2010-02-23 : Can your brains just do it?
I was all like "circumstance-responsive vs circumstance-analytic," but friend, whatever. This is what I mean.
Take a look again at the resolution rules for Rock of Tahamaat, Space Tyrant. Particularly, identify the place where the weapon a character has in her hands, if any matters. Yeah?
Characters' Actions, not Rock of Tahamaat's
Recall that you're here because somebody said that her character takes an action that would bring her into conflict or expose her to bodily danger, and you interrupted her before it became so.
First have the player roll dice for "I'm craven." That many 6-sided dice, take the highest.
If the highest die is 1, 2 or 3, the character can't bring herself to take that action after all. Instead she must (player's choice, but choose one that applies) cower, flee, hide, back away, back off, back down, humble herself, give in, keep walking, hold still, or submit. Return to free play.
If the highest die is 4, 5 or 6, the player keeps it and discards the others, and the character does actually take action, as the player said.
Now GM, you have to judge. You can ask the player for more information about her character's action if it helps.
1. Is the character now making an attack upon someone? Either a direct attach upon their person or an indirect (but concrete) attack upon their life or livelihood otherwise? Then call for the player to roll for "I'm vicious."
2. Is the character now blocking someone, preventing them from doing what they otherwise would do? Then call for the player to roll for "I'm desperate."
3. Is the character now exposing herself to danger intent upon her, personally? Then call for the player to roll for "I'm desperate."
4. Is the character now exposing herself to insensate or indiscriminate danger? Then call for the player to roll for "I'm unlucky."
5. Otherwise, call for the player to roll for "I'm unlucky."
Start at the top, and stop when you get to one that's true! If others are also true further down the list, that's fine, ignore them.
Anyway, the player rolls that many dice, takes the highest, and adds it to her high die already standing. Now she has a sum from 5 to 12.
If her sum is 5, 6 or 7, something interrupts the character mid-action. Instead, she gets (your choice, but choose one that applies) thrown aside, pinned down, diverted, blocked, turned around, misled, caught out, parried, overthrown, pushed past, overruled, overwhelmed, undercut, brought up short, knocked down, put off-balance, or held off. Return to free play.
If the character's opponent was another player's character, have that player choose the interruption, and give that player's character the initiative when you return to free play, to follow through or respond with an action of her own.
If her sum is 8 or more, though, her character follows through, completing to concrete effect the action that started all this.
Time to make another judgment, GM. Look at the list below and choose 3 different effects that the character's successful action might have. Choose the worst possible effect, a good effect, and the best possible effect (all from the character's point of view). Again, you can ask the player for more information as you need.
It's fine to create standard sets of outcomes. Every time a character's in a rock slide, for instance, maybe she - jumps clear - manages to drag free - barely survives.
Now, looking at all three possible effects, what is the worst human harm that the character's successful action might inflict upon someone else?
1. If it might kill them, call for the player to roll for "I'm vicious."
2. If it might, at worst, cripple, maim, break, terrorize or shatter them, call for the player to roll for "I'm desperate."
3. Otherwise, call for the player to roll for "I'm craven." (If the character has no opponent, it'll always be "I'm craven.")
The player rolls that many dice, takes the highest, and adds it to her standing 2-die sum. Now she has a sum from 9 to 18.
If her sum is 9-13, the worst possible effect happens.
If her sum is 14-16, the good effect happens.
If her sum is 17-18, the best possible effect happens.
Return to free play.
possible effects: the acting character
holds onto it
gets rid of it
keeps it secret
gets away with it
arouses suspicion, but goes unchallenged
bears it without breaking
manages to drag free
she gets [specify] from the next list
Possible effects: the character's opponent
put off course
bruised and battered
forced to flee
robbed of goods
left for dead
they [specify] from the previous list
(It's possible for a player's character to die this way.)
Did you spot where the character's weapon comes into play?
Here's a thing I wrote a long, long time ago: Guns and Stuff. Couple it with some quick and dirty rules, maybe like these -
Quick and Dirty Resolution Rules for Guns and Stuff
When you use a gun or stuff:
- If you're using it for what it's ideal for, roll 3d6 and sum them;
- If you're using it for what it's good for, roll 2d6 and sum them;
- If you're using it for what it's lousy for, roll 1d6.
On a 10+, it goes perfectly and you get what you hoped for.
On a 6-9, the GM will offer you a couple of choices, none of which will be everything you hoped for. Choose.
On a 1-5, the GM will make something terrible happen. Smooth move.
- and you've got a resolution system that's responsive to fine-grained details of your immediate circumstances, but handles super-smoothly, just because you're letting your brains handle the things they're already good at.
Otherkind Dice work on the same principle, so much so that you don't even need a character sheet.
Thanks for reading along so far, by the way. I believe that I'll finally talk about reliable vs unreliable currency next, I think that with this post all the pieces are in place. Questions and thoughts, meanwhile?
1. On 2010-02-23, Roger said:
2. On 2010-02-23, John Mc said:
3. On 2010-02-23, sneJ said:
4. On 2010-02-23, Josh W said:
5. On 2010-02-23, Chris said:
6. On 2010-02-23, Simon C said:
7. On 2010-02-24, Mathieu Leocmach said:
8. On 2010-02-24, Vincent said:
9. On 2010-02-24, Alex D. said:
10. On 2010-02-24, Simon C said:
11. On 2010-02-25, Vincent said:
12. On 2010-02-25, Simon C said: