APG: Alliance Players Guide Beta Feedback

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Krystina F

Artisan
Oregon Staff
I appreciate the effort that has gone into this and the update to 2.0 generally. However, in addition to being needlessly clunky, the use of "she or he" specifically invalidates people like myself and several other current players in our chapter who don't use those pronouns for ourselves. Singular they or generalized nouns like "player" or a class name are preferable in hypothetical language.
In many instances the Diversity Committee recommended reversing gender roles, dropping gender specific language, etc to create a more positive and empowering environment for our player base that is extremely diverse, many of those suggestions were not taken advantage of.
 

Spaz

Newbie
Chicago Staff
I am having a hard time expressing my overall sadness with this book and my overall disappointment in Alliance for supporting/endorsing it. But in no way wish to diminish the effort its contributors provided for it. My thoughts and opinions should not be taken as a comment to or against them personally. My issue is with content and presentation - not the authors.

Overall, there is a lot subjectively wrong with this book and IMO is no where near ready for print. Overall it lacks professionalism of a product we would expect people to pay money for, and use as a resource for events people also pay money for. It has a lot of fan service, which while fine; has little to do with the overall nature and need of the book. As written, I wouldn't support or endorse it and would actively tell players not to read it.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
If we want to remain relevant in the gaming community we seriously need to do better than this. The tone is very much a product of its time and most of this appears to have been lifted wholesale from the 1.0 rule book. The 1.0 rule book did not age well. In the decade since the earliest post I can find here, a lot has changed. We figured out as a community that we need to be more inclusive, and take a deep look at some of the systemic things that we generally unintentionally do that fosters a frat-house community which excludes the traditionally marginalized in our community. This is an opportunity to take those hard earned, painful lessons to heart and build something better than what we were.

There is much of the 90's tongue in cheek LOL so randum that was in vogue for small game publications of the time, but don't have a place if we're really trying to be taken serious. There is not even the tokenization of non-binary people, or non-traditional relationship status inside the book. Then there is the module, which has been deservedly raked over.

If we're making an introductory mod and it's felt that we need a non-LARP cultural touchstone, I'd recommend something more in-genre than a Bond film. Fantasy is no longer a dirty word, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and many others saw to that just in the time between 1.0 and now. I have people at my work who don't just accept what I do on the weekends, they ask me to get into full garb on a game Friday. So, if we must have the light-hearted parody idea, a necromantic Game of Thrones (Blame of Bones?) parody would go a long way better these days.
 

Auric

Administrator
Alliance General Manager
Alliance Logistics
I wanted to provide a quick update letting everyone know that all of the concerns are being listened to and discussed. While I don't have the ability to answer specific questions such as "what about x,y or z?", I can say the module in question does not represent or fit within the Alliance world. This module is expected to be replaced with one that represents what one would typically see at a game.
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
Alright, two specific things from my first glance:

Humans: They are not put in the short list of penalties and drawbacks. This may lead to casual/first-time players not knowing they are an option to play. Also, that Human introduction is lacking, and what IS there doesn't read well. Here's a suggestion for a replacement:

Human

"Humans don't have one defined culture or history in Fortannis. Not as long-lived as Sylvanborn, hardy as Dwarves, strong as Half-Ogres, or magically inclined as the Elves, Humans tend toward building communities to find meaning and acceptance. Without the limitations of history Humans tend to either be the glue that holds a village together, or the mind that finds a new solution to an old problem. Not every human fits this mold, and history finds many examples of human societies that seek to exclude other races when it suits them. At their best, though, humans are the "everyman" that can see reason when old solutions become problems."

