RE: Starting APs

From: Mikael Raaterova <ginijji_at_...>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 17:04:45 +0200

>From: Mikael Raaterova [mailto:ginijji_at_...]
>>In the case of Indy vs Arab Swordsman, the swordsman attacks with his
>>sword. I don't see why Indy can't simply defend himself with his gun.
>I suppose I was thinking that you can't parry a sword with a gun.

Well, neither do i. Indy is attacked by a swordsman and defends himself against this attack by, frex, shooting [at] him or firing warning shots.

Also, defending against an Enraged Uroxi Axewielder with your ability to Talk Calmingly, doesn't mean that you parry his axe with your mouth. This might just be me, but i'm not of the belief that the Calm Talker must first Dodge the Axewielder's attack and then, during his own initiative, Talk Calmingly to which the Uroxi must respond with a mental ability.

>I hadn't seen counter-attack as defence, me.

A counter-attack isn't especially *defensive* but it can well be a very appropriate action taken by the defender in order to thwart the attacker's attempt.

>I didn't think swordsman would
>be a good response to turn-to-frog.

Depends. If the Evil Meldek is too far away for the hapless swordsman to reasonably reach him in good time to stop the spell-casting, then, no, it isn't a good response. If the Evil Meldek (is stupid and) tries the frog thing while standing next to the swordsman who has his sword ready to deal death and agony, then it's a very good response; i'd give the swordsman a hefty bonus in this case.

>Well, even if you allow it, but with an improv penalty, that penalty
>clobbers your APs just because Meldek was first actor.

No, it clobbers your APs because you are trying a tactic that is sub-optimal and puts you at a disadvantage, contest-wise, hence the penalty.

>Someone challenges you to a game of cards. You accept, thinking to yourself
>that if this person is a cheat you'll chop his head off. You may be ok at
>cards but still figure that if the contest is likely to switch at some point
>from card playing to combat your better off answering with your combat
>ability (to get the high APs) even if the first thing you actually do is
>play cards.

Frankly, if a player insists on trying to win a game of cards with a *combat* ability and i, obviously temporarily insane at the time, didn't disallow it out of hand, then an *enormous* penalty would actually be too small. Since penalties at the very start of the contest also detracts from starting APs, where would that leave his starting APs?

As a narrator, i'd play this as two separate contests. If, during the cardgame contest, the player, say, successfully takes an unrelated action to find out that the opponent is cheating, then i'd surmise that the cardgame contest will end abruptly and that a get-my-money-back contest begins (which can be either verbal or bloody or verbal, then bloody).

>I generally agree that your starting APs should be governed by objective.
>The problem I can see is that objective is not necesserily determined by
>your first action in the encounter.

Rather, i'd say that your objective determines your action, not vice versa.

>So you make a statement of intent which
>encompasses some high rated ability to make sure you get the high starting
>APs, but then do the most appropriate thing for that stage of the encounter.

Not my cup of tea (or indeed any other beverage) at all. I *like* the rule that your first action determines starting APs; it suits my sense of reality.

>You face a Jack-O-Bear (pre-empting Anaxial) with claws 2w2 and Confuse
>10w1. You are a pretty handy swordsman 5w2, but the Jack-O-Bear gets in
>first with Confuse. Assuming your resistance to Confuse is 14, regardless of
>whether the JOB succeeds or not you are stuck on starting AP of 14 (instead
>of 45) against the JOBs 30. The JOB switches to claw for next round and you
>combat but you are, effectively, 30APs short of pocket.

Why am i not allowed to try to thwart his attempt to Confuse me by poking a sword in his eye (even if i'm penalized)? Also, why doesn't the JOB start with Claws? That'd give him 42 APs instead of 30.

>And remember, the JOB got this advantage on you just because he happened to
>have been first actor.

Only if you continue to be this stingy about what constitutes an allowable defence action.

>If you're saying his attempt to Confuse you can be answered by your sword
>ability, then we're just down to arguing improv penalties. Some people would
>say that answering a Confuse attempt by waving your sword would have 20
>penalty or more.

I'd say that the mods depends entirely on the situation. It can be a bonus, or it can be a penalty.

>I would deal with this by not using first actor at all, treat instead as a
>two man group contest.

I'm probably going to use the first-actor rule in group contests as well.

Mikael Raaterova        [.sig omitted on legal advice]

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