A Penny for Your Thoughts
On 2011-03-14, David Berg wrote:
I'm certainly not trying to be evasive! I think perhaps we crossed some wires here. I was all ready to zoom in on any of the capabilities I listed above (stealth, climbing, talking, sword, etc.) as "what players do", but then your proposal of "overcome GM's prepped obstacles" got me thinking broad-scale again.
My response to your dad-browbeating will cover multiple scales. I apologize if some of them are irrelevant to the current analysis, but I think I'm proving to be a bad guesser at which those will be.
I've declared my character's action, so what's the range of possible outcomes?
Before we begin resolving, the GM determines whether Dad knows more than he's telling, and if so, what. I can describe the GM's method for doing this if you'd like. For now, let's say the GM determines that Dad killed his own kid while possessed by a demon, and is trying to block that out.
The range of outcomes is constrained by those fictional facts and the chosen Pace; see italics below.
What dice do I roll, if any?
Before determining that, we determine Pace.
The pacing rules:
1) In Delve's Real-Time (the default) or Slo-Mo paces, you use the mechanics for a given capability when you employ that capability. In a Summary pace, you instead use the Summary mechanic.
2) Pace is determined by narration. "I search the room" is Summary, "I peek around the corner" is Real-Time. Real-Time means giving and receiving new information as your character does.
3) Try to agree as a group on Pace. If you can't, the most bored / least patient person (i.e. fastest pace - usually a Summary) wins.
4) GM, if the players decide on a course of action that you know is a dead end, switch to Summary mode. (First get all the info from them that you'll need for your summary.)
As per rule #2, the announcement "I browbeat him" doubles as a request for the Summary pace.
In Summary mode:
"What would happen?" is approximated from the few details communicated. The GM simply decides what's most likely and announces that. There is no range of outcomes. No dice are rolled.
Example: "After you rough him up pretty badly, he breaks down, babbles for a bit, and eventually you piece together his story, which is..."
There's an alternate rule where the GM rolls 1d6, with a 6 requiring him to think of something better (for the player) than "what's most likely", and a 1 requiring him to think of something worse. I use this during rare times when something is both dramatically important and needs to be sped through in Summary mode.
Now your range of outcomes is "best, middle, and worst of the outcomes the GM deems most likely".
Example of best: "Just before you're about to get rough, he breaks down, babbles for a bit, and then describes exactly what happened."
In Real-Time mode:
In Delve's default pace, which is used for just about everything the group deems interesting, you roleplay the browbeating in character.
Browbeating does not invoke dice. If you want the browbeating to succeed, you must use your judgment of what's going on and what would work, as well as your acting and narration chops, to help the fiction reach a point where the GM judges (based on his understanding of Dad as a person first and an Obstacle second) that Dad would spill his guts. The GM may be more or less helpful in this depending on various guidelines I use but have not codified as rules. If you want to hear 'em, just let me know.
Success might look like this:
Player: "Dark magics are afoot here! Maybe no one else understands, but I do! If you've encountered them, I can make sense of them for you! And I promise, I will destroy them!"
GM: "It's true! It was an evil power! It... it made me..." (and then he tells what happened)
Using your Perception Power will give you info on what Dad wants, also without dice rolling. "Pink aura -- he's trying to manipulate us!"
If we say that the talking failed and you proceeded to get rough, the various physical actions you might try might invoke dice. Striking Dad with your sword involves a 2d6 roll. Wrestling him likewise. Racing him to the door would require an opposed Agility pool roll (BW style). If you decide to grab his arm, our group would discuss whether that's more a matter of Agility or of Wrestling, and then you'd roll accordingly.
Let's say that you physically outclass Dad and decide to kick him 17 times. We'll only roll 17 times if you want to; if you'd rather use Summary mode for the kicks, you can do so, confident in what the GM's judgment of "most likely" will be.
As for range of outcomes, the overall possibilities for the scene are pretty endless, while the possibilities for each narrated action are:
1) yelling - the GM judges how much you intimidate Dad along the scale of what's plausible
2) slashing - the dice determine whether you cut Dad, where you cut him, how bad you cut him, and whether he passes out
3) wrestling - the dice determine whether you get ahold of Dad or not
4) racing - the dice determine who gets to the door first, you or Dad
What calls does the GM have to make before and after I roll dice?
The group judges whether the result is a given (no roll), the result will be clear (player rolls), or the result will be unclear (GM rolls in secret).
The group judges what character capabilities apply, and thus which mechanics to use.
The GM tends to be point man for these.
The GM also clarifies the fictional situation in any case where he thinks the acting player might not be choosing his action with all the information his character would have.
The GM judges how Dad reacts to taking a 3-point wound to his left arm, or being grappled, or losing the race to the door.
If the guy DOES know more than he's telling, how do I get confirmation of the fact, and how do I get the whole truth out of him?
Your Perception Power might tell you he wants to manipulate you, and your Social Perception skill might detect a mismatch between words and posture, but if the GM never thinks, "Okay, Dad would tell the truth now!" then Dad never tells the truth.
Once you do get info out of Dad, you will only know what your character knows. "It sure seems like that was the whole truth, but you never really know for sure."
If he DOESN'T, how do I come to know that instead?
"Could he possibly still be holding out on us after all that? It seems really unlikely." You never know beyond that.
Note on Pacing rule #4 above: "Dead end" can mean either "Dad knows nothing" or "no amount of browbeating and roughing up will get Dad's secret out of him". The players don't get to know which was the case.
Final note: Though many of the phrasings in this post are new, none of the rules and procedures are.
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