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Author Topic: [Technoir]Adjectives and Contention  (Read 1504 times)

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:15:50 PM »
Going to post and discuss some of the rules from Technoir so that people can decide what this game is about and whether they would like it. Any quotes will be taken from the free beta of the game, still available for free from the website and quoted under Fair Use for the purposes of criticism and study.

The characters in the game, are defined by verbs, which are attributes and skills rolled into one. All their equipment, special abilities, and conditional modifiers are defined by adjectives. Here is an explanation of adjectives.

Quote from: technoir
Sometimes a protagonist wants to manipulate another character. Sometimes an antagonist wants to hurt a protagonist. In order to move the story forward, sometimes characters have to affect change on other characters. This is when we reach for dice. The dice help us tell the story of how these actions play out and what their consequences are.

An action—within the scope of this chapter—is an attempt to use one of the character’s verbs to alter the course of the narrative by impacting another character. This is done by applying new adjectives to characters or by removing existing adjectives. Since each adjective represents a fact in this fictional world, you can change the world—ever so slightly—with every adjective you add to it or subtract from it. This is a system for manipulating characters, sometimes subtly, often violently.

If you want your thug to nab a protagonist, he slaps his meaty hands on her shoulders and now she’s grabbed. Then he can throw her over his shoulder and lug her away so she’s carried. Finally, he can shove her into the cage in the back of the hauler and lock it up so she’s detained. Each action he takes is a step towards getting what he wants. Each adjective he creates means that one step got accomplished. Meanwhile the protagonist can take actions to struggle free and remove those adjectives or to attack your thug and add some choice adjectives to him in turn.

The person playing the acting character gets to author the adjective. This allows her to ensure her actions can create the effects she intends. You and the other players can brainstorm the best word that fits the circumstances. Offer up evocative synonyms and biting metaphors. While it is up to the acting player to decide on the adjective applied, sharing suggestions helps to create a sense of agreement over how the action played out and gauges interest in how the narrative moves forward based on the word that is chosen.

The rules here don’t keep score. The potential outcomes of any scene are not predetermined. Your antagonists achieve what they want when they accomplish it with the adjectives they create and remove. The same goes for the protagonists. You and your players can change your characters’ goals for the scene at any time. The mechanics only gauge the narrative as it is now and give you a way to change it with your next action. If you want to know who is “winning” or “losing,” you’ll have to judge that by what’s happening in the fiction.

Adjectives are open to interpretation. They are part of a language we use in the game to collaboratively tell stories.
It's fairly clear in the description of adjectives from the author himself that this game is concerned with collaborative story telling, even including players brainstorming together to decide what adjectives to apply to an NPC. Much like Aspects in Fate, the game has a system of tags, but these adjectives seem to be even more concerned with the metagame of storytelling then Fate Aspects are.

Due to the amount of narrative metagame involved, it looks difficult to interact with the core mechanics of the game from an IC perspective, which is a clear sign of a Narrative RPG that probably has crossed the line into Roleplaying Storygame. An examination of the Contention Mechanic will follow and we'll see how often we have to exit the character to actually play the game.

Edit: Thought the old thread would get moved instead of closed, remade it over here since Brendan had some questions.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 07:23:11 PM »
Quote from: Bedrock Brendan
Before we even get to the OP's question, I am not sure I get the whole adjective thing here. If they want characters to be able to move things forward, wouldn't giving them control of some verbs, adverbs and nouns make more sense? To me that passage makes it sound like on a succesful roll I get to go from "i swing the shovel at the bad guy" to "I swing the heavy shovel at the stylish badguy". Am I missing something here?
Kind of, the adjectives are basically Aspect tags, but instead of adding or subtracting +2/-2, they add Push Dice (positive) or Hurt Dice (negative) to your Dice Pool.  If it sounds kind of like Marvel Heroic Superheroes, it should, the author of technoir was Art Director on MHR.

