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Author Topic: [Poison'd] Success rolls and ship-to-ship conflict  (Read 1840 times)
watergoesred
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Posts: 12


« on: December 16, 2008, 05:31:40 PM »

I ran a game of Poison'd with five players on Monday night. All up it went pretty well. See here for an account of play.

We floundered a bit, however, figuring out how conflict works.

For example, Matt's playing Jim Plate, the Dagger's carpenter. Matt says Jim Plate grabs the helpless Tom Reed off the deck and softens him up with a few kidney punches. Matt rolls for attacking the helpless and succeeds. We took that to mean Jim Plate does precisely what Matt says. Then Matt says Jim throws Tom on a capstan and ties him to it. Matt successfully rolls again for attacking the helpless. Here was the first bit of confusion.

1) Can the GM bring on the fight before Tom Reed is tied to the capstan, despite Matt not failing a success roll? Effectively, can the GM ask of the NPC "Will you fight or endure duress"? If so, this seems a little like GM overriding Matt's success rolls. If not, then it seems a player could effectively bring down NPC's without a fight, just by making a success roll or two. I realise in the rules it says there's always going to be a fight, but what if the narration of the success rolls makes that fight more and more uneven, like if Tom Reed's disarmed, stunned and tied to a capstan. Even if Jim Plate's profile isn't four or more than Tom Reed's, how's a real fight between them going to make sense?

2) Can a player narrate killing a NPC with a string of success rolls or must they always use 3 Xs to kill an NPC? If Jim Plate's tied Tom Reed to the capstan and Matt says Jim Plate cuts out Tom Reed's heart with his knife, and Matt successfully rolls attacking the helpless, has he killed Tom Reed without using Xs?

3) How encompassing can the narration of a success roll be? If Matt says he's going to grab Tom Reed, tie him to the capstan and cut out his heart, can Matt narrate all this with only one successful roll against attacking the helpless?

We also had a little trouble understanding the ship-to-ship conflict rules.

4) Is the Captain's brinkmanship used for the player's ship? The conflict rules say the players roll their brinkmanship in a fight and ships haven't brinkmanship.

O, and I found rolling an NPC's brinkmanship or under on 1d6 to determine if they escalate worked fine. Moldy Pedro was like a bull in china and wouldn't stop till someone was down, whereas the Captain of the Forthright hadn't half Pedro's bottle.
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oli
Graham W
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Posts: 437


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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 12:25:04 AM »

These are exactly the kind of things that worry me when running Poison'd.

Firstly, winning a success roll doesn't exactly give you narration rights. It allows you to succeed, and there'll be discussion of exactly how you succeed, but you don't get free rein to narrate. If in doubt, you'd hash out the details of how you succeed with your group. (The rules aren't too specific on this, I think.)

1) Can the GM bring on the fight before Tom Reed is tied to the capstan, despite Matt not failing a success roll?

Yes, I think so. The GM can bring on the fight whenever there's conceivably a fight at hand. Matt started the fight by attacking Tom.

(Note, here, that Tom isn't necessarily helpless, just because Matt said so in his previous narration. Winning the success roll doesn't grant you narration rights.)

2) Can a player narrate killing a NPC with a string of success rolls or must they always use 3 Xs to kill an NPC?

So, again, winning the success roll doesn't give you the right to narrate anything, including killing an NPC.

We've had NPCs killed with a Brutality vs Soul roll, but I don't think it's a given.

3) How encompassing can the narration of a success roll be? If Matt says he's going to grab Tom Reed, tie him to the capstan and cut out his heart, can Matt narrate all this with only one successful roll against attacking the helpless?

That could all be narrated, but Matt doesn't get the right to narrate it himself.

4) Is the Captain's brinkmanship used for the player's ship?

Yes!

Graham
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 06:58:13 AM »

The PCs can kill Tom Reed without a fight, sure.

The GM narrates everything. Players say what their characters undertake to do. The GM has them roll when appropriate (which is strictly defined by the rules, not the GM's call), and then tells them what happens; if they rolled, the GM has to abide by the outcome of the roll.

The GM's allowed to say stuff like "whoa whoa whoa, you've just now laid hands on him, let's deal with cutting his heart out when we know whether you've got him tied to the capstan in the first place." The GM's also allowed to not say that, but go straight to the heart cutting. Everything the players say their characters undertake to do is fair game.

I'm liking the "roll a die under the NPC captain's brinksmanship to escalate" rule.

-Vincent
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watergoesred
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 03:14:32 PM »

This helps, thanks.

I didn't realise the GM controlled the narrative to such an extent. The game text didn't give me this impression. And having "to abide by the outcome of the roll" is clearly very flexible. Cool.
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oli
Graham W
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Posts: 437


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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 05:06:40 PM »

I'm liking the "roll a die under the NPC captain's brinksmanship to escalate" rule.

Jesus, why? Why why why? You don't need this stat! Get rid of it!

Graham
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