[D&D 2097e] Remapping diegesis, mimesis and all kinds of sis



  • It's ok. Clearly we're talking past each other. I'll just drop it. It's not a terribly important point, anyway!

    I like where your rules have ended up, and will probably try them sometime.
  • Hi Sandra, I'm thinking of using these rules myself in an upcoming game and I was wondering about how you would do the diegesis of things such as a ghoul's paralysing attack. Because if HP is spent to effectively "avoid" the blow, how does the ghoul's nasty poison paralyse the hobos? I suppose you could say "the claws just barely scratch your arm as you duck out of the way, make a CON check..." but this seems like a bit of an annoying exception. Any ideas?
  • (Ghouls are on MM p 148 for anyone following along, or here if you don’t have your books nearby.)

    I’ve found that it’s hard to do D&D without it being riddled with annoying exceptions.

    Before I look at ghouls specifically; my general philosophy for this system is that effects (such as the slow from Ray of Frost) should be applied.

    That means that I do want to keep the “if Alice fails her defense roll, she has to make a DC 10 con save” effect. I have to rewrite the monster move so that that can happen.

    How about the ghoul having these moves (skipping past the bite which is obv):

    “Slash at!” The ghoul lashes out with one of its arms at you, what do you do?

    If no diegetic defense: roll lingering injury, maybe roll system shock or get some DSFs, be paralyzed

    If diegetic defense: OK make defense roll.

    If defense roll failed, go for a “Slash follow up!” The ghoul makes it past your quarterstaff that you parried with (or w/e) and now the claws are trying to pierce your skin, what do you do?

    If no diegetic defense: see above

    If diegetic defense: OK, spend 10 hp and make a DC 10 con save to do that.

    If con save failed: inflict a festering wound [rather than a random roll] & paralyze for 1 min save ends.

    Further saves representing your beating heart tryna shake the poison!

    Festering wounds (DMG p 272) are great; they heal with any magical healing but can be a real pain if you don’t have access to that. They also make a lot more sense than a rando roll in this sitch.

    To be clear, the above is untested & something I cooked up just now for the purps of this thread but I’m also gonna implement it in my game.

    The one I’ve been thinking about the most myself lately are the crocodiles’ grappling bites.

  • edited May 2019

    If diegetic defense: OK, spend 10 hp and make a DC 10 con save to do that.

    If con save failed: inflict…
    and obv if HP spend failed then go to the basic moves for when that happens (lingering injuries, DSFs, unconsciousness, death etc)
  • edited May 2019
    Festering wound is also the mildest of all entries so I think it's a good idea to use them for this, adding it as the mildest thing that monsters could already inflict directly through the diegesis unless the players manage to defend themselves (death, DSFs, death save rolls, injury rolls, system shock rolls, and now adding in "specific lingering injuries" to the mix).

    Or what's your take, @Andye ?
  • It's also still possible to inflict HP loss, even though it's primarily a spendable resource pool [i guess diegetically almost exclusively fatigue & moxie], just like how the Martial Arts Adept monster (Volo's p 216) can inflict stun, which is a way to inflict action econ loss.

    To avoid confusion I want to phrase most monster moves to primarily encourage HP spend than inflict HP loss. But it's just another tool in the kit.
  • To me, what you did is that : you turned a skeletal procedure into prompts. It changes everything. I think @Paul_T recognizes the procedure, but wants to see how hard the prompts will hold. If players are going to cut corners.
    In theory, chain linking narration to dice makes every player the "controller" of the previous one, so it's either narrated combat devolves into dice rolling or it is enforced?
    Still, proof is always on you if you want to claim that it will work everytime. (I don't think you need to go there)
  • As I said, claiming something works everytime after only trying it seven times would be pretty foolish. Rules can often be improved.

    My claim is pretty limited and specific. I neither want to over nor understate it. It's hard to summarize it but I've gone over it thoroughly in the two threads.

    Right now I think the part of the game that can benefit the most from further work is the dive insp. I want to make it more identifying stance while keeping the same semantics.

