Redefining and Reviewing

Poalo

Newbie
My thoughts on simplification (In regards to eXperience Points):

XP is a necessary evil. Without the underlying concept that events grant you XP instead of Build, you would end up with fractions of build being awarded to players. As someone with computer science knowledge, taking a system that works with integers and converting it to a system that uses a decimal place is a digital nightmare.

Total XP should become a hidden statistic that exists on the databases.

What should get printed out on the character card is the XP a character has gained towards a level (which resets back to zero after each level) as well as the amount of XP needed to get to the next level.

This does not solve the complex issue of XP as a whole, but it would simplify its expression to a newer player. XP can be used as a clear sign of progress, instead of a number that requires a computer program to determine its actual value in build.

-Mike D.
 

Talen

Adept
Poalo said:
My thoughts on simplification (In regards to eXperience Points):

XP is a necessary evil. Without the underlying concept that events grant you XP instead of Build, you would end up with fractions of build being awarded to players. As someone with computer science knowledge, taking a system that works with integers and converting it to a system that uses a decimal place is a digital nightmare.

Total XP should become a hidden statistic that exists on the databases.

What should get printed out on the character card is the XP a character has gained towards a level (which resets back to zero after each level) as well as the amount of XP needed to get to the next level.

This does not solve the complex issue of XP as a whole, but it would simplify its expression to a newer player. XP can be used as a clear sign of progress, instead of a number that requires a computer program to determine its actual value in build.

-Mike D.
Eh. Isn't having XP on the card effectively "fractional" build as it stands? Heck, you have to plug in the whole XP/BP conversion by level anyway to give yourself the results.

Getting rid of XP and allowing for (say) build to expressed in tenths- so you could have 3.4 build on a card unspent -wouldn't that be less complex of a mechanic than the entire "I have to convert xp to build, but it's a different rate every time you level up" one?
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Poalo said:
XP is a necessary evil. Without the underlying concept that events grant you XP instead of Build, you would end up with fractions of build being awarded to players. As someone with computer science knowledge, taking a system that works with integers and converting it to a system that uses a decimal place is a digital nightmare.
Agreed, which is why I suggested adding XP as a constant fraction of BP, instead of using floating point numbers.
 

Wraith

Newbie
I would love actual data. All I can go from is my own experience, and that varies massively by location just like our chapters.

I would dearly love to have that database where it could be squeezed for proper reporting.
 
I know it was asked prior about experiences with high/low disparity... in Chicago - we write our events, noting what level of characters are going to be there. We try to tailor things to not just the sort of flavors that are liked by our players, but what groups of levels will be there. If we have a really high level group coming in from TC, for example, we write with that in mind, and also make sure we have some plot that is out there specifically for the lowbies. Depending on the chapter in the Midwest, there can be some very wicked power level discrepancies. It's not just an "east coast" problem. For example - in Chicago, you'll see people ranging on the top end in their 20s. In Traverse City or SoMI, you'll see that disparity grow to be a 30+ level gap between your top level guilds and your newer players.

What I've noticed is that the amount of a level gap is directly correlated to how long a chapter has been in the area. SoMN - they're growing out of being a low-level game. Chicago - playing the mid-level game. TC and SoMI - the divide is very clear as day, with some playing the high level game, and some much newer. Yes, SoMI itself is newer, but it had Kalamazoo and Detroit preceeding it, and a number of the players are the same. What helps bridge that gap, and make it less than apparent, is through good plot teams, and great RP.

As for datamining, its possible on a local level, but not on a national level, as we do not have a "national database" to mine data from.

Robert Sachs

((Note - my post is mine alone, and does not represent the position of the ALC, nor does it represent the position of Alliance LARP Chicago))
 

Poalo

Newbie
Talen said:
Eh. Isn't having XP on the card effectively "fractional" build as it stands? Heck, you have to plug in the whole XP/BP conversion by level anyway to give yourself the results.

