Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head shots)

Is your play style more solo or team focused?

  • Every hero for themselves

    Votes: 2 5.3%
  • I'll pitch in at times, but I've got my own ward

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • I go on mods with my OoG friends

    Votes: 2 5.3%
  • I'm meaningless without my team mates

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • It's me and my crew against the world

    Votes: 14 36.8%
  • I like to think of all PCs as one big team

    Votes: 12 31.6%
  • Dark side, and proud of it

    Votes: 2 5.3%

  • Total voters
    38

markusdark

Knight
Dreamingfurther said:
How can you say that Alliance is not a 'team' game markusdark? We have 3 separate 'pure' classes that are all much better at doing specific types of combat. It is virtually impossible to create a character that could be effective in every way of combat.
From page 48 of the ARB:

Adept: When it comes to skills required to get a task done, the Adept is most likely to
use the fastest and most expedient means available. Their ability to cast spells, use alchemy,
backstab, and use many other skills makes them very, well, adept in adventuring. They are most successful when using a combination of spellcasting and backstabbing.

Sounds like a soloist class to me.

Furthermore the way the Alliance combat system works once you are 'down' without team mates you can not save yourself, except in the rare case of a rebirth, but that still only brings you back at 1 body.
Quite true. And hence why I say I pay the price sometimes. However, someone who stays in the blender while being cut up instead of saying "I can't make it, time to bail" then deserves the trip to the circle. Add to the rebirth a couple of potions of Cure X wounds and your back up and running again

If your saying that the non combat parts of the game can be engaged on an individual level that certainly can be the case, your not going to have a whole adventuring team or whatever all get knighted together. But even in the case of individual players who go through squireship and then become a Knight they aren't doing that in a vacuum. They 'need' the other players to interact with in their role, hence even in a very abstract way they are playing a 'team' game.
That assumes that the character's end game is to become a knight or a person of the people. What about those who enjoy the idea of the lone assassin or thief - the single champion who remains in the shadows, doesn't seek the limelight and basically prefers to work alone.

Like you said sure you can pull off doing things on your own, but why not share that fun by accomplishing that with other folks? The rulebook itself says that the game is designed to be played by groups of players, so I'm not sure how in the face of that you can say Alliance is NOT a team game?
If you read my short story - heck a few of the short stories (haven't read them all yet) in the new anthology "Stories of Fortannis: A Bard's Tale" now on sale a double dragon publishing and amazon, you'll find quite a few stories where the story revolves around a single person - a solo hero.

I am not saying that Alliance is not a team game. But I am also not saying that Alliance is not a soloists game either. I believe it can be and is both. The main issue I see is that Plot's work is much easier when it writes stories that require groups because they can entertain more people for the same amount of work. Needs of the many and all of that.

Which is why I am fine with, and hold no ill will, when I stumble across a 'lair card' and decide I want to go into it alone if I wind up facing overwhelming numbers and lose. I do have an issue though when I am told that I cannot enter this cave until I have 3 more people.

I should have a right to go in, try it, and go out if things get sticky or even attempt to do an end run around and get the gold without having to go through the front lines swinging. Again, I understand the limited staff to staff it, time to set up and take down only to have to do it again and all the logistics that go into it and would feel 'wasted' to do it just for one person but still, it IS a cave and I CAN walk into it alone so...

In the end, Alliance can be the type of game you make it to be.
 

Dom

Scout
Gettysburg Staff
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Though an adept may be "adept" at different types of combat, they are still far better off in a group. Parts of the game are soloable but this is a team game, especially at the lower levels where playing any hybrid class is going to limit you severely simply because of lack of available build.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

markusdark said:
If you read my short story - heck a few of the short stories (haven't read them all yet) in the new anthology "Stories of Fortannis: A Bard's Tale" now on sale a double dragon publishing and amazon, you'll find quite a few stories where the story revolves around a single person - a solo hero.
While I appreciate the book plug, and will point out that my Fortannis novels also focus on one person, it must be emphasized that fiction is very different from LARPing. It's hard to get into a story where there is more than one protagonist, and stories that attempt that usually fail (unless they are huge multi-volume epic novels).

As you said, the Alliance is definitely designed as a group game. There are rarely "solo" modules, for instance. It's designed so that you should need to work with others to accomplish your goals.

One of the reasons we do not do solo modules, even when a character wants to do one, is because of the waste of NPCs. It's not fair to the other players if five NPCs are busy for an hour entertaining one PC, and there aren't enough NPCs left to entertain the rest of the players. Solo players need to understand this. Perhaps if they want a solo module, they can get some of their friends to NPC for a while so that NPC camp doesn't become empty during that time.

