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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [The Tavern] Conflict resolution and damage  (Read 3255 times)
Jonas Ferry
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Posts: 111


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« on: August 18, 2005, 12:34:19 PM »

Iím spending all the time thinking about this game now, but the solution to my problems keeps eluding me. The first thread, with the description of the game, is here.

Iím going to describe the resolution system I have so far. There are some holes in it, and I need suggestions for how to do it. To iterate, what I want most of all for the game is:

* That players add complications to each otherís storyline, and their own, and benefit from doing it.
* That players will have to choose between the wellfare of the tavern or their own characters.
* That playing the game should feel like juggling a lot of balls at the same time, with attention constantly shifting between equally important things.

I want to try to use Ron Edwardsís flashpoint technique in the resolution system. I want attention to shift between different players until they have all positioned their characters in a situation requiring a dice roll, then roll all the dice at the same time.

I havenít nailed character creation yet, itís still up in the air a bit. I think characters will have three attributes (physical, social, mental), relationships that can be ďsummonedĒ before the dice roll and traits that can be used when rolling. All of them will have dice assigned to them. In a conflict, the player will choose what attribute to use, add the relationships he has involved in the conflict and add the traits that apply to the situation. The dice will be d2s, I think, and on a d6 4-6 will mean one success.

The tavern itself will probably have three basic attributes with possible custom made extra attributes added by the players. The basic attributes are Environment, Information and Inventory. It will also have an attribute called Gold, which is bonus dice that anyone can use in conflicts.

The characters will try to fulfill requests from the guests. Each request will have a goal value that starts at 0. Each complication introduced will increase this by 1, and the player will have to collect as many successes as the goal value. When fulfilled, heís rewarded by a number of dice equal to the goal value. Iím not completely sure about this, but I think these dice can either be put in the tavern and used as bonus dice for anyone or be kept to be used as bonus dice for only that character.

The basic order of play for one GM and two players is:

1. Free play in the tavern. The GM introduces guests until either the GM or a player introduces a complication.

GM: ďI want a red wine sauce to this meat.Ē
P1: ďThe tavern is out of red wine. Complication.Ē

2. If both players get involved in fulfilling the request all is fine. Otherwise the GM introduces more guests for the other player.

3. The players introduce complications and use their characters to approach relationships for help. Each relationship will add a number of dice when rolling. After introducing a complication that player or GM will have to wait until everyone has added one before they can add another.

4. The GM cuts between the players, or run one at a time, but they should be driven towards dice resolution.

5. When one player picks up the dice to roll, the GM runs the other player towards a dice conflict.

6. The players argue over who gets to use the resources of the tavern. Each Gold is worth one bonus die and each basic attribute is worth three dice, no more and no less.

7. Everyone explains what theyíre going to do, what resources theyíre going to use, what relationships and what traits.

8. Either one after the other rolls, or everyone at the same time. I donít know if it makes a difference, and Iíll have to think about that.

9. If the player gets the required number of successes, the character will go back to the tavern and collect the gold from the guest. This will either be put in the tavern or in his own pocket.

10. If the player doesnít get the required number of successes, the group will introduce a new complication that changes the situation. Now anyone can add complications again, and the process is restarted, except for the goal value and the acquired successes, which stay the same.

11. The GM drives towards a new flashpoint.

The players will be able to put more than one character in each dice roll situation, to help each other and pool their dice. I donít have a system worked out for this just yet.

Ok, so now my problems.

First of all, I donít know if itís possible to give someone who fails enough to do before he wants to roll dice again to let others start with new requests. Perhaps itís easier to say after some playtesting, but does anyone have any suggestions how to give him something to do? Iím thinking about giving the opportunity to get more help from relationships, but I donít know.

