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[Chronica Feudalis] An Aspect/Maneuver Question....

BiggerBoat

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Validated User
#1
I've looked at SOTC lots of times, and always came away interested but confused. I liked the idea of aspects, but I just couldn't get over the hurdle of digesting the game text and the bundle of terms such as invoking, tagging and compelling.

I picked up Chronica Feudalis recently and it does a great job presenting the essence of Fate 3.0 aspects. For the first time, I think I get it. The concepts are cleanly and simply presented, with numerous examples. Congrats and thanks to the author. I'm really excited by the capability of aspects to replace all of those situational modifiers and rules-referencing typical of some of my other games.

That said, I do have one situational question which came to mind as I was reading the text. There are a couple of examples of using a maneuver to create a "disarm" condition. So, let's say that a character says he wants to try to disarm an opponent and succeeds. The opponent now has the disarmed aspect. Fair enough, and I would tend to assume that the disarmed character won't be able to strike (other than with fists--no tool bonus die) or parry unless he has a back-up weapon or recovers his original weapon.

But, these ad-hoc rulings are really outside the scope of a condition, which should just grant the character who performed the disarm a free invoke of the aspect. The additional penalties (no parry, reduced strike potential) would seem to overpower a disarm maneuver to the point where it becomes an obvious choice for PC's.

And, yeah, I'm probably over-thinking this or making some ridiculously incorrect assumptions.... in either case, I hope someone can straighten me out.
 

Jeremy Keller

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Validated User
#2
With most other conditions (like being Blinded from having sand thrown in your face, or being thrown Off balance) it's pretty easy to see them in terms of bonuses or penalties. So you invoke them or endure them as appropriate.

But Disarmed, as you have pointed out, is a bit of a different beast. Being disarmed doesn't cause a penalty to swinging your sword, it outright prevents you from swinging your sword.

So the first thing I've taken to doing when someone is disarmed, as the GM, is to compel them via the new condition to not use their sword until they are able to re-equip it. It seems to be the best way to make the game rules match up with the fiction in this case, because conditions on their own don't have narrative power - it's only when they are invoked/endured/compelled that they do so. The disarmed character earns an Ardor point for the compel.

I generally don't allow invoking or enduring of the Disarmed condition at this point because, as you've pointed out, the natural disadvantages of being disarmed speak for themselves.

Is it unbalanced compared to other maneuvers? Maybe. But I'm okay with that — especially since it can be used as easily against you as it can be for you. Eventually both parties are going to be out of weapons and fighting with fists — which is awesome.
 

Vargold

AKA MalteseChangeling
Validated User
#3
Well, assuming that you successfully impose a Disarmed condition on your opponent, you only get the one free invoke on it. Dogpiling the Disarmed guy after that is going to eat up a lot of Ardor. Plus Mr. Disarmed will be using his turn to pick up his weapon again. (I would rule that you need multiple successes on the Disarm maneuver to knock the weapon far enough away that it couldn't just be picked back up on the victim's next action.). So I see a Disarm as a momentary opportunity, not a guaranteed win.
 

Jeremy Keller

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Validated User
#4
(I would rule that you need multiple successes on the Disarm maneuver to knock the weapon far enough away that it couldn't just be picked back up on the victim's next action.)
In this situation, I generally make the rank of the Disarmed condition the opposed roll for picking it up. So if it's a single-success disarm, the weaponless character might have to make a Reflex roll against a d6 to snatch it up from their feet without putting themselves in danger. If it's a triple-success disarm, they're going to have to make a Dash roll against a d10 to scuttle over to where it is and pick it up.

Of course, if you have another weapon on you, it's always just a free action to draw a weapon.
 

Vargold

AKA MalteseChangeling
Validated User
#5
In this situation, I generally make the rank of the Disarmed condition the opposed roll for picking it up. So if it's a single-success disarm, the weaponless character might have to make a Reflex roll against a d6 to snatch it up from their feet without putting themselves in danger. If it's a triple-success disarm, they're going to have to make a Dash roll against a d10 to scuttle over to where it is and pick it up.

Of course, if you have another weapon on you, it's always just a free action to draw a weapon.
Much more elegant. But then again, you designed the game. :)
 

Jeremy Keller

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#6
Yes, but I also wrote it...so this is giving me a good idea of what needs to be better explained/exampled in future editions of the game.
 

BiggerBoat

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#7
So the first thing I've taken to doing when someone is disarmed, as the GM, is to compel them via the new condition to not use their sword until they are able to re-equip it. It seems to be the best way to make the game rules match up with the fiction in this case, because conditions on their own don't have narrative power - it's only when they are invoked/endured/compelled that they do so. The disarmed character earns an Ardor point for the compel.
Thanks, Jeremy. That makes sense.

