Author Topic: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks  (Read 13815 times)

Offline devonapple

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2011, 05:57:43 PM »
Alternate usage:
What if you wanted to perform a spell that removes the fire from all of the burning minions (and maybe the scene, as well) and turns it all into a huge fireball to hit the big bad? It could be argued that because the spell is meant to make magical "contact" with all the burning minions, that all of those minions' "On Fire" aspects can be tagged. Would this be something to allow?

I think this is Fate Point territory. It's not making magical contact with the minions so much as establishing Aspects which can be used.

Visually, I see what you are doing, but ultimately, rather than granting a +20 to the roll to remove those Aspects from the mooks and use them to hit the Big Bad, I would count it as a serious Compel against the Big Bad, and charge 2+ Fate Points depending on how much narrative grease is required to make the Big Bad go away.
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Offline sinker

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2011, 06:15:19 PM »
On the boards most people go with the interpretation that if two aspects have the same name, then for this purpose they are the same aspect.

While I don't disagree with the purpose (preventing the ridiculous bonuses this could lead to) this kind of rule is just bad. When you're making rules you must think about what that will lead to. All I can see is players spending time and effort to come up with ten different variations on the aspect "on fire." This slows the game unnecessarily and could lead to frustration and distraction. There are probably far better ways to deal with an issue like that, namely just saying no when a player is clearly trying to abuse the system.

Offline Drachasor

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2011, 06:25:51 PM »
While I don't disagree with the purpose (preventing the ridiculous bonuses this could lead to) this kind of rule is just bad. When you're making rules you must think about what that will lead to. All I can see is players spending time and effort to come up with ten different variations on the aspect "on fire." This slows the game unnecessarily and could lead to frustration and distraction. There are probably far better ways to deal with an issue like that, namely just saying no when a player is clearly trying to abuse the system.

In this particular example, you CAN only come up with one aspect.  They are all being applied together with one spell so the aspect on each guy has to be the same.  (E.g. this might be a 7 strength spell, 5 strength maneuver "On Fire" with 2 strength used to hit a whole zone).  If we consider other maneuvers done later, just how many times are they going to be lighting people On Fire?  If they are really doing it 10 different times, then it would help just from a book-keeping level to be able to keep track of each effect.  It's not hard to come up with a bunch of possibilities:  On Fire; Burning; Help! I'm on Fire!; Really On Fire!; Pants on Fire; Flame On!; etc.  That said, I'd be shocked if you ever needed more than two or three at most.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 06:27:22 PM by Drachasor »

Offline computerking

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2011, 07:57:03 PM »
I'd say not for a +20 bonus...only for a bonus for each person.  On a rules level I view them as the same aspect.

It would also be extremely bizarre to turn what is essentially a 6 or so shift spell into something that's more like a 15 or so shift spell.  In the end, one can make all the arguments one wants, but it certainly wouldn't be good for the game.  It would be really overpowered.  It's also uninteresting, since rather than have people invoke those tags one bit at a time or for effect for something dramatic, you are instead just pouring them all into one attack that ends the combat.  Lame.

Thanks. I thought that sounded too easy. 
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PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline devonapple

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 11:13:32 PM »
Bumping this topic for reference. Anyone know how we can get this made into a Sticky Thread?
"Like a voice, like a crack, like a whispering shriek
That echoes on like itís carpet-bombing feverish white jungles of thought
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Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2011, 01:35:13 AM »
Resources thread would seem more appropriate to me.

And we all know how to get those made.

Offline devonapple

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2011, 10:55:16 PM »
Resources thread would seem more appropriate to me.

And we all know how to get those made.

I don't know anymore.
"Like a voice, like a crack, like a whispering shriek
That echoes on like itís carpet-bombing feverish white jungles of thought
That Iím positive are not even mine"

Blackout, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2011, 02:27:54 AM »
Oh, sorry.

Just use the "report to moderator" function on the first post.

Offline devonapple

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2012, 11:51:55 PM »
Just use the "report to moderator" function on the first post.

