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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [44] Questions  (Read 2816 times)
cdr
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Posts: 93


« on: December 26, 2007, 10:28:34 AM »

I'm looking forward to running 44 at Endgame! I have a couple of notes after reading the ashcan.

On p17 it doesn't mention what Program does, although later on it seems like it's used to set the Director's reserve.

Can you use Reserve dice in the same turn/scene you add them to your Reserve, or only future turn/scene?

On p48-49 when you roll Trust Fund vs. Motor Pool at the end of the turn, does that use up the existing dice, or does the amount won by just add dice equal to that result to the winning fund/pool?

On p61 it says when an Operative's Program rating hits 0 the Director's Control rating is reduced by 1, but the example on the next page says the Director's Program rating is reduced by 1.  I assume the latter is correct?

I only spotted two typos in the entire book.  On p50 "Trst", and on p61 there's an extraneous "page" in "see page Spending Remove Dice on page 55".  Even such teensy errors will no longer take place once the Machine has rationalized Humanity and ushered in the glorious new age.

Do you have a preference for whether people should email playtest questions and results to you, or post them here?  The game seems very playable on a read-through, and I really liked how the sidebar questions focused on things you particularly want feedback on.  I'm looking forward to running it!
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 01:29:51 PM »

I'm looking forward to running 44 at Endgame! I have a couple of notes after reading the ashcan.

Fantastic!

Quote
On p17 it doesn't mention what Program does, although later on it seems like it's used to set the Director's reserve.

That's mostly correct. It is indeed the number that "sets" the Director's Reserve (that is, the maximum  number of dice the Director OR an Operative can hold in Reserve. It is also the maximum number of Agents that may assist the Director OR the Operative in a given scene.


Quote
Can you use Reserve dice in the same turn/scene you add them to your Reserve, or only future turn/scene?

Only in future scenes.

Quote
On p48-49 when you roll Trust Fund vs. Motor Pool at the end of the turn, does that use up the existing dice, or does the amount won by just add dice equal to that result to the winning fund/pool?

Excellent question. You clearly need to be investigated by Section 44, you free thinker, you.

That scene-ending roll uses up the exsiting dice. Only the winning side of the scene emerges with dice in their collective pool in the next Countdown. The loser has 0 dice.

Quote
On p61 it says when an Operative's Program rating hits 0 the Director's Control rating is reduced by 1, but the example on the next page says the Director's Program rating is reduced by 1.  I assume the latter is correct?

You are correct. This is an error in the text. It should indicate that when an Operative loses Program, so does the Director.

Quote
I only spotted two typos in the entire book.  On p50 "Trst", and on p61 there's an extraneous "page" in "see page Spending Remove Dice on page 55".  Even such teensy errors will no longer take place once the Machine has rationalized Humanity and ushered in the glorious new age.

Well, you're already finding other errors, which I appreciate greatly! So, I'm sure there are a few more dissidents sabotaging Section 44's brilliant schemes. We'll stamp them out.

Quote
Do you have a preference for whether people should email playtest questions and results to you, or post them here?  The game seems very playable on a read-through, and I really liked how the sidebar questions focused on things you particularly want feedback on.  I'm looking forward to running it!

Either way is fine! I'm happy to see public postings, but if you prefer to contact me via email, that works fine, too.

Thanks very much for trying it out. I'm very excited to hear feedback, and then help turn 44 into a solid game.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2007, 01:34:14 PM »

IMPORTANT! The following is some additional post-playtest rules I added after GenCon. CDR, I'm not sure if you saw these already, but I urge you to use them in your play. For one, these additions need to be playtested. And, secondly, I believe (but can't confirm just yet) that they will make the game work better and make it more enjoyable for players.

I consider the first addition "The Conspiracy Grows" part of the text now. I haven't yet decided about the second suggestion "Denied!" but I do want to test it out, and have others do so.

(Note, this is me re-posting comments from a previous thread. A little reminder can't hurt!)

Playtest groups have encountered what I already knew was something to address with 44. The game's currency economy is a delicate thing. The balance can make the game one-sided and less fun. The one-sidedness can occur in either direction -- sometimes The Director overwhelms. Sometimes the players overwhelm the director.

So! Time to start fixing, and I have a great place to start. Those of you who picked up 44 at GenCon will want to check this out.

The Conspiracy Grows

Look for this section, The Conspiracy Grows, on page 23. It instructs the Director to increase Agents, add new Agents, increase Control rating or increase Program rating, all by 1 point. This rule was a specific fix to one-sided games where the players overwhelmed the Director. I've over-compensated it seems.

Try this instead: Allow the Director to ONLY increase Agents by 1 point per player scene. He can't add to the same agent twice in a row -- he has to add another Agent or create a new one. This will make for a large roster of nasty Agents! Keep 'em coming. And, remember, you can't use more Agents than your Program rating as Director (or as Operative).

The Director cannot use those The Conspiracy Grows "freebies" to increase his Qualties (i.e. Control and Program). The Director can still buy increases for Control and Program with Reserve dice, however.

Denied!

One more fix to try. Ralph Mazza came up with a brilliant idea. He recommends creating a mechanic during scene framing that lets the active player deny one Agent. That is, the player says, "Hey, Director, you CANNOT use Agent So-and-so in this scene." It would limit only one Agent.

To do so, the player must spend a Reserve die or use a Trust Fund die. There is no die value limit. Just spend any die.

(Ralph also recommended letting the Director deny one Bond for main characters, but I'm inclined to let this go.)

The Zero Hour

I have no fix for the Zero Hour (end game). I think The Conspiracy Grows fix may solve the problem of the players not being able to win if the Director gets ahead early and keeps growing. But, I'd like player groups to let me know if they just can't get any different results in the Zero Hour besides Replacement.

(EDIT: Added cost to Denying an agent!)
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

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

Posts: 93


« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2007, 01:50:05 PM »

I saw those but thanks for re-posting them in case I hadn't. I'll use them.

The Denied rule led me to try thinking of whether there could be a mechanic where higher-value agents
are easier to deny, to avoid tempting the Director to just pump up two agents (alternating increases since you can't increase the agent you increased last scene.)  So far I got nothing.

It makes sense that the Director wouldn't Deny bonds, though, because Section 44 wants to find out who can help you so they can replace them with robots too.  As you turn to people for help you're imperiling them, which is very nice.  I like that a lot.  Hmmm, I wonder if I could use it to run Fallen.  That might be fun.  But first I'll stick to robots.
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