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PER vs Camo and Sneak
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Author:  Crow Caller [ Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  PER vs Camo and Sneak

Hey guys, an issue came p in our game last night, an assassin was hiding in the rigging of one of our ships whilst aiming at a PC on our other ship that was about 50m away. I was on the Ship with the Assassin and so got to make a PER to spot him, however the PC on the other Ship was not allowed a PER to spot him because the GM ruled he was too far away.

The PC died as a result, so we decided we'd try to find out if there was any distance limits/penalities on PER checks. One suggestion I made was to require a MoS of 1 for every 10m the Stealthing Target is from you. So if the Assassin is hiding 50m from you, you need to roll your PER vs his Camo and beat him by a MoS of 5. Does this sound fair? Does anyone have any other suggstions? Are there actually rules governing this that we just couldn't find?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Cheers & God Bless You!

Author:  Ian.Plumb [ Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PER vs Camo and Sneak

Crow Caller wrote:
I was on the Ship with the Assassin and so got to make a PER to spot him, however the PC on the other Ship was not allowed a PER to spot him because the GM ruled he was too far away.


Golly, that is a harsh interpretation.

If anything the situation should increase the chance of the PC on the other ship spotting the assassin. The PC has every reason to be looking at the other ship -- what else is there to look at out at sea? -- and the distance increases the chance of the assassin being in the field of view of the PC at any particular moment.

I mean -- how could you rule that the character is too far away to see the assassin, yet the assassin is able to slay the PC at that same distance?

Logic aside for the moment -- from a mechanics perspective, was there a reason that the PC didn't spend a Luck point to survive this encounter? Or was this the culminating scene of the campaign (strange one though it seems)?

From a mechanics perspective the TN determines the difficulty of the manoeuver, the MoS determines how well the manoeuver was performed. So a high TN would be appropriate for the roll -- giving the PC an opportunity to spend a Luck/Drama point to convert one of the dice to a success if the roll was failed, thereby spotting the assassin.

Regards,

Author:  Crow Caller [ Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PER vs Camo and Sneak

Hey Ian, I agree the interprettion was a harsh one but what can you do? We didn't know the rules enough to discuss them so it was all up to the GM.

The Scene was the result of a bad combination of Flaws chosen by the PC (Evil Twin/Skeletons in the Closet). He had been the vivtim of several Assassination attempts prior to this one, and we were aware that somewhere aboard the two ships there were three Assassins, we managed to kill one in a trap when he returned to his stash of weapons. The other two evaded us. This was the second assassin, the third was a mercahnt traveling with us that we all knew was the third but had no proof. Happily however in Norse society sometimes the only proof you need is your sword, it turns out he wasn't much of a duelist ;)

The PC chose not to use a Dram Point to reduce the level 5 wound in his chest because the bolt was poisoned and he would most likely have still ended up insane or something like that, and since he wasn't allowed a PER check at all we didn't think about using a Drama point to automatically succeed.

The worst part of it all is that the other PC in the group had been contacted prior to the other PC's death and told that if he didn't dispatch our friend he'd find a price on his head too. So now our friend is dead and the Assassins still plague us. Luckily we think e have the solution... we are going to war with the man rsponsible for sending them (I know it would be more simply to simply Assassinate him, but my Character is unable to use such underhanded means due to his Conscience and his Oath, not to mention good old fashioned Norse honour).

Cheers & God Be With You!

Author:  Ian.Plumb [ Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PER vs Camo and Sneak

Crow Caller wrote:
The Scene was the result of a bad combination of Flaws chosen by the PC (Evil Twin/Skeletons in the Closet). He had been the vivtim of several Assassination attempts prior to this one, and we were aware that somewhere aboard the two ships there were three Assassins, we managed to kill one in a trap when he returned to his stash of weapons. The other two evaded us. This was the second assassin, the third was a mercahnt traveling with us that we all knew was the third but had no proof. Happily however in Norse society sometimes the only proof you need is your sword, it turns out he wasn't much of a duelist ;)


I don't mean this to be critical of your referee. Refereeing is a difficult task. Below is simply my view and relates largely to how we play the game -- and, therefore, may not be suited to your game whatsoever.

