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4741Re: [FateRPG] Exchange-based resolution: deciding the minutiae

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  • Landon Darkwood
    Dec 14, 2005
      foulprank wrote:
      > Hello, this is a first-time post from a long-time lurker.

      Welcome. :)

      > So how _do_ I decide what is objectively happening? This is a matter
      > which I think hasn't been discussed to death yet. I'm one of those
      > GM's who really like to have a some sort of yardstick when it comes
      > to deciding on the outcome and effects of an exchange.

      Well, let me first say that being too married to the idea of
      'objectivity' when describing dice results might do you more harm than
      good in general. There's really no such thing. No matter how detailed
      the rules get, whether it's Risus or Rolemaster, there always comes a
      point where you have to interpret the results in description, and that
      can't help but be purely subjective.

      That said...

      > I know my players would
      > object to a clearly arbitrary decicion, I would too.

      There are fairly clear guidelines in the book about what each "level" of
      the grid indicates - a tie is a negligible result, a Clip is a fleeting
      or momentary advantage, a Hurt is a palpable but not telling result, an
      Injury is a telling result with potential post-conflict consequences,
      and Taken Out is, well, taken out.

      I'm not sure if you're looking for more detail than this or not. Beyond
      those guidelines, everything is genre, tone, and the consistency of your
      own judgment. In a Matrix game of Fate, for example, combat results
      might routinely include aerial stunts that defy the laws of nature. In a
      gritty, modern spy game, they won't. An Injury in a gritty game might be
      bruised ribs and in a Matrix game might be enough internal damage to
      make your character spit up blood. There are intangible guidelines there
      that come from your knowledge of a genre or "feel" - adhering to that
      doesn't make your decisions arbitrary, even if it's not a printed rule.

      As a mechanical aid to your endeavors to enforce genre, you may consider
      altering the challenge grid depending on what kind of game you're
      running. If you expect characters to take a lot of hits before having
      problems, like in a supers game, you might re-do the grid like this:

      Scratch: [] Hurt: [][][][] Injured: []

      Here, characters can take a lot of palpable hits before Injury, so you
      get a lot of room for "duking it out" where both people are a little
      bloodied without worrying about the death spiral as much - even with hte
      Injury box filled, you max out at a penalty of -2 here.

      Conversely, a really gritty game might look like:

      Scratch: [] Hurt: [] Injured: [][][][]

      With this, MoS 2-4 hits will bleed up into Injuries quickly, incurring
      that -1 cumulative penalty per box. So, basically, every time you take a
      decisive blow, it's really going to suck bigtime. This grid has a
      massive death spiral, -5 total when the grid is full, and makes the need
      to reserve aspects for combat super-important. It's probably too extreme
      for most games.

      Is this something like what you were looking for?

      -Landon Darkwood <lcdarkwood@...>
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