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Aramur

Fear checks: how do you handle them?

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1 minute ago, Aramur said:

You do not allow characters with odd quirks in your campaign?

Oh, that's fine, but your example is so extreme that if it happened with any regularity I would feel like they aren't taking the game seriously.  It would rob the story of all drama.  Comedy and quirks are great...until they're not.

 

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10 minutes ago, Aramur said:

I have never had any issues with game balance. I don't know what that has got to do with it. I can see your point though, that if players count on social encounters being composed primarily of rolling (and mechanics) and not using the narrative as much, that they could feel 'cheated'. Do the dice inform the narrative, or does the narrative call for use of dice? I'm more leaning towards the latter interpretation.

But what would you do with the example of the Hutt threatening to blow up the character's ship, and a character making the opposed check? Do you tell the player something like: "you are not coerced and refuse the Hutt's orders. He signals his underlings to set of the explosives."? Or do you have them make the check, and then decide if they want to be coerced, with only the people making the check having the option of not going along with it, and forcing the rest to abide by the rolled outcome?

If the players fail to see through an enemy's Deception (by doing an opposed check), at my games, they can still choose not to trust someone. Failing the opposed roll just means they can't see any indication that the person is deceiving them. I'm not telling the players how they should play their characters: that is up to them.

How do you feel about PC vs PC social checks?

 



 

Under this system, the dice inform the narrative. That’s why it’s called the “Narrative Dice” system. The dice don’t just determine the success or failure of the outcome, but also add additional effects through the use of Advantages, Threats, Triumphs, and Despairs, which further add narrative effects to the die roll. It is then up to the player and GM to interpret that result and role play it out narratively. So, yes, it is the former, not the latter. The dice inform and influence the narrative. 

5 minutes ago, Aramur said:

You do not allow characters with odd quirks in your campaign? I honestly think C3PO's responses in some of the Star Wars films are totally unsuitable to what is happening, but they are perfectly in-character for the droid. He would 'tell someone the odds' at an inappropriate time. That is fine. He just has to face the consequences. Same with a character that wants to pet a hungry Rancor: they tend not to live long. The player would be invited back of course, unless he complains that his characters keep being eating by Rancors. ?

There’s a difference between a character having odd quirks and a character being too naive to live. I don’t care how naive a person is, there are some things which are obviously not friendly, and are to be feared and respected. And a huge, hungry predator is one of them.

Edited by Tramp Graphics

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29 minutes ago, Aramur said:

And the player should have the freedom to make that response, and not have the GM tell him 'you are not allowed to say or think that because the dice indicate you fear it'.

Let's flip this around:  say the player says "my character fears the Rancor".  How will you then decide what penalty to apply?  Does the player get a choice?  Or can they leverage their character's abilities to mitigate it?

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14 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

 

We don’t make an exception. Like I said before. It’s not just fear checks, it’s all social checks. This includes Fear checks, Coercion checks, Negotiation checks, Charm checks, Leadership checks, etc. if a PC is on the receiving end of those skills, and fails to resist, then the player is, and, by all rights, should be, required to role-play the appropriate response. So, if the PC is successfully seduced into a tryst by a sultry NPC’s Charm check the player should role play it and expect to wind up the next morning in someone’s bed. If he fails resisting a Deception check against him, he should role play getting appropriately duped. The dice determine the outcome, but the player chooses how he role plays that outcome. No matter what, however, he must abide by the roll of the dice. Oh, and for the record, the Influence power can indeed require rolls for resisting  “friendship” checks, “love” checks, “hate red” checks, etc. because that power can indeed force a character to take on any particular emotional response the Force user desires.

Well, that is I guess that is a large difference between our playstyles. As said, for me the mechanics follow the narrative as for as social encounters are concerned. And this is largely because of my basic principle that GMs never instruct players how their character should think, feel or react. That is the power of RP for me, the freedom to make your character's choices. I have played in games by starting GMs who kinda railroaded players in the sense of: "Ah, you fail your Discipline roll: now your character will investigate room X because he just can't resist the temptation." That is understandable, but not fun to me.

