Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[Poison'd] Starting Bargains

Started by Keith, October 08, 2009, 12:05:10 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


I tell Bad Luck Billy Hammond at character creation that, "You swore to Captain Pallor that you'd sink the Dagger before you see her taken."

Who decides the context of the bargain - myself as GM? Billy Hammond? This happened... God knows when. Does it matter which of us decides the context and conditions? This is in trying to find out why Billy and the good Cap'n made the bargain to begin with.

Second - I assume, to punish Billy for breaking the bargain (should he choose to) that I would quickly whip up Brimstone Jack as an NPC, except he's obviously a ghost now. What I'm figuring is that Jack needs to exist in some form - he can't just be a corpse, forgotten - in order to revoke the Soul. Otherwise, who's taking the Soul dice from Billy Hammond? Fate? Or is it that someone dead and accepting judgment or whatever, people on the other end of their bargains are now free?
- Keith Blocker


Hooray! GREAT questions.

1) It doesn't matter to me, or to the game's rules, which of you decides the context and conditions, but of course it'll matter in play. If it's interesting, it's good meat for a flashback - "hey, want a flashback? Let's find out what was going on when you swore that oath to Brimstone Jack." If you don't get the sense that it's flashback-worthy, just quickly establish it between you - "hey so I figure that Brimstone Jack tortured you into swearing that oath to him, yeah?" If the player has a better idea, go with the player's.

2) Yes. Ghosts don't need stats, so you don't need to whip him up, just have him in mind, watching events from above or below or beyond. Heaven, Hell, or whatever, bargains are bargains, bargains stand.

If, now that Brimstone Jack is dead, he's in tight with God or Satan, you can have them come in to enforce his bargains too. That's fun. Satan's all like, "hey, my good friend Jack Pallor, you're going back on your promise to him? But you want me to keep looking after you? I don't figure I will. What's your plan now, sucker?"



Awesome! That answered my questions to a tee.

So I don't add unnecessary clutter, I'll tack this on here. They're more questions when you have the time:

1) Do NPCs get to strike bargains when they get a deadly wound? Or do we not care, and they can just go die? I assume a PC who wants the NPC alive for some reason can bargain with him or with his assailant. So I can kill Tom Reed with a Success Roll that inflicts a deadly wound, right? What state is he in? Lying there dying, waiting for someone else's last actions, "just in case," and if no one has anything, he passes on? Does he make a bargain with someone? How do I kill Tom Reed?

2) The timing of bringing fights versus success rolls is a little unclear to me. That thing about, if a player fails a success roll, I can bring the fight to them (assume I'm GMing) - can I bring a fight between two players? I have a feeling I can't, and it's their option. They can just go on making success rolls until one of them decides to fight. Is there a certain point BETWEEN PLAYERS where we have to stop and say, "Okay, no more success rolls, it's time to fight?"

3) When is a bargain a bargain? "Give me all your Leisure or I'll rip your face off!" for example. Does it become a bargain as soon as it's put out there? What are my options when that's phrased to me? Can I say, "Haha, no way! Just TRY and rip it!" or can I say, "I don't like that bargain, I don't want to be involved in it, sorry. I don't take either option." And if so, does that mean the only way to truly escape from a bargain is to bring the Fight? Can you escape from one by bringing the fight? ("Give me your Leisure or I rip off your face!" and I say, "Not if I gut you first! Let's fight!")
- Keith Blocker


More good questions.

1) NPCs never make bargains with other NPCs. I can see Tom Reed begging a PC surgeon to save him, if you've got a PC surgeon, but an NPC surgeon can't save him. For the most part, NPCs who take deadly wounds, die.

You, the GM, can kill NPCs at will. There are only two ways for a player to kill an NPC for certain: (1) spend 3 Xs outside of a fight, or (2) beat the NPC at the 3rd escalation of a swordfight. Inflicting a deadly wound on the NPC will almost certainly kill the NPC, but the other 2 ways absolutely guarantee it.

2) "Bring the fight" means to skip over whatever might happen between now and fighting. If a fight starts without your having "brought" it, no worries, use the fighting rules same as always.

