Is powergaming bad?

Progress!

Alright, so now we're at least closer to talking about the same thing. The reason what I described is a big deal in our area is because (as stated previously) there ARE a lot of chapters, each with multiple staff members that travel around, and if even 6 of those folks showed up with their staff MI kit it'd be pretty ridiculous. In theory, a goblin stamp has an actual game world value: 1 copper. This is by the book actually: page 151 (although it calls them goblin points). This is why it's not really appropriate for a chapter to give out 30000 gobbies for a 100 spell packets and say "it's cool, we charge a million gobbies for a spell shield item," (not that I believe that's happening, just that I know it shouldn't). Having said all that, ALL GEAR can be described as having a goblin stamp value because 1 gobbie = 1 copper = 1 production = 1 treasure policy point. If you have a long sword, it cost 30 of one of those things, whether you bought it with goblin stamps, made it with blacksmithing, or it was part of weekend treasure. Unfortunately, this breaks down with magic items from gobbies because different chapters don't charge the same thing for the same items.

You know what, I had more written out but nobody needs to see me flex my mathceps. Here's my actual point: the biggest issue I have with transfers of LCO items is that there isn't an enforced consistency of the value of a goblin stamp across chapters; that's why I believe that (in a no transfer environment) item trading is reasonable and calling it a work-around is unfair. If any given chapter is comfortable enough with their chapter and their chapter only having X amount of magic items in their game outside of standard treasure policy, then they are within their rights to allow that. If that chapter awards 10000 gobbies over a time period, it should be because they're prepared for 10000 gobbies worth of additional treasure to show up in their game, whatever that value actually translates to in their policies. So if Adam and Betsy trade items, so that Adam has items that work only in chapter B and Betsy's work only in chapter A, it doesn't actually matter who bought which item, nor does it matter if Adam spent 13000 gobbies for Betsy and Betsy spent 1776 for Adam. If those two people consider the trade equitable and are spending within the limits that their respective chapter has set forth, no harm is done. Both chapters are seeing only items they intended to exist anyway.

However. There is a simpler solution, using only the tools that already exist within our system: give chapter owners some number of dragon stamps to distribute to as they see fit to their staff: plot, monster desk, full time NPCs, props coordinators, logistics, marshals, cooks, whatever else they have. Staff masseuse if you have one. I wish we had one. Whatever the formula may be, whether it's a flat value per event, per calender year, or some equation based on player attendance, APL, phase of the moon and Mike V. throwing darts at a D20, it gives chapter staff a tool to gear their character(s) without the whole mess of figuring out if any given chapter is giving out LCO items in volume or power level some other chapter deems excessive. Honestly, if the dragon stamp calculation IS based on APL and attendance, then you and I are talking about very nearly the same thing.
 
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
There is a simpler solution, using only the tools that already exist within our system: give chapter owners some number of dragon stamps to distribute to as they see fit to their staff (...) Honestly, if the dragon stamp calculation IS based on APL and attendance, then you and I are talking about very nearly the same thing.
This policy exists, it's just not many points (they're based on attendance, and our chapter is one of the larger ones, and it's still not that many). I'm sure we've got a few hundred of them now after accumulating them the last couple of years, but the reason that we don't include them in our NPC/Staff rewards it it averages out to 2 or 3 per 'rewardee' per event, and at 6 GS per DS, that doesn't really sound like much. It means saving up for nearly 2 seasons to buy a restricted Cloak per day for a year, and it's not something that I felt was really worth it. I'd rather skim the handful of gold it takes to just give the NPC that item out of Treasure Policy than make them deal with the DS system for years.

In either case, adding LCO items to the mix always skews the amount of treasure in the game. One of our 'big things' as the Alliance is transferability and consistency (still like that consistency). People like to be able to travel with their stuff. If it's LCO, sometimes they can't. Showing up with half your stuff is less fun most of the time (in before "This one time I showed up to a game without any of my gear and had the most fun and went on a million mods and punched a dragon in the nuts and you're a powergamer!"), but showing up (even with your stuff) in a chapter where you're outclassed by everyone because they've all got seventy thousand LCO magic items and plot powers a piece isn't fun, either. My rough idea of what a 5th level PC can do and what a 35th level PC can do should be pretty safe in any chapter (see also the "a goblin is a goblin" argument), so I don't care much for the "some chapter can put out whatever they want as long as it's LCO" idea, whether or not they think that they can 'deal with it.'

The problem with a standardized value for the 'purchasing power' of a GS is tying that to the 'compensation value' of a GS. How many spell packets is a weekend of NPCing worth? How many boffers is the equivalent to the time your webmaster spends? What if you need something really bad? That's why I favor the 'spending treasure policy' idea, since it forces value system on the gobbies, ties it to a fixed currency that's based on something standardized across all chapters, but still has some flexibility while restraining folk from going hog-wild.
 
