*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 17, 2019, 04:36:43 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Project Senate] Need help with providing color  (Read 4347 times)
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« on: March 02, 2006, 02:14:06 PM »

Hi, all, :)

I'm torn.

It has come to my attention that Project Senate has the potential to lack color.

So, I have two options: either provide for extensive play examples with plenty of color and complement it with advice about insisting on it, or formalize a specific mechanic to reward color.

So, two questions:

A) Does anyone have an opinion either way whether color rewarding mechanics belong in a game that aims to support a gamist CA?

B) Does anyone have any suggestions for one such mechanic?

I'm quite baffled by this one and I would appreciate any help immensely.

Cheers,
J.
Logged

url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 06:21:23 AM »

A) Does anyone have an opinion either way whether color rewarding mechanics belong in a game that aims to support a gamist CA?

Not me.

B) Does anyone have any suggestions for one such mechanic?

If you are going to do it (gamist or not) there are a few ways not to do it.  Let's talk about the situation where Player A provides some cool color.  Does Player B reward him for that color?  Well, what does it do to Player B to award the widget, and how often can he do that?

If Player B is punished for awarding the widget (perhaps it's a "winner take all" game, and the award would make Player B weaker relative to the now-stronger Player A) then it doesn't matter how often he can do it ... he's not likely to.  If awarding the widget makes no difference (even indirect) to Player B then it will all come down to wierd, squishy social mechanics.  Ewww ... squishy.  If Player B is rewarded (often indirectly) for awarding the widget, and he can do it as often as he wants, then he will award and award and award.  Why wouldn't he?

So here's how I think you should do it ... or at least a method that's worked for me:  you give Player B and Player C a limited, renewing source of resources that can be awarded to other people.  You apply some sort of penalty for having too much (which is much the same as a reward for keeping the number of tokens you're holding low).  Thus, they are given an incentive to reward, but also an incentive to be picky.  They don't have enough resources to reward everything.  This puts them in the mood of saying "Okay, I am on the lookout for the five coolest things that happen in the next half hour, in order to reward them."

Primetime Adventure's Fan-Mail, for instance, lets a player award only one FanMail per scene.  Once you start playing the game, you realize that if you don't award that fan-mail, you can't award two at some later point.  You've squandered an opportunity to award.  And that's bad, because the more Fan-Mail you award, the longer the episode continues.  So you don't want a pile of fan-mail accumulating in the audience pool.  Awarding your point gives you an indirect benefit, and you can do it only once per scene, so you do.  You find the best thing that happened in that scene, and you give an award for it, even if it was lamer than ten things that happened in the previous scene.

Likewise, Capes's Debt turns into Story Tokens for other players.  You have a constantly renewing amount of it, but if you don't spend it for a while you start taking penalties.  You have enough to respond to some conflicts, but never enough to respond to all.  So you are on the lookout for something to spend it on (lest you get too much) but only the very best thing (lest you not have enough when you need it).

So there's my preferred method:  Player B gets some benefit from awarding, but has limits on how much he can award.

I hope that helps!
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 03:53:37 AM »

Hey, Tony, :)

First off, thanks and you made a lot of sense.

Player B gets some benefit from awarding, but has limits on how much he can award.
Yeah, that's the gold. If I do decide to go forward with this, this will definitely be the main design guideline.

Let me ask you this, though. What about putting the color reward in the hands of the GM? As a concept, it seems entirely unrelated to what you say above. However, it seems to fit in well with what you say here:
Quote
If awarding the widget makes no difference (even indirect) to Player B then it will all come down to wierd, squishy social mechanics.  Ewww ... squishy.
(Which, by the way, was my first thought on reading that extra die rule in Sorcerer, for instance.)

Almost by definition, the (traditional) GM is in a position in which usage of mechanics makes very little difference to him. So, given that, can you offer any advice regarding GM color rewards that don't go all squishy?

(Yes, I know I'm also considering GMless play, but that's over in the other thread.)

Right off the bat, some difficulties that may ensue:
- The GM, if there is one, should also be responsible for generating color.
- If the GM cuts in too soon with his own color, it may (or may not) rob the player of the opportunity to provide it himself.
- If the GM rewards the existence of color in an interaction regardless of its source, his own intervention will necessarily unbalance the playing field.

Yeah, squishiness all around...

Cheers,
J.
Logged

url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2006, 06:43:42 AM »

Almost by definition, the (traditional) GM is in a position in which usage of mechanics makes very little difference to him. So, given that, can you offer any advice regarding GM color rewards that don't go all squishy?

To my mind?  Can't be done.  Or, rather, I haven't seen how to do it, and I have no idea where you'd even start.

Indeed, I see this as such an issue that I tend to look in the other direction:  Given that I need my GM to be influenced by the offer of mechanical reward, how can I change the role such that the usage of mechanics make a difference to how he plays the game.  But that's me.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2006, 09:56:01 AM »

Hey, :)

Given that I need my GM to be influenced by the offer of mechanical reward, how can I change the role such that the usage of mechanics make a difference to how he plays the game.
And that's more gold!

Alright, I'll be wrapping my brain around this one as well. Thanks, Tony!

So, if you or anyone else has more suggestions on this, do keep'em coming. :)

Cheers,
J.
Logged

url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 05:45:44 AM »

Quote
A) Does anyone have an opinion either way whether color rewarding mechanics belong in a game that aims to support a gamist CA?

I try to achieve something like that in my project, but I don't know about such a mechanics in a game that specifically aims to support gamist CA. I can think of such a mechanic that supports gamist approach, but in a game that is not explicitly focused on gamism.

Quote
B) Does anyone have any suggestions for one such mechanic?

What I'm thinking about is Exalted and its stunts mechanics. Running Exalted I recently realised that if not for the stunts our combats could just as well take place on a white, empty space and consist only from rolling the dice and counting successes. Stunts provide opportunities for using color tactically - if one provides color, he gains small mechanical bonus and recovers a certain amount of spent resources.

I'm not fully comfortable with that mechanic, though. First of all, it requires GM to be completely neutral, because if he tried to maintain an adversarial stance, there would be no reason for him to award stunt bonuses (and if he were overly helpfull, there would be no reason not to award them for anything). While I usually don't have problems with awarding stunt bonuses to the players, when it comes to awarding NPC's I always feel I'm not being fair. I've been thinking about some kind of stunt pool that would be available for GM every scene, from which he could award NPC's actions.

But as for the players I see stunt bonuses working in a similar way that lets say cover or aiming bonuses would work. In many mainstream games the only thing one needs to do is to declare "I'm taking cover" in order to gain cover bonus. In Exalted it goes like this:

-Player describes his action using special effects and the like - +1 die, recovery of 2 motes.
-Player uses environment in his narration - +2 dice, recovery of 4 motes or 1 temporary willpower.
-Player does something extremely cool - +3 dice, recovery of 6 motes or 1 temporary willpower (or 1 xp in the new edition).

Only the third one is completely subjective - as for the first and second kind of award I see player trying to describe his action in an interesting way as if he was declaring "I take cover". And if someone tries some trick the second time, he simply doesn't get an award.

Of course, there's no reason for creative player not to stunt his every action - but that's the point. It not as easy as it seems to use your environment in a fresh way every action, so it's not that players always get their +2 bonuses. Sometimes they are unable to achieve even +1 stunts, because they simply can't think of anything new they could do in a given situation.

Also, Wushu comes to my mind. In Wushu, effectiveness is based almost entirely on color. You are awarded one die for providing each "piece" of color, although the system doesn't take into account the quality of that color.

I can also think about 7th Sea and its Drama awards. After providing some interesting color player was awarded Drama, which he could spend to gain mechanicall bonuses, or save for xp.

Still, unless there's objective way to determine an award (like "taking cover" case in Exalted or Wushu), or person giving the awards is totally neutral, there seems to be need for some restrictions on awarding.
Logged

JMendes
Member

Posts: 379


WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 06:18:44 PM »

Hi, Filip, :)

First off, thanks for your suggestions and apologies for the late reply. I've been sick for the better part of two weeks, now, and I confess I've let my forum-fu slide...

Anyway, yeah, you seem to have hit on the major snags of the question, so let me address your more direct suggestions explicitly.

I'm somewhat familiar with Wushu and Exalted, and that won't fit so well. You see, Power Plays (as the game is now called) doesn't quite work in round-to-round, action-by-action fashion, and there really is no objective grounding that players can hang their color on. In any case, all that that objective grounding really is is color that was already there to begin with. I'm having a problem with utter lack of color, so no grounding.

As far as the person awarding being "totally neutral", well, that's the "squishy" thing that Tony was talking about earlier.

Anyway, again, thanks for your feedback. It certainly reinforces what Tony and I were already dancing around, which is that this is an extremely tricky subject.

Cheers,
J.
Logged

url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!