The Debate Axis is a feature of interaction scenarios that models how a particular argument or deception is faring. It functions as a traditional number line with values that range from positive to negative. The positive side of the line is the “victory” direction, while the negative side of the line is the “defeat” direction. The central point is neutral, representing an argument that is neither convincing nor unconvincing and is commonly the starting point in such scenarios, though it may start in any position as dictated by the scenario setup.
The length of the Debate Axis is typically equivalent to 2 + the number of PCs in either direction. So, if there are four PCs, then the Debate Axis will go from -6 (defeat) to +6 (victory) in most scenarios. Each number position is represented by a notch.
The current position on the axis is tracked by a special token called the Debate Counter. Abilities that cause movement along the axis will specify movement of the Debate Counter. If the ability says to advance the Debate Counter a number of notches toward victory, then you always move the token in the positive direction, even if it's an Opponent that is moving the token. Likewise, if the ability says to advance the Debate Counter a number of notches toward defeat, then you always move the token in the negative direction, even if it's a PC that caused the token movement. The terms are precise, not relative to the actor.
For example, assume the Debate Counter is at the +2 position. An Opponent uses an ability that causes the Debate Counter to advance one notch toward victory. The Debate Counter should move to the +3 position.
Any effects from a Controlled entity reverses movement of the Debate Counter. Some other effects may also specify that the Counter moves in the opposite direction.
A common victory condition within interaction scenarios is to advance the Debate Counter to the maximum position, while a common defeat condition is if the Debate Counter advances to the minimum position. Other scenarios may simply require the Debate Counter be positive when the round limit is reached.
For more information, see Player's Guide Chapter 6: Interaction.