Re: Look away - its an old woman!

From: KYER, JEFFREY <jeff.kyer_at_...>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 15:45:47 -0400

Nick Hollingsworth wrote:
> Question:
> If you drop out of a contest before the end is there any effect?
> Example:
> 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?

You were generous. I'd have given him a social 'wound' for his fleeing. If he was really unlucky he could end up with a bad etiphet like 'Dropstare' or 'The Unsteady.' The Hero elected to retreat from the contest, and conceeded the field to his oponent -- was that a particular Troublesome Matriarch, btw?  

> Question:
> Do followers lend AP just by backing someone up?
> Example:
> 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.

Depends. If the 'staredown' was to be only between the two of them, I'd say that they were not able to use it. But your math looks okay. Remember, the followers are subject tot he same effects as the matriarch... gradually they will drop from the contest, demoralized by the enemy's apparent un-starablity.  

> Was I right to provide this level of benefit? Is there no law of
> diminishing returns from supporters?
> Question:
> Should a massive defeat in a non combat skill be Very Serious?


> Example:
> 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.

Ouchie. She's probably utterly demoralized and depressed. Critical Injury would apply, yes.  

> 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?

Sounds fair. But I'd have let the PC's add AP's to the PLAYER matriarch. To do otherwise would be unfair to the Heroes... Which, apparently did not happen.

Bringing a bunch of folks to help in a one-one-one situtation is a bit stinky, IMHO.  

> Corollary:
> 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.

Ah, OOPS. That's a bad.

> 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.

And using mulitple followers to boost what is a single person exchange is a bit unfair. I'd have let the other PC's lend APs or augment their champion.  


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