Getting rid of XP and allowing for (say) build to expressed in tenths- so you could have 3.4 build on a card unspent -wouldn't that be less complex of a mechanic than the entire "I have to convert xp to build, but it's a different rate every time you level up" one?
The reason why XP is needed at some level is because while everyone may not get the same amount of build from attending an event. The amount of build that everyone receives is proportional to everyone else. The XP that everyone gets from something is the same, the amount of build is not. It is a lot easier to say/write "Everyone who attends a long weekend receives 90 XP.", then to say/write "Joe gets 9 build for a long weekend, Bobby gets 5, and Larry gets .7"

I feel that the way XP is expressed is what needs to be fixed. Not removal of the entire system.

To play off of Talen and Elliotbay: Perhaps instead of just listing Total XP on a character Card, we can list three things: XP Towards This Level, XP for next Level, and Build per XP.

Do you guys want to splinter this subtopic into its own thread?

Mike D.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
There is no need for that really.

The intention of this thread is to allow discussion regarding the 3 suggestions by the OP. Simplifying experience calculations would fall under the umbrella of simplifying the game.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
It's very difficult to simplify the game, though. Everyone says that they like the idea and then they come up with 100 new rules to replace the simplification!

I mean, just look at the other threads with all these new ideas for healers and mages! :zonks:
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
What does simplifying mean to you Mike? Would you like to see skills and effects removed from the game or general tweaks to make the game more accessible for new players? Adding numbers to the end of spell verbals is in the latter column, taking out Eviscerate would be an example of the former. Even with a simplification there are still disparities in the schools of magic that should be addressed. Having the Owner, Owners and GM of the Alliance let us know what type of simplification is desired would allow us to build our discussions around those aims. :)
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
One of the oft-cited problems on these boards is PC damage bloat and the way plot and monster desks have to respond to this. Below I've outlined some radical steps that would simplify the game, but be a MAJOR change to implement:

1. Remove almost all spells/abilities from the game that instantly take away all IG abilities. With PCs having so many options to instantly incapacitate things the monsters have to have layered defenses to avoid them in order to survive long enough to give the PCs a fun fight, particularly in the case of big monsters that are supposed to be scary. Move the game more towards a damage model for combat resolution. This would require a bit of work to figure out what gasses now do since the gas globes that see a lot of use currently are the ones that remove all IG skills, maybe give them more options for damage gasses like flaming oil or a freezing gas (but still keep the damage fairly low so as not to devalue Celestial casters).

2. Lower overall fighter damage output. Remove Critical Attack, Back Attack and Backstab from the game and replace it with a new Weapon Proficiency skill that costs 15 build for Fighters and Rogues (with similar increases for cross and off classes as exist now and you might even want to make it 18 points for primaries, read on). The weapon Proficiency Skill has no effect but to allow you to choose ONE skill from the following list at no additional build cost:

A: +2 Damage from behind
B: +1 Damage in general
C: Slay
D: Parry
E: Evade
F: Assassinate

The other fighter skills would then require multiples of things on this list to buy at their normal build point cost (ex: 2 evades lets you buy a dodge). Whether you are a Fighter, Scout or Rogue would depend on the proportion of the skills from that list you take. This would keep overall damage down unless you want to just be "swings 20 guy" and would lead to really diverse "fighter" builds with some people opting to be nigh unhittable in exchange for lower damage, or a damage pumping beast who is hideously vulnerable to counterattack and everything in between.

This would allow plot to lower the number of defenses on monsters and in some cases lower monster body making celestial scholars damage more significant, especially considering not every fighter is going to opt for the extra damage every time.

Oh yeah, and cap the Damage Aura ritual at +0. :p

This would be a major revision to the rules, but might got a long way towards solving some of our most persistent problems.
 

jpariury

Duke
Replacing Celestial spell names with "[number] Magical [element]" removes 12 effects from the list and replaces it in general with 1.
Replacing "Cure <descriptor> Wounds" and "Cause <descriptor> Wounds" with "Cure <number> Wounds" and "Cause <number> Wounds" replaces 10 effects with 2.

