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PBEM HP Distribution

Started by Mike Holmes, June 02, 2005, 04:23:20 PM

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CCW

Quote from: Mike HolmesWhat I'm looking at now is simply steps towards the goals written in the Goals section of the character sheet. You're allowed three to start, and then I think I'd have some buying and cashing in rules. Something like 3 HP to set another goal, and you can cash one in at any time for 3 HP if you do something against that goal.

This looks pretty good, but it doesn't seem very different from TSOY keys (although it's simpler than some of the ideas proposed on the keys thread you link to).  Wouldn't this system channel people's options in the same way?  If you give out a base HP award, per scene or session, then people who acted outside their goals would still get something, but they'd lose a lot by straying.

QuoteIn fact, I could mechanically make this simple and award only when the player asks for a contest that relates to a goal. Perhaps. Hmmm.

OK, I really like this idea.  Would it work to award for requesting contests, but drop goals?  In other words, give players HP for initiating contests, any contests.  After all, surely if you're asking for a contest, that contest will be related to your goals, even if the specific goal hasn't been articulated.

You might want to give the GM veto power over what contests were eligable, just to stop people asking for crossing the road contests.  I don't think you'd have to worry about too much of that sort of nonsense with your players though.

Charles Wotton
Charles Wotton

Mike Holmes

Quote from: CCWYou might want to give the GM veto power over what contests were eligable, just to stop people asking for crossing the road contests.  I don't think you'd have to worry about too much of that sort of nonsense with your players though.
I don't know. See, I think there's a difference between a silly contest, and one that's sensible but doesn't move the plot forward. For instance, I think it's a viable thing to do to ask for a contest to get a new sword. But it's not likely to be really in any way a plot point towards some goal. Or rather it wouldn't have to be, and yet players will still do it.

That said, I'm tempted to allow any contest called for anyhow. Because I do like players exploring on tangents myself - I'm not an all plot, all the time sort of a player myself.

Note that right now I'm thinking of combining something like this with a per scene reward or something. Not just replacing. This could be a lot of HP, however. I'd have to call a lot of contests as narrator to make sure that the economy didn't get out of control, I'd think. And, interestingly, with players calling for contests, I'd probably cease doing it myself. I'd prefer to leave this in the hands of the players. So that might cause a problem for my play.

In any case, getting back to the "Goal" idea, it does have some similarites to the Key idea, except that it's not linked to any abilities like we previously said. So players are free to approach a problem from any angle they like (which solves what I felt was the problem everyone had with the Key system as I proposed it originally). And, again, the reward for kicking a key (goal) is such that I don't think that the system really prevents any particular sort of way of addressing a goal. All it does is to inform the player to address their goals, and to adjust their goals should they not like where the system is pushing them. That is, the only player who would be unrewarded for their actions would be those that didn't bother to keep their goals up to date. Or so it seems to me.

Mike
Member of Indie Netgaming
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CCW

Quote from: Mike HolmesAnd, interestingly, with players calling for contests, I'd probably cease doing it myself. I'd prefer to leave this in the hands of the players. So that might cause a problem for my play.

Yeah, a big reason for my interest in 'reward reform' is to put more things in the hands of the players; not so much because I'm lazy, but because I want more tools for making the game their story, not mine.

Another possible problem is that some players seem to like contests more than others.  Some of my players, for example, seem content to just assume less interesting things happen (and I'm usually happy enough to let them), but one player just loves finding ways to get his character into contests; he likes the uncertainty of it, and he really likes the HQ system, and I think he just likes rolling dice.  Now that I think about it though, that player has been a driving force in the game, creating many of the most interesting situations...there might just be a connection here.

The number of HP gained by this method would also depend a fair bit on the group and the mode of play.  There are more contests in my FtF game than there are on IRC, but IRC is slower overall, and the players are different.  I suspect some questions can really only be resolved through playtesting.

QuoteThat is, the only player who would be unrewarded for their actions would be those that didn't bother to keep their goals up to date. Or so it seems to me.

This makes sense.  So it's much like a key sytem, but without the uber-ability that the player must work into every contest in order to get experience.  In fact, it's closer to TSOY's keys than what the discussion on the keys thread led us to, no?

Would a player be able to change goals at any time, or would there be something in place to prevent (boy, do I ever have a suspicious mind) players changing goals just to get HP: "I want to get a new sword, so, this scene only, I'm buying off my old goal and replacing it with 'goal: get new sword.'"

