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Author Topic: Bad negotiating = Better character?  (Read 3937 times)
John Kim
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« on: April 15, 2005, 09:54:32 AM »

Hi,

So I'm preparing for my first game of Dogs in the Vineyard, and I was wondering about an aspect of Fallout which caught my eye.  So you have an experience gain if you roll a "1" in Fallout.  If you want to gain experience and minimize lasting harm, it seems like the ideal is to take 3d4 or 4d4 in Fallout.  

3d4
Prob(experience):  34 / 64 = 53.1%
Prob(lasting harm):   7 / 64 = 10.9%
Prob(both):   3 / 64 =  4.7%
Average long-term gain = 0.42

4d4
Prob(experience): 141 / 256 = 55.1%
Prob(lasting harm):  33 / 256 = 12.9%
Prob(both):  34 / 256 = 13.3%
Average long-term gain = 0.42

Assuming that one experience gain cancels out one lasting harm pick (which is does, say, in the case of stat dice), then on average you gain about 1 experience every two times (really 2.3 times) you take 3d4 or 4d4 Fallout.  Any number of d4's will have positive average, but no number of d6s or greater will.  

So, as far as long-term gain goes, it seems best to take a blow when just talking.  This means the most rewarding strategy is to get into verbal conflicts, and at least be taken back some in them.  (You can still go on to win the conflict, as long as you took the blow.)  That's kind of cool for role-playing, since it leads to more back-and-forth in verbal fights.  However, it wasn't obvious at first glance.

Has anyone had any experiences with players using this strategy?
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- John
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005, 10:15:12 AM »

Physical Non-Violent is much better.  Why?

Because what you really want is the fallout score that gives you two lasting harms.  Get enough dice, and that's +2d4 +1d6 on your character sheet.  Which is awesome.

yrs--
--Ben
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Simon Kamber
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Posts: 175


« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005, 11:48:38 AM »

I'm with Ben here. The more permanent fallout, the better. If you twist it real well, you can even have a near-death experience, and pump some fallout stats on your local Healing Dog (tm) as well. As long as you don't die ;)
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Simon Kamber
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2005, 01:32:53 PM »

It's true. The more fallout you take, the more your character develops.

I made a character for the express purpose of testing that. And it's true. I wound up with so many traits, they started creeping in between other writing on my character sheet.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2005, 01:52:16 PM »

Quote from: Simon Kamber
I'm with Ben here. The more permanent fallout, the better. If you twist it real well, you can even have a near-death experience, and pump some fallout stats on your local Healing Dog (tm) as well. As long as you don't die ;)


Awesome!  I hadn't thought of that one.

yrs--
--Ben
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John Kim
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2005, 01:58:46 PM »

Quote from: Simon Kamber
I'm with Ben here. The more permanent fallout, the better. If you twist it real well, you can even have a near-death experience, and pump some fallout stats on your local Healing Dog (tm) as well. As long as you don't die ;)

Fair point.  I was thinking conservatively that I don't like to be badly injured and need medical attention.  Though, even then, the system rewards death as well (+1d6 Stats and +1d6 Traits), though there is time out and effort to make the new PC.  

I'll just have to try it out and see how it goes.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2005, 05:49:40 AM »

Quote from: John Kim
I'll just have to try it out and see how it goes.


Now you're talkin'!
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2005, 11:37:45 AM »

Fallout is fun!

Anything less than a 20 on fallout is fairly easy to survive. In this second town (which took us 3 sessions to finish..) all three of the (original) Dogs were seriously injured (16+) once, and my character twice. I think both of the other Dogs took lesser injuries (12+) as well, but recovered without medical attention. New traits this town for Thaddeus (who, btw, has taken no Experience Fallout from a conflict ever) include: Relationship with Raven's Dog, 1d4, Visions, 2d4 and bum leg, 1d4. Malachi, who frequently does the medical conflicts, has managed to rack up a few more, I think.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
cdr
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Posts: 93


« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 08:33:19 PM »

I'll echo all the others: Fallout is good, and taking some verbal fallout is great.  The potential drawback is if you pile up a ton of d4 fallout and then things get heated and escalate and you wind up needing medical attention and your healer is now facing all those extra dice which can be used to Take the Blow from his big raises.

But what's the worst that happens?  Your Dog dies and gets to go sit at the feet of the King of Life all glory hallelujah (or wherever he winds up), and you get a new dog with another 2d6 for your trouble.  Also keeping in mind that as Vincent's pointed out, "death" may not mean physical death, but just the end of his life as a Dog.  Maybe it means the Dog turns himself over to the TA for imprisonment, or retires and marries his sweetheart and becomes a steward, or becomes a cranky old hermit.

It's also a big relief as a GM to not have to worry about killing the PCs.  Just escalate, escalate, escalate and leave it to the players as to whether it's something worth dying for. I'm still learning that lesson myself.
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