Mortal Coil - Sistema de resolução

Depois de uma data de dúvidas que foram surgindo na Forge sobre o sistema de resolução de acções do jogo Mortal Coil, o seu criador (Brennan Taylor) decidiu escrever uma série de posts onde exemplifica como vários conflitos podem ser resolvidos.

Embora longo acho isto extremamente útil para quem quiser jogar o jogo ou esteja interessado nele.

Note that these are not new rules. This is a more detailed explanation of how to apply the existing rules.

Conflict
So, you’ve gotten into a conflict with another character. There are a lot of different ways this could fall out, and we will now go through them from the simplest scenario to the most complex.

Conflict 1: A Simple, One-Action Conflict between Two Characters
The most basic and most common sort of conflict is a quick head-to-head between two characters. In the example, Michelle is the GM, and she has two players, Jason and Krista.

Jason’s character Eckhardt has had it with the corrupt mine owner, and he gets a gun from his car’s glove compartment and marches up to the mine owner’s trailer. Krista’s character Lucy steps in front of him.

Krista: Lucy says, “You’re not going in there with that gun.”

Jason: “Oh, yes, I am.”

Michelle: OK. This is definitely a conflict. Jason, what’s your goal?

Jason: I’m taking that gun with me when I go inside.

Michelle: Cool. Krista?

Krista: He’s going to give me the gun.

Michelle: All right. That’s simple enough. Allocate your tokens, and we’ll see whether Eckhardt gets to keep his gun.

Both Jason and Krista allocate their tokens secretly. Jason is using his Will of 4, plus Negotiator of 3, and puts all but one of his 7 action tokens in. Krista uses her Wits of 3, plus her Student of 2, and puts all but one of her 7 action tokens in as well.

Michelle: Ready? OK, let’s reveal. Jason, what’s your action?

Jason: Eckhardt is a tough negotiator, so I’m using that, plus his will to get Lucy to step aside. Will 4 plus Negotiator 3 plus 6 action tokens is 13.

Krista: Lucy is going to appeal to reason and try to talk Eckhardt out of this. She has a Wits of 3, plus her Student of 2, and I put up 6 action tokens, too. My total is only 11.

Michelle: All right, that means Eckhardt is up by 2: a success. He gets to keep the gun. Jason, how does this go down?

Jason: Eckhardt says, “Get out of my way, Lucy. This guy has refused to budge, and two people are dead because of it. He’s going to shut the mine down once and for all.” Eckhardt glares into Lucy’s eyes, his resolve is clear.

Krista: “Eckhardt, you’re going to get arrested brandishing that thing. What if he has a gun, too? This can only end badly, you know that.”

Jason: With a curt shake of his head, Eckhardt brushes past her. She knows she can’t change his mind.

Krista: “Dammit!”

Michelle: I think Lucy’s shaken by this. Spend an action token, Krista.

Conflict 2: A One-Round Multiple Action Conflict between Two Characters
OK, now we’ve covered a really basic conflict. Now, let’s get a bit more complicated. If two characters are in a conflict, they can try more than one tactic to get what they want.

In this scene, Michelle has the mine foreman confront Jason’s character Eckhardt, who is trying to enter the mine.

Michelle: A mine foreman comes out as you rush up to the mine. “Hold it right there!”

Jason: This is a conflict. I’m not letting him stop me.

Michelle: OK. What’s your goal in the conflict? The mine foreman wants you to turn around and go back down to the office.

Jason: I’m getting into that mine, and I don’t have much time. I don’t want him to delay me.

Michelle: Sounds good. Let’s allocate.

Michelle and Jason allocate secretly. Michelle decides the foreman is going to get rough with this strange character. She allocates 4 action tokens for the foreman to grab Eckhardt and give him the bum’s rush, using Force 3 and his aptitude Redneck 2. Michelle figures Eckhardt might try to fight back, so she puts two action tokens in Grace 2 to dodge, again using Redneck 2.

Jason knows the foreman probably has the edge in a physical confrontation, so he decides to mix it up a bit. He doesn’t want the foreman to get his hands on Eckhardt, so he allocates 3 tokens to defense, with Grace 3 and Policeman 3. He then allocates another 3 to Will 4 and Policeman 3, to show the foreman his gun and intimidate him into letting Eckhardt pass.

Michelle: Ready?

Jason: Ready. Let’s reveal.

Michelle: The foreman is going to grab ahold of you, and give you the bum’s rush out of here. “I don’t think you heard me, buddy. This mine is off-limits!” That’s the Force action. The Grace action is to defend against you fighting back.

Jason: Good thing I’m not fighting back, then. My Grace action here is to resist any physical assault, and the Will action is to show the guy my gun and get him to back down.

Michelle: Nice! I didn’t see that coming. Let’s resolve. Your Grace is definitely opposing the foreman’s Force. I’ve got a total of 9: 4 action tokens plus Force 3 plus Redneck 2. I figure as a redneck, he knows how to throw down.

Jason: All right, that’s fair. I’m using my Grace to resist, and I figure I’ve gotten in a few scraps as a cop. So, my total to resist is 9: 3 action tokens, plus Grace 3 and Policeman 3.

Michelle: That’s dead even. That means each of you only gets a partial success. Here’s what happens: the foreman rushes up to, saying, “This mine is off-limits, buddy!” and he grabs hold of your jacket, trying to manhandle you back down the hill. You’re light on your feet, and you’ve been in some scraps before, so you resist, twisting away as he tries to force you to move. He’s got a grip, but he can’t make you move.

Jason: Cool. Now the other action. He’s got no defense against Will. I pull out my gun. I’m not aiming it him, I’m just showing him I have it. “I’m more than you can handle, friend. Just step back, and we don’t have a problem.” I’ve got 10 in that action: 3 action tokens, plus Will 4 and Policeman 3. I’m using the gun, too, so that gives me a +2, right?

Michelle: In this case it’s a +1. A gun’s purpose is to shoot people, and here you’re just using it to intimidate. Guns can certainly be used for that purpose, though, so you do get a bonus. You’re total is 11. He’s resisting with Will only, and he’s just got a 2. You beat him by 9 points, that’s a spectacular success. As soon as the gun comes out, he lets go of your jacket and puts his hands in the air, stepping back and shaking his head. “I don’t want any trouble, man. Take it easy.”

Jason: Good. I sprint for the mine entrance.

Conflict 3: A One-Round Multiple Action Conflict between Two Characters with Reallocation
So, in the previous conflict, Jason’s character devastated the mine foreman because he hadn’t anticipated Jason’s tactic. The mine foreman gave up and stepped back, because Michelle didn’t think continuing the conflict was worth it. However, if something like this happens, there is another option to get out of terrible loss, and that is reallocation. Here’s an example of a conflict with reallocation.

In this scene, Jason’s character Eckhardt is ambushed by the villainous mine owner, and he has to defend herself.

Michelle: You’ve reached the breach, and you can see the head-sized hole that leads back into the magical dimension. It’s a swirl of darkness and fire, and an eerie howling that sounds nearly human is emerging from it.

Jason: OK, I’m stuffing the artifact back inside.

Michelle: Just as you approach, a figure looms from the darkness. It’s Jakkot, the mine owner, and he steps in your way. “Give me the artifact, Eckhardt, and you won’t get hurt,” he says, in a menacing growl.

Jason: Like fun. Conflict. I’m putting the artifact in the hole.

Michelle: And he’s going to get the artifact from you, by hook or by crook. Let’s allocate.

Jason decides that Grace is the best faculty to use to get the artifact in the hole. He’ll throw it if need be. He’s backing that with Occult Investigator, and he drops all but one of his action tokens there. He decides to go all in on this one, and puts the last one into Will to resist whatever the foreman is dishing out. He sets his Policeman with that action.

Michelle looks at Jakkot, and drops his main action, for 5 action tokens, in his Grace associated with his Thug aptitude to shoot Eckhardt dead. She also drops two action tokens in his Force, to block Eckhardt’s move for the hole, and uses Thug there again.

