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[IAWA] Proxy dicing seemed wrong, what was right?

Started by Ry, April 30, 2008, 06:01:20 PM

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last game I flubbed something.  There were two generals (factions of a broken-up army).  One was a PC (particular strength of Brilliant Tactician), one was an NPC (particualr strength of insane leadership). 

The PC sent some guys to poison the war-bulls of the NPC general.  The NPC general wasn't in the scene, of course -he was off at his tent, but we both picked up dice and started having it out.  I made sure to say before: If you fuck this up it's going to hurt your command of your army, and vice-versa.  We ended up doing 2 action sequenecs that were basically by proxy: PC's two lieutenants sneaking in against NPC's guards and lieutenants.

We were happy with how it went but afterwards I was thinking "Wait, you can't act by proxy In A Wicked Age..." 

What should I have gone with?  Handled the missions that the PCs weren't present for by fiat?


Option 1: Don't say what happens anywhere but where the PCs are. Decide offscreen what happened, by fiat, and let it come out only in play. "Okay! Your lieutenants leave to poison the bulls. They don't come back right away. How long do you wait? What do you do?"

Option 2: The proxies were 0-significance particular strengths, with far-reaching but no die (thus 0-significance). You just didn't happen to write them down, which is fine - they were, after all, zero significance.



At the time, #1 seemed lame and #2 seemed fun. 

That's so clear to me now.  We didn't wreck the mechanics ... we just used them. 


When dealing with "leaders of men" type NPCs I often have had conflicts between them and the PCs in which the leader wasn't there, but had mooks who were. The mooks were unimportant, and just gave the NPC a way to roll dice in the scene.

Like, once one of the PCs was in the baths having a steam and 5 palace guards rushed in to capture her. I thought for about 2 seconds about doing up a sheet for the guards, and then bahh-ed and said "They're hear for the hierophant, its his Action dice you're facing, okay?"

Player says okay, and off we go.

At one point the PC has got the advantage and considers saying something like "I ditch the guards and sneak into the hierophant's chambers to end this personally!" She didn't, but it would have been an option for sure. Where as if I'd made the guard an NPC it still would have been an option, but would have had a different outcome. Because then you're suddenly against 2 NPCs -- but who knows if the guard is going to stay loyal. Maybe you could swing the whole conflict around and make it about prying his loyalty away from the hierophant.

Anyway, all of this is just to say as an addendum to Vincent's number 2 to remember if the PC and NPC leaders are in conflict, then they are in conflict. Just because it starts with the lieutenants battling each other doesn't mean it has to stay there.
- Brand Robins