[SotC] Why SotC is even cooler than I realized...

edited May 2007 in Actual Play
We started our new SotC series last night.

This is an experiment, in some ways. We're continuing a game series that has cropped up over the years, using different systems around a core of repeating characters. It began with Pulp Heroes d20, then shifted into TSoY, and finally Dictionary of Mu before landing in the ultimate pulp system, Spirit of the Century.

So we have a lot of shared history and background to draw on. And this series is pretty much set up to explore that stuff and play around in the sandbox we've made over the years. Chargen was a blast, since the "pulp novel" phases were essentially us cataloging our old games and using them as material for aspects.

So then we're about to start, and I'm looking at my sheet, and I have this moment of regret. I miss my Keys from the TSoY version. I'm looking and I'm like, "This is cool, but my keys gave me such a great roadmap for what to do in a scene. I miss that." But I just shrugged and figured SotC was awesome and it would work itself out.

And it did. Big time.

Aspects are so incredible! I knew this already, but it just got hammered home in play in such a great way. There were compels left and right (GM to player and the other way around) and in a flash the same feeling of structure that Keys gave us re-appeared as if by magic. It's not the exact same thing, of course, but aspects are definitely scratching that itch -- and I guess I didn't expect that.

Here's an example:
My character, Nick Timber, has the aspect "Lovable Fool." When it comes to dames, he just doesn't always think straight, but gosh darn it, you just have to smile at the big galoot. So of course, when we're all at the gala opening of the exhibit of rare Atlantean artifacts -- and waiting for the henchmen to come bursting down out of the skylights -- Nick is approached by an old potential love-interest who invites him to shuffle off to a dark corner for a heart to heart.

Brandon, the GM, holds out the Fate point just as I'm stretching out my hand to ask for it. "Yep, I'm a Lovable Fool. Of course I go with her." Ding. I take the Fate, and it feels like hitting a Key and I realize I know how to play this game after all.
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Comments

  • I've had the same conceptual issues before with my love of TSOY and wanting SotC to 'be more like it'. It needs Refreshes! I used to say.

    I'm sure my game this weekend will help me test the waters (although I've run it twice before, I still don't feel totally rad on the game yet).
  • Aspects are definitely one of our killer apps, but they don't *look* like it, on paper at least, some of the time. But somehow they always seem to become something awesome when put in motion. I think Keys are a killer app, too, and in some ways may even be a better one, but I like the "they all function like X" simplicity of aspects too.
  • (Here is me hoping not to tread on designers' toes.)

    These (unknown to me) Aspects seem like a bit like what my HeroWars (grognard alert!) group used all keywords for. "I am Naïve, can I...?"

    I am going to search the Web for this game's homepage and be amazed, instead of mucking around here.
  • Try this link

    It's the OGL version of the ruleset. Everything you need to know to assess the game mechanics is here. Though I still recommend you buy it, as there is much goodness to be found in the full book,
  • Goodness! Such a fine HW-keywords 2.0. I want to use THIS for Glorantha.
  • Holy manure! I didn't know there was an OGL version of SotC online. Thanks Dave!
  • edited May 2007
    Posted By: GaerikHoly manure! I didn't know there was an OGL version of SotC online. Thanks Dave!
    You should say thanks to the Evilhat guys. There even is a mirror of the OGL text.

    Things the OGL lacks and the print version provides:
    • Artwork
    • Cross References
    • Useful Examples
    • Funny Examples
    • An Index!
    • The Iconic Characters!
  • See, good Actual Play reports sell games. Like right now. When I have a job and a home, I will be buying this game, no doubt about it.

    More of this kind of game review, fewer of the "I haven't played it, but" reviews.
  • I've got the print version. Well worth the money. Evil Hat rules!