Charles Wotton
Charles Wotton

Mike Holmes

Quote from: CCWThe number of HP gained by this method would also depend a fair bit on the group and the mode of play.  There are more contests in my FtF game than there are on IRC, but IRC is slower overall, and the players are different.  I suspect some questions can really only be resolved through playtesting.
Truer words were never written. I'll bring it up tomorrow night. :-)

QuoteThis makes sense.  So it's much like a key sytem, but without the uber-ability that the player must work into every contest in order to get experience.  In fact, it's closer to TSOY's keys than what the discussion on the keys thread led us to, no?
Well, yes, especially if you consider that you're supposed to make up your own keys.

QuoteWould a player be able to change goals at any time, or would there be something in place to prevent (boy, do I ever have a suspicious mind) players changing goals just to get HP: "I want to get a new sword, so, this scene only, I'm buying off my old goal and replacing it with 'goal: get new sword.'"
Well, how about these sample figures. It costs three HP to set up a goal, but you get only two HP for cashing one in. So, yeah, you can switch up your goals fast if you like, but then in your example, they'll lose one HP total. Ex:

1. Goal to Kill Bad Guy.
2. Drop it, gain 2 HP, and buy Get Sword for 3HP, net -1.
3. Get sword in contest, gain 1 HP.
4. Drop Get Sword, gain 2HP, buy Kill Bad Guy, net -1.

Total Net -1.

So, basically, switching off and back on to a goal only makes sense if you're going to stick with it for a bit. If it's going to become a non-issue after the first contest, then there's a loss to be had by trying it.

Also we could make the investment larger, say 5 HP to buy, 4 HP cashing in. That would mean tying up more resources with each goal, meaning that you won't feel that you've gotten your investment's worth until several contests have gone by that are rewarded by it.

Mike
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Christopher Weeks

The idea of this, and the presentation of an investment vector for HPs is really cool.  Does this make the GM want to create those kinds of conflicts or avoid them?  I could see it going both ways for different GMs and I'm thinking it only really works for those that engage -- "helping" the players.  Since this is mostly about Mike's games, I'm thinking it's a non-issue, but I could see it being a hitch for some groups.

CCW

Quote from: Mike HolmesTruer words were never written. I'll bring it up tomorrow night. :-)

eep!

QuoteIt costs three HP to set up a goal, but you get only two HP for cashing one in.

Ah.  I missed this.  I was thinking that you'd proposed 3HP for each.

Quote...meaning that you won't feel that you've gotten your investment's worth until several contests have gone by that are rewarded by it.

It would also increase the feeling of satisfaction you'd get upon killing the big bad (or whatever your goal might be).

Quote from: Christopher WeeksDoes this make the GM want to create those kinds of conflicts or avoid them?

To some extent, it's meant to help take the issue out of the GM's hands.  With luck the players will more proactively seek such conflicts out.  You're right though that this system does assume a GM who sees a great part of his or her job as facilitating what the players want to do.  Even with unvarnished railroading, however, as long as the players can see the direction of the track ahead, they can choose goals that will earn them HPs.  Why anyone would want to play like that...

Charles
Charles Wotton

Mike Holmes

Quote from: CCWAh.  I missed this.  I was thinking that you'd proposed 3HP for each.
That's what I had proposed. I also said that it was a very tentative model that hadn't been thought out in terms of the numbers.

QuoteIt would also increase the feeling of satisfaction you'd get upon killing the big bad (or whatever your goal might be).
That would be an added benefit, yes.

QuoteTo some extent, it's meant to help take the issue out of the GM's hands.  With luck the players will more proactively seek such conflicts out.  You're right though that this system does assume a GM who sees a great part of his or her job as facilitating what the players want to do.  Even with unvarnished railroading, however, as long as the players can see the direction of the track ahead, they can choose goals that will earn them HPs.
Yeah, actually I think it does work for a more participationist game. The player gets rewarded for sticking to the tracks, so everyone is happy (in theory).

Anyhow, since I play trying to allow players to have their characters have their own goals, hopefully the system will merely promote players authoring into conflicts regarding their chosen goals.

There's nothing quite so frustrating to me as the player who states that their character has goals, but then who avoids conflicts that lie along the road to those goals playing with an old ingrained sim-I-am-the-character-gamism-I-will-do-better-by-avoiding-conflict mindset. Not that I have such players these days, but occassionally I still see flickers of this. "He'd play it safe here, because that's the sensible thing to do." :-)

I'm hoping that this system will incentivize players working to get their characters into trouble, more than keeping them out of it.

Mike
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.