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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 153 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Dust Devils: Altering the Devil Rating  (Read 2778 times)
Matt Snyder
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« on: August 01, 2002, 09:46:33 AM »

Now that I've got the very funky octaNe layout (mostly) underwraps, I'm making my last pass through Dust Devils. It now weighs in around 9,000 words, and will include an introductory/sample scenario idea called The Hanged Man. That's what I'll be demo-ing that at the con (can't wait for the con!!!).

Anyway, here's a thought I had regarding the Devil rating. Ron suggested that players rate the Devil from 1-3 before each session as an indicator of how much the Devil is riding a feller. This rating indicates how many more or fewer cards characters receive in conflicts related to their Devils. All well and good. The game incorporates that now.

But I was thinking, what if you want to alter than in mid-game (especially just before or after intense moments)? Should I allow players to alter their Devil ratings by spending Chips on a 1:1 basis?

I ask because I'm of two minds on this one. On the one hand, I like the idea of being able to adapt to a surprising, dramatic development in the middle of a game.

On the other, I don't want folks to abuse the Devil mechanic in each session.  Perhaps I can limit changing the Devil to once or twice a session?
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2002, 10:10:59 AM »

Hi Matt,

It strikes me that the Devil may work best as a relatively non-labile game mechanic. I know that sounds odd from the person who suggested a change-able Devil value in the first place, but I do think that dealing with fixed value per session is most suited to the game.

My reasoning is this: right now, resolution has two metagame influences acting on it all the time - the Chips and the Devil. The Chips are pretty labile - they go up & down all the time, based on Stakes being offered in resolutions and spendings during tricky situations. The Devil is more or less fixed, as it stands right now, with the all-important proviso that its influence on a given resolution is either positive or negative.

If you permit the Devil to be changed through the expenditure of Chips, you've set up an exchange rate that makes a big difference in play. That Chip that was spent is now a permanent part of the game. It's changed from a positive to a positive/negative. Furthermore, the Devil now becomes a dial that one can twiddle in conjunction with garnered Chips, producing big booms and crashes in the player's metagame privileges.

I'm not saying such a rule is a good thing or a bad thing. But it is the sort of thing that potentially ruins game designs when it's thrown in at the eleventh hour (or the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute), without being extensively tested across several groups.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2002, 10:34:34 AM »

Sound logic...save it for a web suggestion.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2002, 10:56:41 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Sound logic...save it for a web suggestion.


Here, here. I was a ridin' the fence, which is why I posted here, naturally. Consider it a d-group optional rule only! Heh.

( EDIT: I should have added, Ron, that specifically what cinched it for me was your observation that the mechanic would be converting the currency from a positive to a positive/negative issue. Thanks.

Sheesh! Last minute craziness -- I chalk it up to the fact that I've put somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 hours of work on freelance gigs in the last four weeks or so. What day is it, anyway?!?)

Matt
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

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