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  • Contested actions

    Hi all,
    I was reading again the Contested action paragraph on the book and I'm worried I've always ruled it wrongly.
    I've always gone for: whoever won the contested roll considered the full amount of successes rolled and not just the difference between his and opponent's ones. But reading again:

    "You roll your dice pool and the Storyteller (or
    other player) rolls the dice pool for the other party. Whoever
    rolls the most successes is the victor. Note that you count
    the total number of successes rolled when working out if you
    scored an exceptional success — don’t subtract the other party’s successes from yours."

    Seems to me that it's apply just if the winner scores at least an exceptional success. While, for any other successes amount, it is supposed to be just the difference between the two rolls.
    Did I get it correctly?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
    Hi all,
    I was reading again the Contested action paragraph on the book and I'm worried I've always ruled it wrongly.
    I've always gone for: whoever won the contested roll considered the full amount of successes rolled and not just the difference between his and opponent's ones. But reading again:

    "You roll your dice pool and the Storyteller (or
    other player) rolls the dice pool for the other party. Whoever
    rolls the most successes is the victor. Note that you count
    the total number of successes rolled when working out if you
    scored an exceptional success — don’t subtract the other party’s successes from yours."

    Seems to me that it's apply just if the winner scores at least an exceptional success. While, for any other successes amount, it is supposed to be just the difference between the two rolls.
    Did I get it correctly?

    Generally contested rolls don't care how many successes there are, as they are all-or-nothing effects. What specific contested actions are you concerned with, that the amount of successes would matter?


    My Bloodline conversions
    My House rules

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Griautis View Post


      Generally contested rolls don't care how many successes there are, as they are all-or-nothing effects. What specific contested actions are you concerned with, that the amount of successes would matter?
      Dealing damage while grappling comes to mind.


      Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Griautis View Post


        Generally contested rolls don't care how many successes there are, as they are all-or-nothing effects. What specific contested actions are you concerned with, that the amount of successes would matter?
        Well during a grapple in example as it is greatly affecting damages

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        • #5
          Dodged attack rolls as well.

          Quick edit: Counter attacks from Merits as well, though they are usually modified Dodge rolls.


          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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
            Dodged attack rolls as well.

            Quick edit: Counter attacks from Merits as well, though they are usually modified Dodge rolls.
            I guess dodge roll is a bit an exception here as it is stated it will reduce the attacker successes by one for each success rolled in a dodge.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Marcus View Post
              I guess dodge roll is a bit an exception here as it is stated it will reduce the attacker successes by one for each success rolled in a dodge.
              You could see it as a ruling or as a clarification (since it's by far the most common opposed roll where the amount of successes matter, and the design philosophy is to not have such rolls).
              We run it as the latter and have house ruled the Exceptional Success part as also counting successes in excess of the opponent's. Otherwise you might end up in weird situations where you're just barely managed to do something while also gaining extra benefits for doing it so well. Like Dominate 5: Roll 5 vs 4 and you have such a hard time keeping the victim under control that you're ejected after a single night but also "slip into the victim's body with ease" because it was an Exceptional.


              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                You could see it as a ruling or as a clarification (since it's by far the most common opposed roll where the amount of successes matter, and the design philosophy is to not have such rolls).
                We run it as the latter and have house ruled the Exceptional Success part as also counting successes in excess of the opponent's. Otherwise you might end up in weird situations where you're just barely managed to do something while also gaining extra benefits for doing it so well. Like Dominate 5: Roll 5 vs 4 and you have such a hard time keeping the victim under control that you're ejected after a single night but also "slip into the victim's body with ease" because it was an Exceptional.
                Dominate 5 is Resisted by Resolve, not Contested.


                Personally the way I run it for Grapple, whoever wins the contest gets the full benefit of their successes because as a brutal struggle for control it makes sense to me that the successes aren't cancelled and grappling gets incredibly tedious otherwise.
                Last edited by proindrakenzol; 04-14-2019, 09:11 AM.


                Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

                  Dominate 5 is Resisted by Resolve, not Contested.


                  Personally the way I run it for Grapple, whoever wins the contest gets the full benefit of their successes because as a brutal struggle for control it makes sense to me that the successes aren't cancelled and grappling gets incredibly tedious otherwise.

                  If it is just to simplify the fight ok. But non the less sounds weird to me that all the efforts someone else is putting into "contensting" your grapple are simply ignored.
                  Let's extremize:

                  1. The winner rolls 4 successes the opponent 0. It results into 4 successes/Damages

                  2. The winner rolls 4 successes the opponents 3. It still results into 4 damages altought the opponent made a much better roll than in example 1.

                  But as I said, if it is just to make it simplier that's fine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marcus View Post


                    If it is just to simplify the fight ok. But non the less sounds weird to me that all the efforts someone else is putting into "contensting" your grapple are simply ignored.
                    Let's extremize:

                    1. The winner rolls 4 successes the opponent 0. It results into 4 successes/Damages

                    2. The winner rolls 4 successes the opponents 3. It still results into 4 damages altought the opponent made a much better roll than in example 1.

                    But as I said, if it is just to make it simplier that's fine.
                    It's mostly to make it simpler, yes.

                    And that example isn't terribly extreme, it actually happened in my game yesterday. The way I justify it from an in-universe perspective is that in most grapples one person's sum of movements do not cancel out the other's; some movements add to your opponent, others subtract, so for abstraction you just assume that any counter movement is balanced by reinforcing movement with the winner of the contest directing the ultimate resulting consequence.