Anyway, the bottom line is that you can be a solo character, but you're probably going to have a much harder time with it.
 

jpariury

Duke
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

I think Mark's point is not "can you be more effective as a team?", but rather "should the game mechanically insist that you are part of one?".
 

Hammerfist

Artisan
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

My opinion on this is that it is a cooperative game with an individual component. A player can survive on their own and do well for themselves however most times during a given event they will have to either depend on someone else or suffer the consequences.

Please note however that it takes a specific personality to play the individual part of this successfully as a vast majority of those individuals that do this well are outgoing, charismatic and likable characters that other PCs will actively look out for without being told "Hey make sure to keep an eye on me". The brooding, loaners tend to end up slumped in a corner till they resurrect as no one realized that they were even missing.
 

Dr_Chill

Fighter
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

I think any class can solo for a short time. Take a C-caster, they can choose to blow their entire column, wand charges, elemental burst, etc. in a giant burning sun of evocation greatness on a few mobs and effectively "solo." Although afterwards they are done and need to go sleep in a ward for the rest of the day as they are now effectively "squishy."

But now take that same C-caster, add a few friends and they are good to go for an entire day/weekend.

IMHO each class can solo, it all depends on the duration of said soloing. In the end though, you get more bang for your buck with a group of friends.
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

I moved this response from the other tread.

Wraith said:
You mean the fact that the larger portion of the people you run into are some form of Templar with magic weapons and activated cloaks and dodges isn't just that? :wub2: It's really easy to gear a character to make other classes essentially irrelevant.
If you are, for example a Celestial Adept and you get a +3 magic longsword so now you swing 5's from the front and 13's from behind sure you might be able to now kill some things from the front with your sword that you couldn't kill before. But if you fight with a friend, or with a group of friends you are almost 200% better at doing your damage by actually getting behind things while your other team makes distract the monster. Furthermore if you fight things that are appropriately scaled to your level... good luck matching them toe to toe without team makes when you can't make use out of close to 100 build of back stabs...

Just adding a couple Cloaks and Banes (say even 10 or so, split between 4-5 effect groups) to any given fighter is NOT going to make them as efficient (or better) at staying alive as having an earth scholar friend with a 4-6, or certainly 8 block of spells to back them up. Furthermore even if the fighter can kill 2-3 spell throwing creatures on their own, when they come up against the one that does get through their defenses and actually takes them down, what are they going to do? All the MI's in the world won't save them at that point.

It is a fact that even groups of 20+ level players with over a dozen magic items each can be totally overwhelmed if they are faced with enough NPC's to outnumber them, even if those NPC's are quite crunchy. Teamwork is the name of the game, and while you can become quite a bit stronger with the right Magic Items, and good build choices ext ext, there is FAR more power in an organized team that is less well equipped than one individual even if they have tons of abilities and MI's.

I'd think this would be abundantly clear by the number of 'big bads' that could individually trounce any PC in any given fight. But when they have to take on groups or teams of players fighting together, they almost always go down... The biggest reason for fighting in teams is that the way our game is structured, once you are down, you can NOT save yourself. How can you argue against that?

Even if you play a solo game, don't you still always want to have friends that will pick you up if you are in trouble? Or that you will pick up if they are in trouble?


Also lastly in response to saying that individual players should be just as able to enter a 'mod' cave as a group of say 6... does it really seem fair to the rest of the playerbase to demand individual time from 3-4 (or more) NPC's + plot head to run that module just for yourself, when if there was a group each NPC could probably be entertaining 2-3 PC's as opposed to each NPC entertaining virtually .2-.25 of a PC for the hour or two it takes to prep and run that little encounter? How much more frustrating would it be for NPC camp to prepare a module encounter only to have the single PC that 'tripped' it run away once they realize it is certain death alone? It seems in these sorts of situations where NPC camps (nearly) always are dealing with limited resources to ask players to play in groups rather than always seeking to be the lone man out who is asking for large amounts of 'solo' attention.

To be clear in this last paragraph I am directly addressing the way the game actually works, not how perhaps it 'could' work given infinite NPC's/resources. But I feel like we need to run/play with the expectations that are based on realistic possibilities.
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

My argument against it is that most of the time I go down is when I am having to cover for others and not leave them behind. The way the game is structured is that people actually will fight until dropped because they do know that healing is just as abundant as the damage being swung and even life spells fall from the trees. By going in solo, you now not only have to rely on yourself but you cannot be the "just go in and keep on swinging, someone will keep you up" mentality. This is the issue I have had with the Alliance system from the VERY first day I saw a game.