    We have some players who would never voluntarily "fail" the way the rules are written now.
  • On dive insp.

    If I’m following you.

    In IEE terms. You want the INTENT to be the same, but for the TIBF to trigger an EXECUTION change, that leads to a different EFFECT in the SiS.

    So this generally takes the form of the TIBF exerting pressure on the EXECUTION that causes the EFFECT to be a failure.


    I want to pick the lock (INTENT) but my lover is in danger (TIBF: Lover in danger), so my hands are shaking and sweaty (EXECUTION) which leads to failure (EFFECT)

    So in your insp rules you say not to do this but I would add an extra way to trigger TIBF effects on the INTENT level. This might be to radical or messy though, consider it food for thought.

    The framing is as follows.

    Your character WANTS to succeed at adventure stuff but, they also have other things (trait things) they want to succeed at. When you ‘take a dive’ on adventure stuff to succeed at a trait thing INSTEAD, gain insp.


    GEEZER the old man has a TIBF ‘things were better in my day’. He goes to search the wall, which takes ten minutes. (That’s the adventure goal). The player decides to trigger the TIBF to get insp. He half heartedly searches the room while rambling on about his day. He fails to search properly but makes damn sure that everyone listening knows about how much better things were in his day.

    Rogue with TIBF ‘member of oppressed class’. He goes to pick the lock. Decides to trigger his TIBF instead. Smashes the lock out of anger and screams about the injustice of it all. (His INTENT has changed to inform everyone of injustice at the cost of picking the lock).

    So just to reiterate. We’re conceptualising a TIBF dive as a value conflict. The prime value is the one associated with the quest/goal. The ‘failure’ isn’t so much a failure as another value (TIBF) taking priority over the quest/goal, that causes disruption to the quest goal.

    Anyway I hope that makes sense, when I did use TIBF type stuff in my games that’s how I did it. In fact I’d often make a character with a prime goal (restore the rightful king) then spike him by adding TIBF stuff that would fuck with that.
  • What if, instead of automatically failing at the task, the player rolls with disadvantage?

    That way, it becomes a kind of trade-off: roll with disadvantage now so you can roll with advantage later on.

  • @Trent_W that's def an interesting idea! But doesn't address the underlying stance issue, right? How can we get the character to want to "fail" whether that's outright failure or just a disad.

    @AlexanderWhite I'm so glad to hear from you specifically about this since you teased about your insights in the other thread.

    So what I want is to basically flip the script. So that instead of "to drop the flashlight, do X" [with consequence you've got an armfull of pony & you have some insp], it's "to do horse, do X" [with consequence flashlight is dropped & you have some insp].
  • @2097 just speaking from the standpoint of D&D player psychology here, they're going to be a lot more likely to voluntarily drop the flashlight if that means rolling with a penalty vs automatically failing. Of course, for some players even that won't be enough of an incentive so there's that too.

    In my own games, I represent things like this as player-authored Minor Quests --- which ties the flashlight drop explicitly into the game's existing reward cycles: you drop the flashlight, you get XP (equal to a monster/trap/hazard of your level). My experience is that among D&D players XP is a lot more enticing than getting a bonus on a roll.

  • If someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to write and use TIBF rules. They’d be as follows.

    The basic principle is ‘when one TIBF interferes with another TIBF, gain insp’. All actual mechanics would be ways of implementing that.

    For this to work, everything a character does must in pursuit of a TIBF. This doesn’t need to be super strict, you just need a general understanding that your character is on a given quest because of a TIBF.

    So in a general sense it would work like this.

    My thief has ‘get stinking rich’ and ‘cowardly’.

    I’m exploring a dungeon to get gold (stinking rich) but I hear a weird noise, could be danger, I fling my lantern on the floor and run screaming (cowardly)

    When I’m about to roll the dice to do something. I’m doing it because it’s somehow helping me towards a TIBF end.