    And if they don't get The Dresden Files game finished and out so I can buy it, I'm going to hunt them down and kill them. I'm on a Harry Dresden kick right now.
  • Posted By: GaerikAnd if they don't get The Dresden Files game finished and out so I can buy it, I'm going to hunt them down and kill them.
    Well, you're not going to get much of a game by killing the writers! Unless you're also looking to reanimate them, and, well, you know what they say: you put a thousand zombies in front of a thousand typewriters and eventually you're get a role-playing game.
  • you know what they say: you put a thousand zombies in front of a thousand typewriters and eventually you're get a role-playing game.
    Hey, that method has worked perfectly well for decades(*), don't make jokes on it! :-D

    (*) How would you explain the hundreds of pages of numbers typed in the rolemaster tables, otherwise? A living person would die of boredom halfway through the first page...
  • edited May 2007
    Posted By: renatoram
    (*) How would you explain the hundreds of pages of numbers typed in the rolemaster tables, otherwise? A living person would die of boredom halfway through the first page...
    Well, technically you could generate those with a spreadsheet or something. I've never heard of a computer dying of boredom but I guess anything is possible.
  • I'm glad folks like the OGL stuff showing up online. The best part is, those SRDs have been originated by the fans, rather than by us. I love it when stuff comes out of the community instead of in-house -- it probably would have taken us several months longer to produce pretty much the same thing. :)

    The print version also provides our relatively lightweight setting info too, oliof, but otherwise you pretty much have it right.

    I shan't comment on the Dresden Files thing! To do so means the curse is upon us!
  • I found myself so impressed by what I've been reading in the SRD that I've decided to use it as the basis for my newest project.

    It's really excellent work!
  • Posted By: GMSkarkaI found myself so impressed by what I've been reading in the SRD that I've decided to use it as the basis for my newest project.

    It's really excellent work!
    As I said LJ-side, thanks very much, and welcome aboard! I can't wait to see more stuff based on Fate. Us folk at Evil Hat are very proud of our "little" engine. :)
  • oh, forgot the setting - for me that's tied into examples and iconic characters so deeply that I forgot to mention it. That it is so light to overlook it (although it gives the examples enough depth to make them doubly interesting, hence the double appearance on the list), is an additional point that speaks for the quality of the book
  • Hi. This is Brandon (John's GM for this game.) I have decided to try a little experiment in Rules drift. While we haven't played more than a few games of SotC, we all felt that we had just a little too much Fate. So what I am trying is this: I started everyone off with 10 fate. Then at the beginning of a new session, you refresh to 5 fate or keep what you ended at. The main reason for this is that I want to see A LOT of compels. I am hoping that if the players are a bit more hungry for fate, then I am going to get to compel more often. We'll see how it works out.
  • Posted By: JudaicDiabloHi. This is Brandon (John's GM for this game.) I have decided to try a little experiment in Rules drift. While we haven't played more than a few games of SotC, we all felt that we had just a little too much Fate. So what I am trying is this: I started everyone off with 10 fate. Then at the beginning of a new session, you refresh to 5 fate or keep what you ended at. The main reason for this is that I want to see A LOT of compels. I am hoping that if the players are a bit more hungry for fate, then I am going to get to compel more often. We'll see how it works out.
    There's actually a solid chunk of the Dresden Files RPG that's being designed around the notion of limiting the number of fate points many characters get, with the idea of producing greater pressure on compels. I am a fan of the "hungry for fate points" experience.
  • Posted By: JudaicDiabloHi. This is Brandon (John's GM for this game.) I have decided to try a little experiment in Rules drift. While we haven't played more than a few games of SotC, we all felt that we had just a little too much Fate. So what I am trying is this: I started everyone off with 10 fate. Then at the beginning of a new session, you refresh to 5 fate or keep what you ended at. The main reason for this is that I want to see A LOT of compels. I am hoping that if the players are a bit more hungry for fate, then I am going to get to compel more often. We'll see how it works out.
    I'm in this game, playing Sierra Roy, the mercenary pilot in search of redemption (she has previously appeared as a villain NPC in previous incarnations).

    I think this is a great idea. Let's see what happens when we start throwing the compels around. I can't wait to see what you all do with my "Empathic Jovian virus" aspect. :)
  • Based on several read-throughs of the rules and one evening of Actual Play (at SGB) I side with those who favour Fate starvation.

    I think Fate just becomes cooler if it's a little more scarce.

    In our AP, I ended up with a character who was built for the wrong sort of game. (We discussed in the pre-game various genre and tone issues and I suggested putting some noir in there. I ended up with a character who would've been at home in Laura or The Third Man, but playing in a game that was decidedly more Dick Tracy.) This turned out to be non-limiting in that I just threw Fate at everything I needed to do. Even with this approach I still had three or four chips by the end of the evening.

