Re: Re: The Numbers

From: ASHLEY MUNDAY <aescleal_at_...>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 15:57:14 +0000 (GMT)

Even in a "storytelling game" or whatever pseudo chuff speak calls them these days the GM doesn't make "arbitrary" decisions. The decisions are usually based on three things:
  1. Consistency with the known world
  2. How much the GM wants it to happen
  3. Keeping the character conception alive

You don't have to have a detailed model of what happens in the real world to make a guess that fits all three.

So, for Whitewall to Whitewall via Boldhome (a) is answered by looking at a map ("Looks like a bloody long way, there are all those mountains and Sartar's roads haven't been the same since Bovis took over their maintenance"), (b) is answered by the GM deciding what is optimal to the story ("I'd like them to do it in plenty of time/I'd like it to be close/I'd like them to get back well after the bat's sat on the place") and (c) is answered by considering the geezer doing it ("Hervald's known for moving like shit off a shovel, if anyone could do it, he could/Hervald couldn't move that fast if he had the runs and the nearest khazi was in Boldhome").

Once you know the answers to those three questions (which take far longer to write up than do) you can come up with a difficulty, some examples:

Another trick is to work out the adventurer's ability before setting a difficulty. If they really work at augments and put a long time into describing what they're doing, consider giving them an easier time if it fits in with the story. How much time they spend preparing is a good way of working out how much it matters to the players. Someone who details the route he'll take to avoid storms Orlanth's told him about, uses relationships with clans he knows on the way to get new horses, talks to some Elves to get drugs to keep him awake and oratory to get the best horse in the city out of Broyan then he wants to succeed and will probably entertained everyone with the roleplaying. If all he says is "I'm using ride 2W2 augmented with Movement Affinity 1W" then sod 'em. The player obviously doesn't care that much, so do what's easiest for the story.



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