    My paladin wants to restore the rightful king
    Smoke black root to be untroubled by the faces of those he’s murdered

    I’m about to make a roll to fortify the palisade (which is to help me defeat the enemy army, to help me restore the rightful king)

    The call for a roll acts as a cue to remind me to think about priorities. ‘other people can fortify the palisade, I’m going to go smoke black root’. (which counts as failing the roll and gets me insp).

    What this system ‘might’ have issues with is the following:

    I fail to pick the lock because my hands are shaking because ‘I’m a coward.’

    I’m halfway up the wall when I fall because ‘I have a deformed arm.’
  • @2097 just speaking from the standpoint of D&D player psychology here, they're going to be a lot more likely to voluntarily drop the flashlight if that means rolling with a penalty vs automatically failing.
    Oh I'm not disputing that! But the core feedback I got from my group was related to the stance issue.
    The basic principle is ‘when one TIBF interferes with another TIBF, gain insp’.
    I like that; I esp like the word "interfere"… hmm…
  • I'm tryna think of how this can be explained to the character and not just to the player that control the character; "when the TIBF interferes with…", "when you give in to a TIBF…", "when a TIBF make you…", "when you are hindered by…"

    maybe I should go reread The Shadow of Yesterday

  • When you have to choose one important over another.
    When you prioritize one important thing over another.
  • That wasn’t strong enough.

    When you prioritize one important thing (TIBF) at the expense of another important thing (TIBF).

    You do have to rethink how some things are framed for this though. Like the player might call ‘smoking smack’ a flaw. From the characters point of view they’re ‘getting rid of their pain’.

    In TSOY you’d get XP just for doing it. In my system you need to ‘smoke smack’ at the expense of e.g. ‘being a good father figure’. So if you smoke smack instead of going to your daughters birthday, or you smoke smack, go to the Birthday and ruin it because you fall face down in the cake.
  • I might add certain important things that all characters get for free. For instance, haulin' loot out of dungeons.
  • @AlexanderWhite those are still given the presumption that we’re going to go with the “two traits collide” thing; which I’m not sure about [as in honestly not sure; haven’t dismissed it yet].

    Partly I think it might be too hard—I want traits to be able to collide not just with each other but with common decency, with the party, with other people’s traits. Partly I think it might be too easy to set up a pair of traits specifically designed to exploit this. ← cue standard “oh i wouldn’t play with cheaters anyway” spiel

    For me, the specific design challenge I have right now is making the mechanic character-facing rather than author-facing.

    @Trent_W ’s suggestion made the mechanic milder but didn’t really change this issue.

    Alexander’s suggestion made the mechanic apply to fewer cases; and the way he phrases his diegetic examples make them seem character facing, buuut the challenge of creating a character-facing “diegesis↔dice” mapping remains. (That doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to start on the diegetic level; as @lumpley clarified playing fiction first doesn’t mean you have to play as if you were unaware of your own moves or your own stats. So for example the fighter’s “Second Wind” ability is a dice-level ability but can still be character facing; a character might decide she needs to focus her breath for a second.)

    And if that challenge is solved, then Alexander’s or Trent’s suggestions might be unnecessary, or they might be the absolute gravy that makes the mechanic fly even higher.

    Sorta like the first mapping issue I had in this thread; the “wound threshold”/“wounding time” thing that I thought would make the diegesis↔dice thing fly hasn’t really helped at all and I’ve been thinking about dropping it, while Paul’s idea of turning HP from lose to spend has been an absolute cornerstone.

    Basically I think what needs to happen is that the traits need to become almost like abilities that you can use. Peeps been reporting good success with the keys in The Shadow of Yesterday, right? I obv don’t want the 1/2/5 granularity but I want to figure out why/how people have made them work. They’re even phrased “Your character loves wealth” instead of “you love wealth” and still they’ve worked for some peeps.

    Here’s an example trait from the PHB “Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want.” [Yes, write-your-own traits are cooler, I get that, especially the bonds. But in my experience some people love rolling up random traits from the book. IDK why but they really do.]

