the conflict. The only issue in these cases is whether conditions are shifting in a manner that also forces the character to choose between separate goals they cannot hope to fulfill at the same time. In other words, can the character incorporate both the old and the new issues within their intent statement. This decision is based solely on the fictive properties of the situation: a character only has so many hands and feet, he's only so fast and can only look in that many directions at once... can he really guard his interests in both of these issues simultaneously? If he can't, then he automatically loses one of them, as per the initial condition for challenging a fictional event which I outline above.
To condense that further: yes, spells should not be any more fatal in BDtP than they are outside it. They shouldn't also be any more expensive, either. The workable practical solution in achieving both of these is to require the caster to pay for the spell once, after which he can continue trying to make it stick in BDtP as long as he wants without having to repay the cost of the spell. The spell only sticks when the opponent allows it (by not restating their intent to stop it, or restating their intent to allow it) or the wizard wins the BDtP, at which point whatever spell they were pushing at the time actually goes through.

The rest of this discussion is just theory about why we as Story Guides might end up going with the above interpretation of the rules, and whether there is any principal support for this position in the rules-text. Not very important for practice.
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apoptosis
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2008, 05:24:50 PM »

Thanks, you answered my question perfectly and it makes sense.

The only reason I brought up destruction (or creation) in BDtP was that because of the massive damage secret  (or for creation to create a large volume as it states that you get xX harm for every point of vigor that you spend with create volume) allows destruction a better chance to succeed (obtain 7 harm easily, though at a pretty expensive cost). The other foci dont have secrets that allow a participant to  get to Harm 7 as quickly.

BTW...Great ideas for the countermagic for each foci.

I just mentioned destruction for countermagic (actually don't require an additional secret for it to work outside of the invisible hand) as I use destruction as a catch-all for anytime a spell that has the purpose of  "ending" or deconstructing something that is physical (i am considering other magic as physical).  I also use it for destroying certain 'properties' like time, space, gravity, light, heat, etc.  Not sure it was meant that way but it has a certain logic for me for 3-corner magic (wizardry in my homebrew world). Probably borrowed some of this idea from Ars Magica's ideas.

Back to the BDtP...in general it seems that the intent should be pretty broad and not action-specific so that it can handle many sorts of actions.

The intent should be to say "kill the guard" vs "stab the guard dead"  or "embarrass the king" vs "embarrass the king by pulling his pants down" (sorry couldnt think of something better off of the top of my head)


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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 03:47:37 AM »

Thanks for the insight, Eero. This makes it very clear. I guess I could use some more info about reactively changing intent, as this is something a lot of my peers don't get - they see the intent of something you have to adhere to as strict as possible; a position I don't hold. Do you think the rules would benefit from a paragraph or two that describes how lenience on intent definition and handling helps moving the game?

Ultimately, I have a feeling that stating intent is as much subject to practice and group aesthetics as stakes setting is in Dogs.
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Troels
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2008, 05:26:25 AM »

My nut-shell:
Snip 2 bullets
  • The rules of the game are rather clear in disallowing BDtP declarations in response to BDtP actions; I think, however, that the rules are wrong in this place, as that particular rule may potentially disagree with the above outlined principal rights to resistance. This is the basis for my rules-drift where I allow characters to reactively change intent to stop events even while they are in BDtP; as long as the character has the Harm track to make his decisions stick, I think that it's just fine and dandy if the players have lots of stakes and things on their plate.
  • Based on the above points, I always allow characters to restate their intent to include any new conditions that may come up in the conflict. The only issue in these cases is whether conditions are shifting in a manner that also forces the character to choose between separate goals they cannot hope to fulfill at the same time. In other words, can the character incorporate both the old and the new issues within their intent statement. This decision is based solely on the fictive properties of the situation: a character only has so many hands and feet, he's only so fast and can only look in that many directions at once... can he really guard his interests in both of these issues simultaneously? If he can't, then he automatically loses one of them, as per the initial condition for challenging a fictional event which I outline above.
To condense that further: yes, spells should not be any more fatal in BDtP than they are outside it. They shouldn't also be any more expensive, either. The workable practical solution in achieving both of these is to require the caster to pay for the spell once, after which he can continue trying to make it stick in BDtP as long as he wants without having to repay the cost of the spell. The spell only sticks when the opponent allows it (by not restating their intent to stop it, or restating their intent to allow it) or the wizard wins the BDtP, at which point whatever spell they were pushing at the time actually goes through.

