Conviction

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Conviction

Postby Matterhorn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:00 am

I think that Conviction is one of the really neat things about True 20 and one that could use some discussion. I plan on using Conviction in a slightly different way than the how the rules depict it so here we go...

True 20 releases the Narrator from the shackles of the Experience point system of D20 and allows for levelling up to be far more Story related. I think of levelling up as being the result of character action. They take a few knocks (and hopefully hand some out), they capture the castle, clear the dungeon, throw the One true ring into Mount Doom or thwart the nefarious plans of the Evil Arch Mage and they gain a level. It is to show a path of improvement as a result of the actions that they have taken.

Conviction is the reward for Role Playing according to their Nature and for doing Kewl things and for making the story entertaining. There is no way that Heroes in my game will ever gain Conviction for waking up in the morning. Waking up doesn't make my list of heroic (or nefarious), kewl or entertaining things that a player can think of doing with their Hero. I will retain the max Conviction per level rule as seen on the Level-Dependent Benefits table (p10).

A RPG I played a while back that had a great way of giving a player a good handle on how to associate their Heroes motivations and desires to their actions is called The Shadow of Yesterday. Google it if you want. Forget about the rules system in general but have a look at the Keys. Quoting from the rules;
`Keys are the motivations, problems, connections, duties, and loyalties that pull on your character.'
So, for example;
`Key of the Coward:- Your character avoids combat like the plague.'
Converting this Key to True 20 means that whenever the Hero avoids combat (not just a threat), they gain a point of Conviction. Further more, if they are able to resolve a major dangerous situation like an ambush without resorting to violence they get 2 Conviction points. A Hero gets 1 Conviction for acting according to their Key in a way that has a Significant impact on play, they get 2 Conviction for acting in a way that has a Major impact on play (this would be far less common). Each Key also has a Buy-off which is an action the Hero can choose to take to break the key so that they can choose another. In the example above; the Hero is able to break his fear of being harmed and must leap whole-heartedly into a viscious melee. The Key is broken and he may choose another. Breaking a Key is a major moment in the Heroes life and will be a great role-playing opportunity and should have ramifications for the people who they know and the responsibilities that they hold. Keys give the player some great tools for roleplaying their heroes behaviour. Role-playing your Key becomes desirable because it adds value to your Hero; you get Conviction for it. I will probably use Keys instead of Nature although, in truth, they are not really so different, its just that Keys do a better job of quantifying the behaviours that result in the Conviction reward.

A final thought is that Conviction is a tool which has other applications within the game. I will use Conviction as an occasional modifier to Social Actions in some situations, especially in situations where the Social Action relates in some way to the Hero's Key. In The Lord of the Rings people tended to listen to and act on Aragorn's council even when they didn't know that he was the King of Gondor. He had a certain presence about him. You could attribute this to his reputation as Strider and a high Charisma ability but I like to think that they could see something noble in him, they were attracted to his Conviction. With this house-rule Conviction becomes even more versatile because it can be spent as noted in the rules to reroll dice and remove fatigue etc or it can be retained to boost social actions that relate to the Player's Key. It might also be used if a hero comes into contact with a Deity or other higher (or infernal) being. In fantasy fiction higher beings can usually look into a person and determine their worthiness according to that beings agenda. A character with the Key of Agony and plenty of conviction would really impress a Demon. Gods and their ilk might be more likely to provide favourable miracles for a hero with a like minded Key and some Conviction. This would be an interesting way to model Priest type characters with the True 20 rules and make them a bit different from Wizard or Psionicist type Adepts.

Ps:- I am not proposing all of this as rules changes. I just see it as an interesting way of adding versatility to Conviction and as a way of giving players more established way of being rewarded for their hard work.

Please do comment;

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Postby ravenspoe » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:18 am

I agree...

As a game designer I see conviction beyond its applications so far.
Conviction could also be used as a bidding device in a social situation, giving the character an upper hand, as a re-write tool to allow the player to take a narritive ownership of the story, or to be used as the confessional.
For those how are indie RPG fans the Confessional is taken from Jared Sorensen's InSpectres RPG. It allows the GM to put aside a chair in the gaming space and ince each scene the player can sit in it, and in the style of reality TV speak about the game as if it had already happened, or about the relationships with other players. For example: If the players were being hunted by Orcs, and they were trapped hiding behind a rock with no hope in site... One player could spend a conviction and Jump into the confessional and say "Things were tough for us at that moment, we thought we were gonners, but luckily I had my Wine flask filled with BBQ sauce and knowing how Orcs love the smell of good BBQ I threw the bag over the cliff and watched the Orcs scramble down the cliffside."

Just my two cents
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Postby Denaes » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:37 am

And thuroughly turns the session into a popularity contest with winners and loosers while invalidating quite a few feats. :green:
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Postby ravenspoe » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:39 am

Nisarg wrote:I agree, and take it a step further.

In my Port Blacksand campaign, which was meant to be on the grittier side, I started humans with 2 conviction and all other races with 1. Conviction points, when used, do NOT come back.

PCs gain one conviction point each time they level, and the PC who gets voted "best roleplayer" by his peers at the end of the session gains a conviction point.

This makes them a very precious commodity, suitable to be used only in truly desperate or heroic moments.

Nisarg


Yes it does give humans an edge over the demi humans.
Is this a modified BR campaign or a full on BR setting campaign?
Are you going to change it over to just True 20 now that it is out?
Mix the two?
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Postby Matterhorn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:27 am

I think that healthy and inclusive player competition is necessary for a good group dynamic. Rewarding player interaction can only improve a game and giving the players a role in selecting the recipients and / or the level of reward gives them a greater sense of ownership of the game. It helps in breaking down (or at least reducing) the Narrator - Player divide.

