Author Topic: Rolling with +5  (Read 5030 times)

John Mc

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Rolling with +5
« on: September 18, 2010, 03:08:09 PM »
My players have designed their characters such that they're rolling +3 most of the time (they've got a stat up to +3 and substituted it where they can, then they do things like never read the sitch if Sharp is bad or never open their brain if Weird is low).  Whenever they get bonuses, which is often, they're rolling with +4.  I've even started hitting more and more situations where they've got +5 to the roll.  So here's my question:

When you've got +5 to 2d6, you can't get less than 7.  Does that mean you just can't Miss?  Is that cool?


The most common sources of bonuses are currently reading the sitch, and our Skinner's sex move.  She has tons of hold on people and spends it freely to help them out.  (She's never mean with it, in fact I don't know that any player has used HX to interfere either.)

Brand Robins

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 05:14:05 PM »
When the characters can swing it, why not? (And when you're later in the game and going for that 12+ you'll want to be able to hit a +5 to get it regularly.)

However, if its happening all the time it could be that you're going easy on the PCs. I mean, maybe not, but the fact that everyone is always helping and never interfering with each other sounds like the first few sessions I played, until I started:

1) Working the PC-NPC-PC triangles hard. When PCs are in an "us vs the world" mode they will be able to beat the crap out of lots of things. But when they get separated, have feuds, and are not working together where the Skinner can sleep with the Gunlugger and get the +1 forward and the hold to spend without the Gunlugger worrying that the Skinner is going to bone her over... well, then it gets harder.

(I'll note this is similar in my experience of Dogs. A group of Dogs who works together and never infights will tear almost anything that isn't a full grade sorcerer down in no time flat. Which is why you've got to get the Dogs fighting amongst themselves.)

2) Don't be kind with read the sitch. If they do what you say they get the +1. So tell them horrific shit to get it.

"What's my best move?"
"Shoot the 8 year old in the face and use her 6 year old sister as a human shield."

"How could I get you to let me into the secure area?"
"Give me the key to the skinner's room."

"Which enemy is most vulnerable to me?"
"The one that the skinner is in love with and will be pissed off if you hurt."

3) Sometimes moves don't come from the PCs, sometimes they come on the PCs. If characters with no sharp never roll read the sitch, then start throwing them into situations where they have no idea what is going on and, without a read, no way to find out. This, obviously, works better when the PCs aren't all working together, as being isolated and unprepared (to steal from another Baker game) are easier to accomplish on individuals.

Anyway, this is all speculative. I suppose the first question I should have asked is: How is it working out? Are you happy with the fiction that's being made? The flow of game? Their involvement and yours? Are they happy?

Chris

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2010, 02:06:31 AM »
The driver in my game two weeks ago rolled everything at +5 while in his car.

1) Working the PC-NPC-PC triangles hard. When PCs are in an "us vs the world" mode they will be able to beat the crap out of lots of things.

Yeah, this is a CA thing. PCs in AW can beat the crap out of anything period. It's just a game of broad percentages. AW as a game where you need to "beat" things is totally unsatisfying to me and was a real problem in my group.

All the things Brand suggests are awesome things to move the focus back to interesting situations rather than focusing on "winning", which is much more solid ground for AW.

If you can personally stand it, I'd see how long that game is fun for them. It's like playing basketball against a baby. The fun's gotta wear off sometime. Or you can have a big long CA talk.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

John Mc

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 04:15:03 PM »
Thanks guys, that's good input.  It's working right now, but I could certainly benefit from some more of those triangles.  :)

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 05:00:31 PM »
2) Don't be kind with read the sitch. If they do what you say they get the +1. So tell them horrific shit to get it.

"What's my best move?"
"Shoot the 8 year old in the face and use her 6 year old sister as a human shield."

Genius. Good stuff.

fnord3125

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 09:14:02 PM »
Yeah, this is a CA thing.
[. . .]
Or you can have a big long CA talk.
CA?  What's that mean?

mcdaldno

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 12:55:18 AM »
So, being powerful isn't necessarily a good thing.
Being able to do whatever the fuck you want isn't necessarily a good thing.

Because your actions have consequences, yeah?

Kicking someone's ass hurts them, and it hurts their circles of support, and it skews power dynamics. It makes good-hearted people go haywire. It brings trouble to a community.

Take the biggest, baddest ass-kicker you got, and put him in the way of the PCs. When they floor him, which they can easily do if they're gaming the system good, hes no longer the biggest ass-kicker. They are.

Now they're suddenly focal to all the problems that people have. Either they're needed in order to bring salvation to the community, or they're the ones who're keeping the poor from getting rich, or they're the ones that need to be taken out in order to bring the revolution.

