Relative Might

Aha! Ok. That all makes the sense now.

How does “Killing is my business” apply when adventurers fight and lose against Might 1 creatures. Since they might 1 creatures can’t kill adventurers, I assume that Killing is my Business doesn’t apply, so do the creatures just drive off the adventurers or something?

Also, can you apply Killing is my Business in conflicts where the party is much lower Might than the monster? For example, say the party is trying to drive off a dragon, and they fail. Or can you only apply Killing is my Business when the party is actively trying to kill something (meaning that a dragon could never directly kill the party, as the party can’t enter a kill conflict with the dragon). Or am I missing something else (I feel like I probably am)?

Have you read the Denizens chapter starting on page 149, particularly, Asymmetric Goals?

Yeah, I did, but the way Killing is my Business was presented made it seem like a special case. The example used in the Asymmetric Goals section mentions a dragon killing adventurers while they just flee, but it seemed like conflicts were set up to not directly kill players unless they deliberately chose kill as the conflict. Is that only supposed to be the case in conflicts with similarly mighty enemies? The party doesn’t have to worry to much about using kill on might 1 creatures because the normal inherit risks aren’t there? And it doesn’t matter too much what conflict the party chooses to engage a dragon with (aside from dispositions and skills used) because they’ll probably end up dead regardless if they fail? I just want to make sure I’m interpreting it correctly.

I’d like to hear a little more about this too. Don’t the players always choose the type of conflict? How do you end up with an asymmetric conflict?

A dragon returns to its lair to find the PCs absconding with some of its treasure. The players say they’re going to run for the entrance to a cave too small for the dragon to enter. As a dragon, I’d be inclined to barbecue these idiots, but they’ve selected a “flee” conflict. Can the dragon kill them or must it capture them?

A pair of PCs encounters a wretched trio of kobolds looting a woodcutter’s cabin. The woodcutter is dead on the floor. The PCs grin and announce that they’re gonna kill these little runts. The kobolds meep in alarm. What happens if the dice go wildly south on the players and the kobolds win this fight? It’s a kill conflict, but the kobolds can’t kill, so I assume the kobolds can escape or drive off the PCs, whichever they choose? If they have to compromise, does that mean dead kobolds?

If the dragon can choose to kill, can a gang of orcs choose to kill when the adventurers are just trying to drive them off?

This is tangential, but to to trick that Owlbear into a pit you’d use a trick conflict with manipulator for attack/feint and lore master for defend for the PCs?

I, too, am curious what would happen in a kill conflict with something like Kobolds since their might is too low to be able to kill the PCs. What happens if the PCs lose. Is PC death still on the death?

And, yeah, the asymmetric goals section is a little confusing. It seems clear under the Intent section in the Conflict chapter that the GM, based on the players’ description sets the conflict type, so it would seem the opponent really gets no say. But then the “Asymmetric Conflict Goals” section seems to imply that the dragon could be trying to kill while the PCs may just be running way or driving it off.

My guess is that it’s just color. The dragon is trying to attack and kill while the PCs are trying to drive it off. Compromise could easily involve the injured condition, but since it’s not actually a kill conflict, then Killing is My Business doesn’t apply.

But I’m still not sure how that would work with PCs losing a kill conflict with something Might 1.

Players describing the conflict areana is only for “planned” encounters. When a conflict results from a monster-encounter Twist, the GM can set the type of conflict (though I believe that it has to be one of the types on the monster’s list).

There’s still the question, though. If PCs can be captured by losing pretty much any conflict to some Thugs, can they be killed by losing a conflict to kobolds? Or is Kill a special case? That might be fair. You have to warn the player when he might get the Dead condition from a failed test, after all.

I think that “captured” isn’t a condition. It’s a twist, more or less, so it can come about however.

“Dead” is a condition, though, and it has pretty strict rules for when it can be applied.

That said, an armed conflict (of whatever sort) to kobolds could totally result in an “Injured” condition (as a result of losing, or as a compromise) which might kill you if you’re already Injured.

…I think.

My reading of “Rawr! Monster Twists” on pg 151 is that players still narrate their intent as usual, they just can’t go in such a way for a conflict type that the monster doesn’t have listed.

Bah! I misremembered that. You are correct.

So now I’m lost again. Is the order of might only a one-way formula?

Yes, p151 expressly states that “the players … choose” the type of conflict in a monster twist.

Nope. It says that “the players can only choose.” It is a restriction, in the event the adventurers still have some control over the flow of events. See page 67 under Intent:
“The GM declares a conflict has begun when your actions have engaged with a monster or the environment in an important way…
Once your description is clear, the GM tells you what type of conflict you’re involved in. That’s right, the GM picks.”

For example, if the party fails a Scout test to notice the Ghouls hiding in a room, and the GM says they pop up and ambush the party, it may be too late to try to capture or drive them off. So you could describe trying to drive them off, but then the GM could/would respond that they’re already upon you, and you’ll need to kill them or flee.

I think the key phrase there, though, is “Once your description is clear”. The GM decides what sort of conflict best suits your description. If you’re describing herding them toward a tunnel and shouting, I don’t think the GM should be choosing Capture, for example.

Please do note that the GM picks based on the description of the players’ actions. So, the players decide what they’re doing. The GM doesn’t have free reign. It’s all about how you describe your actions.

Yeah, I don’t think I was very clear. I think that basically, the players can always describe how they respond to an encounter. However, if a monster shows up unexpectedly through a twist, it can narrow your options for reasonably or successfully dealing with it. And after you describe what you try to do, the GM has the last word, in case what you describe is not viable.

edit: Yep, definitely didn’t mean to imply GM fiat.