    This didn't ruin gameplay for me or anything. But it did inspire me to limit initial Fate to 1/2 the number of Aspects in future games. (Which is, interestingly, the way that Mutants & Masterminds 1e treated its Hero Points, and the way I want to treat "Fate Points" in my still-unfinished True 20/Fate hybrid.)
  • Posted By: Robert AhrensThis didn't ruin gameplay for me or anything. But it did inspire me to limit initial Fate to 1/2 the number of Aspects in future games. (Which is, interestingly, the way that Mutants & Masterminds 1e treated its Hero Points, and the way I want to treat "Fate Points" in my still-unfinished True 20/Fate hybrid.)
    Yeah. We've come to realize that since we released the game, the number of fate points is better tuned off the amount of time you're giving to the game, and in a game of one-shots, that's not always that much. 5's definitely a good number. How long are your sessions, if I may ask?
  • Posted By: iagoYeah. We've come to realize that since we released the game, the number of fate points is better tuned off the amount of time you're giving to the game, and in a game of one-shots, that's not always that much.
    In the con game I ran, I started by giving out 5. Quickly, I realized what I was trying to sell might not happen -- the sense of high-flying, crazy tagging action was getting a bit curtailed when in the first hour of play one of the players was starting to feel like they should be hoarding their Fate points for later.

    That's when I gave everyone 5 more, and that got the game sizzling for me. But then con games are a different beast, where you're partly trying to sell the game as much as you are trying to create an entertaining experience.
  • <blockquote><cite>Posted By: iago</cite>I think Keys are a killer app, too, and in some ways may even be a better one, but I like the "they all function like X" simplicity of aspects too.</blockquote>
    Yeah, I like how keys reward, but the trouble is in recalling the actual conditions for the keys (creating them is even worse), and adjudicating when they're met. With Aspects there's one kind of judgement: does the Aspect fit the situation in the way indicated? And then multiple kinds of effects from that adjudication. Which is very cool.

    Mike
  • Posted By: Ryan MacklinIn the con game I ran, I started by giving out 5. Quickly, I realized what I was trying to sell might not happen -- the sense of high-flying, crazy tagging action was getting a bit curtailed when in the first hour of play one of the players was starting to feel like they should be hoarding their Fate points for later.

    That's when I gave everyone 5 more, and that got the game sizzling for me. But then con games are a different beast, where you're partly trying to sell the game as much as you are trying to create an entertaining experience.
    That's a good point. But I think the problem is more the hoarding than the supply, if that makes sense.

    Here's what I'm getting at: you addressed (or at least medicated) the hoarding problem by increasing the supply of fate points, but that's not the only way to solve the hoarding problem.

    IMO, it can ALSO be solved by having an explicit, up-front talk before starting the game about how fate points are there to be spent, and if you're looking for more, you need to push your aspects out there to get compelled. Let them know that as the GM you WANT to compel their aspects, but you might not always be on top of those aspects being compel targets, so you need their help to identify when the story's tripping over them.

    Essentially this second approach is ALSO addressing the hoarding problem by supply, but it's putting the task of achieving the supply more in the players' hands, rather than relying on "gifting" the players with an abundance of FPs to begin with.

    My feeling is that compel-seeking is a behavior that will emerge at the table over the course of several sessions of the game. You don't have that kind of time at a con, but I still think compels should be an active part of the game experience -- so the key is to jump-start players into the emergent behavior within the first 5 minutes of play.
  • edited May 2007
    Fred:
    At SGB, after some brief setup and chargen, we probably gamed for about 2:30 - 3:00 hrs. Your point about tuning resources to game length is a key one, and it's one that I've wished more games with inbuilt timing mechanisms (Inspectres, Lacuna, virtually all games with Hero Points) would pay some textual attention to.

    One of the reasons I really like DRYH is that the "average" cycle of a PC's Exhaustion and Madness is 0 over time. That means that, regardless of game length, the system works out pretty well. (Although, obviously, shorter games provide less opportunity for Exhaustion and Madness to get out of hand.)

