Duel of Wits for One-on-One Social Conflicts

And Luke counters with Obfuscate!

I love ya man, but whether BWHQ plays it that way is irrelevant (for those of us who don’t game with you). The RAW DOW intro implies a third party focus and only hints at 1:1. In all honestly, I have always played it both ways, but I find it the section to be in need of clarification along with noclue. And I say this with all respect, would it kill you to admit the section could be worded more clearly?

I always read the sections about playing for other audiences as a way to ease in players who would be wary of the 1-on-1. The kind of player who would get upset that his character can’t just do what he wants it to all the time. So even if you have a player like that, you can show them how cool DoW is by having him try to convince somebody else without risking his control over his character. My experience is that once you get those players on board with how the rules work the rest isn’t so difficult.

It always seemed obvious to me that you could use it for 1-on-1, and it seems to me to be implied by the discussion surrounding walking away from an unwanted DoW among other things. I don’t believe that the rules ever say that you can’t use DoW 1-on-1 and I see good reason for the emphasis being the way it is. If you’re locked into thinking of it as mind-control you’re going to have big problems with the mechanics. Emphasizing the alternative situations makes the use of the system more clear to those who have the biases of past experience (possibly very negative experience - stories abound of railroading DM mind-control via magic, geas, etc). It’s a sad fact that some people need to have it made clear to them that this isn’t just a way for the GM to take over their character. DoW is the very antithesis of a railroad, but you don’t necessarily catch on until you’ve tried it.

By one-on-one what I meant here is DoW without an audience, does it say in the book? I’ve actually both GMed and played duel of wits without anyone but the 2 there, but some of the actions and alot of the premise falls apart if others are lacking. Tactics like incite, obfuscate, feels really akward in a 1 on 1.

Incite and obfuscate work fine 1 on 1. What have you found awkward about them?

The formality of Duel of Wits often seems ill placed in a one on one.

Incite to make the Vizier get so angry that he leaves the room of a fit of rage, then after one exchange realizes you’re still out there making your point to the Calif, comes running back. Is fine, but if it’s just you and him, he would just not come back…

But incite doesn’t force him out of the room. He just misses an action, so you get to whale on him for free.

We’ve used it 1on 1 lots. One example of shining incites at each other is even here on the forum.

I think I’m just looking at it too much from the characters viewpoint instead of at 10000 feet. Getting convinsed to give away your only son while the other guy is avoiding the topic or while too angry to be cohorent seems unlikely. But narratively it makes a good story, and who doesn’t love the compromises.

I probably would add something about it working fine in a room with no one else but the participants however, for clarity.

Well, if I was giving away my only son, I’d be madder than a pack of wild dogs on a three legged cat :wink:

But, your post definitely points out the importance of agreeing to stakes before the duel. And not agreeing to things that don’t make sense in context.

This, is the best advice I’ve read today.

The incite is making him mad, not driving him from the room. Make him sputter. Even when there is a separate audience.

Likewise, Obfuscate is not “confuse the audience” as much as “confuse your opponent so he has no clue what you’re on about let alone how to counter it.”

If you go over the top with interpreting the actions, you’ll wind up with non-sensical situations.

Your post might be interpreted as an obfuscate, for example, because it’s a non-sequitur for arguing what the rules mean. It also could be interpreted as a poor roll on a point. Either one.

obfuscate? Non-sequitur? That post was an answer to the post directly above it along with an example.:rolleyes:

Atleast in my duel of wits that are one on one, I’ll make sure to focus on the contract before starting. Maybe even remove some actions, “If you start trying to make him angry, the discussion will fall apart and you’re not going to get anywhere”.

Just looking at how trolling on the internet works shows that making people angry seldom sends them running from debate. It usually makes them more likely to stick around… and to become less coherent.

Good observation. I remember my cousin talking about the time he was rendered so angry in a political meeting were the local priest talked against homosexuals in some regard*. My cousin was supposedly so outraged that he was totally incomprehensible due to lack of diction, but he said afterwards that he thought it had been clear to everyone that he was opposed to the priest’s view.

Getting the blood boiling is a time-honoured tradition, but one really should have some good points afterwards. I experienced this just two days ago, were someone at a party was incited into silence and then listented to some valid points.

I think OlavBB hit’s the proverbial nail’s head when he says that the preparation for 1-on-1-DoWs is even more important, but I don’t think restricting manouvers is the right way to go. (Sure, one can say: “If you use your Intimidation-skill during the DoW, I will use my Sword-skill (imidiately) afterwards”, but leave the DoW be. Ambivalent statements is another possibility.

*) I don’t know the specifics, the clergy tend to be opposed to homosexuals in many areas.

Restricting maneuvers seems like it just makes the DoW less fun. Either the stakes are acceptable or they ain’t.