Michelle: OK. Let’s reveal. Jakkot’s using his Force action to physically block you from the hole, and Grace is going to him shooting you with his gun.

Jason: He’s shooting me? That bastard. My Grace action here is to throw the artifact back in the hole, and I’m using Will here to try to face down Jakkot, and stop him from shooting me, it looks like.

Michelle: I want to resolve the shooting action first, but whether or not you get plugged, the throwing action is still up against his Force to block. Jakkot’s Grace is 4, and his Thug aptitude is also 4. He put five tokens toward this, so his total is 13.

Jason: My Will is 4, and Policeman is 3, and I had only one action token going toward this. My total is 8. Not good.

Michelle: Definitely not good. He’s beating you by 5, that’s a spectacular success. He will maim or kill you with this shot. Let’s see how the toss turned out.

Jason: I’m using Grace of 3 and Occult Investigator of 2, and I put six action tokens behind this. That’s a total of 11.

Michelle: Occult Investigator is pretty weak for this situation, but Jakkot’s using Thug to counter, and that’s not any better. No bonus on either side. His Force is 3, Thug is 4, and he had two action tokens here. That’s 9. You win a success by a margin of 2. So, you’ll throw the artifact in the whole, but be possibly fatally shot by Jakkot.

Jason: The question is how bad do I want it… I’m not willing to take that hit, at this point. I’m going to reallocate.

Michelle: OK. That will cost you some action tokens.

Jason: I know, but it’s worth it to get out of the way of this speeding bullet.

Jason and Michelle cover their allocation again. Jason decides to move four action tokens over to his Will action, bumping it well up out of the realm of serious harm. Michelle decides not to reallocate in order to save Jakkot’s tokens for any follow-up conflicts.

Jason: Here’s how I reallocated. Now, the Will action is worth 12, and the Grace action is 7.

Michelle: OK. Jakkot gets the better of you in both actions now. He wins by one in the shooting action, so that means Eckhardt is scratched. He also gets a success in the block, by a margin of 2, so he steps forward and grabs the artifact, wrestling it away from you.

Jason: I’m not happy about that, but I am pleased to not be dead. Basically, Eckhardt can’t stop the stronger man from taking the artifact, but a cold look from his eyes makes Jakkot’s gun waver and the shot creases Eckhardt’s chest and he stumbles back, losing his grip on the artifact.

Michelle: Jakkot, chuckling evilly, runs back up the mine shaft toward the entrance, the artifact tucked under his arm.

Jason: Now, I’ve got to bring my tokens back. I went all in, so I am fatigued. That’s one spent action token. He winged me with the gun, for a scratch, so that’s a second action token spent. He would have scratched me when he seized the artifact, too, but two scratches don’t increase the spent tokens and I don’t have to worry about that. I also reallocated, so that’s a third action token spent. I’m down to four action tokens, and Jakkot’s still at full. I’m not in good shape to stop him now. I hope Lucy is up there at the mine entrance, and I hope she’s got a gun!

Conflict 4: A One-Round Multiple Action Conflict between Three Characters where One Is Helping
OK, sometimes in a one-on-one conflict, a third character gets involved, but doesn’t have a goal of their own. Instead, they are helping one side or the other.

In this scene, Michelle’s supporting character, Sal, a weaselly informer, is trying to seize a letter from Jason’s character Eckhardt. Krista’s character Lucy will try to help Eckhardt.

Michelle: Sal says, “Give me the letter and I’ll see to it that Mr. Wallace gets it.”

Jason: “I think I’d rather give it to him in person.”

Michelle: Sal sidles a bit closer than you’d like. “It’s probably better if I take care of it.”

Jason: Uncool. I’m going to put the letter back in my jacket pocket.

Michelle: I’m going to call this a conflict. Sal is lunging forward, trying to grab the letter. If he wins, he runs off with the letter.

Jason: Fine. If I win, I keep the letter, and Sal tells me who he’s working for.

Michelle: Nice. Let’s allocate.

