Re: Contest minutiae.

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:58:38 +0100 (BST)

> >In a narrative game, my point is you can hardly blame 'the system'
> >for producing ridiculous results -- the question is, if such are
> >produced, why did you you chose game mechanical tools from the set
> >provided (and the larger set you're implicitly mandated to 'wing')
> >that would _produce_ ridiculous results?

Michael Cule:
> The hidden assumption in your statement is that there is some set of
> rules provided that doesn't. And if I have to 'wing' it to such an
> extent that I throw the rules out of the window more often than not then
> the game has limited utility as a product to me.

Since I addressed that point explicitly, it has hardly implicit, nor indeed an assumption... I think the 'toolset' _is_ broad enough to do what it's touted as. You just have to be none to shy about whacking in the occassional screw with the flat side of a torque wrench, as it were. (And to ignore the siren voices on this list who will on the one side, tell you to apply every single rule in HW as if it were an Avalon Hill sub-sub-sub paragraph, and those that tell you Rules Problems Don't Matter Due To Narrative Considerations, Anyway, on the other.)

> What I'm after (and what I'll probably end up writing) is a system that
> allows my players to say: I want to try ABC (whether that's a combat
> move, an appeal to the clan chief or a magical invocation) and I can
> after one dice roll: the result of that attempt was XYZ and then go on
> to the next thing. Which the peculiar 'suspended resolution' of the AP
> system doesn't permit.

I think this is only any sort of 'issue' in combat, and is an oft-exaggerated one, at that. It's also something of a caricature to call it 'suspended resolution': rather, it simply assumes that (aside from wounding), nothing _irreversible_ happens in a contest until the end. Which if one thinks about it, is pretty much true, no? The fact that you swung from the chandelier and landed on top of a guardsman isn't 'suspended', just whether you broke a collarbone in the process (yours or his). (i.e., you din't, since the contest is still going on, and you're not talking massive hurt penalties.)

Aside from perhaps an annoying asymmetry between 'AP results' and 'hurt results', I've seen no especially telling critique of the rules for optional wounding, and grievous wounds. (Though much sotte voce muttering, to be sure...)


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