I have played in games where the emphasis was on the accuracy of the presentation of the game world. It was supposed to feel like medieval Europe. The player party entered a town to find that there was a serious illness sweeping the town. On declaring that we'd all been exposed to the illness the referee asked us to roll our saving throw. One player failed the roll, and so the character grew sick and over the next two or three game days died. At the time we thought it was a bummer, but, you know, the player made the roll so there was nobody to blame but his own bad luck.

In TRoS, PCs shouldn't die deaths that serve no purpose to the narrative of the story. TRoS, with its SAs, is all about the referee designing scenes that revolve around what the players have told him, via the SAs, they want the game to be about and the players engaging with the referee's material because the game is about what interests them.

When I look at this scene, as described, I see a poor result for the game. I ask myself:

Why did the referee want that character to die at that moment? Player deaths, like main character deaths in stories and movies, only occur at pivotal moments in the plot. For them to occur at any other time is simply a waste of effort for everyone. The players has to create a new character, the referee has to weave that character into the ongoing tale somehow -- it's work for everyone, and until it is done the main plot usually stagnates or at least loses momentum.

Did the player see their character design fulfilled? Was it time for them to move on? Were the SAs resolved in that scene, making it an opportune time for the character to perish and add pathos to the narrative?

Did the other players at the table have their own enjoyment of the game boosted by the scene resolution? The interlinking of SAs between characters is designed with the idea that scenes will be enjoyable for more players (more characters SAs are firing, more players are engaging with the material and not just playing out the scene with a sense of duty to the referee).

This scene is a setup. If this were a scene in a movie, we'd have a close-up of the character chatting to someone on the ship -- and then he dies with an arrow through his heart. If you were watching this movie, having invested time in getting to know the character and start identifying with him, you'd be sitting their wondering what was going on. What was the point of having the character in the movie if his death doesn't move the plot forward somehow?

Crow Caller wrote:
The PC chose not to use a Dram Point to reduce the level 5 wound in his chest because the bolt was poisoned and he would most likely have still ended up insane or something like that, and since he wasn't allowed a PER check at all we didn't think about using a Drama point to automatically succeed.


Referee: "So what is Jamar doing after breakfast?"
Player: "Time to take a stroll on deck, stretch my legs, fill my lungs with that glorious sea air!"
Referee: "Fine. You head up onto the deck. The Lakslaander is perhaps fifty yards from your own vessel. She is riding the choppy swell with ease and you can hear both crews shouting to each other across the waves. You glance up the main mast rigging where one of the sailors is climbing up rather nimbly. As you do so an arrow takes you through the chest. Level 5 wound. You die. Time to roll up a new character."
Player: "I'll spend a Luck point. As the arrow hums my way the sailor who was swabbing the deck in front of me stands, and the arrow takes him through the shoulder. I dive towards the entrance to the lower deck."

In other words spend the point to alter the game world slightly.

At this point we have a tense situation, there is confusion -- and drama. This is the referee's goal, character-based drama rather than situation-based drama.

Regards,

Author:  Crow Caller [ Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PER vs Camo and Sneak

Yeah I think it is just a difference in Game Style, and honestly I think I enjoy your Style better. When we play our Characters are subject to the full laws of the world, you die at anytime, most Character end up dying very pointless deaths, though addmittingly this does in a way enhance the game, by that I mean it makes those Character's goals much more fulfiling, and everynow and then a PC dies in a way that is truly epic and the group talks about literaly for years.

The reason this PC got killed is because he did things in the game world that "forced" the hands of his brother. We were on our way to kill his brother, and we had three Assassins aboard our crew. We knew they were there, and we knew that they knew that we were on our way to kill their employer. They had limited time to take their shot, the PC was sitting at the rear of the ship, not in his armour, and his shield was on the wrong side of his body, the shot was there so he took it. That's the way we play, you live and die by the repercussins and consequences of your choices and the way they effect the Game World.

There is I beleive still an echo of "competition" in our group, as if the purpose of playing is to "win". Although we've done heaps in the last few years to get rid of that attitude, their is still some remnants lingering.

Anyway I just got back from a dinner for my brother, he's getting married in a week, and I'm a bit tipsy so I'll stop rambling now. Thanks for the reply.

Cheers & God Bless!

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