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Experience Dice question...

Started by Bankuei, June 22, 2002, 09:45:55 AM

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Bankuei

Yep, that's right Fang, you're going to get quite a few questions from me :P

So here goes the barrage of xp dice questions:

•How many/how often do you recommend handing out rewards?  Obviously this is based on Genre Expectation and the group, but any guides would help.

•If you find players using xp dice to boost rolls a lot, do you increase rewards, or do you just leave them ass out?

•Do you have major NPC's borrow xp dice against PC's?  This would seem to be a great way to do the classic "Major Wrong, Revenge, Comeback, Downfall" cycle you get in a lot of action movies and anime(All the Steven Segal movies, Fist of the Northstar, etc).  This could also lead to the NPC borrowing lots of dice to raise stats and then getting the comeuppance in the end("What? You mean limitless power costs my soul?!? Nooo!")

•If players are playing multiple characters, does each character have a seperate xp dice pool, or is it just the player's pool?  I know it's kind of a weird question, since its always the player who's earning the dice, but it could lead to interesting things as far as character advancement and luck.

Thanks,

Chris

Le Joueur

Quote from: BankueiYep, that's right Fang, you're going to get quite a few questions from me
I wouldn't have it any other way.  You go, girl.

Quote from: Bankuei
    [*]How many/how often do you recommend handing out rewards?  Obviously this is based on Genre Expectation and the group, but any guides would help.[/list:u]
      The answer to this question has a lot to do with why I have been struggling so much with the Genre Expectations Technique.  It's one of the components of the answer to it.

      Right now,
    it depends.  Rule of thumb: anytime something really cool happens.  You see it largely depends on what you think is fun.  If your group (and that'd be everyone) spends them a lot them, you give a lot of them.  If you have a bunch of horders who only like to use them at strategic moments, be stingy.  (Fairness issues will jump up real quick if you group is mixed of the extremes.)

    Since most of my runs have hardly any combat (one thing that creates a huge drain amongst the 'easy spenders') I tend to dole them out infrequently with a 'soft touch' (meaning everyone thinks they're easy to get, even though they don't as often).  Something significant happens that I like, gets one right away.  If the narrative 'turn a corner' in a way that really goes well with the play, reward it.  If something 'just sounds great,' it gets a die.

    The toughest part is getting the players to do this too.  I've found that once that happens the group quickly establishes its own 'normal frequency.'  Remember, outside of die resolution, Experience Dice are the currency of story control.  (Actually, it's starting to look like I need to tie the Experience Die Reward Technique to either 'expensive' Gamemasterful play or Joueur play 'difficulty.'  If the dice are more frequent than their use, they become worth less.)

    Second rule of thumb: do it more often than any one player.  On top of 'rewarding' the player-to-player exchange (if you even vaguely agree with a player's giving one, you give them replacement), you need to use it as an on-going 'carrot' to nudge play in the way you like.[/list:u]
    Quote from: Bankuei
      [*]If you find players using xp dice to boost rolls a lot, do you increase rewards, or do you just leave them ass out?[/list:u]
        Just try to be consistent.  If the players enter a period of exceptional spending, it means they want something.  Getting them to spend into the 'bank' once in awhile
      is a good thing.  If they keep spending a lot, adjust your rewards.  Just try to be the last to 'speed up' and the first to 'slow down.'[/list:u]
      Quote from: Bankuei
        [*]Do you have major NPC's borrow xp dice against PC's?  This would seem to be a great way to do the classic "Major Wrong, Revenge, Comeback, Downfall" cycle you get in a lot of action movies and anime (All the Steven Segal movies, Fist of the Northstar, etc).  This could also lead to the NPC borrowing lots of dice to raise stats and then getting the comeuppance in the end("What? You mean limitless power costs my soul?!? Nooo!")[/list:u]
          In a Self-Conscious narrative this works really well.  The only problem we've found is bookkeeping.  If you let the players hold a lot of Experience Dice from a number of villains, it can be hard to keep those characters in play enough to make those dice valuable (or to remember whose they are).[/list:u]
        Quote from: Bankuei
          [*]If players are playing multiple characters, does each character have a seperate xp dice pool, or is it just the player's pool?  I know it's kind of a weird question, since its always the player who's earning the dice, but it could lead to interesting things as far as character advancement and luck.[/list:u]
            The original reason we kept it to 'just the player' was again for bookkeeping.  If a player wants to delegate the dice to the characters related to when they earned them, that's perfectly fine (it often comes up in Self-Sovereign sharing); it just has to be each player's decision.[/list:u]I hope that sheds a bit more light on the issues.  I know it's helping me get a better grip on what needs to be explained in the rewards Techniques.  Thank you.

            Fang Langford
          Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!

          Bankuei

          Great, thanks a lot.  Again, pretty much on the same lines as what I was thinking, but I just wanted to double check and see what your playtests have poured forth.

          Chris