Adding Details, Conjunctions and Names

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Adding Details, Conjunctions and Names

Postby Davechan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:42 am

I have a question, mostly of a general nature, and I'm interested to see what people think. On one of the FAQ sidebars on p. 121, there is an example given of establishing the identity of an assassin as "female Blooded of the Bear from the party" as breaking the Wanker Rule, by trying to skirt the rules on the number of details you can name with a single wager. I get that, and it makes sense. However, is the player being a Wanker by the process, or the outcome? I'd say very definitely the process - but the outcome is a bit more sketchy. The player is clearly attempting to establish that the assassin is a specific individual (unless his particular party has a hugh number of female Bear in it) - would he be a Wanker to just use her name? This would be a much more simple process. Compare below a de-Wankerified version of the example in the book, and then one using the name:

Success: I recognise the Assassin
1st Wager: The Assassin is Female
2nd Wager: She is Blooded of the Bear
3rd Wager: She is a member of the party

Success: I recognise the Assassin
Wager: It is Jane

By naming someone specific, it's possible to cut down on the number of wagers needed a lot. I don't see this as a necessarily bad thing, as I don't feel that it needs to be a game of Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral every time. And there are tactical reasons for using one or another method of establishing characters with wagers - if in a contested risk, you use your first wager to establish a named individual, then your opponent is more likely to add n details that you were not necessaarily expecting. "I recognise the Assassin. It is Jane." "And she has a knife to your throat". In the 20 questions style, you're more likely to co-operate (or not!) on establishing a character.

So, to give a slightly more pithy question, does using a character's name in a Wager break the Wanker Rule?
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Re: Adding Details, Conjunctions and Names

Postby wunderworks » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:51 pm

Not at all! The reason one might go with the first option vs. the "It is Jane" Option is because the player themselves might not either A.) know what to say, or B.) want to leave it open for others to say. Remember, when stating wagers during the outcome of a group contested roll you take turns. The winner goes first with privilege, then decides to either use their first wager or have someone else do so. Then it goes in turn around the room as people declare truths. This lets you create a joint mutual story that builds on everyone's imagination and can be unexpected and even more awesome than the single idea that you came up with.

Now if you're the only one making the roll, then usually option two (It is Jane) is the route people take so they can make larger, more sweeping truths and gestures about the thing they're doing, knowing, seeing, etc..

TL;DR: There are good reasons to go both ways. :)
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Re: Adding Details, Conjunctions and Names

Postby Davechan » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:06 pm

That's pretty much the way I looked at it - I was just worried (well, maybe overstating it slightly - I have no compunctions about twisting RPG rules to my own ends when running!) that I was missing something. I love the tactical element to making wagers, as well as the potential for fun storytelling. I didn't expect Mr. Wick to have so limited things, and I'm glad I wasn't reading in things I expected to be there but weren't.
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Re: Adding Details, Conjunctions and Names

Postby LordWyrmsBane » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:35 pm

I actually had something just like this happen in my last game session.

One of my players defined with a wager that one of the PCs had a blood contract with a neighboring Count, but did not specify who. Not a Count under whose shadow any of the PCs were bound, mind you.

I then offered Style to anyone who was willing to have their character be the person who was bound by the Contract.*

Leaving a wager more open ended lets the other players have an opportunity to participate as well. Who knows, you might find the mousey player in the back, who never participates, takes the opportunity to jump up and get involved by declaring themselves the assassin.

*Though, in my case, the player originally spent the wager quickly spent two Style, and declared that he was the person who was bound by the Contract. I ended up giving him a Style for being so willing to screw with himself.
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