Evilschemer Posted January 9, 2012 Report Share Posted January 9, 2012 (edited) I had a situation pop up in last week's game where the the PCs and the NPCs faced a stand-off. The NPCs had no wish to start a fight, but they needed the PCs to put their guns on the ground and come in to the local jail for questioning. The PCs did not trust the NPCs and had no wish to put their guns down (PC's never do, ever). That being said, the PCs had no desire to start a fight either. No one had drawn their weapons yet. It was a tense stand-off. And very annoying for me as the GM! I did everything I could to reassure the players that nothing bad would happen to their characters. I wasn't going to screw them. These NPCs were trustworthy. I also pointed out that the PCs were outnumbered and out-gunned and if fighting started, they would probably all die, and a TPK over this would be stupid. I was unable to negotiate in character because the PLAYERS had the advantage, not in game but meta-game. They were essentially forcing my hand, "We'll die before we give up our guns" and I, as the GM, didn't want that to happen! Ultimately, I dropped the plot-hammer on them and explained that they needed to give up to get to the next phase of the story. The whole side-story in the town that ended in the stand-off was an unexpected side trip that was NOT the main focus of the story I wanted to tell and the players wanted to play, and I was trying to get everyone back on track. They agreed and we proceeded. However, thinking about this today, I came up with a fair in-game mechanic for resolving these stand-offs. A kind of social combat mechanic. Rules for Resolving Stand-offs For situations where neither side really wants a fight, but neither side wants to back down, use the following procedure: Step 1 – Everyone gets one skill roll to make a plan. Knowledge, Insight, Strategy, Psychotherapy. (Optional) Step 2 – Everyone gets skill roll to make their case. Persuasion, Fast Talk, Command, Perform: Acting, Bargain, Etiquette. (Optional) Step 3 – Both sides make a POW x 5% rolls, modified by the following: -20% per fumble from steps 1 and 2. -05% per failure from steps 1 and 2. +05% per success from steps 1 and 2. +10% per special from steps 1 and 2. +20% per critical from steps 1 and 2. If one side succeeds and the other side loses, that loser capitulates and gives up peacefully. Otherwise, repeat steps 1-3 until one side wins and the other side loses. A fumble in step 3 means you have escalated the stand-off to fighting. Begin combat. If, at any point, either side changes their mind and wishes to escalate, then combat begins. If, at any point, either side wishes to voluntarily capitulate, then the contest ends. This, of course, only works if both sides honestly don’t want to start a fight, but at least one side doesn’t trust that the other side won’t, or won’t take undue advantage of them if they capitulate. Edited January 9, 2012 by Evilschemer EDIT: I just realized a Mexican Stand-Off is with three participants. So forget the Mexican part. Quote __________________ Christian Conkle Blogs: Geek Rampage! - Swords of Cydoria - Exiled in Eris Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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