Secondly, Iím thinking about the traits. In the last thread I got some great suggestions regarding traits. I want the player to choose perhaps two traits, and the other players choose one trait. I think the other players are going to activate a trait in a negative way, and introduce a free complication. This can even be done before itís that playerís turn to add another complication again. I think traits activated in this fashion will be unavailable for the owner of them, so he canít use that trait to roll in the comflict. Furthermore, each activation that increases someoneís goal value, decreases the goal value of the activating player. Would this implementation of traits work, or is it broken somehow?

Thirdly, damage. I want the characters to have to take a bullet for the tavern in some way. I want them to have to choose between using the tavernís resources or hurt their character, but I donít know where that should enter into the order of play. I like a suggested addition to Fate I read on itís mailing list, where injuries are added as temporary aspects. I think I would like to have injuries as temporary traits, traits that can be activated by fellow players but give no benefit to the injured character. But when should they enter the equation? I donít know if I want the players to gamble with their characters, to somehow give a bonus if they risk injuries, or if it should be a result of a bad dice roll. I think I need some system to ĒhurtĒ the characters, otherwise thereís no need to fear not fulfilling requests.

On not fulfilling requests; thatíll hurt the tavern somehow. I havenít figured that one out either yet.

Do you have any ideas how to solve this? If someone can ask me some questions, perhaps I can get past this block I have. I donít know why I canít get past this, perhaps I have some unstated assumptions or wishes working in my subconscious.

All comments and questions are very welcome.
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 04:06:55 AM »

Looking good, Jonas.

First of all, if you are using D2, you can use cards - perhaps a little more thematically appropriate and lower handling time. PTA revised has gone this route instead of using odd-even on dice, and it works great.  It also gives you a numerical sequence in addition to success/failure which can be applied in some way.

I wouldn't worry about disenfranchising "failed roll" players, provided that their input into all scenes is heartily encouraged.  They can throw in suggestions and still participate vicariously.  Probably not a big deal.

For damage, what about something like the trust mechanic in The Mountain Witch?  Players could regulate the degree to which they could rely on each other at the tavern.  It would be self-regulating to a degree.

--Jason



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Stefan / 1of3
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Posts: 88


« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2005, 01:34:40 AM »

Quote
I havenít nailed character creation yet, itís still up in the air a bit. I think characters will have three attributes (physical, social, mental), relationships that can be ďsummonedĒ before the dice roll and traits that can be used when rolling.


Do you really need the attributes? Those three are a classic, of course, but Iím not sure if they are all equally useful and suited for your game. Why donít you just go with Traits?

On the other hand you donít have a trait to measure stress or exhaustion. That might come handy for your ďdamageĒ problem.

Quote
The tavern itself will probably have three basic attributes with possible custom made extra attributes added by the players. The basic attributes are Environment, Information and Inventory. It will also have an attribute called Gold, which is bonus dice that anyone can use in conflicts.

I think, traits the players make up are even more interesting than fixed attributes. Itís just much more colourful to have ďBest Wine in TownĒ than Inventory 3. Again, do you need the attributes at all?

The idea with Gold is fine. What about requiring certain amounts of Gold for upkeep? Best Wine in Town can be expensive, and even if you manage to deliver human hearts to Mr. Grump, you may need some new furniture the next day, as he is a giant.

What about other employees for the tavern? Of course, interacting with guests is what the game is about, but having an Ogre to do menial tasks doesnít interfere with that.

Quote
The characters will try to fulfill requests from the guests. Each request will have a goal value that starts at 0. Each complication introduced will increase this by 1, and the player will have to collect as many successes as the goal value. When fulfilled, heís rewarded by a number of dice equal to the goal value.

So the GM cannot complicate? If I were the GM, Iíd find it a bit boring, if the players simple dismiss one of my more creative ideas.
Iíd add some currency for that. If the players do not complicate a certain request, the GM can  force a complication later.

Quote
Thirdly, damage. I want the characters to have to take a bullet for the tavern in some way. I want them to have to choose between using the tavernís resources or hurt their character, but I donít know where that should enter into the order of play.

The easiest solution would be, to do it at same time as introducing Traits.

Quote
I donít know if I want the players to gamble with their characters, to somehow give a bonus if they risk injuries, or if it should be a result of a bad dice roll.

