Jeez, more refering to chicken bones…

I was looking here

Here’s some quotes from it

“If your character has the higher position, you get +2 to your attack roll.”

” your tactical advantage depends upon details of your character’s immediate circumstances.”

I’m just staggered at this reference to a flight of various peoples seperate imaginations as if it can determine something at the table. It’s like me refering to my invisible six foot bunny friend, whether I get +2 to hit.

I said as much

This is another version of what that rule is saying.

“If Harvey, the invisible six foot rabbit next to the GM, gives it the nod, you get +2 to your attack roll.”

Both Harvey and the characters positioning exist as much as each other. They each exist enough to determine the +2, as each other.

Yet while you’ll balk at Harvey determining it, I’m staggered how you all still talking about how apparently “no way, the character totally is in a certain position and that totally determines the +2!”

I’ve slowly, yet horrifying come to realise how alot of other gamers (read: American gamers) treat the wording of rules like this. They treat it literally!?

I’ll tell you what can actually happen. Someone is the backstop – hopefully declared by the rules. This person listens to everyone else, and he allows himself to be moved somewhat by their ideas. A vague approximation of everyone elses ideas collect in his head, then he looks at them with his own idea of the words ‘height advantage’ in mind and chooses whether you get +2 to hit.

That’s what happens. Maybe we talk as if were climbing onto the table and crap, but that’s no more happening than when we dream at night were climbing onto a super model a table, it’s happening. What’s really going on is our own mind tumbling through a lot of ideas.

Treating it this other way? It’s demented! I’m sorry, how else would you describe it if someone refered to voices in their head, whispering to them whether you get +2 to hit? I doubt you’d be comfortable. But if everyones refering to how the caracter is actually higher up? I’m sorry, it’s no better than the voices.

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2 thoughts on “Jeez, more refering to chicken bones…

  1. I find it problematic how people discuss the rule in disconnect with a) rules for emerging at the game state where higher ground is a variable, and b) rules for setting or identifying the current value of the variable. The +2 for higher ground rule is exclusively about processing the variable once you have it’s value. It’s not like a part of a ruleset can exist in void, though.
    Your interpretation is a valid b, and indeed, it sounds like an accurate in-detail description of how many games handle that. It could be done other ways as well, like you could have a rule that the player can set the variable however he likes for his character (perhaps anytime, perhaps at some specific point of the turn and for some specific time, perhaps subject to any other player’s veto, etc.). Or, it could be handled by a vote, or a roll of the dice, or whatever. But here, it’s discussed as if the higher ground came out of nowhere.
    And this doesn’t even touch the issue of emerging at the circumstances where the variable starts affecting gameplay at all. That’s what I often bump into playing D&D 3.x/4, where the process of identifying the value of such variables is rather specific (it’s either on the battle grid or it’s not), and so are rules for changing variables (spend that many squares of movement to reach the table, spend that many to climb it). The entire setup of the map and initial positioning are left for the players to figure out, however. The ruleset won’t process that, when it matters.

  2. Hi Filip,

    I’ll admit it – Vincent has spoken about this rule on his blog and refered to it as if ‘a set of circumstances’ determine the +2. http://www.lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=502

    I thought it highly likely that Vincent is a reflection of the forge founders way of thinking on this matter. Though all I tried to do is ask if that is how they think and thus what ideas are passed on/around the forge – then it was taken as accusation or something by some.

    The really, really weird thing is I thought back when the lumpley principle came out, the statement we were all just agreeing (or not) would clear up all this idea that the characters want something (ie, they exist to want something) or that the game world exists and so X would have to happen. Instead he almost seems to have gone the utter reverse and sunk even further into something which isn’t a set set of agreements, but of real things that determine +2. Particularly with the smelly chamberlain, where people ignore their past agreements, but somehow it’s supposed to still work…as if there’s anything left once you start breaking agreements.

    Really, anything like ‘if you have height advantage it’s +2 to hit’ is just bizarre writing to begin with. The description I gave is the only real way I know of how to interpret such a bizarre rule. Like if there was a rule that went ‘Light joss sticks and listen to ancient god Odin for whether you get +2’ I’d read it as ‘Oh, we just decide. And light some joss sticks’. It’s just bizarre wording, really. It’s not so much how games handle it, it’s the only real, concrete way I know of to deal with such writings. There could be many other ways of doing something in regards to a +2 – given they were actually textually written out and refer to what physically to refer to. Absolutely! Veto’s and votes are real, physical events to refer to, for example.

    “And this doesn’t even touch the issue of emerging at the circumstances where the variable starts affecting gameplay at all.”
    You mean getting to some point where hitting rolls are involved? Yeah. It’s not brought up by the rules and instead left to some sort of ouja board style play to bring about.

    Anyway, I’ve started to wonder if just about everyone at the forge thinks that they can refer to some sort of ‘height advantage’ as if it’s a physical thing. Maybe not – I hope not, because all this time I’ve assumed they did not and I’d like that assumption to be true.

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