Krista: Hang on. I’m right there. I’m not going to let Sal get away with grabbing the letter and running.

Michelle: OK. Do you have a goal?

Krista: No. I just want to help Eckhardt.

Michelle: Great. Everybody allocate.

Jason decides he’s going to get physical, too. He allocates two action tokens in Force and Policeman to grab ahold of Sal, two in Grace and Policeman to dodge Sal’s blows, and two in Will and Policeman to intimidate Sal into giving up his employer. Policeman is doing serious duty here.

Krista decides to load all of her action tokens, a total of five, in Grace, to trip Sal when he goes for Jason, helping Jason’s defense. She doesn’t really have an aptitude that applies.

Michelle allocates two of Sal’s action tokens in Force and Dirty Fighter to grab the envelope, and three tokens in Grace and Coward for Sal to run away.

Michelle: Everybody ready? Let’s reveal. Sal is going to use his Force action here to shove into Eckhardt and grab that envelope away from him. The Grace is to beat feet after.

Krista: I’m using Grace here to trip Sal and make it easier for Eckhardt to defend himself against the grab.

Jason: I’m using Grace to avoid that grab, Force to seize Sal, and Will to intimidate him into giving up his boss.

Michelle: Cool. Let’s start with Lucy, since she’s helping and the outcome of her action will affect your totals, Jason.

Krista: I didn’t really have an aptitude that applied, so I’m just using Grace. I put six action tokens in it, though, so that plus Grace 3 equals 9.

Michelle: You’re trying to stop him from grabbing, and since you aren’t using an aptitude at all, he definitely gets the +2 bonus for having a more applicable aptitude. His Force is only 2, and his Dirty Fighter is also 2, and he had two action tokens in there for a total of 8. Even with the advantage of having an aptitude you get a success. His grab action is at a -1 against Eckhardt.

Krista: Good.

Michelle: OK, Eckhardt. Let’s resolve the grab. Sal had a total of 6 against you, since you have an aptitude, and there’s the additional -1, so you just need to beat a 5.

Jason: Eckhardt’s Grace is 3 and Policeman is 3 and I put in two action tokens. That’s 8.

Michelle: You beat him by 3, a complete success. Sal sidled forward and lunged at you, reaching for the envelope. You jerk your hand away, just as Lucy sticks her foot out to trip him, and he stumbles and misses the envelope. Seeing where this is going, he turns to flee. This is where we resolve your grab and his running action.

Jason: My Force is 2, and Policeman again at 3, plus two action tokens. That’s 7 for the grab.

Michelle: Sal’s Grace is 3, and his Coward aptitude is 1, and he put 3 tokens in to run for it. His total is also 7. That’s a tie. Neither one of you gets what you want.

Jason: He can’t run, and I can’t grab him… but I still get my Will action because he didn’t get away yet.

Michelle: That’s right. Eckhardt grabs his jacket by the collar, but Sal is a slippery character. He ducks out of the jacket, leaving you holding his clothes, and he turns to run. He’s off balance, though, and he only manages a few shaky steps. He looks back at you.

Jason: I put my cop face on and shout, “Stop!” My Will is 4, and Policeman is 3, along with two more action tokens is a total of 9.

Michelle: Yeah, and Sal’s got no defense against that. He stops, quaking, obviously too terrified to run, or do anything else.

Jason: “I’m not going to hurt you, Sal, but you’d better tell me who sent you.” I take a couple of menacing steps forward.

Michelle: “You gotta believe me, Eckhardt, I don’t want any trouble with you! It was Duncan. He’s the one who wants the letter!”

Conflict 5: A One-Round Multiple Action Conflict between Three Characters
Up to now, all of the conflicts we’ve been looking at have been between two characters. Sometimes, more characters get involved, and that definitely makes things a bit more complicated. Here’s a one-round conflict between three characters, all with goals of their own.

This time, Michelle, Jason, and Krista are joined by Bill in a different game. They are all playing gods: Krista is Prosperpine, Jason is Jupiter, and Bill is playing Pluto. Jupiter and Proserpine have just walked into a bar where Pluto is having a drink.