Why not do both? Taking risks increases...well... the risk of taking an injury, but problems can occur always.

Quote
On not fulfilling requests; thatíll hurt the tavern somehow. I havenít figured that one out either yet.

So, what could guests do, if their wishes werenít fulfilled? That probably differs from guest to guest. Perhaps, it would be a good idea, to give guests a few traits as well.
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Jonas Ferry
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2005, 11:17:01 AM »

Jason, using cards is a good idea. Perhaps I should learn from PTA and use cards to begin with? I agree that itís a lot easier to check red/black cards than odd/even on a bunch of dice.

Iíll have to playtest the game to see what happens when some players succeed and some fail. That means Iíll have convince more people than one to try the game with me.

I donít think I get what you mean when you say I should use the trust mechanic from TMW. Iíve game mastered the game, so I know how it works, but I donít know if itíll help me here. If I wanted to quantify the trust the players feel I would, but wouldnít it be something different from character damage? Could you please share your thoughts?

1of3, no, I donít necessarily need the attributes, but I think I like them for a couple of reasons. First of all I feel that itís nice to have some sort of baseline when starting to create a character, to have some stats that the players know will be useful. Secondly I feel that thereís a risk of things feeling repetitive if people want to use ďGood gamblerĒ in every conflict, but of course that could be solved by some limitations on trait use or something.

But I agree, it does feel a bit traditional, but that doesnít mean that itís wrong. Thanks for bringing up the subject, though. On the attributes of the tavern; what I want are some basic attributes that every tavern will have. It will be easy for the players to buy other attributes, and theyíll do it at the same cost as the basic attributes.

I agree that it sounds a bit boring with ďPhysical 2d6Ē or ďInventory 3d6Ē. Perhaps Iíll require some one-word descriptor to be invented by the player, to make them more customised.

The GM can complicate things, but I see now I didnít say that. He can only do it like the other players, though, so he might have to wait before adding more stuff. I agree it would be boring to GM otherwise. I will recommend the GM to let the players introduce the first complication, so they can choose which customers sound most interesting. On the other hand, if nothing happens, the GM should be able to start introducing complications to a bunch of different customers at once, to give the players something to do.

Traits on customers? Yeah, perhaps, thatís not a bad idea. It would be kind of fun if the GM rolls a die secretly, and records the customerís resources or status in society. Someone who looks completely bland could be the kingís advisor, or someone looking rich could be a no-good adventurer whoíve just been lucky. That would force the players to either serve all customers, or to skip the ones they think they can afford, but theyíll never be sure. Customers with a lot of resources could hurt the tavern more.
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One Can Have Her, film noir roleplaying in black and white.

Check out the indie RPG category at Wikipedia.
Jason Morningstar
Member

Posts: 1428


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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2005, 11:46:12 AM »

I donít think I get what you mean when you say I should use the trust mechanic from TMW. Iíve game mastered the game, so I know how it works, but I donít know if itíll help me here. If I wanted to quantify the trust the players feel I would, but wouldnít it be something different from character damage? Could you please share your thoughts?

Well, I don't know that you *should*, but it might open interesting design doors.  I was thinking that, instead of damage, each player/character would have a certain amount of faith in their fellows - he's dependable, he's trustworthy, he's reliable.  When you pushed conflicts in a way that others perceive as detrimental to the tavern, they would lower their trust (or whatever the key factor is) in you, and there would be some mechanical effect that makes relying on others very useful. perhaps you need their dice to succeed, but the reliability level sets a cap on the number of cards/dice/whatever that you can borrow. 

The nice thing about doing something like this is that it would be self-regulating among the players.  it also makes sense in the setting, I think.  Perhaps if your reliability/trust/whatever reaches a certain low point (number of players -1?), you are kicked out - "death" in the game as the result of social "damage". 

Again, I'm just thinking out loud.  If these suggestions are way off base, don't take them too seriously.

--Jason
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