The dice (for me) never determine how a PC feels, they just inform the PC. The influence power is perfectly fine to me. It functions a bit like 'magic', but normal social interaction should not have such 'magic' effects. If the sultry NPC makes a Charm check, then I inform the PC how convincing she appears, but it is up to the PC to make the decision what to do with that. Perhaps the PC has taken a vow of abstinence, perhaps he is prejudiced against the seducers person's race or sex.  A failed roll to resist Charm simply doesn't make a straight person gay or vice versa unless the players wants to. However, I will explain to them that the Charmer appears really convincing and attractive to them. And you know, most players relish the freedom to make their own informed choices and their characters tend to react appropriately. I feel no to 'force' players to have their characters to make certain choices in a cooperative narrative game. If they don't want to have sex with some seductress, that's perfectly fine, they just can't deny that she appears really charming: because that is what the dice inform everyone of.

If we were ever to play together I believe you wouldn't immediately notice any difference between how I play social encounters and you probably play them, unless some issue came up that was really central to your character. I would then allow you to make the choice that fits your character best, and you would probably ask me to change my character's response to something that fit the dice best. Or you would have the Mouse Droid make a Impossible Charm check to get it to seduce the Wookie to have sex with it with its sultry beeps of seduction (and, with the right skills, mouse droid could probably still succeed, but I guess you would never create such a situation or ask for such a roll in the first place to prevent having to play out what the dice tell you)

 

 

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21 minutes ago, whafrog said:

Let's flip this around:  say the player says "my character fears the Rancor".  How will you then decide what penalty to apply?  Does the player get a choice?  Or can they leverage their character's abilities to mitigate it?

It is completely up to them. There is no penalty. The penalty (as far as I'm concerned) is just a mechanical representation for characters who act the same as if they don't fear it. I tend to not penalize characters for them playing like they have a certain emotion, them playing like it is penalty (or bonus if you look at it narratively) enough.

What I see is people trying to flee, not being the first one to get eaten by it, trying to appear dead, hiding behind the toughest of them, doing a lot of cursing, swearing and sweating.

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26 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Under this system, the dice inform the narrative. That’s why it’s called the “Narrative Dice” system. The dice don’t just determine the success or failure of the outcome, but also add additional effects through the use of Advantages, Threats, Triumphs, and Despairs, which further add narrative effects to the die roll. It is then up to the player and GM to interpret that result and role play it out narratively. So, yes, it is the former, not the latter. The dice inform and influence the narrative. 

Oh, the dice do, but they don't force the narrative, the inform it. And that is a big (and for me crucial) difference. The dice inform a player that X is really intimidating, that Y is really convincing or that Z appear truthfull. But the players choose what to do with it narratively. In my game they just receive more freedom than a typical game I guess when I see the responses.

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No one here has suggested players don't get latitude to choose their response narratively to a dice result. 

Whafrog pointed out a failed fear check doesn't remove player control, no one runs for X rounds until they make their fear saving throw.

You don't want to use the particular mechanic is up to you, but the notion people have to actually be afraid at the table to be afraid in game is very artificial and far more forced. If I print off a million credits and have them at the table, am I rich? If I always have a bag of chips and a wheelbarrow can I ignore encumbrance and supplies issues?

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23 minutes ago, Aramur said:

Well, that is I guess that is a large difference between our playstyles. As said, for me the mechanics follow the narrative as for as social encounters are concerned. And this is largely because of my basic principle that GMs never instruct players how their character should think, feel or react. That is the power of RP for me, the freedom to make your character's choices. I have played in games by starting GMs who kinda railroaded players in the sense of: "Ah, you fail your Discipline roll: now your character will investigate room X because he just can't resist the temptation." That is understandable, but not fun to me.

