|Tasking 24 or 12|
Tasking 24 or 12
Detailing a semi-successful attempt to build a table to determine the outcome of a task assigned to a NPC.
There was one post this week or the week before writing about Context, Intent, Task and something else.
That reminded of the standard structure of an order or task given to a subordinate, it goes from Context (orientation), Intent (what you intend to do), Tasks (missions granted to subordinates in the context/intent scheme).
If a player character tasks a follower, what happens? I tried here to recycle the Xaosseed 24 table for scars.
Again, hat tip to Xaosseed for coming up with this hidden depths table pattern.
Like with the table for scars, the bad outcomes (rolling low) are on top while the good outcomes (rolling high) are at the bottom
I had to choose a demarcation between success and failure. The table for scars did not present such a challenge, it was just light or heavy scars. If you click on the images in this post, you'll see the full context for the tables. The outcomes are stacked top to bottom or bottom to top to help me determine where to cut between failure and success.
The 24 outcomes got me spreading failures and successes and trying to enumerate nuances. I reached a point where it broke for me. The table on the right is the snapshot at that break point. Twelve failures and twelve successes, the binary outcome and some refinement or inspiration. I could not fill the blanks anymore. I decided to try with less outcomes.
I went from 24 to 12, from 5 die combinations to 4. This second table is complete, well as a first take can be.
Side-effect or consequence? The distinction for me would be that side-effects do "branch out", while consequences stay in the line drawn by the intent and the task. A side-effect brings a twist, a consequence is putting the volume to 11 or beyond.
The resulting 12 outcomes table is not really satisfying. It works, but it's "flatter" than the 24 outcomes one. The dice combos go from 50% success to 69%, while the initial exploration table goes from 52% to 82%.
This goes from "poorly tasked" to "carefully tasked". It is my tentative, compact way to say "the NPC receives a poorly formulated task" vs "the NPC is carefully briefed and has confirmed they understood their task, and the intent and context it's set in".
In game, I'd play the NPC part and receive the task from the player character. I'd then determine if I have been properly briefed or not, and roll. No need to roll immediately, the referee just says "OK, I'll do it" the way the NPC would formulate it, and later on, roll, just in time, and interpret.
I am not satisfied by the result, I am posting anyway. The writing of this post is part of the conception work. I'll rework the table later on, or I'll forget it.
I need to look at 16 outcomes tables as well, 1d12 + 1d4, 2d6 + 1d4, 2d8, etc...