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Author Topic: [DitV] Question about Escalation  (Read 20281 times)
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2005, 10:48:38 PM »

Quote from: Technocrat13
Yeah.  I'm still confused.  That usually means I've missed a logical step somewhere in the middle.  If any of the following statements are incorrect, please correct me.


I'll have a go at answering this, which may mean I haven't learned my lesson yet...

Quote
Assuming a one on one confrontation between two characters where the conflict began as Non-Physical...

The NPC draws and fires his gun at me.  I choose to narrate dodging the bullet.  I have now technically escalated to Gunfighting. (??)  I therefore roll my Will.


From previous Vincent responses, it's actually:
"I choose to narrate dodging the bullet. I have now either escalated to Gunfighting, or not escalated at all, depending on exactly waht statement I want to make.
You don't have to escalate when someone attacks you, but you can.

Quote
<snip>If all those statements are correct... well then I think that sucks.  IMHO, if you can escalate to Fighting or Gunfighting without any possibility of lethal fallout, or even the idea that the Dog is willing to do harm to do the right thing, then the theme falls flat.


A key point is that even if you try not to harm your foe, he'll be trying to harm you and you can still take lethal fallout.
I've often seen (in other games), conflicts in which a player is trying to take a foe down non-lethally, but is frustrated by lack of a quick success, suffers a close call, and then says, "damn it, he's going down."
So, just the fact that one side is using violence does increase the chance that the other will give up his lilylivered pussyfooting and let loose with the cannons.

Quote
Indeed, if all my Traits and Belongings are of a non-violent bend, then, as a Dog, I can pull all of my dice without ever having to so much as raise a fist to anyone.


Note: if all your traits and belongings are of a non-violent nature, and you concentrate your stats in Acuity and Heart, with a little Body, and a Will of 2 - then you'll get the vast majority of your dice without ever escalating. So you can do that even if escalation must be accompanied by violent acts.

Quote
And I totally disagree with the idea that a Dog would have to get those dice for game balance (which is what I believe Vincent had said in an earlier post).  Dogs are pretty well Uber compared to even a baddie sorcerer, I really don't think they need to get dice for doing something they really haven't done yet.


The game balance issue is there for the situation that Vincent described:
If you have two dice left in front of you, say a 1 and a 3, and your opponent puts forward his last two dice, a 5 and a 2, your choices are:
-Give
-Escalate, get extra dice

If you can't escalate as part of a See, your only choice is Give.

Now whether the escalation must be violent or not, that I'll leave to more wise folk.
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cdr
Member

Posts: 93


« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2005, 11:20:18 PM »

A fascinating thread.  I think it'd be cool if someone ran a Dog built for winning without killing anyone (or at least having all their dice available without having to shoot someone). Perhaps as his Accomplishment he could snatch a pebble from his blind trainer's hand.

If the character's design is signalling "Nothing is worth killing for" then that seems plenty interesting.  "So this sinner isn't worth killing?" "How about this one?"  "Even THIS?" And what happens when your fellow Dogs decide someone does need to be killed? Sounds like big fun to me!

I also really like Vincent's idea for a gunslinger that uses his cool under fire to not have to shoot folks. "It's easy to kill a man. It's hard to save him. The King of Life got other folks to call on for the easy things."  I even think it would be big fun to drop 2d10 or 3d10 into "Lightning's Hand" and then never use it, just have it there tempting, like the gun hanging on the wall in Act 1.

--
Carl Rigney

"I've killed a lot of men 2d10"
"But I'm done with killing 6d4"
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Simon Kamber
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Posts: 175


« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2005, 02:01:00 AM »

Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
A key point is that even if you try not to harm your foe, he'll be trying to harm you and you can still take lethal fallout.
I've often seen (in other games), conflicts in which a player is trying to take a foe down non-lethally, but is frustrated by lack of a quick success, suffers a close call, and then says, "damn it, he's going down."
So, just the fact that one side is using violence does increase the chance that the other will give up his lilylivered pussyfooting and let loose with the cannons.

But what will letting loose the cannons ever gain you if you've already rolled will? I agree that the game will work despite this. Players will still "feel" that guns are a more effective and direct solution. But I think it's more appropriate if the dice support this rather than make it an option without mechanical effect.
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Simon Kamber
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2005, 02:40:35 AM »

Quote from: Simon Kamber
But what will letting loose the cannons ever gain you if you've already rolled will?


You'll be able to get your "let loose the cannons 6d10" trait?
Despite that glib answer, I see what you mean - I could fire away at something other than my target to get the dice, and then I have them even if I just declare all my actions to be intimidating and talking.
It comes back to that frustration element - when someone is shooting at me, and inflicting lethal fallout, I realise - "the threat of non-lethal fallout isn't having any effect - and I'm going to get killed. Time to finish this now." Then switch over to lethal fallout and hope your opponent Gives.
This argument works best when your opponent is another PC - GM's don't have the same pressure on them when making decisions about their NPCs fate, so might allow their inclination to deliver a good story override their ability to act as the NPC in question.
But there's also, "the person I'm trying to save is trying to kill me! Stuff that, I can't be bothered to save him any more, he's going down."

So players do have the ability to escalate without killing, but there are pressures on them to change their attitude. They might stay true to their goal in some cases, and give in to violence in others. Finding out when they go one way or the other sounds pretty interesting to me.
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lumpley
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« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2005, 05:27:31 AM »

We're arguing. We've rolled Acuity and Heart. I'm losing. I throw a punch; I roll Body and Will. You throw a punch back. Now we've rolled all of our stats. If I shoot you, I don't get any new stat dice. Do I no longer have any temptation to shoot you?

