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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Setting the Basis for an Extended Contest: Critiques?  (Read 4262 times)
GB Steve
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Posts: 429


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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2003, 01:25:59 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
But Ralph's point is exactly why I think that the overall Conflict is decided with a certain cast. That is, in my example of a duel, the goal would be something like "Be first to wound the opponent", as such, no doubt clever jibes and such could be used to fun effect. But in the end, the jibes can't cause the actual wound, only the sword can.
Not in HQ, you can ridicule your opponent to death.

Of course, the GM might apply modifiers, or perhaps just say "no you can't", but the option seems to be there.

In groups I've played in there is often a fair amount of religious debate between players using extended contest to try to convert each other to their own religions. I'm not sure how helpful this is in a game context.
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simon_hibbs
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Posts: 678


« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2003, 03:28:10 AM »

Quote from: GB Steve
Not in HQ, you can ridicule your opponent to death.

Of course, the GM might apply modifiers, or perhaps just say "no you can't", but the option seems to be there.


You could try ridiculing him into whatever state ridiculing someone can put them. Appropriateness is king. I think it's perfectly reasonable that someone can try to persuade someone that is attacking them with an axe to please stop attacking them with an axe. What tactic you use to do that (ridicule, persuasion, humour, whatever), and what ability you use will of course vary and may incur appropriateness modifiers, but it's possible to try in HeroQuest just as much as it is in the real world.

You cannot actualy cause physical injury through ridicule, any more than you can actualy defend against the axe attack with a Fast Talk ability. That is a common misconception. But what you can do is try and persuade him in your action phase while trying to avoid being chopped to bits in his.

All this talk about 'framing the contest' is missing the point that the two parties to a contest can have fundamentaly different goals which they pursue during their respective action phases.

Simon Hibbs
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Simon Hibbs
Ian Charvill
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Posts: 377


« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2003, 03:57:35 AM »

Quote from: GB Steve
Not in HQ, you can ridicule your opponent to death.


Couldn't that simply be glossed as riduculing an oppenent into a state of apolplexy such that a duck with a rusty pen knife could kill them?

Edited to add: or, you know, sure, medical compications arising from excessive blood pressure (though that's pushing the point further than I think it needs to go).

Quote from: GB Steve
In groups I've played in there is often a fair amount of religious debate between players using extended contest to try to convert each other to their own religions. I'm not sure how helpful this is in a game context.


Players engaging in extended contests against other players?  The end goal there, I guess, being to make changes to the other players character that they don't want.

I don't see how that's any different that the theif of the party pickpocketing other PCs (i.e. I don't think the problem's with the system).
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Ian Charvill
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2003, 10:39:37 AM »

Quote from: simon_hibbs
Yep, you're right. You convinced me. When Alexander was faced with the Gordian Knot and drew his sword instead of trying to puzzle it out, the GM should have improv penaltied his ass into oblivion.
Mike rolls his Resist Jibe 8 and critically fails! Help me, I'm meltiiiing!

I don't have to convince you, Simon. As I've said, it's already in the rules as an option. And I'm going to bet that you use Improv modifiers for some things. So I think your ridiculing me for doing it where I feel it's appropriate is, well, ridiculous.

I'm not trying to disincentivize players from trying to use skills that are unorthodox for the situation. Far from it. Let's say that we have the duel situation, and I have Sword 17, and you have Sword 15. Then you move to Ridicule 5w and the GM gives you a -3 penalty for appropriateness. You still have improved your situation. The Improv mod then only serves as exploration of the situation, not at all as a Gamist modifier.

I'm merely trying to give the Sim edge a little hardness here. Which I feel can be done without damaging anything else if done correctly. Sure, if I were actually trying to disincentivize players from being creative, I'd be remiss. What I'm trying to do, instead, is to get them to give me better rationales for their alternate approaches that make play more fun and interesting.

The whole Gordion Knot example falls apart, you see, when you know that I don't set Resistances before play. Because I don't set up the Conflicts before play. Because in the Gordion Knot situation, I'd wait for the charcter to set the conflict in his own way, and then say, "Ah, well, the knot only has a 12 resistance to being hacked apart." Rather than saying that it has a Knotty 5w3 that has to be overcome.  

Again, we see that this encourages the player to think creatively, and to take the intiative in selecting the arena of combat. So, I'm not seeing the problem.

Mike
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2003, 10:47:02 AM »

To follow up on my disagreement with Simon in the post directly above, I'm going to agree with him in terms of Appropriateness.

Sure, Steve and Ian, if the player really does a great job of explaining how he could "wound" physically (remember that was the contest, not to kill), then I'd accept it. But if they say that they're going to use their Witty Repartee while alone in a clearing to carve a statue, I'm going to turn my head sideways like a dog and give them that look. It just has to make sense.

What the rules do, is allow you to put "hurts" and "wounds" etc on characters with any ability. But if you read that rule, those hurts and wounds, etc. need to be described in terms of a likely outcome. That is, a hurt that's the result of a Joke at the character's expense is best described as hurt feelings, meaning that it'll only come into play when appropriate, such as resisting a joke from the same character again. Not as a bruise to his head.

Again, it's this negotiation over appropriateness that I think happens in all cases, and of which Improv Mods can be an interesting part, IMO.

Quote
All this talk about 'framing the contest' is missing the point that the two parties to a contest can have fundamentaly different goals which they pursue during their respective action phases.
I'm totally with you on this one, BTW, don't misunderstand. In my dueling example, the reason I used it is because for whatever reason the player has made wounding the opponent who declared the duel in the first place his goal as well. If he had said that his goal was to get the other guy to leave in shame, then, of course, he'd get to use his Ridicule for AP and at full power. It's only if he's trying to use that ability to actually get the other guy on the end of his sword that I'd assess the Improv penalty. See the difference?

Mike
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