                    In the 4 successes vs 3 successes example the actor with 3 successes is not trying to simply nullify the other actor, they're trying to exert control and failing; and exertion of control in a grapple is more complicated than simply doing the opposite of what the other person is doing.

                    Contrast this to the dodge action, where the defender is trying to nullify and nothing else.
                    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 04-14-2019, 10:02 AM.


                    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

                      Dominate 5 is Resisted by Resolve, not Contested.


                      Personally the way I run it for Grapple, whoever wins the contest gets the full benefit of their successes because as a brutal struggle for control it makes sense to me that the successes aren't cancelled and grappling gets incredibly tedious otherwise.
                      Ah. I was considering multiple examples and mixed them up. Say Dominate 1 instead: You struggle to overcome the victim's resolve but also do it so easily you get to give commands the first turn.

                      As for grappling, it would only be tedious compared to any other sort of combat if both participants are somewhat evenly matched and don't have high enough dice pools for natural variation to have much of an impact, also only if they both resolve to damage moves rather than any of the other manoeuvres.
                      If you don't cancel successes you instead run into the problem that damage moves deal damage as if the opponent didn't have Defense. This is made worse by the fact that grappling someone forces them to use their grapple dice pool instead of whatever dice pool they would normally use. That is already a huge advantage for grappling characters. Adding the unmitigated damage would make mincemeat out of anyone who hasn't focused on Strength+Brawl if a grappler manages to break through their Defense once to initiate the grapple.


                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                        Ah. I was considering multiple examples and mixed them up. Say Dominate 1 instead: You struggle to overcome the victim's resolve but also do it so easily you get to give commands the first turn.
                        I interpret it differently.

                        The Success/Fail condition is binary. Struggling to overcome the victim's resistance would be represented by having to use the power multiple times before succeeding, otherwise you've overcome their resistance.

                        The Exceptional Success condition is for when you succeed and you've managed to put enough english on your mesmerize that it has extra effect after breaking past their defenses.

                        This one I could see deciding it removes successes as it is directly attempting to nullify the incoming power.

                        As for grappling, it would only be tedious compared to any other sort of combat if both participants are somewhat evenly matched and don't have high enough dice pools for natural variation to have much of an impact, also only if they both resolve to damage moves rather than any of the other manoeuvres.
                        Exceptional successes on grapple rolls allow for two maneuvers, allowing them to happen more often speeds thing up even if damage isn't chosen.

                        If you don't cancel successes you instead run into the problem that damage moves deal damage as if the opponent didn't have Defense. This is made worse by the fact that grappling someone forces them to use their grapple dice pool instead of whatever dice pool they would normally use. That is already a huge advantage for grappling characters. Adding the unmitigated damage would make mincemeat out of anyone who hasn't focused on Strength+Brawl if a grappler manages to break through their Defense once to initiate the grapple.
                        Yeah, grappling is really good, there's a reason so many MMA fights end in a grapple.


                        If you want to provide an alternate dice pool, maybe think about a house rule of allowing Dex + Athletics in a grapple, where Dex + Athletics successes negate Str + Brawl successes, and if the person rolling Dex + Athletics wins their only option is to break the grapple.


                        Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                          I interpret it differently.

                          The Success/Fail condition is binary. Struggling to overcome the victim's resistance would be represented by having to use the power multiple times before succeeding, otherwise you've overcome their resistance.

                          The Exceptional Success condition is for when you succeed and you've managed to put enough english on your mesmerize that it has extra effect after breaking past their defenses.
                          Discipline activations already favours the user so generally it never takes more than one roll (and you don't always have the option for a second roll as people react to the first) so I think you lose a lot of granularity (roleplaywise, not mechanically in most cases) if you equate barely succeeding with your roll with succeeding with ease. Specifically the in-character clutch moments when they know they barely succeeded in overcoming their target's defences.
                          We also want to remove the whole crit-or-miss problem that would otherwise plague high level play. Luckily Exceptionals doesn't usually have that great effects so it's not as much of an issue. The number of Conditions can be, though.

                          Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                          Yeah, grappling is really good, there's a reason so many MMA fights end in a grapple.
                          MMA fights ending in grapples is already represented in how the participant who is less likely to want to be in a grapple is also the one who has a harder time breaking the grapple. No need to give additional advantages to the participant who has already trapped and severely limited their opponent's options and is also likely to be the only one who gets to take an instant action most turns until either breaks.

                          Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
                          If you want to provide an alternate dice pool, maybe think about a house rule of allowing Dex + Athletics in a grapple, where Dex + Athletics successes negate Str + Brawl successes, and if the person rolling Dex + Athletics wins their only option is to break the grapple.
                          Thanks but we've already decided on how we're handling it. I'm just explaining why because I think it might help enhance the experience for people who read this and decide to try it out.
                          A dedicated grapple dodge manoeuvre is a really good idea, though, when playing it your way.
                          Last edited by Tessie; 04-14-2019, 11:51 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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                          • #14
                            Just to chime in here as I have some experience with grappling: The losers efforts certainly can and do negate the victors efforts. Say Victor gets a choke hold but Loser moves and resists in ways that keep his blood flowing and cancel out or minimize the "damage" from the hold. Next turn Loser is able to pry Victors grip off and force Victor to switch to a different move.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post




                              Yeah, grappling is really good, there's a reason so many MMA fights end in a grapple.
                              One possible moral to the story: don't enter fights alone if you can avoid it. When Victor is grappling you, have Bud shoot him in the face.

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