    Ryan:
    I'm in no way trying to criticize, but I think that I as a GM in that situation would start to Compel more. That (to me) sends a message to the players saying, "Hey, you've got these Aspects and I'm making use of them. Oh, and you've got all these Fate points ... why don't you do something with that?"

    Mike:
    I think you're right that Aspects' uniformity makes them easier to work with. However, I also like that Keys are tied to character motivations, which means you don't get many Tags of the "I light my lucky cob pipe and ..." type. I'm thinking of porting Flags of some kind into Wild Talents and I think I will make them uniformly pay out in a two teir structure: 1 Will point for "minor" invocation and 3 for "major". That should strike a balance between uniformity and sensitivity which I hope to find goldilocks-just-right.

    EDIT: In TSoY play, I've found that the group instinctively "just knows" when a Key should pay out or not -- it's a very collaborative thing. Our main trouble was that we could never remember which Keys had a 1/3 structure and which had a 1/2/5 structure, so we kept having to flip around to try and figure out how much the Key had just paid out. Making everything minor or major, 1 or 3, would (I believe) help clarify that process.

    Cheers,

    Robert.
  • Session two of this series was one of the best games I've ever been in.

    We have all internalized the system now, so we're playing it like a piano. And it only took one learning session to get up to speed! Once again, my love for SotC grows.

    I also discovered a little system doo-hickey, hidden away under the skill description for Might. You can do a maneuver to switch the skill use for a conflict. In the example, the PC makes a maneuver roll to be able to substitute Might for Fists, to represent switching from striking to grappling. Of course, you could do this with any skill. This is going on our little summary sheet now, as an option for a maneuver roll (Place an aspect or sub a skill). I've already thought of eleven million uses for this.
  • Posted By: John HarperSession two of this series was one of the best games I've ever been in.
    !

    Are you doing actual play posts about this stuff, by any chance? I really want to put experiences that yield these sorts of statements under the microscope. :)

    No worries if you feel like you don' got no time for it.
    We have all internalized the system now, so we're playing it like a piano. And it only took one learning session to get up to speed! Once again, my love for SotC grows.
    That's pretty hot, man. Did you adopt any particular behaviors to help streamline the "naturalizing" process? Are stunts an obstacle to this sort of thing, for your group?
    I also discovered a little system doo-hickey, hidden away under the skill description for Might. You can do a maneuver to switch the skill use for a conflict. In the example, the PC makes a maneuver roll to be able to substitute Might for Fists, to represent switching from striking to grappling. Of course, you could do this with any skill. This is going on our little summary sheet now, as an option for a maneuver roll (Place an aspect or sub a skill). I've already thought of eleven million uses for this.
    Clever, clever man. Yeah; that's actually the hidden juice about a lot of trappings in Spirit of the Century -- a number of them are held out as specifically applicable to certain skills, but they often show off a technique that could be applied with other skills as well.

    Consider the idea of assessment and declarations -- usually a knowledge skill gig, right? Well, I like to think that they should be something you can use with, say, Fists, to assess or declare things about your opponent's "technique".

    And at that point, you start to realize that assessments and declarations are *maneuvers* themselves, and that there's not really much difference between them at all.
  • edited May 2007
    And at that point, you start to realize that assessments and declarations are *maneuvers* themselves, and that there's not really much difference between them at all.
    Exactamundo. This is exactly the level of system crunch that I like. It makes me smile.
    Are you doing actual play posts about this stuff, by any chance? I really want to put experiences that yield these sorts of statements under the microscope. :)
    Yep, I'll write an AP. Not a blow-by-blow account, but I can talk about why things worked and the ways that SotC helped us bring the heat.
  • Ooops. I forgot to answer Fred's questions:
    Did you adopt any particular behaviors to help streamline the "naturalizing" process? Are stunts an obstacle to this sort of thing, for your group?
    Hmmm. Did we streamline the naturalizing process? Maybe.

    One thing we did: after session one, we were debriefing and talking about what happened early in the session. It kicked off with this gala exhibition, with the PCs milling around and being social and setting up what was to come. Much fun roleplaying and several compels. During the debrief, though, we realized that we missed many opportunities to asses, declare, and tag for effect. Someone said, "That whole talk with so-and-so! I should have been maneuvering and declaring aspects on them and stuff!" Lightbulbs went on, like duh! Of course!

