Jump to content
Andy Evans

Combat and Group Simple Contests

Recommended Posts

I have some questions around Combat, principally using the Group Simple Contest.  I sorta get it but have difficulty when the situation needs a more definitive result.

Let’s say the party has snuck in somewhere and is then confronted by some guards.

The guards want to prove their mettle and kill the intruders, and the party wants to permanently silence the guards by means of Force.   It’s a not fight the players are emotionally invested in, so a simple contest seems the way forward.

So, let’s say the result is a marginal victory for the party.  What does that mean exactly?

Would you have something like a Costly Success?  I.e. the party defeats the guards, but say is impaired or hurt in the process, or another complication for example?

Or would you leave the situation without a definitive result? I.e. the party has got the better of the guards but they’re still in the fight.  And if so how to proceed from there?

I've seen other posts (from @Ian Cooper) talk about 'bringing the pain' and turning the contest into an Extended Contest from there if the players wish to do so.  How does that work exactly?  Do you start the extended contest with resolution points already scored depending on the results of the Group Simple Contest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way you framed it, I'd say you're spot on with someone getting wounded.

If you wanted to go with a momentary rather than costly success, you could say that they slew the gaurds silently, but that it was such a bloody mess that whoever next happens by is sure to raise the alarm. They achieved their goal, but the benefit is fleeting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So looking at the two parts of this:

2 hours ago, Andy Evans said:

the party wants to permanently silence the guards by means of Force. 

That’s the players frame

2 hours ago, Andy Evans said:

So, let’s say the result is a marginal victory for the party.  What does that mean exactly?

A victory is a victory, the players win. The guards are permanently silenced.

marginal to me means they only just did it, it was a struggle. Hands over the guards mouths while the heroes struggle to kill them. Not a clean/fast strike. If you want to take the story with this, perhaps one the guards shouts out before dying, before being silenced. But only if that will add to the story.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also take a "powerd by the apocalypse"/DungeonWorld type approach - On a complete success you take out the guards quickly, quietly and safely (ie without taking damage).  If you only manage a marginal success you take out the guards, but either they injure/wound you, or they delay you, or they manage to raise the alarm - you can allow the players to choose which.

Another way to think of it (and I think @Ian Cooper has posted about it here) is  on a "Yes, and"/"Yes"/"Yes, but"/"No, but"/"No"/"No, and" continuum. The framing is the bit before you roll the dice when you decide what (sort of thing) those results will entail.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/5/2018 at 11:22 AM, Andy Evans said:

Would you have something like a Costly Success?  I.e. the party defeats the guards, but say is impaired or hurt in the process, or another complication for example?

 

Or would you leave the situation without a definitive result? I.e. the party has got the better of the guards but they’re still in the fight.  And if so how to proceed from there?

I've seen other posts (from @Ian Cooper) talk about 'bringing the pain' and turning the contest into an Extended Contest from there if the players wish to do so.  How does that work exactly?  Do you start the extended contest with resolution points already scored depending on the results of the Group Simple Contest?

First, worry about the PCs prize mostly, the NPCs don't really matter, just adjudicate that from the results for the player. It's only in PC vs PC that the mirror relationship matters.

Second, don't cripple victory. If the prize is silence the guards, that is what happens on any victory. So what is marginal as opposed to other levels. Well, of course it may not matter. When I look at the SRD I am trying to clarify that (it is stated originally) Consequences of Defeat and Benefits of Victory only need to be adjudicated if you think interesting story options flow from ongoing implications of the contest. So perhaps you decide that you can up the tension by having the guards quickly missed because they don't report in at the end of their rounds on a marginal victory, and have the alarm raised when the PCs are still not out etc. But maybe you decide that isn't important and just treat victory as done and move on.

The idea behind 'bringing down the pain' is this. Extended contests tend to produce more conclusive results as PCs can use more hero points, parting shots etc. So if at the end of the simple contest the PCs lose, or don't get everything they wanted (say that they had graduated goals) you can turn it into an extended contest. Look for a player trying to steal the jewels responding to you fail to kill the guards, with 'ok I will sneak back later etc'. We don't allow repeat attempts, so just treat the first simple contest as the first round of an extended contest whose goal is to steal the jewels over chaining simple contests together

 

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.


×
×
  • Create New...