The dice (for me) never determine how a PC feels, they just inform the PC. The influence power is perfectly fine to me. It functions a bit like 'magic', but normal social interaction should not have such 'magic' effects. If the sultry NPC makes a Charm check, then I inform the PC how convincing she appears, but it is up to the PC to make the decision what to do with that. Perhaps the PC has taken a vow of abstinence, perhaps he is prejudiced against the seducers person's race or sex.  A failed roll to resist Charm simply doesn't make a straight person gay or vice versa unless the players wants to. However, I will explain to them that the Charmer appears really convincing and attractive to them. And you know, most players relish the freedom to make their own informed choices and their characters tend to react appropriately. I feel no to 'force' players to have their characters to make certain choices in a cooperative narrative game. If they don't want to have sex with some seductress, that's perfectly fine, they just can't deny that she appears really charming: because that is what the dice inform everyone of.

If we were ever to play together I believe you wouldn't immediately notice any difference between how I play social encounters and you probably play them, unless some issue came up that was really central to your character. I would then allow you to make the choice that fits your character best, and you would probably ask me to change my character's response to something that fit the dice best. Or you would have the Mouse Droid make a Impossible Charm check to get it to seduce the Wookie to have sex with it with its sultry beeps of seduction (and, with the right skills, mouse droid could probably still succeed, but I guess you would never create such a situation or ask for such a roll in the first place to prevent having to play out what the dice tell you)

 

 

Then you're missing a very important point of the narrative dice system, and you are making social skills and talents completely useless and meaningless. And, this is coming from someone who is primarily a player. Why should I invest in Discipline or Cool, if I never have to face a Charm, Coercion, Deception, or Fear check, and if I have no chance of failing said check. Why should I invest in talents which boost my ability to resist such attempts if the dice can't determine what my reactions are, or their success or failure? You are basically making these skills and talents useless.  It is unfair to the players as much as it is to the GM. 

 

And, as I said before, in this system, the dice are very important to determining the narrative. They inform and influence the narrative itself, not simply determine success or failure of a skill check. They are an integral part of how the narrative unfolds. 

Edited by Tramp Graphics

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In fact, @Aramur, check out this thread regarding how to make Combat interesting. One of the first posts in it is very relevant to this discussion. In particular, the first post by @awayputurwpn, where he says: 

Quote

1. Use the dice to their full effect: narrate the NPCs actions and any environmental effects creatively, and ask your players to do the same.

Check out Skill Monkey for examples of creative narration. They are short, enjoyable listens with fun in-game examples fueled by the narrative dice. But don't overlook your players as narrators. Their minds are resources: they can inject imagination and life into your shared experience. Allow your PCs to be cool (or to fail spectacularly!); encourage your players to take narrative part.

The dice themselves are designed specifically to fuel the narrative. This includes social encounters and Fear checks. 

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1 hour ago, Aramur said:

You are playing with characters that don't wet themselves in such cases? You need the players to roll a check for that?

In most cases I see characters that do fear such an encounter, but in some rare cases they don't. A naive character going 'ooooh, Rancor, so cute, never seen one, can I pet it?' Is a perfectly allowable response. And the player should have the freedom to make that response, and not have the GM tell him 'you are not allowed to say or think that because the dice indicate you fear it'. 

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. While I envy you if you have such great players that they take it upon themselves every time to add appropriate drama and tension, it has not been my experience that this type of player is ubiquitous. If you don't need the Fear rules, then don't use them. 

This stuff always comes down to a familiar set of approaches: The players control it (Usually via claims of Agency or Rule Lawyering), You control it via the Rules, You control it via Fiat, You control it via a composite of Rules Quotation and Fiat. 

If you are of the mind to cede it to the Players no matter what they choose you are stuck with the result. 

It also comes down to the mindset of the players and how they take feedback from the GM. The current environment of TTRPGs seems to have this very weak GM Fiat content that encourages players to really rebel against the GM and to use the rules as the other parent. Are you playing with a hostile or pathologically inclined GM? If not, why do you not trust the GM to represent the physics of the environment? In human beings the Central Nervous System is not wholly under our control and in dangerous situations you cannot control with predictable results if you will enter fight, flight, freeze, or protect. That seems autonomic, or environmental. A good GM is open to feedback in my opinion, but also provides rulings and has the ability to make them stick. 