 Michelle: Pluto looks up from the bar as the door swings open, and in walks Jupiter with Proserpine on his arm. They’re both dressed for a night out.

Jason: I’m ignoring Pluto and finding a table for me and Proserpine.

Krista: I’m not looking at Pluto. I saw him over there, but I don’t want to acknowledge his presence.

Bill: Oh, no. I’m not going to ignore this. I order up another stiff drink and down it, then I’m going to stand up, straighten out my tie and walk over to them.

Jason: “Oh, Pluto, I didn’t notice you there. How are you, brother?”

Bill: I’m totally blowing Jupiter off. I’m talking to Proserpine. “I know we’re through, but, really, him?” I wave my hand at Jupiter.

Krista: I dart an annoyed glance at Jupiter. I’m not happy about this. “It’s not really any of your business, now, is it?”

Michelle: Bill, are you trying to get something out of this conversation?

Bill: Yeah. I don’t think I can change her mind about me, I just want to make sure she doesn’t go home with Jupiter.

Jason: I’m not going to put up with him ignoring me. I want to humiliate Pluto and leave with his girl.

Michelle: This is definitely a conflict, then.

Krista: His girl? Nice. I’ve got a goal here, too. I want Pluto to admit it was his fault we broke up.

Michelle: Interesting. This is a three-way conflict, then. Let’s see who gets what they want, shall we? Everyone secretly allocate tokens for your actions.

Jason decides that he’s going to try to get Pluto to back off by intimidating him, and allocates 4 tokens in Will and his King of the Gods aptitude toward that. He also wants to charm Proserpine, so uses his Wits and Ladies’ Man aptitude, plus 2 action tokens for that action. Just in case Pluto decides to get rough, he allocates one token in Force plus his Boxer aptitude.

Bill knows Jason will try to block his attempt to peel Proserpine away from him, so he concentrates on that action with only a slight defense. He puts six action tokens in Wits plus his Huckster aptitude to persuade Proserpine that Jupiter’s a loser, and then throws one in Will plus God of the Underworld to resist whatever Jupiter or Proserpine throw at him.

Krista decides to put most of her attention on Pluto, and allocates five tokens to her Will and Ingénue aptitude to get him to apologize. She also allocates two tokens to Wits and Goddess of the Underworld aptitude to ignore Jupiter.

Michelle: Everybody ready? OK, let’s see what you’ve got.

Jason: My Will action here is to menace Pluto and get him to back off. Wits here is to charm Proserpine with my smooth manner. I had one in Force, too, in case Pluto got physical, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Bill: I put just about everything here in Wits to make an argument to Proserpine that Jupiter is a philandering loser. The Will action is to defend against both the these two.

Krista: Oh, you’re in trouble, Bill. My Will here is to get you to apologize. And the Wits is to fend off Jupiter.

Jason: “Fend me off?” Aw, man, that’s cold.

Michelle: All right, let’s match up all of these actions. Jupiter’s Will is going against your Will, Pluto, and Jupiter’s Wits is going against Proserpine’s Wits. Proserpine’s Will matches up against Pluto’s Will. Proserpine, even though you only specified Jupiter, your Wits will defend against both these jokers. Let’s add them all up and find out what happens! Let’s start with Jupiter’s attack on Pluto.

Jason: OK. My Will is 4, and I’m using King of the Gods, which is 2. Add the 4 action tokens, and I’ve got a total of 10.

Michelle: All right, Pluto, what have you got?

Bill: My Will is 3, and I have God of the Underworld as a defense here, which is also 3. That, plus the one action token, puts me at 7.

Michelle: That puts Jupiter up by three on this attack, a complete success. Let’s figure out the rest of the results before I tell you how that turns out. Krista, Proserpine is defending against two moves, let’s figure that out.

Krista: Proserpine’s using Wits to defend. Her Wits is 3, her Goddess of the Underworld is 3, and I put two action tokens there. Total of 8.

