thread: 2006-01-19 : Shock: and Conflict Creation

On 2006-01-19, Vincent wrote:

John: “Vincent, can you talk more about bumping “it’s all good” into the reward cycle? How is it part of the reward cycle now?

Let’s start with Ron’s words: “Because the larger reward system, whether character improvement or crisis resolution (crisis resolution = Kicker in Sorcerer, town in Dogs) will be ‘fed’ by smaller-scale resolution, no matter what happens in the, for lack of a better word, ‘fights.’ To be absolutely clear: what happens in a given scene in Sorcerer is absolutely crucial to the story-in-development, and the dice-wrangling is crucial to what happens in that scene. But failure to strategize the dice well, or a bad bounce from the dice in spite of your strategizing, will not ruin the story-in-development. It will turn out differently, that’s for sure, but the overall endeavor is not at risk. Look at the reward cycle at the larger scale and make sure it turns over as you want it to.

In the old Shock:, we created conflicts in such a way that you couldn’t fail to strategize the dice well, or poorly, and the dice couldn’t give you a bad bounce or a good one - you were guaranteed an agreeable outcome to your every roll. Thus the old Shock: was timid; when you bothered to wrangle the dice, you did it without fear, hope or passion. Mostly you didn’t bother.

Allowing disagreeable outcomes at the conflict resolution scale lets the larger reward cycle kick in and do its thing. “Its thing” was there all along, in a design sense, but obscured by, or made superfluous by, the fact that conflict resolution wasn’t feeding it anything but all agreeable all the time.

As far as Shock:‘s mechanics go specifically, yeah, too nitty-gritty, for me, not for the topic. I hope the more abstract talk made sense, though, and if J wants to talk concrete mechanisms I’m for it.


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