*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 25, 2014, 01:10:40 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 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 67 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [The Book of Threes] Welsh/Old English Inspired RPG of Loyalty, Wealth, and Glor  (Read 1574 times)
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« on: May 07, 2010, 01:16:26 AM »

Howdy,

   I've started a new thread now that my game has a proper working title, but prior discussion can be found at Celto Germania - Mythic Bronze Age Roleplaying, including a discussion of the conflict resolution mechanic. Also, if you're interested in checking out the full playtest rules, they can be found here, though I plan on working my way through most of the rules here on the forum to foster some discussion.

Wealth
So, to pick up where I left off on the other thread, I'm gonna talk about the second of the three resources, "Wealth". Wealth is pretty simple compared to the other two as it stands now. You spend wealth at character creation to buy abilities, and then between 'chapters' to buy new or upgrade abilities. During the game, however, wealth is a currency that can be traded between players for various concessions (covered by some rules on oaths) or won as stakes in a conflict, or awarded by NPCs or what not.

The cost for buying abilities is to pay a number of wealth points equal to the new level of an ability, but you can't skip levels (so, to go to level 3, you'd have to pay 1 for level 1, 2 for level 2, and 3 for level three, for a total of 6 points). When it comes to player exchanges, that's entirely up to them to decide. So, you're trading your characters potential effectiveness for in-game help/concessions/whatever.

My question is, does this sound like enough dynamic tension between the uses of it to create interesting situations and opportunity costs, or does it seem like it'd be clearly better to hoard them for advances (or spend them all for in-game rewards)?
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 03:35:54 PM »

Hm, actually I've decided that your potential dice problem isn't that big a deal, because I've been reading the rules wrong :/  See, I thought, for some reason, that you rolled every round.  But, since you don't keeping track of your dice pools without actually having enough dice, is not only easy, but may actually be a better way to play.  I think something like this would work, when conflict starts each participant gets a note card and puts their name on it or puts their name on a piece of paper that is being used to record the conflict.  After determining the dices pools and such everyone rolls and records the numbers they got under their name.  Each round the leader circles the dice he is putting forward and afterward crosses it out.  Simple no?

About the conflict resolution system it self, on top of what's already been mentioned I've found some other problems.  The aggressor being automatically chosen and automatically putting forth his biggest die is a huge problem.  This makes conflict way to predicable.  Once I know all the numbers on the table wouldn't be to hard to run through the rest of the conflict in my head and decide whether or not to give up after the first round because I know who's going to win.  See, because the aggressor is chosen and acts automatically his opponent can force him to always be the aggressor which forces him to automatically in a certain way.

The system also doesn't seem to scale very well.  Because the aggressor only uses one die ever, it means that being the aggressor is very bad if there are large dice pools being used.  In this case being the smaller die type is actually an advantage, because one die will be easy to beat if their are large dice pools being used, which also means the larger die type will consistently roll higher.  6d8 can easily beat 6d12 in the first round awarding the smaller die group with the stakes and glory, and only giving the losing higher die group one grudge to show for it.  If two groups have the same die type losing in the first round is almost assured if you become the aggressor.

There are also some thematic concerns.  Because the aggressor's actions with regard to dice aren't under his control it feels like he's not really an active participant, despite being the driving force for the round.  In addition because using one die means only one person is acting.  So, a group that wins the initiative will only use one of it's members, and then the whole group will run away if he gets beaten to badly.  This seems wrong.

I'll post some possible fixes later, for now I'd just like to know what you think of all this.

Also, here are some alternate word you could use for your resources that I got off of Thesaurus.com.

Loyalty: Adherence, Allegiance, Bond, Devotion, Fidelity, Duty, Zeal

Grudge: Animosity, Bitterness, Enmity, Grievance, Hate/Hatred, Malice, Rancor, Spite, Hostility, Contempt, Loathing, Scorn, Revenge

Wealth: Bounty, Abundance, Fortune, Opulence, Prosperity, Worth, Assets, Benediction, Splendor, Power

Glory: Distinction, Honor, Fame, Renown, Exaltation, Majesty, Grandeur, Triumph, Brilliance, Acclaim
Logged
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 07:38:39 PM »

Logged
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 02:29:12 AM »

Sage,

   First off, thank you for the thoughtful feedback, it's really really helpful!

