Re: Contest Questions

From: Alexander Entelechy <alexanderentelechy_at_...>
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 18:53:00 -0700 (PDT)

You can check out TSOY here:


It has a few similarities to HQ that are interesting. In TSOY the extended contest basically allows for a ‘prize’ change’ but at any point, any party can give up and let the opposing side ‘win’.

This means you might want to give up before the other player decides to do something deadly or otherwise damaging.

As a matter of interest I think the two games with the best escalation mechanics are ‘Dogs in the Vineyard’ and ‘In a Wicked age’. The basic principle behind In a wicked age (and Tsoy to some extent) is do you take the damage to your stats or do you let your opponent gain his prize.

As applied to HQ it would work like this. Extended contests would go on indefinitely until one player has either lost all his stats and is effectively dead or out OR that player gives and the other player gains his prize. This would mean that you’d have to apply the penalties for wounds after each round instead of at the end of the contest. At the beginning of each round you’d also have a stage where you change your intent.


Doing all that involves hacking the rules a fair bit though, as written I think the subtleties of HQ really come down to who asks for the dice roll first. To go back to the mugging example. Adam changed his intent when Bruno drew his sword. Without any mechanical weight you’re playing free form at this point. ‘I do this’ ‘Ok so I do this’ ‘I do this then’ ‘So I do this in response’. HQ seems more geared towards just saying, Adams intent is to mug Bruno, Bruno’s intent in response is to kill Adam. Let’s roll and let the dice sort it out. Really this works because there’s always an initiating character and when he initiates his intent is fixed and he can’t change it until the conflict has been resolved (the dice have been rolled).

This still leaves the problem of the task/ability chosen being potentially damaging to another players integrity though. (Adam decides to use his intimidate to mug Bruno). In actual play we resolve this by veto but this can often be unsatisfactory. In this instance I think there are just better games for PvP play of this sort.

From: L C <lightcastle_at_...>
Subject: Re: Contest Questions
Date: Sunday, 4 October, 2009, 12:22 AM


                  Alexander Entelechy wrote:

>By the rules, extended contests have one prize, you can't change prize

during them.

That is my reading as well, yes.

>Otherwise the game would work in a similar way to The Shadow of

Yesteryear and that is a pretty good escalation mechanic.

I've never actually gotten a look at TSoY, could you say more? How would

it work like that?

>Only in HQ2 penalties are actually given out until the end of the

extended contest so the carrot/stick aspect of the extended contest

isn't there.

Is there a word missing in this sentence?

I am confused as to the meaning.

>If you applied penalities as they happened and allowed changing intent

before each part of the contest you would have a pretty awesome

escalation mechanic though.

Could you say more/give an example?


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