My one remaining nitpick is with bullet #3 (the topmost quoted). I think the rules actually cover this, because statement of intention in the free-and-clear stage of a round of BDtP is a negotiation. Specifically, until you agree on what you are both respectively doing, tactically speaking, you can change your mind to react. This, to me, seems to be safeguard enough. Other than that, we are in broad agreement.

Apoptosis: Broad statements of intent can cause more trouble in being wider, but also make for more interesting play than the "hit him until he drops" of narrow intents. Which leads me to...

Harald, I think you are right, that practice can vary a lot.

*Phew*
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2008, 08:31:28 PM »

Troels: you're right that a toad spell could be pre-empted in the free-and-clear by declaring a change of intent to prevent it from happening. I'm just not sure if I like the dynamic this causes. Consider: instead of getting to see if the spell actually succeeds in the initial casting check, you need to declare your intent to oppose it before such a check is made. If you fail to do so and the check miraculously succeeds anyway, you're screwed if reactive changing of intent is not allowed. This also makes it unclear how the players should handle complex initial check requirements. Spells are a good example here: if your Three-corner working requires you to check Destruction and Transformation in sequence to make it happen, how do you play it if another player draws it into BDtP before you've even made these checks? Do you have to do those checks in BDtP, one per round? Or do you do them both in one round? What if the BDtP ends before you've made the checks, does the spell still go off? Lots of vagueness is caused by removing the initial Ability check from the procedure.

The initial Ability check in conflict is a pretty important balancing feature, so I'm not certain if it's ideal to remove it for event statements that happen in BDtP. It certainly removes the need for a "backtracking" reactive intent statement where a character changes intents right after an event has already happened, but it also makes it significantly easier to get events to happen in BDtP, as opposed to outside it. I can see playing it either way, frankly.

Harald: in my experience the rules on intent restatement can be played very loosely - it's not an immediate loss or necessarily even a drawback in BDtP to have to do a defensive action, so usually it's not a very big deal if somebody changes intents, does one defensive action and continues with a new intent. In my play the principle has generally been that if somebody at the table thinks that a character has to reorient himself due to the situation changing (this is what the intent change represents; it's not so much a stakes-related thing than a nice little emulation of those "WTF!" moments action adventure heroes encounter now and then), then he needs to do it. So you might say that anybody at my table may request another character to take a defensive action now and then when they feel that the character needs it, and it's not a big deal or anything. We don't even often say the intent aloud when everybody is clear on why the characters are in the BDtP. The defensive action can be interpreted as a "slow beat", even, usable when something described in the fiction takes more or less time than something else and it's reasonable for one character to "wait" on another one for one reason or another. Might as well generate some bonus dice at that point for the next real action, after all.

The key message here is that an action should only get to happen when a character cannot stop it due to his Harm track being overcome or because he is not in position to stop it. Something getting to happen because a rules-techinicality prevented a BDtP declaration just seems lame and against the spirit of the rules.
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Troels
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 04:10:39 AM »

Troels: you're right that a toad spell could be pre-empted in the free-and-clear by declaring a change of intent to prevent it from happening. I'm just not sure if I like the dynamic this causes. Consider: instead of getting to see if the spell actually succeeds in the initial casting check, you need to declare your intent to oppose it before such a check is made. If you fail to do so and the check miraculously succeeds anyway, you're screwed if reactive changing of intent is not allowed.