    Another thing: Brandon (the GM) makes these incredible summary sheets and guides that help A LOT. He has this amazing one-pager thing that is a flowchart for conflicts as well as everything you need to know system-wise to attack, block, maneuver, etc. Maybe he'll post a link to it. With this sheet in front of me, not only is it a good reference, but it's a constant reminder that I can (and should) be doing all of those things. I'd say that helped streamline the learning curve a great deal, kind of like the cool rules summary cards from BattleLore.

    I don't think stunts are an obstacle, no. We talked about stunts a lot before we played (or, Brandon and I did, anyway) and we could already sort of see behind the curtain on those. Once we could see the structure, I think we found it pretty easy to run with it, or even alter things here and there if we found something odd (like the 2-3 stunts in the game that have unusual costs or limits that don't fit the standard pattern -- Sucker Punch, I'm looking at you).

    And I was a little concerned about stunts at first. I thought they might be too much crunch and spot-rulings, but it turns out that there's no problem after all. The players really only need to know their own, and the GM can take some extra time learning the ones he needs when he makes NPCs. So no worries there.
  • Posted By: John HarperAnother thing: Brandon (the GM) makes these incredible summary sheets and guides that help A LOT. He has this amazing one-pager thing that is a flowchart for conflicts as well as everything you need to know system-wise to attack, block, maneuver, etc. Maybe he'll post a link to it. With this sheet in front of me, not only is it a good reference, but it's a constant reminder that I can (and should) be doing all of those things. I'd say that helped streamline the learning curve a great deal, kind of like the cool rules summary cards from BattleLore.
    I certainly hope he does post those -- those sound like something I'd want to adapt/adopt for future Fate stuff.
  • edited May 2007
    I would love to see those as well. If there were Word or Excel versions that I could edit for personal (hacked) use, that would be even better.

    edit: I decided to default to 5 Aspects as the starting place for PCs in my fantasy FATE game based on a comment someone made at the design panel at Dreamation in helping with another game - that fewer facts/handles about characters can sometimes be even more powerful/descriptive than more, and it's working out pretty well so far. It was just a happy coincidence that 5 Fate Points seemed to work better for me and my style of game. The desire for Compels (and the cool stories that come with that) arrive quickly. An aside though - unless people have made one or more of their Aspects as explicitly prone to Compels in combat, it's sometimes hard (for me anyway) to come up with Compels once the blood starts hitting the floor. People seem to try to get a lot of Compels before combats and try to save at least 5 of them for any impending showdown.

  • An aside though - unless people have made one or more of their Aspects as explicitly prone to Compels in combat, it's sometimes hard (for me anyway) to come up with Compels once the blood starts hitting the floor. People seem to try to get a lot of Compels before combats and try to save at least 5 of them for any impending showdown.
    Yeah, that has been a pretty common problem for me as well (and their was a rpg.net thread about it as well). The best suggestions mentioned making sure that there are a whole lot of things going on (so, not just combat... but combat while the bomb is ticking down, the crystal men are running off with your girl, and everything is happening in the middle of a crowded shopping complex with tons of civies around).

    For me (and the powers at be might frown upon this method, so YMMV), I have had the most luck offering Fate points in combat for things unrelated to actual aspects. So, if a player is hurting for Fate points you might wait for an appropriate moment (i.e. when it is REALLY dramatically interesting) and offer a compel to be 'Out of Ammo'. Or a player might 'lose his balance'... sending him into an excitingly precarious position. Likewise, compels to allow the bad guy to do something that the players don't want to do ("With all that is going on... surely it doesn't hurt anything for Dr. Baron vonEvilstein to push the blinking red burron").

    Remember too that you can compel based on setting aspects ("It is so DARK, you don't notice the men sneaking up behind you") or maneuvers that the baddies have placed on him.

    It goes without saying that most of these methods should only be employed if it looks like the player needs more Fate points (and in a hurry).
  • Scene Aspects, yeah, I like that as a catch all. Invoke the Scene Aspect of "Feverish Crescendo" to have the rope linking the sky barges start to untie and offer the player who's character is hanging on the rope a Fate Point or two since he's out. My fantasy game is totally Pulp flavored so stuff like that won't seem out of wack.

