*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 23, 2019, 06:54:03 PM

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: [Nine Worlds] Gaming Talismans  (Read 4332 times)
boredoom
Member

Posts: 33


« on: September 12, 2006, 03:36:01 PM »

As mentioned in a previous thread, I have 14 points with which to buy a talisman. Thinking about how to distribute them, I got into a gamey mindset. Three main options presented themselves:

Option 1: Power 6, All four Urges at 2 ("Middle of the road")

Option 2: Power 14, All four Urges at 0 ("Max Power")

Option 3: Power 6, One Urge at 8, all other Urges at 0 ("Max Chaos")

The first two options seem at first glance to be a wash - putting points into Power and Urges seem to be equally effective, since a point of Power yields one more card, which has a one-in-four chance of adding to the suite that's already most numerous in the hand, while each point put into Urges has a one-in-four chance of adding to the Fate number.

But it doesn't quite work that way: adding more cards to the hand increase the chance of getting a larger suite more than you'd expect. I wasn't able to work out the probablities, but I did write a little program to simulate this:

Testing Option 1: 6 cards in hand, 10000 hands
largest suite 2 cards: 3495 times
largest suite 3 cards: 4991 times
largest suite 4 cards: 1309 times
largest suite 5 cards: 197 times
largest suite 6 cards: 8 times
Average of largest suite: 2.8232

With the addition of an Urge at level 2, this would give an average Fate value of 4.8

Testing Option 2: 14 cards in hand (Power 14), 10000 hands
largest suite 4 cards, 1386 times
largest suite 5 cards, 4176 times
largest suite 6 cards, 2879 times
largest suite 7 cards, 1094 times
largest suite: 8 cards, 366 times
largest suite 9 cards, 85 times
largest suite 10 cards, 13 times
largest suite 11 cards, 1 times
largest suite: 12 cards, 0
largest suite 13 cards, 0
largest suite 14 cards, 0
Average of largest suite: 5.519

No Urge would be added to the largest suite in Option 2, but the average still beats Option 1's average Fate value of 4.8. Also, Option 2 makes for a talisman that's tougher to destroy, because of its high Power, and generates roughly twice as many points (face cards).

In Fate terms, they're both beat by Option 3, which would have an average Fate value of around 9.3 or so. The downside here is that the talisman is less tough than Option 2, and it generates fewer points, which are less useful because they're all of one kind. However, it might capture a lot of points from opponents, and option 3 roundly beats Option 1 in any case.

So the choice seems to be between the narratively flexible Option 2, Max Power, and the predictable but more effective Option 3, Max Chaos.



Logged
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2006, 04:14:28 PM »

This analysis is REALLY cool.

However, one simple point to keep in mind -- you can add to a Talisman's ratings with additinoal pride. If memory serves, it's a simple 1:1 buy, and there are no real limits.

I'd opt for more Power, because no Muses will quickly make even a Power 6 Talisman nearly useless. Nice to know the numbers bear this out.

The lower power option leads to a strange effect in actual play that tends to happen. One player makes a nigh-useless Talisman that keeps losing conflicts. Other players, then, shy away from Talismans, thinking they aren't worth the effort. The problem is that players don't realize how astoundingly powerful they can become over time (or, possibly, as a player saves and saves a ton of Pride).

Outside of the excellent number crunching here, think of what that Talisman represents in the fiction! The numbers can really color what form the Talisman takes. Maybe that 14 Power, 0 Urge thing is something primordial -- I don't know, maybe a vial of Titan's blood. Maybe an actual "dead" Titan or beast. Cool. Contrariwise, a Power 6, Chaos 6 Talisman sounds to me like a weapon. Something destructive, anyway.

Interesting aside -- can you make a wimpy talisman your OWN opponent, thus upping your Points chances? The rules as written do not disallow this, but I never considered it until just now. Just think! A Stormbringer-like Talisman that you're actually wrestling against! They only caveat I'd insert is that at least one other opponent must be involved. Just 'cause I say so, darn it.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
boredoom
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2006, 05:12:40 PM »


The lower power option leads to a strange effect in actual play that tends to happen. One player makes a nigh-useless Talisman that keeps losing conflicts. Other players, then, shy away from Talismans, thinking they aren't worth the effort. The problem is that players don't realize how astoundingly powerful they can become over time (or, possibly, as a player saves and saves a ton of Pride).

Yeah, with the right choices, even this talisman, which I'm generating just from the first session's Pride, will be able to kick butt!

Outside of the excellent number crunching here, think of what that Talisman represents in the fiction! The numbers can really color what form the Talisman takes. Maybe that 14 Power, 0 Urge thing is something primordial -- I don't know, maybe a vial of Titan's blood. Maybe an actual "dead" Titan or beast. Cool. Contrariwise, a Power 6, Chaos 6 Talisman sounds to me like a weapon. Something destructive, anyway.

