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Author Topic: [Ends and Means] Debut  (Read 4431 times)
Adam Cerling
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WhiteRat


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« on: April 22, 2005, 12:24:26 PM »

I never planned on designing a game system. Then two weeks ago (as I sat in a job training course, mind wandering) suddenly all the disconnected musings I'd had over the years began to click.

I've lurked on the Forge for a couple of years, never posting more than a handful of useless snippets. My respect for the ideas of this community has only grown. Now I'd really appreciate your feedback on these ideas of mine.

Design Goals

My RPG experience has been heavily influenced by Mind's Eye Theater (MET) LARPs -- the Rock-Paper-Scissors variant of White Wolf's World of Darkness games. I love the complex social and political interplay encouraged by these games, but I have long wrestled with frustration over the incoherent MET system (which is ironic, since I wrote the software that most MET GMs use for bookkeeping).

So I find myself longing for a system that is suitable for GM-lite LARP play, that has simple rules with low handling time, and that explicitly encourages Narrativist play. Thanks to some poor experiences with MET LARPs, I want a system that cannot be used for power-play, a system which denies a competitive player any conclusive long-term advantage over another (such as character kills).

My goals seem to be very similar to Andrew Morris's goals for Shadows and Light, although perhaps with a more Narrativist bent. Like Andrew, I also came up with a Karma-and-Resource driven system to meet my goals. Unlike Andrew, I don't have a setting yet to go with my system; perhaps, like The Pool, I don't need one.

I call my nascent system Ends and Means.

Ends and Means

Characters in Ends and Means are comprised of two lists of qualities. A character's Ends are those things he wants to accomplish: the things he cares about, fights for, dreams of. A character's Means are all those skills, knowledges and powers he uses to achieve his Ends. A starting character is required to have at least three of each.

So for a simple example, Spider-Man might have the Ends "Fight Crime," "Protect Loved Ones," and "Live a Normal Life". Toward those ends he uses the means "Scientific Genius," "Spider Powers," and "Rapier Wit."

At the beginning of each game session, the player distributes up to 50 points of Weight between all these Ends and Means. No one End or Means may have less than 1 or more than 10 Weight. Because the assigned Weights can change from game to game, they reflect the fluctuation of the importance of character traits from story to story. In this issue Spider-Man's integrity might be tested; in the next, his integrity is ignored in favor of a beat-'em-up.

Next the player looks at the highest Weight among all his Ends. He gets one Focus Token for each point under 10 that this is, up to a limit of three tokens. The same happens for Means, for a grand total of 0 to 6 tokens. These tokens may be spent later on one-time successes and rewards -- so in effect, the system rewards players for being less effective overall by enabling them to be more effective in specific. Focus Tokens may also be bartered freely among players, so they serve as an additional incentive to cooperate and compromise with others.

There are systems for adding and changing Ends and Means, and for increasing the total Weight available and the Weight Limits on Ends and Means, but these systems are peripheral: they reward only showing up to play, but not doing "well" in the game.

Conflict Resolution

The game uses conflict resolution instead of task resolution. In a conflict between PCs, each player establishes a Stake, or what they want to achieve from the conflict. A Stake may not force another player to make a certain decision and may not affect permanent change on another character, unless the player agrees to it (perhaps after being offered a Focus Token or two). In that way the limitations of this system are very much like The Pool.

Next, Stakes are assigned one Ends that the character is trying to achieve, and one Means that the character is using. To some Stakes an End or a Means will not apply, so some Stakes will have only one, or neither. The sum of the Ends and the Means is the Stake's Weight.

If Spider-Man is fighting the Black Cat, his "Fight Crime" of 8 and "Spider Powers" of 9 apply to create a Weight of 17. The Black Cat applies her "Avoid Capture" End of 7 and "Acrobatics" Means of 5 for a total Weight of 12 in her Stake.

I call the person with the higher Stake the Lead and the person with the lower Stake the Foil. Normally, the Lead wins the conflict, and the participants narrate the outcome.

But here is where Focus Tokens come into play. The Foil may purchase victory from the Lead. This costs a minimum of one Focus Token, plus one more if the Foil's Stake is missing an Ends and one if missing a means. The Focus Tokens are paid directly to the Lead.

The Lead may of course try to bribe the Foil out of this course of action with a counteroffer of Focus Tokens, but if the Foil sticks to her guns and makes the purchase, the conflict is over: she wins, the Lead loses, and the two narrate the outcome.

This design meets my goals because it makes it nearly impossible for a character with high Ends and Means to dominate a weaker character. He can win for free, but the weaker character has cheap and absolute veto power. And yet the weaker character had better care (Ends) and be able (Means) to pull off the win, or else the victory quickly becomes quite expensive.

Purchasing GM Attention -- Subplots

In LARPs I have noticed that one of the most coveted resources is the GM's attention. The GM can't be everywhere focusing on everyone at once, so there's often quite the queue of people who need to talk to him. So for Ends and Means I decided to make GM attention a reward. Unless you purchase it (or unless the GM gives attention to you for his own reasons) you have to go entertain yourself with others until you earn some.

This is the second use for Focus Tokens. At the end of each game, your unused Focus Tokens go into your Focus Bank. Focus in the Bank can't be taken back out, except in the following way. At any time you have 15 Focus in the Bank and/or in hand as Focus Tokens, you can give it all to the GM to purchase a subplot.

A GM gives a player a Subplot by looking at the Ends on his sheet and introducing a situation that puts two of those Ends at odds. If Spider-Man's player purchased a Subplot, the GM could quickly introduce a situation that pits "Fight Crime" against "Protect Loved Ones." Wham -- instant Premise.

Making GM attention purchasable in the form of subplots meets my goals because it gives real value to Focus Tokens: they are more than a way for the underdog to win a cheap victory. Plus, since players with high Ends and Means will tend to absorb Tokens from those with lower Ends and Means, subplots reward them without actually making them more powerful in the long run.

That's the quick summary of my ideas. I welcome your feedback. In truth, I already have a 16-page draft of all this in Word, but I figured it'd be better to open the discussion this way. (Also, I don't have a way to make that Word document a PDF.) Next month I will have the opportunity to playtest this at a friend's weekend bachelor party we're calling Cabin-Con.
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Adam Cerling
In development: Ends and Means -- Live Role-Playing Focused on What Matters Most.
Andrew Morris
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 01:00:30 PM »

Adam-

Quote from: WhiteRat
My goals seem to be very similar to Andrew Morris's goals for Shadows and Light, although perhaps with a more Narrativist bent.

Not suprising, since I think Shadows & Light is quite clearly encourages Simulationism, with supporting Gamism. I'm not comfortable enough with my understanding of GNS to state that absolutely, though.

Quote from: WhiteRat
I don't have a setting yet to go with my system; perhaps, like The Pool, I don't need one.

Personally, I think you do need it for a LARP. If you don't, you might want to include some way for players to specifically create the setting either before or during play.

Quote from: WhiteRat
Next the player looks at the highest Weight among all his Ends. He gets one Focus Token for each point under 10 that this is, up to a limit of three tokens. The same happens for Means, for a grand total of 0 to 6 tokens. These tokens may be spent later on one-time successes and rewards -- so in effect, the system rewards players for being less effective overall by enabling them to be more effective in specific.

I'm not sure that it does this. If I were creating a character under these rules, I'd have 8 Ends and Means total, with a 7 Weight in seven of them, and 1 Weight in the eighth. This way, I've got all high scores, and my max of 6 Tokens. There's no benefit (in terms of Tokens, at least) to spread out my Weight more or less.

Quote from: WhiteRat
The Lead may of course try to bribe the Foil out of this course of action with a counteroffer of Focus Tokens, but if the Foil sticks to her guns and makes the purchase, the conflict is over: she wins, the Lead loses, and the two narrate the outcome.

Whoa, brutal. I'm not sure if I love it or hate it, but I'd definitely like to hear how that works out in playtesting.

How does your system handle conflicts involving multiple participants, who may or may not be working in groups or individually?
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Adam Cerling
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 02:23:44 PM »

Andrew --

I have a tentative setting in mind (one part American Gods, one part electoral campaign: Habeus Deus!) but it may end up being simply the main example in my "Story Design" chapter. I'm not sure yet. I don't want to create a stinker of a setting that makes people skip the system.

Quote from: Andrew Morris
I'm not sure that it does this. If I were creating a character under these rules, I'd have 8 Ends and Means total, with a 7 Weight in seven of them, and 1 Weight in the eighth. This way, I've got all high scores, and my max of 6 Tokens. There's no benefit (in terms of Tokens, at least) to spread out my Weight more or less.


Correct: there is no benefit in terms of Focus Tokens. But I think you'll burn through your Focus quickly when you face other players who can create Stakes higher than 14. They will win their conflicts against you for free, whereas you'll have to pay to beat them.

Your strategy definitely needs to be tested: I'll see if I can get a playtester to try it out.

Right now characters have up to 50 Weight, 1 through 10 Weight Limits, 3+ Ends, 3+ Means, and 0 to 6 starting Focus Tokens, and I'm just hoping it balances out all right. Can you think of different numbers to plug in that might make it balance better against your strategy?

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Whoa, brutal. I'm not sure if I love it or hate it, but I'd definitely like to hear how that works out in playtesting.

How does your system handle conflicts involving multiple participants, who may or may not be working in groups or individually?


I think I'm glad to hear that you think the Foil's ability to purchase victory is brutal. I want it to be brutal, but a limited resource. I want an aggressive mechanic for ensuring that there's no certain way to victory for competitive players to capitalize on.

I'm still hashing out multiple participants. I think I can get it to work by resolving conflicting Stakes one pair at a time, but I have to figure out how to do that in such an order that I don't end up with a mess of incompatible victories and losses. I'd definitely appreciate ideas on this point, or pointers to how other Player-vs-Player games do it.

Thanks a lot for your input!
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Adam Cerling
In development: Ends and Means -- Live Role-Playing Focused on What Matters Most.
Andrew Morris
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 03:13:35 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
I don't want to create a stinker of a setting that makes people skip the system.

I've played plenty of games with crap rules because the setting was so cool. I have never played a game with a crap setting because the system was awesome. How many gamers do you know that will tinker with rules to suit their preferences? Probably most. Just something to think about.

Quote from: WhiteRat
Can you think of different numbers to plug in that might make it balance better against your strategy?

Yep -- get rid of the Token limits. If my highest total is 2, give me my 8 Tokens. That'll stop most players from even thinking about how to game the greatest number of Tokens with the least amount of effort. Putting a seemingly arbitrary cap in there just screams, "abuse me!"

Quote from: WhiteRat
I'd definitely appreciate ideas on this point, or pointers to how other Player-vs-Player games do it.

As to multiple opponents, you might just want to extend the basic idea, giving the highest total the ability to defeat the rest of the characters, second highest the right to defeat any of the lower-ranked characters unless the actions of a character above him prevent it, and so on down the ranks.

With factions, you can force players to declare if they are working with anyone else. Group anyone working together into a team. Then add the team members' scores, and do the same as above.

Those are just some rough ideas, based on what I've thought about for Shadows & Light.
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Adam Cerling
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 02:37:16 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Morris
I've played plenty of games with crap rules because the setting was so cool. I have never played a game with a crap setting because the system was awesome. How many gamers do you know that will tinker with rules to suit their preferences? Probably most. Just something to think about.


That's exactly what I'm afraid of. I don't have a cool setting in mind; I have cool rules in mind. If I create a crap setting for the sake of "completeness," that'll turn people's eyes away. But if I don't create a setting at all, and instead offer ideas on what kinds of settings are best created and used with it -- that, I think, might get imaginations going.

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Yep -- get rid of the Token limits. If my highest total is 2, give me my 8 Tokens. That'll stop most players from even thinking about how to game the greatest number of Tokens with the least amount of effort. Putting a seemingly arbitrary cap in there just screams, "abuse me!"


I'm wary of inflation. Purchasing victory (or, as I'm calling it, Stealing the Scene) is a powerful means of getting your way. If a player can get 18 Focus Tokens by just setting all his Ends and Means at 1, he could buy his way through every conflict all night (since I use conflict resolution, not task resolution). I really don't think a player should have a means of starting with too many Focus Tokens; they need to feel precious.

But you've really got me thinking about alternatives. Do any of these ideas jump out at you?

    1. Focus Tokens equal to (10-X), where X is equal to the average of the highest Ends and the Highest Means. (Round up a fractional number of tokens.)[/list:u]
    2. Give Focus Tokens equal to (10-Y), where Y is the highest Weight among all Ends and Means.[/list:u]
    3. As 2 above, and require that all 50 points of Weight be distributed (instead of
up to 50).[/list:u]
    4. As 2 above, and require that no two Ends and no two Means have the same weight.[/list:u]

    Thanks for the ideas regarding multiple opponents. You said they reflect your own thoughts about
Shadows & Light. Does your system use task resolution or conflict resolution?
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Adam Cerling
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2005, 02:47:46 PM »

Is this for one-shots or ongoing games?

If it is for ongoing games, are Focus Tokens redistributed every night, or are they for good?

yrs--
--Ben
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2005, 05:49:03 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
I'm wary of inflation. Purchasing victory (or, as I'm calling it, Stealing the Scene) is a powerful means of getting your way. If a player can get 18 Focus Tokens by just setting all his Ends and Means at 1, he could buy his way through every conflict all night (since I use conflict resolution, not task resolution).

That's possible, but consider that someone with all 1s is going to have to deal with other characters who have an average of....what?...say, around 6? So, they'll go through their Tokens in the course of 3-4 conflicts, and then they're pretty much screwed the rest of the night. As a player, I'd rather have the option to do this if I wanted to, or go the opposite direction. The important part is that I decide where to draw the line between Ends/Means and Focus Tokens, rather than having a clear line drawn by the mechanics.


Quote from: WhiteRat
Thanks for the ideas regarding multiple opponents. You said they reflect your own thoughts about Shadows & Light. Does your system use task resolution or conflict resolution?

Eh...uhm...good question. That's one of the main headaches I'm dealing with at the moment. The current rules are conflict resolution, but I haven't playtested them yet.
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Adam Cerling
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2005, 08:50:08 PM »

Ben --

Nothing will stop Ends and Means from being used for one-shots, but I'm building it to support ongoing games.

A fresh supply of Focus Tokens are given at the beginning of each game, according to how you decide to distribute Weight among your stats for the session. During the session, the Focus Tokens move amongst players according to the economy of conflicts. Then at the end of the session, the Focus Tokens you have are recorded in your Focus Bank.

In later games you can't get those Focus Tokens out of your Bank, except in one way -- using them to purchase subplots from the GM.

Andrew --

In any conflict, the odds are high that you can apply at least one End or Means, if not both. Stealing the Scene costs only one Focus Token if you can apply both, or two if you can only apply one, and three if can't apply any. I assume most players will find a way to pay only one or two in any conflict -- so 18 Focus Tokens will buy your way through nine or more conflicts.

I suppose another way is to increase the costs for Stealing the Scene: you pay three if your Stake is missing an End or a Means, and you pay five if you're missing both. Hmm... I like the feel of that.

I'm making a strong commitment to conflict resolution instead of task resolution firstly because of handling time. I believe task resolution bogs down play in complex scenes. Fortunately for me, conflict resolution is also very Narrativist-friendly in that it trusts players enough to fill in the details themselves.
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Adam Cerling
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2005, 08:57:20 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
Ben --
A fresh supply of Focus Tokens are given at the beginning of each game, according to how you decide to distribute Weight among your stats for the session. During the session, the Focus Tokens move amongst players according to the economy of conflicts. Then at the end of the session, the Focus Tokens you have are recorded in your Focus Bank.

In later games you can't get those Focus Tokens out of your Bank, except in one way -- using them to purchase subplots from the GM.


BL>  This is fascinating!  Could you elaborate on the way that this economy works?  I mean, a full, from the group up explanation would be ideal.
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2005, 07:15:53 AM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
Stealing the Scene costs only one Focus Token if you can apply both, or two if you can only apply one, and three if can't apply any. I assume most players will find a way to pay only one or two in any conflict -- so 18 Focus Tokens will buy your way through nine or more conflicts.

Ahh, I see. I misunderstood how Focus Tokens are used to win a conflict. I thought that you had to spend a number equal to the difference in the Foil's total and the Lead's. Hmm...yeah, now I see what you mean. That changes things. Your idea about increasing the cost is good, and I believe it would cut down on this problem.
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Adam Cerling
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 10:15:20 AM »

Ben --

Quote from: Ben Lehman
BL>  This is fascinating!  Could you elaborate on the way that this economy works?  I mean, a full, from the group up explanation would be ideal.


I'm not sure what you mean by a "from the group up" explanation. If the following doesn't help, I'll be glad to clarify further.

At the beginning of a game, you get Focus Tokens in exchange for lowering the highest of your stats (your Ends and your Means). High stats can win conflicts without paying anything, but a character with low stats (a Foil) can purchase victory outright by paying tokens to a character with with high stats (a Lead).

Focus Tokens can also be used as a general means of incentive and barter. Any player can offer someone Focus Tokens at any time as a bribe to choose some course of action.

So I envision that Foils will pay to win the conflicts that are really important to them. Leads will win conflicts that aren't important to their opponents. Leads will also collect Focus Tokens, which they can use in turn to bribe the Foils not to win so much. Foils should run out of tokens quickly enough that those bribes are tempting.

And since all characters are a combination of high and low stats, different conflicts will see different characters in the Lead and Foil roles -- so it's not as if you're pigeonholed into one or the other all the time.

Focus Tokens are made more valuable by the fact that if you end the session with a number of them, they're not lost -- they just change form. They go into a Focus Bank where they can no longer be used to win conflicts, but they can be withdrawn in later games to buy subplots (spotlight time to address Premise) from the GM, which is a precious commodity in every LARP I've ever played.

In many ways it's a 'lose to win' system like Andrew's Shadows & Light or like Nighttime Animals Save the World. When you lose conflicts, you often gain more resources with which to win later conflicts. So right now I'm juggling several ratios to reach the right balance of scarcity, cost and benefit.

Andrew --

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Ahh, I see. I misunderstood how Focus Tokens are used to win a conflict. I thought that you had to spend a number equal to the difference in the Foil's total and the Lead's. Hmm...yeah, now I see what you mean. That changes things. Your idea about increasing the cost is good, and I believe it would cut down on this problem.


I considered doing it just that way (paying the difference to win), but I saw that as too low a cost/benefit ratio. Under such a system, one Focus Token means almost nothing. By making a Token mean more in a conflict, I raise the likelihood that a player will drop the Weight of their Ends and Means to get just one or two. If more players are willing to drop the Weight of their Ends and Means, that means there will be more variance in the Weight of different Stakes during different conflicts.

Or so goes the idea, anyway. Playtesting may disabuse me of all my theory!
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Adam Cerling
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 10:23:23 AM »

How does "buying subplots" work?  How expensive are they?

I'm beginning to think that this is an excellent system.

yrs--
--Ben
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 12:05:48 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
Focus Tokens can also be used as a general means of incentive and barter. Any player can offer someone Focus Tokens at any time as a bribe to choose some course of action.

Is this purely a metagame barter, or do Focus Tokens represent something in-game? In my game, for example, Tokens [I really should call them something else to differentiate them] cannot be exchanged between players other than through the conflict resolution rules, which is the way I want it. If Focus Tokens are recognized as an out-of-game element, then that opens up a whole new set of concerns -- using real-world influence/resources to purchase Focus Tokens. Say I'm really in a bind, and the big plan I've been working on for the last twelve games is about to fail because I don't have enough FTs [I cant keep writing "Focus Tokens"]. So I go to my friend who has been sitting on a pile of FTs all night and offer her $20 bucks (or to buy her dinner after the game, or sexual favors, or whatever) for her FTs. Does this sound like something you want or not? If not, how could you possibly prevent it?

Quote from: WhiteRat
They go into a Focus Bank where they can no longer be used to win conflicts, but they can be withdrawn in later games to buy subplots (spotlight time to address Premise) from the GM, which is a precious commodity in every LARP I've ever played.

Hmm...does the player have the choice to convert them to plot-buying power? Because, personally, I'd much rather have Focus Tokens than plot-buying power, so I'd never "cash in" my Focus Tokens. Looking at your goal of not having any players who can dominate the game (which is actually quite the opposite of what I am going for in Shadows & Light), you'll probably not want to give that choice. That means, however, that you'll almost certainly get a flurry of last-minute Focus Token use, and the economy will go wild.

The reason I think this will happen is that players like me, who value their in-game effectiveness more than their ability to control the plot directly, will not want to end the evening with any FTs. So I'll go out and accomplish something that I want done, and again, and again, until I'm out of FTs. Then, anyone who got FTs from my efforts who feels the same way I do about ending the game with them, will go and do the same thing. The economy will go a bit crazy, because as the game comes to a conclusion, I'll be wiling to give away all my FTs on a single conflict.

