Author Topic: Blocks versus Shapeshifters  (Read 1212 times)

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 03:14:03 PM »
to quote "Your Story" a block is a block is a block.

A wall of fire or a hail of gunfire can block movement just as readily as force field or Evard's Black Tentacles.

What makes it irrelevant to you, and what skill can overcome it depends on the special effect (Might doesn't help on a wall of fire or gunfire, but does help to defeat a force field or tentacles.)

Your definition doesn't track with the actual examples in the rules.  All a block does is set an obstacle on the scene, just as the GM does when he puts in a terrain feature between zones. (in the case of movement)

"movement" is not a skill any more than "shapeshift" is.   A crowd of reporters attracted by a contacts roll is just as much a block as a magically created stone wall, both prevent you from leaving a zone.  The skills to overcome them are different, and whether or not you destroy the block (allow others to ignore it, or allow you to ignore it on later phases) depend on whether you, say, blew a hole through the wall to get past it (wall is gone, for you and everybody else), jumped over it (defeated difficulty with athletics, but if you want to come back you have to do it again), or flew over it (the wall never matters to you, but matters to others in the scene)

Flight is just a power.  It explicitly ignores blocks and zone barriers where flight would help.  That is in fact all flight does, mechanically.  (Aquatic, Mistform, Spirit form are written the same way.  No declarations or invocations required).

Invoking aspects is a different way to overcome a block.  Fate nearly always gives you the option of invoking aspects OR working with the skill system.   Aspects tend to either give success or failure, although sometimes they merely modify skill rolls, skills (and extras like the DFRPG Supernatural powers) don't require fate points most of the time but need to make sense in the situation and defeat the difficulties set.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 03:21:56 PM by solbergb »

Offline Taran

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 9686
    • View Profile
    • Chip
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 03:19:07 PM »
What he's saying is this:

A block will impede a roll.

Shapeshifting doesn't require a roll, therefore, it can't be blocked.

That said, if it makes sense, If someone uses Intimidate to put up a block (to scare the person enough that they won't shape-shift), I'd allow a discipline roll to beat the block.(since discipline is the default save against intimidate)

That's artificially putting a roll on something that normally has no roll.

The example with mist form and a force-shield is an athletics roll vs a movement block.

Offline Tedronai

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2343
  • Damane
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 03:23:00 PM »
Movement might not be a skill, but it IS a trapping.  Of Athletics.

If you want to overcome a block against movement by making an Intimidate roll, all you have to do is explain how you're using Intimidate to move.


The skills to overcome a block are the skills that effect the actions that block impedes.


@Taran:
I'd suggest they just use a Maneuver & Invoke-for-Effect  (or, as I said with the mist, a Declaration & Invoke-for-Effect)


If you have any source for your conviction to the contrary, please cite it.
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
Slough

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 03:26:23 PM »
What he's saying is this:

A block will impede a roll.

Shapeshifting doesn't require a roll, therefore, it can't be blocked.


And I'm saying he's completely misunderstanding Block.  Block impedes an ACTION not a ROLL.

There is no "roll" in moving between zones that lack terrain features between them that your character sheet can't automatically overcome (things with legs can walk across a parking lot, things with wings can fly over fences, aquatic creatures can cross a river).  There is no "roll" in shapeshift either.  Both, however are actions and thus can be blocked.

The blocking mechanism requires a skill roll of some kind, and it has to make sense given the situation (who are you blocking, how are you blocking them).  You don't need powers to block.  All evocation does is vastly increase the ease of having it "make sense" to block actions, because it is so flexible.  (A rapport/crowd block on movement requires a crowd handy.  a conviction/cross block on movement requires the target to have faith-based catch.  A wall of thorns block on movement requires the target not have supernatural toughness or be a swarm or have flight)

Offline Taran

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 9686
    • View Profile
    • Chip
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 03:35:17 PM »
It's not a particular conviction.  It's just using GM judgement call in a weird situation.

I'm not suggesting you overcome a movement block with intimidate, I'm suggesting you can block physical movement with intimidate.

Quote
The skills to overcome a block are the skills that effect the actions that block impedes
.

I'm agreeing with this.

I allow things like incite emotion blocks to block physical movement and attacks even though it's a mental effect.

But movement is Athletics and attacks is guns, fists, weapons, evocation etc...

In the case where something doesn't have a roll (like shapeshifting) then I can see where an invocation or a narratively appropriate roll be used.

The maneuver works as well but I don't see why a block wouldn't do the same thing.

And I'm saying he's completely misunderstanding Block.  Block impedes an ACTION not a ROLL.

There is no "roll" in moving between zones that lack terrain features between them that your character sheet can't automatically overcome (things with legs can walk across a parking lot, things with wings can fly over fences, aquatic creatures can cross a river).  There is no "roll" in shapeshift either.  Both, however are actions and thus can be blocked.

