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Author Topic: Question about Social Conflicts  (Read 7112 times)
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« on: May 03, 2005, 08:29:06 PM »

I had a problem with handling raises and sees in Social Conflict last night. Fighting was easy enough.

Let's say you have a mob demanding that the criminal they have captured be strung up like the villain he is, and the Dogs insisting that he be subjected to a trial first. Basically, they wanted to see the evidence, and the crowd - one person in particular - wanted him strung up so that the evidence didn't come to light.

Can anyone suggest what sort of Raises (and how opponents might See those raises) would be appropriate in this case?

The way we played was unsatisfactory - basically, we couldn't think of appropriate raises and sees, so let the dice take over. It wasn't very compelling.
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Trevis Martin
Member

Posts: 499


« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 09:08:17 PM »

Mob (Raise): Outta the way, Brother, we're fixin' to hang this no-good killer.

Dog (See (Block)): Your stewardship does not extend over this man's life, no matter what he may have done.
(Raise:) Give him to us that he may be properly tried by those responsible for him.

Guy in Mob (See (Block)): No stewardship?! this filthy sinner killed my brother.  Raise: (Raise, escalate to physcial) pulls out gun.  If you won't let us hang 'im.  He'll still die.

Dog:(See, (Reverse)): Then you intend to violate the commandment of the king of life, send your soul to hell,  and leave your family with no one to care for them?  
(Raise:) "For I have set you in service to those in need of you. Yay if you abandon that service you abondon me."

Mob:(See (Block)) "You would'nt do it, Kill a King fearing man in cold blood. Not over this trash"  (Raise) cocks the hammer of his pistol

Dog:(See (Block, bring in coat)) "When I'm a witness to murder, my duty is clear.  See this bloodstain on the yellow diamond of this coat?  That man said he feared the King"
(Raise, escalate to physical, add in gun dice) Pulls out and cocks pistol "Now does your family's father go home tonight?  Or will I need to ask the steward to make arrangments for them?"

Mob:(give) "Take him, Dog. But do him justice..."
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2005, 09:54:03 PM »

Quote from: Trevis Martin
Mob (Raise): Outta the way, Brother, we're fixin' to hang this no-good killer.

Dog (See (Block)): Your stewardship does not extend over this man's life, no matter what he may have done.

What if the Dog Took the Blow - what would actually happen then?

Quote
(Raise:) Give him to us that he may be properly tried by those responsible for him.


If this was met by a Take the Blow, would this mean the mob gets the guy and the conflict is effectively over?
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 11:33:50 PM »

Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
Quote from: Trevis Martin
Mob (Raise): Outta the way, Brother, we're fixin' to hang this no-good killer.

Dog (See (Block)): Your stewardship does not extend over this man's life, no matter what he may have done.

What if the Dog Took the Blow - what would actually happen then?

Quote
(Raise:) Give him to us that he may be properly tried by those responsible for him.


If this was met by a Take the Blow, would this mean the mob gets the guy and the conflict is effectively over?


Yep, that's what it means, if the stakes are "does the mob hang the man?"

Edit: Whoops! I misread that, I thought you said "give" rather than "take the blow". No, in no way can the mob win the conflict until the dice are done.

If you take the blow, it might be more along the lines of "Well, if he did what you say, it's true he deserves to be hanged..." then Raise "but he's not going to be lynched in the streets by a mob." You have to concede or lose in some fashion when you take the blow, but it cannot end the stakes unless you give.

Trevis, one thing I'd interpret differently than you did; Pulling a gun isn't escalation unless you fire it, or hit someone with it, or whatever. Vincent has pointed out that you can threaten a man with a gun, but unless you fire it, you're still doing talking fallout.. This says to me that it also doesn't count as escalation.

I also don't think that you get the gun's dice if used purely for intimidation.. I think in that case you'd treat it as an improvised item, because that's not the purpose it was designed for. This latter is probably purely stylistic, though.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Trevis Martin
Member

Posts: 499


« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2005, 11:53:24 PM »

Ok

Quote
Mob (Raise): Outta the way, Brother, we're fixin' to hang this no-good killer.


Dog: (See, Take the blow) one of the mob shoves me to the side and the crowd surges forward.  (Raise, escalate to physcial) Dog fires his gun in the air "Stop, or that man will not be the only one to meet the King tonight!"

On your second one:

Quote
(Raise:) Give him to us that he may be properly tried by those responsible for him


That is the Dog's raise, not the mobs.  So the mob has to respond to a command from an authority over them.

They might respond

(See (Take the Blow)) "We know you're responsible and all, and we respect you Dog, but why a trial?  You can judge him right now!


The one thing we didn't talk about is what the stakes actually were.  I assumed it was "Does the crowd hang the guy"  Until the dog gives, that can not happen.