    While I (for a paper-based quick character generator I used for a con game) illegally typed in every single background from the PHB into TeX back in July 2015, (yes yes I know, #manic2097 ), I can’t easily rephrase them all and expect everyone I ever play with to have a character using these rather than from the book. Or idk, maybe.

    So ideally I want a universal way to, uh, mechanize these using the move & “diegetic ludeme” tech we’ve got going here. Like, some might look misleadingly easy: “I’m a born gambler who can’t resist taking a risk for a potential payoff.”

    So the ultimate goal of this is so that DM don’t have to memorize all of the players’ stuff all the time! I want the characters to, through diegetical action/inaction in a way that is noticable to everyone at the table, can get insp, just like how the Second Wind fighter ability can give you HP or the Action Surge ability can give you action econ. I’m especially looking at the category of insp that I’ve called “taking a dive”. Obviously no one wants to take a dive! That was a stupid way to write it up. Since I wrote the rules that way, no-one has ever went for that dive insp. (They’ve still been playing their character true to the traits though; they’re just not claiming insp for it. But then later being like “why don’t we have more insp”. Which, understandable, not blaming them, my rules are at fault here.) (Yes, the keys in The Shadow of Yesterday also have some of what I called “quest inspiration” in there.)

    We had a lot of insp at our table because I knew the characters well (not necessarily studying their traits list but being able to think “ok, no normal munchkinhobo would’ve ever done that, that has to be a character thing”) and so I’d go “It seems like there just was a spontaneous Hillfolk scene, or there just was someone giving in to their trait, here have some insp” and trying to move to a more player-initiated take on insp hasn’t worked out yet [granted, it’s only been three sessions, all of which also had this remarkable new fighting system and an elaborate & blorby heist being pulled off].

    (The reason for my Λυσιστράτη-like withholding of insp is again to not have to learn all their stuff and also because I had gotten somewhat sloppy like “oh you reminded me of a rule that I have forgotten but the rule is gonna kill you but you said it anyway? here have some insp”. Which, OK, either I change the rules to include that kinda stuff or I don’t do that kinda stuff.)

    So part of what made the HP spending thing have such dramatic results right away was, just as Paul predicted:

    you initiate a hard af move (inflicting death or serious pain) diegetically, and the only way to be able to negate it is to either make the defense roll or spend the HP. It’s a mechanic you have to engage with or else you die. My insp rules as currently written are the opposite of that. If you do engage with them, it sucks. You drop a rope or whatever.

    I need to find the perfect, uh, “teeth” for these mechanics.

    OK, kinda typing-as-I-think here, but… extending the Hillfolk dramatic tokens to procedural.

    The semantics I want is that “If someone gives into you” you give them insp, from the bank if you have none. Wait, that’s backwards. I don’t want “someone” doing things, I want you doing things. “If you win an argument” you have to pay them insp (from the bank if you have none). OK, better, but it’s not always arguments it can also be things like validation, acknowledgement, trust etc. Also the “if/when” trigger stuff is great for things that the DM can be arsed to care about but not as good for things that are player initiatated. [Yes, a lot of PbtA moves are phrased that way but I don’t think they work that well.]

    Guh working on the socks darned fighting rules took two weeks and now I’ve immediately jumped into another challenge why do I do this to myself :bawling:

  • edited May 2019
    @Deliverator tying them into leveling up is great. Tying it into something the character needs… resting is another possibility… I'm not 100% committed to doing that but I'm def thinking of that. Among all the "potentially great gravies" this is the one I believe in, more strongly than the "it's alright ma it's only disad" or the "these two sides of my brain needs to have a meeting" takes [although ofc those deserve playtesting too]. But the mapping problem is still there.
  • I guess I should calm down for a second and remind myself that it's fine if they don't have insp. Ideas such that diminishing (or removing altogether) the benefits of long rest for people who haven't spent insp that day is fun but I've said in the past that I appreciate the way the insp stuff is optional for a player to engage with. Maybe that's a philosophy I should stick to, IDK. (Honestly not sure what I want; mandatory insp frenzy or suuuper laxed don't worry about never having insp.)

