Author Topic: Actions with Cost on a 10+  (Read 4022 times)

Sean F

  • User
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Actions with Cost on a 10+
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:48:17 AM »
When fictionally appropriate is it alright to treat 10+ successes as successes with cost?  Consider :


The Fighter plunges his sword into the Burrow Worm (10+), who is actively eating away at the castle's foundation.  The sword sinks to the hilt, based on the damage roll and the description of the action by the player.  "The worm pulls the sword from your hands, spraying ichor, as it re-enters the ground.  You can feel the trembling floor shake less for a few moments before their vibration begins RAPIDLY escalating again.  What do you do?"

The Flame Gollum's blast of fire seems never ending.  The Ranger stands, momentarily, from behind the tombstone and fires an arrow (10+) into the Gollum's face, killing it.  Having stood up into fire the Ranger takes damage regardless.

The Thief hides behind the only rock in the Red Dragon's lair, rolling 10+ on the group's custom move for setting up an ambush.  The Dragon is clued to the presence of the party, because she had a brief tussle with the Ranger outside.  Her standard action when entering her lair (decided beforehand, what the prep demands) is to breath fire into the *one* decent hiding spot in her lair which she's left for the sole purpose of tricking would-be heroes.  Does she?

The Cleric is halted by three guards of the Heathenistic city of the godkiller Prince.  He rolls Defy Danger CHA and gets 10+ to convince them his robes, coated in holy symbols, indicates he's a member of minor royalty, not a member of a religious sect and therefore not worth their attention.  "Fine, you may be on your way M'lord.  Sorry for the inconvenience, welcome to the godkiller Prince's domain." Cleric, to the party, still in the company of the guards : "Godkiller Prince?  That guy's the jerk with delusions of grandeur we wanted to kill, right?"  The guards pull their swords and sound the alarm.


This is my go-to for the "Deadly" monsters that crop up every two sessions or so.  You know, the Alpha Males of the dungeons.  You're not Defying Danger when you walk into the fire shield around the Lich, you're embracing it.  Accepting damage for the chance to deal some.  Right?

Borogove

  • User
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 04:15:10 AM »
Most of these sound like you just need to separate the move from the positioning and fiction that happens before and after the move.

The Fighter plunges his sword into the Burrow Worm (10+), who is actively eating away at the castle's foundation.  The sword sinks to the hilt, based on the damage roll and the description of the action by the player.  "The worm pulls the sword from your hands, spraying ichor, as it re-enters the ground.  You can feel the trembling floor shake less for a few moments before their vibration begins RAPIDLY escalating again.  What do you do?"

Fighter succeeds completely, then GM takes a golden opportunity (assuming you've got some kind of move for the Worm that applies).

Quote
The Flame Gollum's blast of fire seems never ending.  The Ranger stands, momentarily, from behind the tombstone and fires an arrow (10+) into the Gollum's face, killing it.  Having stood up into fire the Ranger takes damage regardless.

"I stand to fire an arrow." "There's flame everywhere; you'll need to **Defy Danger with CON** to endure it long enough to get a shot off." "Okay, fine. That's... 10 for the Defy Danger... and 11 for the Volley!"



Quote
The Thief hides behind the only rock in the Red Dragon's lair, rolling 10+ on the group's custom move for setting up an ambush.  The Dragon is clued to the presence of the party, because she had a brief tussle with the Ranger outside.  Her standard action when entering her lair (decided beforehand, what the prep demands) is to breath fire into the *one* decent hiding spot in her lair which she's left for the sole purpose of tricking would-be heroes.  Does she?

This is a little tricky; it's not possible to set up a successful ambush there, because the Dragon is going to blast it, but the party has no way to know that. I'd say that the ambush is abstractly successful -- some other critter passing through would get ambushed -- but the fiction demands that the Dragon does what she's supposed to do, so, again, I'm gonna give the Thief a Defy Danger to pull his cloak around him and not scream in pain -- after which, maybe the Dragon is fooled!