The blocking mechanism requires a skill roll of some kind, and it has to make sense given the situation (who are you blocking, how are you blocking them).  You don't need powers to block.  All evocation does is vastly increase the ease of having it "make sense" to block actions, because it is so flexible.  (A rapport/crowd block on movement requires a crowd handy.  a conviction/cross block on movement requires the target to have faith-based catch.  A wall of thorns block on movement requires the target not have supernatural toughness or be a swarm or have flight)

While I agree, certain "actions" can't be blocked.  Defense actions, for instance.

There is no roll to a move action, unless there is a border.  Once you create a border you NEED to roll.  That's what a block does: it sets the difficulty for the required roll.

So, if you want to block shapeshifting (which is an action) how do you set the difficulty against something that doesn't normally require a roll.
My advice is you decide what type of skill is used to shapeshift and that is what you would use to overcome the block.
As you say, the block has to make sense though and not much is going to impede shape-shifting.

Or you create an appropriate maneuver and invoke for effect.

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2014, 03:40:23 PM »
Movement might not be a skill, but it IS a trapping.  Of Athletics.

If you want to overcome a block against movement by making an Intimidate roll, all you have to do is explain how you're using Intimidate to move.


Same way you use might to ignore a wall by blowing through it.  Athletics has a trapping jump (over an obstacle), climb(over an obstacle), dodge (through an obstacle such as covering fire), and move MORE THAN ONE ZONE (everyone can move one zone) via sprinting.  Might, by contrast has a trapping to move other things (the obstacle) which has the side benefit of eliminating the obstacle for everybody else, or yourself on later exchanges.   If the object is fragile enough, some attacks might do the equivalent of Might (eg, Shoot combined with a rocket launcher, or high shift evocations with discipline)

Moving is not Athletics.  Moving is moving.  Moving more than one zone is athletics.  Athletics only helps against a block if you can climb it, jump over it or dodge it.

I think we all agree Intimidate doesn't get you past a physical wall.

Athletics could get you past a crowd-type block set up with Rapport, by dodging through the crowd or jumping over it.  Aspects get involved only to make athletics a choice you can't use for some reason (secret identity, or fleeing reporters instead of answering them causing undesirable social consequences).   

For a crowd-type obstacle, Might or high shift evocations are only useful if you don't care about hurting them.  Intimidate, Deceit and Presence have trappings explicitly appropriate (Brush Off, Creating a Distraction, Command).   Resources (Money Talks), Contacts (Knowing People) and Perform (Playing to an Audience) could also work to either bypass the obstacle (just for you) or destroy it (dispersing the crowd) depending on the exact skill involved and the way the block was set up in the first place (reporters demanding answers is different from fans wanting autographs is different from peasants with pitchforks and torches).  Rapport, by contrast, would probably require setting up a maneuver (First Impressions - Crowd is helpful) and invoking it, because it lacks a specific trapping clearly appropriate to the obstacle.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 04:22:55 PM by solbergb »

Offline Tedronai

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2343
  • Damane
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 03:47:37 PM »
So, if you want to block shapeshifting (which is an action) how do you set the difficulty against something that doesn't normally require a roll.
My advice is you decide what type of skill is used to shapeshift and that is what you would use to overcome the block.
As you say, the block has to make sense though and not much is going to impede shape-shifting.

If you absolutely must allow a block against an action that has no roll normally attached to it, I highly suggest leaving the 'skill rolled to overcome' left almost entirely up to the player(s) being subjected to the block (subject to the usual 'reasonableness clause').  Do not predetermine the possibilities.  Predetermination is confinement.  If the player can craft a compelling narrative for how a particular skill might be sufficiently involved in their shapeshifting (or whatever other non-roll action is being Blocked), then let them use it.
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
Slough

Offline Taran

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 9686
    • View Profile
    • Chip
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2014, 03:49:09 PM »
If you absolutely must allow a block against an action that has no roll normally attached to it, I highly suggest leaving the 'skill rolled to overcome' left almost entirely up to the player(s) being subjected to the block (subject to the usual 'reasonableness clause').  Do not predetermine the possibilities.  Predetermination is confinement.  If the player can craft a compelling narrative for how a particular skill might be sufficiently involved in their shapeshifting (or whatever other non-roll action is being Blocked), then let them use it.

of course

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2014, 04:07:50 PM »
Just a couple other points.  In a "Non conflict" situation a "block" is merely a "contest" if it's set up by active opposition or a "simple action to overcome" if it is already there in the scene.

