Argument conflict was too long!


I played Wish for the Dying campaign. My team tried to get a mouse called Finn to come with them to Lockhaven. Well Finn didn’t want to go so conflict begun. One of players came to Finn’s side and other two tried to argue with Finn. Well we played like 40 minutes that conflict and after third round it was really hard to make up arguments and we ended the conflict there. Both teams used defend pretty much because both wanted to fully succeed. In the end I tried to make only attacks but it didn’t shorten the conflict.

Game was really good but my players thought that they would like to solve arguments with simple versus test from now on. Do we lose something really important if we do like this? The arguments with other mice are important and game structure is interesting in that part but i dont want to spent half an hour to a argument conflict. And the longer the argument conflict goes more boring it becomes because the best arguments have been used.

If you are looking for the action that pretty much always drives the conflict to conclusion you want a feint. Every interaction with a feint involves someone losing disposition for successes.

If you eliminate conflicts, the players will loose valuable opportunities to advance skills and earn checks for the Players’ Turn, as conflicts generate a number of tests for each player.

I imagine this argument conflict was enjoyable at first (one of the characters argued against his patrol-mates; that’s great stuff), but just went on too long. As game master, I tend to go for the throat, scripting maneuver/attack/attack often, which also pushes the conflict toward conclusion. Perhaps the players were too caught up in the idea of winning and losing the conflict. I find that the opportunities for tests and the chance to move the story in an interesting, unexpected direction make conflicts indispensable. 40 minutes is abnormally long; if you stick with it, I expect it will go more smoothly next time.

You can definitely save Conflict for important arguments that you want to focus on and use versus more often.
Was the disagreement with Finn particularly grabby?

Also, if they’re scripting a lot of defends, feint really is your friend.

This is excatly what happened. Players had really good time at first and arguments were really good, but it just went too long.

that is true. Maybe we try again!

I prefered “manuver, attack, attack” thing but mabye that is what i should have done.

I assume your players are new to the system? Conflict goes faster when you’re more used to it.
Maybe you should also point out to them that they can’t win if they do nothing but defend!

It sounds like you were saying too much on each action. Try limiting your action to one sentence. It makes the conflict go a lot faster.

Wouldn’t this be an example of a versus test from the book? When one side says “We go to Lockhaven” and the other says “We don’t go to Lockhaven” the goals are directly opposed and should be resolved with a vs. test by the rules, isn’t it? Conflicts have to have non-opposed goals to allow for compromise. If a conflict is going to happen and there are only two polar opposite extremes ("Go or “No Go”) I could see why players want to win without compromise. If instead there was “Travel to Lockhaven to inform them of the stonemason’s kidnapping” and “Go Rescue the Stonemason” there allows for compromise, yes? (pulled this example out of my…ahem…hat) The point being that the goals are not directly opposed (Go Rescue the Stonemason vs. Not Rescuing the Stonemason, or Travel to Lockhaven or Not to Travel to Lockhaven) and make for better conflict and outcomes. To Do or Not To Do is a vs. test.

Page reference?

Here it is. On page 96 it states:

Each side must want something.
They have to have an immediate goal—something
they want to fight for, convince you of or escape
from, for example. If one side simply wants to
defend against the other side’s goal and has no
goal of its own, there’s no conflict here. You can
resolve those situations with versus tests.

That would suggest that in your example, the goals should probably be restated to “we go to lockhaven now!” and “We go do [this other thing] now!” That way if the other team didn’t exist, we know what the remaining team would be doing.