member, 1066 posts
 Event: Arrival
 Horizon: May 5th
Thu 1 Jun 2023
at 10:05
Rupert: Narrative Influence Compromise
So I know that all players can compromise, and I know that rarely the Arbiter is incentivized to compromise. I found, however, that the Tale of Rats becomes cumulative if the arbiter characters don't compromise, thus making players not compromise...unless they have Tentative Guess, and more importantly have a Flag on that guess. At that point you have three choices, and if there's another, please for the love of a really good plot tell me!

Here are the three options I'm faced with:
1: Just not compromise on the Tale of Rats, which is very anti-climatic the characters convince said marauder, interloper or meddler to leave. It's a one and done. It makes that Tale of Rats, which I love, a non-usable course if the group even has a chance to gain Tentative Guess.
2: Not care about the outcome as per "Matched Men" or "Matched Made..." which pretty much penalizes the players for pursuing non-combative or non-elimination actions, and forces them to...essentially murder what is probably not an entity worth killing or giving a life sentence to a minor crime.
3: Compromise until the dice of all but one (or all) PCs fail and then force the pot to get higher and higher. That's time consuming. Yes, I could batch it in a spreadsheet and that's my players choice at the current. I didn't realize this would even be an issue, but now that I see it it's glaringly obvious. Until they either decide the flag is worth losing, or the Tentative Guess never has a clue; there's no good way to handle slice of life characters, pacifists, or even generally fair and kind characters to avoid it being a pure string of dice rolls, dice rolls in their favor mind you, but dice rolls that with a tag team two, takes quite few rolls in essentially a very dice-light game. Flags are supposed to be the reason you roll.

I could just disallow Tentative Guess in the future, but that's a home rule. So that doesn't have a place here.

Option 2 seems the most reasonable that the system enforces in other cases but accidentally excluded from paradigm shifts. Tale of Rats was in Rupert. The very stand alone. So is Tentative Guess. It's possible, since Rupert is a Mod Scene product, that is intended for Convention "Word of Mouth" that one of the Faction has some errata. If so, not a trace is found on the surface web. Which is in spirit, but peculiar still. If anyone has first hand experience with a Convention, please link me to the node on the year, event and location. I think that because I only go to...or at least once went to...local conventions, I just missed he memo. Reminds me of original art of Lady Bhaine from AEG. I KNOW it by rights IS on the web, but heck I've seen the art and I know the card, yet not a single image can be found. I think that if I knew the Convention, Year and Location that with Rupert in the search I may find this missing little "Oh yeah, just follow the paradigm shift. It's supposed to be a scum and villainy Influence, we just didn't get that in print."

Option 1 seems very in theme and easy, but might as well be a sampler with only one portion. That might be the "Read Beyond the Words" rule 1.1. It makes sense, but...feels sort of...like I said...really removed from a Narrative Influence. If it were a short story, it would be a single small page.

Option 3 seems to be the most intensive and "fair" option, but if this were a short story, it'd be fifty pages describing back and forth dialogue that has more quotation marks than a record of idioms. It also seems very excessive. Though to be honest, so far, has the best pay off. If the Tale of Rats Escalates then that totally is worth a new Nemesis and expands the location into a major hub. If, more likely, the players get a "Lucky Strike" then that completely changes a very bothersome Influence into a major boon. It's like a slot machine that you either get zero payout or jackpot. That's ALOT of rolls though, and they're sequential...

So yeah, without home ruling this with a ban or hijack, how is this handled? My current Tale or Rats is going to go with option 3, but if there's an option 4, it's got to be the best option none of my players or I is aware of.