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Postby ravenspoe » Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:36 am

Matterhorn wrote:I think that healthy and inclusive player competition is necessary for a good group dynamic. Rewarding player interaction can only improve a game and giving the players a role in selecting the recipients and / or the level of reward gives them a greater sense of ownership of the game. It helps in breaking down (or at least reducing) the Narrator - Player divide.

Matterhorn.


This is the one aspect of the game Heroquest by Issaries, the players bid with cool ideas and talants in order to help the story, I don't see why Coviction cannot be used in the same way
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Postby Denaes » Sun Jun 19, 2005 1:39 pm

Nisarg wrote:
As for feats, I can't think of any feat that gets invalidated by my slight shift in the conviction rules. Please, enlighten me.

Nisarg


Any Feat which involves spending Conviction to gain an ability. I think there are like 3-4. They're tough on you normally without such a drastic depletion of Conviction. With the idea you propose I can't even see why anyone would take said feats.
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Postby Denaes » Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:50 pm

Nisarg wrote:
Denaes wrote:
Nisarg wrote:
As for feats, I can't think of any feat that gets invalidated by my slight shift in the conviction rules. Please, enlighten me.

Nisarg


Any Feat which involves spending Conviction to gain an ability. I think there are like 3-4. They're tough on you normally without such a drastic depletion of Conviction. With the idea you propose I can't even see why anyone would take said feats.


I really can't think of any that have that requirement, if there are any that do, my players have not yet opted to take them and it does not seem to be an issue.

Nisarg


There is one that gives you iniative and one that lets you attempt skills you don't have for a scene.

Believe me, I wouldn't take a feat like that if conviction was that rare.
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Postby Chairman Aeon » Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:22 pm

Matterhorn wrote:I think that healthy and inclusive player competition is necessary for a good group dynamic. Rewarding player interaction can only improve a game and giving the players a role in selecting the recipients and / or the level of reward gives them a greater sense of ownership of the game. It helps in breaking down (or at least reducing) the Narrator - Player divide.


Spoken like a man that's never played old school RPGA adventures where die bumps were given out after secret ballot voting. Four hours of fun role-playing could be ruined by figure skating judge-like behavoir.

Player competition isn't desirable in all groups and it isn't necessary to break down the GM - PC divide ... especially if that divide doesn't exist in the first place.

I would never play in a group that gave out individual XP to each character or had a popularity contest at the end to give out metagame resources.

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Postby Matterhorn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:52 pm

That is the beauty of our hobby Chairman Aeon. There is such a diversity of gaming styles and so many different ways of utilizing the same rules set. I completely disagree with you about Player-Narrator dynamics but, in the end, it doesn't matter at all. As Narrators and campaign builders our only responsabilities reguarding our application of True 20 is to our Players and to our personal visions of the worlds we create in our imaginations. We can take or leave other peoples suggestions, making use of what we individually think are the best or most useful ones to alter and improve our games in ways we had never even thought of. And I thank you for your advice.

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Postby Chairman Aeon » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:34 pm

I could tell you some horror stories about intergroup conflict that would make you cry ... well maybe not, but it's still pretty sad. I have a Buffy group now that has very Whedonesque dynamics in that every character doesn't get along, but that's the characters and not the players. Very different participants with very different rules and expectations.

Each person has to find what they think is acceptable.

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Postby Chairman Aeon » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:45 pm

Nisarg wrote:I'm not trying to be difficult but I'm really not seeing these feats. I did actually try going through the feats section looking for them. Is there anyone who can actually tell me what they're called? Are they in the True 20 book or the Blue Rose book (Im fairly sure they're not in the BR book, since I've been running my campaign with that every week for quite a while now and have yet to see those feats).


Seize Initiative on page 32 of True20. Quite a neat little feat when you absolutely must have the first shot in combat.

Beginner's Luck page 25 of True20. Could help when you party needs a skill that no one has.

Quite a few feats in True20 allow you to use Conviction to automatically do something or ignore a side effect. (Wild Talent is not an automatic thing and you must make a Will roll to see if you can actually use it, unless you spend Conviction in which case it your roll normally. It's like this in Blue Rose as well.)

Iain.
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Postby Matterhorn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:56 pm

Nisarg, I did a PDF search of the Feats chapter and here are the feats I found that include options for using, or require the use of, Conviction:-

Beginners Luck (Expert) p26.
Blind-Fight (General) p26.
Connected (General) p28.
Dedicated (General) p28.
Second Chance (General) p32.
Seize Initiative (Martial) p32.
Wild Talent (General) p35.

Also, the Heroic Feat use of the Conviction rules (p14) allows a Hero to use any feat (except Wild Talent) for one round.

Hope this helps
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Postby Matterhorn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:48 pm

Yep, they're all from the True 20 rules set. I only went to the effort of looking because you asked. I think that everyone (including me) has been assuming that you were using these rules. How did the convention go?

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Postby timemrick » Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:28 am

Denaes wrote:Any Feat which involves spending Conviction to gain an ability. I think there are like 3-4. They're tough on you normally without such a drastic depletion of Conviction. With the idea you propose I can't even see why anyone would take said feats.

Beloved loses half of its usefulness if Conviction is extremely hard to come by. (But I get the impression that this feat wouldn't be a good fit for Nisarg's Port Blacksand anyway.) I can't think of any others offhand that require Conviction for their full benefit, but I also haven't combed the chapter for such things.
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