Something That Sucks. How do we make it not suck?

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markusdark

Knight
One of the things I love about Alliance (perhaps the best thing) is that I can take my character to multiple chapters and play in them. The Mists make a perfect rationale for the instant travel. I like playing one character at a time, I like building up his reputation and having it traverse the chapters. Having to be forced to play another one because 4 weeks haven't gone by I wouldn't enjoy.

Draven said:
Ehhh...deaths get so expensive to buyback after, like, two or three that I'm not sure I agree. Because if you're really willing to get your deaths back, that's a lot of stuff your chapter is going to get out of you for it. But I understand your point.
With the way the game is set up now - with players from one chapter buying gobbies from another without ever attending a single game in the chapter - means that every weekend you're getting gobbies. The expensiveness may be there at higher levels, but someone with enough capital can pay them off indefinitely (assuming they're not rezzing every event). The fact that you even CAN buy back deaths, IMO, is just wrong. Hey there Mr. Grim Reaper, here's a Benjamin, see you in a couple of years for a couple more. Don't want to have so many deaths? Play safer. Realize that retreat IS always an option. Sometimes the good guys don't win a battle but they'll always win the war. Trust in plot for that.

I witnessed at the 2010 National event how people felt about just rezzing, let alone perma-dying. With the inclusion of the "Shatter Spirit" call, I watched as one individual threw his shield across the field in frustration of being hit with it, another slammed his shield hard against a picnic table on his way to the circle.

And, IIRC, all deaths were adjudicated for the entire event. Yes, there were reasons for this (I can't recall them now) but still the fact that the entire event's death count was simply wiped away reminds me of the soap opera Dallas. "Bobby, you're in the shower!"
 
Draven said:
I didn't even know adjudication was a thing until it was brought up on this thread.
They're talked about in a short section on p.37, and mentioned several times earlier in the previous section. Seattle's Adjudication policy is on our website, but it's basically the same idea as what's in the book. I think the biggest difference in ours is the attitude that no combat will ever be perfect. If you look at any combat I guarantee you'll find something that didn't go 100% by the rules. Somebody will take one too many hits, someone will use one too many wand charges, someone will call their spell shield twice, someone's count will be slightly shorter than 60 seconds or slightly longer than 300, whatever. The question we generally ask is "Did something different happen in this battle than happens in any other battle?" Generally, the only difference is that the consequence was that someone resurrected, so even if a problem can be found (and it pretty much always can), unless this circumstance was exceptional in some way, an adjudication isn't really warranted.
SkollWolfrun said:
Did this get derailed into Death issues or is it part of the overall discussion?
I don't really know, this discussion was necrothreaded from about 6 months ago. Skimming the OP, it looks like this is mostly on topic still.
markusdark said:
I witnessed at the 2010 National event how people felt about just rezzing, let alone perma-dying. (...) And, IIRC, all deaths were adjudicated for the entire event. Yes, there were reasons for this (I can't recall them now)
I didn't like the reasons, either, and now that you've called it out, that was a big source (but not all) of the "unrequested adjudications" I mentioned earlier. (Additionally, I wanted to make it clear that I haven't been meaning to dance around talking about any particular death or adjudication in case someone got that impression; I just looked through the participants of this thread and 13 of them have taken a res in my chapter or the one chapter I PC in, if anything I'm leaning most heavily on the 2010 national event that Mark brought up.) That event is when I really started noticing the "No fair, I died!" attitude as a national problem rather than just a localized problem. Before that I was basically under the impression that it was an attitude issue with just a few players, but I've come to the conclusion that it's definitely more widespread than that.
 

Warlok

Adept
Charlottesville Staff
Ok, I'm a little tired of hearing about the 2010 National event as being at the heart of several issues that have been brought up on the forums. It's been expressed multiple times that this event was an ANOMALY and should not be used as the basis for judging the current state of The Alliance as a whole. I was not at that event, but I trust the opinions of several folks who were there that there were unusual circumstances to what transpired. It did bring to light some potential issues that were promptly addressed and it continues to be a learning experience for us to grow and improve as an holistic organization. If this alleged "I died, not fair!" attitude is, in fact, pervasive on a(n) (Inter)national scale, then it is the duty of each of the individual Chapter Owners to address this on the local level and it is the duty of the Players encourage a healthy Player Culture that accepts death as a part of the game. It's in the rules (and, in my opinion, it's quite lenient), so it is inherently part of the game.

