Look away - its an old woman!

From: Nick Hollingsworth <nick.hollingsworth_at_...>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 19:02:04 +0100

If you drop out of a contest before the end is there any effect?

Humakti, at the front of party of heros, attempts to out stare withered matriarch.
Withered matriarch has a few medium wins, Humakti recognizes he is close to losing.
Humakti drops out of contest and 'just wanders off' leaving rest of party behind.

I ruled he had had a minor defeat, on the grounds that he had lost face even if he
had not stayed for the final defeat, and assigned him a minor penalty. Was I right or am I a sadistic GM?

Do followers lend AP just by backing someone up?

Parties matriarch faces off against said withered matriarch, braces facial muscles for a good stare.
Withered matriarch whistles. Large number of family spill out of stead and form a block behind her. Silence descends. Massed staring ensues. Family includes 12 adults. Matriarch now on 2W (her skill) plus 36 bonus from 12 supporters = 58 skill points. Parties Matriarch worried.

Was I right to provide this level of benefit? Is there no law of diminishing returns from supporters?

Should a massive defeat in a non combat skill be Very Serious?

After a few exchanges and losses by both sides parties matriarch manages to transfer AP to her withered opponent, who then bids her full 58 points and wins sending parties matriarch to -56 or thereabouts.

The player decided the defeated PC, whose authority over her clan hung entirely on their unquestioning awe of her steel will, was broken by the exchange and fled, becoming a sad old shadow living on the edge of society. Thats the players right, but....

As a ref I was going to apply something that was a 'Dead' severity but to social standing. What would other folks have done... loss of the ability used (intimidate)?
loss of all abilities that related to authority? gain a flaw?
remove the character from play?

Never get into a staring contest with withered matriarchs.

We were horrified at the extreme result but, 1 - the player could have used a hero point to alter the fatal roll but we all forgot.
2 - I did not have to go for the kill. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it doesn't, but most npcs should not bid extreme amounts even for non-combat conflicts. That is if you want any PCs left.

Nick Hollingsworth
Birmingham - the land of the free and the home of the balti

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