2011-10-18 : Going Into Darkness pt2

Going Into Darkness pt1

Success Rolls

There are 4 success rolls:

Going Into Darkness
When your character goes into darkness, danger, or the unknown, roll brash against cautious. You roll your brashness; your GM rolls your caution against you.

Using Caution, Care or Skill
When your character does something careful, considered, or cautious, or something requiring skill, attention, or precision, roll cautious against desperate. You roll your caution; your GM rolls your desperation against you.

Threatening or Intimidating Someone
When your character threatens or intimidates someone, roll desperate against patient. You roll your desperation; your GM rolls your patience against you.

Enduring Duress
When your character acts despite pain or duress, or presses on in the face of exhaustion, or endures torment or deprivation, roll patient against brash. You roll your patience; your GM rolls your brashness against you.

Making the Roll
You and your GM take up dice equal to your requisite stats. You both roll them at the same time, keeping them separate on the table.

A die showing a 4, 5 or 6 is a hit. Discard or ignore any dice showing 1, 2 or 3, and count your hits. Your GM does the same.

If your count is more than your GM's, your character's action comes off to her advantage.

When you succeed, each hit you have over your GM's hits counts for resolve, as follows.

If your GM's count is equal or more, though, your character's action fails, or your character hesitates, falters, missteps, or misjudges, or your character's action succeeds but to no advantage. Your GM chooses which, case by case and circumstance by circumstance. Furthermore, if there's a fight or physical confrontation coming, your GM can take this as an opportunity to bring it to you now, without allowing you any more preparation.

When you fail, it still might count for resolve, if your character is keeping faith with the other players' characters, as follows.

As your character succeeds, her resolve builds. When you make a success roll, count your hits in excess of your GM's hits, and add them to your resolve.

You can spend your resolve only in a fight or other physical confrontation.

Keeping Faith
When you fail a success roll, go around the table, skipping your GM. Ask each of the other players if she feels that your character is keeping faith with hers. You've still failed the roll, with full consequences, but for each who says yes, add 1 to your resolve anyway.

Next to come:
Fights and Physical Confrontations
or maybe a digression into
Creating a Horror
We'll see.

Questions welcome, as always.

1. On 2011-10-18, Avram said:

Is there going to be more about what "keeping faith" means, or is it going to be left vague?


2. On 2011-10-18, Vincent said: says:
Keep faith with something/somebody (formal): to continue to support an idea or person, especially by doing what you promised to do.

It doesn't mean anything more technical than that.


3. On 2011-10-18, Johnstone said:

If I cautiously, carefully, or skillfully go into darkness, danger, or the unknown, who chooses what we roll?


4. On 2011-10-18, David Berg said:

Vincent, neat.

Handing those failed roll results to the GM's discretion seems fine to me, but at the same time, it's easy for me to imagine the core idea (different internal aspects oppose different types of attempts) finding more specific expression:

"GM, when you win by rolling caution, Intent fails; patience, Initiation; brashness, Execution; and desperation, Effect.  Narrate the failure accordingly.  You can't make yourself go into the darkness; you perform poorly acting under duress."

Rock of Tahamaat will sleep easier.  Do it for the Rock.


5. On 2011-10-19, Josh W said:

I was expecting some rock from that attribute arrangement too, also I like the idea of intimidation being powered by your desperation but inhibited by your patience.

"You better tell me right now, because ................... you see? I really feel ........"

I'm not sure the intent is that people get sidetracked into earnest but more circumspect conversation, but it's pretty amusing!


6. On 2011-10-19, Vincent said:

Johnstone: Good question.

If you're doing both, you have to roll both. Make the rolls in whichever order you like and treat them as simultaneous.

David, Josh: Nope! That's not necessary for this game, because of what comes next (fights and physical confrontations). This game calls for something more like hard MC moves in Apocalypse World than the failures in Rock of Tahamaat.

You'll see what I'm talking about when I post the next installment.


7. On 2011-10-19, Rabalias said:

Nice. I like the idea that each of the four stats gives you strengths in one area but corresponding weaknesses in another.

Something about having to roll against brash to endure duress doesn't feel quite right, though. Why is brash good for enduring fear (which is in effect what going into darkness is about) but not for enduring pain? "Impulsive" or "impetuous" seem like they might fit the bill better.


8. On 2011-10-19, Josh W said:

I also love the listed failure state of success that is not to your advantage. That's great, because it explicitly includes in the rules something GMs sometimes love to do when in a grumpy mood, but normally don't get a chance to do functionally: "What, why the hell did you do that? Yeah you can do it, but it's not going to end well for you"

It allows GMs to express judgement on the prudence of an action, but totally absorbed within the up/down dynamics of the mechanics. If the dice go their way, they go their way, and you instead have to find a way to be comfortable with their success. No adjusting DCs into the roof, or absorbing their roll with unintended consequences, and associated feeling of victimisation, just a way to react to failed rolls.

I can imagine a character sheet for this having some circle of stats, with arrows around the outside labelled with the various action types. Have to do some tweaking to make that more period though.


9. On 2011-10-20, Josh W said:

On relfection loads of games do this, but it's nice to see it there explicitly.


10. On 2011-10-23, John Harper said:

Well. This is exciting!

Did you know that we started a game about monster hunters in 1890s London on the same day that you posted this? We did! It's currently using TSOY rules.

Now I'm thinking we might have to switch to this. The serendipity is just so beautiful.


11. On 2011-10-24, Vincent said:

John, you'll get a kick out of this.

Here's me, thinking about how to create a horror:

A horror is a person who came to the moment of her death, but who made a moral compromise instead of accepting it. To avoid her own death, she made herself into death to others.

Here's me, thinking about the rules for fights:

Most fights escalate to mortal wounds. But hold on, Vincent - there's no God or devil in this game. When you receive a mortal wound, what are your choices?

Holy crap!


12. On 2011-10-24, Piers said:

Oh, that's great!

Looking forward to seeing how you organize that moment in the game. Desiderata:

a) some people take the choice to stay alive,

b) doing so puts them in applies the ratchet, such that their attempt to stay alive—even if it is just temporarily to achieve something—puts them into more and more trouble.


13. On 2011-10-27, John Harper said:

Vincent: Oh, that's lovely.


14. On 2011-11-07, stefoid said:

I like the idea of desperate, and how it can work against considered action, but...

It doesnt seem transient enough, like its a characterization thing rather than situational.  And I can only use it to intimidate or threaten?

For me, desperation offers an alternate style of success bonus to resolve, in a situational sense - heart pumping, adrenalin-juiced hysterical strength and reaction time type of desperation.

Something like: when your character does something that is reckless, impulsive or instinctual, add your desperation to the roll.

So its a bit like resolve, but it should probably build from failure while resolve builds from sucess.  And it should probably dwindle with success.  So as you fail, you get more desperate, but that only helps if you take desperate action, and it works against you if you take delibertate, considered action.

The idea of a desperate character by nature (history) rather than situational desperation could still be worked in though.  Desperate characters of the sort you are imagining have a higher tollerance for their desperation.  i.e.  more resistance to desperation interfering with considered action.  So a hardened criminal under duress (desperation mounting) is still able to take considered action without penalty, whereas a privelleged lady with 0 desperation in her background would quickly go to pieces as her desperation mounted, at least as far as considered action goes.


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