You have a gun with dice in it for a reason.

-Vincent
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2005, 05:30:20 AM »

*sigh*  Ya didn't answer any of my questions Vincent.  I so wish we could sit across a table and discuss this.  My OnlineGetMyPointAcross Fu is weak.

-Eric
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ironick
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Posts: 68


« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2005, 05:30:44 AM »

[/quote]
But what will letting loose the cannons ever gain you if you've already rolled will? I agree that the game will work despite this. Players will still "feel" that guns are a more effective and direct solution. But I think it's more appropriate if the dice support this rather than make it an option without mechanical effect.[/quote]

I'm confused.  How don't the dice support it?  If you change tactics and start shooting you (A) get to roll your Belongings dice for your gun, (B) roll any applicable traits, and (C) Escalate and change the size of the Fallout dice.  I'm not seeing the problem.

Nick
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lumpley
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« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2005, 05:39:23 AM »

Eric, I don't even get what your questions are.

Yes, you can get all your stat dice without ever doing anything violent, under some circumstances.

No, it doesn't hurt the game at all. The game works great.

-Vincent
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2005, 05:41:05 AM »

Quote from: Nik
I'm confused. How don't the dice support it? If you change tactics and start shooting you (A) get to roll your Belongings dice for your gun, (B) roll any applicable traits, and (C) Escalate and change the size of the Fallout dice. I'm not seeing the problem.


A)  What if the character doesn't have a gun?  Then they won't be tempted to use one, will they?

B)  What if none of their traits are violent ones?

C)  What if they don't want to actually hurt the person, they just want to win the conflict?

I have one player in my current group that has a pacifist character.  Almost all his stat dice are in Heart, he has no violent Traits, and he has no weapons on his character sheet.  So it does happen.  His goal for the character, designed three months ago, is to win every conflict without violence.  And he's done a great job of it so far.  

So, my point is, that without violent traits or violent belongings, the only thing left to tempt the player into violence is to withhold his Will dice until he does violence.  If he can gain those Will dice in a passive way, he will, to maintain the integrity of his character.  That Dog will never be tempted to violence.  At all.

-Eric
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lumpley
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« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2005, 05:47:29 AM »

Quote from: Eric
I have one player in my current group that has a pacifist character. Almost all his stat dice are in Heart, he has no violent Traits, and he has no weapons on his character sheet. So it does happen. His goal for the character, designed three months ago, is to win every conflict without violence. And he's done a great job of it so far.

So, my point is, that without violent traits or violent belongings, the only thing left to tempt the player into violence is to withhold his Will dice until he does violence. If he can gain those Will dice in a passive way, he will, to maintain the integrity of his character. That Dog will never be tempted to violence. At all.

And that's just fine.

Is he not an interesting character?

-Vincent
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lumpley
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« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2005, 06:08:31 AM »

I really gotta chill out.

Hey Eric. You're right, this'd be a lot easier in person.

You've mentioned my theme essay a couple of times, I just want to get with you about Dogs' themes.

"What makes a good shepherd?" So you've got the characters' decisions + outcomes + the players' judgement. You wind up with themes like "a good shepherd lies all the time," "killing people makes a bad shepherd," "a good shepherd kills who needs killing," "a good shepherd never shows his doubt," "a bad shepherd never shows his doubt" ... and so on.

Pacifism, non-violence, winning every conflict without raising a hand. Is that a good shepherd or a bad shepherd? You take the character and play the game, that's how you find out.

That's why the temptation to violence, that's why violating that character's principles, doesn't matter, isn't necessary. Does pacifism make a good shepherd? To find out, you need a pacifist.

-Vincent
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2005, 12:57:46 PM »

Quote from: lumpley
Does pacifism make a good shepherd? To find out, you need a pacifist.


Well, you need one more thing: a series of towns that test his pacifism. Is his pacifism only effective because of the violence of his peers (Gandhi's was)? Is his pacifism effective because he forces the minds of others (is that any different)? Does his pacifism cost others' lives while he's not killing? &c.
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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.
mister.ribbit
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2005, 02:32:56 PM »

I literally got the book on Saturday (but already read it cover to cover), so here's my totally uneducated input:

If a character could not get dice from escalating until he acted in the manner described, you could never get dice on a See, simply because a See is always a reaction.  You would have to wait for the Raise to be able to get your dice -- which is likely too late since the opponent (probably) Raised because the number of dice left on the table was pretty small.

This does not mean a character with a gun can get all his dice on the table without pulling his gun and shooting it, so there's still something to be gained from finally drawing your weapon and using it.  That's why the gun itself has some dice value, I think.

-- Ribbit
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Ryan
Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2005, 03:37:01 PM »

Quote from: mister.ribbit
the opponent (probably) Raised because the number of dice left on the table was pretty small.


I think you're confusing Raising and Escalating here. A raise happens on every time someone acts. An Escalation happens because you want to bring in another type of conflict - verbal, physical nonfighting, fighting, and gunfighting, probably because you're out of options (dice) in the frame that you've already used. You're right that a See is always a reaction.
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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.
mister.ribbit
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2005, 03:43:12 PM »

Quote from: nikola
I think you're confusing Raising and Escalating here. A raise happens on every time someone acts. An Escalation happens because you want to bring in another type of conflict - verbal, physical nonfighting, fighting, and gunfighting, probably because you're out of options (dice) in the frame that you've already used. You're right that a See is always a reaction.


You're right.  I meant Escalate in that part of the post.  Still trying to get used to the terminology (although it is definitely sensible).

Thanks!

-- Ribbit
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Ryan
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