Building vs. Conflict scenes (vs. Color!)

I’ve been referencing this specific thread for weeks now because it’s one of the very, very few places I’ve seen that addresses actual in-play strategy. There’s one bit I really must get clarified, though:

Rock on, I get the general gist. My brain doesn’t want to accept that this is a Building scene and not a Conflict scene, because of the CC roll in step #2. The point I’m trying to resolve: If there’s a versus roll of some sort between my own guys then I can choose to work it out via a Building scene, right? By extension, a versus roll between human-side characters would also fall under the purview of a Building scene?

The rules-as-written define Building and Conflict scenes only in terms of importance: if the GM can’t “say yes” to a story element it’s a building scene; if the scene resolution requires the use of the FF or DoW rules it becomes a Conflict scene. Correct?

But back to the quoted example: Why is this a Building scene at all? Is the reason it’s a building scene because you had to Circle up the NPC? Once the NPC was introduced why can’t the GM just say “yes” to the CC and the Surgery and not bother rolling the dice?

In a later post you mention you can hull a GM-side character in a color scene: Mechanically, what’s significant about going through the rolls via a Building scene versus simply narrating the results in a Color scene? The character is real; I paid for it with my Circles. I’m not sure why the hulling might not be “real” simply because I said yes.


The difference is, you already got the character versus you ain’t. Last session I hulled my phase FoN, because I needed more from him now than I asked before. But I could have had him make those rolls anyway, it just wouldn’t have made narrative sense. All the hulling did was give me shared-fiction logic to support the tactics I already could have used. Does that make sense?

So if I wanted a signals tech, and I needed him hulled because of the nature of the comms he’ll be handling, I gotta circles him up and hull him. I’d actually tend to say yes to at least the CC roll and just do some color about pulling him in for some injections against possible chemical exposure or something, then sedate him. But I’m not sure that’s 100% legit.

Devin is, as always, spot on. However, let me be explicit about some of his points:

If it only takes one roll to resolve a particular intent, then that roll is part of a building scene.

Close Combat can be resolved in a building scene. See the I corner him and stab him in the face rules

Hulling an important NPC is done in a building scene because the hulling process has major consequences. It can be detected by the human side and the roll can be failed resulting in the NPC being maimed. Those are two serious twists. Hand waving a successful hulling for a major NPC cheats the PCs of those two possibilities.

Hand waving major events also breaks the scene currency mechanic. The GM has limited resources to get his objective done, just like the players.


What I get from this is that the GM shouldn’t pass up opportunities to make the players roll, if rolling or failing to roll would significantly change the story. Saying “yes” is for when players introduce color, and so the game isn’t bogged down with a lot of pointless rolling that doesn’t advance the story.



I have to say, this wasn’t the answer I was expecting. But it’s logical and I have no issues with it. Thanks for the replies.

Actually…I do sort of have an issue with it. Requiring a roll to hull an important (ie paid for?) NPC is only obvious when you know the consequences of hulling: that it can be detected and that it can be fucked up. I guess I remembered, vaguely, the thing about botching a hull but only because I’d read the Surgery skill at some point. But if I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t know. This implies I’d better know every skill in the book before I can pass a fair color-or-building decision. Ouch.

Ditto Vaylen detection: I guess I remember it’s possible at low/high via gizmos index but since we’re playing zero it’s not locked into my brain. Another case where I have to have a firm grasp of the world’s technology and its limits before I can pass judgement on that. IIRC if they’d done the eyeball thing there wouldn’t even be a visible mark on the host – is it even detectable at zero?

This is all just a long-winded way of saying I wish there were an easier way. Is it safe to assume that NO “paid for” item in the game can be interfered with via color? Any adjustments to anything “real” requires a roll?