Maybe the answer to all my points is simpler to accomplish through an explicit Social Contract, rather than through rules or mechanics. Make it clear to all the players what kind of behavior and activities are allowed and acceptable, and what's not. I'm thinking of doing that in Shadows & Light.
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Adam Cerling
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2005, 04:17:47 PM »

Thank you both for your continuing feedback!

Ben --

Quote from: Ben Lehman
How does "buying subplots" work?  How expensive are they?

I'm beginning to think that this is an excellent system.



I'm glad you see potential in it!

Subplots currently cost 15 Focus. That's my best guess right now at a number which is achievable enough to add extra value to Focus Tokens, but expensive enough so that GMs aren't inundated all the time with demands for subplots. It's a cost that could easily change.

To purchase a subplot, you permanently expend its cost from your Focus Bank (which, as I mentioned, is the number of unused Focus Tokens you had at the end of previous games). If you don't have enough in the Bank, you can pay the GM the difference with Tokens as well.

When a player has purchased a subplot, the GM follows a simple technique to introduce a Premise-challenging situation for the character: look at the character's Ends. Pick two. Introduce a situation that pits those Ends against one another. For Peter Parker, the GM might pit "Live a Normal Life" against "Fight Crime" by having the villain attack when Peter should be getting ready for a date with Mary Jane. The GM pits "Become a Jedi" against "Loyalty to Friends" when he tells Luke Skywalker in the midst of his training that his friends are in peril.

My hope is that these subplots will balloon outward from the player who purchases them. Not only will they directly address his character's premises and involve him, but the new situation as well as the character's own choices will draw in other players as well.

Andrew --

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Is this purely a metagame barter, or do Focus Tokens represent something in-game?


Focus Tokens are a purely metagame barter, in the sense you mean. The only thing they represent is the power to "Focus" the story on your character (through achieving victory in conflicts, or buying subplots).

I never considered the issue of people paying real cash or what-have-you for someone else's Focus Tokens. Offhand, I feel like that's out of my scope. No game system can prevent collusion, and adults can make their own decisions about what they feel a Focus Token is worth.

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Hmm...does the player have the choice to convert them to plot-buying power? Because, personally, I'd much rather have Focus Tokens than plot-buying power, so I'd never "cash in" my Focus Tokens. Looking at your goal of not having any players who can dominate the game (which is actually quite the opposite of what I am going for in Shadows & Light), you'll probably not want to give that choice. That means, however, that you'll almost certainly get a flurry of last-minute Focus Token use, and the economy will go wild.


You're correct -- there is no choice. At the end of the game, your Focus Tokens go directly into your Focus Bank, period. I deliberately want to discourage Gamist play from earning long-term Gamist rewards.

I think the handling time of the system will curtail a bit of the threat of a last-minute token-spending frenzy. This being Conflict Resolution instead of Task Resolution, it takes some time to narrate the outcome of a conflict. And even if there is a flurry of activity, it'll move tokens from the hands of those who don't want them into the hands of those who do -- not a bad thing at all. People buying subplots is good for the game.

Quote from: Andrew Morris
Maybe the answer to all my points is simpler to accomplish through an explicit Social Contract, rather than through rules or mechanics. Make it clear to all the players what kind of behavior and activities are allowed and acceptable, and what's not. I'm thinking of doing that in Shadows & Light.


This is a good point. The best system in the world can't survive a player determined to abuse it. I think I may end up talking about Social Contract (under the alias "Style of Story") in my Story Design chapter.

I'm pleasantly bemused, Andrew, by how very similar our systems are on some points (fast-handling LARP systems with Resource economies and Karma resolution) and yet how very different our creative goals are! I hope you're getting as much out of this contrast as I am.
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Adam Cerling
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2005, 06:58:32 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
I'm pleasantly bemused, Andrew, by how very similar our systems are on some points [...] and yet how very different our creative goals are! I hope you're getting as much out of this contrast as I am.

Indeed. I was thinking the same thing earlier. It really seems to come down to the reward mechanism that makes the difference -- I'm rewarding the things you want to cut down on, supporting a different mode of play, despite some core similarities. Very interesting.
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