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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 64 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Hierarchy]1st Playtest- PvP  (Read 2771 times)
Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« on: February 06, 2006, 11:49:18 AM »

Heya,

My friend John and I got to test out some of the mechanics in Hierarchy the other night.  It was a good opportunity.  We drew up some sample characters and NPCs.

The Characters had roughly equal points in Stats and Assets (the new term for Tiles).  We did that on purpose just to see how evenly matched PCs would do in a duel. The product: the winner was almost evenly split.  I won 4 trials, he won 5.  I was pleased. 

Then we tested a PC with six dice in his total pool vs. an NPC with eleven dice in his pool.  The result was the PC winning 8 out of 11 times.  That shocked me!  But the "Pool Equalization" rule made all the difference.  There are some really neat dice strategies for the players to discover once they start playing.  I'm actually quite happy about that.

In the Ronny's Feedback thread, Ron asked if I was having the dice roll results hidden during Bidding and Matching.  I've found that the strategy is better if they are kept revealed!  So that was also a surprise.  But it's how I wanted the game to be palyed anway.  I'm glad it worked out.

So, in the end, I consider the dice mechanics a success so far. :)

You can download the origonal rules here:http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/Hierarchy.php

I'll post the revised ones once I figure out how to build a website :)

Peace,

-Troy
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2006, 02:12:58 AM »


Hi, Troy!

Sorry for the delay to read your post, I had a minor surgery intervention.

I completely agree with the idea of having the dice revealed. I got used to that idea playing to DitV. I think it gives you some strategy feeling when Bidding and Matching, but at the same time it is very simple to grab the idea of how to use the dice, not producing the need to think in complex optimizations. If you hide the dice you are playing with almost no information about your possibilities. Thus, most of the times you have the feeling that it doesn't matter how do you use your dice or much worse, you try to find one time after another a strategy to use them, which is much more confusing and frustrating for players.

I have made a couple of tries and my results are similar to yours (well, there are not enough numbers but I think I have more variance in the unbalanced tests I think). I'm afraid I'm not still seeing those dice strategies you are talking about. Perhaps I'm missing something.

Arturo




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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 03:04:31 AM »

Heya Arturo,

I applogize for my delayed answer.  I hope your surgery went well :)

The strategies in the dice are similar to Dogs, I think for the most part.  The object is to try to get your opponent to spend the maximum amount of dice to match or surpass your Bid.  You gotta be willing to take a hit early, because as the dice pools get smaller, the more dice you have the more likely you are to score a hit.  Also, if you are within a single Hit of your opponent, but really behind in dice, you can force a draw by spending the entire ammount of dice you have left.  If there is a draw, you have to play another round of rolling, Bidding, and Matching.  Your opponent (if it is a PC) gets to reroll the extra dice he had left over, but at least the pools are equalized again.  If our opponent is a NPC, then he just loses all those extra dice and you get yourself out of a bad situation.  Being willing to take damage is a key factor, IMO, from what I've seen so far.  I probably need to post some concrete examples.  I'll do that as soon as I get the chance :)

And thanks for the feedback!!!

Peace,

-Troy
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2006, 06:26:03 PM »

Hi again Troy!

I must say I was not a carefull reader. When I first download Hierarchy I was too much focused in the rules for splitting the big party of players, not paying enough attention to the details. I misread the Bidding and Matching rules. I assumed it had the same restriction as in DitV, so you can bid only with exactly two dice.

Reading your previous answer I realized I was wrong. It was my fault as I have read again the rules and everything is clearly written there.

Now that I know what are we talking about, let us go for something more constructive.
I suppose you call "equalization" to the discarding of dice in the biggest pool until both pools have the same dice. I think this part works nice to increase the probabilities of bigger numbers in the biggest pool, still forcing the pools to have the same number of dice.

But let me analyze the bidding/matching rules with my new perspective and a hideous min-max angle. Eliminating the maximum number of dice in the bid looks like producing non-desired effects.

At any moment, if the player who has the turn to bid has the biggest sum (when considering the full pools), if he bids all his dice the other player cannot match, so he will get 1 hit and the bidding/matching is over. Thus, if the first turn is for the player with the biggest sum, he automatically wins the fight if bids all the dice (1hit - 0hits). If the first turn is for the one with less sum of dice I think that his better chances are to bid all dice and get a match (0hits - 0hits) and let the dice re-roll.

Am I missing something more? This time I tried to read it carefully.

