*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 23, 2019, 05:19:16 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: [Way of the Agent] A rule - Should I Keep it?  (Read 1433 times)
Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


WWW
« on: September 24, 2009, 06:32:34 AM »

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep.

Question: If another character is playing a conflict and they are in the limelight, would you get bored if you could only affect the outcome, but not actually intercede?

Background (If I lose you here, ask me to explain): 'Way of the Agent' is Spies + Kung Fu in a world of underdogs.  Conflicts are resolved using Action Points (APs), where components of your actions have AP costs and deal AP damage. E.g. You begin an argument with 12 AP to use per round.  In a row, you call your opponent a 'whore' which costs you 3AP.  It is successful, and your opponent suffers 4AP damage (reducing her capacity to retort in the following rounds). She attacks back, telling you that you're confusing her with your mother, which costs her 2 AP... Etc., until there are no more APs to spend this round.

Short explanation. Trying. To. Be. Brief.

Sleepless Night Rule 1: Limelight
Instead of sequential turns where one player acts, then another, etc. I could use sequential bursts of turns.  This would be called being in the Limelight.  In the Limelight, there are only two parties in competition.  E.g. 3 PCs face off against an army of Goons*.  The GM advises the first player around the table that she is in the 'Limelight'.  Now the player faces off the Goons on her own, for one round.  She has 14 AP to use, while the Goons have 9 AP.  Once all the AP are used, the Limelight is shifted to the next player around the table.  Now this player combats the Goons, etc.

Sleepless Night Rule 2: Buddy Points
During character creation, you set up links to other characters (like Spirit of the Century).  There is a big pool of tokens called Buddy Points on the table.  If you are linked with a character in the Limelight, you can give that character Buddy Points from the pool (limited by the links).  They help lots in conflicts.  The player donating Buddy Points must declare how they are contributing to the action to help the Limelight character. E.g. Sly Dynamite is in the Limelight, fighting Goons with his old friend, Billy Tornado.  Billy Tornado knows that Sly is in trouble.  He has 3 links to Sly Dynamite, so he can give up to 3 Buddy Points to Sly Dynamite for this Limelight.  He describes to the GM how he throws a sheet over the Goons, blinding them momentarily, and offers the 3 Buddy Points from the pool.

I Like: That Limelight mimics movie moments (bursts of actions vs. single actions) / That character generation promotes interconnection
I Don't Like: That players might have to wait a few minutes while another player gets all the action

Assuming you understand what the hell I'm on about, do you think waiting for action is a problem?

*N.B. Goons are numberless enemies with standard attributes for conflict (combat, debate, etc.)
Logged

Aapov
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 08:11:44 AM »

I like the mechanic, and I don't think you have anything to worry about with the limelight. In all the games I've played there is generally one character in the "limelight" during the action and everyone else is waiting their turn. Granted, in your system players may have to wait a little longer, but I think your Buddy Point concept will have the other characters paying attention and interested in what's going on.
Logged
Chris Flood
Member

Posts: 35


« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 09:50:08 AM »

I don't think it would be a problem, especially since you've built in the connections. Although I've never played it, Primetime Adventures can put a single character in the "Limelight" for an entire session, and it seems to be a fairly well-received game.
Logged
JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 06:13:15 PM »

Waiting for action by itself isn't a problem. Not to be too facetious, but that's called taking turns!

If you do wait, it's good to have a reason to listen, to be an audience rather than playing your on your ds/phone! Now this can be stuff like you've suggested, actions you can take to affect their turn, or it can be stuff they do that must be responded to, or can be used as a resource.

One thing I couldn't work out when looking at your game is what the incentive is not to spend the mathematical optimum points in every turn of the conflict? Say if the system is points spent+1, the logical response is to spend points one at a time to maximise your bonus, or (if there is no maximum spend on points), for the person who goes first to spend one less than their opponents action point total, in order to burn them out streight away.

Is the incentive in other direction that you're not really into zeroing their score so much as narrating your moves. And if not, why are they attached?

Basically, I don't quite get that part of the system yet, and how it is supposed to shape player's actions.
Logged
Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 02:39:25 AM »

Quote
the logical response is to spend points one at a time to maximise your bonus
Hi JoyWriter.  You raised an interesting point for conflict strategy.  Thanks for your feedback.  I've thought about the strategy and I'd like to respond with assurances.  When two characters compete, there is an exchange of physical or social attacks.  The type of attack a character can use is limited to that character's assets (kung-fu moves, taunts, bluffs, etc.).  These assets are generated during character creation and advancement.  Every type of action has a varying action point cost.  E.g. A Choke Hold costs 5 Action Points (AP), while a Snap Kick costs 2AP.  Lower AP cost is offset by other penalties.  The damage, odds of success, and other side effects are individual to each attack.  As each attack offers its own set of bonuses and penalties, deciding to use the action with the lowest AP cost in repetition may not serve any great advantage.  E.g. During a debate, I can blather quick thoughts to harry my opponent.  In game terms, this kind of social attack may be quick, but it wouldn't do much damage.  It might be better to collect my thoughts, find a hole in the semantics of the argument and then deliver something more potent.

Quote
Basically, I don't quite get that part of the system yet, and how it is supposed to shape player's actions.
This was explored during a recent Podcast.  Maybe you listened to that already and found it confusing?  I wouldn't blame you.  I'll try to answer your question here.  During social conflict, players use a different kind of attack, and this offers more control during social conflict.  Players determine how they will interact with their opponent and then choose how much damage they will cause if they are successful.  By choosing the damage, they also choose the modifiers to success and the AP cost.  There is a small chart on every character sheet which tells the player how to resolve the action according to the damage dealt.  E.g. My character insults the mayor of the city at a press conference.  He wants to do a lot of damage, so I say it will do 5 damage.  I check on the chart on my character sheet, which tells me that a damage 5 social attack costs 4 AP and has a -3 success probability.

In Way of the Agent, I try to offer a sympathetic mechanic for social and physical conflict.  Therefore, the aim is to allow players to interactive with the narrative, but at the same time to curb their actions according to their character's strengths and weaknesses.  As this is a game of spies and kung-fu, lots of that will be explored mid-air with guns and kicks.  Sometimes there will be a see-saw between generalisation and specificity, and I wanted a system that could be used for both.

Changes you inspired
I have edited the AP costs for social attacks, so that it is more a trade off of 'Success Odds vs Damage', than 'Action Point vs. Damage'.  Thanks for your insight.
Logged

whiteknife
Member

Posts: 118


« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 02:02:03 PM »

Yeah, if anything it seems like with your buddy point rules you're actually giving people more to do on other players turns, not less. And even those games with less are fine with the wait. As long as what the other people are doing is interesting, they'll endure the wait (especially if it has a chance to effect them).
Logged
Sebastian K. Hickey
Member

Posts: 141


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 02:06:30 AM »

Thanks for your feedback.  It looks like this is less less of a turn off than I expected.  I'll run with it.
Logged

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!