I can see your perspective on the major points (I swear). The reason I like using the existing (upgraded to reasonable value) goblin/dragon stamp system is that it's already familiar to most people, and shouldn't (I don't think) cause as much friction as telling people the 8-12k or whatever gobbies they've saved over the past few years are now good for buying purify potions twice a month and not much else. Your anticipated mileage may vary. I would like to have the LCO item via gobbie option available, because it allows chapters to up magic themselves to some degree, and if they overdo it and give out too much stuff to the locals, they'll stop getting non-local players and need to correct their own mistakes or end up as an island.

Your point about standardized value for purchasing and compensation power is well taken, but I believe it's surmountable because a dollar has a (more or less) static value, and people manage to get their specific needs met and work within budgets. I know it's different because gobbies are theoretically infinite, but if chapter owners are people who can manage their real world game budgets, I suspect they can manage a gobbie economy as well (or retain the services of someone who does in their stead).
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
evi1r0n said:
Gilwing said:
It's a sad sad day when some one refuses to chapter hop because some of there items don't work. Here's a solution, trade them for restricted items. Seriously people? Do some leg work. The Alliance is what you put into it.
Right but again you are just working the system. It's a work around, not a solution. And yes the alliance is what you put into it but finding a pseudo IG/OOG work around isn't enriching the experience and system.
Working the system? That makes it sound like I am lying to the government so that I can get handouts that I don't deserve. Just saying.

Let me ask you this, is there a difference between trading LCO items gobbied in chapter A with players in chapter B and selling an item made in chapter A for gold from player X, then using that same gold to buy an item in chapter B from player X?

I feel that trading items to players/staff members that want them and will use them is a better solution then completely allowing all lco items in.

obcidian_bandit said:
I meant chapters, and I was counting HQ, CT, and NH, (and rounded 21% to 20%, because I thought being that specific sounded more bitchy when I read it before posting it, really) because those are the three that someone invariably rattles off every time this issue comes up. (Really, it's EC folks that I hear on about this the most, so I assumed that when people were always rattling off the same three chapters it was because that was what they knew and that was it, being geographically more familiar with the issue the I.) I didn't think Gettysburg had run any events yet, and I just didn't know about NY (did they used to let them in?) And to be honest, I also just found out about Calgary last night when I was looking through their policies. Either way, if you count all 6, you're still looking at about 40%, a third of which are new enough to not really have contributed to or experienced this issue yet. Point remains, it's a minority that's not having the problem.
I'm sorry about the numbers thing but it bothered me that you were saying 80%, when it is much less. I would cast a ritual at 80% success and wouldn't even think twice if it was at 60%, just saying that's a big difference, 60-40 is practically even.

obcidian_bandit said:
I think you've missed the point here, 'cause there's like 3 things wrong with this. We're mostly talking about people who can't PC (1) because they're on staff (2) in the chapters that they have gobbies in. Who wants to trade a less travelable item for a more travelable item? (3)
Am I? I don't think I am. I understand it that we are talking about full time staff/plot members. They will almost never pc chapter A, but will in chapter B, as well as staffers in B wanting to go to A. If this is about people that will never pc, then it doesn't even matter.

Who wants to trade less travelable items? That's the point of your LCO item and doesn't effect TP, its less valuable to something that's not LCO. Allowing them to not truly be LCO makes them equal to an item that was taken out of TP (or created by a pc, using scrolls that were taken out of TP) that have a limit. LCO items are worth less to people that travel and worthless to people that will never pc at that chapter.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I can see your perspective on the major points (I swear). The reason I like using the existing (upgraded to reasonable value) goblin/dragon stamp system is that it's already familiar to most people, and shouldn't (I don't think) cause as much friction as telling people the 8-12k or whatever gobbies they've saved over the past few years are now good for buying purify potions twice a month and not much else. Your anticipated mileage may vary. I would like to have the LCO item via gobbie option available, because it allows chapters to up magic themselves to some degree, and if they overdo it and give out too much stuff to the locals, they'll stop getting non-local players and need to correct their own mistakes or end up as an island.
I have to agree with you, 100% here.

Is it the end of the world? hehehe j/k
 
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
it allows chapters to up magic themselves to some degree, and if they overdo it and give out too much stuff to the locals, they'll stop getting non-local players and need to correct their own mistakes or end up as an island.
I don't like the taste of "If they screw it up, people will quit coming." There's already a couple of chapters that have been suggested to me to avoid for this problem, which diminishes the likelihood that I'll ever go there, regardless of whether the reputation is deserved or if the person I talked to just had a bad time of it. We don't have a gauge next to each chapter's link on the website that grades 'how much crazy LCO crap we have,' so we're all word-of-mouth there, and stuff like that sticks around regardless of how accurate it is. If I knew that every chapter was effectively as powerful as every other chapter, than that would be one less thing to worry about when picking a chapter to travel 1000+ miles to. (And reputation means a lot, since 'show up a few times and if you don't like it don't come back' isn't an option.)
 
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