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Invoking Magical Aptitudes For NP Cs

Does the GM have to spend a magic token to invoke the magical aptitude of an NPC? Or to have an NPC invoke the magical abilties of a supernatural item?

Yes, the GM needs to spend a magic token to activate an aptitude, too, or to use a supernatural item. For crowds, I usually have the generic "vampire" statted out, and use the same stats for all. In this case, the GM could probably just invoke "vampire" for all of the low-level guys, and separately for the boss.

Magical Aptitudes [1]

In the example on Pg. 47 where Russel is the spellcaster, it's been previously established that he has a spell that allows him to summon a ghostly warrior. So he'd have to spend a token every time he wants to summon his ghostly warriors. However, it seems that if Russel had the Magical Aptitude "Spirit Summoner" and had previously established a fact: Spirit Summoners can summon ghostly warriors, he could summon them as often as he'd like for one magic token per session, as well as performing any other abilities inherent to his Spirit Summoner aptitude?

The example is just poorly worded. The example is meant to illustrate that if Russ' has the"spirit summoner" aptitude, and a magical fact has previously established that he can summon ghostly warriors, he must activate that aptitude with a magic token in order to have the ghostly warriors show up.

Multiple Use of Aptitudes

The rules say you can't use the same faculty twice in a round. What about aptitudes? I think this must come up a lot: In a wrestling match, a player would probably want to use a Brawler aptitude both for attack and defense in the same round, with Force for one and Grace for the other.

Using an aptitude twice in the same round is totally kosher. Only faculties are restricted.



Action Announcement

When are individual actions in a conflict round announced? I suspect they're announced during the reveal, but doesn't that make defensive actions very hard to anticipate for?

They are announced during the reveal. It can be tricky to guess what an opponent is going to do, but that's part of the uncertainty of the bidding system.


Action Token Recovery

Are committed action tokens recovered at the end of a conflict or a conflict round?

Action tokens are recovered at the end of each conflict round.


Desperate Reaction [5]

When committing two Action tokens to gain the benefit of an Aptitude for defense as a Desperate Reaction, do those tokens have to come from the pool, or can they be transferred from a committed stack? I guess the latter case would count as Reallocation and cost Fatigue, making it a worse deal than the other option for Desperate Reaction of spending a token, but if the player is all in, it might be his only option.

Correct! They may come from the pool, but if they come from another committed action, they count as a reallocation.

Double-targeting in conflicts

Can a character target the same character with more than one action in the same round?

You can target the same character with more than one offensive action. Each action needs to use a different faculty. You can't normally target multiple characters with a single offensive action.

Helping Directly

As I understand the 'helping' rules, if two characters wish to work together to win a conflict, they effectively take turns, where one character resolves his action, and depending on the margin of success, gives a bonus or a penalty to the other character's action. This makes sense in the examples given in the book - where one character indirectly assists the other character.

However, this doesn't seem to work as well if they are helping each other directly. For example, the P Cs want to hold closed a gate, that the opposing enemy is try to force open. Neither of the P Cs have useful aptitudes, or are particularly strong, whereas the enemy is a bit better. Each PC alone cannot achieve a victory aganist the enemy, but if they worked together, one might imagine that they could. However, the helping rules in the game would give a penalty in this case (the first PC fails, which gives a penalty to the second PC - which doesn't make any sense).

I agree that in the situation you describe, it doesn't sound like they apply very well. In this case, you could treat the second character like an item, and have him give the other character a flat +2. That's basically a judgement call, when the rules as written don't seem to be making sense.

Inappropriate actions

'''What do I do as GM if a player declares an action that is inappropriate to the stated goal? Say both characters in the conflict have the goal of killing the other, but when the chips are revealed, one of them turns out to be using his Gigolo aptitude to seduce the other. Is it time then to redefine the stakes ("I want to seduce her. Then maybe I'll kill her later"), should the conflict be done over, or is that action forfeit?

Actions should be aimed, even obliquely, at the declared stakes. Actions that have nothing to do with the stakes are, as you say, inappropriate. I think this is relatively clear, and I've never had trouble with it. The other players should throw things at the player who tries to take an inappropriate action. I'll add that to the rules.'

Multiple Actions

I'm not clear on why you would take multiple actions when it's only 1-on-1.

''Say you have, like, 7 action tokens, and you're in a fistfight, right? Well, you could put all 7 into Force, and punch the other guy real good. But he could also put all his tokens into Force, and you both punch each other real good. Or, you could take multiple actions, and put 4 onto Force to punch him and 3 onto Grace to dodge whatever he's gonna do. Then, if he puts all his tokens into punching, he'll punch you less good, and you'll still get a lick in.


Multiple Round Conflicts

For whatever reason, this passage also seems to trip people up:

"Often, after everyone involved in a conflict has taken an action, the outcome of the conflict is still not clear." (p.58, "Conflict Rounds")

Here's a translation:

"The final outcome of a conflict may not be clear after the end of one round of actions. This usually happens when either (a) both sides take a single action and tie or (b) one or both sides of a conflict take multiple actions, but successful actions are split between both sides of a conflict in a such a way that agreeing who 'got their way' is not possible."