In a "Extended Contest" a "block" is just part of the opposed rolls, with flavor being to impede you instead of to advance the cause of the NPC.  It just adds shifts to the enemy overall total for success.   This can be a consequential conflict, which raises the stakes a bit (eg, bypassing the crowd contest difficulty set by the opposition with intimidation, athletics or might could cause a minor social consequence, where dealing with it via a "softer" social skill might not)

Blocks as actual blocks defined are only in "Conflicts" (YS 199, bolding is mine)



Quote
Block (YS199): Roll to set up a preemptive defense
against a specified future action; anyone
committing that named action will have to roll
against the block to succeed (page 210).

Quote
YS210
To perform a block, declare what specific type
of action the block is intended to prevent and
roll an appropriate skill. The total of that roll is
called the block strength.

Action:  Shapeshift out of human form
Appropriate Skill:  Presence (keep somebody important focused on interacting with the shapeshifter),  Rapport (make the person prefer human form because an attractive person is making you feel good about your appearance),  Intimidate (threaten to hurt them or somebody they care about if they change),  Discipline+evocation (use mind magic to lock down their ability to shapeshift), lore(complexity)+thaumaturgy (skill-like ability to block shapeshift, requires connection to the target + ritual)


Quote
During the exchange,
any time a character wants to perform the action
thatís covered by the block, he must roll against
the block and meet or exceed the block strength
to be able to perform that action.

Examples of what to roll against the block in above examples:  Deceit (distract the individual watching you), Discipline (ignore your hormones and shift), various social defenses (discipline to work through the fear, or in case of threat to others, you might counter-intimidate or invoke contacts or something to defuse the threat), Discipline (mental defense against evocation), Discipline (mental defense) or maybe Lore (to break the connection or find a loophole in the thaumaturgy)



Quote
When you create
a block, the block has to be specific and clear in
two ways: who itís intended to affect, and what
types of action (attack, block, maneuver, move)
itís trying to prevent. Generally speaking, if the
block can affect more than one person, it can
only prevent one type of action. If the block only
affects one person, it can prevent several types of
actionóup to all of themóas context permits.
You canít use a block to prevent someone from
making a defense roll.

Given that you can clearly block other supplemental or free actions (you can prevent people from speaking, drawing a weapon, etc), shapeshift shouldn't be any different.  It certainly is specific enough.

An area block against shapeshift is unlikely to work, but isn't impossible (indeed Dresden did exactly that when he dispelled the magic of the lycanthropes when they were trying to gather it in one scene of the 2nd book).   Certainly intimidate might get it done.

Quote
Keep in mind that there are some blocks that
just wonít work in some situations. (Trying the
ďkeep them pinned down with gunfireĒ trick on
a loup-garou isnít going to really help you much,
given that theyíre immune to bullets.)
This covers the "fly over walls, shapeshift into mist, Molly leaves an image while sneaking off, you aren't actually a vampire so brandishing a cross doesn't matter" situations.  No rolling, the block just won't work against the technique used to ignore it.

You'll note there is nothing that says anything about a block against a "roll".  It is against an action.  Likewise it says nothing about what skill is used to defeat a block.  It depends on the nature of the block and yes, a block against shapeshift (or anything else) the player trying to overcome the block gets total freedom on how to get out of it...but his solution must make sense to the table, preferably improving the story.

Just think about how many skills and powers can be used to bypass a wall, and how different a set of skills and powers might bypass a crowd on a dance floor.  The consequences of some approaches might be permanent (destroying the wall or using an explosion to clear the dance floor) and might cause aspect-compels or long term consequences.






« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 04:16:36 PM by solbergb »

Offline Taran

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 9686
    • View Profile
    • Chip
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2014, 04:19:35 PM »
So I agree with you but...to be devil's advocate...and a rules lawyer:

Quote
When you create
a block, the block has to be specific and clear in
two ways: who itís intended to affect, and what
types of action (attack, block, maneuver, move)
itís trying to prevent

What kind of action is shapeshifting?  Is it an attack, block, maneuver or move?

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2014, 04:25:21 PM »
I'll go with reduction to absurdity here.  Shapeshifting is a free action or a supplemental action, rarely a full exchange (mistform, modular shape).  Talking is a free action.

If we're going to only allow blocks on those four actions you are saying there is no way to prevent an opponent from screaming for help, short of taking them out.   Where obviously you could do it with might (covering their mouth with your hand), rapport (asking them to stay quiet while you talk), intimidate (stay quiet if you want to live) and all sorts of flavors of magic (blocking sound, pulling air from lungs, etc)

Offline SpoonR

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2014, 04:25:57 PM »
For clarification:  Assume target is lycanthropic or other were-type.  I'm starting to think something based on their Catch would be more appropriate.  My thanks to everyone who chimed in.