If the disarmed character was an NPC, I am assuming you wouldn't force a player to pay an Ardor for the "can't use your sword until recovered" compel? In other words, it would just come out of and pay back into the limitless GM Ardor pool?

Perhaps for future editions or add-ons you might consider a named manuever which is intended to deny the use of a tool. I could imagine disarm being used for other situations besides just combat to deny the use of tools or perhaps even aspects. For example, at a social function someone might point out that an opponent's gown is actually out-of-date and unfashionable, thus denying the use of the gown as a supporting tool. Arguably, however, this just complicates things when creating an aspect will work fine as an abstraction 98% of the time.

Anyway, while I have your attention, can I ask a couple of other quick questions?

First of all, the rules describe a simple manueuver that is automatically successful, such as knocking a candle into a bale of hay to set a fire condition. Is an automatic success generally going to create a D6 aspect?

Secondly, when performing multiple actions, do you need to declare all actions at the start of your turn .... or, can you spend the ardor and announce another action after your first is complete?

Thanks!
 

Jeremy Keller

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Validated User
#8
If the disarmed character was an NPC, I am assuming you wouldn't force a player to pay an Ardor for the "can't use your sword until recovered" compel? In other words, it would just come out of and pay back into the limitless GM Ardor pool?
Correct.

As an option (as in not mentioned in the actual rules), you can keep any Ardor that an NPC earns through compels and endures and hold it in a specific pool for that NPC. Then when the NPC spends those Ardor points, they go back into the big bowl rather than being paid to the opposing player.

Perhaps for future editions or add-ons you might consider a named manuever which is intended to deny the use of a tool. I could imagine disarm being used for other situations besides just combat to deny the use of tools or perhaps even aspects. For example, at a social function someone might point out that an opponent's gown is actually out-of-date and unfashionable, thus denying the use of the gown as a supporting tool. Arguably, however, this just complicates things when creating an aspect will work fine as an abstraction 98% of the time.
I'll definitely consider that. I especially like the idea of disarming non-combat tools.

First of all, the rules describe a simple manueuver that is automatically successful, such as knocking a candle into a bale of hay to set a fire condition. Is an automatic success generally going to create a D6 aspect?
Yes, anything higher should be the result of a roll.

Secondly, when performing multiple actions, do you need to declare all actions at the start of your turn .... or, can you spend the ardor and announce another action after your first is complete?
I don't make players declare the additional actions at the start of their turn, but I do make sure that the additional action can occur simultaneous to the original action. Even then I practice leniency when the original action is movement (I think it kinda sucks to have to spend you entire action moving and not get to attack or maneuver).
 

BiggerBoat

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#9
Thanks again, Jeremy.

A follow-up question, if I may....

This is related to resolving conflict. In the book, you say "If the defeated are not happy with the results of the conflict, they have one recourse: they may initiate a new conflict in some other arena."

So, let's say we have a combat scene and the PC is defeated. Does that player now have the option to say "I want to try to escape?" and initiate a chase scene? What if the stakes of the combat scene involved the opponents subduing the PC? How do you handle it when the request for a new scene is at odds with the defined stakes?

On a related note, can a player ever attempt to end a conflict (perhaps initiating a new one) before that conflict has been fully resolved? For example, if an NPC says something particularly insulting during a parley, can the PC draw his sword and transition into a combat scene even though neither participant has been reduced to 0 vigor?

I am thinking "yes" on both counts, though perhaps on both counts the character has to suffer consequences. In the first example, If he had accepted the resolution of the battle, the consequence would have been his capture. But, by initiating the new conflict he might take a physical injury. In addition, the opponents might escalate the stakes for this new conflict, making it more dangerous. In the second example, he might take a mental injury to reflect his angry and impulsive response, wheras if he simply saw the parlay through he would have been able to enter the new conflict without this handicap.

In general, I'd appreciate any insight how you've handled these sorts of scene transitions in your beta testing.
 

Jeremy Keller

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Validated User
#10
As a GM, I think the easiest way to handle these situations is to make sure the stakes are upped every time a conflict escalates. If the enemy is just trying to subdue you, but then you try and run off, the enemy is going to make sure they tie you to a tree if they catch you again. Likewise if you abandon a parley (in which the stakes were that you believe your opponent's lie) in favor of a fight, now you're in danger of getting hurt.

I'm not sure if it's completely necessary to add an extra injury into the mix. They'll often happen on their own accord. Remember, if you take a "killing blow" and take more damage than you have left in Vigor, the extra damage automatically turns into an injury. So there's a good chance you'll end up with an injury at the end of a particular conflict anyway.
 
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