Author Topic: Falling Touch Redress  (Read 1779 times)

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Offline Travis West

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Falling Touch Redress
« on: August 10, 2014, 04:51:08 PM »
Disclaimer: On a scale of 1-10 on how much I care, I rate about a 3, which is just enough for me to bother typing something up before work while bored.

Falling Touch makes two notes in the write up.  One is that you "must sit on the ground for the next four actions." and the other is that "you may not initiate Physical Challenges, but may defend himself normally."

At game (8/9/14) the call was made that Rage Actions do not count as actions for the purpose of this gift.  Thus a victim of falling touch who had spent five rage must sit tight for four TURNS regardless of how much rage he can spend.  This is different from any OWBN game I've played in (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

Also while under the influence of Falling Touch, while obviously I cannot initiate physical challenges (like clawing and what not) I was not allowed to initiate Mental or Social challenges either, which pretty much means not taking any aggressive actions.

This runs interestingly alongside True Fear which specifically mentions lasting for turns and not attacking, period, which made me think that there's a possibility the two gifts were getting confused with each other, or merging in an unholy alliance of which no cub is safe.

As an aside, Falling Touch in Table Top needs a single success and simply puts your target prone, after which they can simply stand up... so that's not very helpful.

Also, Calm removing someone from frenzy when they have no rage left is a pretty good rule.

In short, I couldn't find a House Rule section that addresses specific uses or common rules calls with gifts, but it might be worth making one, just so people have a solid idea how their own gifts work, or different, creative applications that have worked in the past.  Just a thought I was having that might be worth mentioning at your next ST meeting.

-Cheers!

And just to be clear; I didn't have any sort of problem with the rules call.
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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 08:46:32 PM »
That isn't quite what was said, as there were a buttload of conflated terms being thrown around. In fact, the final word, as I heard it, was nothing for four "rounds", and then there was a reference to Rage happening on Rage "rounds". indicating it still worked as intended, but you were talking across each other. I think it was really just a communication issue regarding the use of improper game terms during the discussion.
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 04:19:12 AM »
Oh?  The round in which I was falling touched, I had spent four rage and was told I would not be able to stand back up the next round and had to wait 15 seconds and that the rage was wasted... which is when I became confused.
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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 10:50:29 AM »
Hmm. I know the Rage rounds thing was said after you were told it was rounds not actions, but, you're right, in the end you did get stuck for the 15 seconds(ish), which I sort of chalked up to the fact we left rounds at that point anyway. Boo to confusion and multiple people talking at once....
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 12:00:41 PM »
the way it was run before was:

-you can only defend
-rage roudns count in the 4
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 12:37:27 PM »
Well we "left rounds" because it was determined I couldn't do anything, including social or mental challenges, and no one was going to claw my face off (thanks for that!)
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Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 12:58:31 PM »
The 15 seconds thing was my mistake - I was skimming that section of the Gift description, and it said 15 seconds "out of combat," or four actions in combat. So, it should have been four actions.

If I recall correctly, no one said that you could not make Social or Mental Challenges. You couldn't shoot someone by bidding a Mental Trait. The Firearms and Archery Abilities allow you to bid Mental Traits as part of a Physical Challenge to shoot someone. This is different from a Mental Challenge; if shooting people were a Mental Challenge, the target would defend with Mental Traits as well, no?
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 01:51:18 PM »
"This is different from a Mental Challenge; if shooting people were a Mental Challenge, the target would defend with Mental Traits as well, no?"

Firearms; LotW rev pg. 82 "If you posses the Firearms ability, you may use your Mental Traits for gun combat instead of using physical traits at no cost."

So shooting people can be a mental challenge, but nowhere does it say that dodging can be. There are many instances in MET and table top where social, mental, gnosis, rage, and willpower rolls are made with a target resisting with physical traits.

I've only seen Falling Touch as an absolutism in that if it isn't specifically a physical challenge or movement to a different location (bridgewalker requires you to physically walk across a very speedy moonbridge) then the action may be attempted.

But I am 154627% fine with it being run the way it was run, as long as it doesn't work like that only when used against me specifically. I don't even care if its run consistently from scene to scene, so long as the rule of thumb isn't "Someone falling touch Tom again? Yeah he's fucked." While I have a good mind for rote memorization of rules, I appreciate the wibbly wobbly timey wimy of the umbra and spiritual gifts, if that's the chronicle's take on it.

And yes, LotW says posses instead of possess... *sigh*
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Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 03:09:53 PM »
WARNING: EXTREME RULES PEDANTRY AHEAD

My point is that, by my understanding of the rules, using your Mental Traits for gun combat does not change the fact that shooting someone is a Physical Challenge. If it were a Mental Challenge, the shooter would be comparing their Mental Traits to the target's Mental Traits in the event of a tie, right? Normally, according to Initial Bid; LotW rev pg. 167: "Most challenges are categorized as Physical, Social or Mental, and all Traits used in a challenge must be from the same category. Experienced players may offer each other more creative leeway, but only by mutual agreement."