    Again, that's in relation to the @Deliverator style gravy which certainly is an especially toothy gravy [uh this metaphor turned gross] but regardless of which; I have this mental block rn preventing me from solving the mapping issue.
  • edited May 2019

    So here are ideas for names for moves:

    Face a challenge


    Start a challenging conversation.

    Sketching out these moves…

    Start a challenging conversation

    1. Look through either your own or someone elses traits, ideals, bonds or flaws, or look at the relationship itself between the two of you.

    2. Place the inspiration bowl between the two of you.

    3. Challenge that trait or relationship through conversation. The “winner” pays an inspiration to whoever gave in. Pay from the bowl if you don’t have any.

    Pro tip: giving in to those who don’t have any insp increases the net insp that the group has. However, you still have to be ready to deal with the consequences of giving in.

    Forcing & countering [yada yada rules for 2 insp and 3 insp go here].

    Examples [yada yada examples go here. I want an example of someone challenging their OWN bond to go save their boyfriend prince or w/e and the other person giving in which makes them set out on the quest uh maybe I’m pushing it at this point]

    Face a challenge

    When others rely on you to do something, you can face a challenge.

    Immediately grab an insp from the bowl, and then either show, or tell, how your trait, ideal, bond or flaw prevents you from succeeding.

    You can do this before attempting the task (before the die is rolled [if it’s an ability check, saving throw, attack roll, STC, or defense roll] or before the time is spent if it’s a time-consuming task), or after (flipping your successfully rolled d20 to 1). You don’t gain the insp if you did roll but failed.

    Examples [yada yada examples go here]

  • When I have time I'm gonna go chill out with the PHB and a pencil & notebook and see if I can make other "moves" like this that apply to various types of traits.

    I'd rather the "move" is consequential & challenging than common & easy.
  • edited May 2019


    These are all from the the personality section of the charlatan background.

    "Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want."

    Start a challenging conversation; this seems like it could work in many ways. Try to get something [doesn’t have to be an object] from another player or NPC is straightforward. Challenging this trait in another person also seems possible. For example talking with them more sincerely, or questioning their flattery, or falling for them seriously and they’re stuck with you that they weren’t really into etc.

    Face a challenge; when asked to do any practical challenge; grab the insp and go “well, you who is so handsome and strong might be better suited for this task?” or similar.

    "I’m a born gambler who can’t resist taking a risk for a potential payoff."

    Start a challenging conversation; “wanna make a bet? Odds are neck in neck”…

    Face a challenge; oh, man! I was starting to feel pretty good about the two moves I had and that maybe they would cover all bases. But here we have a trait more defined by action than inaction. Which is great! Which is why I wanted to do this example. So that tells me I need to ☐TODO make a move about action rather than inaction.

    "I lie about almost everything, even when there’s no good reason to."

    Similar to flattery above.

    "Sarcasm and insults are my weapon of choice."

    Start a challenging conversation; Wow, I could easily see challenging someone who has this trait by expressing truthfully to them how hurtful their insults really are to you. Using this to challenge someone else could easily get mean pretty quickly as per Laws’ “needling” examples in Unframed.

    "I keep multiple holy symbols on me and invoke whatever deity might come in useful at any given moments."

    Wow, I could see this evolving into a very complicated relationship with a more dedicated faith.

  • As promised, the “action rather than inaction” move. Even more WIP than the other two moves.

    Shooting smack as discussed upthread is also an example of this.

    Name TBD

    When you do something you don’t want to do that has serious consequences, grab insp and tell or show how your trait makes you do it.

