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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [TSoY] Ability Checks and IIEE  (Read 2343 times)
Yokiboy
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« on: February 01, 2008, 01:49:16 PM »

Hello,

We played our six session of TSoY the other night, and had a blast as always. However, we had a break of three months prior to the session, and I found myself having to look at my cheat sheets to remember some particulars about the system. On a rereading the Resolution chapter, the types of Ability Checks in the game struck me as leaving something missing in combination with how IIEE works in the game.

The Ability Checks are:

  • Unopposed Ability Check: Conflicts between a single character and a static obstacle.
  • Competitive Ability Check: Two or more characters attempting the same task, trying to outdo each other.
  • Resisted Ability Check: Two characters attempting tasks that cancel each other out.

What confused me in particular was the examples of Resisted Ability Checks in the rules (p. 32-33). They are all examples of the defensive character just blocking, ignoring, or as the game text says "cancel" what the instigator is throwing their way. What if the two parties have more perpendicular intents, does that still work? I have certainly allowed this in my earlier sessions of TSoY, but re-reading the section I was a bit perplexed.

Example:
We had a situation where Odrien, Daniel's protagonist, wanted to throw Lambert, Dahlman's protagonist, into a large liqour cabinet to knock some sense into him and get him to sober up. Cool, that's clearly Intention by the definiton in the rules. However, as this is still the free and clear phase (if I'm understanding it correctly), Dahlman countered saying that Lambert would slug Odrien with an uppercut trying to knock him out. So I go, "Alright! Great conflict guys, so now that's a Resisted Ability Check, lemme just check my cheat sheet... Hold on, lemme check the rules... What the?!"

So what is the deal, can I have a Resisted Ability Check where both parties actually try to instigate an action, not just resist what their opponent is throwing their way? If not, what happens during the free and clear of the Intention phase, when two characters want to perform offensive (as opposed to defensive) actions?

My above example is clearly not an Unopposed Ability Check, but could it be a Competitive Ability Check? A Competitive Ability Check where both of them want to knock their opponent on his ass, is that cosher? A tie would then be neither of them gaining the upper hand, or forcing a reroll to determine the victor. That would work IMO, what do you think?

Is my understanding of IIEE correct? Can you counter another characters Intention by stating one of your own?

Clearly I'm "picking nits" here, but I just wanted to understand the intent of the rules as written. I confirmed by checking my own AP posts that I have used Resisted Ability Checks with perpendicular actions, and no clear attacker/defender roles.

TTFN,

Yoki
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 04:57:37 AM »

Are we talking of BDtP here? I'm asking because I don't remember a free-and-clear phase in simple conflict resolution. Doesn't mean that it's not there, just that I don't remember it; I haven't actually read the rules in a while.

Assuming that we're talking of simple conflict resolution, both sides can definitely have intents and those examples with passive intents just suck. I would recommend not getting too hung up on the formalities of dealing with intent, as the purpose of the rules is clear: whoever moment-by-moment gains dominance with an appropriate Ability check has their way in the situation. When the situation changes (such as a character gives up on whatever they were doing and tries something else, a scene ends, some new factor enters the scene, the situation moves to a new level or new issue or whatever) a new check might be warranted, as well as when a character uses some Secret requiring a check. But apart from that, you just roll the dice to find out who dominates the situation at hand.

Considering that as the prime objective of simple conflict resolution, I tend to interpret Clinton's Ability check variants as a list of specific adapted techniques for different fictional situations: he's not saying that these are the canonical forms any Ability check needs to fit in with no overlap, but rather he's giving some examples of how Ability checks might be compared with each other when it's necessary to find out not only whether a character succeeds (the definition of the simple check) but also how that success interplays with the success of others (which is where the two other examples come up).

Consequently, I haven't actually ever worried about placing a given conflict in the "competitive" box or the "resisted" box myself, especially not before the check itself. The narration will make it clear whether the success of one party prevents the other from succeeding, which is the only difference between the competitive and resisted conflict types as far as I can see. In summation, for IIEE purposes all this means that all you need before rolling is to determine what the characters are doing and why, after which you can roll (the "what they are doing" part), and then narrate the dominance of whichever party over the issue (the "why they are doing it" part) of the check.
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Yokiboy
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 05:55:05 AM »

Are we talking of BDtP here? I'm asking because I don't remember a free-and-clear phase in simple conflict resolution. Doesn't mean that it's not there, just that I don't remember it; I haven't actually read the rules in a while.

No, not BDtP, jsut simple conflict resolution. With "free and clear" I'm just talking about the Intention part of IIEE, meaning that until we move on to Initiation we can change our Intention based on other players' Intention, until we're all satisfied.


Assuming that we're talking of simple conflict resolution, both sides can definitely have intents and those examples with passive intents just suck. I would recommend not getting too hung up on the formalities of dealing with intent, as the purpose of the rules is clear: whoever moment-by-moment gains dominance with an appropriate Ability check has their way in the situation. When the situation changes (such as a character gives up on whatever they were doing and tries something else, a scene ends, some new factor enters the scene, the situation moves to a new level or new issue or whatever) a new check might be warranted, as well as when a character uses some Secret requiring a check. But apart from that, you just roll the dice to find out who dominates the situation at hand.

Spot on! This is exactly what I was after. As I stated in my original post, I was simply confused by the descriptions on returning to the game after reading/playing other games for a few months. This is exactly how we played prior to the break, and I love the simplicity of it.


Considering that as the prime objective of simple conflict resolution, I tend to interpret Clinton's Ability check variants as a list of specific adapted techniques for different fictional situations: he's not saying that these are the canonical forms any Ability check needs to fit in with no overlap, but rather he's giving some examples of how Ability checks might be compared with each other when it's necessary to find out not only whether a character succeeds (the definition of the simple check) but also how that success interplays with the success of others (which is where the two other examples come up).

Alright, this is where my confusion came in during our last game. I all of a sudden looked at the list of Ability Checks and found that they were quite specific, and started wondering if the examples were canonical or not.


Consequently, I haven't actually ever worried about placing a given conflict in the "competitive" box or the "resisted" box myself, especially not before the check itself. The narration will make it clear whether the success of one party prevents the other from succeeding, which is the only difference between the competitive and resisted conflict types as far as I can see. In summation, for IIEE purposes all this means that all you need before rolling is to determine what the characters are doing and why, after which you can roll (the "what they are doing" part), and then narrate the dominance of whichever party over the issue (the "why they are doing it" part) of the check.

I'm right with you Eero, thanks for clarifying this topic for me. We play the same way as you.

I'm very satisfied with this response, as it fits my play style.  Cheesy

TTFN,

Yoki
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