Now, when someone attacks with a gun using Mental Traits, their target who is trying to dodge compares Physical Traits with them in the case of a tie. By the above rule, all Traits used in a challenge must be from the same category. Now, as Tom correctly points out, specific exceptions trump general rules, so either this is a Physical Challenge but the attacker can bid Mental Traits because of a specific rule, or this is a Mental Challenge and the defender can bid Physical Traits because of a specific rule. There is a specific rule which allows the bidding of Mental Traits for gun combat. There is no specific rule which allows for the use of Physical Traits to defend in a Mental Challenge (well, at least none that would have been at play in the situation described). Therefore, to my mind, shooting people is a Physical Challenge, and the challenger is allowed to bid Mental Traits in it due to a special rule.

If we assume that attacks with Firearms are Mental Challenges, and thus can be used after being Falling Touched, we end up with the weird edge case in which shooting someone is totally doable but throwing things (via Athletics or Throwing) is not. I guess throwing things is marginally harder? Point is, my understanding of Falling Touch, flavor-wise, was always that it was basically spiritually-enhanced nerve disruption. That's why the retest is Medicine. This nerve disruption prevents people from mustering the coordination to attack or stand, but they can still roll out of the way of attacks. Mental attacks with no physical component (e.g., Hand of the Earth Lords) would also still be doable.

Anyway, this is my interpretation. As I'm the newest and least experienced Staff Member, I don't know that it should be the "official" rule on how Falling Touch works at RAtC, but clearly it's something that we should standardize explicitly, as I (at least) do care that it's run consistently from scene to scene. I think I can confidently speak for the rest of Staff in saying that the rule of thumb isn't going to be "Someone falling touch Tom again? Yeah he's fucked."

Does anyone remember past scenes at RAtC wherein people were Falling Touched but could still shoot by bidding Mental Traits? Precedent is helpful.
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 04:27:03 PM »
I'm totally fine with everything you just said.  Where we differ is I always imagined falling touch working because the wind and sky forces you to the ground so you can't move or grossly resist it, because it is taught by an aerial spirit.  The reason why shooting a gun or arrow seems fine to me is because an average 10 year old can shoot a gun or bow (despite having little in the way of 'physical traits') just fine, but you would need a VERY exceptional 10 year old to throw an 80mph pitch which would take a lot of physical conditioning.  Falling Touch is more of a physical impediment, than a mental one, thus allowing people trained in those weapons to operate near normally.  This is how I clear up the weird edge case where shooting someone differs from throwing something hard and accurately enough to deal some damage.

I don't think either of us is wrong, just different.  I like your take on it being neurological because of the retest.  I hadn't considered it that.

Also, I generally have always considered a "blah challenge" to be related to whatever trait you're bidding.  If I'm going to bid mentals to conserve my physicals it is a mental challenge and I would go on my mental initiative because it is a mental challenge. This way, there is no ambiguity as to what type of challenge it is, thus a power that would prevent me from making mental challenges would prevent me from using my mental traits to shoot.  LotW states that "MOST challenges are categorized..." so perhaps shooting with mental traits is one of the challenges that are not categorized as a P/S/M which still doesn't make it a Physical Challenge.  Just a thought.

In a game I am running I would take the route of less ambiguity.  In a game that holds true to realism, I would say: You can shoot a gun with mental traits but only if your target is within melee range, because careful aiming is out of the question, but gross pointing and pulling a trigger is simple enough.  Archery and throwing would be out of the question.  But that is ambiguous and conditional, blarg.

Also... does anyone know where there's a MET write up of Archery?  I'm beginning to doubt if you can use mental traits to shoot a bow anyways...
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Offline Justin Northwood

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 05:22:07 PM »
Falling Touch; LotW rev pg. 132 "You can knock over your target with the lightest touch. Make a Physical Challenge (retest with Medicine). If successful, the target falls down. Using this Gift counts as an action; using Falling Touch and striking to inflict damage are separate actions. The target must sit on the ground for the next four actions (or 15 seconds if not in combat). He may not initiate Physical Challenges, but may defend himself as normal."

I've never before interpreted this Gift as Tom presented it, but it makes a lot of sense.  I've always thought of it more along the lines of temporary unconsciousness, but the write-up is more like "I've fallen, and I can't get up" (for four actions).  Still, it specifies no physical challenges and that's really the important bit.

Firearms; LotW rev pg. 82 "If you posses the Firearms ability, you may use your Mental Traits for gun combat instead of using physical traits at no cost."