...But, in BDtP nothing fatal (or effectively so) is final, until you have been well and properly whupped. It's happening, or almost happened all the way, but not happened, period. Which is kind of where we started. Maybe that is our fundamental disagreement? Or do you mean important but non-"fatal" stuff like "I step on your pet bunny"? You might have a kind of point there, if that's what you mean, even if I don't think you do regarding toadification and the like.

Quote
This also makes it unclear how the players should handle complex initial check requirements. Spells are a good example here: if your Three-corner working requires you to check Destruction and Transformation in sequence to make it happen, how do you play it if another player draws it into BDtP before you've even made these checks? Do you have to do those checks in BDtP, one per round? Or do you do them both in one round? What if the BDtP ends before you've made the checks, does the spell still go off? Lots of vagueness is caused by removing the initial Ability check from the procedure.

Here's what I would say: If a working requires succesful checks with two arts, you would need to check both, in separate rounds, and do damage in BDtP with them. After you've inflicted harm once (and no more than once each) with both, the spell is in play and you can whack freely away with whichever you prefer. If you think that sucks too badly, get the Secret of Synergy and roll the checks into one. Of course, that is an interpretation, but I would say a workable one.

Quote
The initial Ability check in conflict is a pretty important balancing feature, so I'm not certain if it's ideal to remove it for event statements that happen in BDtP. It certainly removes the need for a "backtracking" reactive intent statement where a character changes intents right after an event has already happened, but it also makes it significantly easier to get events to happen in BDtP, as opposed to outside it. I can see playing it either way, frankly.

As I see it, you can't really pull fast ones like that in BDtP unless your opponent is already broken and going down ...in which case they are pretty much screwed anyway.

What I meant with my negotiation nitpick was, if your opponent is stating tactics that would screw you over, and whose relation to the Intent on the table is tenuous at best, you get to say "Whoa! Wait a minute."

BTW Apoptosis, you are right that Destruction is formidable in BDtP based on crude violence. But then, unlike the other arts, it is good for nothing else. Imagine if Destruction was no better in a fight than Enthrallment, which is good for so much else.
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apoptosis
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2008, 12:11:14 PM »

[
BTW Apoptosis, you are right that Destruction is formidable in BDtP based on crude violence. But then, unlike the other arts, it is good for nothing else. Imagine if Destruction was no better in a fight than Enthrallment, which is good for so much else.

I tend to probably be more loose of what the foci are each capable of, but I should probably start another thread so as not to confound the issue at hand which is very interesting.

Apop
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apoptosis
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2008, 12:32:23 PM »


The key message here is that an action should only get to happen when a character cannot stop it due to his Harm track being overcome or because he is not in position to stop it. Something getting to happen because a rules-techinicality prevented a BDtP declaration just seems lame and against the spirit of the rules.

This is the part that I am trying to understand.

For instance say we are in BDtP to get past a guard (for some reason i use this scenario a lot). The guards intent is to prevent us from getting past. But during BDtP, the guard wants to shout to alert more guards.

We dont want that to happen, but we are in BDtP so it is no longer a simple challenge.

So how would you guys play this out. I have an idea but curious how the experts would do it as you guys have some great insight to stuff like this.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2008, 01:27:08 PM »

Well, if I was the SG, I'd interpret that particular situation in terms of intent restatement: the party that wants to stop the guard from shouting for help needs to restate their intent (or not so much restate as note that their intent shifts; I'm quite happy with not trying to fit the intent into a tidy sentence if that gets in the way of action) and then act towards stopping the guard from summoning help. Effectively, your new intent is to "overcome this guard without him getting to call for help", while earlier you hadn't considered the possibility of him calling for help.

So in my play it's really as I say: nothing gets to happen without going through BDtP if the complaining party is capable of resisting. In practice I implement this principle by having characters elaborate their intent as necessary; BDtP is not so much about resolving specific stakes as going on as long as the players agree to a solution to the situation, as representatives of their characters. In this manner the current character intent is really more of a checklist of fictional events that need to be achieved before the player allows BDtP to end; as we know, BDtP continues until all participants left allow each other's intents to happen. In other words, a fight only lasts until everybody has achieved their objectives.