Even if you added a total Heal/Hurt spell, all you would do is swap out the number for "All".
 
wile the names of the healing spells is cool and all i find my self as a healer having to say the # I'm healing for after every cast, ot i get asked when i forgo saying the # "whats that heal for?" so i would say i am all for replacing descriptor names for healing spells with there respected body #s.
 

Shandar

Artisan
I don't like the idea of replacing verbals with numbers and effects; while spell verbals may not be the most immersive part of the system I think doing *anything* that mandates even more OOGness is a significant disservice to the game.

"I call forth 20 flame!"

I mean, really? Is that the best you can do? Heck, why bother with verbals at all? Let's just have casters call out their damage/healing with a carrier.

20 Flame! 20 Flame! 20 Flame!

30 Heal!

Bind! Confine!

Simplification is one thing, but I'd rather spend the weekend at home playing minesweeper than participate in a game where everything is streamlined to the point of homogeneity.
 

Tyson

Scholar
Gettysburg Staff
Fearless Leader said:
It's very difficult to simplify the game, though. Everyone says that they like the idea and then they come up with 100 new rules to replace the simplification!

I mean, just look at the other threads with all these new ideas for healers and mages! :zonks:
I think attempts to simplify the game should be focused on the receiving end of rules and effects. It's okay to add complexity to determining how you arrive at an end result if it means knowing what to do with the result is made easier.

Wands are like this: there are calculations that go into the number of charges you get and how much damage they deal, but the end result is easy to handle: "9 flame" means you take 9 points of flame damage. Having scaling damage and healing spell amounts would do the same thing if you add those amounts to the incant. We do this with profs/backstabs determining weapon damage, and how slay/backstab damage is calculated.

Having intuitively named Effects added to the verbals of other spells and skills would simplify things too. From "I call upon Chaos to Cause Disease." to "With Chaos I Cause Disease to Slow you." You can have multiple deliveries of the same effect reference the effect name: "With Chaos I Wither Limb to Cripple your right arm." "Prepare to Die. Cripple right arm." This lets you add more spells or skills without having to add more things for people to remember. "I call forth 20 Ice to Slow you." "With Earth I Regenerate 10 body and Restore your arm."

The idea here is to have a number of Effects defined, and to keep this number relatively low. That way all everyone needs to know are the Effects. Then for your particular character or monster, you only need to learn your abilities and verbals (which should contain either a damage/healing amount and/or the Effect within or appended to it.)
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Fearless Leader said:
It's very difficult to simplify the game, though. Everyone says that they like the idea and then they come up with 100 new rules to replace the simplification!

I mean, just look at the other threads with all these new ideas for healers and mages! :zonks:
I'd like to introduce you to a demographic called: Gamers.

Fact: Many gamers spend more time talking about gaming... than actually gaming.

Fact: Many gamers have more ideas about what would make a game better/simpler/more fun than they will admit to.

Fact: If you give many gamers the chance, then they will likely go crazy putting ideas down on paper.

These discussions are intended to allow people to be creative and crowdsource potential ideas for use. I would highly doubt that many of these ideas will find their way to being formal proposals. But, if we didn't let people talk about how to make things better we would never get anywhere.

Toddo has a good point. Right now we want a simpler rules set. But, we don't know what we mean by that really. Do we want fewer effects? Do we want fewer verbals? Do we want less complicated verbals? Right now all we can do is bounce ideas around and I know that I would rather have 2 dozen players bouncing around ideas right alongside the owners than JUST the owners.

Stephen
 

jpariury

Duke
Shandar said:
I don't like the idea of replacing verbals with numbers and effects; while spell verbals may not be the most immersive part of the system I think doing *anything* that mandates even more OOGness is a significant disservice to the game.

