I ran a few players through Cold City’s introductory adventure Prisoner #8
last weekend. Overall we had some fun, everyone enjoyed the setting and their characters very much, but we had some difficulty with the rules. I had a few questions I was hoping you magnificent bastards could help me out with.
1) What’s the point of assigning negative trait to someone as a consequence to a conflict? Since negative traits only color narration but can still produce helpful die rolls, wouldn’t you be helping them?
For example, I wanted to give the negative trait “Wounded” so a PC who’d lost a conflict. Is that an appropriate use of negative traits? How would he turn that into a positive?
2) How do you end conflicts? I understand you set stakes and then see who gets narrative control, but I didn’t see any kind of “let it ride” rule (meaning that the stakes of a conflict cannot be brought up again unless there’s been some change in the situation to warrant it). So do you just keep going back and forth until someone gets 3 successes and can therefore drop an attribute to 0? Do you have to do that to every participant of the conflict on the other side?
Basically, it seems like the conflict resolution system is fine for small to medium things: handling some drunk Russians in a bar or breaking into an embassy to get at some damning evidence, but larger “big deal” conflicts I wasn’t sure what to do. Is EVERY conflict supposed to be resolved with one roll? Some zombies attack, the PC’s win the roll, and that’s it, zombies defeated? That can’t be right.
Things were going just fine with the investigation part of the session, lots of “say yes” was applied and clues were discovered in good time, but then when the shit hit the fan everything fell apart. As a friend of mine joked “So things went fine until you had to interface with the rules?” Well, yeah, basically.