Troels: yeah, we probably do disagree about some fundamentals. For one, I don't agree that characters are automatically protected from incapacitating violence or other such events when in BDtP; resisting such action just is nearly always an implied part of their intent. If a character went into war and ended up in BDtP on the battlefield, I'd be a stupid SG if I ruled that the character's intent didn't include "also: I stay healthy and in one piece". The situations where characters do not intent to protect themselves are pretty rare, and outside those situations the BDtP rules prevent lethal actions from carrying through. But that's just because BDtP works that way with all actions, not because characters are specifically protected from lethal things. For example, if a character was arguing with their child about sleep-time (BDtP) when the child suddenly drew a wicked knife and tried to kill the character (demonic possession or whatever, no idea), then I'd definitely rule that the character would need to declare a change of intent if he wanted to continue in the conflict. (The possessed child would possibly need to do this as well, depending on what he was trying to achieve with the initial argument.) The character came into the conflict with the intent of getting the difficult child to go to bed, so he wasn't prepared to fight for his life; he either needs to accept the action that kills him, or he needs to change intents to secure the child, protect himself or whatever he wants to do when the situation abruptly changes. The point is: the protection from death is not automatic, it's a property of characters struggling to get their way in conflict.

(Remember that single checks can kill in TSoY and death is just a matter of declaration if the player is not willing to resist it; conflicts are only invoked when an actual character conflict is present.)
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apoptosis
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2008, 01:34:30 PM »

Well, if I was the SG, I'd interpret that particular situation in terms of intent restatement: the party that wants to stop the guard from shouting for help needs to restate their intent (or not so much restate as note that their intent shifts; I'm quite happy with not trying to fit the intent into a tidy sentence if that gets in the way of action) and then act towards stopping the guard from summoning help. Effectively, your new intent is to "overcome this guard without him getting to call for help", while earlier you hadn't considered the possibility of him calling for help.


If the guard is willing to accept death in order to alert the other guards, is his action parallel (i will alert the other guards not matter if i get killed) or is it perpendicular (in which case the characters are kind of getting a 2-for-1 deal on their intentions).

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apoptosis
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2008, 01:39:20 PM »

TrFor example, if a character was arguing with their child about sleep-time (BDtP) when the child suddenly drew a wicked knife and tried to kill the character (demonic possession or whatever, no idea), then I'd definitely rule that the character would need to declare a change of intent if he wanted to continue in the conflict. (The possessed child would possibly need to do this as well, depending on what he was trying to achieve with the initial argument.) The character came into the conflict with the intent of getting the difficult child to go to bed, so he wasn't prepared to fight for his life; he either needs to accept the action that kills him, or he needs to change intents to secure the child, protect himself or whatever he wants to do when the situation abruptly changes. The point is: the protection from death is not automatic, it's a property of characters struggling to get their way in conflict.

(Remember that single checks can kill in TSoY and death is just a matter of declaration if the player is not willing to resist it; conflicts are only invoked when an actual character conflict is present.)


But since asically the character is going to try and survive, then their intent to survive becomes part of the BDtP and the demonic child still has to get to Harm 7 for the character to be killed, correct?
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2008, 01:59:02 AM »

Action is definitely parallel if the opponent's action does not interact with it. So if the guard wasn't trying to stop an adventurer from getting past him, say, but instead was scrambling for his whistle, while the adventurer was intent about running past, then the action is clearly parallel. Likewise, if the adventurer was trying to kill the guard and the guard was trying to blow his whistle. The interesting thing is, however, that while the guard is ready to die, he won't die before he's managed to get his own intent fulfilled or his Harm gauge is overcome: killing him prematurely and without allowing his intent to happen would trample on his right to resist as long as his Harm gauge allows. Thus the guard might get fatally wounded, but would stay in the conflict until the opposition allows his whistle-blow to succeed. (Of course, the players might agree that the guard's ghost continues in the conflict, in which case he might get killed and still succeed in his own goal post-mortem.)

