I Miss Ward Keys

jpariury said:
ADDED - I love the idea starting a game with everyone at first level. They have exactly what makes it cool - limited healing and resources. My only comment is "Don't give them easy outs like traveling healer merchants loaded to bear!"
I prefer my traveling healer merchants loaded with beer.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Duke Frost said:
I prefer my traveling healer merchants loaded with beer.
I concur! Cure Light Ale, good for what Ales ya! (Please drink responsibly)
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Talen said:
Who's the oldest (as in time played) regularly played character left in the Alliance system from pre-split, I wonder?
Probably Heidi's character Zatarina, who started in the first Ashbury game in 1993 at 1st level.
 

phedre

Squire
If you want goblins to be scary, come play Crossroads next season.

In theory, someone could have a life spell for our chapter opener (they'd have to keep an eye on the build cap later in the season though), and magic items won't significantly alter available healing/life spells for a while.

(I'm looking forward to having weekend BBGs that are like ACE 10, instead of ACE ????? with 500+ body)
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
You get 10+ players rolling up on your ACE 10 BBG, even first levelers, it's gonna get pwn'd unless it's (something funky) to hit. Statting makes me sadzor.
 
One of the things I do like about a bit higher level game is that higher level players often have more things "they can try" so if something doesn't work, its not a "go sit and wait things out cause there is nothing I can do anyways" situation. Not saying that there aren't things that you can always "try" but there are some elements to having more resources that are fun too.

Low level is intense tho, and everything is more all or nothing, cause you just have less to save oneself with.
 

phedre

Squire
I played a BBG card that was redonkulous, and got owned in the face (and back, and legs, and a boob) by two players. 700+ body did me no good against two players with an average level of maybe 17?

An APL 5 game with a BBG of ACE 10 and 15 minions is a fairly good fight. Minions make all the difference.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
No argument there. NPC numbers can effect the game in myriad ways but my view is if you want a BBG who's fun to fight, make the PCs hate them. Don't stat high if you don't need to. Superman could have 20 Massive'd down Lex at any point, when a 5 normal would have left him bleeding out. High level campaign, low level campaign... it's the plot that distinguishes Alliance from the herd. Stats do not always make the BBG a threat, it's about making an investment in the PCs' investment that makes plots pop.
-toddo
 
I agree 100%. Also having the ability to use or use in different ways more NPC's can also make all the difference. Stats absolutely cannot make up for the other things (such as plot and minions) that we all know or mission critical.
 

Morganne

Fighter
It bears saying...

If we want games that look great, with costuming and props that people invest a lot of time and money into... then we as runners should not become upset that our players want those characters and fiscal investments to last.

I don't in any way disagree with enjoying or running a dangerous game.. but I do disagree with castigating those players that do not want to lose their character and REAL fiscal investment just to be told later that they should go and spend more money to create another amazing costume that's "up to snuff". The same people that argue against the "investment paradigm", just to be frank, are sometimes the people I have seen tell a player they should up their costuming to better represent the game. Preemptive flame-stopper: I am NOT calling out any individual in this particular conversation, just remarking on a phenomenon I have personally observed on more than one occasion in several chapters across the Alliance.

For a significant portion of our players, making game is as much as they can afford... please do keep that in mind while debating how people should or should not view their characters and investments into improving the game culture and appearance. In my opinion, disallowing for those very real factors that influence our players is a mistake, and unkind to the people that do invest their time, money and creativity to make up what we are as an organization: an Alliance of players from all walks of life and income levels.
 
I was thinking of saying something similar Christina, that is a very good point as well.
 

jpariury

Duke
Morganne said:
If we want games that look great, with costuming and props that people invest a lot of time and money into... then we as runners should not become upset that our players want those characters and fiscal investments to last.
I do disagree with castigating those players that do not want to lose their character and REAL fiscal investment just to be told later that they should go and spend more money to create another amazing costume that's "up to snuff".
A shirt that you wear as "Bumpkin the MeatMonger" is just as easily repurposed for "Jill the Janitor". I highly encourage either learning to sew and customize your garb, or learning to make good use of the barter system. That said, I also dislike that the system encourages hefty chunks of coin to be spent on armor. If someone is telling people to spend lots of money on garb and props, they shouldn't turn around and say "don't look at your character as an investment". I don't know of anyone who straddles the fence like that, though.

The excuse "Well, I spent so much money on this costume" doesn't wash with me. If your costuming is so iconic that it can't possibly be repurposed within the Alliance, hit up some other larp board and find someone to trade with. Troll through Craig's list for people willing to trade. Sell it on Ebay and use the funds to buy fabric to make new stuff. Make egregious use of Goodwill.
 

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
Did you guys ever decide on / publish a level cap?
phedre said:
If you want goblins to be scary, come play Crossroads next season.

