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Deanna
Deanna's picture
A question on raises

Ok. This may be entirely more straightforward than I am thinking, or maybe my group is just not understanding the rules entirely right, but I have a question.

How do raises work for further actions/creating opportunities exactly? Say I roll to attack someone, and I have all sorts of extra raises to use up so I would like to make an opportunity for someone else. It would have to be something that I could do using said stat/skill combo that I used to attack, yes? I could say, disarm an opponent, or knock one unconscious with the pommel of my sword. What if I wanted to use a raise to trip someone though? Can I not because it was not the stat/skill I used?

In which case, that brings me to fighting with say, a rapier and pistol. These use different stats and skills. Can I not close on someone, fire, and thrust? If I have to break it up into seperate rolls, how does that work? If I don't, doesn't that negate the point of having separate stats and skills?

I like the speed and smoothness of the system so far, but every so often we get hung up on something like this.

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KC Krupp
KC Krupp's picture

As written in the QS and as per the FAQ from John Wick Presents, heroes can do whatever they want with their raises that they could normally spend raises on. In other words, as the rules are currently written, yes, you could totally roll Fnesse+Weaponry and then use the raises to draw and fire a pistol.

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Our first QS game, one of the first rolls I made was to make it across the Ballroom.  Most used Athletics+Finess, I decided being the Prince, to use Warfare+Wits.  My intent was to use my knowledge of warfare tactics, to find the spots where I woudl be the least exposed to gunfire from the balcony.  I had 5 raises I believe.... so one was my intent to cross the room... three were to avoid the damage.  THe last one, I used to create smoke from the fire, that obscured the view of some on the balcony.  The GM took this, as I protected someone from a consiquense of damage, and I guess he decided who it was.  Someone else used one of theirs to rush past a tapastry incase they needed some rope to get out of the palace.   It seemed to fit within the context of what was going on at the time.

 

The next one, was the Brutes in the Courtyard.  I used my Diplomacy+Wits, along with my Royal Name, and my connections with the Military, to convince the Royal guards to stand down.  My intent was to get them to help us with the others.  But, it was like a battle with brutes, so eachh raise I put in, was one Brute that was 'persuaded'.  However, they would not help me, just.. turned the other way.  So I managed to eleminate almost a whole brute squad just by shaming them.  Again, everything seemed to fit the contex of what was going on at the time...

 

So I can't say I have encountered this in my one play through, but I could see it as an issue, since the QS doesn't do a good job explaining everything.

Deanna
Deanna's picture

We had our prince do a very similar thing in the courtyard, Tilly. He actually gave a GREAT speech IC and had the raises to back it up, so I let a couple turn to their side. It was a great moment. The Fate witch intimidated a bunch of them and made them turn tail as well. It was great to see other skills put to use.

I guess my question then is, how do you keep this from being abused? At that point, essentially you could just put everything into a stat and a couple of skills and accomplish anything you wanted to. My regular group wouldn't do this. They'd feel it was too easy. But others may not be so self-regulating.

Doctor
Doctor's picture

You're not over-thinking it; the rules are very, very unclear on aspects of your question. I can go ahead and give you my understanding, but there is nothing at all "official" to back any of this up.  Also, all of this is based off the rules in the Quickstart, which are both limited and in constant flux.

If anyone spots an error or knows something I don't, please point it out.

 

Your question has a lot of moving parts; I'll try to parse it out as neatly as possible.

 

PART I

How do raises work for further actions/creating opportunities exactly? Say I roll to attack someone, and I have all sorts of extra raises to use up so I would like to make an opportunity for someone else. It would have to be something that I could do using said stat/skill combo that I used to attack, yes?

 

Rule as written at the moment appears to be (note all the qualifiers there) that yes, any Opportunity which arises solely from the attack (i.e. from the Intent to injure your enemy) would be created using the raises generated on your attack roll. As written, it is unclear as to whether you can create Opportunities for yourself (see below); to be safe I would say that any Opportunity generated by the attack would have to 1) relate to the attack, i.e. be action which could be accomplished by the swinging of your sword with intent to harm and 2) create either a generalized benefit or a benefit for a specific Hero.

 

Example 1: Alexia and Britta are involved in a bar brawl against several thugs. Alexia rolls Brawn + Brawl (see updated skill list below) and gets two Raises. Seeing that Britta is overmatched, Alexia spends one Raise to damage the thug attacking her and one Raise to create the following Opportunity: "I slam the thug's head down on the bar repeatedly, knocking over a bottle of cheap Castillian wine, which rolls just within Britta's grasp." Britta can then bash a poor thug over the head with the bottle. The rules specifically allow for this: ""You can use your own Raises to create Opportunities for other Heroes. Use one Raise to create an Opportunity for another Hero to use in the Scene" (pg. 8).

 

Example 2: The Hero Lorenzo is engaged in a swordfight with a masked assailant; he rolls  Finesse + Weaponry (Swords) and gets two Raises. Lorenzo allocates one Raise to inflicting a wound and spends the other raise to slash the ribbon holding the mask in place. The rules here are extremely vague, as they only state that the player can create an Opportunity for which benefits another hero. Here, Lorenzo benefits from the unmasking, but no more or less than any other Hero.