Back to the OP, this thread was originally posted to brainstorm ideas of how to make Players feel awesome about what their Characters are doing, no matter their level or the number of IG skills they have. Again, this goes back to the culture of each Chapter. The Chapter Staff should be putting together storylines on multiple levels that target different groups, teams, organizations, and even individuals. Plot teams should be putting out mods that require a broad range of skills (both IG and OOG) in order to successfully complete them. Players should be Reverse Metagaming (also in the rulebook) in order to ensure that their fellow players are enjoying themselves and having their moment in the spotlight. It's up to ALL of us to encourage and support each other OOG so that we can enjoy the shared storytelling experience IG.

- Mods with mixed character levels might have high-level monsters, but also a physical puzzle that must be solved so that the highbie characters have to protect the lowbie characters while they solve it.

- Reverse Threshold can be an effective tool to even the playing field in terms of raw combat power.

- Impose movement/travel restrictions (like the farmer/wolf/goat/cabbage-crossing-the-river riddle) so that all players can have a hand in reasoning through to the solution.

That's all I can think of at the moment. With a group of enthusiastic players and open communication between players and staff, these issues can easily be addressed on a local level. So talk to your local staff, talk to your Owner. Let them know what you want to see in the game and offer to help them achieve it. If we all work together as a team, we can only make things better.

-Luke
 

Alavatar

Baron
I felt awesome when I Gypsy-cursed the BBG, who swings for Enslavement and Spellstrike Enslavement, to say "Kill me" with everything he said and did. I felt even more awesome when he Enslaved someone and said, "Serve me to the best of your ability, kill me." I felt the most awesome when he Obliterated me and my character permanently died, thus causing drama drama drama.

It was pretty Epic in my opinion.
 

Tantarus

Squire
Alavatar said:
I felt awesome when I Gypsy-cursed the BBG, who swings for Enslavement and Spellstrike Enslavement, to say "Kill me" with everything he said and did. I felt even more awesome when he Enslaved someone and said, "Serve me to the best of your ability, kill me." I felt the most awesome when he Obliterated me and my character permanently died, thus causing drama drama drama.

It was pretty Epic in my opinion.
It was indeed pretty epic. Seeing the return of gyspy curse equals gyspy death really brought back the old days. (I still hate that rule change that makes it so ressing the cursing gyspy does not remove a forced RP effect.) I suspect the gypsies are in for some rough times. Mental note, bring popcorn to the next event.
 

Talen

Adept
KyleSchmelz said:
Talen said:
When NERO had it's latest convulsion of chapter losses (WAR and Cinci, plus North Coast), WAR went to Accelerant's rules system, Cinci is building their own from scratch, NC simply closed...and I see that as a sign that they not only thought the organization was bad, but the rules as well.
To be fair, all the Ohio NERO chapters quitting/getting kicked out of NERO had a lot more to do with butting heads and personality conflicts than the rules system. I don't know much about WAR's ownership, but I know the owners of NCN and NERO Cincinnati had more than a few problems with the owner of NERO for a long time leading up to this. (For reference, I used to play at all three of those chapters). Cinci's new game "CASTLE" derives a lot from NERO anyway, they're really not going that far. Sorry about the tangent.
Two big changes- repeated skills rapidly increase in build cost, and a death system with teeth as far as Castle's rules are concerned (amidst others). Both of which fall under that "keeping the power level/power gap from growing too high or wide".

And what I was referring to is not why they left, but what they did when they had to- most games didn't have the luxury of being able to near-duplicate their previous incarnation, and many of them didn't want to.
 

