20 November, 2015

The FUBAR rewrite - Conflicts

A few more sidebar elements to help explain the rules, this time focusing on the types of conflict that might be found in a FUBAR story.

Alice makes a comment during the course of play about surveillance cameras turning to watch the moves of the lowlifes, and their actions displayed on nearby TV screens (like in the movies), and Jenny thinks that might make a really interesting addition to the story. Taking inspiration from unexpected sources, then trying to combine them into a narrative that meanders between the real and the surreal is what the game is all about. She jots this down on a note.

At a later time in the story, a time occurs when this might be a good fit. Frog is a rogue who has been revealed, but who hasn’t been adequately dealt with by the lowlifes so far, and Jenny figures that he might make a good antagonist responsible for these digital hijinx, and since Frog is related to Mr Norrington, then the group of lowlifes with him will suffer the consequences of the event. Two secret tokens are spent so that everyone present can try to detect what’s happening, then a third is added to raise the tension (if any sacrifices result from the event, they’ll be worse), the Russian Mafia thugs chasing the characters at this point of the story might be alerted to their exact whereabouts. But a success might allow them to identify what happening, and prevent things from getting too out of hand.

Multi-Character Opposed Actions
During play so far, it has been established that Hasani and Preacher have been enemies for a while, stemming back to a repo job that Hasani conducted on the cult Preacher is a part of, this rivalry has only ever escalated over the past couple of years (they are now considered tightly related enemies with no favours owed). When they encounter one another on the street, even just in passing, fireworks flare. Jenny spends three secret tokens to reflect the cult members that surround Preacher, she doesn’t want it to be too easy for Hasani. Preacher would love to capture Hasani to make him pay for years of perceived threats to the cult. Hasani, just wants to defuse the situation until he can get back-up. Hasani is adding “Bluff” to his roll (with “Physically Imposing” and a “Gun” he found as traits adding to the result), Preacher has nothing to add to his roll (but has he three secret tokens worth of cultists to add to his result). Rolls are made.

Ben rolls a 2, 2, 4, and 5 for Hasani. He allocates the 5 to success so that he can get the benefit from being “physically imposing”. A 4 in Sacrifice is a minor sacrifice, and in opposed actions it usually easier to just apply this as a bonus success to the opponent (or cancel out any sacrifice they might get). A 2 in story means that Jenny will be describing the outcome of Hasani’s actions.
Jenny rolls a 3, 4, and 6 for Prophet. She allocates the 6 to success to gain the benefit from the cultists. A 4 in Sacrifice is another minor sacrifice so Jenny just cancels out the two sacrifices to make things quicker and easier. A 3 in story means that Ben and Jenny will share narrative responsibilities for that side of the conflict.

The total outcome has two successes directed from Hasani to Preacher, and four successes directed back from Preacher to Hasani. Hasani’s successes are used to scare off some of Preacher’s cultists (eliminating two of Preacher’s bonus traits), but not before Preacher’s successes cause Hasani to be “heavily mobbed” (-2 negative trait for the remainder of the scene) by members of the public, while also having his “physically Imposing” trait neutralised for the same reasons. Preacher’s last success cancels one of Hasani’s successes (and thus he only loses one bonus trait from the cultists). Things really aren’t looking good for Hasani…if he’s lucky he’ll be able to withdraw from the scene safely, if he’s not lucky, the other lowlifes might spend an upcoming scene rescuing him.

Conflict (Physical)
In a dark alley perpetually shaded by skyscrapers, lined with dumpsters and littered with rubbish two figures face off against one another. Alonzo Jones, non-descript in a dark hoody and jeans, and Agent Lincoln in a dark off-the-rack suit, trenchcoat shifting in the alleyway’s faint breeze. Both pull pistols, Alonzo’s a custom piece unlike anything else in the city, Lincoln’s a government-issue sidearm.

“It doesn’t have to be this way, boy”.

“We were framed”

“We can let the courts decide that”

“The courts are corrupt. I’m not going in.”

