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The rules say "The GM always rolls 4d6+4d10 for Initiations." Doesn't that make it hard for the GM to win if a character escalates in his Initiation?

For example, Brother Quint wants to "overcome his fear of demons." So I lock him in a haunted church. When a demon tries to scare him out with whispers, I start rolling. And since we're just talking, he rolls with his Heart and Acuity. We go back and forth until we're out of dice. Can he escalate to using a gun to shoot a window out? Or an item roll to quote from the Book of Life?

Once he escalates, I don't have any dice to escalate with, do I? So how does this work?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Yes, anyone can escalate during Initiation. The GM doesn't get more dice, but the player might. Initiations aren't intended to be that difficult for players, but if the GM gets a really good 4d6+4d10 roll, the player might sweat a bit trying to beat it.

When a conflict gets to that point, where it's a foregone conclusion that the player is going to win the conflict, the GM can just Give. There's often little sense in drawing it out.

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Might sweat a bit trying to beat it without escalating, right? On the one hand, who doesn't want to lose Initiation. But on the other, a close reading of the rules reveals it's not really a bad thing? – Soup Nov 24 '10 at 22:54
Losing an initiation conflict can totally define a character. It's fine for the player to give, too. Sometimes halfway through the conflict you learn something unexpected about your dude. – Jmstar Nov 24 '10 at 23:34

Well, the way I use initiation is to teach the players the rules. So, if no one cever has to escalate during the Initiation, then, in my opinion, the GM is not doing their job.

I have had players fail their Initiation. I play it hard and use dice tactics to push the players. It not easy, it doesn't happen often, but it is a great way to show people the dice system in a fairly harmless environment (we know the character survives Initiation, right?) that still has bearing on the overall game (as opposed to practice conflicts some people do that teach the rules but feel real empty since they don't count).

And yes, Giving during Initiation is a great way so show the players that you don't have to play to the death, right?

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The point of the initiations is for the player to generally win and to teach the player the mechanics of invoking traits, raising, and (if necessary) ceremony.

Remember, however, that a player has to escalate with ceremony against demons. A carefully staged initiation will require that the player uses both traits and ceremonial escalation, helping them set the right mindset of the game.

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I thought ceremony was just to change the Fallout that demons take? I missed the rule that says a player needs to use ceremony to escalate vs. demons... – Adam Dray Nov 24 '10 at 22:37
I'd forgotten about Ceremony, though the rules say "Strictly, bringing ceremony into a conflict is not escalating . . . ceremony is useful only because it lets you Raise against demons and sorcerers on their own terms." – Soup Nov 24 '10 at 22:57
Pretty sure you can punch a demon in the face if that's what you want to do and it is supported in the fiction. – Jmstar Nov 24 '10 at 23:35

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