Given that, binding/handcuff/collar could work.  Human legs always become back legs, arms become forelegs etc, and you always shift to the same shape.  So, use a tight collar, a celestial-monkey-brand shrinking headband, a ziptie bracelet, etc.  The trick is you put it on a body part that will get bigger if they shapeshift. A collar for instance: if you shift without breaking out of the collar, you start choking yourself. Resist the block with Might.

Good luck trying that on a Loup-Garou though.

Offline Tedronai

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2343
  • Damane
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2014, 04:26:51 PM »
You're ignoring part of the text that you yourself have quoted:

Quote
When you create
a block, the block has to be specific and clear in
two ways: who itís intended to affect, and what
types of action (attack, block, maneuver, move)
itís trying to prevent.
(bolding added)

These are the types of action that a block can normally affect.
Each of them has some sort of roll defined by the rules as being involved in enacting them (be that in some cases, as with movement, or in all cases, as with the others).
(veils add 'perception' to the list of things that can be blocked, but that too has a roll defined in the rules).

(ninja'd by Taran)




Beyond that, the more important point I've actually been addressing for most of my involvement in this thread is your insistence that only certain skills might be appropriate to overcome a particular block, while implying that those rolls might not line up directly with the rolls the block itself affects.
Again, if you have any rules basis for this position, please present it.



I'll go with reduction to absurdity here.

If we're going to only allow blocks on those four actions you are saying there is no way to prevent an opponent from screaming for help
maneuver + invoke-for-effect
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
Slough

Offline Taran

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 9686
    • View Profile
    • Chip
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2014, 04:32:53 PM »
I'll go with reduction to absurdity here.  Shapeshifting is a free action or a supplemental action, rarely a full exchange (mistform, modular shape).  Talking is a free action.

If we're going to only allow blocks on those four actions you are saying there is no way to prevent an opponent from screaming for help, short of taking them out.   Where obviously you could do it with might (covering their mouth with your hand), rapport (asking them to stay quiet while you talk), intimidate (stay quiet if you want to live) and all sorts of flavors of magic (blocking sound, pulling air from lungs, etc)

The reason it's down to those 4 actions is because those 4 actions require rolls and overcoming blocks requires a roll.  An appropriate maneuver could prevent someone from speaking.

Here's my opinion:

Quote
Action:  Shapeshift out of human form
Appropriate Skill:  Presence (keep somebody important focused on interacting with the shapeshifter),  Rapport (make the person prefer human form because an attractive person is making you feel good about your appearance),  Intimidate (threaten to hurt them or somebody they care about if they change),  Discipline+evocation (use mind magic to lock down their ability to shapeshift), lore(complexity)+thaumaturgy (skill-like ability to block shapeshift, requires connection to the target + ritual)


These are better represented as maneuvers defended by:

Quote
Action:  Shapeshift out of human form
Appropriate Skill:  Presence (keep somebody important focused on interacting with the shapeshifter),  Rapport (make the person prefer human form because an attractive person is making you feel good about your appearance),  Intimidate (threaten to hurt them or somebody they care about if they change),  Discipline+evocation (use mind magic to lock down their ability to shapeshift), lore(complexity)+thaumaturgy (skill-like ability to block shapeshift, requires connection to the target + ritual)

And when/if they fail to save against the maneuver, you invoke for effect.

Everything you've listed above is a perfectly good maneuver with an appropriate defense.  In the end, it's the same thing, really.  "saving" vs a maneuver or "rolling" against a block.

The difference is the maneuver can last longer and have very interesting results or be turned down via a FP.  The block will last 1 round.

Ninja'd...

Offline solbergb

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2014, 04:41:10 PM »
First response on nitpick about the four action types to be blocked noted in prior post.


Beyond that, the more important point I've actually been addressing for most of my involvement in this thread is your insistence that only certain skills might be appropriate to overcome a particular block, while implying that those rolls might not line up directly with the rolls the block itself affects.


I am sorry I gave that impression.  That is not what I'm saying.

Any skill can establish a block against any action if it makes sense.   Defense isn't an action, it is the difficulty to take certain actions, and is likely why it's excluded from blocking...it's meaningless to block defense.   (you can block perception which prevents a defense higher than mediocre, but that's a different issue)

The nature of that block determines which skills can destroy the block, which skills can overcome it for you without destroying it, and which skills/powers/aspects might render the block ineffective.

Without the details of the situation you can't set up a block, or define how it can be overcome.  Each block is 100% situational.

edit....maneuver for effect and invoke is mechanically identical to a block, which is one reason Fate Core eliminated the block mechanic entirely.  The primary difference in DFRPG is that a block uses the action economy rather than the fate point economy (you can't invoke or compel a block) and has the potential to affect more than one target - a scene aspect isn't the same as a zonewide block, not exactly.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 04:45:50 PM by solbergb »