Tools & Weapons
On the subject of violence, certain tools and weapons would understandably make it easier to force your will on others — it turns out, a lot of arguments lose their steam when your rebuttal is baseball bat. If a character possesses a Tool (which we’ll define as anything typically treated as a “melee weapon” in other games), he may treat two additional dice as Violence dice — suddenly makingFighting more likely to go in his favor, and more likely to increase his Depravity as a result. A Gun (those are the two options: Tools & Guns) functions similarly for the sake of this game, with one more terrifying perk. A Gun will either add one additional die as a Violence die, or it will treat all dice involved as Violence Dice. A Gun is the edge in Ultraviolence, and a Gun makes a normal Fight a death-wish.

Thicker than Water
Ties are your character’s tether to this world; their link to the mundane and beautiful. Ties are what your character is about, what he lives for, who he lives for… and a couple considerations and exceptions exist regarding them. For one, Ties can keep you from going too far — they can calm you down, call you back to reality when you’re in the throes of a destructive frenzy. Those scenes where someone important is telling the character that the goon “ain’t worth the trouble?” Those are what I’m talking about. If you pick a Fight in the presence of a Tie of yours, it takes an additional success on the Violence Dice to succumb. This means it takes at least 2 successes on Violence Dice to send the victim to the Hospital, to inflict Trauma, and to increase your Depravity by 1. In the presence of a Tie, in fact, it is impossible to send a victim to the Morgue. Successes from Violence Dice still count as successes; the first is essentially a “freebie” Humanity die in the presence of a Tie. Committing Ultraviolence in the presence of a Tie, however, reduces its value by 1 Point.Ultraviolence can’t be reeled in — that’s counter to the very point of it; your Ties cannot stop it, cannot save you from it.Ultraviolence functions normally around Ties, including sending characters to the Hospital, Morgue, Trauma, and Depravity. It can’t really be stopped. Be careful who you cut loose around.

Success & Failure
Basically, assume that you’re going along with whatever is happening in the game. The Narrator narrates, and you’re interacting withe NPCs, the Ties, the Antagonists, your brothers… but when something doesn’t click? When you want control? When you don’t want to play into the frame the Narrator has provided? Then it’s time for Conflict. Conflict isn’t about you the player getting control technically although that is how it works out; it’s about your Character getting control of the situation going on around him.

A carjacker tears the character out of a car.
“No, he doesn’t. Conflict.”

The Irish crime boss comes and starts collecting protection money from your shop’s till.
“No, he doesn’t. Conflict.”

Your Brother takes your shotgun from under the bar to deal with the guys messing with his car out front.
“No. He Does Not. Conflict.”

You roll Conflict for control of the action. You roll Conflict when the scene is going somewhere your character doesn’t want it to. You could roll to change someone’s opinion after hearing them speak — or you can nod along and agree, and only roll against him when he expects you to act accordingly. That’s your call. Playing along until the last minute? Nipping the problem in the bud when it first comes up? Your calls. You roll when your character wants to steer the course of the action in the scene.

Select the number of dice as appropriate to the Conflict, as outlined above. Remember that you can only use the same die pool once in a scene — so if you fail to use your Ties, you can’t roll again until you FightCompromise, or Commit Ultraviolence — all of which change your die pool. You can try again in a different scene, but understand that it’s possible the conditions have changed and you may not get your way! Or it may be harder for one reason or another! These are the risks of maybe not being willing to draw the gun — you already know the risks of being more than willing to draw the gun. With the number of dice ready, you throw them and arrange them in descending order: highest to lowest. Compare the highest die with the highest single die of your challenger; in the event of a tie, compare the next two highest dice; in the event of a tie, compare the next two highest dice… until you determine a winner.

In the case of a full-tie (each die is the same), the larger die pool is the winner always by Violence, unless the winner chooses to give up. If the die pools are the same size, then the scene is interrupted in such a way that the conflict is moot for the time being. It can be revisited in a later scene, but for now neither side has gotten its way. Take note: A Violence Die beats a Humanity Die of the same value (Violent 3 beats a normal 3).

Since you roll for control of a Conflict, you are always rolling against someone. That’s another player’s character (and one of your brothers) or a character being run by the Narrator, and maybe even more than one. There is not a limit to the number of characters able to take part in a Conflict for control of the outcome, but there are a couple caveats here. Any time a Brother is in a scene with you and on your side (meaning, the exact same Intention declared) choose which of you will roll his dice, and give him a bonus Humanity die or Violence die — of the assisting Brother’s choice. Follow the usual rules for Violence Dice and Depravity for both Brothers, unless their Depravity is unequal. In which case, the Brother with the lower Depravity score and only that brother suffers the effects of Violence dice.

Jeez. You act like you’ve never seen a guy bleed before, Joey. Grow up.

Stay tuned for Part 7