To really break down the adjectives, the key thing to remember is, you add an adjective to someone through the Contention mechanic.  In other words, if I'm not applying an adjective to myself or someone else, I don't roll dice.  There's no raw skill check.  I'm either adding an adjective or I don't roll.  The basics of the Contention mechanic are here.  I'll post a more detailed rundown with the author's explanations in a bit, probably an hour or so when I get home.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

BedrockBrendan

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 08:20:24 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;618483
Kind of, the adjectives are basically Aspect tags, but instead of adding or subtracting +2/-2, they add Push Dice (positive) or Hurt Dice (negative) to your Dice Pool.  If it sounds kind of like Marvel Heroic Superheroes, it should, the author of technoir was Art Director on MHR.

To really break down the adjectives, the key thing to remember is, you add an adjective to someone through the Contention mechanic.  In other words, if I'm not applying an adjective to myself or someone else, I don't roll dice.  There's no raw skill check.  I'm either adding an adjective or I don't roll.  The basics of the Contention mechanic are here.  I'll post a more detailed rundown with the author's explanations in a bit, probably an hour or so when I get home.


I have to say, just looking at that, this systems seems like it would make it very ard for me to get into the flow. I am sure some folks wouldn't have this reaction, but this is just too deep into this stuff for me.

Silverlion

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 09:40:39 PM »
Funny, I think the biggest problem with games like this is the authors desire to rewrite common verbage we already use. They could have used traits instead of verbs, or whatever. Same goes for Dungeon World (moves over actions, fronts instead of event locations.)

Its really somewhat shall I say.... heartbreaking?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 07:16:34 PM by Silverlion »
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CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 10:01:38 PM »
Adjective Example #1 - Adjectives in bold italics.

Quote from: technoir
Risc wants to meet with Mars—the leader of one of the local cells of the Cynners. But Mars is notoriously reclusive. To see her, Risc needs to get one of her lackeys to bring her in. So Risc walks up to Vabbel, who’s standing by his Car outside of the RIOT nightclub. Vabbel is a driver for the Cynners.
Vabbel isn’t going to volunteer to bring Risc in. Risc has to manipulate him in  some  way.  She  starts  out  by  making  fun  of  his  car,  making  him insulted. By itself, it’s not enough to get Vabbel to take her anywhere, but it is enough to provoke the Cynner into throwing a punch. Risc falls to the pavement and gets bruised.
As Risc stands up, she extends the claws out on her cyberarm. She drags the claws along the side of the car. It’s only cosmetic damage to the vehicle, but it’s enough to make Vabbel pissed off. Now Vabbel starts wailing at her with punches and kicks. Risc is now bleeding and stumbles to the ground again. She looks up at Vabbel with a bloody grin and says, “You’re gonna catch hell for this, Vabbel. Yeah, I know who you are. So does everyone jacked into the video streaming from my eyes right now.” Now Vabbel is confused.
Vabbel throws one more punch, this one crossing her jaw, making her broken. Risc collapses in a heap.
Now Vabbel stands over Risc. She’s bruised, bleeding, and broken. He’s insulted, pissed off, and confused. Vabbel’s suddenly worried he might have started a gang war. If someone’s watching Risc’s video feed, he better not kill her. Best to blindfold her, bring her to Mars, and let the boss deal with it.


Adjective Example #2
Quote from: technoir
Sortia  has  tracked  down  Alabama—one  of  the  members  of  the  Sunset Crew—to a bar on Wilshire. As best she can tell, Alabama was just hired muscle and probably doesn’t know all the ins and outs of their job to knock over the bookie’s. But there might be more information in his apartment and Sortia’s looking to gain access. So she smiles at him, flirts with him, and buys him a drink. This makes Alabama infatuated with her and that’s all it takes for Alabama to invite Sortia up to his apartment.
  But there might be more actions needed for Sortia to snoop around once they are there. Fortunately, the infatuated adjective was made sticky so it is still be in play when they get there.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 10:07:43 PM »
So now the Contention mechanic.  I'll break it up in posts step by step with examples so this doesn't become the longest post in rpgsite history.  I'm not putting this in quotes because the italics I think mess with the formatting too much.

Invoking fair use, Technoir text begins:

1. RECHARGE PUSH DICE
Ask these questions to the acting player:
That sounds like you’re trying to assert an adjective on someone. Is that the case?
  • If yes, instruct the player to slide all Push dice to the charged area on her protagonist sheet. Push dice might have been discharged from a previous action or reaction, as shown below.
  • All of your antagonists use a common Push die pool. Any time one of your antagonists acts, recharge your Push dice, just like a player would above.
  • If no, then there probably isn’t a need to roll dice.

