Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Sam 3 Oct - 12:50 (2009)
Conflict Type Offense Defense Escape Timescale
Physical Combat Nanotechtech & Soldier, Police Stringtech & Soldier, Police Nanotech & Stealth, Criminal Seconds
Mesh-Hacking Cognitech & Programmer, Cognitech Engineer Cognitech & Programmer, Cognitech Engineer Metatech & Programmer Seconds
Fast Argument Metatech & Politics, Media, Courtesan Metatech & Media, Politics, Courtesan Cognitech & Politics, Courtesan
Hide and Seek Nanotech & Spy, Locality Nanotech & Spy, Criminal, Stealth, Locality stand up and yell Minutes
Memetic Assault Metatech & Politics, Media, Courtesan Metatech & Media, Politics, Courtesan Cognitech & Media, Courtesan Minutes
Nanotech Bloom Nanotech & Nanotech Engineer, Soldier Cognitech & Crisis Control Biotech & Athletics Minutes
Card Games Cognitech & Locality Cognitech & Locality walk away Minutes
Political Debate Metatech & Politics Cognitech & Media walk away 10 Minutes
Baseball Biotech & Athletics Biotech & Athletics, Spy walk away Hours
Manhunt Nanotech & Police Nanotech & Criminal, Stealth Biotech & Athletics, Stealth Hours
Ad Campaign Metatech & Media Cognitech & Media, Spy, Political Cognitech & Legal Days
Interrogation Metatech & Police Metatech & Criminal Nanotech & Criminal Days
Biowarfare Cognitech & Biotech Engineer, Medical, Spy Cognitech & Medical, Crisis Control, Biotech Engineer Metatech & Politics Days
Nanowarfare Nanotech & Nanotech Engineer, Spy Cognitech & Crisis Control Cognitech & Locality Weeks
Research Blitz Cognitech & Research Metatech & Spy Metatech & Media Weeks
Political Campaign Metatech & Politics, Media Metatech & Politics, Media Metatech & Finance Months
Open Warfare Stringtech & Soldier Nanotech & Soldier Metatech & Politics Months
Cold War Metatech & Finance Nanotech & Spy Metatech & Politics Years
Psychohistory Metatech & Metatech Engineer Cognitech & Politics, Metatech Engineer Metatech & Locality Years
Items in boldface on Offense or Defense are the “Force” score for that kind of conflict.
Themes Uber Alles
Remember that complications and Twists automatically trump all other measures, regardless of the relative difference in rolls. A character with a reasonable amount of Plot Immunity can easily escape unharmed against massively superior opposition. Meanwhile, one with a pending “serious wound” complication will somehow be wounded, regardless of what countermeasures are employed.
Instant Kill, Not Instant Fight
Almost all weapons and techniques in S.A. are capable of doing what they need to in a single stroke. An unprotected and unprepared person, or one caught by surprise, will fall almost instantaneously before the weapons brought to bear in high-tech combat. The loss of Reserve during conflict does not indicate someone taking multiple hits from a devastating attack; rather, it is used to represent a target avoiding that attack in one way or another, and being fatigued and worn down by the effort of doing so. Only when unable to spend Reserve — as a result of unconsciousness or an empty Reserve tank — are people actually “hit” by an attack. Keep that in mind when describing your character’s actions.
Those in long-scale conflicts may want to initiate smaller-scale conflicts to help out their longerscale ones. For instance, a city losing a biowarfare conflict might initiate a Metatech assault on their enemies in order to induce sympathy for the population. Such actions give the short-scale winner four points of Reserve back. If unspent, this extra reserve goes away at the end of the conflict.
The Effects of Surprise
Those attacked entirely by surprise must spend two points of Reserve before they even roll to defend themselves, and may lose more Reserve if their roll fails. While surprise can be difficult to achieve in a hightech environment, the results are quite worthwhile.
You can initiate a shorter-timescale conflict at any time just by saying so — it breaks into the current conflict. If you start a shorter-scale extended conflict for the purpose of aiding a longer-scale one, you can opt to get four points of Reserve back as a victory condition. For example, someone involved in a baseball game (timescale of hours) might start a shouting match with another player (timescale of minutes), who might throw a punch (timescale of seconds). The fight gets resolved first, after which the players could go back to trash-talking, after which the game would continue. One of the sides would gain some Reserve from winning the argument or the brawl.
You can initiate a longer-timescale conflict by escaping the one you’re currently in. For instance, if you run away from physical combat (timescale of seconds), your opponents might try to do a Metatech assault (timescale of minutes) while you can still hear them. If you start winning that, they might try to evade your memetic prowess and start a manhunt (timescale hours) to track you down, after which, if successful, they’d start hitting you again (back to seconds).
Conflict types with the same timescale are compatible. If someone in front of you is mesh-hacking you, and you’d prefer to punch him in the face, you can do that: your Offense rolls will be based on physical combat, and your Defense rolls will be the ones for mesh-hacking. Your opponent will have it the other way around.
In many types of conflict it is possible to act so subtlely that your opponent has no idea that he or she has even been attacked. Metatech campaigns are a good example. To do this, the attacker takes a three-point penalty on both the Capability and the Profession being used for offense. This is a penalty on the scores, not on the rolls, and so may end up changing the timescale for Metatech or Cognitech conflicts. The target in a subtle conflict still rolls an “attack” during his or her action, each timeslice, with the unspoken intent of wearing the attacker down.
The target will eventually realize that he or she is actually in danger. When either side loses half of their defensive Reserve (use combined reserve for both Profession and Capability), signs of exhaustion have set in. Something strange is obviously happening, even if it’s not immediately obvious who’s doing it. If the attacker successfully retreats on his or her next defensive action the target might never realize what happened; however, if the attack is pressed there will be no doubt.
There are some types of conflict for which this is impossible. Sporting events are a good example, as they rely on the open willingness of both sides from the beginning. However, even physical combat can be performed this way with some high-tech weapons. Microwave beams are a good example — they cook the target from the inside, and because the beams are invisible those with a low enough Nanotech might not realize they’re being attacked until it’s too late.
Note that in any kind of conflict, subtle or not, the players and GM still know what’s going on. It is the defender who doesn’t know what’s going on. Any use of the Comprehension plot score, regardless of descriptor, can be used to inform a character that a subtle conflict is going on.
The Instant Death Cutscene Rule
There are many, many things in this game that can instantly kill your character without warning. Inversion beams, warlike nanobots hidden in his brain, supernovae, suicide Lenses, and more are real dangers in this game setting.
Whenever the GM is about to set something utterly deadly against the PCs, she is obligated and required to describe a short scene detailing the hazard. The characters have Themes, after all, and can often find ways to avoid certain death. The players should not “metagame” a way out of this, using knowledge their characters could not have, but are highly encouraged to use Twists to good effect.
When dealing with conflict on the order of ten to ten thousand people, roll once for each side and use the average Capability and Profession for all involved. Sporting events, small to medium-scale military engagements, and small-scale Nanotech and Biotech assaults typically fall into this category.
For conflicts on the order of a hundred thousand or more people, there will typically be a smaller group that speaks for or defends this population. Use the Capabilities and Professions of that subgroup rather than the scores of the masses. Large-scale nano and bio assaults, psychohistorical maneuvering, full-scale warfare, and other such conflicts fall into this category. For conflicts that involve a sizeable percentage of a civilization (such as an entire continent), you can assume that the maximum listed Capabilities for a civilization are the Capabilities possessed by this small group, and that they have appropriate Professions in the 7-10 range.