Wolfen, I disagree, brandishing a gun is a physical act that absolutely works for escalation to physical but not fighting.  As for fallout, it depends on what the actual raise was that caused the fallout I suppose.  If it was words (as I remember it) then the fallout is talking fallout.  YOu can still talk in a gunfight, though it probably isn't wise.

You might be right on the gun dice though.  I was looking for object dice off the top of my head.  Improvised object would work as well.

best,

Trevis
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2005, 11:54:37 PM »

Quote from: Wolfen
If you take the blow, it might be more along the lines of "Well, if he did what you say, it's true he deserves to be hanged..." then Raise "but he's not going to be lynched in the streets by a mob." You have to concede or lose in some fashion when you take the blow, but it cannot end the stakes unless you give.


Hmm, yes, I think I'm beginning to get it. Will ponder that.
We did have difficulty in social scenes coming up with raises.
One I did which was probably in error:
During a conflict over whether the Gunslinger leaves town with his baby, Samuel told the players "Shoot him before he gets the baby!"
I ruled that if they didn't Take The Blow, they would have to draw and shoot (but not necessarily to kill). It wasn't a case of deciding the stakes, but it would force escalation they didn't want at the moment.
Was I unfair?

Quote from: Wolfen
Trevis, one thing I'd interpret differently than you did; Pulling a gun isn't escalation unless you fire it, or hit someone with it, or whatever. Vincent has pointed out that you can threaten a man with a gun, but unless you fire it, you're still doing talking fallout.. This says to me that it also doesn't count as escalation.


I played it that pulling a gun wasn't escalation, but Trevis's example is interesting: it's not escalating to gunfighting, but it might be escalating to physical. Drawing a gun on someone really isn't that much different to shoving them around when you lose your temper in a conversation and want to physically intimidate them.

Quote
I also don't think that you get the gun's dice if used purely for intimidation.. I think in that case you'd treat it as an improvised item, because that's not the purpose it was designed for. This latter is probably purely stylistic, though.


I did that - allowed them to use gun dice even when they weren't shooting. I agree, I probably shouldn't have.
Here's a ruling I made that I'd like your opinions on:
I expressly stated before play began that an item gives its dice to the sorts of things that item is for - if you use a big bible as a club, it's still a crap weapon so it only gives d4. An excellent gun used as a hammer is a crap hammer, and so d4.
Once in play I promptly forgot this rule and was giving full dice willy-nilly, so if it's wrong I haven't set a bad precendent. :)
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2005, 12:04:07 AM »

Hm. I could be mistaken, Trevis, but my interpretation of physical, either fightin' or not fightin' was that contact had to be made. A hug, an arm barring the way..

And here I go shootin' myself in the foot as I remember the scenario where we tracked someone down... It was physical, but not fighting. Case conceded here, though I think I would still personally make the call that brandishing a weapon still counts as a raise in a talking conflict.

Quote from: demiurgeastaroth
Here's a ruling I made that I'd like your opinions on:
I expressly stated before play began that an item gives its dice to the sorts of things that item is for - if you use a big bible as a club, it's still a crap weapon so it only gives d4. An excellent gun used as a hammer is a crap hammer, and so d4.
Once in play I promptly forgot this rule and was giving full dice willy-nilly, so if it's wrong I haven't set a bad precendent.


Your rulings are spot on. What you did though isn't unreasonable.. A Colt Navy as described by Vincent in the book isn't a crap intimidation tactic, so it probably wouldn't be a d4. A d6 at least. Though I probably wouldn't have ruled to give full dice, it's not without justification that a 2d8 pistol (my but that's a big, high quality revolver you're waving in my face) could get it's full dice for intimidation. Personally though, my inner gamist would tell me not to roll dice for the weapon at all.. I may need them if the bullets start flying.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Trevis Martin
Member

Posts: 499


« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2005, 12:11:28 AM »

Quote from: demiurgeastaroth

During a conflict over whether the Gunslinger leaves town with his baby, Samuel told the players "Shoot him before he gets the baby!"
I ruled that if they didn't Take The Blow, they would have to draw and shoot (but not necessarily to kill). It wasn't a case of deciding the stakes, but it would force escalation they didn't want at the moment.
Was I unfair?


What were the stakes and the particpants there exactly?  If the stakes are "Does the Gunslinger leave town with his baby" and another NPC particpant raises against the dogs with the "shoot him" line then I'd say that if they take the blow, they would shoot.  I think that would be fair.

Quote
Here's a ruling I made that I'd like your opinions on:
I expressly stated before play began that an item gives its dice to the sorts of things that item is for - if you use a big bible as a club, it's still a crap weapon so it only gives d4. An excellent gun used as a hammer is a crap hammer, and so d4.
Once in play I promptly forgot this rule and was giving full dice willy-nilly, so if it's wrong I haven't set a bad precendent. :)


That's what the improvised object rule is.  Its on page 36.