Something like that, please.
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
On page 57, under Riposting Blow:

"He is attack by an enemy" should read "he is attacked by an enemy"

-JT
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
I believe this was caught earlier, but page 62, monster abilities "<Type> Block"

"<Type> Block: This monster ability will stop the first applicable attack that would affect the creature. This is a
“dumb defense” in that the monster cannot choose when to use it. Any attack that falls under the listed Effect,
Delivery, or Qualifier will be stopped.
For example, a “Poison Guard” would stop a “Poison Enfeeble” or a “30 Poison Paranoia,” while a “Paranoia
Guard” would only stop the latter of the two. A “Spell Guard” would stop either a “20 Spell Flame” packet or a
swing for “10 Spell Ice,” while a “Flame Guard” would only stop the Flame Bolt.
It cannot be used as a defense against touch-casting. When used, the monster should call “<Type> Guard.”

The example serves to further confuse the issue by using every past way of describing "block" as well as asking the (NPC) to call "Guard". I see what the rule is going for, but please rewrite the example to clarify.

-JT
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
Page 74, under Mental Abilities:

"
Plant False Emotions / Repair Emotions(Stone
Elf)
Level needed: 12; Racial XP needed: 12
With this ability, a Stone Elf can plant false emotions in the minds of their recipients. These false emotions can be limited to specific causes; for instance, the stone elf could plant a false fear of snakes in someone’s mind, or a false sense of love toward someone. This is, of course, almost always performed against the will of the recipient. This is extremely painful to both parties, who will each take half of their current Body Points as damage. The stone elf planting the false emotions suffers the
effects of a Drain for ten minutes which cannot be cured (and which is, obviously, not necromantic in nature). This skill can also be used to remove these false emotions. The Racial Skill Level of the stone elves involved is irrelevant to this skill, so long as it is above the minimum."

Please change the example of implanting a "false sense of love" since we did away with "Love" effects in this game for good reason. Thank you.
 

jdackow

Adept
Page 74, under Mental Abilities:

"
Plant False Emotions / Repair Emotions(Stone
Elf)
Level needed: 12; Racial XP needed: 12
With this ability, a Stone Elf can plant false emotions in the minds of their recipients. These false emotions can be limited to specific causes; for instance, the stone elf could plant a false fear of snakes in someone’s mind, or a false sense of love toward someone. This is, of course, almost always performed against the will of the recipient. This is extremely painful to both parties, who will each take half of their current Body Points as damage. The stone elf planting the false emotions suffers the
effects of a Drain for ten minutes which cannot be cured (and which is, obviously, not necromantic in nature). This skill can also be used to remove these false emotions. The Racial Skill Level of the stone elves involved is irrelevant to this skill, so long as it is above the minimum."

Please change the example of implanting a "false sense of love" since we did away with "Love" effects in this game for good reason. Thank you.

I respectfully disagree. In this cast the RP can be negated if the recipient does not feel comfortable as this it a metal ability so it already has a check in place and they can cut of the effect before it need to be RP.
As an example to retain the emotion. Just in the last game I played. I had a Dwarf that lost his beard (temporarily), "love" the fact it was gone. Once it had regrown I removed this false love.

I do think it interesting that this and Repair Blast are the only metal ability that has a Body Point damage as an effect. For uniformity I would suggest this part is removed as an outlier to stream lining. Or added to Abilities the seem like they would be even more invasive like Cure Insanity and Wipe.

I would also suggest rephrasing or removing the following line about the time component of Wipe. currently "The amount of time it takes to wipe a memory is equivalent to the time spent performing the wipe" I suggest something more like " The amount of time need to perform the wipe is the same as the amount of time it would take to reply/relive the memory" however the following line of "To take out five minutes of memory will take five minutes of role-playing." is also very clear.

I also seem inconsistent that Wipe only adverse effect is "In the end, both parties will have severe headaches for the same amount of time as the wipe." when Cure Insanity does not even have that. I would suggest for uniformity adding the typical "this gives both parties a terrible migraine headache for at least an hour and will leave both under the effects of a Drain for ten minutes, which cannot be cured by normal means (and which is, obviously, not necromantic in nature)."

