Backing down is losing (whether he decides on his own or is forced by loss of AP). Your interpretation is forcing it early by restricting the hero to an arbitrary choice of abilities. Low AP is the time to switch abilities, to change tactics. Obviously whatever you've been using hasn't worked, so try something else. "My center is giving way, my right right is pushed back, situation excellent, I am attacking" (General Foch, Second Battle of the Marne)
One very basic premise of the AP mechanism and Extended Contests is that you are *not defeated* until that last AP slips away. It is closely based on adventure stories and movies, wherein Our Hero(tm) gets the snot beat out of him before winning. "While there are APs there is Hope", "Never give up", "It's not over 'til it's over" etc. are the watchwords of an extended contest. As long as the hero has even 1 AP left he is fully capable of action (using the desparation stake rule if he must).
What you are proposing is *arbitrarily* restricting a player's choices. And badly at that, in this case - not allowing a verbal slinging match to degenerate into violence simply goes against all human behavior.
> >This only occurs when he runs out of AP. If he doesn't have the will to
> >attack the foot soldier, he doesn't have the will to continue the
> >ergo, he has lost.
> That's an all-or-nothing interpretation. Why can't he be in a state
> where he's not (quite) willing to back down yet without the will to
> force the issue ?
A hero should always have the will to force the issue as long as the contest is still ongoing. Yes, it *is* binary: Either he is in the contest to win, or he has lost. While he has APs, it can be assumed that he intends to win the contest. Restricting his choices as you propose is hamstringing him, taking away his options, making it more likely that he will lose.
> >And as I mentioned before, violence is *more* likely when someone is
> But he's not frustrated - he's LOSING.
And this isn't frustrating how?
It is by my order and for the good of the state that the bearer of this has done what he has done.
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