I went to a fighter practice. The mod that was set up was a group of orcs were guarding an item. A character ran into the mob, grabbed the item and ran out, all the time being wailed upon by the orcs. But because they were swinging only 2 and 3's, he knew he could withstand dozens of blows before going down.

I guess soloing stuff is my way of trying to have more fun at an alliance game - feeling the actual adrenalin of an encounter and actually being afraid of a battle and by not having to play the woodpecker game. (Hmmm, I like that term, need to refine it more though.)

As for soloists being about fiction - why else do we, and others, get involved in fantasy games? I'd imagine a majority of it is that we enjoy the fantasy fiction that we read/hear/see and want to capture that. To then tell people that you really can't play the way that the entertainment media portrays the most dramatic/entertaining way does it a dis-service.

Yes, it is a waste of NPC's but it could also be 'storylined' just as well when I go to turn in the lair card and I say I want to go in alone, the plot person could simply say "You see a cave with over two dozen active kobolds in it. Your expert eye tells you that there are no paths beyond the entrance in which you can stealthfully approach them and by the line of sight in the place, if one goes down, everyone will know it." Granted, that is NOT my style of LARPing but in this case, I feel it is a much better answer than, "Go get more people first."

So, yes, as JP said, should this game insist you be part of a team and, if so, I humbly suggest the tagline be changed to "Be all that you can't be.. as long as you're in a group."
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

markusdark said:
So, yes, as JP said, should this game insist you be part of a team and, if so, I humbly suggest the tagline be changed to "Be all that you can't be.. as long as you're in a group."
Or we could just ditch the tagline to begin with. :emo:

The game is designed system wise to encourage teamwork, but even with that established there is no reason someone can't go it alone. I've gone on modules shorthanded before (One of them was with WC-JP at the National... It was awesome. I almost got him killed!)

If chapters don't have the NPC resources to support 1-2 people taking up a module designed and written to entertain 6... then that is a seperate issue. If I was told to go get more people because they didn't have the npcs at the time to justify it, then I'd certainly understand.

Stephen
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Either that or volunteer to Darkside a bit after your mod or right before it....that generally greases the cogs of Alley-modlogisictics.

And Stephen, that mod was hot you guys were troopers.

Paul
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

RiddickDale said:
If chapters don't have the NPC resources to support 1-2 people taking up a module designed and written to entertain 6... then that is a seperate issue. If I was told to go get more people because they didn't have the npcs at the time to justify it, then I'd certainly understand.
So do I, that's why I've never made an 'official stink' about it because resources can be thin for some games and as I stated elsewhere, the needs of the many and all of that. I've always told any chapter I play in regularly that I prefer a more solo play style and, as such, I will not be complaining if such encounters are very few and far between. It's like someone who sits in the inn all day, never ventures outside and then complains nothing really exciting happened.

And it's not like I don't have fun on mods with bunches of PC's either. I'm just saying that this game should not be, and IMO isn't necessarily designed to be a game where you need 3+ people in groups to enjoy it.
 

Hammerfist

Artisan
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

It is unfortunate that the response was "No, go find more people" A simple description and an explanation as to why you may need a couple more individuals probably should have been provided. But aside from that, who is insisting that anyone be part of a team? I see a game system that encourages cooperation with other individuals. One that gives you all the freedom that you want to do whatever you would like within the rules of the system. Including but not limited to, walking alone at night in the woods, or alone during the day in the street, or alone in the early afternoon in a medow, or alone at dusk on a dale ect.. ect.. ect.. You can do anything that you like by yourself.

The fact however remains that two people working together will be able to get more accomplished than one person. I guess maybe I just don't understand why it is a bad thing that cooperation has its benefits.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

imo, Alliance is what you make of it.
It can be a solo or team game, it all just depends upon how you play it.

In Oregon Monster Camp, I don't think we ever said, 'Get more people' (at least not while I was there).
We have had a few people show up solo for a mod and we run it.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

AllianceCHI said:
And Stephen, that mod was hot you guys were troopers.

Paul
As soon as I saw the bow I was like... "Crap."

Thank heavens Gregor is sick nasty... or we would have rezzed.

