Re: Re: Argument overridden

From: Dave Camoirano <DaveCamo_at_...>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 23:59:13 -0500


On Monday, October 27, 2003, at 05:47 PM, Paul Andrew King wrote:

> >wrote:
> >>  Well I explicitly said that it was a premise of the original post,
> >>  and not something I found particularly convincing.  I don't think
> >>  that I would actually get to the situation described.  Even if I
> >>  allowed the direct use of swearing in this particular contest (and
> >I
> >>  am not sure that I would) the bids would probably be seriously
> >>  restricted (no more than 2 AP perhaps ?).  But maybe you consider
> >>  these "arbitrary restrictions" ?
> >
> >Except that there's nothing in the rules that even implies limiting
> >the bids in such a manner.  The magnitude of a bid is supposed to
> >reflect how much effort is entailed in the action, with a maximum bid
> >being an "all or nothing" attempt.
> And the risk.  If the action has little risk and little effect it is
> a low AP bid.  That's by the rules.  And I'm inclined to say that
> that is the case here.

Are you saying that there's low physical risk from the swearing contest? Yes that's probably true as long as it stays a swearing contest...

> >   If you want to limit things based
> >on situation, then a situational modifier on the action's roll is
> >appropriate.
> Look if you can explain why high AP bids are appropriate to describe
> swearing at each other over who gets to cross the bridge first then
> please do so.  What's the risk if you lose ?

Losing face. Risk can be more than just physical. Let's say the cavalry guy doesn't charge but keeps the contest a swearing contest. He's driven down to a minor defeat. Not only does the infantry guy get to cross the bridge but the cavalry guy will suffer a -10% to any ability where his losing face will cause. For instance, the next time he tries to get his troops to "respect his authority", he'll suffer a -10% to his command troops. This will either last until he does something to regain the respect of others or until the incident is forgotten (a minor defeat so maybe only a season or so).

> What effect does
> swearing have that justifies knocking a lot of AP off the other guy
> if you win  ?

You have obviously never cussed or been cussed up one side and down another...

> So far as I can see it is low risk and likely to have
> little effect (if it can work at all).  And if that's the case then
> that *is* a low AP bid.  Strictly by the rules.

You are correct in that low risk should equal low AP bid. However, any kind of contest can have an action that means a lot of risk. Take a look at the "Sample Consequences" on p 65 and the "Sample AP Bids" on p 68. Of the categories listed, this is probably closest to social conflict. And look! A threat of physical harm! Pages 70 & 71 specifically cover switching abilities and withdrawing from a contest. Page 70, second paragraph under "Switching Abilities" states "...remember that advantage points measure advantage—how well the character is doing in the contest at the current moment. They do not measure proficiency; that is what the target number is for." In other words, you don't get worse just from being at low AP. The third paragraph continues "When you switch abilities, your goal does not necessarily change (although it might), just the means by which you pursue it. When you switch your goal itself, of course, the ability you use to pursue the new goal will probably change as well." Here it's talking about changing tactics. The goal (crossing the bridge first) hasn't changed, only the means (charging across rather than browbeating the other guy into letting you pass.)

While no one in the contest is trying to withdraw, the section covering withdrawing on the next page still applies with regard to charging changing the contest. I don't want to type in the couple of paragraphs there but I recommend reading them (as well as the previous three) again.


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