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”
“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 (one for the trait, one to increase it to 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.
Alice is still rolling 4 dice for Norrington. The close relationship adds 2 advantages, and the “emotional blackmail”, “angry” and “bad memories (x2)” are adding 4 disadvantages. The result 2, 2, 4, and 6.
Jenny rolls 3 dice for Frog. The close relationship adds 2 advantages, and the “confused feelings” and “still in love” are adding 2 disadvantages. The result is 3, 5, and 6.
Alice drops one of the 2s. The she has a tough decision, she could allocate the 6 to success and the 4 to sacrifice; she’ll get three advantages from the task, but with all the associated disadvantages, even a minor sacrifice leaves her with two more disadvantages to deal with. If she allocates the 4 to success and the 6 to sacrifice, she won’t get anything more specific from the task but might be able to neutralise a disadvantage to try again. She could allocate the 6 to story, and gain control of the manipulation of traits due to the task, but that leaves here with no success or a big sacrifice. She goes with the full success (6), the minor sacrifice (4), and lets the Oracle decide the story (2). Jenny wants there to be something beneficial from this scene, because Norrington is about to be emotionally hit very hard. Of the three degrees of success (due to the success and the two advantages), two are applied to the “Inside information” advantage; one increasing it from short to long term, the other increasing it from a single to a double trait. The final success increases the duration of Frog’s “confused feelings” from situational to short term. Norrington’s minor sacrifice incurs two degrees of sacrifice, these are applied to his “emotional blackmail” trait, increasing it to a long term effect.
Jenny allocates her 6 to success (full success), her 5 to sacrifice (no sacrifice), and her 3 to story. She says that she’ll determine the success results, since there is no effect due to the sacrifice. The success and the two advantages give three trait manipulations. Frog has been playing the emotional blackmail card throughout this whole conversation, bringing up old arguments and bad blood. Jenny’s first two successes increase the duration on the situational “bad memories (x2)” and “angry” traits, they are now short term. The third success increases the magnitude on the “bad memories”, this is now a triple negative trait, and the hard-as-nails deadly bladeslinger is reduced to a quivering heap, unable to do anything until the end of the act as he tries to regain his composure. Jenny could have been mean and focused all of her successes on increasing the “bad memories” to a long term trait, then raising it to a triple trait which would have removed Norrington from the rest of the story completely, but that wouldn’t have been good for Alice’s enjoyment for the rest of the session, and they’re still only half way through.
Norrington could become an active part of the story if one of the other scoundrels manages to talk him back from the edge, but for their moment, many of them have got their own problems to deal with.