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Independent Game Forums => Adept Press => Topic started by: W. Don on January 22, 2007, 07:42:19 AM



Title: [Sorcerer] Play-by-Mail Party Dice Tweak
Post by: W. Don on January 22, 2007, 07:42:19 AM
Once more into the fray.

After many delays (i.e. the holidays), my Sorcerer PBEM is finally falling into place and I've been mulling over this possibility:

  • In scenes where his character isn't directly involved, a player can distribute up to 2 dice to any of the dice pools being built up. He may add all two into just one pool of dice, or add one each to two different pools of dice.

  • This is on top of any modifiers that may be levied by the GM. It's also cummulative with any additional dice from other players (whose character's are not in the scene as well).

  • Note that these dice get added to dice pools (not character "actions"). Meaning it can be used for, say, one side of a "Humanity verus itself" check.

I was thinking of this all as a structured way of putting your money where your mouth is. It's a way for system to support, encourage, provoke player-to-player commentary. If I've followed the discussions on the forum well enough, the player-to-player thing is already there because all those bonuses are really about "what jazzes the group up." (Someone please bonk me on the head if I've gotten that wrong.) The above "house rule" is a nearly immediate way of bringing that up without the GM going in there to sort it all out.

The overarching goal here is to make play-by-mail leaner and meaner. Normally, at the face-to-face gaming table, we'd just yak our heads off for a few minutes to quickly (and satisfyingly) settle things. Via e-mail, that becomes a little difficult.   

Questions:

Is it a sound idea? -- My reading of the folks in my playing group tells me that it's going to work well as far as people getting along and enjoying the game is concerned. It helps greatly that we've all known each other for a long time. What I'm wondering about is if it's going to skew the numbers enough to push Sorcerer into weird and funny shapes.

Granted that it might end up doing that, should I cap the bonuses gained in this way to, say, +5 dice? -- There will be at least five players. If I throw this tweak in there, a dice pool can get as much as +8 added dice. The guys can really turn themselves into judge, jury, and executioner. Then again, that might not be such a bad thing.

Whaddayathink?

-- W.


Title: Re: [Sorcerer] Play-by-Mail Party Dice Tweak
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2007, 01:51:32 PM
I'm interested!

I think that the two-per-player limit is a good standard, without any need for further maxima. Or if you really don't like the idea of dice piling up like that, then say a person can only get a maximum of two such dice from any source. That five-dice thing seems to me to be a bad compromise between the two.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: [Sorcerer] Play-by-Mail Party Dice Tweak
Post by: W. Don on January 22, 2007, 08:44:00 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
I'm interested!

I think that the two-per-player limit is a good standard, without any need for further maxima. Or if you really don't like the idea of dice piling up like that, then say a person can only get a maximum of two such dice from any source. That five-dice thing seems to me to be a bad compromise between the two.

Yes!

Good insight on the five dice limit. It does seem too much like sittting on the fence. It's got to be one way or the other for me. Either give them the two-per-player thing and let them pile on the dice whichever way they want, or trash the whole idea.

I'm really warming up and getting cozy with all this. I'm throwing it to the group. I so want to see the look on their faces when they realise they can really burn the house down with this (plus Kickers, demon creation, character development, etc.)

And now it looks like the number of players might go all the way up to eight even! (Gadzooks. I'm thankful it's not going to be a face-to-face game, with everyone at the table at the same time.)

If this turns up something interesting, I'll be sure to post over at Actual Play.

Thanks again!

-- W.


Title: Re: [Sorcerer] Play-by-Mail Party Dice Tweak
Post by: W. Don on January 29, 2007, 08:32:35 PM
There's been a significant update on this.

I've phrased the rule to the playing group as follows:

Quote
PARTY DICE. Meaning "party" as in real folks getting together for a good time; not "Hey, let's form a kobold-hunting party!"

As long as you don't have a character directly involved in the scene, you can add up to two (2) dice to any of the dice pools on the table. Bystanders on the list, with no characters in play at all, can thrown dice into any (or all) of the scenes being played out. You're free to add just one dice, all two into one pool of dice, or add one dice each into two separate pools.

Party Dice are cumulative with everything. They go on top of any modifiers levied by the GM and also add to any dice thrown in by the others on the list.

These dice are added to dice pools not just to character actions. This means they can be used for, say, one side of a check involving a character's Humanity score versus itself.

No scene of play means no Party Dice. E.g. rolls for character improvement are not scenes, but the Binding roll and Humanity check for starting demons are.

Use your Party Dice however you wish. Maybe you feel it's time to put a character in the pressure-cooker; or you all want to gang up on someone; or you really, really think what that guy did was Just Plain Wrong. The rules donít care about your motives, but that other player probably does.

As long as everything is done openly on the list, you're free to build up Party Dice for your character any way you want. You can make the character compelling and hard to ignore, work closely with others to trade dice, appeal to the gallery with racking sobs, whatever. Just go out there and get them.

The rule applies only for scenes actually being played, because that's where I think the group dynamic (players interacting with players) ought to be at its best.

Also, our mailing list has a number of members who can't commit to playing a character. However, I'm also opening the game up to them since they get their own Party Dice too. Again, I'm not sure if this going to send Sorcerer to hell, but I'm optimistic that, as soon as the players start grabbing the game by the balls, great stuff can really happen.

  ó W.