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Fear checks: how do you handle them?

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32 minutes ago, Aramur said:

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.


Which is what I've been saying here essentially. We're gonna roll dice and apply mechanics. The details of interactions are open, but I don't control my players minds. The flip is also true, you're not going to charm, coerce or deceive an NPC into anything crazy. 

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58 minutes ago, Aramur said:

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.


Yes, but here’s the difference. The way you’re playing is based upon the standard RPG model of succeed/fail binary dice mechanics of other game systems. In those systems, it’s necessary to know exactly what the character is doing or saying in order to determine difficulty.  This game system is built upon the dice themselves driving the narrative, not simply determining success or failure. That is why the die roll comes first. It is because the dice can greatly influence how the narrative itself plays out through the use of Advantages, Threats, Triumphs, and Despairs. So, in the NDS the difficulty is determined by either a preset difficulty or a given character’s attributes, skills and appropriate talents, rolled, and the resulting successor failure is further enhanced or complicated by any Advantages or Threats, and/or Triumphs or Despairs rolled, which in turn are collectively narrated by the player and GM cooperatively. 


So, using your above example: 

player: I attack the creature with my vibroax. 

GM: OK, that’s a 2 difficulty upgraded once for Adversary 1. 

Player: I have success and an 2 Advantages. How do you spend the Advantages? I activate Crit

GM: Roll for crit.

Player: I rolled a 11, adding my Vicious 3 That gives me an 41. 

GM: bowled over: he’s knocked prone and suffers one Strain. Narrate it. 

Player: I dive between the creature’s legs, slashing his legs from behind as I come up, hamstringning him and  causing him to fall to the floor face first. This gives my friends an easy target for their attacks. 

Edited by Tramp Graphics

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