"I call forth 20 flame!"
"I call forth 20 magical flames" sounds pretty in-game to me. You even have a neat little visual to go with it. "I call upon the earth to heal two wounds" works similarly well both in-game and out-of-game.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
jpariury said:
Shandar said:
I don't like the idea of replacing verbals with numbers and effects; while spell verbals may not be the most immersive part of the system I think doing *anything* that mandates even more OOGness is a significant disservice to the game.

"I call forth 20 flame!"
"I call forth 20 magical flames" sounds pretty in-game to me. You even have a neat little visual to go with it. "I call upon the earth to heal two wounds" works similarly well both in-game and out-of-game.
Good point. It can always be made to sound bigger than it is in a role play view as long as the number & carrier are there for the targets to know what is coming.
Might actually reduce the number of flubs I toss :D
 

Wraith

Newbie
Toddo said:
2. Lower overall fighter damage output. Remove Critical Attack, Back Attack and Backstab from the game and replace it with a new Weapon Proficiency skill that costs 15 build for Fighters and Rogues (with similar increases for cross and off classes as exist now and you might even want to make it 18 points for primaries, read on). The weapon Proficiency Skill has no effect but to allow you to choose ONE skill from the following list at no additional build cost:

A: +2 Damage from behind
B: +1 Damage in general
C: Slay
D: Parry
E: Evade
F: Assassinate

The other fighter skills would then require multiples of things on this list to buy at their normal build point cost (ex: 2 evades lets you buy a dodge). Whether you are a Fighter, Scout or Rogue would depend on the proportion of the skills from that list you take. This would keep overall damage down unless you want to just be "swings 20 guy" and would lead to really diverse "fighter" builds with some people opting to be nigh unhittable in exchange for lower damage, or a damage pumping beast who is hideously vulnerable to counterattack and everything in between.

This would allow plot to lower the number of defenses on monsters and in some cases lower monster body making celestial scholars damage more significant, especially considering not every fighter is going to opt for the extra damage every time.

Oh yeah, and cap the Damage Aura ritual at +0. :p

This would be a major revision to the rules, but might got a long way towards solving some of our most persistent problems.
This needs all the love available. Adding a bit of finesse beyond 'by moar profz!' to fighter builds is great, and simpler effects in the process is a happy bonus.
 

SkollWolfrun

Squire
Oregon Staff
Wraith said:
Toddo said:
2. Lower overall fighter damage output. Remove Critical Attack, Back Attack and Backstab from the game and replace it with a new Weapon Proficiency skill that costs 15 build for Fighters and Rogues (with similar increases for cross and off classes as exist now and you might even want to make it 18 points for primaries, read on). The weapon Proficiency Skill has no effect but to allow you to choose ONE skill from the following list at no additional build cost:

A: +2 Damage from behind
B: +1 Damage in general
C: Slay
D: Parry
E: Evade
F: Assassinate

The other fighter skills would then require multiples of things on this list to buy at their normal build point cost (ex: 2 evades lets you buy a dodge). Whether you are a Fighter, Scout or Rogue would depend on the proportion of the skills from that list you take. This would keep overall damage down unless you want to just be "swings 20 guy" and would lead to really diverse "fighter" builds with some people opting to be nigh unhittable in exchange for lower damage, or a damage pumping beast who is hideously vulnerable to counterattack and everything in between.

This would allow plot to lower the number of defenses on monsters and in some cases lower monster body making celestial scholars damage more significant, especially considering not every fighter is going to opt for the extra damage every time.

Oh yeah, and cap the Damage Aura ritual at +0. :p

This would be a major revision to the rules, but might got a long way towards solving some of our most persistent problems.
This needs all the love available. Adding a bit of finesse beyond 'by moar profz!' to fighter builds is great, and simpler effects in the process is a happy bonus.
+1
 
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