Stephen
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Hammerfist said:
The fact however remains that two people working together will be able to get more accomplished than one person. I guess maybe I just don't understand why it is a bad thing that cooperation has its benefits.
I've never said that cooperation was a bad thing, and in fact have stated more than once that it does give you better odds and benefits. What I am saying is that the game should not be restricted to only groups - even of 2 - to complete a task greater than walking in the woods at night. Although I will fully and happily admit that my most favorite moments have always been with Nigel's best pal Kintar at his side.

People should be able to be the big damn hero all by themselves - it happens in works of fiction all the time and, IMO, that is what LARPing is all about - creating works of fiction. The cave full of kobolds should, again IMO, have a way around it that one slick talkin', back stabbin', shadow stalkin', fire eatin' sunovadragon could find a way to get the idol without having to bring in a mowing team. :cool:
 

Inaryn

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

markusdark said:
People should be able to be the big damn hero all by themselves - it happens in works of fiction all the time and, IMO, that is what LARPing is all about - creating works of fiction. The cave full of kobolds should, again IMO, have a way around it that one slick talkin', back stabbin', shadow stalkin', fire eatin' sunovadragon could find a way to get the idol without having to bring in a mowing team. :cool:
1 Gas Trap
1 Feeblemind Gas Globe
1 Poison Shield
1 Fine set of nerves
:sorcerer:

The game is definitely designed with group play in mind. I don't know that teams the way the east coast has seen them realized was necessarily the intent, though teams are certainly a type of group and shouldn't be discouraged. I just disagree that the game was designed for that more narrow team-focus than the more general 'these are the guys that are available' type of play.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Here's what I wrote in the Rule Book (page 16) which basically explains my thoughts about teamwork in the game:

"Look at it from a practical matter if nothing else: The Plot Committee is trying to entertain all of the players at the event, not just you. Therefore, plots are almost always written to involve as many people as possible. Information and clues are spread out and if there are tasks that need to be performed in order to achieve the final goal of the weekend, they are set up in such a way to make sure that one group doesn’t monopolize them and go on them all at the expense of the other players. Further, these tasks (called “modules”) almost always require a certain number of players to go on them because it would be impractical and a waste of resources to have an adventure for one player that uses up a number of NPCs and marshals."

That doesn't mean there can't be solo plots -- we've run some solo things for players based on their character history before, for instance -- but in general, the game is not designed for solo play.

Now, if someone wanted to give us enough money to make it worthwhile, we could run a kick *** solo game for them! :thumbsup:
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Fiction with a single protagonist typical allows one or more superhuman traits to that protagonist. By virtue of trying to make the game balanced for everyone, PCs are limited in the powers available to them. If PCs are to be on relatively equal footing, then the game can either allow any given PC to walt through virtually any "challenge" or can not. Demanding the game cater to solo play either means that no one is challenged or that some people are effectivley "main characters" and other people who payed just as much to be there are on sidekick status. That's a terrible model for a game in my opinion. You could change that so that there were a handful of main character slots per event and other PCs played lesser characters, but I challenge you or anyone to make that fair. If you want to be a solo hero, write a novel or make a movie.
 

Inaryn

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
You could change that so that there were a handful of main character slots per event and other PCs played lesser characters, but I challenge you or anyone to make that fair.
I've visited every chapter on the west coast. Played under different owners at 2 of the 3. In my experience, this tends to be the west coast fashion. A plot is born, evolves, and ends all with 2-5 PCs at the center of it. Then a new plot is born and people who were side kicks in the last plot or even stuck in the shadows end up in the spotlight. And it cycles around like that with each new plot.

The merry-go-round only fits so many people.
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Inaryn said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
You could change that so that there were a handful of main character slots per event and other PCs played lesser characters, but I challenge you or anyone to make that fair.
I've visited every chapter on the west coast. Played under different owners at 2 of the 3. In my experience, this tends to be the west coast fashion. A plot is born, evolves, and ends all with 2-5 PCs at the center of it. Then a new plot is born and people who were side kicks in the last plot or even stuck in the shadows end up in the spotlight. And it cycles around like that with each new plot.

The merry-go-round only fits so many people.
I am addressing a situation where a minority of PCs were given power far beyond what was detailed in the rule book for the purpose of advancing them to the forefront of a plot line. Participation given equal opportunity is one thing; cherry picking a team, mod group or individual to be indispensibly powerful to make them obvious protagonists is bad for the game. It breeds resentment amongst long-time players and drives off new people. It's a mistake, one that I have made as a plot writer and one that I have seen as a player.
 
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