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Old 06-18-2018, 09:20 AM   #1
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Simple rules for social (and other) conflicts and contests

I made a small system to handle contests that don’t involve particular attribute. It works with TFT characters as they are, without adding any extra attributes, point pools, etc. The idea is to handle social and professional contests, like bargaining, interrogation, seduction, etc. in a more detailed way. For example, for social situations dependent on your standing in society, GMs might normally use IQ, but IQ 18 wizards aren't necessarily tactful and they need a high IQ for their magic. Why should they be better at social things?

Another function of this is to create a way to combine real role playing with real mechanics (see ‘Role Playing the “Dice Script”’ in the document). It “puts the game into the role playing" and makes it easier for players to play characters with different social skills than they actually have so they don’t have to be suave to play a suave character.

Also, I'm including a little framework for contests which you can use either with or without attributes and you can also use the rules for multiple-step tasks with days or weeks in between the steps. Contests and tasks can also, of course, use attribute rolls in addition to non-attribute rolls.

I'm hoping this little system will help make social and professional talents more useful and important and also inspire people to create many more interesting social and professional talents.

Please let me know what you think. I worked hard to make this fit comfortably into TFT. In my opinion, it should be about the same complexity as regular TFT attribute rolls (except without the attributes).

Here's the doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

Last edited by zot; 06-19-2018 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Attempt to rename thread more accurately
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:52 AM   #2
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

I quite agree that it'd be good to be able to have some things not based just on attributes. Your system looks interesting and I want to understand it, but my morning mind is having trouble following the basic mechanics, even with the examples - what does it mean to roll against your opponent's result?

Also, on the point of having a system that resolves social mechanics with dice and the result is then roleplayed, sometimes I do want a system that can do that (for NPC vs. NPC, or player who as you say don't want to have to roleplay their brilliant witty sexy character for whatever reason), more often with PCs I tend to like to roleplay social interactions (taking into account both characters' on-paper abilities) and then if at some point I'm not sure of the result from how the roleplaying goes, I want to do a quick roll or two to determine that, taking into account both the characters and how the conversation went. I'd like to see how to apply this system for that ... maybe just the "one roll" contest, with an added modifier for how the roleplayed conversation went so far?
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I quite agree that it'd be good to be able to have some things not based just on attributes. Your system looks interesting and I want to understand it, but my morning mind is having trouble following the basic mechanics, even with the examples - what does it mean to roll against your opponent's result?

Also, on the point of having a system that resolves social mechanics with dice and the result is then roleplayed, sometimes I do want a system that can do that (for NPC vs. NPC, or player who as you say don't want to have to roleplay their brilliant witty sexy character for whatever reason), more often with PCs I tend to like to roleplay social interactions (taking into account both characters' on-paper abilities) and then if at some point I'm not sure of the result from how the roleplaying goes, I want to do a quick roll or two to determine that, taking into account both the characters and how the conversation went. I'd like to see how to apply this system for that ... maybe just the "one roll" contest, with an added modifier for how the roleplayed conversation went so far?
Thanks. Using dice during role playing is certainly optional. Usually I wing it until it seems like a character is trying to accomplish something but they're not getting anywhere. At that point I usually ask the player what their goal is and take it to the dice.

I'm a huge fan of role playing but sometimes a player's character has way more social grace or knowledge in a certain area than the player does and they end up having a hard time actually playing their character.

Unfortunately, people sometimes find my explanations too terse. Actually more than just "sometimes." I'll try to fix my text so it explains it better.

Basically, you're trying to roll lower than the other guy, but your mods can help you (and the other guy's mods can help him). I'm trying to make it work almost exactly like attribute rolls except that your rolling against the other guy's roll (a variable number) instead of an attribute (a fixed number).
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:42 PM   #4
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Also, on the point of having a system that resolves social mechanics with dice and the result is then roleplayed, sometimes I do want a system that can do that (for NPC vs. NPC, or player who as you say don't want to have to roleplay their brilliant witty sexy character for whatever reason), more often with PCs I tend to like to roleplay social interactions (taking into account both characters' on-paper abilities) and then if at some point I'm not sure of the result from how the roleplaying goes, I want to do a quick roll or two to determine that, taking into account both the characters and how the conversation went. I'd like to see how to apply this system for that ... maybe just the "one roll" contest, with an added modifier for how the roleplayed conversation went so far?
Yes, you can just use a 1-roll contest for that. Using an added mod for how the conversation went so far sounds like a good situational modifier to me.

