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Author Topic: [Hierarchy] Explain Quests to me, please?  (Read 3139 times)
Ben Lehman
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« on: March 24, 2006, 04:04:05 AM »

So I just read through the latest version of Troy's excellent Hierarchy game, and this time through I'm really getting it.  The basic idea is pretty cool.  I'm really uncertain about the conflict resolution, but I believe your earlier threads that it works in practice.

I have a couple of questions about Quests, though:

1) Why would I ever want to take on any quest other that Protecting my Precious or Discovering my Talisman?  Basically, these are the only two quests that seem to have any mechanical effect.

2) Is there any restriction to providing opposition to the Quests, or is that purely up to the GM in question?  If there isn't, I don't see why I wouldn't just use one die (if I wanted the other guy to win), or 1000 dice (if I wanted the other guy to lose.)  This strikes me as a rather odd way to play the game, but it would definitely be the most productive strategically.  Why should I, as a mini-GM, leave things to chance?

I have some suggestions about things that you might change, but I'm not certain that these are, indeed, problems.  Troy?  Any explanations which will make me go "of course, you had to do it that way!"
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2006, 05:09:59 AM »

Heya Ben :)

Quote
So I just read through the latest version of Troy's excellent Hierarchy game, and this time through I'm really getting it.  The basic idea is pretty cool.  I'm really uncertain about the conflict resolution, but I believe your earlier threads that it works in practice.

I have a couple of questions about Quests, though:

-I very much appreciate the compliment, and I can answer your questions no prob.

1)  I don't think you would want to undertake any other kind of quest mechanically speaking.  Those are the only two that provide any kind of benefit.  However, I don't want to close the door on players either if there's something else out there they want to explore.  I want to ask you, though, do you think I should close the door and say only Talisman and Precious quests allowed?  Or instead, should I offer other kinds of quests to do?

2)  Using only one die is a sneaky approach that I hadn't considered.  But since the dice pools are equalized before bidding and matching occurs, I don't see too many problems arising.  If you're a GM and you are playing an NPC and you roll a bucket of d8's, then perhaps you can score enough 8's or 7's to top a PC's handfull of d10's.  However, the PC might be able to score a hit then run himself out of dice somehow and still come up with a victory.  Still, do you suggest creating some kind of arbitrary limit on the number of dice that can be rolled for an NPC?  I'm open to it if you think that will make a difference. 

The resolution system is built off Dogs in the Vineyard, just without the Fallout.  Instead, extra dice just cary over into the next conflict in a distant cousin to Sorcerer kind of way.  So I believe it will work out.

Quote
I have some suggestions about things that you might change, but I'm not certain that these are, indeed, problems.

-I'm always open to suggestions.  I'm still pretty new at desiging games, so feel free to give any kind of feedback. :)

Peace,

-Troy

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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2006, 06:10:32 AM »

Okay...

So here's a thing to totally take with a grain of salt, because it's how I would design your game.

I totally want to have more types of quests!  Particularly quests that help other people, like I can do a quest that gives my Shogun bonus dice against the boss, or a quest to give someone else honor or even give someone else victory.  Or maybe I can do a quest to increase my honor but I also increase someone else's honor just by trying.  Or even, maybe special for Samurai, difficult quests that give VP.

I would totally do it like this:

Quest Type: Protect my Precious
Requirements: Once per mission
Opposition Range: 3-7
Reward: +1 Honor for you
Failure: -1 Honor for you
Description: You try to protect your Precious against the forces that would harm it.

And do like, five of them.

Quest Type: Daimyo's Order
Requirements: Samurai Caste, a Daimyo agrees
Opposition Range: 3-5
Reward: +1 honor to you and the Daimyo
Failure: -1 honor to you and -1 VP to the Daimyo
Description: You undertake a special mission that your Daimyo can only entrust to you.

yrs--
--Ben
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2006, 09:27:29 AM »

Heya,

Quote
I totally want to have more types of quests!  Particularly quests that help other people, like I can do a quest that gives my Shogun bonus dice against the boss, or a quest to give someone else honor or even give someone else victory...

-This is what I needed for the game, I think, Ben.  Hierarchy is a game that has a certain lack of structure to it at the moment- especially while on a quest.  I need more, and this gives it to me.  I think this is the kind of thing that Ron talked about in the Origonal Feedback Thread.  The "Seeking Your Fortune" part of the game does need more help.  I really like your suggestion a lot, Ben.  Look for me to incorperate it.  Thanks, bro. :)

Peace,

-Troy
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 07:35:15 AM »

Hi,

As a possibly related recommendation, I suggest diminishing the time and detail spent on character creation in the current rules text. The differences among scores, in particular, seem like a time and effort sink. It seems to me as if choices made about which quests you'll go on, and whom you betray or help, are a far better indicator of "playing my character" than diddling around with choices about where to put points.

A little bit of differentiating seems useful, but only about the most important concerns during play. I suggest that only Honor vs. "Everything Else" be scores, per character.