Jason: Jupiter is using his Wits—2, definitely not his strong suit, and his aptitude Ladies’ Man, which is 3. I put two tokens into that, which puts me at 7.

Michelle: Proserpine squeaks by on that one. A margin of 1, that’s still a success.

Krista: Whew.

Bill: Pluto really poured himself into this one. He used Wits, his highest stat at 5, and Huckster is a 4, plus six action tokens comes to 15.

Krista: Fifteen?

Michelle: Yeah, that’s pretty devastating. With an 8 for Proserpine’s defense, we’re looking at a margin of 7, a spectacular success.

Bill: Excellent. That’s what I really cared about, anyway.

Michelle: Obviously. Now, you’ve got to defend yourself against Prosperpine’s action, though.

Bill: Uh-oh.

Krista: So, Proserpine used her Will, a 4, and Ingénue, also at 4, along with five action tokens. That’s 13.

Michelle: And Bill, your defense was 7. She beats you by six. That’s a spectacular success for her.

Jason: Wait, I beat Pluto, Proserpine beat Pluto, and Pluto beat Proserpine? How does that work?

Michelle: Let’s look at what everyone wanted out of the conflict. Pluto wanted Proserpine to ditch Jupiter, and with that spectacular success, it looks like that will work out. Proserpine wanted Pluto to admit it was his fault they broke up, and with a spectacular success, that’s going to come to pass as well. Jupiter, you’re only getting half of what you want, it seems. You wanted to humiliate Pluto, and with a complete success, that worked. But you also wanted to leave with Proserpine, and Pluto has convinced her to ditch you, so that’s not going to work out.

Jason: Interesting.

Michelle: So let’s play this out. Pluto, you convinced Proserpine that Jupiter is a big jerk.

Bill: “Listen, Proserpine, I know you came here to get at me. I get it. But really, him? You know what he’s like. It’s not like half the nymphs in this place haven’t been home with him in the last six months. He’s just using you to get at me.”

Krista: “Maybe I’m using him to get at you. Ever thought of that?” She turns her head as if she’s going to ignore Pluto.

Jason: Wait, what? No way. “Come on, baby, don’t be like that.”

Bill: “He’s a complete slimeball. Look, you want me to say I’m sorry? OK, I’m sorry.”

Krista: “Not good enough. You know it was your fault I left, why don’t you admit it?”

Jason: I’m not going to sit here and take this from them. Jupiter rises up, seeming to grow too large for this little bar, and looms over Pluto. “Step away, little brother, or you’re going to get hurt.” Lightning crackles at the corners of his eyes.

Bill: Oh, yeah, I lost that intimidating fight with you. That’s totally working. Pluto quails and looks around nervously, licking his lips. Everybody else in the bar turns away, smirks of pity and disgust on their faces, as Pluto takes a few steps back. He’s still talking to Proserpine, though. “You’re right. It was my fault. I was too controlling, I know that. I wish I could go back, but I can’t.” After that last comment, he’s stepping quickly back over to the bar, hoping he hasn’t pissed Jupiter off enough that he’ll come after him.

Jason: That’s more like it. Show some respect, I’m King of the Gods. Jupiter turns back to Proserpine. “Let’s get out of here, baby. I’ll show you a night on the town.”

Krista: Proserpine is putting some things back in her handbag. “I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure it was a mistake to go out with you in the first place. I’ll get a cab home.”

Jason: Ouch. Oh, you’re going to pay for this one, Pluto.

Michelle: OK, I like how that played out. People lost conflicts here, so there is going to be some harm. Jupiter, Proserpine brushed you off, but she only beat you by one in that conflict, so you are only shaken. Spend an action token. Bill, that was rough. Jupiter beat you by three in his conflict, and you were humiliated in front of the whole bar. You’re a regular here. That’ll cost you. I think you’re anguished, spend two action tokens for that. And then there’s the little matter of having to admit you drove your wife away, also in front of the entire bar.

Bill: Oh, yeah, I think that broke him. I’m going to permanently reduce his Will by one.

Michelle: Harsher than I was going to go, but, yeah, broken it is.