    One of the players knows the rules really well, has a terrific handle on Aspects, and has one or two that are available to get him into more trouble in almost any situation.
  • Here are the current incarnations of some of my reference sheets. They are still not really done yet, but I am at a bit of a stand still in trying to figure out how to make them better. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    SotC Flow Chart Version 1 - PDF, Visio
    SotC Flow Chart Version 2 - PDF, Visio
    Minion Tracking Sheet - Excel

    If anyone is interested, I have also built a character generator in Microsoft Access 2003 (please no bitching about the format). It is still very rough, but has been super useful. Let me know if you would like a copy.

    --Brandon
    www.fusionofthought.com/rpg/index.htm
  • Posted By: JudaicDiabloHere are the current incarnations of some of my reference sheets. They are still not really done yet, but I am at a bit of a stand still in trying to figure out how to make them better.
    Wow, these look great. I'll give 'em a try.
    Mel
  • Brandon, those are fantastic!
  • edited May 2007
    Posted By: iagoPosted By: John HarperAnd at that point, you start to realize that assessments and declarations are *maneuvers* themselves, and that there's not really much difference between them at all.
    Wow, now THAT makes some lightbulbs go off. So, for example, a charcter could use Might to assess ("think you're tough, let's have a little contest of strength so I can see what you're made of").

    Here's a question that came up on our game. Our last session involved an extended chase scene. We were trapped on a hidden island resort for super villains in the Bermuda Triangle. Our characters were fleeing for our lives, and the resort owners decided we were the entertainment for that day. Brandon had several teams of minions pursue us (each band having the theme of their patron villain, of course). Anyone have any pointers for running chases where "vehicles" aren't really involved and the skills that come into play are rather varied?
  • Those are really nice reference sheets. Looks like you roll for Initiative too. Do you roll 4dF? I've been using 1dF off of Alertness with ties to Resolve.
  • Posted By: tony dowler Anyone have any pointers for running chases where "vehicles" aren't really involved and the skills that come into play are rather varied?
    Well, I really wonder why the chase mechanics are limited to "vehicles" in the rules. In our group, we use chases as just another form of conflict. In fact, chases are usually our favored way to run social conflicts and investigation scenes. I think chases give SotC a DitV flavor. Basically, you describe whatever you want to do, asign a difficulty for that, and everyone that's trying to stop you in some way can try to match that or give. (This works somewhat faster if you're using -2 -4 -6, and minion style stress)

    So, in your example, simply ask the players what are they going to do. Do they hide? Then it's Stealth, and pursuers must use Investigation. Do they run? Athetics vs. Athletics. Do they run while making cover fire? Athletics modified by Guns vs. Athletics. Do they try to disguise themselves? It's Deceit vs. Investigation. Basically, anything you would see a Scooby Do chapter, when the Gang is running from the monster of the week, you could do in a chase scene. The resulting "fiction" should look about the same way.

    A few months ago, we ran a pretty tense chase scene in our Middle Earth game. We were pursuing a band of Assassins to their lair, without them finding out we we're following. They used Ride, we used Stealth modified by Ride. Still, the coolest parts of the chase were the maneuvers. My character used Academics to declare a narrow pass ahead, for example; while the Assassin leader used his Survival to set out "Traps" behind them. It was really cool. The only downside I see to chases is that you lose some of the tactical element you have with zones, but, for certain scenes, that's not really an issue.
  • Hey Doyce. I just emailed the generator to you. Anyone else who is interested, please whisper me.
  • Hey Matthew,

    We don't usually roll for initiative, actually. We use the around-the-table approach, with a group of mooks going between each player's turn. When a situation crops up where someone is specifically trying to act first we might bust out some initiative rolls, though. But it's a case by case basis.
  • Posted By: elmago79In our group, we use chases as just another form of conflict. In fact, chases are usually our favored way to run social conflicts and investigation scenes. I think chases give SotC a DitV flavor. Basically, you describe whatever you want to do, asign a difficulty for that, and everyone that's trying to stop you in some way can try to match that or give. (This works somewhat faster if you're using -2 -4 -6, and minion style stress)