Best, Ron
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 07:47:56 AM »

As far as scores go, I would take a cue from Hearts and make sure that every score has its own unique qualities.

For instance:
Combat: The PvP score.
Spirit: The "find your talisman" score.
Subtlety: The "there is nothing special about this score" score.

yrs--
--Ben
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2006, 04:26:31 AM »

Heya Ben (and everybody),

I've worked on the quests some.  Give me your thoughts on these and whether or not they are the type of thing what you were looking for:

Quote
Quest Type: Protect the Precious
Requirements: May only be performed once per Quest
Opposition Range: 3-9 dice
Reward: +1 Honor for you
Failure: -1 Honor for you
Description: You must protect your Precious against forces that would harm it.

Quest Type: Discover your Talisman
Requirements: You may use only our Spirit stat for all contests.
Opposition Range: 6-12 dice
Reward: You discover your Talisman and gain the bonuses from it.
Failure: -1 Honor for you
Description: Your character undertakes a Spiritual Quest to get in touch with his ancestors.

Quest Type: Daimyo's Order
Requirements: Samurai Caste, a Daimyo agrees
Opposition Range: 4-7
Reward: +2 Honor to you and +1 honor to the Daimyo on the Quest
Failure: -1 Honor to you and -1 VP to the Daimyo
Description: You undertake a special mission that your Daimyo can only entrust to you.

Quest Type: Learn from the Master
Requirements: May only be performed once per Quest
Opposition Range: 2-6
Reward: +1 to any Asset
Failure: -1 Honor to you
Description: You search out a Guru who will help you hone your skills.

Quest Type: Illumination
Requirements: May only be performed once per Quest
Opposition Range: 2-6
Reward: +1 to any Stat
Failure: -1 Honor to you
Description: You search out a Priest who will guide you to new self-enlightenment.

Quest Type: Palace Treachery
Requirements: Samurai or Shogun Caste only
Opposition Range: 5-10
Reward: Gain 1 bonus die during all Challenges during the Uprising.
Failure: You must subtract the higher die result you get for all Challenges during the Uprising.
Description: You set traps and pay informants in the palace to gain an unfair advantage against your rivals.

Quest Type: Assist the Daimyo
Requirements: Samurai or Shogun Caste only
Opposition Range: 3-5
Reward: Daimyo gains an additional 1d10 during the Climax of the Quest.
Failure: You gain a wound may not lend any assistance to the Daimyo for the duration of the current Quest.
Description: You secure a relic or other asset the Daimyo will need to defeat his foe.

Quest Type: Hope for the Villagers
Requirements: May only be performed by the Daimyo
Opposition Range: 6-12
Reward: +1 to Honor and +1 VP
Failure: -2 Honor to you
Description: You help save a village from a disaster the Emperor is unaware of and earn their loyal support.

Quest Type: Fulfill Prophecy
Requirements: May only be performed once per Quest
Opposition Range: 5-9
Reward: +1 VP
Failure: -2 honor to you
Description: You must find an ancient text in the Palace records and then fulfill its commands.

Quest Type: Treasure Hunt
Requirements: May only be performed once per Quest
Opposition Range: 2-6
Reward: Gain 1 new Asset.
Failure: -1 honor to you
Description: You search out a hidden treasure that will add to your arsenal of skills and resources.

Peace,

-Troy
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2006, 06:28:12 AM »

Troy --

This is awesome.  I'm now totally psyched about this game.  I'm only sad that I can't get a big enough group to playtest it with right now.  I'll see if I can teach it to some Chinese grad students over the next couple of months.

yrs--
--Ben
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2006, 01:16:52 AM »

Heya,

Troy --

This is awesome.  I'm now totally psyched about this game.  I'm only sad that I can't get a big enough group to playtest it with right now.  I'll see if I can teach it to some Chinese grad students over the next couple of months.

yrs--
--Ben

-Great, Ben!  Just so ya know, the game can be played without any Samurai at all.  So the real minimum is like five or six players.  I still realize that isn't a small group, but that might help you some.  I really appreciate your interest :)

Peace,

-Troy
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2006, 12:50:39 AM »

Troy --

A couple of further thoughts.

It would be cool if some of these quests had mandatory attributes or bonuses/penalties for using certain attributes.
It would be cool to have quests which two people have to go on together.

yrs--
--Ben
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2006, 01:50:19 AM »

Heya,

Troy --

A couple of further thoughts.

It would be cool if some of these quests had mandatory attributes or bonuses/penalties for using certain attributes.
It would be cool to have quests which two people have to go on together.

-Yes, it definately would :)  I especially like the two people working together idea.  I'll set to work on that and maybe post an updated version of the game in a few days.  I very much appreciate your ideas, Ben.  I imagine that even after I get this game finished and in print, people will come up with more quests.  I'm thinking about making a spot on my website for extra quests similar to what Vincent does with Towns for Dogs.  I think it would be a nice little resource for players.

Peace,

-Troy
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