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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The Troubadours of Verticaille  (Read 1217 times)
talysman
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Posts: 675


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« on: April 17, 2003, 01:26:04 PM »

I have no real plans to charge for Troubadours, but since some people have said they actually want to play it, I will clean it up somewhat and distribute it for free. for now, the 24-hour version is downloadable, and I just slapped together a (crude) website for the game:

The Troubadours of Verticaille

... which means that the game is officially published, with a "second edition" to appear in maybe a week.

the main reason I put up the webpage now was in case anyone wanted to look at the artwork I didn't use in the game. see, the end notes on inspirations for the game fibbed, in a sense: the very first thing I did on the game was create some art. what I wound up with was a bunch of photos of imaginary green islands. I trolled the news sites for current stories, but nothing really interesting popped up... still, there was a story about some broadway dancer dying, so I mulled over "dancer" and "green islands" for a while, then started thinking about those Tull songs and a couple other things, and that's how I created the game.
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John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2003, 06:52:17 AM »

John,

What are your thoughts regarding the probabilities issues that Mike pointed out?

Some ideas: changing the die sizes (not sure if this matters), spreading the increments of number of dice (e.g. 1, 4 , 7, or something like that) ...

Best,
Ron
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talysman
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Posts: 675


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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 11:14:32 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
John,

What are your thoughts regarding the probabilities issues that Mike pointed out?

Some ideas: changing the die sizes (not sure if this matters), spreading the increments of number of dice (e.g. 1, 4 , 7, or something like that) ...

Best,
Ron


hi, Ron.

I have been thinking about the probability issue, but haven't quite decided what to do about it yet. from the chart, it looks like the chance of success is roughly the same for Destiny 2 through 7 (in the high 90s) with the chance dropping a little at Destiny 8 and a lot at Destiny 9, which seems counterintuitive. plus, although Mike explained "expected value" once before, I don't quite get it.

so what I have decided to do is write a little brute-force program and generate a table telling me the percentage breakdown by number of successes for each Destiny rating. this will help me visualize what to do better.

off the top of my head, I think these are the changes to chargen I might be doing:

    [*]have starting Destiny range from 2 to 7, to avoid figuring out what to do about 8 and 9;
    [*]have the number of Talents vary inversely to Destiny, instead of having the crude bell curve I have now.
    [*]have Passion vary linearly, instead of inversly linear.
    [/list:u]

    I think this would make clearer chargen choices (high Destiny gives more Passions as well as points to use them, low Destiny gives more Talents at higher levels.)

    I don't plan on changing Destiny's post-chargen behavior at all. I figure the high Destiny troubadours will invoke a couple Passions in early play, the low Destiny troubs will work harder on earning Destiny, then everyone will settle in the middle and Destiny will hover there, varying only slightly.

    the other option would be to ditch the Destiny mechanic entirely and work it into my "Fantasy Inversions" group of RPGs I'm working on. the base mechanics for that group is TFT-like: roll multiple d6 less than or equal to your target number (attribute), adding dice for more difficult challenges, with Talents either lowering dice on your rolls or adding dice to the rolls of opponents. in this system, I would have to figure out special mechanics for Passions, which would become a focus for the game.

    I'll work out the probabilities for the current system first. that will help me decide what to do.
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    John Laviolette
    (aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
    rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
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    Posts: 10459


    « Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 04:12:57 PM »

    A simpler system would just be to have everyone start with a 5 Destiny (or something arbitrary), and the same number of talents. The varying talents would make for character variability, and all characters would be equal.

    It seems to me that the interesting thing about the game is the swing of Destiny to and fro. Since Destiny will be changing as play progresses, who cares, really, just where it starts? Further, some postitions could be thought of as "better" given their propensity to move in a particular direction, whcih can't be accounted for well in chargen.

    You'd still probably want to play with the odds (which your sheet sounds good for), but at least you don't have to worry about the different destinies "balancing".

    This is all rather elementary, actually, IMO. The real challenge will be trying to ensure that the Destiny swings work to produce the sort of play you're looking for. That's much more difficult to determine and will require extensive playtesting.

    Playtesting for which I humbly submit myself as guinnea pig, for an online session. When do we play? :-)

    Mike
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    talysman
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    « Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 08:52:33 PM »

    yes, I think the movement of Destiny is probably the most interesting aspect of the current game mechanic, so setting everyone at a start level of Destiny 5 might be reasonable.

    I finished my brute-force script and computed probablities for 10,000 rolls, three times total, for every Destiny number from 2 to 9. the results were peculiar. first, for Destiny 2, you are a tad more than 50% likely to get two successes, and in fact 2 successes is the most likely result through Destiny 7, although the probability of getting exactly 2 successes does drop as higher successes "nuzzle" their way in. approximate probabilities for each success at Destiny 7 are:

    Quote

        0 successes: 10%
        1 success:    29%
        2 successes: 31%
        3 successes: 20%
        4 successes:   8%
        5+ successes: 2%


    as you can see, the chance of total failure is low (and even lower for Destiny 2 to 6,) while most of the results will be 1 to 3 successes, almost evenly distrubted by the time Destiny 7 hits. higher numbers of successes trail off rapidly.

    but Destiny 8 and 9 get funky. here is Destiny 8:

    Quote

        0 successes: 20%
        1 success:    36%
        2 successes: 28%
        3 successes: 12%
        4 successes:   3%
        5+ successes: 1%


    see how it scooted down? (although I guess you knew that...) and now Destiny 9:

    Quote

        0 successes: 43%
        1 success:    38%
        2 successes: 15%
        3 successes:   3%
        4+ successes: 1%


    a Destiny 9 character has a much higher probability of getting zero successes than any other Destiny.

    what I'm thinking is: Destiny should start no higher than 6. I don't know whether I will say "everyone starts at Destiny 5" or "everyone starts at Destiny 5 with 2 Passions and 2 Talents, but you can lower either Talents or Destiny by one level to increase the other by one level."

    hmm. playtesting... I need to sign up for the indie-netgaming, then figure out how to play the game online. wasn't planning to play Troubs, but hey, may as well...
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    John Laviolette
    (aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
    rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
    Member

    Posts: 10459


    « Reply #5 on: April 21, 2003, 09:18:30 AM »

    Quote from: talysman
    hmm. playtesting... I need to sign up for the indie-netgaming, then figure out how to play the game online. wasn't planning to play Troubs, but hey, may as well...


    Cool. See you over there. I think with the stuff you've worked out that it should work out fine.

    Mike
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