[hw-rules] Re: AP's and switching in combat

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_7-sERxTj_mrbySMr-Mkq_gt_TqUhEaIjRL6M-9nScmQ0rQnjWM-7-NFWGQPAqJiEQSz2jIbm>
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 11:55:26 -0800

>> As I understand it, if you switch skills in the midst of a combat, you
> > keep the AP from the first skill you declared?
> > What's to stop someone using a nearly* inappropriate skill at a very
> > high level to start a contest with a high AP total, then switch in the
> > second roll to a skill that makes more sense (thereby fluffing
> >their AP level higher than it should be).
> >
> >Did this get an answer. I think this is basically what a lot of folks
> >are asking about the AP mechanism.

Hm, I thought I *had* answered this, but perhaps not...

> Idea One: This type of situation calls for a good Narrator to rule that
> person "bringing the knife to the gun fight" loses, and loses big.
> Oscar Wilde initiates a Rapier Wit contest with a dark troll, who promptly
> whacks him with a lead-filled snowshoe. I, as Narrator, ask Oscar's player
> if he wants to reconsider his choice of abilities. If Oscar doesn't, since
> I consider Rapier Wit to be less than useless to defend against
> Snowshoe, Oscar's Rapier Wit skill level and AP[1] are reduced to 1 (if he
> rolls a one, he only fails instead of crit fails). Unless the dark troll
> really unlucky, I suspect that Oscar is down, all because he was an idiot.

One of the problems with the "Oscar and the Troll" example is that the context is never given...

Is Oscar attacking the Great Troll in debate before a hallful of Mama Trolls, or are they out in the bush with weapons? In the first case, I (as a narrator) would give the troll a big improv penalty because the skill he is using to defend is not appropriate to the attack (ie, he will lose face before the Mamas). In the second case I would say that unless Oscar has a heroic level of Repartee his attack suffers the improv penalty.

It also depends on who started the fight. Remember that it is the Actor (the guy who starts the combat) that determines what skill to use. The appropriate defense for Rapier Wit is a similar ability. Not, generally something a troll will have, so he may have to fight with the default value of 6 (!), allowing Oscar to demolish him in the first exchange (Oscar has a mastery or two in Rapier wit, so he'll get at least one bump, and the troll has a 1-6 of not failing. All Oscar has to bid is, say 10 AP and get any victory). Oscar will probably win the contest *before* the troll can swing his snowshow. Hopefully, the Mamas will laughingly restrain the troll and let the puny human walk...

> Let's say that Oscar instead chooses something useful like Scampering Off.
> In this case, he ceded the first attack (because he was an idiot and tried
> to banter condescendingly with a hungry troll), but he uses Scampering Off
> (with any appropriate modifiers) and the AP from Scampering Off.

Nope, he uses his current AP (whatever it is, and wherever it came from) and the Abiltiy rating of Scampering off.

> Idea Two: It takes two to have an extended contest. If Oscar tries Rapier
> Wit on the dark troll and the troll responds with the lead-filled
> then the Rapier Wit "attack" is resolved with a simple contest and the
> troll starts an extended contest with his attack. It's up to Oscar to come
> up with a countering ability for the combat extended contest.

A possible way to do it. In this case, if Oscar wins the simple contest, the troll will start the Extended contest with whatever penalty the consequence of his defeat by Oscar's Wit gives him (he's still trying to figure out what the hell Oscar meant - he's distracted). On a complete defeat the troll wouldn't get a chance to attack...

> Idea Three: If Oscar's Rapier Wit is some sort of feat that could actually
> be used to oppose the troll in physical combat, then the extended contest
> works normally.

Correct. If Oscar is a Devotee of Donander, he may actually have a "Confuse enemies in combat with witty repartee" feat. (hell if I know that's what Donander has, but for the purpose of example...)

> Overall Philosophy: Narrators need to maintain some control over the game
> to keep people from doing stupid, illogical (dare I say munchkinish)
> for some metagame reason.

Absolutely Correct.

RR             Received on Sat 25 Mar 2000 - 11:50:30 EET

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