But in truth the resistance to playing fear or sadness or any other non-flattering emotion or reaction is that the player cannot fathom portraying a negative as being a strength of the character. To me there is nothing as boring as a character with no flaws or weaknesses, a close second is a character with only one. But that is the goal of many of the players I have met: to make the Terminator but cast him in the starring role. Of course you aren't afraid of anything or affected by any situation random Player. How silly of me. 

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1 hour ago, Aramur said:

Well, that is I guess that is a large difference between our playstyles. As said, for me the mechanics follow the narrative as for as social encounters are concerned. And this is largely because of my basic principle that GMs never instruct players how their character should think, feel or react. 

So effectively you cut out social skills from the game. Because those tell you how the character interprets a dialogue, but you rather not roll it, even if the characters willpower/discipline shouldn't allow them to be focused against a mighty beast, but the player says so, so he is the brave hero without spending XP on those, and the player who invested in Discipline, can go make a new character for throwing out 50+ xp

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Then you're missing a very important point of the narrative dice system, and you are making social skills and talents completely useless and meaningless. And, this is coming from someone who is primarily a player. Why should I invest in Discipline or Cool, if I never have to face a Charm, Coercion, Deception, or Fear check, and if I have no chance of failing said check. Why should I invest in talents which boost my ability to resist such attempts if the dice can't determine what my reactions are, or their success or failure? You are basically making these skills and talents useless.  It is unfair to the players as much as it is to the GM. 

 

And, as I said before, in this system, the dice are very important to determining the narrative. They inform and influence the narrative itself, not simply determine success or failure of a skill check. They are an integral part of how the narrative unfolds. 

I think you are now misreprenting my position, By a lot.

1. Actively using social skills is exactly as it is in your game (you try to Coerce the NPC).
2. Passively using social skills (the NPC tries to Coerce you) is slightly changed for some skills in comparison to your use: you are less restricted in your options.

As I said, most players enjoy the added freedom and no one has even complained about 'making their social skills and talent useless'. The only disagreement about social issues I have ever received is when a more mechanically minded player just tells me 'I coerce the NPC'. Im such case I always ask for context and actual role-play. Because you know, context matters.

If the Hutt crime boss threatens to blow up the PCs ship, the Coercion roll tends to add nothing to the situation but confusion. If the Hutt fails his roll, what should the PC do? The roll to Coerce has nothing to do with if the Hutt really makes good on his threat. Merely if he can use the threat in an effective way to leverage his position. If the PCs have been double-crossed by an NPC three times and you add three setback dice to his fourth Deception roll, are the PCs forced to go along with him again wjem they fail the opposed roll in your game? Or are you artificially increasing the difficulty of the roll (thereby deciding for you players what they should and shouldn't believe). I simply let the NPC make the roll, and merely say 'he sounds convincing, maybe this time he really means it', or 'you sounds like he is trying to play you again' and then have them make the decision. That is informing the narrative and not forcing the narrative.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Aramur said:

But what would you do with the example of the Hutt threatening to blow up the character's ship, and a character making the opposed check? Do you tell the player something like: "you are not coerced and refuse the Hutt's orders. He signals his underlings to set of the explosives."? Or do you have them make the check, and then decide if they want to be coerced, with only the people making the check having the option of not going along with it, and forcing the rest to abide by the rolled outcome?

In  this case, don't make a roll.  There is very clear consequences that happen immediately.  What would you do if a PC was captured and interrogated?  That is a coercion check, that they must resist or give up information.  Or would you just tell the player -  "The Hutt's minoions are torturing you.  Do you tell them anything?"  "No, I don't give up anything because I know I will be rescued."  Then it is up to the GM to either kill or cause permanent injuries, or NPC torture can't be used against PC's.