    [Uh, that phrasing is weird & oxymoronic; I want to represent “giving in to the inner voice temptation”, idk]

  • edited May 2019
    Talking about RP, couldn't you draft another player into this dual voice conflict ? Couldn't one draft one self into your character conflict ? I don't know, my game is very "author stance" and gaming it's token economy leads to playing against your characters intuitions, so I am just throwing ideas from outside the box, from a different field / niche even.
  • The "Start a challenging conversation" already cover that; but I want something for action to, action is louder than words.
  • edited May 2019
    What I am saying. Another player gets into your character's head.
  • Oh, I got that, Wraith the Oblivion style, but that still hits too much of the same talky notes.
  • edited May 2019
    "giving in to the inner voice temptation"=letting another player interpret your belief in action.
    I am ready to concede that you get a very special flavour of flashlgiht dropping : one that doesn't hinder the other player's character. And that the other player IS out of character (in a way). But I can't hear that it's "talky".
  • I want something more immediate & quick as contrasted by the "challenging conversation" which takes longer
  • I might add certain important things that all characters get for free. For instance, haulin' loot out of dungeons.
    This is the issue with “one Trait interferes with another” - as beautiful as that is conceptually, it might be far too limited.

    It means that there are only four or five situations/topics/subjects where “flashlight dripping” is sanctioned or rewarded.

    You have to be fine with that, or create new “free” Traits about every other possible subject/area (as Jeph did here with treasure hauling).


    What would an “ideal” Inspiration moment look like in your game? Maybe we can create a fake example and then retro engineer the mechanical inputs and outputs/IIEE.

  • That's a great idea.

    Let's take one of the charlatan's example flaws: “I’m too greedy for my own good. I can’t resist taking a risk if there’s money involved.”
    Ideally the charlatan would take a risk when there's money involved; a consequential risk, & get insp for it.
  • Sure! But if you’re interested more specifically on the flow of the conversation (“remapping”, as you said), that’s not enough. What kind of conversation and what kinds of decisions do you want to be happening?

    Fate’s/Hillfolk’s “other player offers you a Fate point” is one possible solution.

    The traditional “Key” solution would be a line on your character sheet that says (using your own language):

    “When you take a consequential risk because there’s money involved, gain Inspiration.”

    But we could get more specific! Tell us how you want the players to talk to each other.
  • Well, my partic skillset is turning "how I want the players to talk to each other" into mech inputs/outputs and IIEE. I haven't gotten to that first point yet though.

    So let's start at question one: how do I want the participants to talk to each other?

    Again, I'm pretty satisfied with the "hillfolky" insp. I've gotten the players on board to playtest the "challenged to inaction" variant (not until Saturday though). Rewarding the "not doing".

    The lacuna is a mechanic doing something bad because of the trait. In the example case, taking a risk.
  • edited May 2019
    This is from this other thread:
    SIS: Max screams in terror, throws his lantern on the floor and runs.
    The one and only and singular and admittedly minor reason I want there to be a rule (such as "you get insp") for Max throwing his lantern is to protect Alex from the other players' consternation. To be like "You might not like this move but it is not only allowed by, it's actively rewarded by the rules". The reward is crappy and minor and useless and pure affordance but it's there.
  • edited May 2019
    Ah, that's a pretty good insight: you don't actually want this to drive play, you just want it as "affordance/protection". In that case, is it even important to have Personal Characteristics (or whatever the hell they are called)?

    Could you have the following rule, for instance?
    When you make a choice that seems cowardly, questionable, or unwise, the GM will ask you:

    "Are you doing that because it feels true/authentic to the character, despite the risks to the party?"

    If the player says "yes", everyone in the party immediately gains Inspiration.
    It seems to me that, if this is the purpose of the rules, the *other* players getting something out of a situation where Alex effectively screwed them over might be even more important than Alex getting something. (I thought about making the rule "everyone except Alex gets Inspiration", too, but I don't know if you gain anything interesting by withholding a bennie from Alex.)
  • I just stumbled across a new video of Matt Mercer running a brief adventure for Stephen Colbert. Very cute! Covered it here:


    However, it's relevant to this thread because I was watching it, and now I can't watch anyone play D&D without thinking about the conversational flow of combat.