Example:
Risc —with  a  hood  over  her  head —has  been  dragged  into  a  bungalow where this cell of Cynners hang out. The place is kept secret and is lined with insulation designed to block any link signals from getting in or out. As she is brought before Mars, Vabbel pulls the hood off of Risc’s head.
Mars is wearing a sleeveless shirt that reveals her muscular, tattooed arms. She has short-cropped hair and squinting eyes. As the leader of this cell, she’s assuredly cocky.
The Gatamatic that was used to shoot Pi Larson belonged to a Cynner. Risc wants  to  find  out  why  Pi’s  dead.  Dessa—playing  Risc—decides  she needs to make a bold move if Mars is going to talk at all.

Dessa: I know I was blindfolded on the way in, but I want to tell Mars exactly where we are—make Vabbel look like an idiot.
Me: That sounds like you’re trying to assert an adjective on Vabbel. Is that the case?
Dessa: Well, I really want to give Mars the adjective.
Me: Okay, charge your Push dice.

Dessa  slides  the  discharged  Push  dice  from  her  last  action  to  the charged area on her protagonist sheet.

Technoir text ends.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 10:27:30 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 10:16:59 PM »
Invoking fair use, Technoir text begins:

2. ASSEMBLE THE DICE
Ask these questions to the acting player:
Which verb do you use to do this?
  • The choice is up to the player to choose what verb she is using for this action, but it needs to make sense in the circumstances of the fiction.
  • Have the player pick up a number of Action dice in her hand equal to her verb’s rating.
Do any of your positive adjectives, objects, or object’s tags help you?
  • If she can explain how a positive adjective, an object, or a tag aids her in the action, she can add a charged Push die to her hand for each one.
  • If  she’s  acting  for  the  benefit  of  a  character  she  has  a  relationship adjective with, she can add a Push die for that as well.
  • Let  her  know  that  she  might  want  to  keep  one  or  more  Push  dice charged to use to react with between now and her next turn to act.

Do you have any negative adjectives?
  • For each negative adjective she has, she must add a Hurt die to her hand.
  • If she is acting against someone she has a relationship adjective with, she adds a Hurt die for that too.

Me: Which verb do you use to do this?
Dessa: Detect
Me: You get a number of Action dice equal to your Detect  rating.

Risc’s Detect  is 1 so Dessa picks up one Action die.

Me: Do any of your positive adjectives, objects, or object’s tags help you?
Dessa: I think alert helps me because I’d probably pick up on a lot of clues from the environment. I might have heard trains going by. And I’m using my cybereyes with their sonar imaging which could have picked up the shape of some landmarks on the way in.
Me: You can pick up a Push die for each one of those. But you don’t have to use them all.

Dessa has four Push dice. She had gained one in her scuffle with Vabbel. She picks up three of the dice.

Me: Do you have any negative adjectives?
Dessa: Yeah. I have bruised, bloody, and broken still from before.
Me: Okay, take three Hurt dice.
 
Dessa picks up three Hurt dice.

Technoir text ends.

Note: In a game of Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun, the GM would tell you Vabbel tossed you in the trunk and if you wanted to use your skills and cyberware to determine where you were going, you would do it at the time, during the time where the GM said you were being driven around.

Here the scene starts with the player already there, the player wants to make a dramatic effect and then explains retroactively how this character could have found out where she was being driven.  In a traditional RPG, once you arrived at the hideout, the GM would probably say something like, "Sure you might have been able to figure out where you were, but when I said you were being driven somewhere, you didn't.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:05:59 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 10:22:28 PM »
Invoking fair use, Technoir text begins:

3. DESCRIBE THE ACTION
Ask these questions to the acting player:
What adjective are you trying to assert?
  • This  adjective  is  going  to  be  representative  of  the  consequences  of action being taken. It might be positive (to help the target) or negative (to hurt him).
  • Anyone at the table can make suggestions, but the adjective applied is ultimately up to the acting player.
  • The  adjective  shouldn’t  be  anything—like  unconscious  or  dead—that could remove the target’s agency in one hit, unless the target is a henchman. More creative solutions are needed to deal with heavies, connections,  and  protagonists:  each  adjective  partially  limiting  or re-directing the character.
What do you do to create the adjective?
  • The player describes what her character is doing in the fiction, using her selected  verb,  adjectives,  objects,  and  tags  as  inspiration.  She should indicate who the target is, but stop her if she starts to describe how the action affects him; that comes later.
  • Listen to make sure that the action has a logical path-or vector-towards resulting in the adjective she is going for. Ask her to revise her description or her adjective if the vector doesn’t make sense or is asking too much for one action.
  • When  you  are  describing  your  antagonists’  actions,  let  your  players challenge your vectors as well. This is a chance to get everyone at the table in agreement over what’s happening in the fiction.
  • Sometimes,  the  narrative  involves  futuristic  technology  beyond  the understanding of anyone at the table. In these cases, let your players make up some made-up descriptions that sound right—which we call techno-babble—and be liberal on judging the vector.
Me: What adjective are you trying to assert?
Dessa: Um … I want her to know I’m serious and capable.
Charlie: So impressed?
Haley: Or awed? Like she’s in awe of you.
Dessa: Yes, that’s it.
Me: What do you do to create the adjective?
Dessa: So as soon as the hood comes off, I say, “Nice place you have here. Good neighborhood. Athens Way, south of Segundo. How’s the rent in these parts?”
Me: Nice.
Technoir text ends.

Note: At this point I hope we can really dismiss the notion that this game is mostly traditional and not a collaborative storytelling game.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:06:20 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 10:36:17 PM »
Invoking fair use, Technoir text begins:

4. ROLL THE DICE
Ask these questions to the acting player:
Are you ready to roll the dice?
  • When ready, have the player roll all the Action, Push, and Hurt dice in her hand.
Do any of your rolled Hurt dice match the other dice?
  • For each number showing on a Hurt die, have her remove any Action or Push dice that match it. This is how negative adjectives mechanically hinder actions.
  • Any Push dice that were removed go to the discharged area on her protagonist sheet. The removed Action dice and all of the Hurt dice should be set aside so that only the surviving Action and Push dice remain in front of the player.

What is the highest number showing on the remaining dice?
  • The highest number is the player’s result.
Do any other dice match that result?
  • If so, append “.1” to the result. If there are two or more 5s as the highest numbers, then 5.1 is the final result.
  • Compare this number to the target’s reaction rating determined during the reaction in the next step.
Me: Are you ready to roll the dice?
Dessa: Yes.

Dessa rolls the dice in her hand.
She gets Action: 2; Push: 2, 5, 5; Hurt: 2, 4, 6

Me: Do any of your Hurt dice match the other dice?
Dessa: Yeah, there’s a 2 that matches my Action die and one of the Push dice.
Me: Okay, that cancels out both those dice. Set the Action die and all the Hurt dice aside. The Push die goes in the discharged area on your sheet.

Dessa discharges the Push die and sets aside the other dice.

Me: What is the highest number showing on the remaining dice?
Dessa: That’d be 5.
Me: Do any other dice match that result?
Dessa: There’s one other 5.
Me: Okay, so 5.1 is your result. Good roll.

Technoir text ends.

Note: If you want to see a Youtube video of the author describing the dice pool go here.  Course if you google youtube technoir you'll get to see the awesome scene from the Terminator first. :D
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:06:41 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 10:50:47 PM »
Invoking Fair Use, Technoir text begins:

5. DETERMINE REACTION
Ask these questions to the target player:
What verb are you reacting with?
  • The reaction verb should usually be the same as the verb used for the action, but exceptions abound. For example, Prowl is used to defend against Shoot when the target is behind cover and Move is used when he is in the open. Detect is often used to defend against Prowl and Prowl is likewise used to defend against Detect.
  • The target player may come up with some creative ways to feasibly use unexpected verbs.
  • He gets a base reaction rating equal to the chosen verb’s rating. This is just a static number; no dice are rolled for the reaction.
Do any of your adjectives, objects, or object tags help you to react?
  • For each positive adjective, object, or tag he can explain as aiding his reaction, he can discharge a Push die (sliding it from the charged area to the discharged area) to increase the reaction rating by 1.
  • If he can’t increase his reaction rating enough to prevent the action from succeeding (see the next step, “Resolve the roll”), he doesn’t have to discharge his Push dice.
What do you do to prevent the adjective from being asserted on you?
  • The target player narrates his character’s reaction using his selected verb, adjectives, objects, and tags as inspiration. He shouldn’t step on anything the asserting player said. He should focus on how he deflects, avoids, or absorbs the action.
  • Make  sure  the  reaction  has  a  vector—that  it  could  feasibly  defend against the assertion—just as the action had a vector, too.