Being preternaturally powerful in a world this paranoid, self-flagellating and ugly is not a recipe for easy livin'. It's a recipe for trouble.

And not all forms of trouble are easily bested. Because once they've floored the biggest, baddest ass-kicker you've got... everything else you throw at them is piercingly human.

Mike Sands

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 02:25:33 AM »
Joe speaks truth.

My battlebabe Sunset is living that scenario, because of my special problem solving technique (i.e. "shoot the dude who is a problem").

DWeird

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 07:10:40 AM »
1) Working the PC-NPC-PC triangles hard. When PCs are in an "us vs the world" mode they will be able to beat the crap out of lots of things. But when they get separated, have feuds, and are not working together where the Skinner can sleep with the Gunlugger and get the +1 forward and the hold to spend without the Gunlugger worrying that the Skinner is going to bone her over... well, then it gets harder.

Did this change from the playtest doc? I still don't happen to have the end ruleset (poor as the dirt!), but if I remember right...

PC-NPC-PC triangle =/= Driving wedges between PCs.

The function of Triangles is to bring possibly disparate stories together, I do believe. Say there's a PC Battlebabe who spends her time swinging between buildings with her endless chains, beating up local toughs and freeing their sex-slaves... And a partly insane Savvyhead all cooped up in his little booby-trapped tech-tower, sucking secrets out of the maelstorm. They might know of each other, but their two stories will be completelly unrelated if you play them.

Until you do this:

"So, Battlebabe... that tough you just offed, he's the right hand of the local warlord, Millions."
"So, Savvyhead... You say you don't have any legs anymore, right? Well, Millions still has one of them."

And there you have it! Instant connection between the PCs.

Driving wedges between characters isn't not-good per se, I do believe. It's just not it's primary function.

Re: Rolling as high as you can!

I have actually figured out a way to roll +X in AW.

Skinner +3 Hot.
Savvyhead Oftener Right
No Shit Driver / Car +3 Looks (due to Savvyhead).
Perfect Instincts +2.

As long as the MC's (and, er, Savvyhead's) answer is "drive around everywhere while wiggling your ass through the window", you can roll +9. Or possibly +10 or +11 if you get help and some sort of sex bonus.

At UF, you'd get a conga line of allies going after that car!

Arvid

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 03:39:44 PM »
As long as the MC's (and, er, Savvyhead's) answer is "drive around everywhere while wiggling your ass through the window", you can roll +9. Or possibly +10 or +11 if you get help and some sort of sex bonus.

At UF, you'd get a conga line of allies going after that car!

Hahaha

Win.

On triangles, the book is pretty clear that they're about nuancing and activating PC's rather than bind them together.

Bret

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 06:46:55 PM »
Did this change from the playtest doc? I still don't happen to have the end ruleset (poor as the dirt!), but if I remember right...

PC-NPC-PC triangle =/= Driving wedges between PCs.
I can't quote rules at you, but it CAN mean driving wedges, it just doesn't always.

Bosch is in love with Saffron, talks shit about people and complains about the rash on his ass to Buzz, but feels threatened by Batty and will undermine him. That sort of thing.

It's about giving them interesting, human relationships with the different PCs that affects how the PCs interact with that NPC and with each other. You don't treat the different people in your life in a uniform (or helpful!) fashion, and neither do the NPCs. It's like that.

Sometimes that means wedges. And other times that just means giving the different PCs insights into different sides of the NPC.
Tupacalypse World

DWeird

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 09:38:37 PM »
Bret - I happen to agree, as far as we're talking about what happens in play. But what happens in play is not what the MC is supposed to be doing! Look how that sentence doesn't even make sense.

"The MC's job is to drive wedges between the PCs" =/= "The MC's job is to create PC-NPC-PC triangles, which sometimes can create wedges."

But this, even if I'm right about it, is probably not too relevant from the point of the initial worry.

As for those... Yes, on a +5 you just can't miss (ugly choices still abound in some cases, though!). And yes, that's okay. I had a Driver ramp off a car and into a warlord's face with a +4 or +5, and it was a very good moment for me (I spent most of the game before being brainraped, being saved, and being picked on). I happen to rather like the little bits of mini-munchinking, too! Makes me feel all clever. Hee!

But if you're rolling that high, you're riding your character on some conditional clause. Something read, being in a car, having had sex with somebody. All of those are open to mess with! MC's answers are covered. Cars have weaknessess! You don't have to miss a roll for them to come into play, you know. If you want to discourage sex-bonuses somewhat, all it takes is asking "So, are you guys using protection?" in your best faux-friendly voice.

The possibilities are endless!

Simon C

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Re: Rolling with +5
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 10:42:26 PM »
Also! Remember, if you do it, you do it.

So if they're like "Ok, what's going on here?" They're reading a sitch. No getting out of rolling the dice.