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Author Topic: [Mortal Coil] First Session Questions  (Read 8583 times)
fnord3125
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« on: January 26, 2008, 12:57:33 PM »

So, as with every roleplaying game I've ever played, I discovered that with Mortal Coil, what sounded simple and made sense as I was reading the book by myself suddenly was much more confusing when trying to explain it to other players and when we tried to actually bring it into play.  As such, I have a few questions about the game, specifically the conflict resolution system.
In no particular order, here are some of the issues and questions that came up last night in our first session and our little practice scene to try to get a handle on the system:

1) Does reallocation only allow you to move tokens between different actions to which one has already committed?  Or can you reallocate to add uncommitted tokens to a new or already started action?
2) Does reallocation always cause fatigue?  Even, for example, in the case of a defender reallocating to bring his aptitude into a defense that he had originally unanticipated?
3) On the same subject of the originally unanticipated defense...  Who determines what faculty is the used for the innate resistance?  And does it need to be a faculty that isn't being used for an action?  For example, last night, one of the PCs shot at an NPC.  The NPC, rather than defending, shot back.  Both were using Grace to shoot, neither committed a token for defense.  Normally, I'd figure that Grace would be used for defense, to try to dodge and get out of the way.  If there was an active defense, obviously I and the Player would have had to come up with a different way of the character defending himself, but if it's just the innate defense of the faculty, can it still use Grace?
4) Do Passion tokens always have to be spent during the initial reveal, or can one bring in Passions during a reallocation?
5) I'm a bit confused on the subject of Harm and hurting characters.  It is expressed in the book as though each attempt to hurt someone would be an individual conflict, but to might an entire fight seems like a conflict...  Actually as I was writing that last one, and looking at the book a bit, I realize that my problem there, and probably some of our other problems last night are arising from the fact that even though Mortal Coil clearly and explicitly has a CONFLICT resolution system for some reason my brain was thinking about it like a TASK resolution system.  That's my bad. Though... I now thought of another question.
6) Exactly what happens if there are multiple rounds in a conflict?  Are all committed tokens recovered and reallocated from scratch?

Anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who can give me any input or advice here whether thats Brennan or just someone with more experience with Mortal Coil than I've got.

-brian
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 04:05:39 AM »

I'll do my best to answer you:

1) Does reallocation only allow you to move tokens between different actions to which one has already committed?  Or can you reallocate to add uncommitted tokens to a new or already started action?

You can allocate new actions in the reallocation phase.

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2) Does reallocation always cause fatigue?  Even, for example, in the case of a defender reallocating to bring his aptitude into a defense that he had originally unanticipated?

Yes, it always causes fatigue, even if the action is defensive.

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3) On the same subject of the originally unanticipated defense...  Who determines what faculty is the used for the innate resistance?  And does it need to be a faculty that isn't being used for an action?  For example, last night, one of the PCs shot at an NPC.  The NPC, rather than defending, shot back.  Both were using Grace to shoot, neither committed a token for defense.  Normally, I'd figure that Grace would be used for defense, to try to dodge and get out of the way.  If there was an active defense, obviously I and the Player would have had to come up with a different way of the character defending himself, but if it's just the innate defense of the faculty, can it still use Grace?

The GM decides what faculty is used for defense.

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4) Do Passion tokens always have to be spent during the initial reveal, or can one bring in Passions during a reallocation?

This may not actually be stated in the rules, but only action tokens can be moved during reallocation. Passion tokens need to be allocated in the initial reveal, and can't be moved or added during reallocation.

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5) I'm a bit confused on the subject of Harm and hurting characters.  It is expressed in the book as though each attempt to hurt someone would be an individual conflict, but to might an entire fight seems like a conflict...  Actually as I was writing that last one, and looking at the book a bit, I realize that my problem there, and probably some of our other problems last night are arising from the fact that even though Mortal Coil clearly and explicitly has a CONFLICT resolution system for some reason my brain was thinking about it like a TASK resolution system.  That's my bad.

Mortal Coil can be a bit confusing in this area. The conflicts are CONFLICT resolution, but individual rounds of action are TASK resolution aimed at resolving the conflict. This hybrid part can mix things up sometimes. Keep in mind the overarching conflict goal as each player takes individual actions to achieve it.

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6) Exactly what happens if there are multiple rounds in a conflict?  Are all committed tokens recovered and reallocated from scratch?

Yes, all committed tokens come back and are reallocated in any subsequent rounds of conflict. Of course, any spent tokens are unavailable.
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fnord3125
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 09:03:18 AM »

Thanks for the answers, Brennan!

I have one other question that slipped my mind before.
Though, I'm not so much looking for an actual by the book answer here as much as I am just advice.
What's the best way to handle large groups of basically "faceless" NPCs?  As an example, in the scene we played played last, the players were trying to stop a bunch of zombies from breaking into their building.  That time, I was basically playing it as though there was only one zombie that was doing anything, partially because I was trying to keep it simple since we were mainly just trying to learn the system, and also because I figured zombies weren't big on teamwork.  Smiley
But I can easily imagine a situation where, as GM, I may have to track a half dozen NPCs, and doing them though the normal rules sounds like it could get difficult...  Can anyone offer any input on that kind of situation?
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2008, 03:03:54 AM »

With a group of minor NPCs, I usually just assign some values for aptitudes and faculties and use the same numbers no matter which member of the group a PC is confronting. You could also stat up a group as a single character if you wanted.
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fnord3125
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2008, 07:04:17 PM »

I guess that was my main question, whether you'd really suggest doing normal action/conflict resolution for a half dozen characters at once, or if you'd do something else.  I was definitely planning to use the same numbers for minor chumps and zombies and such.  Curse my players for wanting a world with zombies!
Have you done the "group as a single character" thing before?  Would you recommend doing something to make the "character" more powerful or resilient due to the fact that is IS a group?
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 04:35:52 AM »

I have done the group as a single character before. I make a couple of changes when I do that. Firstly, the group character is allowed to make attacks directed at more than one character. Also, I generally make the group a bit tougher than any individual member by a couple of points in faculties and aptitudes to model the large numbers.
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fnord3125
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2008, 03:01:36 PM »

Would you allow a group character to have faculties or aptitudes higher than 5?
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008, 03:17:25 AM »

I'd consider it if it was a group of ageless characters, but I certainly wouldn't go above 6. That's a lot of firepower.
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