Since I’m playing Mars, the target of the action, I ask these next questions to myself: “What verb are you reacting with?”
Me: So, Mars is using her Coax to react. That gives me a base reaction rating of 3.

Then I ask myself: “Do any of your adjectives, objects, or object tags
help you to react?”

Me: Mars is fearless, so that definitely helps her. She has her specs on which she can use to monitor the house’s link-jamming technology. I have two Push dice I could discharge to up the reaction rating to 5.

And finally, to myself: “What do you do to prevent the adjective from
being asserted on you?”

Me: So Mars doesn’t even flinch. As far as you know she could be sleeping with her eyes hidden behind her dark, wraparound specs.

Technoir text ends.

Note: Starting to look like bog standard Conflict Resolution.  Declaring intent, setting stakes (which in this game are always going to be the manipulation of adjectives), rolling dice, narrating result.  Lets keep going and see.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:07:05 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 10:55:52 PM »
Invoking Fair Use, Technoir text begins:

6. RESOLVE THE ROLL
Ask these questions to the acting player:
Is your action’s result equal to or less than the target’s reaction rating?
  • Compare the result of the dice roll to the reaction rating. If the result, including any .1 notation, is equal to or less than the reaction rating, then  the  action  was—due  to  the  reaction—not  effective  enough  to assert a new adjective.
  • After missing a roll, have the player mark the circle next to the verb she used on the protagonist sheet. This means the verb is primed. Priming a verb is the first step in advancing it (see page XX). You can skip this for your own antagonists; their verbs don’t advance.
  • If this is the case, skip ahead to the “Discharge Push dice” step.
Is your action’s result higher than the target’s reaction rating?
  • If the result—including any .1 notation—is higher than the reaction rating, then the action is effective and you can proceed.
Me:Is your action’s result equal or less than the Mars’s reaction rating? No, your 5.1 beats her 5. So that means your action’s result is higher than Mars’s reaction rating?

You can see that this is one of the first places where you can merge two questions together or just look at the dice for yourself to see what happens next. But for your first few rolls of the game, be sure to explain to the player how the result is interpreted.

Dessa: Yes.
Me: Your action is effective.

Technoir text ends.

Note: I will have to say, he does make examples that are easy to follow.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:05:33 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 11:01:57 PM »
Invoking Fair Use, Technoir text begins:

7. APPLY THE ADJECTIVE
Ask these questions to the acting player:
What adjective do you give the target? Is it positive or negative? How
does he get it?

  • This is when the player can finally describe how her action affects the target character. Only let her narrate enough to justify the adjective, no more.
  • The  adjective  can  be  the  same  as  she  indicated  at  the  beginning of this process, or it can be revised to better fit the action and reaction described.
  • It should be an adjective that the target player doesn’t already have. Repeats and synonyms don’t move the story forward.
Would you like to make the adjective sticky? Or locked?
  • By default, an adjective is fleeting. It only lasts until the target can take an action to get rid of it.  
  • The player can increase the adjective’s severity by spending (giving to you) Push dice that were not eliminated from the roll. When you spend Push dice, you give them to the player of the character you are giving an adjective to.
  • She can spend 1 Push die to make the adjective sticky. It will last until the target character can receive special attention later.
  • She can spend 2 Push dice to make the adjective locked. This means some sort of permanent loss that can only be mended by first replacing what has been lost (often with an implant of some sort).
  • It’s important to make sure that the adjective itself warrants the severity assigned to it. If the adjective is clearly supposed to be sticky or locked, ask the player to spend the Push dice to make it so. Otherwise let her revise the adjective so that it fits the severity.