    So, in your example, simply ask the players what are they going to do. Do they hide? Then it's Stealth, and pursuers must use Investigation. Do they run? Athetics vs. Athletics. Do they run while making cover fire? Athletics modified by Guns vs. Athletics. Do they try to disguise themselves? It's Deceit vs. Investigation. Basically, anything you would see a Scooby Do chapter, when the Gang is running from the monster of the week, you could do in a chase scene. The resulting "fiction" should look about the same way.
    Very interesting, thanks for that. In the Stealth vs. Investigation example, what does the Stress get applied to when rolls fall short?
  • Posted By: elmago79Well, I really wonder why the chase mechanics are limited to "vehicles" in the rules.
    Because if we were to say outright that every rule and every trapping is actually equally applicable to any skill - they're all just tools to generate particular effects - that would be a hard sell. :)

    -Rob D.
  • It's the biggest selling point for me. :-)
  • I think that it's ironic that one has to obfuscate the power of the engine in order to make the game more marketable. I believe that you're right. I just wish it weren't true.

    Mike
  • Posted By: Mike HolmesI think that it's ironic that one has to obfuscate the power of the engine in order to make the game more marketable. I believe that you're right. I just wish it weren't true.
    Only by wearing a mainstream sheep's clothing can the indie wolf prowl in many a gamer's heart. :)
  • Posted By: Rob DonoghuePosted By: elmago79Well, I really wonder why the chase mechanics are limited to "vehicles" in the rules.
    Because if we were to say outright that every rule and every trapping is actually equally applicable to any skill - they're all just tools to generate particular effects - that would be a hard sell. :)

    -Rob D.

    That's a sad truth :( Still, I hope Dresden gets a bigger treatment on chases, since there are a lot of 'chasey' scenes in the books.

    I've found chases are a nice break of pace for the game, and tend to make the players more focused. It has a 'minigame' kind of feel that just make people feel like something interesting is happening. If you guys were to come up with a third conflict system that did something else, it would be swell.
    Posted By: Dave Hallett<>Very interesting, thanks for that. In the Stealth vs. Investigation example, what does the Stress get applied to when rolls fall short?
    On the Stress Track of whomever roll falls short. Since we're talking about a physical pursuit, the physical stress track would be the best, IMHO. As an aside, one of the interesting things about chases is that the pursuer can set a ridiculously high difficulty to 'play chicken' with the opposition. If you have a Superb Stealth, for instance, you can go for a Legendary +2 difficulty: you might get some stress out of the deal, but minions, who have small stress tracks, might want to concede.
  • Yes, OK. Thanks. I was wondering whether it was physical or social stress, how to choose, and how to narrate it in either case. In the case where the pursuer is getting rather too close, and people are having to contain their panic, Composure seems more appropriate. Then again, as you say, sometimes physical harm might be more appropriate, though in the "chicken" situation, I'm having trouble imagining how hiding by Stealth could inflict more physical harm on the pursuer than they can handle.

    Can you give an example of how this sort of thing might get narrated in? I'm really very interested, but it's not quite falling into place for me yet.
  • OK. It's a physical pursuit, so, IMHO, the stress is physical. I can see the reason for using Composure, but I tend to use composure for Intellectual and Social conflicts (including chases), and leave all the physical stuff physical. There are two important things to keep in mind: first, stress does not represent harm per se, that's the territory of Consequences, and, second, that in SotC chases are not about getting closer or gaining distance, but of dealing with the pursuer in a manner such that he'll not be able to pursue anymore.

    In the Stealth example, let's assume you're running form the pursuers and decide to hide yourself in the top of a tree. You set the difficulty as Superb. You roll Stealth (perhaps modified by Athletics), and get Great, so you take a one-point hit. The pursuers roll investigation to follow you (again, modified by athletics) and roll Good. Let's assume that they're three average minions, so two of them are taken out. Now, the GM, or the player, or whomever narrates this sort of things on your table, narrate it as follow: As the PC climbed the tree, he discover it's quite taller than he expected, and truly exhausted himself in the climb (hence the stress), later, the minions come looking for him, looking lost, and the PC jumps form his hiding place, falls on two of them, knocking them down (two taken out) and he makes a run for it again, with the last minion pursuing him.
  • Right, good example. The idea of Stress as fatigue makes a lot of sense, especially when you can't think of anything more dramatic. Thanks for that!
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