In theory, someone could have a life spell for our chapter opener (they'd have to keep an eye on the build cap later in the season though), and magic items won't significantly alter available healing/life spells for a while.

(I'm looking forward to having weekend BBGs that are like ACE 10, instead of ACE ????? with 500+ body)
 
Drama and engendering hatred and sometimes sympathy make a good villain. Not stats.

Atmosphere and creepiness make for fear, not stats.

Stats are like the tires on a car, or maybe more like the suspension. They keep it running and are very important, but they're not what makes the car cool and they're not what makes the driver look cool.

Make each other look and feel cool. Stats be damned.

Scott
 

phedre

Squire
James Trotta said:
Did you guys ever decide on / publish a level cap?
phedre said:
If you want goblins to be scary, come play Crossroads next season.

In theory, someone could have a life spell for our chapter opener (they'd have to keep an eye on the build cap later in the season though), and magic items won't significantly alter available healing/life spells for a while.

(I'm looking forward to having weekend BBGs that are like ACE 10, instead of ACE ????? with 500+ body)
We are looking at a hard cap of 84 build for the first two events. A list of policies and such will be available in a week or two, we're trying not to overwhelm our poor site designer... check alliancecrossroads.com in the coming weeks for updates, announcements, and availability of race packets and the players guide!
Or go check it now to see some of the awesome work done by our photographer, and/or to buy a copy of "The Real Girls of Gaming 2010" calendar which got rave reviews at last weekend's CT event! Purchase of the calendar gets you gobbies in the database, and helps us raise money to start stocking our NPC camp.
 

markusdark

Knight
jpariury said:
The excuse "Well, I spent so much money on this costume" doesn't wash with me.
I'm going to agree with jp here. I will admit that some armor can cost quite a bit of cash but at the same time it is something that can be worked on over the period of a year. I bought a suede vest from Tandy for $20. I then found some metal rings - 10 for $6 that I sewed onto it. A month later, there was a scrap piece of leather I came across that I fashioned into a shoulder guard. Finding some buckles, I made a closure for the armor. I am now purchasing some wire to braid and turn into more rings to add to the jacket - perhaps only a dozen at a time.

Another bit of armor that I am working on uses washers and yarn. I am slowly developing an armored bandoleer for my gypsy. It started out being only two rings wide but over time I am buying more washers and adding it to the piece until I am roughly 7 washers wide (thereby covering more than 50% of my body). Another set I had been working on I simply took half a sheet of 1/4" plywood and cut it into 3x5" squares, drilled holes in the corners and then tied it together with some twine to make 'dryad safe' armor.

Finally, my most complicated piece is making some wax hardened leather scale armor. This can be somewhat pricey if I attempted to make it all at once. But what I did was buy what I could (another suede vest from Tandy and some scrap leather pieces) and made as many scales as I could. I put them onto the vest and what wasn't covered by them, I covered with some cheap fake fur. As I add more scales, I cut away more of the fur.

A costume can be added to and developed over time and if by some miracle of the game I actually perm, I can either turn the armor and costume bits that are uniquely that character's over to plot for gobbies or keep them for another game. I also have had two people offer to buy my armor from me so I could always just turn it over that way or like jp said, I could hit eBay. I have a list of rules of LARPing and #3 is don't bring anything to a LARP that you don't want broken, dirtied or lost" and in that vein losing your character would be losing their costume and kit.
 

Morganne

Fighter
Mark and JP, thank you for lending your perspective. I'm very happy that you haven't personally run into this damaging attitude; unfortunately, I've encountered it in multiple chapters as mentioned before.

A couple thoughts in response:

Crafting your own armor pieces, as Mark does, is very admirable. Let's be aware, however, that such a pursuit requires several things: tools for the work, knowledge of their application and time to do it. First-time crafters will inevitably be subject to trial and error. While this process is often fun and rewarding for those that are inclined towards this type of activity, it can lead to frustration and discouragement for those that just want to "fit in" within the game culture by having a character turned out well enough to be accepted. Most players are not going to be master craftsmen, and not all of them are going to enjoy this type of pursuit, particularly if they've never been exposed to it before.

Sure, you can buy a basic leather-crafting "kit" for less than $100 in tools... to some, that's not a lot of money. I can recall times when $100 was nearly impossible to come up with, and I know a large number of our players (being college students, newly graduated, unemployed or under-employed) can't put together the cost for those pieces.

For others, the money for the basic kit and pieces might not be the deterring factor, but rather the time investment. We have a 160 page rulebook that we demand players be intimately familiar with to play our game successfully, which is in itself a daunting task. Are we truly requiring these other individuals, in order to save money on the fiscal investment, to spend time they might not have in order to play the game? Or, to spend hours scrounging on websites, bartering, trading, and trying to put together multiple costumes because they can no longer use the one they had?

