2009-06-07 : Concrete Examples of Arrows
This is a cloud and dice post.
I've gone to my game shelf, pulled out a batch of books that seem likely. I'm going to do like I did with HoL.
For now I don't care a single bit whose character is whose, nor do I care if some players are GMs and others aren't. So I'm going to use "a character" for all fictional characters, and "a player" for all real-world people.
Furthermore, this is about the lines scratched in the dirt, the rules themselves as written, not what people actually do.
Over the Edge, p18:
Whenever your character tries to do something, the GM will respond in one of three ways, depending on the difficulty of the task. The task might be automatic, chancy, or impossible, as ruled by the GM.
Fictional cause: a character tries to do something.
Real-world effect: a player rules it automatic, chancy, or impossible, depending on its difficulty.
Grey Ranks, p57:
When you use a reputation's d8, you must also author a positive change to the reputation. Clumsy might become graceful, or - depending on the character's experiences - careful. This is an opportunity for each player to describe a positive change and a maturing outlook for the character.
Real-world cause: a player uses a reputation's d8.
Real-world effect: a player changes the reputation.
Fictional effect: a character's outlook matures.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer roleplaying game, p109:
Break Neck: Before this maneuver may be attempted, the character must succeed at a Grapple (see p. 110). After that, the attacker rolls and adds Strength and Kung Fu, or just uses the Muscle Score. The defender rolls and adds Strength and Constitution. If the attacker's roll is higher, the base damage is (4 x Strength) points (Bash type). If the total damage reduces the defender to -10 Life Points, she must pass a Survival Test (see p. 121) at a penalty equal to the Success Level of the last attack. If she fails, her neck is broken, with fatal results...
Lord. My best guess:
Real-world cause: a player has succeeded a grapple roll (see p. 110).
Fictional cause: a character attempts to break another character's neck.
Real-world effect: players roll a variety of dice, add a variety of numbers, make a variety of comparisons.
Real-world effect: a player changes some numbers on her paperwork.
Fictional effect: a character breaks another character's neck.
Ars Magica (4th ed), p69:
To cast a formulaic spell, your character recites magic words in a firm voice and boldly executes arcane hand gestures memorized as part of the spell. This activity shapes and directs the magical energy that pervades the world.
When casting formulaic spells, the die rolled is a stress die if you are in stressful circumstances or a simple die otherwise...
Fictional cause: a character undertakes to cast a formulaic spell.
Fictional effect: a character speaks magic words in a firm voice and makes bold magic gestures.
Fictional cause: a character is in a stressful circumstance.
Real-world effect: a player rolls a stress die.
Primetime Adventures, p64:
A player whose protagonist is not in the conflict can influence the conflict by spending fan mail to gain cards. They can be applied toward the cards of the producer or any player with a protagonist in the conflict, however the player spending them sees fit. The player should decide where the cards apply before revealing their result.
Fictional cause: a character wants something and doesn't have it (see p59) and another character isn't implicated.
Real-world cause: a player wants to influence the outcome.
Real-world effect: a player spends fan mail, gets cards, and applies them to another player's cards.
The Burning Wheel, p31:
Working carefully increases the time for a test by half, but grants a +1D advantage. If a player wishes his character to work carefully, he must state this before the dice are rolled.
What this really means in game terms: In a time-sensitive test, the player may state he is working carefully. If he fails the test, the result indicates he has run out of time - the bomb goes off, the guards burst in, the old man dies, etc. By working carefully, the player is allowing the GM to introduce a serious time-based complication.
Fictional cause: a character is working slowly.
Fictional effect: a character's action takes half again as long.
Real-world effect: a player rolls an additional die.
Real-world cause: a player rolls a failure.
Fictional effect: a bomb goes off, guards burst in, an old man dies, etc.
There is one final, extremely significant aspect of Sorcerer dice that everyone in the role-playing group should understand fully. If the character is carrying out a series of related actions, whatever they may be, victories from one roll may be carried over as bonus dice for the next roll. For instance, if a character gets three victories on his successful roll A, he receives three bonus dice for roll B, as long as the GM agrees that task A directly affects task B.
Fictional cause: a character takes an action related to an earlier action.
Real-world effect: a player rolls additional dice equal to the earlier success.
In a Wicked Age p14:
I leave my dice on the table undisturbed - my 9 and 6 stand. You pick your dice up into your hand - your 5 and 6 don't stand.
I say what Mekha does. Since I've rolled direct and for myself, it has to be direct and for himself. It can't be violent, or I'd have rolled with violence instead.
"Mekha tears away, leaving Amek with a handful of hair, and dives out of the tent."
Real-world cause: a player's dice beat another player's dice.
Real-world cause: a player rolled dice listed with particular forms.
Fictional effect: a character takes action that matches particular forms.
If you have more examples you'd like to talk about, or if you'd like me to interpret other rules in these terms, please quote them in their entirety, the way I have. That's a big part of my point.
1. On 2009-06-07, Luke said:
2. On 2009-06-07, Josh W said:
3. On 2009-06-08, Vincent said:
4. On 2009-06-08, Simon C said:
5. On 2009-06-08, Callan said:
6. On 2009-06-08, Vincent said:
7. On 2009-06-09, Callan said:
8. On 2009-06-09, Joel said:
9. On 2009-06-09, Callan said:
10. On 2009-06-09, Joel said:
11. On 2009-06-09, Vincent said:
12. On 2009-06-09, Callan said:
13. On 2009-06-09, Vincent said: