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Author Topic: Conflicts you can't escalate  (Read 4074 times)

Posts: 13

« on: August 22, 2005, 10:24:37 AM »

Hello there!

Last time we played, one player wanted to start a conflict similar to: "Do I convince him to not draw his gun".
I had a problem with this, because this is a conflict I couldn't escalate. My NPC couldn't draw a gun, because the whole point of the conflict was to convince him to not draw this gun. I didn't allow this conflict, but didn't feel comfortable doing so.

"Do we manage to keep the violence-level down?" seems to be a reasonable goal in many situations for the Dogs, but the resolution system is all about "Does the violence-level goes up?"
How do you handle situations like this?

Selene Tan

Posts: 167

« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2005, 10:38:05 AM »

What you should do is ask "Why don't you want him to draw his gun," and resolve *that* conflict. Drawing a gun is a means to an end; that's why it's one of the ways you can escalate. Conflicts should resolve ends. Resolving the conflict is when you figure out the means.

RPG Theory Wiki
UeberDice - Dice rolls and distribution statistics with pretty graphs
Posts: 3453

« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2005, 07:09:18 AM »

There's a piece of text in the new version:
- As GM, don’t put up with hedged stakes. “Do we get him to repent?” is fine. “Do we get him to repent without spilling blood?” is not.  Think outcomes, not methods; the methods come from playing the conflict through.

That's Selene's answer again; I endorse it fully. You can, as a group, simply declare the escalation of conflicts to be off-limits for stakes; that'll work fine and it'll be comfortable and up-front and all.

Alternately, if that's not a satisfying answer, no problem! Play out conflicts where the stakes prevent you from escalating, there's nothing wrong with that. Nobody has the unalienable right to full, free, non-problematic escalation. Setting stakes cleverly so that your opponent can't have all her dice is proper and by-the-book play.

After all, "do you heal the orphan girl of her tuberculosis?" doesn't allow you to escalate to gunfighting either.

Alternately again, you as a group can draw the line at setting stakes that impose a particular course of action on a character who deserves her autonomy, if that's what's really going on here.

In any case, when you "disallow" a conflict as GM, you should always, always, always suggest new stakes. You should suggest new stakes that you honestly feel get at the conflict the player wants, but are more acceptible all around.

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