Contested risk question

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Contested risk question

Postby Yavathol » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:05 am

Hi, I've just bought the rulebook and it's an amazing revelation! I think I need to re-read it for things to sink in more. There are a couple of points which I'd appreciate some advice on, please. (I'll use two topics since they are different subjects).

Firstly, using the example of a contested risk given in the book (Baron Xvynnen fails to hide from Lady Shara; he gets one wager while she has two).

I can immediately see my players wanting to make a test for Shara to hear Xvynnen's personal guard approaching on the other side of the door. Also, she was just in the passageway, stepped into the room and made a test to see the Baron. Wouldn't she have seen the guard before she went in, or did he magically appear? In other words, while it might not have expressly been stated that the guard was not outside the room, wouldn't that wager change the past continuity of the situation?

Secondly, let's say the Baron ends up hiding in a closet and Shara didn't spot him. The Baron then wagers to find a secret door at the back of the closet. Shara counters by saying it is locked. The Baron now wants to pick the lock, but this should be another risk test, right? What happens to any wagers remaining from the hide test? More generally, can one make a second risk test in the middle of resolving the first test?

Thanks
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Re: Contested risk question

Postby JohnWick » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:26 am

First rule: You can't use a wager for a risk.

This is a pretty loose rule for me. I let my players get away with it when they come up with something that adds to the game. Or screws their own character. Or makes another character look cool. I may even reward them with Style if they do so.

From my own example, I'd say that it's entirely fair to allow to use wagers as risks just as long as the player isn't doing so against other players or sabotaging other players' stories/NPCs/etc. Or otherwise being a wanker. Bad form.

As for Shara's guard, once she spends the wager to add him there, he's always been there. Nobody heard him there--unless the Baron uses a wager to say, "I knew he was there."

I like the example of the Baron hiding in the closet, that's a great example. The Baron adds the secret door, but Shara adds, "it's locked." That rocks. It's also why the bonus wager Blessings are in place: so you can add the door and "I walk through it" right after the door gets added.

You can't make any risks until all the wagers are spent. Yes, you will lose wagers and that hurts, but it happens to all of us.
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Re: Contested risk question

Postby Yavathol » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:50 am

Thanks John, I think I understand the picking locks part - if Xvynnen wants to pick the lock to the secret door then any remaining wagers are lost, and he can make a new risk test, right?

I'm still unclear on the guard behind the door part, I'm afraid. It wasn't Shara who created the guard, but Xvynnen's Effect! Presumably the Narrator said something like 'Shara walks down the passageway from the ballroom and goes into her room. Sue, would you like to declare an intention to find Xvynnen?

Then the contested risk happens, a couple of wager take Effect, and Xyvnnen's player states "and one of my guards, just outside the door, asks if everything is all right inside."

So unless some length of time has taken place that hasn't been mentioned, has the guard been ret-conn'd into existence i.e. Shara walked passed him in the passageway and the Narrator didn't mention it? That seems a little odd, but it was also be odd to assume the guard got there any other way, unless it is an illegal Effect?
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Re: Contested risk question

Postby Mishka » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:30 am

Hmm... I would go with that if the Narrator or Shara's player made sure there was nobody even remotely close to the hallway, Xvynnen can't change that with his Effect, as that'd be contradicting something previously established. Unless it'd seem cool to the other players.
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Re: Contested risk question

Postby Snag » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:57 am

Yavathol wrote:Thanks John, I think I understand the picking locks part - if Xvynnen wants to pick the lock to the secret door then any remaining wagers are lost, and he can make a new risk test, right?

I'm still unclear on the guard behind the door part, I'm afraid. It wasn't Shara who created the guard, but Xvynnen's Effect! Presumably the Narrator said something like 'Shara walks down the passageway from the ballroom and goes into her room. Sue, would you like to declare an intention to find Xvynnen?

Then the contested risk happens, a couple of wager take Effect, and Xyvnnen's player states "and one of my guards, just outside the door, asks if everything is all right inside."

So unless some length of time has taken place that hasn't been mentioned, has the guard been ret-conn'd into existence i.e. Shara walked passed him in the passageway and the Narrator didn't mention it? That seems a little odd, but it was also be odd to assume the guard got there any other way, unless it is an illegal Effect?


In that event, what you probably wanted to do is respond to, "Can I make a Cunning/Wisdom risk to hear if Shara's guards are coming?" by saying, "I don't know, you tell me. Are Shara's guards coming down the hall?" Give them the opportunity to spend Style before they go flinging Risks and Wagers about.

Or bribe the other players. "I'll give you a style point if you say the guards are coming down the hall."

But try not to let them roll a Risk to figure out something that you haven't expressly stated or alluded to. Let 'em spend Style to figure that stuff out. Once it's been established, then let 'em Risk to see if they can hear it before the guard(s) arrive.
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Re: Contested risk question

Postby JohnWick » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:04 am

Yavathol wrote:So unless some length of time has taken place that hasn't been mentioned, has the guard been ret-conn'd into existence i.e. Shara walked passed him in the passageway and the Narrator didn't mention it? That seems a little odd, but it was also be odd to assume the guard got there any other way, unless it is an illegal Effect?


Honestly, I think you're thinking about this too hard. The guard is there because someone spent a wager to put him there. The justification for him being there is "Nobody spent a wager to say 'We're alone.'"

It's just that simple. Things appear as needed by the players. Like a vase of flowers on the table to throw at Shara to distract her. Or the secret panel in the room Shara never knew about before--even though it's in her own room.

The system doesn't try to recreate "reality," but "literature." Keep that in mind.
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