Me: What adjective do you give Mars?
Dessa: I’m going to go with awed.
Me: Is it positive or negative?
Dessa: Negative.
Me: How does she get it?
Dessa: Well, the place I described is exactly where we are. Vabbel has to be looking pretty dumb and I have to be looking pretty smart standing next to him.
Me: Would you like to make the adjective sticky? Or locked?
Dessa: I want it to be sticky. It’s affecting her psychologically on some level.
Me: Okay. That’ll be one Push die. Dessa takes a Push die out of her roll’s results and hands it to me.

Technoir text ends.

Note: I can't even remember at this point the last time a decision was made from the point of view of the character.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:05:14 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 11:04:14 PM »
Invoking Fair Use, Technoir text begins:

8. DISCHARGE PUSH DICE
Ask these questions to the acting player:
Do you have any Push dice left?
  • Any  remaining  Push  dice  left  in  the  roll,  should  be  moved  to  the discharged area of the player’s protagonist sheet.
  • These are not available to be used in a reaction by the player between now and her next action. They recharge the next time it is her turn to act.

Me: Do you have any Push dice left?
Dessa: Yes, I have one.
Me: Okay, that die is discharged.

Dessa slides the die to the discharged area on her protagonist sheet.

Technoir text ends.

Note: Simple Die Pool cleanup common to any Die Pool game.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

CRKrueger

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 11:13:02 PM »
Invoking Fair Use, Technoir text begins:

9. RESPECT THE ADJECTIVE
Have  the  target  player  write  down  the  new adjective  on  his  protagonist sheet. If the adjective is positive, it goes in the left column of the adjectives section, next to a
  • symbol. If it’s negative it goes in the right column of that section, next to a [-] symbol. If it affects one of the character’s objects rather than him directly, place it in the space marked with a [-] next to the object’s listing. Mark one box next to the symbol if it’s sticky and two boxes if it is locked.


The procedure is now finished. The fiction goes forward from here with the idea that the new adjective represents something that happened and everyone should treat it as such. This might lead to a roll by somebody else, you might continue playing the scene in conversation, or it might be time to end the scene.

I write down awed in the negative column on Mars’s stat block. I mark one
box because it’s sticky.

Me: Okay, Mars is definitely awed.
Dessa: Great, then I want to get to the point. I say, “Which one of your numbheads shot Pi Larson?”
Me: So she comes out and says, “I keep close tabs on all of my brothers and sisters. There’s only one of mine who didn’t check in this morning. His name is Scythe. If you find him, I’m just as interested to hear what he’s been up to as you are. I’ll have Vabbel here drive you to his last known whereabouts.”

Technoir text ends.

Note: So we went through all that to see if the NPC responded the way the player wanted it to.

Or, the GM could have just roleplayed the personalities of the NPCs, decided if what the player roleplaying his character was saying made sense, and went from there without rolling a die.

*Sigh*

Ok, so waiting for the arguments about how this is a traditional RPG, I'm sure they'll be along shortly.  Let me save you some of the trouble, I'll start:

It's not bog standard Conflict Resolution, the Player doesn't narrate the outcome, the GM narrates the outcome based on the result of the Contention result and the Adjective applied.  So the GM is still the main interpreter of the Contention mechanic.  That still doesn't change the fact it's a collaborative Storytelling game.  A collaborative Storytelling game, with roleplaying.  More then half the acts the player is doing are doing so from the point of view of the player for the purpose of affecting the fiction (in the author's own words).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:33:02 PM by CRKrueger »
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

Isuldur is a badass because he stopped Sauron with a broken sword, but Iluvatar is the badass because he stopped Sauron with a hobbit. -Malleus Arianorum

"Tangency Edition" D&D would have no classes or races, but 17 genders to choose from. -TristramEvans

Tensen01

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[Technoir]Adjectives and Contention
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 06:24:03 AM »
Quote from: Silverlion;618516
Funny, I think the biggest problem with games like this is the authors desire to rewrite common verbage we already use. They could have used traits instead of verbs, or whatever. Same goes for Dungeo World (moves over actions, fronts instead of event locations.)

Its really somewhat shall I say.... heartbreaking?


I know right? It's not like "Verb" is a word with a set meaning that everyone understands. It's not like the word "Trait" can mean 10 different things in 10 different games.