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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: class control  (Read 2161 times)
Ollog Herder
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Posts: 16


« on: July 23, 2002, 08:04:24 PM »

maybe, if we want to keep using classes, there's a way for advancement to make sense. however, you have to bend over backwards for it to work, and in light of it, classes don't make sense anymore.
somebody (sorry! i forget who) said that his thief could pick god's pocket but still fight poorly. the advancement to this point came from fighting poorly a lot for EXP rather than using the pickpocketing (something the char. was good at).
essentially, it would only make sense for a class to automatically progress along certain lines if those were the lines followed.
for example:
if a wizard doesn't fight but always casts magic, he levels up. if he does other stuff, he should get very little EXP. thieves should get a bit more EXP than wizards for fighting, but only rake it in for sneaking, or stealing, or opening locked things. clerics get a bit more EXP than thieves for fighting, but would still get their biggest haul from turning undeadoor healing. fighters would get a ton of EXP for fighting, but very little for doing other things.
now, doesn't this sound silly?
yes. it does :)
conceivably, one could have EXP "areas": fighting, magic use, clerical stuff, and thiefy stuff. but then, that just breaks down into skills or something.
so yes, classes aren't very realistic. one thing i do like about them is that you can *instantly* tell a lot about a character's stats from a few words. if i say "15th level fighter", you can pull out a dusty d&d tome and get a read-out on what that fighter can do. but that's not terribly useful, just fun in a *brain goes ping* kind of way. you exert your mastery over the rules, but lose out in all other areas of game play. :P
what really fries me about classes is two-fold: one, seeing a list of classes makes it hard for a lot of players to devise character concepts outside the class concepts. two, if you do have an original idea, you can *approximate* it at best. 3ed&d is definitely more customizable than previous editions, but the limitations are there.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2002, 08:57:28 PM »

Ollog,

The idea's not that silly - in fact, that was the system for experience for 2nd edition AD&D, which was largely ignored. Fighting still was the majority of experience, but each class got bonus experience for doing their thing (fighters got an extra +10% of monster-killin' experience, wizards got 100xp per level of spell they cast, etc.)
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2002, 08:36:38 AM »

Hi folks,

I'm cutting this one a little close to the bone, but I'd really like to keep the various "class" threads segregated properly in time, in terms of their placement on the page. Therefore I'm clipping out these last two posts into their own thread.

This is uncharacteristically tight, in terms of the allowable time, but there you are.

Uneasily feeling a bit heavy-handed, but not able to come up with a better solution,
Best,
Ron
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Skippy
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2002, 09:19:31 AM »

I think this (newly circumcised) thread perfectly illustrates a point I was illiterately trying to make in another thread: character advancement vs role advancement.

If the structure of the social contract is such that character advancement is equal to role advancement, then it may be perfectly acceptable to have a thief that can "pick God's pocket", but who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper sack.  Likewise, if the contract is such that ability is secondary, targeted experience factors are not an effective reward.

I'm purposely trying to avoid GNS vs system with this, but there is an overtone of that as well.  

It seems to me that the purpose of any character advancement is continued role advancement (i.e. player involvement, although not necessarily on-screen time.)  If you aren't going to improve or maintain your interest in the game, what is the point of advancement?

Hmm.  Maybe I need to go bombard the GNS forum.

Skippy[/quote]
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Scott Heyden

"If I could orally gratify myself, you'd have to roll me to work."
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2002, 09:55:29 AM »

Hey there,

These are some of the references to check out in getting into this topic:

Player-induced rewards
Character vs. player rewards
Reward system, or making your players behave (this thread is misleadingly named - lots of good stuff in here)
Rewarding players
Rewards
Rewarding Color

Best,
Ron
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Ollog Herder
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2002, 12:34:10 PM »

this was really supposed to be a discussion about classes, not rewarding characters. so back up off with your links, man! :)
anyway, if we could imagine classes to exist in the real world, there is at least the *potential* for usefulness. although fight club taught us that "you are not your job", when it comes to practically breaking down a person's attributes, what someone does for a living has an effect.
if we could compare Bob the Life Insurance Salesman and Jango the Pickpocket...

Bob's class is Salesman. (Life insurance is just a kit or speciality or whatever.) Instantly, we have a hint at how Bob makes money, what kind of person he comes across as, what he looks like, etc. He is good at convincing people to buy things, he's good at playing people's guilt against them (think of the children), and he's good at working with bureaucracies. he might have other skills too, but they don't increase his level as a Salesman.
Jango's class is Criminal, or Thief. From this, we can get a mental picture of him, know that he makes money illegally, etc. He's chosen to specialize in the criminality of filching things from people without their notice, but overall he can be considered not too far off from Bob in his trade. We know he's probably good at running from the cops, being sneaky, and blending into crowds to do his work.
But say you meet both of them at a party, and it turns out Bob likes S&M, while Jango is a big racquetball fan. Suddenly, Bob might have the skill "Torture", a high pain tolerance, and some freaky items in his equipment list. However, none of these things really help him as a Salesman. Jango is more detailed as well: he is probably quick on his feet, and healthy, and possessive of good hand-eye coordination. all of these things probably help him as a Criminal, especially as a Pickpocket. But his "Racquetball" skill and "YMCA membership" background are fairly useless for Thievish pursuits.
The point of all this?
A compromising idea.
It's fun for players to gain levels in their classes. So maybe we could leave that in. But the player wouldn't have to spend his level-up points (or whatever) solely on his class. He could buy whatever he wanted with them. However, to level up in his class, he'd have to meet certain requirements: specific scores in various abilities and skills, stuff like that. maybe to pass 14th level as a Cultist of the Dark Moon, you have to spend a week without letting any light touch your body.  
Anyway, instead of having a towering monolith that is the old-school class system in all its rigidity, you have a column with your choice of flowering vines growing up it. Who knows? Maybe your character advances slowly in his job but has a huge variety of "outside skills". it'd be a short column that's completely covered with vines and overgrowth.
this could lead to something similar to, but better than (in versatility) multiclassing. instead of simply giving yourself a new, rigid slot, you have whatever you put points in. somebody might have a "secret life" that acts like another job altogether, and this one could be a super-customized class. imagine being a soldier in the Royal Guard and working weekends as a breaking-and-entering man for a local fencer of goods.
still, i wonder. this "system" implies that you have a stable, consistent environment for your job/class. some jobs simply might not be like that. if you're the personal assassin of a mob boss, you don't exactly punch in a time clock. but then, if your job is fairly consistent or focused in the types of tasks it demands (which works well with specialization), it could still work.
thoughts?
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2002, 01:20:06 PM »

Quote from: Ollog Herder
thoughts?


Don't take this too harshly, but what's your point above? I can't see it. I see the point about "Hey - let me advance in other stuff besides my class!" but that point's hardly necessary. I can advance in stuff outside my class in many systems - the first one coming to mind being D&D.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Ollog Herder
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2002, 03:41:59 PM »

honestly, there wasn't a point to that idea. it was just a rambling thought that popped into my head.
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Skippy
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Posts: 43


« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2002, 08:01:42 AM »

A brief question: are you talking about a game like Rolemaster?  When your character goes up in level, he gets X development points.  The player makes every decision about how to distribute those points, and into which skills.  You also can allocate points for stat development.
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Scott Heyden

"If I could orally gratify myself, you'd have to roll me to work."
Ollog Herder
Member

Posts: 16


hmm
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2002, 12:36:50 PM »

actually, the only thing i know about rolemaster is it seems to have a cumbersome combat system. dunno.
upon reading this idea over a second time, it didn't make a lot of sense.
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Valamir
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2002, 12:48:38 PM »

Hey Ollag...sounds like you need to read your Sig again ;-)
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Ollog Herder
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2002, 01:08:40 PM »

yeah, what i really want to do is find some sort of middle ground between classes and free concepts.
i guess that an RPG that limits character concepts to things relevant to the game world is ideal. this is different from class-assignment in that a class is really a role that is free of particular in-game elements. true, not every game world could have wizards, or druids, or whatever, but certainly your average example of a class is not something limited to one, single campaign world.
free concepts, on the other hand, are also not tied to a campaign world. the game master could suggest certain elements for one's character, but really the campaign has no hold over what you choose to play.
in the middle we have things like Vampire, and Warhammer: FRP, and Earthdawn. While some of these worlds are more "rigid" than others (vampire being a great example), their choices for character creation aren't free concept and aren't classes.
i know they call them classes in Earthdawn, and somethign like that in Warhammer: FRP, but consider the fact that only the *concept* of an Air Sailor or dwarven Runner could be ported into another game. there is a history behind these roles that exists in the game.
anyway, i guess now the question remains:
do i need to create another example of this, or can i just play with what i already have (and own?)
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Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2002, 03:29:57 PM »

Quote from: Ollog Herder
...what i really want to do is find some sort of middle ground between classes and free concepts.


Why not take an example from real life, like the Saleman and Criminal you mentioned earlier? Aren't they really Occupations? Things that a person does a lot of, and what they answer to when you ask them, "and what do you do?"
"I'm a Computer Programmer,..."
"I'm a Marine Biologist."
"A Weapons designer for a swedish company, and I'm not allowed to tell you any more!"
"I'm a lawyer."
"I'm a landlord and and former soldier."
(To name some examples from people I know.)

Aren't these occupations best modelled by simply naming the occupation, and considering that the character/person has a level of skill in each skill used by the occupation?

Works for me and my fellow players.

I hope that helps!
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Andrew Martin
Ollog Herder
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2002, 08:24:28 PM »

good thinking.
i'll try that, and see if/how it works.
must... devise... plan...
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