Here's a key phrase: "Hey, do you fight back or endure duress?" It works like this:

Pigfuck Dan: I rip Filthy Peter's Face off.
You: Filthy Peter, do you fight back to stop him, or do you let him and endure duress?
Filthy Peter: I fight back.
Now it's a fight! Use the fighting rules.


Pigfuck Dan: I rip Filthy Peter's Face off.
You: Filthy Peter, do you fight back or endure duress?
Filthy Peter: I endure duress.
You: Okay. Roll Soul vs Devil.
On a successful roll, you might say: Great, so you're lying there with your face ripped off. What do you do?
On a failed roll, you might say: Crap, man. Getting your face ripped off is a deadly wound. Make a bargain or die!

(Hey check that out, he blew the roll and you didn't bring a fight, you skipped straight to the deadly wound. That's kosher, given the circumstances.)

Oh and this can happen too:

Pigfuck Dan: I rip Filthy Peter's Face off.
You: Filthy Peter, do you fight back or endure duress?
Filthy Peter: Can we bargain instead?
You: Oh, sure, fine by me. Go for it.

3) Examples.

Pigfuck Dan: Give me all your Leisure or I'll rip your face off!
Filthy Peter: Fuck you.
Filthy Peter writes on his sheet "Pigfuck Dan swore to rip my face off."


Pigfuck Dan: Give me all your Leisure or I'll rip your face off!
Filthy Peter: Okay, okay! Here.
Filthy Peter writes on his sheet "Pigfuck Dan swore not to rip my face off."

In both cases, it's Pigfuck Dan, the one who made the threat, who's taking upon himself the unfulfilled bargain. Filthy Peter now holds Pigfuck Dan's soul as collatoral.

Filthy Peter can't just ignore the bargain, no, but accepting it doesn't do him any harm or oblige him to anything at all, so that's okay.

Make sense?

More questions always welcome, and if I've missed something, just ask again.



Okay, it's all been pretty clear. But Bargains are where this game is sticking me. So I've got some questions that might sound really silly, but which have me confused according to the rules.

1.) Can Pigfuck Dan say, "Give me you Leisure or I will grow wings!" and obviously he can't, so that's just a free shot for Filthy Peter? I don't know why in the world that would happen, but, for humor's sake. This ties into question two, but: Are we to consider literally each and every promise as bargain material?

2.) It seems almost like the game is punishing players for their words. What if Pigfuck Dan wants to make an idle threat? Just being a tough guy, just for the flavor of his character?

Pigfuck Dan: "I'll punch you in the gut!"

And now somebody's got that on their sheet, that Dan'll punch them in the gut some time?

The problem I'm seeing is about intent. It seems like the GM or a clever player can be really mischevious and take something that clearly wasn't supposed to be a bargain and enforce it as such. Like this:

Filthy Peter: "Haha, oh man. You sure throw the best parties. Haha, if you weren't around, I'd just as soon go jump in the ocean, Pigfuck Dan!"

So now Dan can write that as a bargain and just be off the ship for a while, and Peter's all wet?

This is what the rules are saying to me: all promises must be held literally, and if you are not careful with what you say, you've given someone a free penalty to use against you.

- Keith Blocker


You're right, they sound really silly! That's because none of them are bargains, they're just talk.

One of the GM's responsibilities is to notice when something like that is, in fact, a bargain, not just talk, and have the players write it down. As GM, the group's counting on you to be able to tell the difference between an exchange that's actually a bargain and another exchange that's just talk. Fortunately, you can - these examples prove it.

You can also just ask the players involved, on those rare occasions when you can't tell. "So wait, did you just bargain to throw yourself into the ocean when Pigfuck Dan isn't around? No? Good, I didn't think so, but better to make sure."



Okay! That issue was bugging me, as the rules seemed to be saying otherwise. And that's the last of 'em, I am quite satisfied with the ruleset in front of me. Thanks, Vincent!
- Keith Blocker


My pleasure. Rules questions are my fave.

Hey, if you're interested, Ninja vs Pirates interviewed me about Poison'd, here:

And the Walking Eye has put session 1 of their Poison'd game online, here: