Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Corvantir

Chained Simple Contests: how do you use them?

Recommended Posts

We have finally finished the first adventure of Borderlands & Beyond. Hurrah!

The feedback between the two sessions, led me to explain again the HQ: Glorantha (HQ2G) rules and their intent. To my surprise, the players were more displeased than I anticipated by the way the Resolution Points are scored in Group Extended Contests. They don't like the fact that a new pair is built from the start when another character gang up on a NPC, and that an opponent is not somehow diminished when Resolution Points are scored against him. I thought these players would be more open than that to non standard mechanics. Habits are really hard to fight.

I told the players that we should at least test the system "as is" for a few sessions before trying to modify it. I hope to change their mind by focusing on the descriptions and showing the freedom given by the rules. I am anticipating the need for another solution though.

The Chained Contests option from Mythic Russia could well be a simple and elegant solution. But beyond the concept itself, Mythic Russia gives few details and no example.

If I had to replace the current HQG Extended Conflict with Chained Contests, I can see two ways to do it :

- A succession of Group Simple Contests until one side decides it is better to stop or run away (that seems to be how it should work in Mythic Russia);

- A succession of individual Simple Contests between "pairs" (with cumulating penalties) until there is no more participant or no more contestant willing to fight on one side.

Are you using the Chained Simple Contests in your HQ2G games? If yes, how do you apply them? Are there any traps I should be aware of if I replace Group Extended Contests with Chained Simple Contests?

I hope you are all doing well in these troubled times. Stay safe if you can and take care of yourself and your family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Corvantir said:

Are there any traps I should be aware of if I replace Group Extended Contests with Chained Simple Contests?

I don't have Mythic Russia, so have not used them.

I've never had any issues with my players with the Group Extended Contests, though; however, I can see it discomfiting those used to something like RQ and cumulative Hit Points. 

The thing with the Group Extended Contest mechanism that you get is the impact of multi-attacker "bonuses".  With 2 or 3 attackers, the 2nd and 3rd attacker will see easier attacks, and the Resolution Points go up faster leading to the demise of the foe. If you shift away from that, then I think you have to think through how to overcome very difficult foes or large groups of foes. Succession of Group Simple Contests is likely to find very difficult foes remain that way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your insights @jajagappa, the unmodified difficulty from a Simple Contest to another Simple Contest is something I didn't thought about.

As far as I am concerned, I would prefer to stand with the Group Extended Contests as they are in HQ2G. I hope to make the players understand that it is in the best interest of the story, and theirs. And the multiple opponents modifier is in my opinion enough as an advantage.

My main concern is the dreadful spiral of death though, for the characters as well as the NPCs. The first side to get a serious hit earns a big disadvantage that becomes difficult to manage and is susceptible to lead towards another big hit and thus more negative modifiers. With a lucky shot from the start, the whole scene loses a lot of interest. It encourages a single tactic, spending a lot of Hero Points in the first Simple Contest in order to earn a big advantage over the other side in the following contests.

I think that the Chained Contests are a better fit for a succession of action scenes rather than as a replacement of Group Extended Contest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Corvantir said:

My main concern is the dreadful spiral of death though, for the characters as well as the NPCs.

As with any game, the GM has control over: 1) the level of difficulty of foes; and 2) whether you let the "spiral of death" run to conclusion (or have the foe tell the PC's to surrender).

I added intermediate levels of difficulty so that I could get a finer balance in contests while keeping in mind that some PC's will have an edge over foes, and others at a disadvantage. The players will quickly see where they have potential weakness or strengths after the first round and can adjust (different augment, have one player adopt defensive strategy to hold off several foes so others can gang up on a target, have someone provides assists to keep RP's down, etc.) - you can also telegraph some of this through narrative even before the contest (i.e. "these Lunars look particularly tough as they line up to fight").  I try to keep an eye on the number of foes too. 

Generally I've found the group extended contests to be very dramatic and memorable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...