 

One possible reading is that a player created Opportunity is something which must enable an action, in that it must create the opportunity for another hero to spend a Raise on a task they could not have otherwise accomplished. In this case, Example 2 is not allowed and only the GM could provide the Opportunity "Unmask Opponent." The rules seem to heavily imply that only the GM can provide Opportunities which do not directly benefit another hero:

 

" Raises spent to take advantage of an Opportunity means your Hero gains the benefit of whatever benefit the Opportunity offered you.

Raises spent to create a new Opportunity means your Hero sets the stage for another Hero to benefit from their action later" (pg. 6, emphasis added).

 

It is also possible that none of these things can be done: the only option for additional Raises which appears in the section Causing Wounds is " You may spend additional Raises to cause additional Wounds: one Wound per Raise." It might be the case that if the Intention is to cause a wound, no additional Opportunities can be used and that disarming a foe, for example, would be a Risk and Intention in itself.

 

Of course, it's possible that many of us have the notion of Opportunity all wrong. Right now, I think most readers see Consequences and Opportunities as diametrically opposed: Consequences are the bad things that can happen, Opportunities are the good things that can happen. It's possible that is the wrong reading and that Opportunities are narrative manipulations directly affecting the scene as opposed to some additional cool thing that can be accomplished.

 

Time will tell.

 

PART II

I could say, disarm an opponent, or knock one unconscious with the pommel of my sword. What if I wanted to use a raise to trip someone though? Can I not because it was not the stat/skill I used?

 

This, I think, is the million dollar question that will determine how viable the combat portion of the system really is. Right now, the rules are completely silent on how to inflict conditions such as disarmed, knocked over, blinded, etc and/or how such conditions might be resisted. See this post for a fairly in depth breakdown of options. The bottom line is that the rules available at this time simply don't say. It's hugely problematic and it is something I hope is receiving attention.

 

PART III

In which case, that brings me to fighting with say, a rapier and pistol. These use different stats and skills. Can I not close on someone, fire, and thrust? If I have to break it up into separate rolls, how does that work? If I don't, doesn't that negate the point of having separate stats and skills?

 

The short answer is as written presently, your hero would roll the highest or most advantageous of the two attack pools and use the Raises from that roll to execute both attacks. Now, I am in complete agreement that his makes acquiring more than one Skill rank in a "secondary" weapon somewhat pointless, especially if they are both melee weapons. For a pistol and sword, as the two might be used independently, this is less of an issue, but still a glaring hole in the rules.

 

Great pains, it seems, have been taken in this system to eliminate any inequalities generated by equipment selection and I am not sure they completely war-gamed the math on that, unless they intend to handle it via schools. The "sword and dagger conundrum" is partially answered by Ennio's dueling Advantage: " DUELING ACADEMY (AMBROGIA): When wielding a Dagger in your right hand and a Fencing Sword in the left, you use Weapon (Dagger) + Weapon (Sword) + Panache to build your Weapon Risk Pool" (pg. 36). However, as it stands, unless the hero has an Advantage such as the one above, there is no incentive to take more than a single Rank in the Skill used for the "off hand."

 

It is worth noting that the character wielding pistol and sword (Roberto Gallo, pg 37) has equal ratings in each, allowing him the small mechanical advantage of effectively gaining the bonus die (for first use of a skill in a scene) twice.  

 

CONCLUSION

In the end; the rules we have access to have large holes. This is fairly natural for a Quickstart and hopefully they will be resolved shortly.

 

Updated Skill List (per Rob Justice): Skills: Aim, Athletics, Brawl, Convince, Empathy, Hide, Intimidate, Notice, Perform, Ride, Scholarship, Sailing, Tempt, Theft, Warfare, Weaponry

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Deanna
Deanna's picture

Thank you very much for the clear and detailed answer, Doctor! Most of it follows my understanding, as well, and clears a few things up (using the highest of attack pools, for example). I appreciate it!

I understand we're working with a very basic ruleset that doesn't cover everything. I am very much looking forward to seeing where things go, and being a part of the community as everything unfolds and is tested. Just trying to get my feet under me for the next time we run the quickstart with a few new players.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
My interpretation: As other have said, you select a skill to use. I am open-minded on which one the player picks based on their description. If you said "close and stab him, then shoot if I get the chance" it would be you sword skill. If you said"shoot and close to fight" it would be pistol. But the important factor is you are only going to damage with that first attack and will spend raises for more damage. (Outside of spending to remove consequences). The second part of the action (like firing that pistol after closing) COULD create an opportunity for another player but not yourself and (as of right now) not a second attack. So maybe the muzzle flash blinds your friend's target or the sound makes them duck. Maybe you can shoot the sword out of their hand and ruin the attack. Even without the pistol in play, your attackay knock your target into another enemy and trip them. The trick is to be creative I'm description and spend the raises for that. A final note on skill selection for taking a risk. I am pretty sure at some point I will use athletic and finesse to attack based on the idea of running up a wall and leaping over the opponent's head to land behind them. Or a fashion attack to end up sliding into their coatand locking arms during a duel. Pick the skill that fits what you describe and describe to take advantage of your skills
Doctor
Doctor's picture

One issue is that firing a pistol has a non-trivial mechanical effect in that it must be reloaded (requiring the use of a Raise) before it can fire again. I have been thinking on this a little and my assumption is that dual wielding is going to be mechanically pointless without the appropriate Advantage. While I am fine with this in theory I could also see it leading to bloat. If it isn't in the Core, I would expect a 'saber and shot' dueling school equivalent in Pirate Nations.

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken