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Author Topic: [Shock:] Fiddling with minutiae rules  (Read 5240 times)
Troels
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Posts: 77


« on: March 08, 2008, 06:49:08 AM »

Hello there

Last night I and a couple of friends played Shock:, and it was pretty cool, in the messed up way it's supposed to be. But discussing afterwards, we agreed on one thing, that we were somewhat aesthetically displeased by the extreme tendency of minutiae to decide conflicts.

Even with three players, where multiple players rolling for minutiae driving the minutiae die towards 4 wasn't an issue, it seemed, well, heavy. Minutiae are supposed to be important, but decisive on one side of the conflict, nearly all the time? We were a little annoyed. And being the kind of people who like to fiddle with things, we talked about tweaking. We came up with two different tweaks:

A) Reduce the weight of minutiae to one, and simply roll (d10s) for precedence.

B) Keeping the minutiae d4, but doubling everything else. D20s and d8s, fulcra of 6-15 or so. Which I just now realise will halve the chance of escalation.

Thoughts? Comments?

Yours, Troels
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 12:03:54 PM »

Can you tell me what the Praxes and fulcra were?
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Troels
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Posts: 77


« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 12:46:35 PM »

Um. Lets see...

Trust/Distrust and Duty/Morals. I don't recall the exact balances of all six *tags, and I don't have the notes, but they ranged all the way from moderate to extreme. It didn't seem to us, discussing afterwards, that the problem was "local", so to speak.

Yours, Troels
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 05:40:56 PM »

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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Greis
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Posts: 10


« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 01:23:03 PM »

Hiya,


I just happen to be one of Troels' fellow players, and I have the fulcra here.

Protag:
Martin Holz, entertainmentprogrammer: Trust 3 Distrust, Duty 7 Morals
Alan Babbage, employee for the UploadService: 6 and 6
Theodor van Arno, The Count of New York: 5 and 4

Antag:
The UploadService: Trust 7 Distrust, Duty 4 Morals
The UploadService: 8 and 3
The UploadService: 4 and 3

(Note: We chose on purpose to have the same antag. Each protag had his own version of the antag with it's own features and with it's own agenda.


BTW we only had one minutiae die rolling, we just concluded that with e.g. a five player you'd have three dice and hence a relatively large chance of rolling a least one '4'.

Also we like the use of the minutiae, since it keep the audience active and the added details are fun. It just seemed to influence the outcome too much.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 02:06:30 PM »

Wait, you're complaining about a *hypothetical* problem?
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Greis
Member

Posts: 10


« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2008, 02:17:35 PM »

Well, yes and no.


We're complaining about the large influence of the minutiae die. The hypothetical aspect is that with a larger audience the problem becomes more significant.

Often the single minutiae die were decisive in whatever conflict it was involved in.


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Troels
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Posts: 77


« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 02:52:45 PM »

Wait, you're complaining about a *hypothetical* problem?

Out of about ten scenes total, we didn't have minutiae in ~3 or 4, and in the rest, it failed to be decisive in no more than two cases, IIRC. And that was with only one audience member. So we thought, analysing afterwards, what'll it be like with three or four in the audience? So we started fiddling, as we mean to run Shock at a danish convention next week.

Yours, Troels
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 02:58:25 PM »

Ah! OK.

I'm perfectly happy with the likelihood of a single Minutia die. Those 5s and 6s make the Minutia die more powerful, though. If you don't want that, move the fulcra outward. The 3, 7, and 4, statistically speaking, keep the events more in the hands of the players.

Now, it comes down to luck pretty often. Shock: doesn't afford you a lot of control over the course of events of the story. That's because what's important is what you're *saying*, what you're fighting *about*, rather than whether or not you win.

Try it with the tie rule mentioned elsewhere. Let me know how it goes! (That is, all tied Minutia dice are taken off the table.)
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Greis
Member

Posts: 10


« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2008, 11:21:06 PM »

Just out of curiosity, doesn't it sort of go against the idea of the fulcrum if you pick your abilities at extreme end of the scale?

I sort of consider the two sides of the fulcra as two viable strategies, one which is favored by my character, and one which isnt', but if I need to pick abilities at the extreme end (like a 3 or 4), then the likelyhood of succeeding at anything with least favored is close to nil.

If this is purpose, then my strategy seems to be wether or not I want to succeed at anything - in the beginning of the game I might want to increase my features through defeat, hence choosing to roll less than 3, and later in the game I might want a happy end, hence choosing to roll above 3 with huge pool of dice.

Well, I know this all speculative, but I hope you could clarify some the intentions and strategies, this I wasn't aware of the importance of chance and luck in Shock. This is my first time with the 1.1-rules, and the permanent presence of the minutiae die was quite a change from the occasional minutiae die under the 1.0 rules.

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TempvsMortis
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Posts: 84


« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 03:06:32 PM »

I think the "tied dice cancel" rule would work, but I think that is a legitimate point that with enough spectators the chance of even one of them having a 4 increases. Maybe a voting system could work, where only one die is rolled, and then all of (or a majority of) the spectators have to decide what side that die affects. A system could probably be used to break ties. Or, the first conflict is assigned to one spectator, and then ever conflict after that is passed clockwise to the next spectator, this way still only one die is rolled, but everyone still gets to have a hand in affecting outcomes, but because it's turn based no-one steps on each other's toes.

Just suggestions.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 08:29:47 PM »

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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
TempvsMortis
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 08:43:52 PM »

Call me William then. And I also suggested a turn based method remember? Where authority is absolute, but passed around.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 08:45:52 PM »

There can be, max, three specators. I don't think it really matters. Most of the time there's one or two.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
TempvsMortis
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 08:49:14 PM »

I've actually been wondering this then: if there's supposed to be max 5 players, then how come the grid has five issue and five shock slots? Shouldn't it be four, because with five players the most you could have is four issues and a shock.
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