You start off with Talk Reason-10, but your opponent responds by taking a whack at you. Fine; the Narrator's job is to ask you if you intend to combat the cad with your Talk Reason 10 or something else. You then have the option to switch to your Nifty-Sword-Stuff 10W2.
My reasoning is that you chose Talk Reason before the extended contest started. Your opponent has started the extended contest by swiping at you and you can choose what skill you will use to respond. You may continue to use Talk Reason to defend yourself (at a substantial improvisational modifier) or you may choose a more prudent course of action. I, as Narrator, would still hit you with an improvisational modifier if you didn't have your sword out and ready while you were Talking Reason (if you had your sword out, that may have been worth an improvisational modifier to Talk Reason). The end result is that you have ceded the first attack to your opponent by trying to Talk Reason instead of attacking.
This may not be canon, but it works for me.
At 04:36 PM 03/15/2000 +0000, Nick Hollingsworth wrote:
>Assume I am nifty-sword-stuff 10w2, talk-reason 10. In a potential combat
>my basic intent is "try to defuse the situation first, but if it comes to a
>them". If I use talk-reason as my opening skill I get 10 AP instead of 50.
>On round 2,
>having failed to stop the fight, I switch to nifty-sword-stuff, but am
>already 40 AP worse
>No doubt you can come up with reasons that might do to explain this as a
>it does not seem reasonable to me that going for this tactic should backfire
>if a fight
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