Quote
The Cleric is halted by three guards of the Heathenistic city of the godkiller Prince.  He rolls Defy Danger CHA and gets 10+ to convince them his robes, coated in holy symbols, indicates he's a member of minor royalty, not a member of a religious sect and therefore not worth their attention.  "Fine, you may be on your way M'lord.  Sorry for the inconvenience, welcome to the godkiller Prince's domain." Cleric, to the party, still in the company of the guards : "Godkiller Prince?  That guy's the jerk with delusions of grandeur we wanted to kill, right?"  The guards pull their swords and sound the alarm.

That seems like it might be confusion about what's said in-character vs. out-of-character. (Insisting that everything said at the table is in-character and in-scene is high-end GM rudeness, IMO.)

Either way, the Defy Danger was completely successful and the guards are convinced he's not a Cleric: end of move. When the guards hear he's here to kill the boss, though, they do what they do.

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 609
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 04:56:50 AM »
There's not a lot of being fans of the characters in the last two examples.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Sean F

  • User
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 07:19:50 PM »
Thanks Borogrove, that's exactly what I was looking for.  Rereading the examples with your notes I've realized most of them call for a opportunistic soft move (danger : incoming!) followed by a 'what do you do?'

Noclue, I *love* the party's members!  They're great, wonderfully unique, and fantastic at overcoming anything that gets in their way.  Admittingly the guard overhearing their conversation is a bit of a stretch, but I had been up for a while and was having a hard time crafting a specific instance of a character saying something offensive and provocative immediately after rolling fantastic to Defy Social Danger.

The Lich-Fire example I have no more shame about than starting in the middle of a dungeon at 3/4 hit points from all the badassery they've accomplished and violence they've lived through to get so deep.  Besides, they're great at coming up with ways to circumvent things like fire bubbles (which makes it easy for me to be a fan of them)

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 609
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 02:13:56 AM »
Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I meant the Thief and Cleric examples. I don't take issue with requiring someone to brave fire in order to hit a monster. That's just revealing an unwelcome truth and offering an opportunity with cost. As long as you make the choice apparent to the player.

I'm sure you love the characters, but I think part of being a Fan is reveling in their successes as much as complicating their lives. That Thief rolled to hide and got a 10+, but the GM rigged the game to take that success away. I don't think hiding in the place where the dragon always attacks is worth triggering a roll.

The cleric example is the same thing. He went to a lot of work to convince his way past the guards. That's cool.  I wouldn't have taken it away from him because the player made an offhand comment to his friends. We could assume the cleric wouldn't say that, just like the Cleric wouldn't say "what page are the basic moves on?"
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Antisinecurist

  • User
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 09:02:56 PM »
RE: the thief example...

Here's how I could see this going...

(Thief): Is there somewhere I could hide here? What's the cave like?
(GM): Sure, there's a rock outcropping that's not visible from the entrance, and it curves around, blocking sight from most of the cave. Plus, it's pretty dark.
(Thief): Sure, I'll slip behind it, press up close, and extinguish my torch.
(GM): Cool! Right before you put your torch out, though, you notice the wall in this alcove looks a bit different from the rest of the cave. What do you do?
(Thief): I take a closer look, bringing my torch up close. If it's safe, I try to rub the spot that's different.
[At this point, maybe a discern realities? But probably not even that, I'd probably just say.]
(GM): It looks like it's covered in dark dust, or maybe soot? It reminds you of the inside of a fireplace or furnace.

... at this point, I think sufficient information has been given for them to make a decision; if they stay here, they'll get blasted by fire, of course, but I'd give them a chance to evade. Or, maybe the ceiling is high enough that they could climb up and hang there, and they'd be outside of the breath's area, but they'd need to make a str or con roll to endure hanging up there for that long while they wait.

So, it's pretty much just part of the conversation, you show signs of danger and if they leave you a golden opportunity, you make your move...

Let me know what you think...
- Alex

Sean F

  • User
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Re: Actions with Cost on a 10+
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 01:37:40 AM »
Alex, I think if I had done it that way I wouldn't have any regrets about the session.  I'm not terribly upset with the way it turned out (they got singed a little, like 2 hp of damage, and the player seemed by his reaction to acknowledge that it was a logical thing for the dragon to do in the situation) but your answer would have been the ideal way to handle it.  That 'here's what you see, what do you do?' is the way we've been handling inanimate traps, why not handle ambush sites the same way?