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Author Topic: Claiming and treason  (Read 2166 times)
Nocker
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« on: July 28, 2009, 08:14:26 AM »

Sides are undifferentiated apart from the Characters who are allied to them and the actions that make them becoming allied. When you create a Conflict (e.g. The Villains take over the police) in the Claiming phase and Claim on one side of it, you claim an undifferentiated side, you just announce that you (the player) want this side to win. Often, you have an idea of how you'd like it to finish. In this case, say you want the Villains to win.
If you are not the first player, a Character (say a hero, whereas you play a villain) rolls up the die on your side, declaring it the hero side (in this case, the side against the police defeat). You are now claiming a hero side where you would desire to claim the other. It's a bug in the system, to my mind.

2 solutions :
- Claiming a side gives the right to narrate what this side is about. If so, then the sides are now differentiated by claiming, which is a change in the rules.
- no changes. It's part of the game to claim a side without knowing how it will turn out. New strategies, and many hardly narrated scenes spring.

What do you think ?
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JMendes
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 10:52:54 PM »

Ahey, Smiley

Sides are undifferentiated apart from the Characters who are allied to them and the actions that make them becoming allied.

Hmmm, not really... In an Event, sure, that may happen, but in an Event, actions are only there to compete for the right to narrate the event, and to contribute to that Event coming closer to resolution, they don't really denote "sides" in the fiction at all.

In a Goal, no. In a Goal, there is always a succeed side and a fail side, and these are declared at the same time that the Conflict itself is declared, at least at my tables...

Either way, the issue is really a non-issue.

That said, nothing prevents a player playing a "hero" character fro rolling on the "villain" side, at whatever point in time, and for whatever reason, as long as it's narrated apropriately. The player might say, for instance, "I attempt to fly by the villain to knock him off, but I screw up and the innocent scientist is now plummeting to the ground", or some such thing. That sort of "treason" is a fully valid form of play.

Cheers,
J.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Nocker
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Posts: 24

Newbie in Indie scene


« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 06:36:20 AM »

Yes, if decided willingly, it's totally narratable. It wasn't my point.

I understand that Goals have more or less two sides (but if a character Schisms to a third side, does he have to announce if he is for or against the Goal ? Do so manichean claims are desirable ?)

For Events, you mean that this situation is possible and normal :
You, as a player, want an Event to resolve badly (Villainously) and claim one side. Another player rolls the die up on this side, but with a Hero character trying to resolve the Event Heroically. So if the Event stays controlled by this Hero until the end of the Page, the Event resolves Heroically (the coherence of the narration imposes it) but you narrate the outcome, and gain Inspiration from it ? The very purpose of claiming is to resolve Conflict the way you want, and the narration observance makes it impossible, here.
Don't you agree ?
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JMendes
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 11:14:41 PM »

Hey, Smiley

I understand that Goals have more or less two sides (but if a character Schisms to a third side, does he have to announce if he is for or against the Goal ? Do so manichean claims are desirable ?)

Yes. I know really know the formal answer, but we've always played that players that schism on a goal have to annouce whether the third side is for or agaisnt the goal.

You, as a player, want an Event to resolve badly (Villainously) and claim one side. Another player rolls the die up on this side, but with a Hero character trying to resolve the Event Heroically. So if the Event stays controlled by this Hero until the end of the Page, the Event resolves Heroically (the coherence of the narration imposes it) but you narrate the outcome, and gain Inspiration from it ? The very purpose of claiming is to resolve Conflict the way you want, and the narration observance makes it impossible, here.

Erm... No. "Heroically" and "Villainously" are character considerations. Claiming and resolving happen on the player level. Events resolve in a manner decided upon by whichever player has claimed the winning side. Narration observance just means that things have to follow from one another, but "Heroically" and "Villainously" can (and often do) swap around very fluidly. (For food for thought, consider what happens if I'm playing a Hero, but then spend a Story Point to introduce a Villain into the scene...)

Cheers,
J.
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url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
TonyLB
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 06:41:13 AM »

Sides are undifferentiated apart from the Characters who are allied to them and the actions that make them becoming allied. When you create a Conflict (e.g. The Villains take over the police) in the Claiming phase and Claim on one side of it, you claim an undifferentiated side, you just announce that you (the player) want this side to win. Often, you have an idea of how you'd like it to finish. In this case, say you want the Villains to win.
If you are not the first player, a Character (say a hero, whereas you play a villain) rolls up the die on your side, declaring it the hero side (in this case, the side against the police defeat). You are now claiming a hero side where you would desire to claim the other. It's a bug in the system, to my mind.

