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Conflict Resolution & Task Resolution Explained

Lifted from this Forge thread:

I am going to be a little pedantic about terms, so forgive me. As I use the term, conflict resolution vs. task resolution is best understood in terms of opponents. Let's say one character is chasing another, and the person being chased is confronted by a fence. It's time for a roll!

If the character rolls against the fence, in the sense that it is tall or otherwise difficult, and if we the players consider how fast or strong the character is, then this is task resolution.

If the character rolls against the pursuer, in the sense that the fence modifies the chase (and it might do so significantly if it is tall or whatever), then this is conflict resolution.

An important side point: the distinction has nothing to do with the scale of the events resolved by the roll. The in-game time might be a second or a day or a century. The number of individuals affected could be one bit of one character's body, or a whole shipload of characters' lives. A lot of people think "task" means smaller increments of fictional material, and "conflict" means larger increments, and that is not correct.

Sorcerer rolls should always be conflict resolution. They rely on the situation including a conflict of interest among fictional characters or entities. This is important too - another common misunderstanding is that conflict resolution concerns disagreements among the real people, and this is extremely incorrect. If you think in terms of conflict of interest, in my example, the fence is not a character - it can have no conflict-of-interest with anyone, ever. If the character came upon it and there were no chase occurring, there would be no roll. He would either get over it because he can, or he would not get over it because he could not, as dictated by the GM.

But if there were a chase occurring, the fence presents an opportunity to express the chase, with a modification to the dice perhaps if it is an interesting or dramatic fence. The chase is what's important - the conflict of interest between the two characters.

I think this is the first time that someone's explained this in a way that makes utter sense.

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