Re: Re: Mythic Russia, and Pyrrhic Victories

From: Jakob Pape <chaomancer_at_...>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 18:55:07 +0100

On 8/1/07, Tim Ellis <tim_at_...> wrote:
> Mike suggests it's a matter of framing, but I think his example lets
> his argument down. I'd suggest it's not a complete victory that
> leaves you dying in the town square of Marathon having delivered the
> message but a marginal victory or even a defeat. I'd accept the
> idea that if the PC's have decided to deliver the message, then the
> message will be delivered - the elements of uncertainty, and
> therefore drama are how long it will take, and what toll it will
> take on the messenger

I had a player do something like that, in my game. The group was trying to save an important NPC from magical attack, and things weren't going so well - the lightning bolt was in the air already. The player, who's character was a guard and pretty fanatical about protecting those he looked after, declared he would jump in the way and take the blast. So I asked him to give me a total.

It was awful. He had nothing related to speed, or movement. All he had were his 'unflinchingly brave'-style traits; nothing to actually perform the action, but plenty to motivate it.

So I asked what he did have, and he was Made of Stone 10w, Tough, and so forth. He could make a fantastic total for absorbing damage. We decided to roll for that instead, to assume he made it into the way - the check was for how badly that went for him. A much more interesting contest than his pretty much guaranteed failure at the other one would have been. Of course, he rolled a 20 and I a 1, so that was the end of Moranus; but he saved the king and was a hero even so.

Framing the more interesting contest seemed to work pretty well. Sorry for dragging out another combat example, though.

Jakob Pape

"Sometimes subtlety comes in the form of large explosions and jammed open
airlock doors."

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