Shots echo in the canyon of concrete, steel and glass.

During the course of play it has been established that Alonzo and Lincoln have a loose relationship. The alley is a tight and confined location (a beneficial “confined” trait is applied to the alley), so both combatants get an extra success to hit their opponent. Carl rolls 4 dice for Alonzo (three dice plus one for “shoot”); 2,2,4,6. Jenny also rolls four dice (three plus one for “subdue”); 1,4,6,6.
Carl allocates Alonzo’s 6 to success, 4 to sacrifice and 2 to story. With extra positives due to the loose relationship, the 3d printed dart pistol, and the location Alonzo deals damage worth four successes. Since the Oracle is describing the outcome, Jenny declares that Agent Lincoln has taken a few hits causing him to be heavily injured (-2 penalty) for the remainder of the story (covering the other two points). The minor sacrifice equates to “Low Ammo” on Alonzo’s gun, a second one of these means Alonzo will need to find another means of dealing damage if he wants to stay in the fight.
Jenny allocates Agent Lincoln’s 6 to success, 6 to sacrifice and 4 to story. With bonus traits from relationship and location, Lincoln deals damage worth 3 successes (with no sacrifice). Jenny assigns Alonzo a heavy injury (-2) for the short term, but Agent Lincoln still has plenty of ammo.

If another round of combat occurs, it’s quite likely that at least one of these two will end up incapacitated.  

Conflict (Social)
In a greasy truck stop on the outskirts of town, Mt Norrington is meeting up with his old adversary, the computer hacker who goes by the name of Frog. Some dice are rolled to determine the relationship before Frog walks through the door. It’s a close relationship (6) , where neither side has the upper hand (4), and Alice gets to decide how Norrington and Frog are related (5), she decides that she’ll make this interesting. Norrington knew Frog as Susan when they were going out in college, it was a messy break up.


                “No one calls me that anymore, it’s Frog”

“Why Frog?”

                “Why Not.”

“What brings you here? You know this is my side of town.”

                “Best dirty burgers in town…besides, I wanted to tell you to walk away from your current job.”

“Why? Are you connected to it?”

                “You don’t need to know, but it’s going to get you hurt.”

It’s a quiet location, and Jenny mentions that there are a few cops having a bite. If things escalated to violence it could get very messy very quickly, for both Norrington and Frog, they decide to keep it civil. If things go well Norrington might even turn Frog into an ally for the remainder of the story.  

Like physical conflict, each character rolls dice to see what advantages they might get from the situation (their success result), what they might accidentally give away (their sacrifice) and who describes what happens. The problem here is that neither Norrington nor Frog is particularly social, possibly one of the reasons why they broke up. Alice rolls 4 dice (she is adding Norrington’s Negotiation action); 1, 2, 3, and 5. Jenny rolls 3 dice: 3, 4, and 5.

Alice drops the 1, then allocates 6 to success (full success), and the two advantage traits from the close relationship give three degrees of success. She allocates the 3 to sacrifice (a minor sacrifice) and the 2 to story (so Jenny gets to describe the outcome). Norrington wants to find out what’s going on, because it is affecting himself and the other scoundrels. Jenny allocates Norrington a “inside information” single bonus trait for the short term, he also applies a “confused feelings” trait to Frog (situational). The sacrifice sees Norrington gain a situational “emotionally blackmailed” trait from Frog.   

Jenny also allocates the 5 to success (full success), and the close relationship gives Frog two advantages too, taking the result to three degrees of success. She allocates the 4 to sacrifice (a minor sacrifice) and a 3 to the story (a negotiated outcome). Jenny allocates the success, giving Norrington a “bad memories” double penalty trait for the scene explaining that there was something between the two characters that is starting to make him uneasy, and also an “angry” single situational penalty trait (this could get dangerous with the police around). Since Alice gets to describe the sacrifice, she gives Frog the “Still in Love” trait.

A second round begins.

I might expand this social conflict element, I'm not sure yet.
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