Talen

Adept
beboped said:
I want to second this sentiment. It seems like almost every time there is a death someone asks "Are you going to ask for adjudication on that?" There is a whole subculture of "death is something that never ever ever should happen" that I think is ultimately harmful to the game in general and new player's experience in specific.
This. This, this this.

You have a death system, and yet you don't think it's needed/a good thing? What?
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Greetings,

I would also like to echo the sentiment regarding the 2010 National event. I'm not trying to censor anyone here. But using an event that took place 2.5 years ago, under a different GM, in a chapter that is no longer a part of the Alliance, and was run "awkwardly" do to a number of different issues that were largely out of everyone's control as an indicator of national trends in our game is unfair.

Speaking from experience on the topic (as someone who handles adjudications alongside the CT owner): Adjudications are, in fact, intended to be a failsafe to prevent resurections from "sticking" that were caused by rules infractions or plot mistakes. The reality is that we are all human and that mistakes happen. We expect our PCs to be good sports and take their deaths when they are legitimate. In order to do that they need to know what staff will make sure to rectify any mistakes that do happen.

I, personally, wouldn't have the slightest problem if every resurection were submitted as an adjudication request with a description of how it all went down. I like data, and that much data regarding pc vs npc interaction can be valuable, even if we don't actually adjudicate the death.

As for the culture of "No Fair. I died" being a pervasive problem Nationally, I don't know. I think that might be an issue of perspective. I have played in the Northeast pretty extensively and I have difficulty percieving that attitude here. CT specifically has had at multiple rezzes in the last few years (including one single battle 17 rez fest... I was in that one. Ouch.) and I can only think of one where the death was actually adjudicated. Very few were even requested. There may be some individual players/teams that feel that way. But it is not fair to generalize. (For those who will ask... yes I have had my fair share of sore sport moments in the past too.)

As for throwing shields and being angry at getting hit by Shatter Spirit, I think we can all agree that everyone should get a little time to be a delicate snowflake when a single packet attack just rezzed them. I was shattered from on top of a castle after I got slept and my teammate was a handslength too far to Spellparry for me. I had some... colorful words to say on the way to the circle. I was all alone. No harm no foul.

Cheers,

Stephen
 
Warlok said:
Ok, I'm a little tired of hearing about the 2010 National event as being at the heart of several issues that have been brought up on the forums. It's been expressed multiple times that this event was an ANOMALY and should not be used as the basis for judging the current state of The Alliance as a whole.
RiddickDale said:
I would also like to echo the sentiment regarding the 2010 National event. I'm not trying to censor anyone here. But using an event that took place 2.5 years ago, under a different GM, in a chapter that is no longer a part of the Alliance, and was run "awkwardly" do to a number of different issues that were largely out of everyone's control as an indicator of national trends in our game is unfair.
I disagree. A national event should be exactly the kind of single event that we're using to judge the Alliance as a whole. That's sort of the point of the national event, specifically that one, where the idea was to showcase all of the chapters.

That said, no one was actually saying "this is a national problem because I saw it at the national event." It was being used (both times) as an example that could be related to by a the broadest possible audience. In fact, I called attention to it because it's generally regarded as an "example of a time when things went wrong." If I had said something like "Yeah, this one time in Denver this guy got his death adjudicated because he wasn't carrying his sword," that would be a) essentially saying that Denver was cheating, b) calling attention to a specific player who had their death adjudicated (which may be being kept on the DL), and c) isn't a very good example, since approximately 0% of the players on this board have ever played in Denver (that percentage wouldn't be a lot higher if I had picked a chapter that had actually run games, either).

Anyways, my statement stands. The 2010 national event is a good whipping boy for broad criticism, but the problems that existed there were caused by people and attitudes that still exist in our game now. This:
Warlok said:
It did bring to light some potential issues that were promptly addressed
simply isn't true. Many of the issues that came to light weren't addressed, and don't look like they will be any times soon. But that's a problem of "Bob thinks that this can be fixed by Y and not Z, while Frank says that Z is the only way," not necessarily people plugging their ears and yelling "Everything's fine!"
RiddickDale said:
As for the culture of "No Fair. I died" being a pervasive problem Nationally, I don't know. I think that might be an issue of perspective. I have played in the Northeast pretty extensively and I have difficulty percieving that attitude here.
See, this is surprising to me. As many EC people supported that statement as WC people. In my experience, we tend to see problems on the WC a couple years after they creep up on the EC (Item bloat, pocket scholars, (original) golems, there's a pretty big list, actually). The "No fair, I died!" issue isn't one that's new to us, but it's one I hear about a lot from traveling players (both from WC players who go out to EC games, and EC players who come out to WC games). I can see it for myself when it creeps up in my chapter, so I know it exists in some people out here, and hearing about it from traveling players makes me believe that it's not a localized issue. Maybe it's locally not an issue for a few chapters, I can't claim to know people that have traveled to every game, but I don't think that "I don't see it, so it's not a problem" is a good response when so many other people in other chapters have seen it.
 
I will speak only for the New Hampshire chapter:

Constant adjudication is not a problem for us. In our first year we had more adjudications than I was totally comfortable with, but we also had a comparatively high number of deaths. We have not adjudicated a death since midway through 2010, and no one has asked for one. Admittedly we have had a comparatively lower number of resurrections in that time frame but that's something I attribute as much to the out-of-game skill of a number of our players as anything else. We have had one instance of a battle that people complained about being too difficult afterwards in that time, and it was far from a unanimous opinion.

In the NH chapter, where I know the actual numbers, I feel comfortable saying definitively that this is not a problem.

Additionally, I think it's appropriate to point to the 2010 national event as a circumstance where some of the worst in the Alliance LARP game came to the surface due to a combination of several unfortunate circumstances as well as simple poor luck. That doesn't make it off limits for providing examples of issues, but it does make it a bad basis for same. If the only examples available for citation stem from that one instance, I think the argument is not particularly compelling. If additional examples exist but could cause friction between chapters then may I suggest that the standard account General Discussion Forum is not the appropriate venue for such? Perhaps the Staff boards would be a better place for frank conversations of that nature.
 

Air Raksa

Scholar
The pet-peeves of trolls do not equate to alliance-wide issues. Are there hundreds of complaints about adjudications? No. Dozens? No. The Alliance has hundreds of people playing it, you shouldn't judge an entire coast of chapters based on the opinions of a few people.

A lot of really good people traveled really far, hurt themselves and put themselves out there to entertain everyone at the National Event. Nobody should ridicule that effort, it is demeaning.

-Brian Bender
 
Brian, I hope I didn't give the impression that I thought that the circumstances of that event reflect negatively on those who got it up and running. It wasn't my intention to paint with that broad a brush. In NH in... 2004? 2005? We had an event in July or August where the power died for the whole site at around 10:00 at night. Despite the best efforts of myself and the rest of the staff at the time, the event was a borderline disaster. I wouldn't point a finger at any of those people who came together to try and salvage the situation and say that their hard work and patience were pointless or unsuccessful, and I'm not intending to do that now. My point was that in a situation that was unfortunately less than ideal it should not be surprising if some negativity crept into the event that would not otherwise have been there. I remember an event where there was an out of game altercation between two players right near game on, and that that combined with the very high temperature resulted in an entire weekend where everyone was a little on edge with each other. It's out of the hands of those running the event; the best they can do is soldier on and put on the very best event they can. Those kinds of unfortunate circumstances don't reflect on the character or quality of those who make the event possible; they do unfortunately color the final outcome.
 

Air Raksa

Scholar
No Dan you didn't give me that impression at all. You aren't trying to be controversial and shocking when you post, unless it is a joke. You don't have to bring up NH at all, for the sake of conversation... although your chapter is great!

Adjudications are handled by Staff, in the case of the National Event, Staff decided to adjudicate some deaths, it really isn't the general public's business why. Who cares it was years ago.

-Brian
 
Damn. You almost got me. This [_] close. I wrote a reply to that, but the last thing I wrote was that I couldn't believe you were actually expressing yourself and not trolling, which made it all so clear. So close.
 
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