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Author Topic: SOAP - restructuring and rebuilding  (Read 2670 times)
Ferry Bazelmans
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Posts: 137


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« on: December 18, 2001, 06:59:00 AM »

Hi there,

After about three quarters of a year, I wanted to redo Soap and get some of its more problematic issues solved.

It is up at for review:

http://www.crayne.nl/test/soap-test.html

This is just a .html export of Microsoft Word, so don't expect layout. This is just about the rules as they are.

Please let me know (here or through email), what you think.

Ron, Tor, Pblock, Mr. Holmes and anyone else who has ever taken an interest in the game, I would love to hear what you have to say about the changes. They should be clear, but I'll recap them in another post if anyone feels I should.

Thanks in advance,

Fer

The BlackLight Bar
http://www.crayne.nl

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The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2001, 02:51:00 PM »

OK, two problems.

First you keep mentioning Optional Scoring, but I didn't see it anywhere.

Second, what stops me as a player from making a sentence that achieves my goal on my first turn. Lets say my goal is to take over John's company. Can I just say, "Mike stands in his well appointed office and hangs up the phone after completing the purchase of fifty-one percent of John's company thus giving him control of the company." Does anyone contest me? No? I win!

Mike
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Ferry Bazelmans
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Posts: 137


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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2001, 12:30:00 AM »

Quote

First you keep mentioning Optional Scoring, but I didn't see it anywhere.


Okay, fair enough. Removed optional scoring since it was no longer necessary to score anything. Forgot the references. I told you it was a draft. :smile:

Quote

Second, what stops me as a player from making a sentence that achieves my goal on my first turn. Lets say my goal is to take over John's company. Can I just say, "Mike stands in his well appointed office and hangs up the phone after completing the purchase of fifty-one percent of John's company thus giving him control of the company." Does anyone contest me? No? I win!


Sorry about that. You are of course completely right. I have fixed this to say that you can only win if you complete 5 goals, choosing a new one each time you attain your current one. Since you only get 2 Tokens to start with, nobody will win on the first round.

*sigh*

I'm such an idiot sometimes. :smile:

Crayne
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The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2001, 09:06:00 AM »

I think that the number of goals is not a problem, but rather the "winning" concept. Having to come up with new goals each turn is just extra work, and the player can still just hit the next goal on their next trip around. This means the first player will still win, unless players always challenge everything on the assuption that players are always just trying to reach goals. Even then it's just another round or two on average.

If you want to keep the winning mechanic, I'd go back to the drawingboard, and use your one goal rule. I'd then try to figure out how to make it so that players have to take a roundabout way to reach their character's goal. Easier said than done, I realize, but if there is no challenge to getting to the goal, then there really is no reason to declare the first person to get there a winner.

From another POV, the player who discovers more of the secrets of the other characters than anyone else certainly has overcome something challenging, which may be worth rewarding. But this does nothing to drive the other players plot development...

The essential problem remains that none of these mechanics sets a player goal that is compatible with the game goal of making a good soap story. You want players to have their charadcters do things unrelated to their goals as well as try to achieve them.

Howabout something like this? Each turn the player makes a sentence, and when done he says one of the following things: "Secret", "Goal", or nothing at all. Saying secret gets you the tokens for dropping a hint as usual. Saying nothing scores you a Victory Point (VP). "Goal" would indicate that on that turn you took a step towards reaching your goal. You cannot actually achieve your goal until you have said Goal twice previously. This way you will drop hints about your goal and give players a chance to thwart you when they see you actually going for your goal. Of course, you can feint, make it seem like you are completing your goal, just to get players to burn tokens against you. Then come back the next turn and win. Or play it so that the goal-indicated turns leading up to the goal completion are misleading somehow. Anyway, it makes a challenge out of trying to get to your goal unthwarted. When you do get to your goal, you get your VP. If you fail to get to your goal by the end of the game, you get none. This gives you incentive to mix in some exposition scenes to both score VP and possibly to confuse players about what your goals are, etc.

Discoveries could be worth one VP for the discoverer, and one VP for the discoveree. This gives the player an incentive to give reasonable clues. It then becomes a timing issue where the player wants to have his secret found, but not so early as he gets offed and cannot complete his goal. The need for tokens (and thus regvealing secrets) would balance against the need to gain VP and achieve the goal.

A little complicated, Iknow, but the idea is to bring into line all the player activites with the reward of winning. There may be a simpler solution, but I just wanted to give an idea of what sort of directions wone could go off in to acomplish this. The other option is, of course, to take Ron's advice and simply drop the concept of winning altogether.

Mike
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Ferry Bazelmans
Member

Posts: 137


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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2001, 12:46:00 AM »

Quote

I think that the number of goals is not a problem, but rather the "winning" concept. Having to come up with new goals each turn is just extra work, and the player can still just hit the next goal on their next trip around. This means the first player will still win, unless players always challenge everything on the assuption that players are always just trying to reach goals. Even then it's just another round or two on average.


I personally think that it could work with players who are into the game and are willing to challenge their own cunning a bit by choosing difficult goals to achieve, but you are right. The winning mechanic still seems rather awkward or out of place. But as I said, this is just a .doc file saved as HTML and only when I'm truly satisfied with it, will it be molded into a nice PDF with artwork.

Quote

If you want to keep the winning mechanic...


I'm sorry for cutting the rest of the post off, but I do not want to keep the winning tactic. It's out and the old "this game is not winnable" statement is back, with Optional Scoring re-introduced. *sigh*
It's a harsh world.

But what am really interested in, is what people think of the new mechanics for determining if clues about secrets are valid. Would this work for you?

Crayne

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The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2001, 12:03:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-12-20 03:46, Crayne wrote:
But what am really interested in, is what people think of the new mechanics for determining if clues about secrets are valid. Would this work for you?


I think those rules are very good. Otherwise I probably would have said something, no?  :wink:

Hey, somebody else give Ferry some feedback; he's going to get a warped perspective if he just gets it from me. Ron? Paul? Josh? Scott? Fang? Gareth? Jesse? James? Other Mikes? Anybody?

Mike
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