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[IaWA] 3 rounds?

Started by Nyarly, February 26, 2008, 02:55:46 PM

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We're planning to actually give In a Wicked Age a shot this evening, and having read the rules text, I'm pretty clear on how everything works.  What I'm trying to understand is this: why are there three rounds of dice conflict?  What does the second round do that the first and third don't?  I can sort of see how there's an extra moment to cut away after the second round, maybe.  Especially if diced conflict is meant to be more like a to hit roll than a whole combat, keeping them short, one-two things seems like it would make more sense, so I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing.
-- Judson

Thor Olavsrud

At the risk of stepping on Vincent's toes, I think the three rounds do several things:

1. They help round out the probability curve, giving larger dice the opportunity to shine and also giving the Advantage die the ability to apply some pressure. These things mean that when you go against someone better than you in an effort to get on the Owe List, you really are risking something!

2. The three rounds allow for some give and take in the color of the scene and help draw out the tension. That color is extremely important.

3. It gives everyone a chance to read the field and choose whether and how to negotiate. At the end of the second round, if your opponent holds the bigger dice AND the advantage die, you probably want to start negotiating then and there, because it will be worse if you go all three rounds and lose. As the winner, the end of that second round is still an attractive place to negotiate, especially when you consider that the only thing victory assures you is the ability to Injure or Exhaust your opponent. Since you probably entered the conflict with something other than Injuring or Exhausting your opponent in mind, the only way to really get what you want is to Negotiate. And while you have a good advantage if you have the bigger dice and the advantage die going into the third round, you could still roll poorly and lose it all.



(1) by capping length of conflicts, they very simply keep conflicts from going on and on, getting to outcomes and then the next thing, keep pace of game up and keep the "story moving".

(2) gain by capping, they avoid "description exhaustion", you don't have to come up with 10 interesting things/moves you might make in the same conflict as dice keep going.  I've been surprised (shouldn't have been reading rules) how "easy on GM" IAWA is compared to typical RPG where GM is the lens on world 90% of time.  Descriptive responsibility gets shared round more, and 3 round cap keeps it from being too draining on people.  I do find not everyone revels in descriptive authority.

I think thus combining Thor's merits of more than 1, a cap of 3 does find a sweet spot.  It's the first one, it's the 2nd one which is 2nd last chance, it's the last chance.  It's done.


Quote from: Valvorik on February 26, 2008, 04:24:12 PM capping length of conflicts, ...

Oh, I got the virtue of having a fixed length to a conflict.  I just don't see so much why it's 3 instead of 2:  First round: openings, 4 bands of answer, owe list, advantage die, negotiate?  Second round: total victory/total lose.  Negotiate or damage!

I sort of buy giving big dice a chance to dominate.  And I suppose I'll see or not see the color thing in play.  It still feels, without having played it like it's 3 to be 3, whereas 2 might give a punchy boom-boom rhythm to things.  But now I'm really talking out of my ass - let me play it before I make a judgment.
-- Judson


Actually if you feel like it, play 2. If it sucks, switch to 3. If it rocks, cool, so does 3. But if it rocks super duper hard all night long, let me know.

In the two steps forward one step back of RPG troubleshooting, I changed some rules after deciding on 3 rounds, and since it worked great then, I never bothered to try the new rules with 2 rounds. I don't know what'll happen.



Cool.  I'll bring it up, see what folks think.  I'll be sure to report our results regardless. 
-- Judson