Quote from: Dogs in the Vineyard
Improvised Things: Sometimes you’ll have your character use a  tool or weapon not listed on your sheet. If your character’s using it to its  intended purpose— shooting a gun, looking through a spyglass, hitting  things with a hammer— you get its normal dice. If your character’s using it  for something unintended— hitting someone with a pistol’s butt, wedging a  hammer into a doorjamb to hold it shut— you get 1d6, or 1d4 if it’s a dumb,  desperate or dangerous thing to do.


best

Trevis
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2005, 12:18:35 AM »

Quote from: Trevis Martin
Quote from: demiurgeastaroth

During a conflict over whether the Gunslinger leaves town with his baby, Samuel told the players "Shoot him before he gets the baby!"
I ruled that if they didn't Take The Blow, they would have to draw and shoot (but not necessarily to kill). It wasn't a case of deciding the stakes, but it would force escalation they didn't want at the moment.
Was I unfair?


What were the stakes and the particpants there exactly?  If the stakes are "Does the Gunslinger leave town with his baby" and another NPC particpant raises against the dogs with the "shoot him" line then I'd say that if they take the blow, they would shoot.  I think that would be fair.


Yep, that's what the stakes were.
That's good to hear (assuming you're right of course :)), because I almost had a mini-rebellion on my hands at that one!

Quote
bla bla improved object bla bla


That's what the improvised object rule is.  Its on page 36.

Quote from: Dogs in the Vineyard
If your character’s using it  for something unintended— hitting someone with a pistol’s butt, wedging a  hammer into a doorjamb to hold it shut— you get 1d6, or 1d4 if it’s a dumb,  desperate or dangerous thing to do.

[/quote]

Ah, that's good. My ruling was a little harsher, but it's good to see I wasn't too far off.
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Trevis Martin
Member

Posts: 499


« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2005, 12:21:28 AM »

I don't know Lance.  Pulling a gun is one big step on the road to using it.  If it was an act that has less impact maybe I'd let it only be a raise.  I guess the question is does does physical mean merely non-verbal, or does it mean contact.  Tricky.

Or..."do I get escalation dice when I flip them off? " :)

Trevis
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2005, 12:22:59 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen
Though I probably wouldn't have ruled to give full dice, it's not without justification that a 2d8 pistol (my but that's a big, high quality revolver you're waving in my face) could get it's full dice for intimidation. Personally though, my inner gamist would tell me not to roll dice for the weapon at all.. I may need them if the bullets start flying.


Hmm, that's quite a thought-provoking point. I, and I think my players, were assuming that the earliest you get the dice for something the better - but, yes, if you wait till those d10's for fallout are being rolled (and it does get that far, of course), you're better off - especially if your foe has been suckered into using his object dice earlier.
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Trevis Martin
Member

Posts: 499


« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2005, 12:27:54 AM »

A good way, I think, to think of 'Taking the Blow' is that its a concession of some kind to what the other side wants.  Lance and I interpreted it differently in our examples.  In my case I narrated the crowd shoving the dog to the side (gave them what they wanted in the raise, me to get out of the way.)  In Lance's case he had the dog agree with them about the nature of the crime (acknowledging that their point was valid.)  they are both concessions to the other side, just ones that don't compromise the stakes of the whole conflict.


best

Trevis
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Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2005, 12:41:24 AM »

Quote from: Trevis Martin
A good way, I think, to think of 'Taking the Blow' is that its a concession of some kind to what the other side wants.  


Yes, that is a good way. I'll have to bear it in mind in the future, and counsel my players on that too.
One thing I think I'll do is ask the players "what sort of thing do you think is a suitable Block or Take The Blow to that raise you've just made?"
Not just to help me figure it out, but to train them on the way they should be thinking when they have to Take The Blow themselves.
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Ginger Stampley
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Posts: 44


« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2005, 04:52:07 AM »

Quote from: Trevis Martin
Wolfen, I disagree, brandishing a gun is a physical act that absolutely works for escalation to physical but not fighting.


This is, I believe, how we ran it in a similar situation. It's certainly what I meant to do if the Dogs brandished their weapons to calm the lynch mob.
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My real name is Ginger
lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2005, 05:46:08 AM »

Short answers!

a) The difference between a thing on your character sheet and an improvised thing: if it's on your character sheet, you get its whole full dice no matter what you do with it, even if it's desperate or dumb.

b) It's the escalater's decision whether to escalate. "I wave my gun around for emphasis" might be just talking still, or it might be escalating to physical, and the person doing the waving gets to decide.

Either way she gets the gun's dice, right then.

(There's no tactical advantage to holding back on rolling dice. There's sometimes tactical advantage to holding back on putting them forward after you've rolled them.)

c)
Quote
The one thing we didn't talk about is what the stakes actually were.
The game will never, ever, ever work if you keep that up. You must say the stakes out loud and make sure everybody knows what they are and agrees to them before you roll dice. Make it a rule: no dice before stakes.

-Vincent
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