Re: Two goals?

From: L.Castellucci <lightcastle_at_...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 09:07:17 -0400

On September 24, 2007 05:59 am, Neil Smith wrote:
> My mistake in quoting the wrong message. I got the impression that people
> had forgotten that goals can be switched during an EC.

Ahh. Nope, not the issue here. (Although the "switch goals keep the AP" has been seized on by more than one player as a tactic - i.e. "I challenge him to a dance contest" and then when winning "I kill him" or "I ask him to free the hostages" or whatever.)

> > Then there's the issue of "did he just switch goals because his original
> > goal was taken away"? -- that's something that I'm really not sure how to
> > model in the rules.
> I'll now embarrass myself by my lack of geek credentials by admitting that
> I can't recall the scene in detail. But how about this as a rules-speak
> version of it?

Heh. I only have this level of detail because I saw it right before I typed this question.

> Initially, Vader's goal is to trap Luke in the carbonite. He does this by
> using his 'Lightsabre Combat' ability, augmented by his 'Intimidate' and
> 'The Power of the Dark Side Flows Through Me' abilities. They have a
> back-and-forth and Vader realises that they're fairly evenly matched when
> it comes to fighting.

Not sure how evenly matched, but so far so good.

> However, Vader also notices that Luke's augments with his 'I Follow the
> Light Side' aren't adding much. Knowing that the goal is to turn Luke,
> Vader then switches goals to convert Luke to the dark side.

Ahh... what you are forgetting is what prompted this. If this was the flow, it wouldn't have nagged at me.

Rather, Vader and Luke battle. To be honest, what Vader is using on his turn has a lot to do with what one thinks his ultimate goal is here. Is he using lightsabre combat augmented with "If only you knew the power of the dark side"? Or vice versa?

He drives Luke back and Luke falls into the Carbon Freezing pit.

"All too easy," Vader muses, and flips the switch activating the machine.

Luke jumps out of the machine before it freezes him.

"Impressive," Vader says, "Most Impressive."

THERE is my question.

Vader got him to a trap (his stated goal) and then sprung the trap. He failed.

So... how does that work? Was there one contest in which Vader got a marginal victory and then a whole new contest started? Was there never a goal for the carbonite? Was Vader winning, bid enough to freeze Luke and lost that exchange, and the ref ruled "well, you sprang the trap and so now that option is out - you can switch goals if you can come up with something interesting"? Was it always a contest about converting Luke and the carbonite was either an unrelated contest or just an AP bid that was expected to give mechanical bonus?

> This is mainly
> governed by Vader's 'The Power of the Dark Side Flows Through Me' augmented
> by 'Lightsabre Combat' (to prevent Luke having time to think and hence
> offset his 'Consider Yoda's Teachings' ability). A few more exchanges of
> banter, then...
> Luke loses.
> Minor Defeat. The hand is severed. -10% for all physical actions (has to
> use off-hand to fight).

OK, I'd go major, but that's me.

> Vader then goes for his Parting Shot with his 'You are Voldemort's father'
> revelation. This pushes Luke down to Major Defeat. -50% to all abilities
> when resisting the call of the Dark Side. Rather than risk another
> confrontation with Vader, Luke leaves the scene the only way he can.
> He's now nagged by doubts about all he's been taught and (IIRC) spends much
> of the next film moping around.

Well, he spends it being dark and looking more and more like the enemies he is supposedly fighting.

> How does that sound?

Good except for the bit about the carbonite.

It also brings up the "setting up for another goal" issue. Mechanically, I suspect the rules don't allow this, although I could be very wrong (especially if one is allowing mechanical effects for AP changes and considering that there is no reason effects from one contest can't carry to another). Namely, if he HAD succeeded in the carbonite gambit, does all of Vader's prep work about using the Dark Side he did on Luke count as a bonus on the eventual "turn young Skywalker to the Dark Side" contest later?

> > And this is a solution I keep coming back to - that AP bids are allowed
> > to cause mechanical effects.
> A good solution and it works.
> I'm playing Dogs in the Vineyard at the moment. In that game, all
> exchanges in an extended conflict are expected to both move you closer to
> your goal as well as having all sorts of other effects. Sometimes, those
> other effects mean you give up on your goals. Frex, the other week we had
> the PCs trying to exorcise the demons from a couple of young, unmarried
> lovers. As their go, he decided to enact their suicide pact. The PCs
> conceded their exorcism goal, rather than see the youngsters die.

>From what little I know of DitV, the escalation aspect of the mechanics
specifically are geared for such things. I'm not convinced that translates to HQ. It is the morning and I should be working, but I know I had a reason for not liking the double-dip method of mechanical effects plus AP shift. This could be a purely aesthetic aspect, but I seem to remember having issues with it. PErhaps, in retrospect, they are social contract issues only.

It may even give us our pyrrhic victories back. If I can produce mechanical effects without having to sacrifice AP, then it becomes narrator's decision whether or not any of those survive the contest. (Of course, this seems explicitly against the rules as written, but most of us have wanted some way to do pyrrhic victories anyway.)


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