thread: 2013-10-21 : The Magic Trick: Otherkind Dice

On 2013-10-22, George wrote:

Thanks again Vincent. This example was also very interesting. I had to read it a few times, and also went back to your earlier description about the Dogs mechanic. In otherkind, it sounds like:
player: this is how i instictively react.
GM: this is what happens as a result.
A question I have regarding Otherkind, which I realised applies to Dogs as well, is: what signifies the end of the fight? It sounds like we're leaving behind hit points as the flag notifying us that the combat is over (which is probably a good thing). Would it be correct to say that this is part of the trick?

What I'm noticing in both cases is that you're creating an abstraction for an exhange between combatants (or even the entire combat).
I guess that escaping the confines of having to narrate every single result (and it's physical effect) after every single blow, allows you to accentuate certain elements (e.g. what's at stake) which is vital for the objective of the trick. You said: "No, the magic trick is that when a bad outcome happens, or even when a terrible outcome happens, you get to make it the bad or terrible outcome you can live with." This made me realise what's the secret of "failing forward" in combat. In combat, it always seemed to me that failing forward would be contrived.
The examples you gave achieve two things:
1. you ensure that the outcome is not a physics/reality/real combat outcome but always a "Story outcome" first and foremost.
2. the players don't feel protected by the hand of God.
And if i'm reading what you said correctly you do this by:
-emphasising what they risk
-you hand over some control to the players in terms of what they can afford to lose i.e. what is the next story outcome that will move the story forward. "Indy, will you allocate that die to stay on the tank? Or not?" So it's not the GM desperately looking for "the angle". He lets the players sweat it - this is how it was always meant to be >:-)
-you don't cheat, but keep the possibility of death there, as Judson pointed out.

Judson: I fully agree with what you said "20 = instant death has to be a result, or the trick doesn't work." The fact that this possibility is there, and the players KNOW that you can't change the outcome gives validity to all of the other outcomes. And when you have a system like Vincent's when it's not immediately obvious that the odds are stacked in the players' favour, then you're in business!


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