Author Topic: A level of confusion  (Read 1234 times)

Offline FreezyGeek

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A level of confusion
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:56:25 PM »
I've never played before, bar a single, failed, and retconned game, but I'm not quite sure where Inquisitor stands in terms of roleplay.
I understand that it has more roleplay focus than, say, Inquisimunda, that might only have as much roleplay as an average more narrative
focused skirmish game, e.g like an orc in kill team rushing in with a less-tactical approach.

Equally, I understand it's less roleplay focused than a TTRPG. It fits in somewhere in-between, and I like that concept. Focus on characters,
but less actual "Roleplayed" out scenarios.

But this has kind of confused me in terms of scenario writing. How would a non-combat orientated scenario tend to play out? Because, the
assumption I have come to, is that there needs to be an obvious conflict even if there's no all-out fight like in a skirmish game; Smaller
narrative conversations either being used to introduce a scenario or otherwise taking place out of the game. Am I correct?

Offline TheNephew

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Re: A level of confusion
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 11:00:09 PM »
Most of the scenarios I've played over the years start with an ostensibly "non-combat" encounter between several parties that have entirely incompatible goals, so that use of force to achieve the desired outcome is necessary. I think if you want to run a conflict-free scenario but want the miniatures and terrain there for visual effect, you can probably dispense with the rules entirely unless/until the conversation turns sour.
There's a certain amount of characters running around shouting at each other, having conspiratorial conversations in alleys, and watching warily. Then something sparks violence.

Frequently it's something as direct as Planck must "stop the message being delivered by any means necessary", Isabella believes "it is vital to our ongoing project that the confidential message is delivered", and Skoll "must learn the contents of the message, one way or another".

Inevitably Magos Planck and evil horror-witch Isabella must come to blows - either after a fruitless verbal confrontation in which Planck tries to convince or intimidate the messenger into handing over the message, or a far more logical ambush with gun servitors.
If Planck can spot and recognise him in time, Inquisitor Skoll might be convinced to help Plank in exchange for the details of the message, on the proviso that he doesn't immediately toddle off and tell the intended recipient.
Alternatively, Inquisitor Skoll might help Isabella break through the blockade only to try and mug the messenger later, kidnap them in the chaos, pickpocket them, or even just ask what it's all about and maybe trust Isabella to tell him the truth.

We often play 4-player scenarios, so even during the fight there's banter and barter between comrade-in-arms, and antagonising or negotiating with people trying to kill you.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: A level of confusion
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 10:22:57 PM »
But this has kind of confused me in terms of scenario writing. How would a non-combat orientated scenario tend to play out? Because, the assumption I have come to, is that there needs to be an obvious conflict even if there's no all-out fight like in a skirmish game; Smaller narrative conversations either being used to introduce a scenario or otherwise taking place out of the game. Am I correct?
Pretty much. If a scenario is going to start as non-combat orientated and remain non-combat orientated, it's not really worth spending the time to roll dice to walk into the building and have a normal conversation with Inquisitor Shyloque; just have the conversation.

As a ruleset, Inquisitor lies somewhere between skirmish and RPG, and if you're not expecting a scenario to contain elements of both, then it's quite probably better to handle it some other way, either with casual roleplay or a less-crunchy ruleset.

As far as the roleplay in Inquisitor, most of it will be in the form of how characters choose to improvise, how they choose to interpret orders, or when they choose to ignore them outright, rather than in the form of direct conversation... but on that front, the game does benefit from a tweak to the conversation rules.

Copying out of the standard errata for Conclave events (or at least the ones I run):
3) Threats and persuasion
Some of the scenarios may be won by means other than violence, and so attendees are advised to familiarise themselves with the following rules for persuading and threatening other characters.

3a) Conversation
A character can declare a Conversation as an action, declares the target of his Conversation (who must be engaged in non-hostile actions, and within hearing distance). Any further actions need not be declared (similar to melee combat).
For each Action, the active character may make a statement, and the target may (but is not obliged to) make a response. The active character can end the conversation at any point, but must spend a Pause for Breath to reallocate actions mid-turn.

3b) Persuasion
Often there will be occasions when one character wishes to talk another character into doing what he wishes. Persuasion is an opposed test with the persuading character making a Leadership test using half-Leadership. If he is successful, the target must make a Willpower test on half-Willpower, modified by -10 for every degree of success on the persuading character's Ld test. Note that the target must be able to hear or otherwise understand the meaning of the persuading character.

A persuaded character may spend one action per turn considering the persuading character’s offer by making a Sagacity test. If this is passed then the character is no longer persuaded. Note that a player may choose for a character to be persuaded without testing.

Players should use common sense when determining whether a character can be persuaded to do something and the GM should arbitrate any disagreements; however, a persuaded character will not shoot at or attack the persuading character.

When persuasion fails – or a character isn’t a persuasive type – then threatening might work. Threatening works in exactly the same way as persuasion, but the target tests against half-Nerve.

Addendum to Persuasion/Threats:
GMs should use modifiers to reward intelligent use of persuasion/threats, but penalise uninventive or poorly reasoned arguments/threats.
For example, attempting to convince an Ordos Xenos Inquisitor that an Ork is not an Ork wouldn't be very believable. Similarly, "Step aside, or I'll shoot you" isn't exactly likely to discourage a heavily armoured character who was expecting violence anyway.
These obviously take some liberties with the flow of time in the game, by letting characters converse several sentences a turn, but it is a necessary artistic licence/abstraction in order to make it viable to ask questions first and shoot later. (And yes, I do mean that way around). And this does bring Inquisitor a bit more towards the traditional TTRPG format or even improv theatre rather than just a completely-winging-it skirmish.

I've certainly had a lot of cases of players coming up with creative solutions to problems; creative interpretation of objectives is a bit more unusual, but I managed something like that at an event last year.
The objective of the game was to hunt a messenger squigeon, and various players had their own reasons for doing so. I was supposed to be changing the message being sent, which I suspect the GM probably meant "Send the wrong orders/intel and mess up the Ork battle plan". My interpretation was "Sergeant Kronen has the Booby Traps skill, and krak grenades are certainly an interesting message".

I knew it wasn't going to be a particularly effective strategy, but it was going to be a lot more interesting than me just scarpering with the squigeon (which I had found first) and hiding while I added some boring message. This quickly proved the case, as another character tried to charge Daniela while she was rigging the trap - so she just threw the krak grenade at him instead.

(And then there was the player I once tasked with making sure that no-one fired an orbital weapons satellite. I mostly meant "defend the control room". They proceeded to start trying to blow it up.)

That's really the core of Inquisitor's roleplay; players getting to surprise you with what they do and how they do it. (Although often to the slightly more conventional extremes that TheNephew mentions about the different ways to find out what a message says, for example).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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