Also Restore is inconsistent in the the effect is Weakness of an hour as apposed to Drain for ten minutes. "The restoring gives both parties a terrible migraine headache for at least an hour and will leave both under the effects of a Weakness for that hour, which cannot be cured by normal means"
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
"I respectfully disagree. In this cast the RP can be negated if the recipient does not feel comfortable as this it a metal ability so it already has a check in place and they can cut of the effect before it need to be RP.
As an example to retain the emotion. Just in the last game I played. I had a Dwarf that lost his beard (temporarily), "love" the fact it was gone. Once it had regrown I removed this false love"

I think that my problem with using Love as a base use of this idea is that the onus is on the subject to decide whether they want this effect to occur, and situational pressure is a real thing. Removing that as an example doesn't negate your ability to have a Dwarf "prefer not to have a beard" or "be okay" without his beard for a time. "Love" is my issue. And not even removing that ability entirely, just not to have it be the example given of a basic use of the ability.

-JT
 

jdackow

Adept
I can see your point and can also see why you would like it removed as the go to example. But I think we can agree the there are different forms of love, like motherly or brotherly love and there RP can have very different expression the Love Commend effect the was remove based on it Romantic expression. I think a worse example would be to replace Love with Lust or Infatuation, as these emotion almost call for action to express them. In most case it think this is mostly use to Repair Emotions then implant them based on the BP damage but I could be wrong so this may be a fringe issue. I can see for consistence wanting it removed or adding that Romantic Love can not be implanted ( like with the 3 rule of the Genie in Aladdin).
 

Joseph Smith

Artisan
As a note, this doesn't seem to include the crafting update. This makes sense, in that the crafting update isn't released yet, but doesn't make sense in that it is a revamping of crafting skills and should be a written part of the final 2.0 book.

-JT
 

Inaryn

Knight
As a note, this doesn't seem to include the crafting update. This makes sense, in that the crafting update isn't released yet, but doesn't make sense in that it is a revamping of crafting skills and should be a written part of the final 2.0 book.

-JT
The owners are still voting on this. Once we start having things finalized, I'll be working with the PR and hype guys to help roll out teasers and such. We really wanted to have it ready for go-live, but it just didn't work out that way despite all my yowling. ;)
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
All forms of “forced” Love need to be ditched, whether they require OOG consent or not.

A player who consents to mental RP might not be comfortable with the “Love” emotion being implanted, but might not be OOG comfortable with saying “No.”

I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of evidence out there that putting the onus on the victim of this situation to declare resistance is...not great.

Delete. Delete. Delete.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
The example works just as well with, say, “a false sense of loyalty.” It’s an easy change and if it has the potential to prevent even one uncomfortable situation, why not do it?
 

ASFDan

Scholar
I wanted to provide a quick update letting everyone know that all of the concerns are being listened to and discussed. While I don't have the ability to answer specific questions such as "what about x,y or z?", I can say the module in question does not represent or fit within the Alliance world. This module is expected to be replaced with one that represents what one would typically see at a game.
Thanks Matt, it's good to hear that this has been heard and a new sample module will be written.

That said, what I'd like to see also is an assessment of the breakdown that led to the diversity committee's feedback being overlooked, and what mechanisms are being put into place to ensure this doesn't continue to be a concern, for them or any other volunteer committee or player devoting their time and effort to improving the player experience and game.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Thanks Matt, it's good to hear that this has been heard and a new sample module will be written.

That said, what I'd like to see also is an assessment of the breakdown that led to the diversity committee's feedback being overlooked, and what mechanisms are being put into place to ensure this doesn't continue to be a concern, for them or any other volunteer committee or player devoting their time and effort to improving the player experience and game.
Seconded.
 

Jayded

Newbie
Seattle Staff
The module in the book for the James Bondish intro...

Problematic at best. I, as a player, would be very uncomfortable in either of the female roles. I would not be comfortable asking an NPC to play most of those roles. There is plenty of Alliance based options that don't require inspiration from outside sources. It's okay to like old media, but it's also important to talk about why it's problematic and and how we can improve on it if we do decide to use it as influence.
 

JeffL

Newbie
Denver Staff
Seconded.
Thirded.
This kind of post-mortem is hard to do, and will show that there is a good faith effort to repair the damage done. Please consider this very seriously.
 
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