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Author Topic: Question about Nine Worlds  (Read 3113 times)
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« on: May 29, 2003, 03:17:32 PM »

Namely: the whole permanency issue.

The reason I initially wanted to keep Arete actions permanent and Hubris actions changeable unless Locked is because I had problems with killed opponents suddenly sprining back to life after the battle was over, or going from wounded to full health. Also, a building demolished by Arete/Chaos (blowing it with explosives) spontaneously repairing itself.

As you see, my base problem revolved around the scale of time. Will there be scales of time listed to help players/GMs determine at what rate recovery occurs for people/places/things? Or at least suggestions about what is reasonable?

Or is that really a non-issue, and I'm just worried about nothing?
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 04:39:20 PM »

I think it's a non-issue, actually.

I’ll start with the easy one: the building. If you, as a player, declare you goal as something like “destroy the bulding” it doesn’t seem to be any real conflict. Let’s say that there’s a Bad Guy Titan in the building. Then, the conflict is against that Titan, NOT the building (or “whether” you can blow it up.) So, let’s say you enter conflict with that Titan, and you win. Even if you don’t earn any tricks (quite possible), you have won the victory, and hence the narration. All you have to do is narrate that the building comes down around the titan’s ears, literally.

However, if there’s nothing really at stake in that building, then there’s no conflict. If you’re hell bent on blowing it up, then you do it. Just narrate it cooperatively with the GM.

In either case, the building is just Color. Keep in mind that this is a game that operates on a pretty far out metaphysical level. It’s doesn’t care much at all whether buildings are appropriately simulated, for example. More importantly, the game doesn’t even care whether a characters is physically injured or not. All it cares about, mechanically, is whether or not the character meets Fate, whether his motivations alter, or whether his potential to affect the universe on a metaphysical scale changes.

Physical injury, social ability, or mental acumen, therefore, are merely Color that players use to illustrate the game and “bring it back down to earth.”

Which leads me to the harder question: Killing your enemies. Players, effectively, can’t declare “kill my opponent” as a goal (more suitable goal is “defeat my opponent”). Death is the domain of Fate, which no Titan, Eternals or Archon can really stop. They can only put things into motion, and let Fate sort it out.

So, if your Archon character enters physical combat with some enemy, his goal will likely be “defeat the enemy” or something similar. Now, in the course of that combat, you may earn a Victory. If you earn one without any Tricks (again, quite possible), then you’ve simply defeated the enemy without changing any of his metaphysical capacities. You might have effectively caused him to run away, for example (which you could narrate), or made a strategic getaway after “knocking him out” (which, again, you could narrate).

Actually causing your enemy to meet his makers, so to speak, requires you to reduce his Power to 0, and not let him restore it before the end of that particular phase (he’s need Muse points to do this). If you accomplish this (probably by either using Chaos to destroy his power or Metamorphosis to move his power rating elsewhere), then he’s going to die or otherwise perish. He could, for example, simply get erased from the memory of everyone, a nasty fate. The beauty of it is that you get to narrate this. Even if you don’t knock him down to 0, you still get to say what happens to him, and you can really use this to your advantage to paint his plight with some nasty narrative color. Even though his attribute “bounce back” without a Stasis lock, he’s still just got his butt kicked, and you get to say how that goes down.
 
I’m not sure what you mean by scale of time for recovery, though. I’ll take a stab with my best guess. Do you mean how quickly do characteristics “bounce back” at the end of a conflict (from so called “elastic reality”)? The answer is: In game-mechanics terms, immediately, barring intervention from the player spending Muses points to save his characteristics. In “game-world” terms, it can vary, but there is no specific chart or guideline. When a conflict ends, and characteristics “bounce back” the scene is over. It’s up to the player who narrates, then the GM who frames the next scene to determine how much, if any, time passes.

Finally, Spooky, an update on what I’m working on now. The layout template is nearly complete. Better yet, I’ve completed the character creation chapter, and it’s already gone through one phase of editing. I have to do a serious overhaul of the rules chapter I posted earlier. Once I complete that, I’ll be offering it up for playtest. Included with that playtest will be a game lexicon of rules, attributes, characters, places and concepts for the game. I’m nearly finished with this lexicon of about 50 terms. It should help give a good “sneak peak” into some more fun setting details. No promises on when this will be available, but hopefully very soon. I’m talking days, not weeks.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2003, 07:58:23 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
I’m not sure what you mean by scale of time for recovery, though. I’ll take a stab with my best guess. Do you mean how quickly do characteristics “bounce back” at the end of a conflict (from so called “elastic reality”)? The answer is: In game-mechanics terms, immediately, barring intervention from the player spending Muses points to save his characteristics. In “game-world” terms, it can vary, but there is no specific chart or guideline. When a conflict ends, and characteristics “bounce back” the scene is over. It’s up to the player who narrates, then the GM who frames the next scene to determine how much, if any, time passes.