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Two things: 

  1. The way around the whole "taking away player agency" problem is the social contract involved in the players picking up the dice. As soon as they pick up the dice pool for a skill check, they are signing away a portion of their agency to the whims of chance and the interpretation of the GM. So if they are interacting with a fearsome creature or a harrowing situation, and they roll a crapload of Threat or a Despair, you are 100% within your rights to say "Chundarr, you find yourself unnerved by the spectacle of the rancor gobbling down a fully grown human. Your fight-or-flight instincts are kicking into high gear! What do you do?" And as you're narrating, toss him some setback dice or have him make a fear check. 
  2. When making a fear check, the mechanics are the end of it for you. You're not necessarily telling a player how their character feels when they make a fear check; you are simply applying a mechanical modifier to the encounter. It's 100% up to the players how they want to narrate that particular mechanic. "Chundarr shows no fear, and utters a war cry to rally the others!"  

Rather than stymying or hemming in your players' creativity, fear checks can give them fuel. It's all in how you handle them: define the parameters, let them know mechanically what they're getting into, and then give them as much narrative license as possible. Reward good roleplay by tossing them Boost dice. 

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9 minutes ago, Aramur said:

If the Hutt crime boss threatens to blow up the PCs ship, the Coercion roll tends to add nothing to the situation but confusion. If the Hutt fails his roll, what should the PC do?   

Ah, I think I see the problem. Don't have the Hutt roll the skill check and force the results on the players, unless of course they ask for it. Rather, I'd suggest that you have the players roll opposed skill checks as they interact with the Hutt. Then you have some license to inform their feelings.

Everything else you're suggesting sounds totally reasonable.

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7 minutes ago, Aramur said:

I think you are now misreprenting my position, By a lot.

1. Actively using social skills is exactly as it is in your game (you try to Coerce the NPC).
2. Passively using social skills (the NPC tries to Coerce you) is slightly changed for some skills in comparison to your use: you are less restricted in your options.

As I said, most players enjoy the added freedom and no one has even complained about 'making their social skills and talent useless'. The only disagreement about social issues I have ever received is when a more mechanically minded player just tells me 'I coerce the NPC'. Im such case I always ask for context and actual role-play. Because you know, context matters.

If the Hutt crime boss threatens to blow up the PCs ship, the Coercion roll tends to add nothing to the situation but confusion. If the Hutt fails his roll, what should the PC do? The roll to Coerce has nothing to do with if the Hutt really makes good on his threat. Merely if he can use the threat in an effective way to leverage his position. If the PCs have been double-crossed by an NPC three times and you add three setback dice to his fourth Deception roll, are the PCs forced to go along with him again wjem they fail the opposed roll in your game? Or are you artificially increasing the difficulty of the roll (thereby deciding for you players what they should and shouldn't believe). I simply let the NPC make the roll, and merely say 'he sounds convincing, maybe this time he really means it', or 'you sounds like he is trying to play you again' and then have them make the decision. That is informing the narrative and not forcing the narrative.

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, Edgookin said:

In  this case, don't make a roll.  There is very clear consequences that happen immediately.  What would you do if a PC was captured and interrogated?  That is a coercion check, that they must resist or give up information.  Or would you just tell the player -  "The Hutt's minoions are torturing you.  Do you tell them anything?"  "No, I don't give up anything because I know I will be rescued."  Then it is up to the GM to either kill or cause permanent injuries, or NPC torture can't be used against PC's.

As @Edgookin said, in a situation, like the Hutt example, you don't make a roll, since it's not him trying to simply intimidate you. HE's forcing you to give in unconditionally. The player has no choice to submit in that instance. The other option is let them attempt the resist, roll the check, and, if they succeed and refuse to give in (which is likely), you have a choice, follow through with the threat or have the Hut back down. IF they fail to resist the coercion, then they give in to his demands. It's that simple. How you or they narrate it is up to the gaming group. And, as I said, as a player, if I'm investing in skills like Discipline and Cool, and in talents such as Nobody's Fool, Natural Negotiator, and Confidence, I expect to be able to make full use of them. And that means facing social checks made against me, and even potentially failing to resist them, and being held to that. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. It's not once set of rules for Social (and Fear) checks for the players, and a different set for NPCs. Every character is bound by the same dice and the same rules. 