Bill: And I know I beat Proserpine with a spectacular success, but I wasn’t trying to hurt her, just influence her behavior. I don’t think she should suffer any harm from that action. The harm would have been going home with Jupiter.
Michelle: I agree.

Jason: Hey!

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Rondas multiplas

The long awaited multi-round conflict writeup! I took Jason, Remi, and Clinton's game as an inspiration. I'm sure the conflict below resembles the actual play not at all.

Conflict 6: A Multiple Round Conflict between Two Characters
Now we get down to it: the hardest part of the conflict system. What happens when everything doesn’t neatly resolve when all the actions are worked out? That’s when you have multiple action rounds.

In this conflict, we have two characters; an Inuit shaman, Ataninnuaq, and a white nurse, Emily. Michelle is running the game, Krista is playing Emily, and Jason is playing Ataninnuaq. The shaman has the ability, set by magic token, to smoke illness out of a person with a fiery ritual.

Jason: I have the fire built in the back of the orphanage and I set the platform over it. I’m going to go inside and get the kid to put him over the fire.

Krista: Oh, man, I’ve been watching this from inside. I’m not going to let this guy take any of the kids away.

Michelle: That sounds like a conflict. Jason, what’s your goal?

Jason: I want to heal the kid with my fire cure.

Michelle: Fair enough. Krista?

Krista: No way he’s putting a kid atop that fire. I want him scared off, afraid to come back to the orphanage.

Michelle: All right. Ataninnuaq forces his way in the back door and heads over to the bed where little Joseph is lying, shivering with fever. Emily has been tending to Joseph all day, and she now stands by the bed, defiantly. Allocate your tokens for the conflict.

Jason knows the nurse is going to try to stop him, but he isn’t interested in physical violence. He allocates 3 action tokens to Force and his Hunter aptitude. To change the nurse’s mind, he decides to allocate 2 action tokens to his Will and Shaman aptitude.

Krista is pretty sure she won’t be able to win a physical conflict with the hard-bitten shaman, but she puts 2 tokens in her Grace along with Nurse to block him from the child. She also puts 4 tokens in Will and the Missionary aptitude to intimidate the shaman into backing off.

Michelle: Ready? Time to reveal.

Jason: Ataninnuaq’s Force action here is to pick up Tiriaq and take him out to the fire.

Michelle: Tiriaq?

Jason: Yeah, that’s Joseph’s real name. Ataninnuaq certainly won’t refer to him by his missionary name. All right, the Will action is to use his words to shake Emily’s faith.

Krista: Emily is using this Grace action to block the shaman from reaching Joseph. She’s also trying to get Ataninnuaq to back off, that’s the Will action.

Michelle: OK, the two Will actions are opposed, and Ataninnuaq is testing his Force against Emily’s Grace. Let’s see how it shakes out. Let’s start with the mental conflict. Jason, what have you got?

Jason: Ataninnuaq’s Will is 3 and his Shaman aptitude is 4, combined with 2 action tokens, that’s 9.

Krista: Emily is using Will, too, and her Will is 4. She is also using Missionary 3, which counters the Shaman aptitude nicely, I’d say. With the 4 action tokens I put in there, that’s 11.

Michelle: A win for Emily. Yeah, no advantage on either side between Missionary and Shaman. OK, let’s check that physical conflict.

Jason: Ataninnuaq’s a wiry old bastard, Force 3, and his Hunter aptitude, also 3. With 3 actions allocated, that’s another 9.

Krista: Emily’s Grace is only 2, but she has Nurse at 3. Along with 2 action tokens, it’s a 7.

Michelle: Hunter and Nurse are both stretches for this one, but since both are equally implausible, no advantage to either side again. This one’s a win for Ataninnuaq.

Jason: So, Ataninnuaq will pick Tiriaq up and take him outside to the fire, but he can’t shake Emily’s faith? That works.

Krista: Not quite. Emily may have lost that physical conflict, but she’s not done. No way is she going to let him put that kid over the fire, not while she can still move.