If the intent was to optionally turn the entire challenge into a mental one instead of physical, then I think the write-up would have stated just that.  Instead, the emphasis is on the type of traits, stating nothing explicit about the type of challenge.  I maintain that while mental traits can be important to the mechanics of competent gunfire, pulling the trigger itself is a physical action.  In the case of Firearms, the shooter is excepted from having to use physical traits as normal, should (s)he chose to use mental traits instead.  The action itself is no less physical.  The write-up does seem to leave a loophole open, whereby one could presume that it is acceptable to use mental traits in defense of gunfire, if the target also possesses the Firearms ability.  To me, that violates the spirit of the ability.  The bit about mentally focusing to take your shot make sense, but the bit about getting out of the way of gunfire has nothing to do with that and everything to do with Dodging.  Just because one is good at shooting a gun does not mean they are equally as good at getting out of the way of a bullet and vice versa.  Even if you disagree with me on this last point, I still believe it would be a physical challenge with mental traits being compared on both sides.
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 06:11:09 PM »
First: If you are firing a gun and decide to use mentals, you are testing against their physical traits regardless.  I don't think anyone said otherwise. You can't defend from a firearm with mentals.

Second: The logic of your argument (I think) breaks down for me, because while under the effect of Falling Touch you can dodge just fine to avoid damage and thus move, juke, and bend.

My opinion of Falling Touch is also informed by the Table Top which simply knocks you down prone from which you can simply stand. Shooting firearms while prone is more accurate.
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Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 08:29:12 PM »
Fair point about the difference in "oomph" between shooting and throwing. I had forgotten about the aerial spirit teaching it, that's pretty neat. In terms of the Traits being bid defining the type of challenge, that makes good sense except in cases like this one, where one person is bidding Mentals and the other Physicals. Defining the challenge type by whatever the *challenger* bids might actually be a fairly elegant way of resolving issues like this, although I think technically, if shooting someone is a Mental Challenge, failing to shoot someone means you can't try to shoot that person again for five minutes (Adjudication; LotW rev pg. 168). That's patently ridiculous and clearly shouldn't apply to Firearms if indeed shooting someone with Mental Traits is a Mental Challenge, but to me that's indicative of what assumptions the system has (and applies to mechanics like Falling Touch) about what a Mental Challenge is, as opposed to a Physical Challenge.

Also, re: opposing Mentals with Mentals, LotW does specifically say that you can oppose someone attacking with Mental Traits with Firearms with Mental Traits yourself if you're also using a Firearm and doing the "I try to counter-attack thing," which we don't do much at RAtC (Bidding Weapon Traits; LotW rev pg. 195).

And yeah, I was looking for Archery myself, and I can't find it anywhere. It's not in Laws of the Wild, or Laws of the Night, or the Black Fury Tribebook, which were the only places I've looked so far but I'm sort of surprised it wasn't in any of those. I think we've always given bows the same pass as guns re: Mental Traits, but that may not in fact be supported by the rules as written.
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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 08:59:03 PM »
I think the archery thing evolved because Archery is a secondary ability to Firearms in TT, per the Player's Guide to Garou, so people just assumed it worked the same way. I'm not sure I've ever seen it in a book either. I just checked Laws of the Wyld West, no go there, either.
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2014, 05:07:23 AM »
When I was reading into this, I noted in Table top how mentals have a positive effect on your accuracy with Firearms despite it being a Dex+Firearms roll, but no such thing existed for Archery.  I also noticed how in TT drawing and knocking an arrow is a seperate action from the shooting.  I then pretended I didn't read it...

What I meant to say, is that you're not going to bid your mentals attempting to dodge, but you could if you responded by trying to gain fire superiority... which is totally the real-world way of avoiding gun fire.  Nobody dodges bullets.  You shoot more bullets so that the other side cannot poke their heads out long enough to effectivly aim.  :D

But like I said, so long as the ST staff doesn't rule "Falling touch makes Tom's character's head explode, and only him..." I'm pretty much fine with whatever you guys decide.  I just thought it was worth talking about.  What I would like to see is a set of "Non-House Rules" that state how gifts and rites are CURRENTLY being run beyond their printed material.  Like Calm knocking you out of frenzy if you have no rage left for them to take.
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Offline Mike

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2014, 09:27:07 AM »
Falling touch counts for actions which mean rage actions count.
Regardless of what traits you are using to shoot it is still a physical action.
You are just allowed to swap the traits out inside the physical challenge, it does not make it mental.

Tom should have been able to make social or mental challenges.  However I'm not allowing gunfire to be considered a mental challenge in of itself.

The spirit of the gift is that you can only defend and likewise other gifts like it.

Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2014, 05:17:30 PM »
Arfchery is pretty much as whoever said because it is a secondary to firearms.  then we all recall how inconsistent white wolf is and cry.
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Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 08:42:40 AM »
It is true, White Wolf are the real villains here. It must fall to us to pick up the pieces. But! Now we have a ruling from the HST (thanks Mike!) and so the darkness is banished just a teeny bit more.
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Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Falling Touch Redress
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2014, 05:49:44 PM »
I think Matt is correct in that Hands of the Earth Lords is the sort of thing which one *could* do while falling-touched, but otherwise I am in full agreement with all of Mike's ruling just there - actions not rounds, guns are not a valid option any more than "I quickly punch you in the balls from my prone position" is.