That's a cool way of thinking of it. Having a talisman with a single strong urge certainly gives it personality.


Interesting aside -- can you make a wimpy talisman your OWN opponent, thus upping your Points chances? The rules as written do not disallow this, but I never considered it until just now. Just think! A Stormbringer-like Talisman that you're actually wrestling against! They only caveat I'd insert is that at least one other opponent must be involved. Just 'cause I say so, darn it.

... or maybe the talisman is a sometimes recalcitrant servant, who needs to put in his place now and then!
Logged
boredoom
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 06:27:51 AM »

Running the algorithm further, it appears that if Power is 4, adding one more point of Power increases the average size of the large suite by a little less than a half a point, from 2.1 to 2.5. So two Power points increase the average Fate value by almost one point - clearly a better investment than spreading it over Urges, which only increase the average Fate value by one point for each four points put into them.

As Power increases, there is a slight effect of diminshing returns: at Power 40, adding another point of Power only increases the size of the average suite by a third of a point. So three Power points adds one point to the average Fate value. Still a pretty good deal.
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 08:13:29 AM »

Hello,

As another angle on this general question of Talismans, our group discovered that a Talisman allows the player to participate in a conflict from different angles. In many cases, that forces an opponent to prioritize. The Talisman is weaker, but the opponent really doesn't want it to accomplish what it's doing, so it has to commit to defending against it ... which can leave the Archon with a clear path to accomplishing what he or she wants to do, unopposed or less so.

So it's not always raw effectiveness that characterizes the utility of Talismans. A character who uses Arete to build up massive scores and urges and stuff seems more consistently powerful than a Prideful talisman-slinger ... but in a complex conflict situation, the latter is usually the one who gets his way by hook or crook by having all the Talismans engage at slightly different angles of activity, even if the character's personal action is soundly defeated.

Best, Ron
Logged
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2006, 08:42:56 AM »

Ron's dead right, but it's worth explaining something here.

He's not talking about an opponent having to divide up numerical resources or some such. That just isn't possible in the game -- it's all or nothing.

What Ron is talking about (I'm pretty sure) is complicating GOALS. Players can benefit greatly by having more than one goal at their disposal.

To explain a bit more how nasty this is, consider: It is possible to frame a goal that resolves an opponent's Muse. Think how nasty you can get when you can do this in more than one way in a scene? VERY nasty. It is also quite a mental challenge to figure out how to set such goals and narrate them. It's one of the coolest strategy aspects of the game.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Iskander
Member

Posts: 226

Alexander Newman


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2006, 07:58:04 PM »

Waaaaaah! Stop helping Peter! ::prepares to bust out Herakles::

OK, now that's over, Peter did you take into account the effects of having the Talisman suck the life out of your deck? I'm way too tired to do the math, but I suspect you expose yourself to situations where your Talisman has the strong cards in the Urge you want to use.

Not to diminish the delicious gaminess of the conversation, but as Matt said, you should be prepared to colour your choices when you come to spend them. What do they represent for the Heli (if that's what you use them for)?
Logged

Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

- Samyutta Nikaya III, 14
boredoom
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2006, 03:49:49 PM »

Waaaaaah! Stop helping Peter! ::prepares to bust out Herakles::

Relax, I'm just exploring the true meaning of Hubris.

OK, now that's over, Peter did you take into account the effects of having the Talisman suck the life out of your deck? I'm way too tired to do the math, but I suspect you expose yourself to situations where your Talisman has the strong cards in the Urge you want to use.

That shouldn't matter if the order of cards in the deck is random. It might matter in some situations if I've counted the cards that have come up and know more or less what's in a depleted deck, but then I can presumably chose whether to draw first for the Talisman or character before reshuffling.

Not to diminish the delicious gaminess of the conversation, but as Matt said, you should be prepared to colour your choices when you come to spend them. What do they represent for the Heli (if that's what you use them for)?

I'll probably stick to the gaminess and decide first how I want the points distributed, then decide what the Talisman represents. Could be Heli, the Atlantean ship, or its Enigma Engine, which might be able to do a lot of things besides computing the course for the secret location of Atlantis, or my son, who like Telemachos is making his way toward me as I make my way toward him.
Logged
boredoom
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2006, 01:15:28 PM »

Update: I created Power 14 Talisman, the Enigma Engine, an Atlantean mechanical computer that's both the key to finding Atlantis and a key component of Celestial Compass. I must say it worked out very poorly: it lost every single conflict I brought it into. Rather than helping me, it helped my opponents by supplying them with Points.

I should have made it something like Power 6, Cosmos 8. Then it would have won every conflict, I think. Or I should just have saved the Pride points until I had more to spend on a Talisman - they would have been useful in bidding for Trump in the meantime.
Logged
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2006, 03:07:21 PM »

Live and learn, alas. Remember, you can improve the Talisman.

And, well, nevermind that the concept is AWESOME! Enigma Engine? Very cool.
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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!