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[Strands of Fate] How to handle this kind of conflict?

StanTheMan

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Say you have a Senate of Rome type game; players are all senators of various stripes, they've formed a faction, and they intend to guide the Republic through the current political crisis.

Now, debates in the Senate are going to be important to the game. We want them as some sort of conflict. How to do it?

What I mean here is, if my group of four players decide to pressure the Senate to do something as a faction, how to game it out?

The thrust here is that there should be some sort of Stress and Consequences for the group; they shouldn't enter into some conflict, or one person in the group shouldn't bear all the "damage". They're a faction after all; just as everyone can help you out in a tight spot, you're also liable to be lumped in with them when things sour.

Two ways I see:

1. Social Conflict: question is, how, for a group? Rules as I read them don't exactly say (though, page 235 of the example seems to imply that one guy rolls to defend, but everyone gets the Stress). Like, if in one round one guy is speaking an "attack", trying to sway the Senate against the actions of a rival faction (and we assume in another round another player will speak for their side) how do we deal with Stress and Consequences? Do we just assume all members of a faction share in the Stress (since they get painted with the same smear brush) and can deal with the Stress individual (one guy takes the Stress, another takes a Consequence, etc). Or what?

2. Stat the faction as an organization, and let the two "organizations" go at it. Say, once faction is the Optimates, the other the Populists, and they go at each other, faction to faction? Use the rules as such (with players as possible aspects, for example, if they're particularly noteworthy)?

3. Some other way I've missed that others have used?

How would you do it?
 

Leprenomichaun

Non-Euclidean faerie
Validated User
2. Stat the faction as an organization, and let the two "organizations" go at it. Say, once faction is the Optimates, the other the Populists, and they go at each other, faction to faction? Use the rules as such (with players as possible aspects, for example, if they're particularly noteworthy)?
This is what I would do. I think doing it as a social conflict has too much potential to get bogged down in excessive rolling--unless you're wanting the specifics of the debate to take up a great big chunk of actual game time. Doing it as an organisation v organisation conflict will give you an equally interesting mechanical base, the ability to gloss over a few details regarding specific arguments and counter-arguments, and it would be resolved in a handful of rolls and only take a quarter of the time.
 

StanTheMan

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Validated User
This is what I would do. I think doing it as a social conflict has too much potential to get bogged down in excessive rolling--unless you're wanting the specifics of the debate to take up a great big chunk of actual game time. Doing it as an organisation v organisation conflict will give you an equally interesting mechanical base, the ability to gloss over a few details regarding specific arguments and counter-arguments, and it would be resolved in a handful of rolls and only take a quarter of the time.
Interesting. I was wondering, since I'd like to keep it fun, in that we ought to do something more than some roleplaying and a die roll, but at the same time, yeah, excessive die-rolling gets tedious very, very fast. Thanks for that - I shall explore the idea further!
 

DrFURIOUS

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You may just want to borrow the social combat mini-game from Diaspora. It seems very well suited for what you're trying to do here.
 

StanTheMan

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Validated User
You may just want to borrow the social combat mini-game from Diaspora. It seems very well suited for what you're trying to do here.
I'm actually trying to avoid that; the Diaspora one is good for figuring out social stuff, of course, but there's virtually no "pain" for the participants. In Strands, there's a shot at that if I go for the first way I mentioned above (which, after doing some reading, seems more of what I want). Maybe. But yes, of course, I could use Diaspora's Social Combat. Just don't particularly want to.
 

Uqbarian

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
1. Social Conflict: question is, how, for a group? Rules as I read them don't exactly say (though, page 235 of the example seems to imply that one guy rolls to defend, but everyone gets the Stress). Like, if in one round one guy is speaking an "attack", trying to sway the Senate against the actions of a rival faction (and we assume in another round another player will speak for their side) how do we deal with Stress and Consequences? Do we just assume all members of a faction share in the Stress (since they get painted with the same smear brush) and can deal with the Stress individual (one guy takes the Stress, another takes a Consequence, etc). Or what?

2. Stat the faction as an organization, and let the two "organizations" go at it. Say, once faction is the Optimates, the other the Populists, and they go at each other, faction to faction? Use the rules as such (with players as possible aspects, for example, if they're particularly noteworthy)?
For option 2, you could adapt the group character rules from Legends of Anglerre.
 
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