I did, but the team either opted not to do so, or it was foiled in the server crash. I'll report it again!

Edit: and here we are! Thanks, team!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 12:50:27 AM by devonapple »
"Like a voice, like a crack, like a whispering shriek
That echoes on like itís carpet-bombing feverish white jungles of thought
That Iím positive are not even mine"

Blackout, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Offline sinker

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 02:28:03 AM »
Maybe we should start adding to this, give us sort of a word of Fred thread.

Here's a link to my questions for Fred, dealing with mortals and sponsored casters lawbreaking, mind magic, boosting evocation power, and transformation on a willing target (with a little morsel on concessions as well).

http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,30067.msg1292407.html#msg1292407

Now I'm looking around in the archives. Is that pretty much everything that Fred and Lenny have said to you, Devonapple?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 02:45:38 AM by sinker »

Offline wyvern

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2012, 03:34:50 AM »
Odd.  I just reported that very post you linked to as something that should be moved to this sub-forum... and got an e-mail saying it was already here.  Which, either I'm delusional, or it's not?
Edit: in case of spring cleaning, adding that quote here.
Ok, here it is.

Me: How do you run sponsored magic users when it comes to lawbreaking? Since it's not their magic does it still taint them somehow?

Fred: Lawbreaking is still a cost of casting certain kinds of nature-violating magic. (But maybe the sponsor would be willing to shoulder that cost in exchange for some particularly vicious debt.)

I think you've said something like this in the past. Can you be a little more specific as to what you mean by that? Are you saying that you might simply ignore the event in exchange for debt, or is there a way of mechanically representing this (like the temporary powers rules or something)?

I mean the player wouldn't take the stunt at all, nor get its benefits, but its sponsor would absorb the 'hit' and consider the player to be constantly in at least 1-2 points of debt each session (since that lines up with the cost of the stunt).

Also can pure mortals pick up the Lawbreaker (seventh) power from the wrong knowledge?

I probably wouldn't play it that way, but as you've guessed, that's a taste thing.

Does it work any differently since they don't have magic, or is it kinda wasted refresh?

It'd be wasted; doubtful they could do something with it; but I see this as more a plot device thing revolving around someone unleashing a [whatever] after reading the wrong book. But Lawbreaker usually implies that the owner of said stunt is some kind of practitioner, since all implementations affect the casting of spells, not general everyday activities.

Is there any situation where you feel that dealing mental stress with magic is ok (non-lawbreaking)? An example that keeps cropping up is that of the sleep or stun spell. Would you even consider that mental stress or would you run that as physical stress?

I'd consider it more than a little boring is what. :) I mean, really, those sorts of spells are pretty deprotagonizing when shot at the PCs and are essentially "put this target completely at my mercy" (so I can slit his throat or whatever) spells when PCs use them on NPCs. Which is pretty much the definition of a "taken out" result. Working towards that via whatever stress track is fine, I imagine -- your "sleep" or "stun" spell isn't really going to be producing a result that adds up to psychological trauma. Mental stress isn't an inherent violation. Invading someone's mind is.

Another question that came up while we were talking about this was if a mortal takes domination (or a similar power) to represent a focused and refined spell (like the Alphas' transformation) would they take lawbreaking powers or do we go with "such powers are already assumed to have assessed the costs for holding such sway over another's mind."(YS241)

Yeah, that's a little tricky, since it's all in the "soft" details rather than firmly in the system details. The rationale. I'd consider doing the Lawbreaker stunt there because the rationale says this is mortal magic rather than a "creature power".

Magic maneuvers. Do they have a duration based on the spell, or whether or not they are sticky? In other words if I maneuver is the aspect going to stick around for a number of exchanges equal to the shifts I devoted to duration, or is it going to stick around for the scene or until someone does something about it?

I'd probably treat them as a scene thing. Maneuvers are so lightweight, really. Persistence primarily matters with things like blocks and such. But I have a feeling I'm breaking the rules if I say it's so (I didn't write them).