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45 minutes ago, whafrog said:

So nobody can charm your PCs if they don't want to be charmed, nobody can be coerced or deceived or negotiated with.  You've just removed all the social skills from the game.

In your game charming, deception and coercion is determined by rolls only? Wow, then you have a really odd game. In my game most of these things happen because of role-play, not because of roll-play.

But I don't think your game works like that. I think most of your narrative is determined by what PCs and NPCs say, and not what roll they make. And you probably only initiate rolls on important decision points. Because now you sound like you roll for Charm or Coercion before the actual conversation, and then tell your PCs how to respond. I believe you start the conversation first and let any rolls flow from how the narrative develops and have those roles inform rather than determine how the narrative continues.

And please do not misrepresent my position by saying such things as 'you have removed social skills from the game', just because I let opposed skill rolls initiated by NPCs inform and not dictate the narrative. Such qualifications don't help clarify your point (which is a valid one).

 

 

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3 hours ago, Aramur said:

I think the GM (or by extension, the checks he requires you to make) should never dictate how characters should feel, think and what choices the character makes. That should always be the sole province of the player.

 

If you are going to take that path, then you have to make take the extra effort to make sure the players fully understand the situation.  If you need to turn down the light and turn up the background audio, you have to make the players understand the emotion (not just fear) that the characters should be facing beyond "You see a Sith Lord kill 20 troopers like it was nothing.  The screams from the dying troopers still echo"  Player have heard this for years, if you don't want to dictate how the character should feel, make sure the players feel it

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2 minutes ago, Aramur said:

In your game charming, deception and coercion is determined by rolls only? Wow, then you have a really odd game. In my game most of these things happen because of role-play, not because of roll-play.

But I don't think your game works like that. I think most of your narrative is determined by what PCs and NPCs say, and not what roll they make. And you probably only initiate rolls on important decision points. Because now you sound like you roll for Charm or Coercion before the actual conversation, and then tell your PCs how to respond. I believe you start the conversation first and let any rolls flow from how the narrative develops and have those roles inform rather than determine how the narrative continues.

And please do not misrepresent my position by saying such things as 'you have removed social skills from the game', just because I let opposed skill rolls initiated by NPCs inform and not dictate the narrative. Such qualifications don't help clarify your point (which is a valid one).

 

 

Yes, you do roll for Charm first, then narrate it. That's the point of the Narrative dice. The dice don't simply tell you if you succeed or fail. They throw in other benefits or complications outside of the success or failure of the roll, which then dictate how the scenarios plays out, and how each character responds. In the case of a Fear check made against your PC, for instance. If the PC succeeds at the Fear Check with unconcealed Advantages, or a Triumph or two, he stands strong and unshakable, potentially staring down his for and making is foe back down, or giving a boost to his allies next roll, or whatever else the two of you can think of. IF he succeeds with unconcealed Threat or a Despair, sure, he's able to resist the foe's threatening behavior, and doesn't run, but, he unsure, tentative, or otherwise has a negative effect (setbacks or some such) to further checks, or he may become overconfident, underestimating his foe. If he fails with advantage, he's scared and backs down, but manages to keep his wits about him and doesn't put himself or others at risk. IF he fails with Threats or Despair he may just turn tail and run, act rashly, or even cower in a corner unable to do anything. The two of you then work together to turn those dice rolls into a narrative. That is how this system works. It's not narrate then roll to determine success or failure. It's first roll to determine success, failure, and any other potential narrative effects, then narrate the result. That's why it's Called the Narrative Dice system

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For me this still just boils down to I'm not taking control of a player's mind and actions, I'm making a mechanical dice roll, applying the effects and we can all decide narratively what it means. Doesn't matter if I roll it or they do. It generally just means stress/strain/setbacks. They're afraid, coerced, distracted, how that plays out is a discussion, not me possessing them.