2 solutions :
- Claiming a side gives the right to narrate what this side is about. If so, then the sides are now differentiated by claiming, which is a change in the rules.
- no changes. It's part of the game to claim a side without knowing how it will turn out. New strategies, and many hardly narrated scenes spring.
Let me suggest a third solution:  When you claim a side, take a moment to get into your character voice and say "By the Hallowed Halls of Asgard, I swear that the Reichsmaster will NEVER gain dominion over Boost City while I still draw breath!  Come at me with your jackbooted minions, foul puppet-master, and I shall show them the valor of the Aesir!"

I bet you'll earn more story tokens that way.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2009, 06:48:53 AM »

So if the Event stays controlled by this Hero until the end of the Page, the Event resolves Heroically (the coherence of the narration imposes it) but you narrate the outcome, and gain Inspiration from it ? The very purpose of claiming is to resolve Conflict the way you want, and the narration observance makes it impossible, here.
Don't you agree ?
"Coherence of the narration"?

When it turns out that the heroes efforts, though well-intentioned, have actually aided the villain in advancing his goals, that's not the narration breaking down and becoming incoherent.  That's a plot twist.

If the hero's player didn't know what was happening then maybe he'd feel all betrayed, but he rolled up the side claimed by the villain, right?  He rolled up the villainous side.  He knew his character's actions were heading for a bad outcome, and he did it on purpose.  So there shouldn't be any player-outrage when it turns out that Doctor Planaria planned for the heroes to beat his worm minions to paste, because that gave them the chance to absorb the hero's powers through the genetic contact of being punched repeatedly.  Sure, the characters can be outraged.  Being outraged is what superheroes do best.  But the players knew what they were signing up for, and should have a good laugh at the clever way Worm-Doc's player turned the narrative tables.

I don't see the problem here.  I really don't.  Unless people are secretly pretending that they want one thing, and then changing their minds at the last moment in order to screw the people who helped them.  But that's ... that's a social problem more than a rules one, honestly.  If I could get some clarification, maybe a fictional (or actual-play) example of what could happen that makes it unfun for the table, that'd really help me to focus on answering the concerns.
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Nocker
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Newbie in Indie scene


« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2009, 10:21:51 AM »

Let me suggest a third solution:  When you claim a side, take a moment to get into your character voice and say "By the Hallowed Halls of Asgard, I swear that the Reichsmaster will NEVER gain dominion over Boost City while I still draw breath!  Come at me with your jackbooted minions, foul puppet-master, and I shall show them the valor of the Aesir!"
Actually, it's my first solution you say, here. That is, when you claim, you announce what this side will be about (prevent Reichmaster plans, in this case). Then, a player that roll a die up in this side must narrate an action that go against Reichmaster.

Erm... No. "Heroically" and "Villainously" are character considerations. Claiming and resolving happen on the player level. Events resolve in a manner decided upon by whichever player has claimed the winning side. Narration observance just means that things have to follow from one another, but "Heroically" and "Villainously" can (and often do) swap around very fluidly. (For food for thought, consider what happens if I'm playing a Hero, but then spend a Story Point to introduce a Villain into the scene...)
But the game says clearly that a player can have motivation for the Characters and the developpement of the story, not only gaining Story Tokens and Inspirations. So a player can Claim in the very goal of seeing a side (for example the Heroes) triumph. Without a rule to fixate the orientation of a side when Claiming, you can't have goals in the story when you claim.

"Coherence of the narration"?

When it turns out that the heroes efforts, though well-intentioned, have actually aided the villain in advancing his goals, that's not the narration breaking down and becoming incoherent.  That's a plot twist.