Best,
Arturo
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Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2006, 06:11:58 AM »

Heya,

Quote
At any moment, if the player who has the turn to bid has the biggest sum (when considering the full pools), if he bids all his dice the other player cannot match, so he will get 1 hit and the bidding/matching is over. Thus, if the first turn is for the player with the biggest sum, he automatically wins the fight if bids all the dice (1hit - 0hits). If the first turn is for the one with less sum of dice I think that his better chances are to bid all dice and get a match (0hits - 0hits) and let the dice re-roll.

Am I missing something more? This time I tried to read it carefully.

-Right now (in my redraft that is not available for download yet) the number of dice you can bid or match with is = your Honor.  So that will limit it some in the early game before people have a chance to buy up their Stats or Assets.  In addition, the draw back of bidding all your dice to win a contest is you give your opponent all the leftover dice to roll the next time.  On a quest, that virtually assures the PC of winning the next contest no matter what.  One of the strategies for Hierarchy is to play for extra dice the next time rather than success in a particular conflict.  So, I don't see that as too much of a problem.  Also, remember that a PC's Honor can absorb hits.  So if a player bets all his dice on the first bid/match, it likely won't score a hit at all. So the dice will all have to be rerolled. 

You make a good point, though.  I can see where it might be a problem in the player vs. player aspect of the game as the move up the hierarchy.  I'm really going to have to do some testing on that, and I'm glad you've brought it up.  It confirms what I was a bit concerned about.

Peace,

-Troy
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2006, 02:50:50 PM »


The Honor limit is an idea. But, as you noticed, it may create an up-spiral. Moreover, the effect is magnified by the Honor's hit absorbing quality. BTW, I assume that the limit is only for bids, and you can use as many dice as you want in matching, isn't it?

About the follow-ups. I did not consider them. You are right. But I can see that not knowing exactly what could be the next conflict about, many players will be inclined to win the stakes of the current conflict at any cost. Although it is a really nice idea, I think it may make the dice-strategies more obscure and unpredictable from the player perspective.

I can see there is a difficult issue here about dice mechanics.
Perhaps you may consider: (a) a fixed number of dice to bid; (b) use stats for the first roll and let players introduce the tiles-dice during the bid/matching phase when they want; (c) the other alternative Ron was asking about: Not showing the dice results from the beginning. I would try them in that order.

More brain-storming:
Perhaps the player who does not empty her pool may hit once for free. What about playing always two or three rounds in each conflict? You can keep your not used dice for the next round, until the last one. In the last one you may rule that they are lost, or use the free hit idea.

Hope something of this will help you.
Arturo
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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2006, 06:37:29 AM »

Heya,

We've playtested a little further.  New provisional rules state that you cannot wager more dice than half your opponent's Honor (rounded up).  So if your opponent has 5 Honor, you can't bet more than 3 dice at a time.  This creates the kind of quandry I wanted.  First, Honor absorbs hits.  So having it is good.  But having too much Honor allows your opponent to play lots of dice.  If he has a low Honor, you're going to be in trouble.  So there is incentive to spend it.  Spending it, of course, grants you more dice, but puts the game at risk of being finished if someone has a lot of Victory Points.  I think I'm getting closer to what I want.  Thoughts?

Peace,

-Troy
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2006, 11:03:34 AM »


I have been thinking on this for some days. My feelings about it are still not clear.

Using the Honor of the other player as a limit may be counter-intuitive, especially for old-classical gamers as me. But I recognize there is no reason for not to use it as a mechanic. As far as you are talking about a one-to-one conflict it is safe. It should be further developed for a group conflict-mechanics, if you wish to include such a thing.

The balance between the good-features of Honor and bad-features of Honor exist, but it is still unclear for me if it is well-balanced. I should play it more than in a couple of examples.

a) more Honor means more risk to get hitted (using more dice), but more protection from hits
b) less Honor means less risk to get hitted, but less protection from hits, and the foe spends less dice on each bid.

Perhaps you are pointing to a high-balance which completely cancels the Honor effect. Are you are including a non-needed extra complication in the resolution mechanics? Well, at least it creates different types of conflicts and strategies when different Honor values are mixed in a conflict.

But all this issue deserves extensive play-testing. For me is not intuitive which are the expected or possible outputs of different conflicts or strategies at all. Such level of quandary is perhaps too much for me. I will try to play some more examples and get a more clear idea.

Arturo
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