Another question is what the book is talking about when it refers to "objects that store power" for evocation. It's fairly clear on what it's talking about thematically (relics, etc) but how would you run that mechanically? Is that a plot device kind of thing or is there a specific method that one could use?

I'd start by thinking about it in terms of ritual componentry, which is largely about objects-which-are-aspects.

Do you allow aspects to influence your evocation power? As I currently understand, aspects help with a roll, which doesn't happen for power, but it seems a little odd that a source of power would help with control.

An invoked aspect is a +2, right? Apply it to anything appropriate that has a numerical rating.

Finally transformation ritual on a willing target. Do you have to still have enough shifts of power to overcome all of their consequences, or could they technically choose not to take those consequences in which case you would only have to overcome the stress track?

One might suggest that this is a concession scenario. :)

I have to ask for a little more clarification on this one for two reasons. Firstly this is a huge one on the boards. No one seems to be able to come to a consensus on shifts necessary to transform a willing target. Secondly knowing what needs to be overcome is important for determining shifts. If we use the concession scenario, then do we simply need enough shifts to pay for the transformation effect itself without dealing any stress to the target?

No, concessions are done only in the face of stress. You'd have to deal enough stress to exceed the target's stress track for it to make sense for concessions to come into play. So that's your minimum.

This confuses me a bit. If you deal enough stress to exceed their stress track, then aren't they just taken out at that point, no concessions necessary?

That's the point at which they're:

- Taking a consequence and staying in the fight, or
- Conceding (though they could take a consequence), or
- Taken out (because they cannot take a consequence)

« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 05:15:17 PM by wyvern »

Offline sinker

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2012, 04:10:16 AM »
Weird. It definitely is not, but it doesn't really need to be if we simply have one thread and add to it.

Offline sinker

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Re: In the head of Fred - Q&A with Fred Hicks
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2012, 08:15:08 PM »
A response to this thread on what constitutes a "Pure mortal" and whether you can have supernatural aspects, but remain mortal.

http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,31641.0.html

I sent Fred an email, saying:
Quote
I know that you don't like being asked for "official rules calls", but this has more to do with the reason behind a small part of the game.  The why behind the Pure Mortal refresh bonus and how much it can be stretched.  With the ultimate rules authority (the table) unable to reach a consensus I thought I'd ask you about the reasoning behind its design.
1) Does the Pure Mortal refresh bonus represent a sort of "negative lawbreaker" bit? I.E. does someone with no supernatural powers have more freewill than a character with any supernatural elements?
1a) If not, is it just a game balance thing without any underlying philosophy?

2) Can a Pure Mortal have a High Concept that mentions supernatural ability?
EG 1: "Untrained Wizard with White Council Potential" - to be tagged when the character's innate powers might save him?
EG 2: "Distant Descendant of the Luck God" - to be tagged when luck is needed.

3) Could a Pure Mortal have a non-High Concept Aspect that references the supernatural?
EG: A Background Aspect: "Distant Descendant of the Luck God"

When he wrote back the individual points weren't addressed, but the gist of the question was.


Quote

We tried to build unity between the mechanical incentive (game balance, if you want to call it that) and the world philosophy, that pure mortals are potent because they have the benefit of so much free will. Mortals who get entangled in the affairs of the supernatural can turn into food, yes, but they can also screw it all up right proper (hello, Murphy).

It's also a representation that they have a lot of open potential in there, which locks down fast once they start heading a particular supernatural direction.

But, from a mechanical standpoint, the pure mortal bonus makes sense up until you start buying supernatural powers. Once you do, it goes away, full stop. Before then, you are, mechanically, a pure mortal without any supernatural powers, so I'd stick with keeping it.

Fred

So from a philosophical point, the "negative lawbreaker" thing fits.  Up until I got to the "But, from a mechanical standpoint,..." I thought the Aspect thing fit in as well.  Maybe it's a conflict between the design philosophy and resulting mechanics.