Example Intents: She wants to leave, he wants her to stay and talk.

  1. Single-action tie between his talking and her graceful exit: His words get her to pause in the doorway, but she still isn't talking.
  2. Multiple actions: his talking & grabbing vs. her obstinance & graceful exit, in which his talking fails, but his grab succeeds: She's not gone yet, but neither is she listening.

Both of these (and a few other obvious variations) would go to another round of resolution, because the final result is not yet determined.

Examples when they wouldn't go to another round, because of the result:

  1. Multiple actions: his talking & grabbing vs. her obstinace & graceful exit, in which his talking AND grab succeeds.
  2. Multiple actions: his talking & grabbing vs. her obstinace & graceful exit, in which his grab fails, but his talking utterly obliterates her stubborn resistance.
  3. Multiple actions: his talking & grabbing vs. her obstinace & graceful exit, in which his grab is totally obliterated, and his talking wins by only a bare margin: She's out the door and gone, with a small thoughtful frown at the point he made as she left.

Exactly what happens if there are multiple rounds in a conflict? Are all committed tokens recovered and reallocated from scratch?

Yes, all committed tokens come back and are reallocated in any subsequent rounds of conflict. Of course, any spent tokens are unavailable.

Parallel Actions

I'm unsure what happens when you have "parallel" actions (to borrow from Shadow of Yesterday) and both sides win against the default defense. In the "get out the door" example used in the book. If one person uses Dancing to skip out the door and the other person uses Fast Talk to get them to stay, do those directly oppose one another? I wouldn't think they would. So one person skips out and the other person convinces them to stay. Does that mean we go another round?

In that example, the actions are directly opposed, and whoever wins the conflict can successfully perform their action. In truly parallel actions, both participants are affected by the other person's action, including appropriate harm/damage/effect.


Passive Defense

On the same subject of the originally unanticipated defense... Who determines what faculty is the used for the innate resistance? And does it need to be a faculty that isn't being used for an action?

The GM decides what faculty is used for defense. (The question as to whether or not a passive defense can use a Faculty that's already in play is unanswered, but logically the answer is 'yes'.)


Does reallocation only allow you to move tokens between different actions to which one has already committed?

You can allocate to entirely new actions in the reallocation phase.

Does reallocation always cause fatigue? Even, for example, in the case of a defender reallocating to bring his aptitude into a defense that he had originally unanticipated?

Yes, it always causes fatigue, even if the action is defensive. (Doyce notes that applying an Aptitude after the fact is just logical play, not really a reallocation.)

Do Passion tokens always have to be spent during the initial reveal, or can one bring in Passions during a reallocation?

This may not actually be stated in the rules, but only action tokens can be moved during reallocation. Passion tokens need to be allocated in the initial reveal, and can't be moved or added during reallocation.

Conflicts against inanimate objects

How do I handle conflicts between players and inanimate objects? A rules example mentions a conflict triggered by the side effect of the jeweler's loupe, but I could only find character-character conflict rules.

I originally had conflicts against inanimate objects in the rules, but to be honest, there needs to be a really good reason for such a conflict to even take place. My advice is to focus on the actual goals of the action, rather than the mechanical details of the action. In the case of the jeweler's loupe, the conflict triggered would be perceiver vs. perceived, with the stakes being: does the perceiver see the true nature of the perceived, or does his mind snap a bit?


Reallocating Passions

Do Passion tokens always have to be spent during the initial reveal, or can one bring in Passions during a reallocation?

This may not actually be stated in the rules, but only action tokens can be moved during reallocation. Passion tokens need to be allocated in the initial reveal, and can't be moved or added during reallocation.

Resolving Passions [8]

What happens if a character with "Hate: Kill all vampires in Sheffield" achieves that goal? Or if a character who has "Love:Protect my sister" sees her being killed?

You could simply eliminate the passion and redistribute the points, perhaps adding a new passion. But I'm considering, inspired by Nine Worlds, sweetening the pot a bit for players and giving them a Power point for evey point in a Passion that is resolved. What do you think about that? It would make the player rewards for pursuing their Passions more explicit, but it might also inspire the players to go for Passions that are easily resolvable, which might not be a good thing. (In Nine Worlds, all Muses, or passions, must be resolvable)

Yeah, a lot of times passions in Mortal Coil aren't things that can ever be resolved. One good way to deal with them, however, is to make passions part of the stakes in a conflict. This isn't for every conflict, but sometimes it is appropriate to have a conflict change a character's passions.
When a passion on the character sheet is resolved, I would suggest adjusting it to reflect the outcome of that resolution. If that means changing it into a different passion, or reworking it a bit, that's fine. Then, Love: Protect my sister, when failed, becomes, Hate: Punish those who killed my sister or something.
As far as rewarding the resolution of passions, this is probably a good house rule, but I probably wouldn't implement it in my game. Passions reward you for bringing them into play already by giving you a nice bump in a conflict your character is passionate about.
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Page last modified on June 27, 2008, at 11:51 AM by DoyceTesterman

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