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Question about Resisted & Contested action

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  • Question about Resisted & Contested action

    Hello guys! Just a question, how can we tell when a dice pool is a contested or resisted action?

    For example: a bribe or even intimidation, are contested or resisted actions?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
    Hello guys! Just a question, how can we tell when a dice pool is a contested or resisted action?

    For example: a bribe or even intimidation, are contested or resisted actions?
    Considering that in contested actions the successes scored by the defender doesn t subtract from that of the attacker, the general rule is that only action in which the numbers of successes scored is important are resisted.
    For example an attack is resisted by defence, because the number of successes are the number of base damages inflicted.
    A mind control power is contested, because if you succeed it doesn t matter if you score 1 or 3 successes

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
      Hello guys! Just a question, how can we tell when a dice pool is a contested or resisted action?

      For example: a bribe or even intimidation, are contested or resisted actions?
      It says in the book that actions are contested unless the number of successes matters (for anything other than determining whether it's an Exceptional Success) in which case it's instead resisted.
      Contested rolls are default by design since the design philosophy favours binary outcomes (success/failure). Combat is the major exception as damage is determined by number of successes, thus it is resisted by Defense.
      Edit: I might be mistaken, but I think combat might be the only instance of resisted rolls in the core book (barring a few erraneous example actions that should be contested). Various other games have special rules that may also use resisted rolls, but they're still quite uncommon.
      Last edited by Tessie; 12-16-2020, 09:50 AM.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • #4
        It is even more rare, but not against the rules, to have a Resisted Contest action.

        Forcing Doors is a Resisted action, as you convert Doors from a number of successful soft leverage actions you need to perform, to a Resistance trait instead. There is a trend in general to have social actions be Resisted rather than Contested. Though it seems to be somewhat of the opposite of the normal heuristic: it's about increasing chance that Dramatic Failures come up if you come at someone wrong socially, rather than how many successes you get.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          There is a trend in general to have social actions be Resisted rather than Contested.
          If you’re referencing “Common Actions,” they changed that starting with Changeling.

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          • #6
            I mentioned this in a similar thread once - while I think the Rule of Thumb is pretty good and should be the default, I do think there is some merit in going with Resisted rolls when you want to make things easier for the PCs. When committing Willpower to an action, even when the dice pool is penalized, your chance of Success (i. e. getting at least 1 success) tends to be better than if you had two similarly sized dice pools roll off against each other. This makes Resisted rolls much better if you want to bias the roll towards success while still tempting the player to spend resources (like Willpower). The exception of course is when the penalty is so great that even after Willpower they only have 1 or 2 dice.


            Politeness is the lubricant of social intercourse.

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            • #7
              Another thing to consider is how Supernatural Tolerance traits factor in.
              AFAIK, traits like Blood Potency, Primal Urge etc. are always used in Contested dice pools, they never add up to resist powers.

              For instance, Dominate Discipline powers are usually either:
              [some dice pool] vs Resolve + Blood Potency, or
              [some dice pool] - victim's Resolve

              I don't think I've ever seen something like:
              [some dice pool] - victim's Resolve - victim's Blood Potency

              Which means that it doesn't matter whether you're a neonate or an elder vampire with B.P. 10, you only rely on a single Attribute to resist some powers.
              Which is something that I don't totally agree with, but I guess it makes sense from a rules balance perspective.

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              • #8
                You're right in that contested rolls include Supernatural Tolerance while resisted rolls don't. That's because (as mentioned above; sorry for repeating myself) contested rolls have a binary outcome while resisted rolls have an outcome based on number of successes; it's easier to completely negate a contested roll because failing the roll means you take the full effect of the power, while resisted rolls means you're more likely to suffer the effects but your Resistance Attribute will limit how badly it affects you.
                But note that Supernatural Tolerance is only used for activation rolls for supernatural powers (and thus not something you need to consider unless you're homebrewing new powers). Regular contested rolls should all be Skill rolls (Attribute+Skill) or Attribute tasks (Attribute+Attribute). Unlike supernatural powers, regular contested rolls doesn't even have to include a Resistance Attribute depending on what the roll represents. For example, two people armwrestling would both roll Strength+Athletics to determine the winner.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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