    We can see how, with Mercer's attention to narrative detail, D&D combat is always fictionally vivid and constantly evolving. I think this is what you were talking about earlier, Sandra, that I wasn't getting: when you go from "Yahtzee combat" to colourful description, suddenly more variety in combat takes place, because individual descriptions inspire new "moves" and ideas of things to try. (Mercer arguably overdoes this in the adventure, when he describes the panther's attack as knocking Colbert's character prone, but fortunately that never becomes important mechanically.) I didn't catch that at all earlier, because I didn't realize Sandra was coming from "Yahtzee combat", and therefore didn't understand why it would make a difference. I think that, on the surface, the descriptions here are probably quite similar to what you're doing now, right, Sandra (in terms fictional detail and flow)?

    However, I was also thinking the whole time about how much better and easier that would be if we had players rolling all the dice (the defense roll, as in PbtA games, based on a player's announced action in response) and if the "HP spending" metaphor was also being employed. That would make maintaining the discipline of this kind of narration much more natural (and easier not to forget).

    This reminds me of two somewhat unrelated thoughts:

    1. If I were to do this, I would want to rename hit points, probably. I'd want a term that says "last minute ass saving points" somehow, and then feats and abilities and tags could give us stuff to say with those. (A wizard with a magical aura of protection could narrate bursts of light turning away blows, for instance. You could think of that as adding "moves" to the PC's sheet; when you spend HP, you pick one of them.)

    What term might work to replace HP? I can't think of any good word/phrase off the top of my head.

    2. Also, for my tastes, I'd want to make more of a distinction between "successful defense roll" and "HP spend". I know that the flexibility of description is a nice feature, but it would also make it more "blorby" if there was a narrative constraint on the two (sometimes description matters, after all), as well as inspiring different/new narration.

    This would also help on the GM's side, because it's unfortunate if when I'm hitting all my rolls against the Ogre the combat doesn't feel any different than if I was missing all of them.

    (In other words, I'd use "successful defense" for "snatched the arrow out of the air", but the Desperation Point/HP spend would be a graze or a close call. One is a confident defense; the other is a desperately close call, barely avoided.
  • Before I start reading more carefully to write a more detailed answer (and also I need to look at that hour long video first and I hate watching TV so that's gonna be a challenge for me) I happened to see at a glance that you mentioned panthers knocking characters prone; that's a special ability that panthers have. It's a strength of the "Oh, Injury!" system that you can incorporate these kinds of special moves and conditions seamlessly into the game play
  • edited May 2019
    Also before I go on, no, hit points are the perfect name!

    I was like "finally the name hit points make sense!!!". Points you pay to no get hit!!!! To negate hits.

    Before the amazing idea you had to change "lose" to "spend", which works so brilliantly… before that, I wanted to rename them hope points (or what Svärd & Svartkonst does, call them battle points). But now I'm like "it's perfect".
  • This would also help on the GM's side, because it's unfortunate if when I'm hitting all my rolls against the Ogre the combat doesn't feel any different than if I was missing all of them.
    That's exactly what I wanted. I don't want "hohoho you couldn't even hit a barn you swung that sword three miles left of the ogre".
    In other words, I'd use "successful defense" for "snatched the arrow out of the air", but the Desperation Point/HP spend would be a graze or a close call. One is a confident defense; the other is a desperately close call, barely avoided.
    You fired an arrow against a 59 hit point ogre…?! It can just swat that arrow away like nothing! That's why you aim!