So there's an option.. investing money, or investing time. Either is an investment, and both are precious. I absolutely believe we should ask players to dedicate some of that to the game: after all, it's a hobby and hobbies require an investment. What I do not think is necessarily balanced towards our real, varied player base is expecting people to be happy about donating this precious commodity (time/money, respectively) multiple times.

Once you've attained a certain level of costuming, of status/respect within the game culture, no one wants to lose that. It doesn't feel good to go from being the character with amazing, handcrafted costuming and props that are totally immersive, to being the person in sweats and a tabard the next event. And yet, that is what can happen. Or, we can simply lose players for a season (or permanently) because they can't put things together again, or don't want to because *it doesn't feel good*. It has happened, more than once. Your hobbies should not frustrate, discourage, or otherwise make you feel other than good. For people that find those feelings coming from their hobbies, they typically leave them in pursuit of something that feels better.

This is a part of the game at the moment. It happens. I'm not arguing that. What I find disquieting is the general inclination towards invalidating the frustration and discouragement that this can cause towards players that are genuinely doing their best. We welcome players from all walks of life and levels of investment; from the person that wants to spend 10 hours per week working on costumes, debating rules and volunteering on a staff, to the person that can barely get the grasp of the rules in their limited time but still wants to come contribute and play the game. BOTH are valuable parts of our Alliance, and it would be helpful for all types to be considered.

Again, while I understand that people have different perspectives, to simply discount what others say because you don't emotionally agree with their point, or would personally avail yourself of the other options, seems to be disallowing for the vast variety of individuals that play the game, and their real life circumstances.
 

markusdark

Knight
Morganne said:
Mark and JP, thank you for lending your perspective. I'm very happy that you haven't personally run into this damaging attitude; unfortunately, I've encountered it in multiple chapters as mentioned before.
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I haven't run into this attitude. Heck, there are players out here that have it in spades. What I am saying is that I don't agree with it.

My examples of armor making were just to show how a limited budget can work over time. I'll admit that I tend to be more talented than most when it comes to building stuff for a LARP. I've spent time with the SCA and other recreationists in learning the ways of everything from soap making to armorsmithing. Not to mention all the personal work I did while running my own LARP as well as researching the entire hobby. However, I also let the people that I LARP with that I have this ability and that I am more than willing to craft the stuff or show them how to do it. In return, they can either pay me (which I usually charge a very little fee above material costs) or we can work it out in barter - either for in game stuff (such as alchemy) or out of game stuff (such as supplying my meals for an event).

What I am basically saying is that if you can't do it, there are others who can. As for cost, I can understand a tight budget. But I also believe that people who are spending $50+ on an event fee can find a way to scrape together $20 a month to make a better looking kit - even if it means skipping an event and spending the time and money to enhance your character's outfit. In the end, remember my #2 rule of LARPing - "Your character is stats on a piece of paper." which means that it might be thrown out (as in die). Not to have this eventuality in mind while creating and playing that character is, IMO, not having the right mindset for the game.
 
Not everyone is nessisarily playing the game for the long haul. Some people get one thing (or character) that they like to play very much. I think it might be risky to say that those sort of folks do "not have the right mindset" because seems to be implying that you have to have a certain attitude and mindset to approach, or be successful in Alliance.

One of the things that I love about Alliance is that you can approach and play the game from totally different angles and for completely different reasons. I think it is this diversity that gives us strength, and as such I wouldn't want to say you "need" to have a certain mindset.


And on the note about armor. If you have money you will be able to do better in this game. The game is not really a level playing field situation. I know some people may get up in arms about that idea, but that's just the reality. If you have money you can blanket events, buy donations, buy expensive armor and just look better/be more powerful more easily. If you don't its gonna be harder. But that's also sort of the reality in real life too... Because we act out(play) this game in real physical ways it has more parallels to RL than other games. Such as computer or table top games.
 

markusdark

Knight
Dreamingfurther said:
Not everyone is nessisarily playing the game for the long haul. Some people get one thing (or character) that they like to play very much. I think it might be risky to say that those sort of folks do "not have the right mindset" because seems to be implying that you have to have a certain attitude and mindset to approach, or be successful in Alliance.
But there is a certain attitude and mindset. In fact, the rulebook is chock full of advice of how to approach the game to get the most out of it and be successful in the game.

And I suppose I should take it down a notch and note that there are very simple things you can do - such as wearing sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt instead of blue jeans and a t-shirt. The main thing is that you shouldn't think you have to be dressed to the 9's to play but there's nothing wrong with adding things to a 3 until you reach an 8 :)
 
Top