Next, I'm gonna talk about your second suggestion first, since it has bearing on the first one. It's interesting you mention cards, because I've been thinking about cards as a resolution mechanic in RPGs a lot, after some discussions here on the Forge. I designed a little dungeon hack board game that uses cards and a rock/paper/scissors system for fights (I haven't posted it anywhere yet, because I was just noodling around and then came upon a problem that I haven't thought of how to fix yet). But anyway, yeah, D9s don't exist because you can't make a polyhedron with odd sides, unless you go all non-Euclidean on us and get some  help from a great old one Smiley However, that whole 'all multiples of 3' thing is pretty tempting, not to mention smoothing out the 'distance' between different traits. On the other hand, I really like dice! I don't have a much more technical/smarty pants answer for why to use dice over cards than that right now, but there it is. I'll keep the cards in mind and tool around with them some.

Now, if I am going to keep using dice, your first post has some very good points. I'm less worried about a huge group handily beating a single guy, as that reinforces the notion that you need allies and support to force what you want. A concern you raised that does bother me a lot, though, is where you mentioned that the aggressor's side only gets to use one dude's die, and everybody else is just kinda SOL. As well as the predictability of conflicts. I want a little bit of predictability, to give some tactical decision making, but I don't want everyone to know how things will go with the first round every time. I also really don't like only one guy getting to act on the aggressor's turn.

What led me to have only one die on the aggressors side was the fear of the opposite happening: the side with bigger dice putting forward 5d12 all at once and there being no response possible from the smaller dice. So, for right now, I think the answer is some kind of mechanical limit on how many dice you can put forward in a round (perhaps the same for each side to keep it simple). Here's what I'm thinking for options on that:

  • An arbitrary value: 2, 3, whatever
  • A value based on a characteristic: like, equal to the total loyalty points the leader has, or wealth, or whatever
  • One die per participant per round

I'm sure there are more, but these are what I can come up with off the top of my head. An arbitrary value would make which dice you choose less predictable, but would make the range of values per round more predictable, and would also make it harder for small dice to beat out larger dice (since usually 3d12 are gonna do better than 3d6, or whatever).

Basing it on a characteristic would further reinforce the leader's role, and give the characteristics more to do. I'm not sure the leader needs more reinforcement right now, but I am tempted to give wealth some kind of mechanical effect beyond buying characteristics, so that's a potentially tempting idea.

The one die per participant option would make groups more important for both sides, but it would weight towards larger groups rather than more effective groups (e.g. having 5 guys with level 1 abilities and 1 loyalty point would be better than 2 guys with level 2 abilities and 2 loyalty).

With all of these options, there's the thing with unused dice at the end potentially, which actually might be a feature, not a bug.

Also with all of these options, I'd need a new way to 'set initiative'. I tried to steal the In a Wicked Age way of doing it, because it's dead simple. On the other hand, just saying 'both sides pick their dice for the round simultaneously and whoever puts forward the single largest die is the aggressor' might work for that. But doing it simultaneously takes away the 'one guy acts, the other responds' feel it has going right now.

To move on, thank you for the synonyms! I'm pretty fond of wealth and grudge (both good, solid Anglo-Saxon derived words), but Glory and Loyalty both have a Romance language thing going that I'd rather get rid of. "Bond" and "Renown" might work. I've also been thinking of "Fellowship" for loyalty, though that has more of a 'we're buddies' vibe than a 'I owe you service' vibe. I'll think on everything you said, thanks again!
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 05:46:03 AM »

One thing to keep in mind with regard to the dice, which I totally didn't think about before now, is that if too many dice get pushed all at once, people will have to use a calculator to do the addition in a timely manner.  I wouldn't suggest letting either side push more than 3 dice a round.  Also, if you think about it logically since each die could potentially represent one person, if one side ends up pushing 6 dice they could be throwing up to 6 people into the situation, which I think is a bit much.  Again, coordinating more than 3 people at once, on the fly, seems unrealistically difficult to me.

