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Author Topic: Counter-system for Physical/Mental/Social opposistion?  (Read 3285 times)
sirogit
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Posts: 503


« on: November 16, 2003, 03:06:20 AM »

I was thinking of making a system wherein characters have Physical, Mental and Social scores, and when rolling against another character's score, gets a large advantage depending on what the other score was.

Physical actions beat Social actions, Social actions beat Mental actions, Mental actions beat Physical actions.

So, say you have a system where you roll dice and try to get more successes than the other person. Say character a is charging to tackle character b but character b is finding a nasty place to manuever himself, so that character A just dive straight over an edge, that'd be physical versus mental, with physical requiring two successes for every success mental gets.

There's alot of different places I could take this system, has it been done before? Do you think the basis of it, that some characters would have an innate advantage to overcoming other characters, is something that could be built on for an intereasting system, or would that be somewhat disruptive to the game?
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Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2003, 10:28:10 AM »

I think that the mechanical basis of this idea is very strong - I even wrote a game with that as the core assumption.  (My version of the assumption being that the approach you dynamically choose to solve problems is more important than how good you are in general.)

But I think it would be hard to justify any kind of rock-paper-scissors relation between the Physical/Mental/Social concepts, since they are inherently very interpretive, and also very situation-oriented.  At a political debate, for instance, Social should automatically be trump, regardless of whether P beats S in other cases.
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greyorm
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Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2003, 10:56:37 AM »

Quote
"And the candidate has just given his views, earning murmurs of respect from the crowd; it looks like he's scoring points with them. Senator Harley is preparing his rebuttal...wait, what's this? Former Senator Harley is walking over to Senator Benjamin's podium...and...I...I can't believe what I'm seeing!! He's...Harley is chasing Benjamin around with a folded chair! He's...oh no, he didn't! HE DID! HE GAVE HIM THE CHAIR!! Harley is beating Senator Benjamin with the chair!! Where the hell is security?! But I have to admit, that's one heck of an effective rebuttal!"

But seriously, I thought of doing much the same with ORX until I realized I couldn't map the situations out effectively as to what among the trio of attributes would consistently beat what -- I eventually realized it doesn't map, it's all dependent upon the situation, and situations are resolved by dice rolls between the two contesting attributes, thus resulting in a clear winner.

If you can find an elegant solution, however, I'd definitely be very interested in such a mechanic.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2003, 11:07:01 AM »

My solution was to use "Unexpected Action", "Defense", and "Attack."  Unexpected Action beats Defense (which defends only against canonical antagonism, obviously.), Defense trumps Attack, and Attack is quicker, better-practiced, and therefore superior to Unexpected Action.
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sirogit
Member

Posts: 503


« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2003, 01:15:10 PM »

For starters, I'm talking about a system specificly for -opposed- actions. That is, one person doing something against another person. It assumes than rather than concrete realism, the game's "philosophy" adheres to the basic idea I oput out.

The justification for Mental over Physical

Or brain over brawn, I think it's a very popular assumption in many genres. the smart way of doing something is superior to the talented way of doing something. If you can use an outsmarting manuever in combat, you can outshine his force.  

The justification for Physical over Social

This means basiccly, any attempts by you to persuade, intimidate, connive, make friends with, etc etc aperson, are not nearly as effective if he is lunging to attack you, running away, has a gun trailed on you, etc etc, partly because he's not as capable to listen, and partly because social manipulation works much better in a idle enviroment.

The justification for Social over Mental

I would admit that this could be the weakest link, but under inspection, I think it probably holds true as an outline of my expiereinces. If the sensual part of people's natures and the intellectual part of people's natures compete, the sensual part usually has an edge.

Incidentlly, I was thinking that in a game that used the counter-system, you would have Martial Arts Styles, which allowed you to use your physical to add to another type of action, as per the style, as well as making combative manuevers with it based on that type.

Tiger style = Physical, atacking moves
Mantis style = Mental, defense and counters
Monkey style = Social, unusual moves
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Walt Freitag
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Posts: 1039


« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2003, 02:14:50 PM »

Sigourit, your system makes sense but only for certain kinds of opposed actions, actions in which any of the three options are applicable. This isn't always true. If the opposed action is trying to win a criminal case in a courtroom, for instance, then in the real world Physical will not beat Social for either side. If the opposed action is an attack over the wall toward the enemy trenches in World War I, then Mental will not beat Physical for either side.

You can overcome this problem by making your categories more general and therefore more applicable to all sorts of situations. The downside of this is that it also becomes a bit more abstract, perhaps a bit less visceral. Shreyas' post above is one example of this. As another example, in Precious Fluid I used Force, Focus, and Finesse. Force is all-out effort (similar to your "physical" and Shreyas' "attack"), Focus is carefully targeted effort -- exploiting weaknesses, applying leverage (similar to your "mental" and Shreyas' "defense"), and Finesse is feint, misdirection, setting a trap, and similar "outside the box" solutions (similar to your "social" and Shreyas' "unexpected action").

The advantage of this -- same basic mechanism, different nomenclature -- is that it's easier to apply to a wide variety of situations. For instance, it's almost as easy to narrate a plausible sequence of events for "force beating finesse" in a courtroom conflict as it is in a gangland knife fight, while "physical beating social" would be harder to describe for either one.

- Walt
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Wandering in the diasporosphere
sirogit
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Posts: 503


« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2003, 05:41:43 PM »

I should be a bit more specific on what I mean by opposed actions.

take your example of the courtoom situations.

Consider it a mental sort of activity, an investigation into who is a crimninal.

Now say a plucky lawyer would instead of provioding good solid evidence, uses a bunch of stage tricks and playing to people's lowest common denominator. Good job lawyer! That's a roll of his social versus the jury's mental, trying to honestly evaluate the case. he has his work cut out for him quite nicely.

Now, the other guy has had it just about up to here about it, so he jumps out of his seat and makes to strangle that lawyer, in which the lawyer intends to mouth out a reason why he shouldn't, to little avail. Physical has a large advantage over Social.

However, he is a court of law, and has be put into a circumstance where he would be easily controlled if he should try to stir a ruckus, so it'd be the security's Mental roll vs his Physical roll to circumvent the security measures, and than a physical vs phsyical roll for the security to control him. the first mental roll has a good advantage.

So, while an physical-defendendant -Would- be able, if fast enough, to kick the Social-oriented lawyer's ass, it puts him in grave danger because of the mental Advantage of the court, which he can not win over with his fists but the lawyer can sway quite proffieceintly.
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