    I'm 1000% fine with HP sometimes, or often, being more like AWESOME points than "desperation" points. Buuut the diegesis & the very nature of the "second line of defense" makes it work out in a cool way anyway. You'd rather make your defense rolls than have to spend HP, so in those cases yes it feels desperate. Almost automatically. Which is part of why this system works so well.
  • I wouldn't feel a drop of guilt saying that that arrow hit the wall behind the ogre or whatever either! Don't just let arrows fly if you don't have a clear shot!
  • Like, take the offense equiv to hit points, which is "action surge". Sometimes you action surge out of desperation ("I'm dying but maaaaybe I can get in just enough if I do my last effort") and sometimes you do it out of sheer awesomeness.
  • And both are diegetically similar to fatigue, energy, moxie
  • A wizard with a magical aura of protection could narrate bursts of light turning away blows, for instance.
    Hmm.... where have I seen that idea before…
    If you have mage armor on: maybe doves come out and eat the bullets like in a John Woo film
  • With some Actual Play examples we had one character parrying & reparrying with a quarter staff & sometimes ducking & crouching, and two other characters who both are morningstar-and-shield builds alternating parrying with the weapon & blocking with the shield. It just worx great, the fact that the two lines of defense can use either "moveset" (or, as I would've put it: either "vocab") really helped cut down on the learning curve. Remember, at the onset of this project I was terrified of the amount of new vocab we would have to build.
  • It seems to me that, if this is the purpose of the rules, the *other* players getting something out of a situation where Alex effectively screwed them over might be even more important than Alex getting something. (I thought about making the rule "everyone except Alex gets Inspiration", too, [...]
    Yes, that has crossed my mind as well. Would make it more analogous to Hillfolk & thus easier to remember.

    But otoh, I like that you get actively rewarded for fucking up the mission. The game I ran for @JonatanK, he asked "Well if we're gonna play D&D I have some trepidation… some groups really are so focused on 'you have to succeed with the mission', it can kinda..." and I said "If you fuck up the mission, you get rewarded."
    His jaw dropped and he had to repeat it to double checked if he heard correctly. "You get rewarded?"

    Now, that's a strong affordance marker. Again, the reward is puny and def not commensurate. But it is a "hey Taschenlampenfallerlasser? You did good today. Thank you for dropping the flashlight."
  • edited May 2019
    The ogre snatching an arrow at 57 HP, that's wasting a level of signification that's already given.
    I am talking about the difference between hit-miss and HP. The difference between high and low HP being subjective, you can't use it as is for narrating significant difference. You can if you use thresholds like 50% HP but it requires more working memory space.
    So, why not make something of this given is what I am saying.
  • But that’s wasting a level of signification that’s already given.
    I am talking about the difference between hit and HP. The difference between high and low HP being subjective, you can’t use it as is for narrating significant difference. You can if you use thresholds like 50% HP but it requires more working memory space.
    So, why not make something of this given is what I am saying.

    Trying for years to make sense of this difference, this redundancy, this frustration with “aren’t they kinda the same” and then bam! Paul comes up with a way to actually make them the same and suddenly everything clicks.

    Also, since defense rolls don’t cost action econ (unlike Kutulu, a game that otherwise has inspired me muchly), it’s awesome & symmetrical that it costs hit points. You spend action econ to fight, you spend hit points to activate your second line defense. And the more skilled you are (higher defense roll), the longer you can stretch that hp pool, and the more competent you look because your first line defense is enough a larger portion of the time.

    The fact that you can mix&match is great too because you can go shield block first, morningstar parry second the one round and the other way around the second; in fact, because how the diegetics shape the fights, alternating that way is often necessary.

    Yes, as I said to Andye, sometimes there are extra costs beyond just the HP to avoid the wound, such as the con check vs the ghouls. It’s just… I want to keep playtesting these rules because I’m super optimistic re them, before I make that kind of extremely radical & disruptive change to them. I take ABT seriously and the current iteration still deserves more testing. Maybe I’ll eat crow in a few months when I’ve changed to something more akin to what you and Paul are suggesting now, but that’s then. We only play twice a week so I don’t have infinity time testing. Also, fighting works now, further improvement is diminishing returns compared to the insp rules which are currently broken & need attention!

  • The ogre snatching an arrow at 57 HP, that's wasting a level of signification that's already given.
    Oh, you mean on the monster side.

    That was also to sorta tell Paul that if you just say "I shoot" at a monster with 59 hp, they can easily defend vs that! (Significantly tiring themselves in the process though.)

    It's the brash↔brash principle from before.
    Brash↔brash, maneuvering↔maneuvering.

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