Design Scratchpad: Mezzo Actions

Here’s roughly what I’m thinking for the action resolution system.

Resolving Actions

Start by declaring what you want the character to try doing. At that point, other player can state if they think the action should work especially well or poorly in this situation. This let the group reward especially appropriate actions and block ones that don’t fit. After this “reality check” the player can choose to drop their action and let the next action take place.

If the action was not dropped, other characters can try to interrupt the action as mentioned above. If the interrupt makes this action no longer viable, it can be dropped at this point.

If the action continues, determine the skill level for the action. If the character has an appropriate trait, it can be used to set the skill level. Otherwise, a player poll can be used to set the default skill level.

If another player thinks the acting player is trying to stretch a trait outside of its normal bounds they can call it out here. Use player polling to determine the penalty if any.

At this point other players can invoke any wounds or situational effect to penalize the action. Invoking a penalty makes the action more difficult or less effective, but gives frustration points to the acting player after the action resolves.

Once the terms are set, a skill check is made to determine how well the action is performed. Frustration points can be spent at this point to get rerolls. The result of this check provide a pool of effect points. If the players voted the action especially effective or less effective, this point yield will be adjusted accordingly. These points can be spent to:

  • Remove an opponent from the challenge. This can remove a minor character from play but usually just keep a major character from participating until the end of the challenge. This is a costly option, but can make victory easier. The target character can push to resist this, but requires a significant sacrifice or invocation of a special ability. If removing opponents is the stated goal for their side, this also counts as a push for victory attempt.
  • Push for victory. If the action could conceivably fulfill their side’s goals for the challenge, the character can spend points to try declaring victory. This is a costly option and becomes more costly for big challenges. Each character involved can block this effect once per challenge. If they do this, the acting player can still spend the points else where. Characters may be able to block an additional time, but doing so requires a sacrifice or invoking a special ability. Keep track of how many attempts are made as it can factor into the awards for the challenge
  • Wound. The player can add a detail to the target that can be invoked later to penalize their actions.
  • Impede: The player can declare a future action they want to prevent. If the target attempts this, that action will be penalized based on the points spent.
  • Set up: The player can specify a future action they want to support. Points are then “banked” and can be regained by the next character to take that action.
  • Frustration: If the total is too low to achieve the action’s goals, the player may convert effect points into frustration.

Next time I’ll go into what happens when a challenge ends.

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Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 5:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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