As for the demon child situation, yes. If the character restates his intent to match with the new, unexpected situation, then the demon child does not get to freely and without resistance kill him. In general, I don't think I've ever met a situation where a character is killed without resistance in BDtP (although I have encountered situations where a character is killed outside BDtP without conflict). The situation would have to be one where the character in question does not defend himself from death and has a goal that is not resisted by the opposition. This would be rather exceptional in BDtP, as usually a character is out of BDtP the moment their intent does not cross with another character's in any way.

So yes, in short I'd say that we're just fiddling with details at this point. In real practice, while my logic might differ from Troels', the practical differences in our judgment seem rather trivial to me.
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2008, 09:23:25 AM »

Speaking with you guys is worth about 10x the amount of time it takes me to figure these things out.

Now in the guard example what happens if the guards intent is to alert the guard and the PCs wish to kill the guard. If the guard say wins the BDtP...then the guard is still alive and has alerted the guards correct and the PCs coulds then just kill the guard as the next action (if it succeeds it doesn't go into BDtP as the guard is an unimportant NPC and he is just dead).

All this does lead into something.

Say wizard and warrior (NPC) are in a fight. Wizard cast flaming spell of horrible death and the warrior is trying to stab the wizard dead. The wizard fails and enacts BDtP.
The wizards intent (kill the warrior) with action of flaming spell of horrible death. The warrior still wants to stab wizard dead. Can the wizard and/or warrior state the action as-- I cast spell to kill warrior before he stabs me or can the warrior state his action/intent to kill the wizard before he casts the spell. Basically they are trying to force what would be a parallel action into a perpendicular one.

My feeling was that if they both wanted this (to strike the other before the other one strikes them) then it would be perpendicular, otherwise it is parallel (they are just both trying to strike each other).

I am pretty sure this is how it should work (a similar situation came up in game) but wanted verification.
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2008, 11:04:51 PM »

Indeed, you're right that it's mostly about what the players want! The parallelism and perpendicularity of actions belongs in the large class of things that should be judged according to group understanding on a case-by-case basis. There are no wrong answers as both choices are equally balanced, it's just an issue of making sense for the players. I would definitely allow a wizard and a warrior to take either parallel or perpendicular actions in combat on a case-by-case basis, solely based on how things are described, unless some specific crunch dictated otherwise. Consider:
  • The wizard player says: "My fire-magic bursts forth from the ground with such pressure that it forces the swordsman to turn aside. Then the long tongue of flame turns towards him, seeking prey and forcing him to avoid it." This could well be a perpendicular action, as the magic is described as preventing the swordsman from hurting the wizard.
  • The wizard player says: "A huge pillar of fire bursts from the floor behind me, casting my shadow over the room. I stand hands upraised, intent on controlling the magical fire that swirls, filling the ceiling completely. Then it rains down on my enemies!" This is clearly a parallel action: the wizard focuses on controlling his magics, having no concern for the immediate danger of steel to the gut.
The point is, both of the above are well within the description of a flame spell that allows a character to draw magma from the ground. It might not be Three-corner magic (or it might!) as it would be pretty unefficient to do something like that in Three-corner, but it is certainly some kind of magic. And the pure Destruction focus could well be used in a similar way, I wouldn't disallow a player from narrating how the destructive forces his character conjures are so wide and inconveniently positioned from the swordman's point of view that he just can't get past.

And the same holds true for the swordsman as well: he could narrate how his shied protects him from the magics as he struggles to reach the arcane nexus of the wizard's work, clearly in a perpendicular struggle against the arcane might. Or he might narrate how he strides directly at the wizard and gives an unobstructed blow, all the while oblivious to the magics that at the same moment gather above him to tear him from limb to limb.

As a rule of thumb, if both players want parallelism, they should get it, while the SG acts more as a chairman of the discussion than a judge. If there is disagreement, usually perpendicularity can be defended in almost all situations, so I tend to favor that for unclear situations. All players at the table should have enough attachment to the fiction to be able to have an opinion on whether some action is more appropriate as perpendicular or parallel.
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