If the hero's player didn't know what was happening then maybe he'd feel all betrayed, but he rolled up the side claimed by the villain, right?  He rolled up the villainous side.  He knew his character's actions were heading for a bad outcome, and he did it on purpose.  So there shouldn't be any player-outrage when it turns out that Doctor Planaria planned for the heroes to beat his worm minions to paste, because that gave them the chance to absorb the hero's powers through the genetic contact of being punched repeatedly.  Sure, the characters can be outraged.  Being outraged is what superheroes do best.  But the players knew what they were signing up for, and should have a good laugh at the clever way Worm-Doc's player turned the narrative tables.
But it isn't a "villainnous side", by the rules, because nothing differentiate a Side when you claim it. All that you do is saying "I, the player, want this side to win". So the first time a Hero roll up on this Side, nothing force him to advance the villain cause, because it's a "neutral" side (or more precisely, an "undefined side") and he can describe the Villain actions being hindered.

Or is there something I don't understand in the rulebook ?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2009, 12:16:07 PM »

But it isn't a "villainnous side", by the rules, because nothing differentiate a Side when you claim it. All that you do is saying "I, the player, want this side to win". So the first time a Hero roll up on this Side, nothing force him to advance the villain cause, because it's a "neutral" side (or more precisely, an "undefined side") and he can describe the Villain actions being hindered.
There's very little in the game that forces anyone to do anything, really.

So why would (for instance) players choose to announce their intentions?  Why would they actively seek to notify people 'Okay, here is what this conflict will mean, you should know before getting in on it'?    Because it is (vastly) the smart way to play.  You want people to get excited about the conflicts you have any part in.  You want them pumped up, whether they're for you or against you.  It's good strategy.

So the game doesn't appear to have rules that will force you to pursue this strategy, in the same way that football doesn't say "You absolutely must attempt to move the ball forward toward the opposing team's end-zone."  Is that a problem?
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Nocker
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Newbie in Indie scene


« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2009, 08:48:38 PM »

Ok, I understand.
But if it actually happens. If a player roll up the die for the Hero on the Side you would have wanted to be villainous by claiming it ? Is it unfair ? Is it legal (I don't see anything that prevent it in the rules) ? Is it a strategy ? Or is it just stupid ?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2009, 05:21:58 PM »

Allow me to repeat:

When it turns out that the heroes efforts, though well-intentioned, have actually aided the villain in advancing his goals, that's not the narration breaking down and becoming incoherent.  That's a plot twist.

I have heroes do heroic things that roll up the villain side all the time!  Like I say "Oh, Major Victory is totally going to beat on this guy, but the smarmy way he's doing it is only going to hurt him in the whole 'Convince Quantum Girl to join the side of villainy' conflict over here.  MV is his own worst enemy!"

It's not illegal, it's not unfair, it's fine and (often) awesome.
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Nocker
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Newbie in Indie scene


« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 01:42:06 AM »

Okay, I think I'm beginning to understand. If you claim a side, you are saying "if this side wins, I decide the outcome", nothing more, but nothing less. So if the Heroes start rolling up "your" side, they just allow you to narrate the end the way you want.

The problem I see is the lack of opposition, in this case. It's a very interesting twist in a comic book, but is it useful in this game ? The debt tokens a villain has put on his side don't become story tokens because the heroes weren't much of an opposition.

And all this works only if someone says his intentions when he claims a side. If a player control a Hero and a Villain, when he claims a side, who knows his intentions for this conflict. Will it be a villainous victory or a heroic victory if this side wins ? If you says it, yes people will know that rolling up the side is going to help that goal, but if you don't, it's a gamble, at best. So is it a hard-rule : say your intention when you claim ?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2009, 05:58:58 AM »

The problem I see is the lack of opposition, in this case. It's a very interesting twist in a comic book, but is it useful in this game ? The debt tokens a villain has put on his side don't become story tokens because the heroes weren't much of an opposition.
But ... if there are debt tokens on your side, and none on the other, then what would possibly motivate the hero to roll on the side that has the debt tokens?  As you said, they just write themselves out of any chance of gaining story tokens out of the conflict, and that's just plain stupid.

And all this works only if someone says his intentions when he claims a side. If a player control a Hero and a Villain, when he claims a side, who knows his intentions for this conflict. Will it be a villainous victory or a heroic victory if this side wins ? If you says it, yes people will know that rolling up the side is going to help that goal, but if you don't, it's a gamble, at best. So is it a hard-rule : say your intention when you claim ?
It's a rule in the way that "Fighters in D&D should wear armor and wield weapons when in combat" is a rule.  It's not that it's against the rules to do otherwise, it's just that it's vastly counterproductive.
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