As for deciding who the aggressor is goes, I've always liked the idea of letting someone volunteer to go first.  I mean sometimes the aggressor may be obvious before the dice are even rolled.  So why leave that up to luck?  For example, one side being the first to draw their weapons.  If both sides want to be the aggressor then you roll the dice and the side with the highest single die goes first.  For the second and third rounds you let the side who scored a partial success in the previous round decide who goes the aggressor is, allowing them to either roll with their minor victory or adopt a wait and see approach. If the two sides tied last round, ask who makes the first move to break the stalemate and if both or neither want to be aggressor, go by highest remaining die.

Hope that helps.
Logged
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 07:49:02 AM »

Sage,

   That is so simple and so right that I can't believe I didn't see it! Holy cow! Almost always one side or another will be initiating a conflict when they're like "screw this, let's force the issue". And then carrying over to being the aggressor because you won last round makes all kinds of sense. Wow, that did help a lot.

Also, your thoughts on number of dice are true, but I don't think adding together numbers sitting right in front of you would be too onerous, but it could interfere with the action. I'm about to post to my blog expanding on my thoughts about options on number of dice, and I'll probably have a firmer idea about it after that. Thanks again!
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2010, 10:14:18 AM »

So, it just occurred to me that I am bad at math and have given you the specs for a d6 deck, a d8 deck, and a d12 deck.  I know you said you didn't want to go with the card system, but I feel I must fix this error.  The real deck setup is to use four regular decks reorganized into a 7 suite, 42 card, d6 deck, a 5 suite, 45 card, d9 deck, and a 4 suite, 48 card, d12 deck.
Logged
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 11:06:59 AM »

Sage,

   Thanks for the clarification, that saves me some legwork if I do decide to check it out. I probably should give cards a fairer shake than the dismissal I gave them before. Right now I'm still pondering the issues you raised above, trying to come up with a solution that works and pushes conflict the way I want it to, because I'm also pondering a deeper question:

What does the conflict resolution in the rules do for the game?

By which I mean did I just put it in there cos you gotta have conflict resolution? Or is it really contributing to what I want the game to do. I've been reading through some games recently (just now 'Archipelago II') that have minimal conflict resolution rules but handle the rest of the story cleverly enough to work out.
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2010, 10:44:53 PM »

Jeff,

Sounds like you have things to work out before we can keep talking mechanics.  If you need help with anything just let me know.

Also, I crunched some numbers that may help you decide what dice to use.
D4, d8, d12:
A d4 is 50% the size of a d8 and roughly 33% the size of a d12, a d8 is roughly 67% the size of a d12.
D6, d8, d10:
A d6 is 75% the size of a d8 and 60% the size of a d10, a d8 is 80% the size of a d10.
D6, d8, d12:
A d6 is 75% the size of a d8 and 50% the size of a d12, a d8 is roughly 67% the size of a d12.
D6, d9, d12:
A d6 is roughly 67% the size of a d9 and 50% the size of a d12, a d9 is 75% the size of a d12.
D8, d10, d12:
A d8 is 80% the size of a d10 and roughly 67% the size of a d12, a 10 is roughly 83% the size of a d12.

One last thing, I used my real name in one of the other threads, so you can start addressing me is Alex now, if you wish.
Logged
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 02:26:16 AM »

Thanks, Alex, I will gladly do so. I also appreciate those numbers, and yeah, I do have some thinking to do. If you have any thoughts in that direction, I'll be happy to hear them, but right now I'm trying to figure out if the resolution system needs to go a totally different direction, or just be overhauled extensively. Once I figure it out, I'll post here for sure (and maybe even some of the steps along the way)
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2010, 07:12:42 AM »

Thanks to everybody that responded!

What I've decided to do after some thought is to make it so that each side puts forward a number of dice equal to the leader's current wealth score, and then compares results. This gives wealth something to do as a static value, and gives all three of the main resources a role in conflict resolution.

Since I think that this is now workable to go ahead with playtesting, I'm going to try to set up an online playtest using Google Wave. If you're interested, let me know either here, through private message, or via email. I can get you a Google Wave invitation if you need it, as well.
Logged

Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 12:24:30 PM »

Count me in.  My Google account is sagethe13th@gmail.com.  I'll need a wave invite.
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!