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16 minutes ago, Aramur said:

I think most of your narrative is determined by what PCs and NPCs say, and not what roll they make. And you probably only initiate rolls on important decision points.

Of course.  And it's the same with Fear checks.  If this is what you do, then getting rid of Fear checks is inconsistent.

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13 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Yes, you do roll for Charm first, then narrate it. That's the point of the Narrative dice. The dice don't simply tell you if you succeed or fail. They throw in other benefits or complications outside of the success or failure of the roll, which then dictate how the scenarios plays out, and how each character responds. In the case of a Fear check made against your PC, for instance. If the PC succeeds at the Fear Check with unconcealed Advantages, or a Triumph or two, he stands strong and unshakable, potentially staring down his for and making is foe back down, or giving a boost to his allies next roll, or whatever else the two of you can think of. IF he succeeds with unconcealed Threat or a Despair, sure, he's able to resist the foe's threatening behavior, and doesn't run, but, he unsure, tentative, or otherwise has a negative effect (setbacks or some such) to further checks, or he may become overconfident, underestimating his foe. If he fails with advantage, he's scared and backs down, but manages to keep his wits about him and doesn't put himself or others at risk. IF he fails with Threats or Despair he may just turn tail and run, act rashly, or even cower in a corner unable to do anything. The two of you then work together to turn those dice rolls into a narrative. That is how this system works. It's not narrate then roll to determine success or failure. It's first roll to determine success, failure, and any other potential narrative effects, then narrate the result. That's why it's Called the Narrative Dice system

Yes, if you consider the dice as leading the narrative instead of a tool to assist the narrative, then your position is sound and valid. I see game mechanics more as a tool to enhance narration rather then it actually creating the narration, but I your interpretation is a sensible one. For me, I could run the same story with the same characters in different game systems, and they outcomes should not differ too much because of the mechanics used. In your case, results would be likely much more different.

I honestly didn't imagine there were people who rolled social checks first and then played the encounter, but it is a valid interpretation of the rules and the way you handle fear checks makes total sense from that angle. I hope you understand that from my style of play, it feels odd.

In combat we play like:

PC: 'I try to dive between the creature's legs, come up behind him and slash him with my vibroaxe"

GM: The mechanics of that action is to roll X and use resource Y.

PC: Rolls. Success with 2 advantage. GM: "You dive between its legs, come up on the other side and" (what do you want to do with your advantage..) "hit it driving it towards your friends so they have a better angle for their shots".

So it start with narration, the narration determines if there is a challenge point that requires a roll and the mechanics are consulted. The outcome of the mechanics are used in further narration.

 

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54 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

For me this still just boils down to I'm not taking control of a player's mind and actions, I'm making a mechanical dice roll, applying the effects and we can all decide narratively what it means. Doesn't matter if I roll it or they do. It generally just means stress/strain/setbacks. They're afraid, coerced, distracted, how that plays out is a discussion, not me possessing them.

When searching for opposed skill check, this thread came up first: 

In it you indeed explain how you handle social rolls, which seems to closely mirror my approach.

 

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4 hours ago, Aramur said:

I do not understand why everyone makes an exception to this principle for the emotion of fear. I have never seen love checks, friendship checks, trust checks, excitement checks, hate checks etc. Perhaps its the same things as alignment in classic D&D: you are alignment X, so your character should do Y. This always felt like nonsense to me. Your character decides to do Y, so his alignment is X, was always my philosophy.

 

I have seen those checks, hel, I have even made players do those checks and suffer the consequences of it. It has rarely been something out of the blue, but rather something prompted by the actions of the players. A lot of systems have rules for losing control to lust, hate, anger or just falling under the sway of a NPC somehow. Just because your PC gets influenced to feel a certain way doesn't mean you can't control how they act on it though. Mind control gets truly boring if you lose all agency, but it can still be pretty fun if you still have a degree of control of your PC and their actions.

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