2 or 3 roll contests are good for struggles or negotiations. The "dice script" is really very similar to, "I swing at the orc and..." (rolls the dice) "... face plant in front of him, darnit!"
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:15 PM   #5
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
Thanks. Using dice during role playing is certainly optional. Usually I wing it until it seems like a character is trying to accomplish something but they're not getting anywhere. At that point I usually ask the player what their goal is and take it to the dice.

I'm a huge fan of role playing but sometimes a player's character has way more social grace or knowledge in a certain area than the player does and they end up having a hard time actually playing their character.
Yep. I know just what you mean. It's also good for solo play, when you don't have anyone to roleplay the interaction with (well, you can, but it's an acquired taste & skill and can sometimes feel like you're just saying what happens rather than finding out what happens, and/or you'd rather use mechanics).


Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
Unfortunately, people sometimes find my explanations too terse. Actually more than just "sometimes." I'll try to fix my text so it explains it better.
Ya, I "sometimes" have that issue too. When I understand something complex, I can understand (and write) things written about that subject, but I start to lose the ability to know how unclear it might be to someone who doesn't yet know about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
Basically, you're trying to roll lower than the other guy, but your mods can help you (and the other guy's mods can help him). I'm trying to make it work almost exactly like attribute rolls except that your rolling against the other guy's roll (a variable number) instead of an attribute (a fixed number).
Yep, poof, now I get what you mean. I thought it was something like that after my first look at the rules, but I wasn't quite sure what. Now I think I know just what you mean.

I think when you write "Instead of rolling against one of your attributes, you each roll against the other side’s result." it should mention you mean it's rolling equal to or less than the opponent's roll.

The sentence "Your modifiers adjust the other side’s result (for you) as if it were your attribute value." only makes sense to me now that I know what you mean - I'd probably drop it from the second sentence, and save that info for later.

In the example:
Quote:
For example, suppose you have a +2 modifier and the other side has a +1 modifier, you roll 12, and the other side rolls 10. 11 becomes your target number, you add your modifier and it goes to 12, meaning you succeeded but only barely. Your 12 becomes the other side’s target number, they add their modifier and it goes to 13, meaning they succeed by 3, so the other side wins.
I don't get the part "11 becomes your target number" - that looks to me like it should read "10 becomes your target number" - no?

I think for situations whose nature would often lead to stalemates or unclear outcomes, I'd tend to drop the part about "If you achieve the same degree of success as your opponent, compare the amounts you succeeded or failed by and the one with the better amount result wins the roll. If the amounts are the same, you both tie." So declare a tie rather than count the difference in the rolls. Or maybe just mention that this is the least clear level of success, so for things that may not have a clear winner, this is the least distinct level of success.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:25 PM   #6
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Quote:
For example, suppose you have a +2 modifier and the other side has a +1 modifier, you roll 12, and the other side rolls 10. 11 becomes your target number, you add your modifier and it goes to 12, meaning you succeeded but only barely. Your 12 becomes the other side’s target number, they add their modifier and it goes to 13, meaning they succeed by 3, so the other side wins.
In the example: I don't get the part "11 becomes your target number" - that looks to me like it should read "10 becomes your target number" - no?
Yes, I made a boo-boo there. Fixing.

Quote:
I think for situations whose nature would often lead to stalemates or unclear outcomes, I'd tend to drop the part about "If you achieve the same degree of success as your opponent, compare the amounts you succeeded or failed by and the one with the better amount result wins the roll. If the amounts are the same, you both tie." So declare a tie rather than count the difference in the rolls. Or maybe just mention that this is the least clear level of success, so for things that may not have a clear winner, this is the least distinct level of success.
I was waffling a little on that. I do like larger "chunks" and less fiddly arithmetic though (and there's already enough with the modifiers), so I'll take that part out.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:32 AM   #7
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

OK, I reworded it and I think it's much clearer. Now, it's just:
  1. Figure out the modifiers
  2. Roll the dice
  3. Adjust the numbers
  4. Lowest number wins
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:53 AM   #8
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Non-attribute rolls, contests, and tasks

I reworded the summary to make it clearer (I think):

Instead of rolling against one of your attributes, both sides roll dice and the lower result wins. Your modifiers adjust the other side’s result, instead of yours because you don’t want to add +2 when you’re trying to roll a low number (this is actually the same as with normal attribute rolls, your modifiers adjust the attribute, not the result). The rules for critical success and failure are the same.
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