Michelle: OK, it sounds like this conflict isn’t over. Let’s describe what happened after the first conflict, though.

Jason: Ataninnuaq walks up to Emily and fixes her with a baleful gaze. “The ways of my people are long, and we know secrets you whites have forgotten. I can cure the boy.” He stares at her for a long moment, something old and powerful revealing itself in his flinty eyes.

Krista: Emily looks at the old shaman for a long time, and it seems almost like she may shrink back and yield to his will, but then she reaches up and touches the cross hanging from her neck, and her uncertainty turns to horror. “You won’t touch him, not while I live.”

Jason: Ataninnuaq seems unmoved by her statement, and with nothing more than a grunt he roughly pushes her aside and picks up the shivering boy. He carries him briskly through the door, to where his fire and platform are prepared.

Michelle: But Emily’s not done, right, Krista?

Krista: Right. Let’s do another conflict round. He’s going to have to really neutralize Emily if he wants to get away with this.

Michelle: OK, same goals as before. Allocate your tokens.

This time, Jason thinks he needs to get physical. The mental conflict didn’t work. He puts in one token in Will and Shaman to resist anything Emily may throw against him, but dumps the rest (4 tokens) in Force and Hunter to overpower Emily and tie her up so she can’t stop him.

Krista also decides to go physical this time. She decides to put 3 tokens into Force and Nurse to grab up Joseph, and 3 tokens in Grace and Frontierswoman to run away from Ataninnuaq with the boy in her arms.

Michelle: Everyone ready? Let’s reveal.

Jason: I need to finish this ritual without interruption, now. The Force action here is to overpower Emily and tie her up. The Will is to resist any mental assault she might try on me.

Krista: I’m using Force to grab Joseph back and then Grace to run from Ataninnuaq.

Michelle: Jason, since Krista didn’t use a mental action, your defense isn’t too useful. It looks like your action is directly opposed to both of Krista’s, though. Let’s take her first step, which was to grab the kid away from you. What have you got, Krista?

Krista: My Force is just 2, but I have 3 in Nurse. With 3 action tokens, that’s 8.

Jason: I’ve got a Force 3 and Hunter 3, and I put 4 action tokens in there. That’s a 10.

Michelle: I’m sorry to do this to you, Krista, but Jason’s Hunter aptitude is much better suited for the conflict at hand. He knows how to overpower and tie up things, and your Nurse aptitude isn’t as applicable for snatching kids away from people. That gives Jason another +2, putting him at 12 to your 8. That’s a complete success.

Krista: Oh, crud. Well, Emily is going to be damaged by this, for sure.

Jason: Yeah, Ataninnuaq isn’t trying to hurt her. She’d be scratched at most.

Krista: I don’t mean physical damage. She’s going to be tied up and have to helplessly watch as this guy burns a kid in her care over a fire, at least that’s how she sees it. She’s going to be anguished by this, that’s 2 action tokens spent.

Michelle: That makes sense. Of course, the shaman’s ritual is actually going to work, and Joseph…

Jason: Tiriaq.

Michelle: Sorry, Tiriaq, is going to get well. Jason, why don’t you describe what happens.

Jason: OK. Emily comes rushing out after Ataninnuaq, and she grabs Joseph, trying to wrestle him away from the shaman.

Krista: Tears are streaming down her face, she’s clearly desperate.

Jason: Obviously annoyed, Ataninnuaq pulls the boy away, setting him on the ground. As Emily tries to dart around and pick him up, the wizened old shaman leaps at her like a wolverine, knocking her to the ground. He quickly overpowers her and binds her up with leather ties, putting a gag in her mouth so she can’t scream for help. He has a sad, almost sympathetic expression on his face as he turns back to the boy. Taking him up, he lifts Tiriaq above his head, and begins chanting. He places the boy down on the platform and begins to sing.

Krista: Emily screams into her gag and struggles to reach her charge, but to no avail. She closes her eyes and turns away from what she expects will be the horrifying death of the sick little boy.

"the drunks of the Red-Piss Legion refuse to be vanquished"