Basically, you've made someone dead or into a pig or something. At the end of a conflict, the characteristics come back into shape. Now from what you're telling me, their game stats snap back, but in "character time,' you can narrate how they're inconvenienced and the GM basically yoinks the NPCs in question off the stage to be so inconvenienced until a dramatically appropriate time.

For NPCs, that's all well and good. For PCs, how long that gunshot wound will hamper them may come into play, as their enemies may not give them time to rest up. (Of course, they may well heal that up magically, so that's probably a moot point also...)

Perhaps a word or two on dramatic timing for GMs/PCs with regard to wounds and their penalties would be appropriate, just to ground this a bit into something simulating realism, would be in order.

Other than that, your post makes feel warm and bubbly inside. I smile radiantly and await the official birth of this magnum opus.
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Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2003, 08:44:22 AM »

Does losing points from your Arete or Hubris cause you to lose cards from your hand, assuming you or someone on your side doesn't act to prevent this?

EX: if you take 3 Arete in a fight, do you lose that many cards from your hand?

Or, since you declared your base virtue sacrosanct in the beginning, does that render this a moot issue?
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2003, 08:58:25 AM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
Does losing points from your Arete or Hubris cause you to lose cards from your hand, assuming you or someone on your side doesn't act to prevent this?

EX: if you take 3 Arete in a fight, do you lose that many cards from your hand?

Or, since you declared your base virtue sacrosanct in the beginning, does that render this a moot issue?


You nailed it with that last line. Using Arete means you CANNOT lose (or gain) Arete in that conflict phase. Period. It's sacrosanct.

Now, you could lose points from the opposing virtue, Hubris. Let's say you used Arete, leaving Hubris in jeopardy. If you lose three points from Hubris, you're hosed. If the conflict continues (that is, enters a subsequent phase, but not a scene), then your Hubris will be three lower than it was when you entered the conflict. Yes, this means you will draw three fewer cards unless your Hubris is somehow restored (using Cosmos, for example). This penalty would become "permanent" ONLY if a Statis lock was also put in place on your Hubris.

If it's not locked, then virtue bounces back. No harm, no faul. (But then your points about dramatic timing come into play -- how do you "deal" with those "injuries", for example, in narration?)
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2003, 06:54:34 AM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
If it's not locked, then virtue bounces back. No harm, no faul. (But then your points about dramatic timing come into play -- how do you "deal" with those "injuries", for example, in narration?)


Yes, how do I deal with narrating that, and for how long? That was my original question. Do I use a system similar to White wolf where 1 wound lasts about an hour, but up to five would take a month or so to heal? During this downtime in which the GM selectively states that so much time passes while the virtues bounce back, most players I know are going to be asking to do all this little stuff (resupplying, etc.), and most GMs I know are going to be still sending the bad guys after the characters, because logic dictates you hit your foes when they are down.

So that's my question: how do I square the stats being back to normal next conflict with injuries healing at a reasonable rate? The next conflict may, in game time ocur only minutes after the last one. How do I as player or GM justify the stats springing back to normal in such a short period of time? That's what confuses me. I know that things like time are supposed to be Color, but I'm coming from a mindset where such things have a tangible effect on what you can and cannot do in a game.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2003, 10:12:10 AM »

The White Wolf example finally made your question click. I think what you’ve really got to remember is what the attributes changing can represent. Yes, I suppose injury could indicate a decrease in a particular characteristic. But this is not necessarily the case. Remember, the attributes do not represent physical, mental or social capacities or ability. All of the attributes in this game represent abstract notions like virtue, motivation and effective ability to see the Demiurge’s power put to use.

Now, to make any or all of those things “happen” in the game, then physical, mental and social things will have to occur. But these are a means to the end. You character in Nine Worlds is not represented by those means. He/she is represented by the ends.

There is no guideline beyond good judgment for how “wounds” (and again, they aren’t really injury) heal after “bouncing back.” Describe the bouncing back as you will. Mechanically, the character is ready to rock ‘n roll in the next scene, whether it’s 30 seconds later or 30 years later. He might be injured, but still fully capable of doing the Demiurge’s will. Or, he might be healthy. Either way, what matters is his metaphysical effectiveness.

Quote
I know that things like time are supposed to be Color, but I'm coming from a mindset where such things have a tangible effect on what you can and cannot do in a game.


This is exactly the mindset I’m challenging in this game. I don’t blame you or look down on that mindset. This is simply my attempt to illustrate a new way to look at things. Specifically, the notion that “magic” games like Mage, for example, even need things like wounds and firearms stats. That Mage has those things is fine. I’m not saying it’s BAD. I’m saying there are other ways, too, and hopefully some folks will enjoy it.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2003, 07:45:19 PM »

Aha! So as long as the players can come up with a good explanation as to why they're ready to roll, they're ready to roll, even if a bit of handwaving is involved. Got it. "Cinematic" damage style here. Okay.
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